CLYDE CARSON (January
2008) | Interview By: Lil
Dubcnn had the great opportunity to sit down with the Bay Area rapper who's one
step away from shaking up the industry, Clyde Carson. Of course we dicussed
his highly anticipated debut solo album "Theatre Music" and Clyde gives
us the real reason why it got pushed back so often. He also speaks on his deal
with Blackwallstreet/Capitol, his universal sound and the reception in other regions,
his influences and his fans, and much more.
mentioned in the interview, Clyde is about to drop his next single from "Theatre
Music" called "Cali State of Mind" featuring The Game with production
by Ty Fyffe. Snippets were leaked
here and there, and it's getting great feedback so far. An official music video
will be shot soon. "Theatre Music" is scheduled to come
out in May. Show some love and pick a copy when it drops!
Big shouts to
Clyde Carson and Mayne Mannish!
ever, you can read and listen to this exclusive interview and we urge you to leave
feedback on our forums or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interview was done in January 2008
Clyde Carson Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here
Full Audio Interview Here
So last time we talked you just dropped the "Two Step" single. That
was one year ago, more or less. If you're looking back at 2007, are you happy
with how everything went for you?
Clyde Carson: Yeah, I mean, it was
just a growing process from that point to the point I'm at now. And I'm ready
to release the album now. I think musically it was a cool space, but I'm at a
better place right now. I'm back home now, I've been back in Oakland for the last
6 months, so it feels good to be home. I've just been doing a lot of recording
out here. I'm in a real good space and I'm ready to release the album now, that's
the difference between now and last year. I think last year I was still searching
for the sound I was trying to find. I was working with a lot of producers but
I wasn't finding that sound, and I had to come home to find that sound to end
off the album correctly.
Dubcnn: What would you say sticks out
the most that happened in 2007, as far as Clyde Carson is concerned?
Carson: I just think a little bit more exposure. With me doing a lot of shows
and just being out there, and people connecting who I am with The Team and who
I am as a solo artist, I just think the exposure I got was better. Ozone Magazine
gave me exposure, I was on "Fantastic Four", I was on "Entourage".
I just got to where people were like 'OK, I fucks with Clyde, I always liked the
sound from The Team and now he's doing his own thing, I fuck with him'. I think
the anticipation is where it needs to be on the West Coast. And now it's just
about dropping that single to really take it to a level where a mothafucka all
over the country is anticipating me like they do on the West Coast. I think I
got the West Coast now, cause when I'm out in Vegas or I'm out in L.A., I'm getting
the same love I'm getting in the Bay. So I've already accomplished the West Coast,
and when I come out and drop that single every other region will be like 'OK,
that's Clyde Carson, he's one of the factors out there'.
Did you get what you were looking for when you signed your deal with Capitol?
Carson: I mean my label is behind me. I got what I wanted out of my deal, all
I wanted was a label that's gonna support my moves and put me out when it's time
to come out. So yeah, I ain't really mad at my label.
at the same time, some people, especially artists in the Bay, feel more comfortable
with the independent hustle. Are you in a different mindstate by looking at the
bigger picture since you're known for having that commercial appeal?
Carson: I mean yeah, I've always been like that. Ever since I've started I wanted
to make music that was on a bigger level. I don't feel like I make independent
music. And the next shit I put out I want the world to hear, that's all I'm saying.
I still drop independent shit and I still drop verses for my folks who are independent.
I still be all through the traffic. But as far as me, I feel like I go into the
studio to make appealing music to all. But at the same time I'm really trying
to perfect my album and make sure it's the shit. But I'm keeping myself relevant
by dropping them little street singles like "Two Step" and I dropped
"Doin' That" with Sean Kingston. I still keep my name in the streets.
Dubcnn: How's Theatre Music coming along?
I mean it's basically done. I could turn it in right now and be good. But I'm
looking at like two more joints, I'm knocking them out everyday. But it's coming
Dubcnn: What has been holding it back for so long?
It's been a while since you first announced it.
Clyde Carson: The
hold-up was that we didn't get Sean Kingston cleared. For some reason he just
couldn't get cleared. And by the time we got the clearance the label was ready
to move on to another single. But my whole thing is that I always try to make
hits for the radio anyway. I got shit that I can put out tomorrow, all we gotta
do is mix and master it. So the only reason why it's been taking so long is cause
we've had a couple hold ups like the label merging, you know. I could give you
hella excuses, but I ain't for excuses. I just say straight up the shit I ain't
ready yet. That's just been the whole hold-up. I ain't gonna put out nothing I
ain't happy with. It just ain't ready yet. But it's coming, it's in the works,
it's slaps. I promise you that. But I mean it's hella different little shit like
when the label was merging everything got put on hold, and when we finally got
shit right we didn't get Sean Kingston cleared. So it was hella bullshit going
on too. But at the same time, now that I look at how far I've come with the album,
I'm like the album wasn't ready!
