Microphone Masters Radio Episode 166: MC Eiht Interview


MC Eiht is in the studio tonight, discusses DJ Premier, Crazy Toones, football and more.

Microphone Masters Radio Episode 166 welcomes MC Eiht to talk about the completion of his DJ Premier collabo, “Which Way iz West,” the importance of the DJ in his work, the connection with DJ Crazy Toones and his love for youth football.

Starr Saxxxon comments on his beloved Steelers and the Antonio Brown Facebook Live situation as well as whether or not he will miss Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. J-Luv’s final words focus on the Blaxit, with African-Americans leaving the United States mostly as a result of the Trump election.

Check out tracks from Soul Assassins, Brother Ali, Chali 2na, MC Eiht, Notes to Self, Mos Def, Grouch and more.

Reach out to the show at mm@dubcnn.com and check us out on Facebook!

Microphone Masters Radio Episode 166 (01-19-17) Tracklist

Intro: Steelers and Facebook Live
Notes to Self feat Dilated Peoples – Yellow & Grey
Beat Bruisers x Pawz One x Ruste Juxx – Unphuckwitable
Chali 2na – So Crazy

Segment 1: Eiht Part 1
MC Eiht feat Redman & Spice One– Nuthin’ But the Gangsta
MC Eiht – My Life
Namebrand – Take em to the Chorus

Segment 2: Eiht Part 2
MC Eiht – Say Nuthin’
Soul Assassins feat Planet Asia – Like That Y’all
King Official – 80’s Music

Segment 3: Will You Miss the Circus? (Ringling Bros. Closes its doors)
Mos Def – Next Universe
Fabolous – For the Summer
Grouch & Eligh – Say G&E

Outro: Last Words
Brother Ali – Bad Mfucker pt II

Microphone Masters Radio Episode 166 (01-19-17) Show (Stream/Download)

Thank you for your continued support of Microphone Masters Radio and you can hit up the show at mm@dubcnn.com or hit the comment section or the Dubcnn Facebook page. Tell a friend to tell a friend!

Dangerous Crew Series: Exclusive Interview With Pooh-Man (January 2017)


The Dangerous Crew Movement returns!

The response to our Dangerous Crew features has continued to surpass all expectations and the unprecedented interest has only fueled the desire to keep it moving forward with more interviews.

Features with other members of the Dangerous Crew over the last few years including Shorty B (Part 1 | Part 2), Pee-Wee, Spice-1 (Part 1 | Part 2), Goldy, MC Breed (Part 1 | Part 2), Ant Diddley Dog of Bad N-Fluenz (Part 1 | Part 2) and others has seen the re-emergence of many Dangerous Crew fans, as well as giving many readers of the West Coast News Network an opportunity to read and learn about the Dangerous Crew’s history and contributions to hip-hop.

This time around, we get an exclusive interview with Pooh-Man for our on-going Dangerous Crew feature series. In 1989 Pooh-Man, a.k.a. MC Pooh, released his first album, Life of A Criminal which contained the underground smash “Fuckin’ Wit Dank”. With the surge in popularity, Pooh-Man’s record accounted for more than 200,000 units sold independently. Not long after, the news began to spread of the remarkable feats Pooh-Man was accomplishing and he was soon scooped up by Too Short to join his Dangerous Music imprint on Jive Records. Ant Banks produced Pooh-Man’s first major-label record when the soundtrack to the movie Juice was released in December of 1991 and Pooh-Man’s “Sex, Money & Murder” song was featured. The record would also be the lead-single to Pooh-Man’s Dangerous Music/Jive Records 1992 release, Funky As I Wanna Be, which featured guest appearances by Too Short, Ant Banks on “Racia” and MC Breed (“Don’t Cost A Dime”). The former Too Short protégé, Dangerous Crew associate also appeared in the Hughes Brothers Menace II Society as “Doc” later that year.

In this DubCNN exclusive interview with Pooh-Man we discuss everything from his early rap career to the early days of the Dangerous Crew, the making of “Life Of A Criminal” with Ant Banks, “Funky As I Wanna Be” (including the lawsuit resulting from the song “Racia”), his side of the now infamous and legendary beef between himself and Too Short, his upcoming projects, and so much more!

A Dubcnn Exclusive Interview – Pooh-Man

Questions Asked By: Chad Kiser


DubCNN: How did Pooh-Man, MC Pooh, initially get into rapping, and where did your Pooh-Man moniker come from? How did you come up with it?

