29 January 2010
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What's up E. Fields. I read your brief biography posted on the MySpace page and it seems that you have a musical heritage.
[ E. Fields ] : I definitely do have musical heritage that I'm extremely proud of. As stated in my bio my father was the late, great Richard "Dimples" Fields, who was a platinum selling R&B singer/songwriter in the early 80's. He had songs like "She's got papers on me" with Betty Wright, and "If it ain't 1 thing, it's another", which were really popular in the 80's. But he started out in the 60's & 70's releasing his music independently in Oakland, so that's what I use for motivation. His story so closely resembles mine that I KNOW I can take this thang as far as I want to. Seeing your own father go from an independent Bay Area artist, to having the #1 record & album in the country, I mean what more motivation could you need? It's like it's already been written! I got all my game from my pops and even though he gone in the physical, his spirit still lives within me. That's why I shout him out every chance I get! Pops, your the greatest!! I luv you!!
[ BayUndaground.com ] : So why did you decide to record rap, not something else?
[ E. Fields ] : Honestly, if I could sing I probably would. This rapper shit is like an alter ego for me in a way. Not me personally, but everything that comes with it. As far as my records go, it's always 100% ME, right on down to my name, "E. Fields". That isn't some "rap name" I made up, it's just what people call me, my handle, what I'm known as in the street. Shit, my momma even calls me that. Everything I do comes from the heart. 99.9% my personal life experiences. I very rarely take creative license. But, on the real, I inherited everything from my pops, his game, his style, everything except his voice! But don't get it twisted, my vocals are definitely decent so you might hear me hit a note or 2 on my future projects.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : And how did the whole music start for you?
[ E. Fields ] : Once again I credit my pops. From singing to me when I was a baby, to spending the night in studios before I could walk. That's why I'm a vampire now. I can't go to sleep before 4:00 am. So it was IN me long before it was ON me. But as far as picking up a pen and actually writing a rap, I got into it watching my older brother Brandon do it when I was 'bout 7 or 8 years old.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : To be honest I heard of you this year only, after you released "Handlebars". What was before that? Any underground releases, any verses as a guest appearance?
[ E. Fields ] : To say that I just got serious about making music wouldn't really be accurate, because, as my background illustrates, it's something that I always knew I could, would and wanted to do. That being said, you're not really serious about anything that you're not willing to invest in, rather it be a monetary investment, or just being willing to give it the time & energy it needs, so that's the main reason why you haven't heard much from me. But I have appeared on a couple things such as, Trackademik's "Re-mix Tape" vol 1. My song "Enjoy Ur Self" feat. J Stalin appears on Stalin's "Early Morning Shift" vol. 2 mixtape. It's credited as featuring Shady Nate but that's me on there. Shout out to Shady Nate cause he be non-stop gasin!
But I'm definitely ready and willing to work with whoever wanna do something. I'm not one of these cats running round acting funny like they too good to jump on a track, or wanna charge cats a whole bunch of money. Nah, nah. All you gotta do is holla at me and we can work! I'll come thru for a lil bit of nothing. Just hit me n it's good.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Since "Handlebars" is a new album, tell the readers something about it. What kind of rap will they hear? Where can they get it?
[ E. Fields ] : My focus with the "Handlebars" cd was to give people a lot of variety musically. From the more up-tempo songs, to the smooth player type records, to the more mellow, introspective records, everybody has a different song they say is their favorite. That's what I'm the most proud of is the diversity and how I know it's a great project.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Have you had a chance to read our review of your solo?
[ E. Fields ] : I have read the review, and besides the 4 out of 5 stars, which I'm very proud of, I really appreciated the fact that the reviewer was knowledgable about the cd, and had obviously taken the time to listen to it thoroughly. Good look!!
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Okay, let's focus on your record label - Game Related Records. How did this enterprise start and who else is on it?
[ E. Fields ] : Game Related is a company I founded in 2005. As far as the music division is concerned, I myself am the flagship artist. The next project from the label will most likely be the E. Fields sophomore project "Golden Gate Fields" or the debut album from K-Loc-A-Motion titled "In Motion". As we speak we're also in negotiation with several other potential artists. But the label is only one aspect of the Game Related brand. We'll also be exploring other endeavors in the near future, beginning with, but not limiting to, Game Related apparel. Right now we have T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, and varsity/letterman jackets available.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : How does the music business look from the back door? Is it hard for an upcoming artist to release an independent cd?
[ E. Fields ] : Releasing the cd is the easy part. The real work is figuring out how to get it off the shelf. Even the most talented artists and guys with really good records are finding it challenging to move units, especially with the climate in the music game being what it is right now. U gotta really be a hustler and get creative with your marketing and what not. It can be especially difficult for independent artists, who are more often than not working with limited financial recourses. I'm currently working on a project, likely a documentary, where I'll be giving a detailed explanation of all of the steps involved in releasing a rap cd independently in the Bay Area. Kind of like a tutorial for up & coming artists releasing their 1st cd independently.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : I noticed you showcase mature lyrics and not limit yourself to simple subjects. Let me quote a couple of your bars and please elaborate on each of them.
"So we're planning for our funerals and not for our future (...)
