In February, DubCNN caught up with West Coast hip-hop heavy hitter TASH, aka RICO, for an exclusive interview! Rico tells us about his new album and tour, as well as his new medical cannabis vape cartridge brand! Check out a classic, untold BUSTA RHYMES story and it’s official…hear live how THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G. was directly influenced by KING-T!
Listen as TASH and WEST HAVEN chop it up for over 30 minutes! And this was the retake!
Interview conducted in February 2015.
Questions Asked By: West Haven Blast
Editors Note – As you’ll note at the beginning of this feature we had a sound recording issue so this interview was conduced twice – our thanks to Tash who was generous with his time to allow this to take place. Enjoy the interview audio with Tash and West Haven joking around about the problems!
Tash – DubCNN February 2015 Interview (Audio)
DubCNN: What’s up Tash!
I been in this hip hop game a long time a long time, I have never had that happen to me, we talkin about an hour and some change or per se! If I were Jay-Z…you would be screwed! I like what DubCNN is doing though, I like the questions, so Let’s Go!
DubCNN: Checking in with WestCoastHipHop Legend Tash from the Alkaholiks…what’s good my man?
Ah shyt man everything is everything… aye shyt its a lovely day in CA! That’s all I can say man!
DubCNN: What initially inspired you to get into rap music?
I don’t even remember, what inspired me, I know one thing, I know I was a dude that…basically everyone else was doing everything that had to do with the hip hop culture. I was either gonna be the DJ or the MC and I carried the boombox to the party and everybody was breakdancing ang doing their thing so my calling was rap music. I was a poet at heart anyway. one of my mentors, my mom used to work for al green. he was my god father and he was a big inspiration. I was on tour with him when I was 9 or 10 yrs old.
DubCNN: What is your opinion on the state of west coast hip hop right now to any artist that you listen to?
I listen to a lot of people I’m into music. It inspires me when I see up and coming artists that are on their way like the Stylistic Jones’, that really want it. I respect that if you hungry and everything you gonna eat. so everything costs. I know that it seems as if the music is about what you see on TV and what your kids listen to, people kinda take it in as whatever you see is good…But right now we got TV shows, we got toys coming up, we got albums coming out…so many dope entities to it. And realistically, what I listen to the most is old school soul…the Al Green’s, you know the Barry Whites.. when im in the mood I listen to rock n roll, I listen to guns n roses…it gets me amped up when im taking a shower and everything…I be dancing and jumping off the walls and everything. Everybody check out for Likwit, Likwit, Likwit… 2015 we here!
DubCNN: Speaking on 2015, lets tell the fans about these new projects we had talked about before…your tour and these 2 new projects you have coming up…
The Paperchase Tour – we going to south by southwest (SXSW), that’s where it starts on the 17th we gonna end it on the 21st we gone stop by SXSW, we gonna start organizing and everything, and we going everywhere. It’s so much to talk about we cant wrap it up in an hour or 2. My size is 11.5 in shoes…walk with me one day man, and you will trip just one day with all this hop-hop shyt around. So much love, so much love.
DubCNN: So like you told the fans, if i’m not mistaken, March 3rd we can look for the new album PUBLICITY STUNT correct?
DubCNN: And that’s going to be a compilation of songs with you and different features on it, including Busta Rhymes and Pharrell, correct?
Yup, way more than that, but what I did…well I wouldn’t call it a compilation album because I don’t like that word compilation. But it’s a collaboration album where the last 15 years I just did so many songs wit people. I did 108 or something like that songs with people. I had to cut it down to like 45, and then it went down to like 40 songs. I’m a put a couple new songs on there too, and everything I got..the CLAP YA HANDS one, I’m a shoot a video for it next week… but it’s so many songs I did with different people over the years, and every song on the album has a feature, or ‘im featuring with their stuff; like people you know. To the Mos Def, to the Xzibit to the bad asses to the Busta Rhymes to the Cee-Lo Green, to the Will.I.Am, etc. But some people get it f*cked up cuz alotta people on the west coast like the collaboration I did with Busta Rhymes. We did a song in new York…but alotta people on the east coast wanna hear the west coast sound… so they love all the songs I did that sound like west coast vibe music… but then all the people on the west coast wanna hear all the songs I did with ODB , etc. You know, what it’s vice versa.
All I did was put together like 40 something songs; songs I did wit people over the years and everything. I think that this is where its at because it shows you that im not skipping any region. I did a lotta shyt with Down South. I did GIRL WHAT YOU SITTIN ON, with CEE-LO GREEN, and we just did that song outta nowhere. Shout out to Danger Mouse, you know… just did so many collaborations and everything we get so much love; I mean global… I got songs on there with a rapper spitting 16 bars is in Japanese! And I bet the Japanese people will buy the album cuz they love hearing dope collaborations… like dam this dude from la and 2 dudes from Tokyo!?! And music Is everywhere.
DubCNN: Speaking on the lyrics I have mentioned before your style with the punch lines and the craftiness and I had asked you what’s the inspiration and where does it come from?
Raisin Bran cereal! I wake up every morning and eat a bowl of cereal and then all kinds of ideas pop in my head!
DubCNN: What is the situation with the alkaholiks? can you speak on that a lil bit?
I mean well everything is as far as in the plan shout out to everyone going to Australia
J-RO signed a chemist over seas that developed these oils n everything. It’s incredible that its blowing up this quick…but its called Likwit Juice! For your pens n verything (vapes, etc), so you can get medicated without nobody knowing.
DubCNN: 3 different brands for the each of you too right? Yours is old gold?
Yea I got the old gold King Tee has his own. I’ma let him tell the world what his is. J-Ro has the one for the ladies called pink panties but if anyone wanna check it out or come to my crib n we have a pool party and come sample it and go to Likwitjuice.com.
