Big Rich - conducted by Dale Coachman  

Big Rich

October 2006

With the influx of the new generation of rap artists who seem to be in the game because it feeds the family it is also refreshing to see the artists that are in the game for the love. Front runner Bay Area rapper Big Rich has seen it all and now he wants to see a lot more. Although timid with the spotlight he is ready to carve out his space in this hip-hop generation but hopefully go down in hip-hop history. Giving much respect to the Hyphy Movement for putting the Bay Area back on the map Big Rich is a rapper that does not want to be associated with a trend.

MVRemix: What were you up to this weekend?

Big Rich: Well we had a Big Rich weekend out here in the Bay, 4 out 6 days we partied so it was crazy. My album came out last Tuesday and I was kind of pulling out my hair because we were selling out everywhere and then all day Wednesday we didn't have nay product out here and then Koch re-stocked it for Thursday and we were right back on.

MVRemix: I know that's a good feeling?

Big Rich: Oh yeah all the hard work has paid off so it's good.

MVRemix: Tell me a little about yourself I know you grew up in the Filmore District tell me what it was like being raised in that area?

Big Rich: You know when I was coming up the Filmore district was about the Jazz players in San Francisco and that's where our pimps and players come from. Growing up in the early eighties it was like just adjusting to the dope game. In the early nineties crack was new so dudes was making money out there with fancy cars and living that lifestyle that you see in the movies. Then when I got to high school stuff started getting, and dudes were getting to greedy and people just started getting killed and so there has been no money making just people dying. So now you're seeing 15 year olds that got bodied so I'm just trying to bring that back, that image to the kids like the other OG's that I had when I was growing up making that money and show them that there is more to it. So every time a film crew comes through to do something with me for a DVD or a photo shoot for a magazine whatever it is I'll bring them straight to the hood. I get all the youngsters out there and just expose them to that. It took a drastic change it went from getting money and everyone being cool to everybody trying to kill each other.

MVRemix: I read that you've said you've lost about 50 friends and have become numb to that situation…

Big Rich: Definitely, for long time I've been numb I think with the murdering I've become numb to it and now the people we're losing I don't really know to much because they are all young and I really didn't bond with them like the dudes I los a few years ago. Like from "01-04" is when I lost the majority of the people that I was talking about. So I'm still numb to it but now I feel like I'm in a position of power in my area and especially in the bay area and in my city. So I try to tell them you ain't gotta wear a suit and tie to not be cool. These dudes want to thug it but I'm like you can still be fresh and still be cool and carry yourself in that way. You ain't gotta kill and shit, I'm just trying to teach cats how to get money.

MVRemix: So who were your influences because it sounds like you had somebody there to keep your head on straight?

Big Rich: On a personal level it was this dude San Quinn, he was like my big brother my mentor throughout my whole career. Half of my life he was there for me so on a personal level I learned how to carry myself as a man, and carry myself as a rapper. On a more bigger level of influence was 2Pac and there are a million reasons why he influenced it was really San Quinn.

MVRemix: What about at home what was your relationship like with your moms and your pops?

Big Rich: Ah man my dad is my best friend, he was my influence but as I grew up me and duke could talk about any and everything. He helped me through the grind and raising up through this rap shit and I'm still 25% of where I want to be but even that little 25% has been rough because I've been overlooked for a long time.

MVRemix: Just to school people how long have you been in the game?

Big Rich: I've been in the game for 8 years, my first album came out 7 years ago, so I've been in it for 7 but I've been fucking with it for 13. I was in a group called Fully Loaded and we started Done Deal Entertainment along with San Quin and Charles Kelly back in 98 and now we are all doing well doing our separate things.

MVRemix: Now you said you were 25% what's the other 75% that you want to get to?

Big Rich: The reason why I'm 25% is because now I'm at the forefront of my city, as far as the rap shit I'm holding down my city. Now the buzz is so strong out here it's like I got my area I got a little bit more work to do, don't get me wrong but I got my area and now I got to get the rest of the country and that's still 25% to me but the other 50% is business, I'm talking about owning my shit, being well off, and setting a mark in this industry. Like I've been local my whole life but I've been wanting to be more than local but I need to lock down my region before I can lock down any other place. A lot of people didn't believe in this, they would say you have to go to LA, NY or down south but I'm like nah I'm about to lock this shit up so when dudes come out here and their like whose hot out here when dudes are naming names they are naming me. So the situation with Koch helped out a lot because it's really trendy out in the Bay as far as the consumers. It's like when we can Jam of the Week on MTV jams then the buzz went up or direct effect on MTV then the buzz went up, and when they saw us on 106 and Park which was about three weeks ago they went crazy. So the record release parties have been jam packed. So I'm only 25% because I have a lot of shit to do, I'm trying to have a 10 or 15 year career. Like I'm a career artist like I done put all my marbles in album number one which is a set up for part 2.