I started rapping, shit I guess back in ’83 really, 84. Me, and my cousin used to sit in the house and go at each other! We put two radios in front of each other, and recorded our voices. We used to rap and make tapes; so we started in my mother’s front room, and that’s was around the time Too Short was really just doing block parties and shit, house parties and shit. We used to go listen to him, so we said, ‘fuck it we can do this’, so we started doing it, just fucking around! One thing led to another man, and I met a dude name Geno Blacknell who had his own studio, and I started going to Richmond to record. You know who Geno Blacknell is don’t you?


DubCNN: He produced for Askari X, didn’t he?

Yea, Geno is the man behind Askari X and all of their music. I started fucking with him and the rest is history! Me and my cousin decided we was going to do it on our own after we released the Out To The Bitches EP and my cousin was like, ‘you know we’re going to push this shit’, so we pushed it! The name Pooh-man came from my momma, in actuality it used to be Pooh Bear. I changed that shit to Pooh-Man when I was about 7, or 8 because I got tired being called Pooh Bear.


DubCNN: Around 1988-1989 you had hooked up with Ant Banks and recorded Life of A Criminal. Tell me a little about the early history of you and Banks, the chemistry, and those early sessions with Banks producing on those independent projects?

Banks was fucking with MC Ant, and I had heard a lot of MC Ant shit. It all boiled down to I liked the way Banks produced, I liked his music. A couple of my folks knew him so I went and hollered at him. Me and my cousin Blue brought him in and we started going to his house. At the time, Banks lived in Hayward some damn where. We used to go up in his room, and we would just create music. Me and Banks created from scratch! He created songs for me from scratch. I would go in there with an idea, and we would start on it from scratch, we would work on it from there. Me and Banks just clicked, he understood what I wanted to do. Throughout my career that’s probably been one of the producers who just understood what I wanted to do; we always clicked. So we started off doing all of that then when we went into the studio at Blind Man Joes up in the Oakland Hills. We had finally got to a 24-track recording studio, and man it was curtains! We put all the songs down for Life of A Criminal. Right before we got through with Life of A Criminal we was like, ‘we got to do some more, we have to do a couple more songs’. That’s were Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank came from. Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank was like one of the last tracks we recorded. But like I said, it’s just the chemistry with me and bruh. If we in the studio, 9 times out of 10 we come up with some Pooh-Man shit, me and Banks just really gel together.


DubCNN: On the Life of A Criminal album, with the first hit song “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank”, explain how that specific record “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank” meant to you in terms of success, acceptance, and opening other opportunities for you!

Man, when we did “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank” we knew, well when we did the Life of A Criminal album we knew we had a good album; we did “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank”, and I let people hear it, and people were like, ‘man that’s going to be the song, that’s going to be the song’, but I didn’t feel like that. I mean I liked it, of course, it’s a weed song and I smoked a gang of bomb so of course I liked the songs. Right after I dropped the album I went on a promotional tour. When I came back, every fucking corner I hit was playing “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank””, and “The Hit”. They was knocking the whole album, but those were the songs I kept hearing , every corner I turned in Oakland, in San Francisco, in Hayward I’m hearing this song, and being that I mention everybody on “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank” it became a town anthem. I had no idea it was going to take off like it did. I went to Oregon and seen motherfuckers on it, when I went to Washington, and even in Texas. It solidified my place when it comes to the history of the Bay area. People will still see me and be like, ‘man, you have a copy of that album?’ You go on eBay and that motherfucker $259.00 for a copy of that album. I don’t have no copy of it, I mean I have my copy of it. I ran into somebody who had like 200 copies of it, a distribution company, and they was like, ‘they’re not ours, they belong to you’, so I took them and put them on FB and let people get them because everybody had been asking me about it. Tonight I’m on my way to the Sac, and the only thing they want me to do is walk on stage and do “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank”. Yuk is up there tonight, he said, “you got to come in and do “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank” at least”, and I’m a do a song or two and slide up there. So yea, it’s hard to get a copy of it now, especially the original, not the one from Jive, because when Jive got a hold of the album they took “The Hit” off of it, two songs and added 3 more.
DubCNN: You signed with Dangerous music Jive Records, and released Funky As I Wanna Be. How did you get down with Too Short, and ultimately kind of become part of the Dangerous Crew?