Dubcnn: Was there a breaking point
where you were just gonna say fuck it and put it out on your own?
Carson: Nah nah, I ain't got no breaking point. I'm good. I mean I'm still not
done with the album, but at the same time it's like I don't have a breaking point
to where I'm like Man I'ma put this shit out myself. I just drop more music. I
ain't really trippin' like that. I put out music when I'm ready to put out music.
I'm not really getting forced to put out shit. I got songs if I wanted to drop
something, but I wanna do it right. I ain't really had no point where I was like
Dubcnn: Do you think the constant delays benefit the project
and your buzz?
Clyde Carson: No I don't, because it's only out here.
I need that buzz everywhere. I need that buzz in New York and in Florida like
that. What's the word? Tell me what's the word! Do y'all want me to come out and
sell some bullshit ass numbers the first week? Or y'all want me to come out and
do what I'm supposed to do? If you fuck with me, fuck with me. Anybody that's
fucking with me, hit me up, it's all good! Hit me up on MySpace or something!
All my fans, I fuck with them, cause I love my fans and I'ma give them some good
shit. And it's finna come, it's gotta drop right now.
it's kinda funny, cause in the Bay you're considered as the next artist to blow
up, but in other regions you still have to prove yourself?
Nah, I don't feel like I have to prove myself. Well, to a certain extend. It's
like, I didn't know about Jeezy. Jeezy put that DVD out and he showed how people
where he from are loving him. People from other spots just wanna see that you
got your home. And if mothafuckas at home ain't fucking with you, why should they
fuck with you? But for me, I done put in so much work out here that my fans stay
loyal to me, and I love them for that. I just think when the video hits and everything
else pops off, people gonna know that I'm a force on the West Coast and I put
out some good music, some classic shit. I got some fans out here that's fucking
with me, and they gonna fuck with me for that reason.
of your fans, how are your fans responding to the push backs?
Carson: I mean they want the album, I feel 'em. But I'm finna drop some more shit
though. I don't really like speaking about it, I'm just gonna make the shit happen.
But they want the album, and I can't blame them for that. They ain't responding
hella crazy, they just be like 'When Theatre Music coming out?', they can't wait
for the album. But I'm doing shows so at the same time I'm getting new fans. So
all my fans, keep fucking with me and spread the word. I'm doing shows every week,
I'm getting fans everywhere I go. And I spread that Clyde Carson / Moe Doe / Blackwallstreet.
Dubcnn: Can you evolve a little bit about the concept of the album
itself? How would you describe it?
Clyde Carson: I mean, it's just
me evolving. If you listen to The Team albums, that's pretty much where my focus
was. And producing them with Sho'Nuff, it was moving more into a collective sound
on the second album. And now me coming with my own album, it's pretty much the
same direction. It's like a piece of both of that. It sounds like The Team shit.
I pretty much produced those albums, so my album is turning into one of them classics.
Sonically, it slaps, it pounds, with the 808, you know how I like my shit. If
you listen to "It's Gettin' Hot" or "Bottles Up". And then
you got the collective sounds too, the shit with real instruments. So it's like
the best of both worlds. Some positive, conscious, gangsta, street, turf shit.
That sounds hella good! (laughs). I can't really describe it, but you know the
sound that I've got.
Dubcnn: Were there any special influences
from other artists?
Clyde Carson: I always like what Jay-Z does. But
musically it's just the sound of the time. I'm just listening to the sound of
the time, which is now. I don't really reflect back on too much shit because I
have to make music relevant to what's working now. I listen to the radio, I watch
MTV Jams, I stay on the internet. I'm just influenced of what's going on in Hip
Hop. I gotta stay in tone so I can speak to the Hip Hop audience. See what's going
on around you, you gotta stay in tone with what's going on in Hip Hop. Just keep
your flow tight. As long as your spittin cool, that's all that mathers. Pick the
hot beat that's hot at the time and you're in there. You just gotta blend in.
