08 May 2010

[ ] : For all the readers who haven't heard of Thugzy - please introduce yourself and tell us where you are from.

[ Thugzy ] : What it do This ya boi Thugzy str8 from East Palo Alto in the western Bay Area (650), (415) original, G-town, The Gardenz reppin' 4eva! Since I was a yung buck... lol...

[ ] : Let's talk about your music passion and career for a while, starting from the very beginning. As far as I know you've already tried your hand at music when you were 5 year old. You've even played drums and learned about the production and engineering processes. Tell us more about it and who helped you take your very first steps?

[ Thugzy ] : Fasho, as my music history, I've always been into music since I was very little. I started off playing the drums at the age of 5; went professional by 9 years old; all self taught, not one lesson. They tried to put me in classes but I wasn't with the boaring shit ya feel?! Lol! I was always around the studios so I picked up all the skills, all self taught, learned how to work the giant mixers, the tape reel, that & all the analog stuff first, then by 5th grade I got into the production & rap game & tore it up since. So I'm not new to the game at all... As for the first few steps in the game it was no one really but with the support of my family of course, no doubt, I've always done everything myself to benefit me & my camp to the fullest! The homie rappers helped out too; I ain't gonna deny it one bit & I'm thankful for the ones that helped a lil ma'fucka out at that time and I wish them the best. I'm grown now & doin' my own thang ya feel?!

[ ] : Who's your biggest music inspiration? Tell us how did you grow up ?

[ Thugzy ] : My biggest inspiration would definitely be my family "lrdn", no doubt. Just how big they are in the "Musica Regional Mexicana / Nortena" really opened my eyez and there's been only one thing embedded in my head forever & thats "do it big or go home cryin'"... Just to be fortunate to see the massive, huge crowds they perform in front of (I ain't talkin' a couple thousand; I'm talkin' bout 400,000 heads & up sometimes) inspires me to do it big & never give up no matter what bullshit & obstacles life may throw at you... but the real inspiration is my hood "Da Gardenz" aka tha "G"! All my real folkz-n-fam that I grew up with since kids... A lot of people might not know in my town, but I've been on the block since I was 5 years old; I seen my 1st murder when I was 4 right in my drive way. Tha ma'fucka was just layed out & my cuzin came out to tackle me on the ground 2 protect me from gettin' hit if anything happens. I grew up around the mobb life, guns, dope dealin, murders, homicides, family bizz you name it... I've seen it all; I wasn't like most kids at that age, while fools waz bein' spoiled or gettin' tucked in by they momma I was really out there with my uncles & family, original 2G's Cooley Ave. Projectz if ya'll wanna get technical. That's why they call us "Rogues", cuz we absolutely don't give a fuck, period! Dog eat dog! Str8 up & that's how we're raized. If anyone put me on, it was my boy Carlos Guiltran, my boi A-Dolla's older bro, rip Rogue, we miss u & u ain't forgotten. You alwayz believed in me from the gate and backed me up when no one else believed in my talent.

[ ] : What happened next? When was the first time you touched the microphone and dropped your first verse?

[ Thugzy ] : The first time I've ever touched a mic period was at the Boys & Girls Club of the Penninsula in Redwood City, Ca back in like 2001-2002-ish. Me & my boy Reyes were the first one to kick that studio off, plus we was just broke lil ghetto ass kids that wanted to do sumthin serious ya feel!?

[ ] : Tell us more about the Gritty Minded label. When was it founded? Who's in the camp?

[ Thugzy ] : Tha Gritty Minded camp consits of me, Goose, Rickey J aka Yung Rick, MDB, Mumblez & our Utah artist Young G and my boy Troublez from San Jo; we consider him part of tha fam, real all dude mayne, off top... We're currently workin on everyone's project & all of them should have a release out sometime this year for sure. Gritty Minded was established in 2003 & founded by Thugzy, Goose & Rickey J.

[ ] : Correct me if I'm wrong, but the first release from Gritty Minded was a 7-song deep album called "The Samples Vol. 1" from 2004. Tell us more about it. Did it really sell in over 8.000 copies? How did you achieve it ?

[ Thugzy ] : Yes, that ain't a myth homie, lol! Back in the day I believe in May 2004-2005 is when that dropped, too damn long ago, I can barely remember, lol! but yeah, we didn't go through no CD pressing company or anything; I did everything myself. I burned one-by-one on my cousin Goose's laptop. Sometimes he'd find me passed out the next morning on this computer, lol. I would design the cover inserts & CD labels & put'em in slim cases & tape the side and we sold'em fo 5 bucks, 2 bucks, whatever, we was just hustlin'. Then we'd all go out and sell the CDs together & split the money amongst us. That's how much of a hard worker I am & how dedicated I am to my family & camp and I don't fuck wit no one else.

[ ] : In 2007 you dropped your debut solo project entitled "G Status". Please elaborate on this one.

[ Thugzy ] : "G-Status" was my first solo. It did better than I honestly thought it would do. I had some homie rappers on there & a few of my own folkz. To be real I didn't know what to expect from the fanz; it was my first thing I've ever dropped solo. I didn't know if people were goin' to like it, but once I saw that all my CDs were sold I was like "damn!!!" lol...

[ ] : A year later, in 2008, you had a deal with Deep Distribution. What's the story behind this collaboration? Were there any fruits of your joint labor?

[ Thugzy ] : Yes and I still do. I approached them for distribution, but I got lucky as hell! I got to talk 2 the vice-president str8 up. She asked if I had anything she could hear & I told her to go on the MySpace & peep my tracks out. Within goin' through a few songs she said "How would you like an exclusive contract with BCD Music Group" (at the time, now "Deep Records") and I laughed & thought she was bullshittin', but within an hour my lawyer & I had copies of the contract & it was all legit. Boy, did I jump for joy, let me tell ya! lol...