Dec 3, 1990 my cousin Bruce got killed so that was the man behind me. He was really my driving force, that was my big cousin, and when he got killed I sort of went on a rampage. The dudes that did it was still out there, and I said fuck rap. I had to get back to doing the shit I thought I should’ve been doing and that was resort to the shit I was used to doing; my cousin had been killed and they was out there. We’re not going to go too far into what happened, but it was kind of crazy. I went down an ugly ass road, and one of my homeboys from my neighborhood kept trying to talk to me, and they was telling me Hub was looking for me. Hub is Geno Blacknell’s nephew, and he finally called me like, “look, man, your boy wouldn’t want you out here like this, let’s get this shit right”. He was hooked up with Short and them through one of his homeboy’s Ted Bohannan, which was the owner of Dangerous Music, and I wound up signing with Dangerous through Hub.

I had always wanted to work with Short, any artist from Oakland would’ve wanted to work with Short back then. Short, that’s the Godfather, you know. He’s the Godfather of this shit, so I wound up fucking with Short and them and dropped Funky As I Wanna Be, and then went on tour. For the most part of it all of that was gravy, but I was still caught up in what I was doing. I was still on the streets, I was still doing dirt, I was still gunning and funning and I couldn’t separate either. I couldn’t stop what I was doing because I felt obligated to deal with the shit that happened with my cousin, and then the music shit I’m contracted to I’m dealing with that, too. It was me doing two things at one time; I was doing the street shit and doing the music shit and it just didn’t mix.
DubCNN: About the Funky As I Wanna Be album that ties into your time at Dangerous Music was the song “Racia”, which also featured Too Short and Ant Banks. There was a lawsuit concerning that record from Racia herself. Can you speak on that a little bit, and the history of the song?

Yea, I mean it’s a done deal. I got sued for saying some shit on a song about a female I knew, and Short and Banks got on the song with me and said what they had to say. All of us knew who she was, but I took the brunt of it, it being my album and me knowing her like I did. All that sparked attitude and tension I guess, with Dangerous; plus man I was wilding and that just added to it.


DubCNN: Shorty the Pimp comes out in 1992 and you were featured on “Something To Ride To” along with Goldy and Ant Banks. Dangerous Music, at that time, really seemed be taking off with yourself, Too Short, Ant Banks and everybody. What was the atmosphere like around there for you?

Then, it was still like a comradery back then. We was all tight and everything hadn’t hit the fan yet. You mix a bunch of kids man and I’m not going to say Short, but me, Goldy, Banks all of us but you mix us together and you giving us large amounts of money; and you have a knuckle head like me in the mix and I’m still doing dumb shit, it’s hard to really make that shit gel. I wasn’t slowing up, I told people this and I say it to you, we’re all on Short, me and his falling out. Me and Dangerous falling out wasn’t really just all on Dangerous, it was money issues, too, but the main thing was my attitude and my demeanour. I’m from east Oakland, born and raised in the village 69th. I’m a knuckle head, I’ve been that way all my life. They was trying to do something else with me, and I don’t blame Short, or Ted, or Randy or none of them for feeling how they felt. I was an investment and they put their money in me and I sort of like said, ‘Fuck y’all’. It was never ugly there until certain things happened and I walked away, then that’s when it got ugly. I felt like as a kid motherfuckers should’ve treated me a little different than what they did, but as an adult, and as I look back, I probably would’ve treated me the same way. I was walking in there with loaded guns, vests on because motherfuckers was shooting at me and I’m bringing it around them. They’re attitude towards me was founded, and I’m old enough to admit that now.
DubCNN: In the aftermath there was quite a bit of mudslinging between your camp and their camp. Without getting into all that and rehashing history, was the beef going back and forth serious or was it just more for show?