It's 12 murders, all in one week and all in the East"
[ E. Fields ] : That's a line from the 1st verse of my song "Wherever U R". Like a lot of material on the "Handlebars" cd, it's an older song. I already had the verses and then B Banks came with that beat and I just made 'em fit. I think I wrote that particular verse in 2001, right after my friend Erik "Eklipze" Carson (from the group Cydal) was killed. His death was especially tragic because of how high his talent level was, how young he was, and because of how much of a good dude he was. Sometimes when you lose a friend in the streets you're sad but not necessarily shocked, because you know the potential of the life they lead but with E it wasn't like that. I mean, he had ties to the streets but at the same time he was more focused on music and being a good father. When I listen to his music I get the same feeling I get when I listen to Mac Mall's 1st album, and I realize that the guy I'm listening to, spitting like a grown man, is still in high school! He has a song called "For Every Dollar Made" that came out right after he died and it's a Bay classic. I encourage everybody to seek it out if they can. He was the inspiration for that record & that verse.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :
"If you poppin them pills
You couldn't be possibly clockin that scrill"
[ E. Fields ] : That's a line from my song "Take It Slow", which I think might be the most under appreciated track on the album, due in some part because I feel like that song lost some of it's magic during the mixing process, but the message I deliver on there is powerful. That line in particular is me telling young people to slow down with the e-pills. I wrote that verse during the beginning of the so called hyphy movement era when everything was geared towards partying and I felt like a lot of youngsters was taking it out of context. I just felt like I wanted to be the one to stand up for the real, even if it went against what was popular, and say what everybody already know, and that's that drug abuse ain't cool. Period. If you grown you can do what you want, but that verse was geared towards my young niggas and teenagers.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :
"Stripes on my chest but I ain't no killa though (...)
If you can't stand up what is you livin for?
It's more than (...) hangin round the liqour store"
[ E. Fields ] : That's from the song "Life I Chose", which is basically just a song illustrating some of the aspects of how I grew up. Essentially that line's just saying that at the end of the day, all a person has is their self respect. If you don't have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, or just be a "stand up" individual period, what are you living for? And it's definitely more to life than hanging out at the liquor store. I explain how that's something that we used to do, mainly because my potna lived across the street, but that we grew out of. Eventually that corner hanging gotta play out. If it don't you turn into a bum.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :
"Can't talk to my friends, can't talk to my family
Don't nobody understands me"
[ E. Fields ] : This one is pretty self explanatory. It's basically about just feeling like it's you against the world and nobody feeling you. Or like nobody you know is smart enough or got the knowledge you need to help you or answer whatever questions. The most intelligent man I ever met was my father. I could soak game from him on any & every subject. Now that he's gone I got a couple of big homies / mentors that I holla at from time to time, but mostly I just talk to myself.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Your solo had scarcely any guests featured. Are you planning to collaborate with other rappers from the Bay?
[ E. Fields ] : I'm definitely ready to collaborate with anybody who wants to work with me. As far as my own projects go I'm a music fan 1st, and 1 thing artists do that I don't like is have too many features. A few collabs is cool but generally I want to hear the artist. That's why the only rappers featured on the "Handlebars" project are K-Loc-A-Motion, who is a Game Related artist, and J Stalin. I first heard J Stalin on the Delinquents "Purple Project" vol. 2 mixtape on the song "West Oakland Marines", then he had 3 songs on the Richie Rich compilation. So based off of those records I sought him out. That was in like 2005 or so. At that time not too many people knew who he was. I'm not sure if he had even released his 1st mixtape yet. Now he's got several projects out and Livewire is one of the biggest movements in the Bay Area. What I'm saying is, this someone I chose to work with because I, on my own, recognized a talent. Not because this is who everybody is running to for a feature this month, or because I'm trying to get a piece of their fan base on some political shit. I got immediate potnas, like my folks Divilusion for example, who spit nothing but GAS, who I haven't even worked with yet because I don't like to force collabos and just throw niggas on anything. When I do features I like to make sure it's a situation where the featured artist compliments that particular concept or track.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What about your upcoming sophomore solo? What will fans hear on that? Will it be something similar or something entirely different from the "Handlebars"?
[ E. Fields ] : My new album is about 60% complete. It will be called "Golden Gate Fields" and it will most likely come out around June 2010. Similar to "Handlebars" as far as that vintage, 90's style Bay Area vibe, but a little more current, and a little more up-tempo. If you liked "Handlebars" your gonna love "Golden Gate Fields". You see, the thing is I started recording "Handlebars" in 2005 and it didn't come out until 2009! And some of the material I already had from years prior. So while "Handlebars" is a classic album, it's not necessarily reflective or representative of where I am in my life today. That's why I'm even more excited about my upcoming project than I was about the 1st one, because it's all new material. My current thoughts and ideas, my current feelings about things. It's really going to showcase my growth as an artist and just as an individual period, so I'm really anxiously awaiting the feedback.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : I also saw that you have a solo by K-Loc-A-Motion coming up soon. What's up with that? Anything else in your nearby future plans?
[ E. Fields ] : K-Loc-A-Motion's album "In Motion" coming soon! We could've put it out last year but we held up on it to give the "Handlebars" the attention it deserved. In that time we been putting the finishing touches on there and it's approx. 85% complete. Be on the look out for that right before or right around the time of the "Golden Gate Fields". We will also be releasing a best of Richard "Dimples" Fields cd and possibly a Game Related compilation. I don't have any plans for a mixtape, because sometimes artist use them as excuses to release sub-par material. I do however have several songs that didn't make the "Handlebars" that I'll be compiling into an as yet untitled Internet only album that will be available for free download for registered users on www.gamerelatedrecords.com. Keep checking the website as that should be up any day.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Now's the time for final words, thank you for the interview.
[ E. Fields ] : www.gamerelatedrecords.com is where you stay updated on all things GR (Game Related), so be sure to check us out and don't forget to register! "Handlebars" in stores now!! Also available on iTunes!! Be on the look out for that "Golden Gate Fields" cd! And thanx to BayUndaground.com for the interview and for helping to keep this Bay Are movement lit!! East Oakland!!
If you want to buy "Handlebars" album, we recommend you to visit CD Baby or rapper's MySpace page. Also be sure to read the review of his solo.