[ BayUndaground.com ] :Rob, please introduce yourself and say a word about where you are from.
[ Rob Rize ] : What up! I'm Rob Rize... I come from the East Bay Area currently been living in Fremont for about 17 years now, but I grew up in Newark smashin' wit all the homies runnin' a muck LOL! Went to high school with Keek Dogg. We had hella the same classes though, but I'mma East Bay rider always know where my heart is, ya feel?
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Tell us your rap story. When did you start rapping and what pushed you to doing it?
[ Rob Rize ] : I've been rapping for about 15 years now, but for the last 5 been trying to really do something with my talent. I started with a local artist known as Jaeson Patric. I recorded a few songs back in '94 on karaoke machines and doubled up my verses and BAM! But I never did anything, didn't know the beast was in me till about 6 years ago. But what pushed me to do it was all the lyrics I had written over the years; I saw them stacking up and I decided to put 'em to use and I felt I had a story to tell of my life and plus all the negativity that came from people about me doing music pushes me harder.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :How would you describe your style, flow and lyrics? Is there anyone you can compare yourself with on the northern California rap scene?
[ Rob Rize ] : Haha my style is 1 of a kind. No one like me since I can manipulate my style. My flow is depending on a beat. I don't think I ever sound the same, but I stay consistent. My lyrics come from the second I hear a beat I like. I know exactly what the song will be about. I am very big on staying on topic and I have a lot of emotions from my fucked up life growing up. I hold nothing back in my lyrics. And as far as comparing myself I couldn't tell ya. I would like to think I'm in a class all my own. Although I hear I sound like Lord Infamous from 3-6 Mafia pretty often from a lot of people.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :The label Slap City Ent. - who's behind it and who's signed to it? What's the biggest success of the label and what are its future plans?
[ Rob Rize ] : Well, Slap City Ent. was Jamez Da Youngsta, Felicia B. & Raskal Locs, but Jamez is no longer with me and I started it about 3 years ago after I left Traxline Records. I haven't had a big success from the label yet I am hoping on "Phoenix Rizing" being that success, but the future plans it seems I am hoping to get a few good loyal artists and work with them. I am currently working on a solo project from Felicia B, it's an RnB project and I have a few more projects coming later in 2011. And I am doing a lot of my own mixing too, as u will hear on "Phoenix Rizing" and I'm going to school soon for music engineering. Oh boy can't wait!
[ BayUndaground.com ] :It might seem that you're rather new to the rap game as your first release dropped back in 2008, however from what I know you've got over 200 songs recorded and only 1 album pressed. Two other ("Digital Blueprint" and "Wake Yo Ass Up") were given away for free download not that long ago. Why didn't you officially release these projects? Is there a chance you'll make album(s) with your unreleased, older material?
[ Rob Rize ] : Well money is a big issue and I don't have anybody backing me financially. I'm self-reliant and depend on me to get stuff done! So it's been rough with the economy and since I am self employed money isn't always there for me to put out towards my music. And I have some good cuts off "Wake Yo Ass Up" and "Digital Blueprint", but just wasn't really feeling them so much to "release them". And yes, I am releasing a new project in 2011 with my first recordings and some older material being mixtape stuff and some other music I've recorded in the past.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :There was also a duet cd from you and Jamez Da Youngsta called "End Of Dayz" which as far as I know is also ready to drop a long time ago. What happened to it?
[ Rob Rize ] : I have all the music, but I'm not going to release it right now... let's leave it at that!
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Back in 2009 you made a clean video for the song "Barz And Stripez", although I didn't see it featured on any of your albums, not even the upcoming "Phoenix Rising". Can we expect to get it
officially released on other projects?
[ Rob Rize ] : "Barz and Stripez" is a leased beat, but it is coming out on "The Dark Hour" with a third verse that wasn't in the video. I'm also shooting a video for "Rize To The Top" in August of 2010 with the same video director Franic Prod. I'm going greenscreen with this video! Got a 1000 square foot greenscreen room I'm renting; gonna be dope!
[ BayUndaground.com ] :OK, let's leave the past behind and learn about your plans for 2010. Tell us about the "Phoenix Rising" - your first official solo album.
[ Rob Rize ] : There are some people out there that don't want this album to be released. I experienced a lot of problems creating this project, but it's almost done and I am happy with the product I've created. It's literally my "blood, sweat and tears" type of project and I have filled the music with tons of emotion and realism. It has 14 tracks, all exclusive music with producers like Akazie, E4 Quik and Illaze; there are minimal features on the album, but listeners will get a great sounding cd with top notch production and recording quality as well as quality music.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :You're also supposedly aiming at another solo release entitled "The Dark Hour" which is going to be a horrorcore type of album. Tell us something more about your dark side and passion for sick and twisted themes. Where does it come from?
[ Rob Rize ] : "The Dark Hour" is actually more of a compilation than a solo. It's just some dark recordings I have done recently and stems from my love for the darkness; I.E. horror movies and death metal/metal and classic rock music. I always liked dark themes. My first record I bought in the 80's was Motley Crue - "Shout At The Devil" and it took off from there. Brotha Lynch Hung and Tech N9ne music also played a big role in my themes.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :On the other hand you're a family man, you've got wife and kids. How do you reconcile your rap, street life with the family one?
[ Rob Rize ] : I do what I do, but my family always eats first before me. This is the reason I have trouble with releasing music, because I have a responsibility as a parent first! But I budgeted money for the project "Phoenix Rizing". The music really causes a lot of problems, but I am persistent in what I pursue and I make time and compromise and sacrifice a lot, but always stay positive that there will be a time to shine.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Tell us about the East Bay rap scene from your point of view. What's your opinion on its current state and shape?
[ Rob Rize ] : It's good for everyone there are a lot of really good artists here, but the music/rap game is watered down big time. There are too many rappers, not enough fans! Everyone sounds the same and it's boring. Rappers that haven't ever been heard are charging $200 for verses. Come on now! This is my home and will always have respect for the long time East Bay artists like Lil Coner, Spice 1, 415, Woodie and a few others. And to the ones coming out; I think some artists, not all, need to find their own way. That's what will bring success to us; and artists stay true to yourself. Personally I like the old school Bay Area thrash metal scene.