It’s like this, I had money, street money, so I had illegal money. They didn’t have the problem, I had the problem. I felt motherfuckers fucked me over and didn’t stick by me, and that wasn’t really the case. They gave me fair warning, Short sat me down a many of times and told me, ‘bruh, slow your roll. Them niggas ain’t your homeboys. You got too much going for you, them niggas are going to drag you down right along with them’. I had looked over all that shit. When I’m making my songs I was pissed because them niggas was having fun, but I was taking it 100% serious. I beat the shit out of Mhisani, pulled up on Banks, threatened Short; I mean, I was doing a lot of shit that was serious to me, but it shouldn’t have never been like that. I’m old enough to say this shit now, but back then it was serious to me. I don’t think it was ever serious to Short and them, I really don’t. I think they was like, ‘okay, this nigga talking shit so we’re going to say something about him’. When they said something about me I took that shit like they smacked my momma. I ain’t used to the battle rapping shit. God knows if it would’ve ever came down to somebody doing something to me, we would’ve been doing something to each other. It was serious to me, but I don’t ever think it was that serious to them. I never really think they meant me any harm. I was just fucked up, bruh.

Honestly, Chad, I’m being as candid as possible with you. Since I been home that nigga Short, Banks, Richie Rich, Fab, Jay Stallings, Stevie Joe ain’t been showing nothing but love. At the Legends to Underground tour I went into the Short suite, and grabbed the nigga and I hugged him and I apologized to him for my attitude back then, and for the shit that I did because I had been wanting to do it for the longest. Once you grow up and you look at the shit that you go through and I paid attention to what I did wrong. Short said he never really knew I was mad at him, and it just seemed like I was just pissed off. I was pissed off at the world at that time. I had just lost my cousin, and me and Jive was going through it. It was all kinds of shit going on and I was just mad at the world at that time. It was never on Short and them. Me and Short today it’s like, I just got off the phone with him earlier, and it’s like when shit come up he call me and be like come on, come through. It’s just I was a stubborn brat back then and I was getting into too much shit. I can’t knock them niggas for wanting to separate themselves from me, because I was either going to kill somebody or somebody was going to kill me.


DubCNN: During all of that, did you have a personal relationship with either Rappin’ Ron, or Ant Diddley Dog from Bad N-Fluenz because they came at you a couple of times. What was that all about?

I didn’t give a shit about Ron. God forbid me talking about the dead, but I mean they jumped on the bandwagon with Short and them. I caught Rappin’ Ron once and commenced to beating his ass. I’m not talking ill of the dead, but the truth is what it is. He didn’t know me and because me and Short was into it he felt he could get in it, him and Diddley Dog. I’m him, not the baddest nigga in the world, but even he didn’t want to fuck with me when it comes to shit like that. I’m not no punk, not no coward and this little boy should have minded his own business, so I caught up with him in east Oakland and I beat his ass. I mean that wasn’t a game to me at that appointed time. I was kind of fucked up and he should’ve stayed out of it. I knew him, I had met him once before, in fact when I heard about this dude that supposed to be as hard as Richie Rich I sent somebody to get him and bring him to the picnic we was having. He freestyled and he kicked it, blew and drunk with me and that was the only time I had ever met him. Then the next time I hear about him, he on a song talking about me. So, when I caught him I beat his ass simple as that.


DubCNN: The last thing about that time, because everything was kind of going back and forth, did you ever hear anything amongst these diss wars that were going on that made you laugh? Not that they were true, but you were just kind of like that was pretty witty?

Short’s “now your hardcore like cb4”, that shit right there. I was like these niggas right there. That’s why I said it was never really serious to these dudes, they was poking fun, but I was serious. I had to laugh at “Get In Where You Fit In”, but you got to think when somebody gets on the mic and says your momma’s pussy smells like the gutter…..that pushed me, that was Goldy and that’s why I beat Goldy’s ass. I don’t mind saying this now because the only people from Dangerous that I’m worried about that I hold any regards for is Short and Banks. Keeping it one hundred, I don’t give a damn about Randy Austin, he’s just somebody to me. I don’t feel either way, I don’t like him or I don’t dislike him. I laughed at it, but when you get on the phone and say my momma’s pussy smell like the gutter, that’s why I got Goldy. Now I laugh at the shit when I listen to it now; I laugh at Short’s shit, I always have. I laugh at it now, but back then I kind of was not laughing at that part of the song. I laugh at it now.


DubCNN: Moving on, you reconciled with Ant Banks later on and featured on his TWDY Derty Werk project for the song “Ride With Me”, as well your own Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank 2000 with the song “Fire”. Tell me about squashing the beef with Banks and coming back in to work together after all that stuff that had went down?

