[ BayUndaground.com ] : Let's start off from the very beginning of your rap thing. As far as I'm concerned you dropped your first project like 7 years ago. Was there anything before "The Valley of Death"? How did you hop on that rap wagon? Did somebody introduce you to the rap game or was it strictly your own idea?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : "The Valley of Death" was my 1st official project. I've been rapping since the late 90's, freestyling on college radio & passing out tapes everywhere I went, back when tapes were still in. You can say I started taking music more serious about the time of "The Valley of Death". Learning as time went by. In 2006 I worked on the "Blackout Mixtape". It was full of diss tracks and was never released, it kind of formed into "To The Point Of No Return" & "The Valley of Death" projects.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : There was time you've been working with Treechoppa and his Tree Camp record label. What happened with that?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : I was once associated with the indie label until I decided to do my own thing, Communist Muzik. I came to my senses and started getting credit for my own craft. I mean, why build somebody else's brand?
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us something more about the Communist Muzik. Who's on the label? What's behind the name of it?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : Communist Muzik is the stamp that goes on any project I put out. It consists of only myself. Thought about adding a few local artists, but decided I didn't want to waste my time, money & effort on artists that were not serious. 90% of Fresno artists are not serious about this music shit.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Let me try to summarize all your music projects:
- The Valley of Death 2008
- To The Point Of No Return 2009
- Cali Business & Hotel Suites (compilation) 2010
- The Ray Clemenza 2011
- The Takeover 2011
- Street Slapz Vol. 4 2011
- The Exit 2012
- Kings Canyon Ave 2014
- General Clemenza 2015
Did I miss anything? What's up with "The Takeover" mixtape? Back in 2011 it was available on CD Baby, but now it's gone and couldn't find it anywhere else. And what about "Street Slapz Vol. 4" - was it ever released?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : "The Takeover" & "To The Point Of No Return" mixtape were completely taken down. I plan on re-releasing them this year under Communist Muzik. "Street Slapz Vol. 4" was never released. I did my part as far as the recordings. Me & dude had a fallout about the time the project was getting wrapped up.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : What are your plans for the nearby future?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : I've just released the "General Clemenza" album on Feb 10th. I began writing & recording my next project "Cen Cal Region". I plan on putting that out in November. I want to work with artists outside my city. I plan on doing a record with the West Coast legend Rappin' 4-Tay. That's 1st on my list.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Is there a chance to see a collabo song / project from you and one of the most recognizable rappers from your city - Killa Tay?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : I no longer plan on recording any collabo projects with any artist from my city due to the past experiences with past projects. I never spoke to Killa Tay, but I would definitely consider working with the man. I may reach out.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Tell us more about Fresno rap scene. It seems like it's overshadowed by the big movement over in the Bay Area.
[ Courtesy 1 ] : I love my city. But to be honest the Fresno rap scene is dry at the moment. There is lack of originality, lack of leadership. Too many artists want to portray themselves as Bay Area artists or LA artists to get on. I guess they are ashamed or believe they can't make it in the game by representing Fresno in their music. Therefore I'm not really feeling anybody in my city.
[ BayUndaground.com ] : Who are the main rap factors in Fresno? Any talents on the rise, somebody we should look out for?
[ Courtesy 1 ] : The main dudes doing it in my city are Killa Tay, Planet Asia, Fashawn, Turbin, Remedy MD & myself. Everybody else fell off.