MVRemix: So you're not just trying to come in get a quick buck and then get out?

Big Rich: Nah I'm in it for the run, I'm half way done with album number two, I have full length documentary DVD that was supposed to come with the album but have had so much new footage and so much great shit that we decided that we were just going to put it out as a DVD itself. I got a group coming out on my label I got my second album so I'm really trying to saturate the game and stay here.

MVRemix: How did the whole Koch deal go down?

Big Rich: We were in negotiations with them back with San Quin and he sparked the interest with Koch about 2 years ago. We really wanted to stay independent as a label, because if Quin got a major deal with Atlantic, Def Jam or Universal we were going to let him do that because as a label we kind of wanted to keep the money, but you know how it is groups are made to break up and there was a lot of funny shit going on but we were still a family but it was just that all 6 of us wanted to go in our own direction and then when Done Deal split and Charles Kelly my CEO he started to take Street Cred Music and take that over there to Koch so Charles Kelly offered me a deal and it was a great deal and he offered me to be president of Street Cred. So Quinn gave me his blessings and I went over there to Koch and Koch saw the Bay Area's movement a little bit and with E-40's success folks out here was doing alright so they just took a chance basically.

MVRemix: So on the West Coast you got Snoop, E-40, Too Short, the Game, and Dr. Dre where do you see yourself in that line up?

Big Rich: You know I'm just coming from the direction of the Bay there is a whole gang of us and a few deals are surfacing so I'm just repping in the new generation of this and I definitely feel like I'm in the forefront of my city which is San Francisco and the whole Bay area. So I'm just a painting my picture I'm definitely a humble guy I got 40 and he believed in the thing and saw my drive and determination and he came and put his stamp of approval on my album. So I'm just another soldier for this whole west coast. I got shit on their for the southern region, for the eastern region, for everybody.

MVRemix: What's your opinion on the Hyphy Movement as a whole?

Big Rich: Hyphy movement is something that gave the Bay hope but there is more than hyphy out here and that's what I represent from the Bay area. So there is more to it but hyphy gave us hope. It put us back on MTV, BET, 106 & Park. I hear a lot of different complaints for a lot of different reasons but every other region had someone on BET or MTV and we didn't have none. We had Too Short and E-40 but those are like legends that the new rappers respect. Like they are Run DMC, they are Rakim there all OG's there like Scarface but what good is that for us if we don't have any rotation. The hyphy movement brought us to all that so I respect the movement and am a part of the movement but I'm just not a hyphy rapper. Trends come and go I just don't want to be caught in a trend. I keep my music me; I don't want to get out of my ox to much.

MVRemix: What are people going to get when they hear your album?

Big Rich: There is a song called From nothin to somethin which is the most personal song on the album and the feedback I'm getting is that, that is a lot of people's favorite song. I have stories, personal shit, straight club and when I say I have a well rounded alum I'm not saying it as a marketing push. I definitely have all different subjects on my shit. Wherever the beat takes me that's where I go. I had 60 songs for this record and we kept 18 and I think I covered all the basis with that and all the subjects that I wanted to speak. When you listen to 1-18 you will have that feeling on the same song.

MVRemix: Do you prefer to rap or do you prefer to produce?

Big Rich: I really prefer to be behind the scenes and produce and not as much as making the actual music but putting the shit together. I wanted to be a CEO before this rap thing. I never wanted to rap I never wanted to be an entertainer it was just I was making beats and trying to put shit out and it just wasn't moving fast enough. So when I met San Quin and he supported and said I could rap I felt like that was my way in. I also got better once I got the opportunity to go solo I grew a lot more. Now I'm just trying to get my foot in the door with this rap shit but eventually I'm going to fall back and do some ish on the executive and behind the scenes level. I love the marketing meetings with Koch, the rap shit is easy but the marketing and promotion is the fun part.

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    "I'm still 25% of where I want to be, but even that little 25% has been rough because I've been overlooked for a long time."