It wasn’t really hard because when I came home from prison in ‘98, I was fucking with Ted Bohannon and he had just started Super Slide Records. He used to own Banks’ music, so Ted comes in the studio and says Banks is outside for me. I’m like what! He said Banks outside, so when I went outside Banks was sitting in his Benz and he was like, ‘bruh, here I got some music for you. I got a song for you and a song I want you to do with me’. Like I said, me and Banks had issues, but it was never like that. I felt Banks should’ve did things differently, but you can’t tell a motherfucker to walk away from his money. But when I came home that nigga was right there in ‘98 and he looked out and that did it. Me and him talked until I fucked around and I caught another case, but it was good being back in the studio with Banks, man. He came over to Super Slide because we had the studio there. We did the track there and ran through them. I told you at the beginning, anytime me and Banks get in the studio it’s a good thing. He knows me better than most motherfuckers. He knows what I want to do, and I know what he wants me to do. Sometimes he get to pushing…’nigga do this, do it this way, I don’t want this, and I want it this way’. He probably the only person that can get me like that. When me and Banks together he brings the best out of me, so it’s fun working with B.


DubCNN: As far as the other crew members like Goldy, Spice 1 and them is that stuff squashed? What does the beef stand with those guys?

Well, I’m going to say this: me and Spice, that’s my nigga and we talk all the time. I just got off the phone with him and I’m getting ready to do some shows and shit with him. When I came home in ‘98 I went to Spice’s house and me and Spice sat down and talked. We squashed our shit before me and Banks did. Me and Spice was close before. It just got into, because when I was hearing about shit that he was saying, it was ‘he say, she say’ that got me and Spice into to it. Chico, that’s my boy, that’s another one who looked out since I came home. Everybody thought I was going to get out and play with guns again, and I get phone calls from these motherfuckers saying, ‘bruh, you good, what you doing? Slide through the studio. Where you at? Get away from over there, come over here’. I’m 43 years old, and these niggas calling me like I’m 16 or 17 years old. I respect them for that, I love these dudes, they been fucking with me for the longest. Me and Spice, yea that’s my nigga. Goldy? Now, that’s something else. I really don’t talk to Goldy, and I haven’t seen him since I’ve been home. I’m not looking for him, really don’t have a reason to, but his dad was my boy, and may he rest in peace. It killed me when I found out something happened to his dad. His dad was one of the promoters back in the day that really put me on. Me and Goldy have that in common, but I haven’t talked to him since I’ve been home.
DubCNN: With your most recent release, Kaos Theory, you’ve said that Ant Banks was producing like 12 of the 14 tracks, which is the majority of the album. In listening to Kaos Theory, I can hear in “Mesmerized”, “All My Life”, “Get Me Started”, “Player’s Life” that without a shadow of a doubt those where produced by Ant Banks. But there’s some tracks I can’t tell.

Ant Banks has a whole different gear, and he sort of opened up on some of the songs. Some of the songs he had he was like, ‘you got to do this one!’ I was like, ‘man, who did that?’ He said, ‘who else did it?’ None of tracks on there that me and Banks did came from scratch, he already had the songs. He created these songs like a couple of years ago because he wasn’t really fucking with nobody. People say that all the time, they be like, ‘who did that beat because we know Banks did that one, but who did that one?’ and I say Banks did the whole damn album except for two songs, man. He didn’t do “Macaroni”, and he didn’t do “Free”.


DubCNN: I listened to “Let A Beast On” and “Bang” and I’m like that isn’t Banks.

It’s Banks, bruh! It’s crazy that you mentioned “Let A Beast On” because I just got a call about it from a lady at MCA. She called me about that one and “Rap Song”. She’s talking about using “Rap Song” on some rap documentary that they’re doing, but she asked who did it, and I told her Banks! She was like, “Ant Banks?” I was like, ‘yep, he did that one and “Let A Beast On”.


DubCNN: That’s crazy because some of that I wouldn’t have even been able to tell! If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t have said Banks did some of those other songs. You have new record you’re working on now that Kaos Theory is has been released. What’s the new album called, and what can we expect?

It’s called The Return of Underground Street Poetry. I got Ant Banks, Elijah baker, Freejack, Sqweeze Beat, and Doc Holiday doing beats. I’m picking beats as we speak.


DubCNN: You’ve got the production handled, is anybody going to be featured on it?