[ ] : You're not only a rapper, but also a producer, having a lot of beats under your belt. I heard and enjoyed your production on albums by Travieso G, Lil Coner & C-Locs and Tito B. Who else did you work for as a producer?

[ Thugzy ] : Chea and counting, lol! I've done a lot of production for a lot of local Bay Area & Central Cali rappers; I've done stuff for people out of state in Utah & Texas alot. I really try-n-keep my beats exclusive; I don't really like makin' beats for just anybody. Travieso, Doc 9, Coner etc. are all folkz so I hooked'em up wit the hood hook up, ya feel? But now I don't really fuck wit people anymore. I'm more to myself & camp only. If they come wit the right amount of dough they'll get one, lol. But remember I don't fuck with just anybody.

[ ] : Is it easier for you to rap or produce? If you'd have to choose who'd you rather call yourself - a rapper or a producer?

[ Thugzy ] : In reality I can do both. A great artist or musician never adapts to just one thing, ya feel?! I'd say I'm a multi-talented of anything (I ain't being cocky, so don't think that, cause I ain't like that 1 damn bit!).

[ ] : What's more, you're also into graphic designing, which can be also proven by covers from albums by Droopy Lector, Troublez or Mumblez. Tell us more about your art talent. When and why did you start messing with graphics?

[ Thugzy ] : I've been always into graphic design and I was always fascinated by it. I've started graphics around the same time I've started producing & engineering and now I have it as a business as well. I got into it to help my people out cause people be taxin' for some shitty ass work, but I make it professional & affordable.

[ ] : You've also done mastering for other artists' projects and I read that you'd handle the mastering processes on the upcoming Big Ru's solo and Troublez' projects "The Japan Album" and "Bay Undaground" compilation. Please shed some light on these albums, especially on the last one as will be also involved into it.

[ Thugzy ] : Yes, mastering as well. I'm dedicated to my profession and I want your work to sound crisp, clean & clear not like shit, damp, dull or dry and I will bring your work 2 absolute life!
I was just mastering up those three albums the other day. Troublez "The Japan Album" was made exclusively for the people of Japan, it's got come really koo cutz. Big Ru's album is str8 reppin' hard; gots some slappers; my favorite joint on this particular album would have to be "Sumthin Outta Nuthin". Troublez and Boogie Loc "Bay Undaground" is a koo lil compilation of Northern Cal Underground artist; sounds good and these artist will get more exposure and a lil more boost in tha game. Also be sure to buy Troublez presents "Tha All Starz" - very good compilation.

[ ] : Let's get back to you and your music. What's up with "Da Hood Boy", your next solo album? I remember seeing its cover for over a year now. Why is it taking so long to release an album? Tell us more about "Da Hood Boy" itself.

[ Thugzy ] : Chea, "Da Hood Boy"... The process ius taking long because I was dealin' with a lot of legal & personal life shit. Then I also wanted to really take my time & deliver a hard hittin' album to my people & fans. Trust me, wait 'til ya'll hear it. This is a really big step for me to move forward. Expect hard hitting bass, hood wit it lyrics & I actually got down on a song doin' straight vocals the whole way through. Honestly I think the album is goin' to sell & reach new crowds...

[ ] : Even though East Palo Alto's rap scene rather stays in the shadow of other Bay Area cities it has its own rap legends and well known figures like Sean T, Chunk, Dem Hoodstarz, Ad Kapone or Mac & A.K. Have you ever had a chance to work with them? Are you planning to? What's your opinion on EPA rap scene as a whole?

[ Thugzy ] : Chea, it really has been and I noticed that early in life, that's why I wanted to put my town on the map on a different level. That's why a lot of people in my town hate on a ma'fucka. I'm the first Mexican from my town to put EPA on a worldwide basis and I'm damn right proud of it. Chea, the EPA originals Ad, Chunk, Totally Insane, Sic-n-Sane Criminals, Sean-T, The MOG, Young Life, Mac & A.K., Neva Legal, Rogish Records are all on my inspiration list as well. Then the new age now in days consists of Dem Hoodstarz & Block Boys (Young Buff & Law). I've been listening to EPA rap since the "EPA City Compilation" dropped. Ask yungins my age 'bout that & I bet a lot don't even know bout it. I had it on tape like whhhaaaa! And still bump it today, but I had transfered it to cd... lol. Yes, I'm down to work with them but I'd rather work with orginals like Ad Kapone & Chunk. The real EPA city rap game pioneers. There ain't really that much of a game in my town, we more 'bout being on tha block & bein' real, gettin' this dough, ya feel?! That's just how EPA's been since I could remember. Every ma'fucka for himself. But yeah, I think the game needs to grow more, the world needs to see what hood & grimey is! And hopefully I could be the one blessed enough to do that! I already got tha MTV, MTV Mundo connect, so Ima make my town to be noticed. We've had rap for a long time and it's 'bout time we get heard. If nobody like that, then fuck'em! I'm proud of bein' where I'm from and I wouldn't be from anywhere else in tha world and I luv my hood & town and I stay reppin' to the fullest, all day err day!

[ ] : Anything else you'd like to add, shout out etc. - here's the time!

[ Thugzy ] : Hell yeah! Big shout out 2 for supportin' ya boi Thugz, I really appreciate and shout out 2 tha worldwide people that listen to my music, 1 luv - Thugzy

Check out Thugzy on MySpace to listen to his music and buy his albums.