DubCNN: Some of your favorite collaborations we had talked about, Pharrell and Busta in particular…can you speak on that?
My 2 fav collabos an everything was one was Pharrell and the reason being cuz it was Pharrell, before he was Pharrell Pharrell Pharrell! Now I don’t look at things like that, but instead of doin the regular thing, coming to the studio and laying the beat… He fucks wit the Alkaholiks, Daz, J-Ro, etc…we flew out to Virginia to do one song, then we was in there for one night he showed us love. And you know when you have people in the studio you dont know yet, and aint on yet…but one of the people that showed us around VA and everything, was Pusha-T! I didn’t wanna leave, we stayed busy but mobbed to the store and hit the spots in VA…the fun ol days before the music took over and the money took over he was just rollin us around everyday but I ain’t seen that nigga since to tell the truth. Pusha T man he’s a cool dude and that’s all ima say.
DubCNN: You also have a project dropping may 5th, can you tell the fans about that?
The new album is called WATCH YO MOUTH…coming out Cinco de Mayo and its gonna be the funnest album that the west coast heard in a long time n we have a whole lotta heavy hittaz on there!
DubCNN: And can you mention some of the people on there some of the up and comers on there?
Yea got many features on there…including Mitch Slick, Xzibit and Mitchy are the 2 hardest working in show biz. March 3rd go get PUBLICITY STUNT, and May 5th go get WATCH YO MOUTH!
I’m a bring a different angle of fun to the west coast. Its not gon be poppy; its not gon be that same ol… Everyone has their own story … im jus here to have fun, enjoy my life, try life with me or try life without me; this music out here makin money and even if you not makin no money… I’m not into the “Hey Tash let me hold 5 racks… im not that type of dude. But if you come fuk wit me n you need 5 racks n work as hard as I do everyday, I’d do it. You know, we can make millions n millions dollars just tell everyone out there try life with me or try life without me.
DubCNN: Who are your top 5 mc’s from all time?
Ooh weee the top 5? Can’t really say whats my top 5 because I been doin this too long. I got a top 100 a top 50 or a top 28… You caught me on the spot. I’m a say this…BIGGIE was hot man. I was there when he got killed; at the party one block up from Hollywood blvd. I def know that as far as changing hip hop n everything def Pac n Big are the you know that’s the guys as far as what I listen to an everything. I don’t know…niggaz like Stylistic Jones should be in the top 5 mc’s, I dont know why REDMAN and METHOD MAN aren’t mentioned more. At parties I would throw their albums on, its too many to name I can go back in time, I can think of a hundred MC’s I think of equal but they weren’t commercially successful. I think KING TEE is one of my top 5 mc’s, and I will put this out on public record… BIGGIE, before he passed away, rest in peace brother, said that he was heavily influenced by KING TEE’s flow, great thing to say. They loved KING TEE. We get alotta love over there. We get just as much love on the east coast as we do on the west coast…The talent and the music speaks for itself.
DubCNN: Yes it does!
Yessiirrr! hip-hop is hip-hop…it’s a global thing man. And we go to South America, we go to Canada, u.s., all 50 states…51 if you include Hawaii, to Europe, we go to Italy … we be in Japan, etc!
DubCNN: Don’t ya’ll got a new project with The Beatnutz, Tash?
Yea we gotta new project! We the Alkaholiks, they call us the Liks…When they came out wit the BEATNUTZ, they called thems the Nutz; so what we gonna call the album???… “LIK NUTZ”. There we go.
DubCNN: Earlier, you mentioned the Busta Rhymes incident. Can you speak on that again?
Busta Rhymes is the only MC that…Busta is the only rapper in my whole career…I never got boo’d, I never got nothing from nobody. When we were doing the song BULLYFOOT, DJ Scratch made the beat, and we were recording the shyt, a nigga was so excited, I got a lil beside myself a bit. If you listen to the song I came at the end, but I was really was supposed to go first. Busta Rhymes and everyone in there…and I did my rap, and busta rhymes is the only mf’n rapper that, basically boo’d me. He said “yo Tash, you gotta do something else you can do better than that you gotta kick it up a notch.” And he aint knowin im fukin loaded; man im like, “Busta Rhymes said that.” i’m laughin … I’m supposed to do my rap and we go to a party. I’m supposed to go to a party the next night and everything is good, and I’m like “hold up nigga, let me put some water on my face.” And that shyt didn’t work so I was like hold up… I will pay for the whole studio session
the next day. Let me just get right…and we went out and partied more. And Busta said, “you know you need to do that shyt over.” We were in NY… I took the taxi cab back to the hotel and I put all kinds of ice on my face and I was like “nigga you f*cked up!” The next day I remember that nigga sayin “you need to do your shyt over nigga. You sound sloppy a lil bit”, and then when I went back to the studio the next day to do it, and I listened to it. Nigga I sounded like a first grader trying to say his ABC’s…I sounded terrible!
The next day I was busting em! And everybody that was in the studio the next day was like, “whoa look at him there he go!” Its 2015 I want positive energy and positive people around me. I went through years and years dealing with people, and it has nothing to do with money, it has do do with life and friendship and love. I’m a just warn now… please sucka ass people…man, stay the fuk away from Rico, man please. We’re too close to get what we deserve. And check out for the new artists man. Wait till you see this new PAPER CHASE..wait till you hear WATCH YO MOUTH; the Collaboration…there is just 100’s and 100’s of talented people that need to be heard! Thanks to Everybody that fuked with Tash since day 1 , like yourself, and DubCNN… EVERYBODY. I’m not a social media dude and everything, but yall wanna check me out send me an email. Just let me know what yall doin. The West Coast aint went nowhere! Drink Responsibly!