Several people! I got Keak the Sneak, E-40, Dru Down, B-Legit, Spice-1 and some others.
Well here’s my last question: Are we going to hear another song, or another track, with Ant Banks, Pooh-Man and Too Short all getting down on it together?

I’m really, really, really pushing for it, man, and nine times out of ten it will happen! Everybody wants that! I want to sit down with Short and Banks, and even Goldy, and try to work on that! I really want to see it happen, but as far as my album of course I’m going to work at getting a song with me, Short and Banks on there.

pooh-man mesmerized

Big Tray Deee – Diirty Outlawz ft. The Outlawz & Diirty OGz (Official Video)


West Coast star Big Tray Deee is back with a new video featuring Tha Outlaws (2pac) and The Diirty OGz. Check the iconic collaboration below. Follow big Tray Deee on Twitter. Only on DubCNN.



OG Cuicide feat. AD – Keep It G (Audio)


West Coast hip-hop veteran OG Cuicide has recently released a new single featuring rising star AD! Stream the banger, titled Keep It G, below. Follow OG Cuicide on Twitter.
Download Keep It G by OG Cuicide featuring AD on iTunes


Kokane- Blue Aqua Boogie (Official Video)


West Coast hip-hop funk legend, Kokane, is back with a new visual off of his King of G-funk album. Check the video, titled Blue Aqua Boogie (produced by Mofak), below. Follow Kokane on Twitter.

Problem – Betta Watch YoSelf / LightWork (Official Video)


Off his upcoming Chachiville mixtape, slated to drop on January 20 via Diamond Lane Music Group, Problem drops a double visual, Betta Watch YoSelf / LightWork.

The mixtape, recorded mainly in different hotel rooms across the country, serves as his “break away from the nonsense that has been taking place in the world and within music.”

Stay tuned for more.

Ice Cube Creates Basketball League featuring NBA Legends


West Coast hip-hop legend Ice Cube has announced the creation of the BIG3 league, a basketball league various NBA legends, and ballers who still have loads of talent to be showcased. The league is structured as a 3-on-3, half-court game and will officially start their season on June 24, 2017. Initially, there will be eight teams in the league and each team will consist of five players. The most notable names to start things rolling are Allen Iverson, Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups, and Rashard Lewis. These three are already designated player-coaches and will help to fill-out the rosters for the teams in the league.

“It sucks to see your favorite players retire. It’s a great business opportunity, but as a fan, I’m just excited to see the guys that I know can play at a competitive level, and I’m happy that I have the right type of partners to be able to set the stage for that. We grew up watching these guys. We’ve seen their ups and downs, we’ve seen them win games and they become part of our everyday life in some ways. And then we look up, and they’re gone. It’s like losing a family friend or a loved one. Ice Cube, I’ve got my heroes, too, and a lot of them play professional basketball.” – Ice Cube

The games will be played on Saturdays throughout the summer and all four games will take place in the same city on that day. The city where the games are held will be changed weekly and the league anticipates visiting cities that no longer have a professional basketball team, such as Seattle, Wa. But they will also be stopping in big cities like New York, which has a huge desire for summertime basketball. There will be no official game clock, instead the game’s winner will be the first team to reach 60 points and have at least a 4-point lead. There will be 4-pointer circles beyond the traditional three-pointer line.

The league will have no team owners and the revenue generated will be divided in a structured manner among the eight teams. The team to finish number one in the standings will receive 30% of the revenue, and that will be split between the players and the coach. Percentages will decrease for teams finishing in the number two through number eight spots. The last ranked team will receive only 2.5% of the league’s revenue. This will no doubt induce a very competitive emvironment.

“I think a real milestone in the idea was when we thought of having no owners, and that the players would get in the revenue sharing. I think that was a moment when we thought, ‘Yo, this is not only a cool concept, but players can make a lot of money — especially if we built this pot how we know it can grow.”

“When I got the call, it was a no-brainer. It’s Ice Cube. It’s O’Shea. You don’t turn that down. That’s success looking right into your eyes. I just wanted to be a part of it, and I hope me being a part of it makes it a success, like everything that he’s been doing in his life.” – Allen Iverson

Follow Ice Cube on Twitter.


A Comprehensive Illustration of Ant Banks: The Big Badass


Ant Banks has a career spanning through four decades and a litany of Gold and Platinum success with artists including Too Short, Ice Cube, E-40, Mack 10, Snoop Dogg, Spice 1 and others.

