[ BayUndaground.com ] :Let's start off with some basics for those who haven't heard of Big Rhino - who are you and what part of California are you from?
[ Big Rhino ] : San Jose representative to the fullest. South San Jo to be exact, but I got the whole city ridin' with me. I do it for them. Those who have no outlet to speak.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :What or who brought you to the music business?
[ Big Rhino ] : I have always had a love for music. As a kid being around my parents after they separated they expressed a lot of their emotion though music. More so my mother. But it showed me an outlet to expressing what I was going through. I learned how to write what I was feeling to the beat. See every beat put me in a certain mind set. One night in conversation with my brother Big Oso I told him I can rap; he wanted to hear it. He loved it and put me on his album "Ready For Whatever" and that was my first break. It's thanks to him that I'm even known now.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :How and when did Active Ent. was born?
[ Big Rhino ] : It was 2008. Myself and Big Oso Loc decided we wanted to kick something off new since we had both been basically just sidelining it with previous labels.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Who's the CEO and who's on the roster right now?
[ Big Rhino ] : Well, last year in the midst of a lot of personal life problems I was having I decided to step away from the music, label included in hopes to keep personal friendships in tact aside from business. As far as I know the remaining artist are the 3 heavy hitters makin' noise right now: Big Oso Loc, Negro and J-Bo; with Oso remaining as CEO.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :What's the leading style of labels' artists?
[ Big Rhino ] : Man those two have the ability to be extremely diverse. Just look at what Oso has done outside his genre. Negro is in works of his first solo release but from what I've heard he is going to shock the fans with the developed talent over such a small period of time. But let's not forget the homeboys are and forever will be northern gangsta rap.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Is it all about the homeboy, street rap?
[ Big Rhino ] : No, like I said there is diversity. Look at my catalog of features as well as on my solo and you will see how I poetically deliver that gangsta shit as well as that sit back and think stuff too.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Correct me if I'm wrong, but Active Ent. has a couple of cds under its belt: "We Stay Active" mixtape, Mr. G - "Networkin Thru My Area Vol. 1" (digital only), Big Oso Loc & Negro "Welcome 2 Cal14nia", Big Oso Loc "Bad Newz Bear", 3 underground solo projects from J-Bo and Yantz & Big Rome "Accept It N Respect It" released along with Salineros - anything else?
[ Big Rhino ] : You pretty much got everything except as far as I know, Yantz and Big Rome are not Active Ent. None of Salineros are. I could be wrong, but that's to my understanding.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :How did you get in touch with Oso?
[ Big Rhino ] : Siccness.net/EastCoCo was the connection. We mutually posted on there back in the days when Woodie (RIP) was still around. We both decided to help out a mutual friend and when we met for the first time it was "Hi, nice to meet you, lets smash these clowns". We were there to handle biz. Respect each others, get down and built a friendship off that. Today we are brothers. Not friends.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :What was is it like collaborating with him on the "We Stay Active" mixtape?
[ Big Rhino ] : We click very well. It usually just a lot of joking around and being clowns since the actual work comes easy to us both.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :You have also managed to release a solo album "4 Ever Ridin" (under Evilside Records) and you're recently a step away from dropping a sophomore titled "Have I Sinned" (under Connected Inc.) - what's the reason your solos don't drop under Active Ent.?
[ Big Rhino ] : "4 Ever Ridin" was also released under active ent. I was a member and co-CEO of the label at the time. We are all business men. The outside eye sees it as a bounce around of names but as homeboys we feed each other and eat of each others plates so to speak. So if another name is on a Big Rhino project it's a distribution deal worked out with friends of mine.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Give us some more details on the upcoming "Have I Sinned". I've heard the whole material was re-recorded because all original tracks were lost. What's the story behind it?
[ Big Rhino ] : It's horrible man. I had a completed album ready to go and through email all files were hacked and deleted. I received a notification my gmail was accessed in Spain or something weird like that and I open it up to find every email erased and lost.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :As far as I remember "Have I Sinned" was supposed to feature Mr. G, Big Oso Loc, Lil Dee, Negro, Brown Dna, Nichol, J-Bo, Samantha, Yantz, Frank Gucci, Angelo, B. Baller and more, while now the project is almost 100% solo. Any chance to remake these cuts?
[ Big Rhino ] : I guess in a way it's good it happened. Only reason I say so is because we need to get back to solo albums being solo. If an artist can't stand on his own he has no business recording music. Some artist are releasing solos that look like compilations. The only track I was able to save was the one with Gangster Gucci. Thanks God I sent it to an outside source that still had the files, haha.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Is there any deeper meaning behind "Have I Sinned"?
[ Big Rhino ] : I'm asking myself in a way that others can question themselves. Different aspects of my life in experiences through out the years have been good and bad. There is always a fight of good and evil in us and the world. When you can step back and really question what have I become and from what did this evolve? Then you can see a clearer picture of self. Have I sinned? And what is sin according to who?
[ BayUndaground.com ] :You were very active on M.A.E. Muzic's "Season Vetz" comp. How did you hook up with C-Locs? Will we see your camps collaborate again?"
[ Big Rhino ] : I met C-Locs downtown San Jo. He was out with his camp strollin' the streets and so was I with a few homeboys of mine. I always been a fan of his of course. He's a factor in San Jo and when I approached him on the street the next day we got in the studio and started making history. He signed me to M.A.E. and I jumped on the last open slot of "Hoodstarz" compilation and when we started work on "Season Vetz" we were in the studio everyday gettin' it. I'd love to work with him and the M.A.E. fam again most definitely. They will always be family.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :What are your and Active Ent.'s plans for the second half of 2013?
[ Big Rhino ] : I plan to push "Have I Sinned" as best as I can and start work on the next album. I won't be sleeping on music anymore. My game is tight and I'm ready to push my brand to the extreme.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :I've heard you got in touch with Dyno - a former member of Darkroom Familia, now Christian rap representative - do you think homeboy rap can be mixed with preaching?
[ Big Rhino ] : Homeboy rappers as well as anyone else has always shown sign of their personal beliefs. Good or bad. My own beliefs have been torn left and right over the years and where I stand now; yea I believe in God. I respect him enough to not be fake to him. I keep to myself and so does he.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :BTW, what do you think about Darkroom Familia's latest projects? How do you find their contemporary music in the comparison to their older releases?
[ Big Rhino ] : When Dyno got locked up I quit listening to anything Darkroom put out.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :What artists of the contemporary homeboy rap scene would you call real gangster music representatives?
[ Big Rhino ] : I can vouch for those I know personally and those I've put in work with to be real gangsters. If I've done a song with them then they are real gangstas in my eyes. The list of them who keep it gangsta on the track are many. Everyone from Big Oso to Tokztero. Gangster Gucci to Mr.G etc.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :As far as I know you've been located in San Jose, but now reside in Idaho - what happened? Why did you move out of Bay Area?
[ Big Rhino ] : For the past 4 years I been back and forth from Idaho to San Jo. I'll travel to China if there is a good move for my family there. I go where I need to be for my family. But I can never stay away from home to long. I go home every few months. Although it has changed a lot. I love my city.
[ BayUndaground.com ] :Any last words to the fans and BayUndaground.com readers?
[ Big Rhino ] : First off thank you for your time in interviewing me and thanks to the readers. Loyal fans that stick with me through ups and downs. I appreciate you all to the fullest. Expect to see more of me from now on. I'm working on more videos and more music. Reach out to me, I'm not hard to contact and I talk to anyone who reaches out. Much love to all.
Contact Big Rhino via firstname.lastname@example.org and cop his albums and projects he's been featured on at CD Baby and RapBay.