While often overlooked in conversations about west coast producers, Ant Banks productions and mixes are on par with, if not exceeding, those of his peers like Dr. Dre and DJ Quik.

A Chad Kiser Editorial

By the mid-80’s Ant Banks had already began flooding the streets of Oakland, CA with a slew of independent projects and birthing what became known as the “Oaktown Funk”. In those beginnings, he was working with friend and Oakland rap sensation MC ANT in 1985. The two recorded numerous 4-track cassette classics like “Dance Floor”, “Feel the Bass” and “M.C. Ant & Ant Banks” along with several others. In 1988, Ant Banks and MC Ant released their first album entitled M.C. Ant The Great, with joint collaborative efforts by DJ Terry T. Distributing the tapes at their high school, out of the trunk of their cars, the album went on to sell more than 60,000 units independently.

In late 1988 Ant Banks connected with M.C. Pooh, a/k/a Pooh-Man, to record Life of A Criminal, which contained the underground smash “Fuckin’ With Dank”. With the surge in popularity, Pooh-Man’s record accounted for upwards of 200,000 units sold, independently. Not long after, the news began to spread of the remarkable feats Banks and Pooh were doing, and both were soon scooped up by Too Short to join his Dangerous Music imprint on Jive Records. Ant Banks produced his first major-label record, which also netted him his first Platinum-certified record, when the soundtrack to the movie Juice was released in December of 1991, and Pooh-Man’s “Sex, Money, & Murder” was featured. The record would also be the lead single to Pooh-Man’s Funky As I Wanna Be album, which was released 3 months later in March of 1992.

Pooh-Man Ft Too $hort & Ant Banks – Funky As I Wanna Be (Video)

Following up on the success with Pooh-Man, Ant Banks went on to produce for Spice 1 (whom he had begun working with in early 1991 on Spice 1’s 187 Proof E.P.), and put together another successful project, Spice 1, with his signature production, selling more than 500,000 units and going Gold. With the lead single “In My Neighborhood” kicking off the album, the incredible success was beginning to turn Ant Banks into a prominent figure in not just the Bay Area Hip-Hop scene, but throughout the industry.

The success that Ant Banks was having convinced Too Short to collaborate with him in utilizing Banks’ production prowess to revamp the sound of Too Short. More career-defining success soon followed with Ant Banks’ fingerprints all over the platinum-selling Shorty The Pimp album released in July of 1992. Having already been released on the Juice soundtrack, “So You Want To Be A Gangster” was a fantastic introduction to the first time we’d hear Too Short spit over an Ant Banks beat. Inspired by Grover Washington, Jr.‘s “Black Frost”, the song is a fresh reminder that Too Short does talk about more serious topics than just X-rated escapades.

menace ii societyAnt Banks made his second appearance on a platinum-selling soundtrack when his solo record “Packin’ A Gun” was featured on the Menace II Society Soundtrack, along with Too Short, Spice 1, DJ Quik, MC Eiht and others. “Packin’ A Gun” sampled Eazy-E of N.W.A, and the soundtrack reached #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart in May of 1993. During this same year Ant Banks released his solo debut, Sittin’ On Something Phat, a project full of non-stop, banging funk and guest features from Spice 1, Too Short, Pooh-Man, and Goldy.


Continuing to elevate his production capabilities, “The Big Badass” was beginning to get himself recognized for his uncanny ability to churn out dope music at a feverish pace. Settling into a comfort zone with Too Short, Banks worked on Get In Where You Fit In, mixing and producing the platinum-selling album in 1993. Collaborating with fellow producers Shorty B and Pee-Wee (collectively known as The Dangerous Crew production team), the record spawned classic songs including “I’m A Player” and “Money In The Ghetto”. Ant Banks produced “All My Bitches Are Gone”, “Oakland Style”, “Way Too Real” and others.

The Big Badass, the second album from Ant Banks, dropped in the middle of 1994, and while the Dangerous Crew handled much of the rapping duties it showcased his extraordinary ability to flip classic P-Funk samples into deep, oozing bass lines of galactic west coast funk. It’s here that Ant Banks truly began to put on full display his production style of heavy funk, slow-rolling bass, and sparkly keyboard riffs. “The Loot”, “Parlayin’”, “Pimp Style Gangstas”, and “Straight Hustlin’” capture his invaluable ability to not only feel a great groove, but to manifest it into a syrupy, head-nodding opus with an inexplicable sonic quality.

Collaborating with Spice 1 on 1994’s Amerikkka’s Nightmare, Ant Banks seized the opportunity to raise the bar with “Face Of A Desperate Man”. Taking “The Memory” by Roy Ayers and turning it into one of the illest tracks ever released, Ant Banks put himself on par with his peers, and entered any discussion debating who is the dopest producer in hip-hop. Contributing 4 tracks to Spice 1’s ’94 opus, Ant Banks again earned himself a Gold plaque, and deservedly so.

Spice 1 – Face Of A Desperate Man (Video)

After spending much of the 90’s producing for Too Short and Spice 1, respectively, and having accumulated 7 Platinum and 3 Gold records to boot, Ant Banks began branching out and working with other artists. In 1996 Vallejo rapper E-40, who had already released two albums, was still a rising star in the bay area. When he and Ant Banks connected for 40 Water’s Hall Of Game album, the two hit big with the lead single, “Rapper’s Ball”, which also featured Too Short, and K-Ci & Jo-Jo of Jodeci. The music video for “Rapper’s Ball” featured cameo appearances by 2Pac, Ice-T and Mack 10. Released in October of 1996, Hall of Game went gold in 3 months. E-40 and Ant Banks would connect for another Gold record with 1998’s The Element of Surprise, adding “From The Ground Up” to their burgeoning hits list as they would continue to collaborate on numerous songs.

Ant-Banks-Big-ThangsBy 1997 Ant Banks was no longer just a “bay area” producer, as his style of production began to form creative collaborations with several of the industry’s biggest names. Now with Priority Records, he recruited some of the West Coast’s preeminent artists to assist him on the Big Thangs compilation masterpiece he was assembling. The results of his recruiting efforts included Ice Cube, 2Pac, King T, WC, Dr. Dre, Coolio, Mack-10, and Ice-T. The strategy paid off as the project peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, number 20 on the Billboard 200, and sold over 300,000 units with no video & very little radio play.

The title track “Big Thangs” features Ice Cube and Too Short in only their 2nd collaboration to date, while turning Kool & the Gang‘s “Summer Madness” in to a player party anthem that keeps the good times rolling. “West Riden’”, “4 Tha Hustlaz”, and “Can’t Stop” are a small sampling from the project which highlights the pristine brilliance of Ant Banks when he’s behind the boards.


April 1999 saw Ant Banks release the T.W.D.Y. (The Whole Dam Yey) Derty Werk project, experiencing a substantial hit with the lead-single “Player’s Holiday” and reaching #41 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. T.W.D.Y. consisted of the core of Ant Banks, Rappin’ 4-Tay, and Captain Save’Em, with features from several of the bay area’s finest like Spice-1, Too Short, E-40, Mac Mall, B-Legit, Keak the Sneak and others. A little over a year later, Ant Banks followed with the second T.W.D.Y. album entitled Lead The Way, in which Oakland emcee Dolla Will replaced Rappin’ 4-tay, and saw Ant Banks collaborate with a mind-blowing roster of guest features from some of California’s best rappers in artists like Kokane, Kurupt, MC Eiht, Butch Cassidy, Yukmouth, Ice-T, Too Short, King T, Dru Down and Cold 187um. Both T.W.D.Y showcased Ant Banks’ distinctive rhyming style, as well as his ear for thick, funky grooves, and his penchant for making his tracks resonate with deep bass and party rhythms, as evidenced on songs like “Lead The Way”, “Cali 4 Ni Yey”, “In the Ghetto”, “Shut Up” among others.

Players Holiday – T.W.D.Y. ft. Too $hort and Mac Mall (Audio)

Most recently, Ant Banks re-connected with Pooh-Man and produced the majority of Pooh’s latest release, Kaos Theory. Doing what he’s done best in using his meticulous production ingenuity and mixing brilliance, Ant Banks re-established his relevancy and his position as one of the dopest producers in the industry with songs like “Get Me Started”, “Mesmerized”, and “All My Life”.

Ant Banks is a truly talented and heavily underrated producer, but the real heads know about his contributions to an incredibly vast amount of classic 90’s and early 2000’s projects. His productions have been part of selling over 27,000,000 units and counting, and to this day there are only a small portion of producers who can boast that kind of track record.


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