Dubcnn: Do you see yourself having the same kind of influence one
Clyde Carson: I think so yeah. If I just stick to my craft, and
the public respect me, as long as they do that, I'm pretty sure I can have the
same type of influence. I always try to be an influence, I never try to be like
nobody else. You can hear that in the music too, at least in the music I've made
in the past with The Team. When I approached it, it was more or less a new sound.
It was like 'What the fuck is that?', that was a new sound.
Or like we
had the "Hyphy Juice" and then you start seeing more energy drinks come
about. I mean you can name different things, even the way people rap. They kinda
followed the whisper type flow. They followed that pattern, which is cool, it's
flattering. But now it's about me being on a national level, you can talk about
the shit in the Bay, but I just gotta do it on a national level. I'm already influencing
the Bay, I've seen things that I came up with be duplicated. And I ain't go no
problem with it, I love it, I think that's fresh. I'm glad I can influence people.
I just gotta do it on a national level.
And I'm sure the deal with Blackwallstreet opened new doors for you, especially
in other markets like L.A.
Clyde Carson: Yeah, signing to Blackwallstreet
was huge for me. That was the biggest move I could have made. That opened me up
to so many more people, especially from the mixtape game. That was the biggest
move for me. I did go on a tour with [Game] last year, and we're still working
on his album.
Dubcnn: As far as that situation, is it more of a
business relationship or is it about the creative process too? Did it bring anything
new out of you?
Clyde Carson: I think you can hear the West Coast influence
on the song I got with Game on my album. It's called "California State of
Mind" and it's more Blackwallstreet influenced. Even "Two Step"
got that West Coast feel, that smooth feel. I just put my little harmonizing element
on it. But the next single is "California State of Mind" featuring Game
and my man Ty Fyffe. That will show real Blackwallstreet influence on my music.
Dubcnn: Listening to your sound, you can tell that you moved around
a lot. Like how do you balance the universal appeal with the Oakland flavor?
Clyde Carson: I dont know man, I think it's just in me. I can't help that swag
that the Town gave me. That's just in me, that ain't gonna leave. Everywhere I
go I just adapt. I see niggas from the Town and all Bay everywhere I go. I just
let that shit pour in my music. From me coming up all over too, I used to stay
in Berkley, in Vallejo, I stayed all over the Bay. That just gave me that edge
to always be able to bounce at anytime and then come back to Oakland and live
in the Town. I've seen the difference between me and my niggas that was around
me, cause I've been to so many spots. So moving to New York wasn't shit, it was
like 'Aight, I'm just finna try'. And then living in L.A., I'm out in Vegas. I'm
just always travelling, but still have that Town energy. It really got me where
I'm at, cause I've never been afraid to do nothing.
you approach your fans from the Bay differently than the others that just heard
of you recently, since they're probably not as familiar with your sound? Do you
have different ways to conversate with your fans, being that you're heavy in the
Bay, but at the same time still considered a new artist on a national scale?
Clyde Carson: I just think if somebody likes you, they like you, whether
you're new or old. I think it's the same energy. And when I'm in the Bay it feels
good to talk to somebody who can name hella songs I've been on, or albums they've
bought. And then it feels good to meet somebody who's only heard me on Blackwallstreet
mixtapes, and they be like 'Man, I'm from Pomona!', or I meet a nigga in Miami
and say that. Or I was in Vegas and I stopped at McDonald's and the dude in there
at the register was like 'Oh shit, you're Clyde Carson!', and everybody looking
at me and everything. And I just didn't expect I was gonna get that where I was
at. And he wasn't even from there, he was from Pomona. The energy is still the
same, he couldn't name hella shit that he heard me on, but what he heard me on
he liked. So that energy was the same, he was excited. That's dope to me, I don't
give a fuck where you're from. You could be from Alaska for all I care. If you
like my music I love you.
Dubcnn: So is that still kinda surprising
to you when you're in L.A. and people come up to you and recognize you?
Carson: Yeah! But a lot of times I meet somebody and when I say my name they be
like 'Oh shit, I've heard of you, you dope. I like your shit!', you know, it would
be shit like that. Cause I still ain't really been on TV. You can go on the internet
and see me, but you gotta be looking for me. I ain't put myself out there yet,
plus you only get one shot at being new. I'm still new as Clyde Carson. And I
don't wanna fuck that up by just putting myself out there hella much. And then
I ain't new no more. It's hella niggas that ain't came out with an album that
I done heard about them two or three years ago. But I'm trying to take advantage
of mine as far as in the public eye. Cause I'm still not really known. I can still
walk down the street. Well, not in the Bay really, maybe to a certain extend.
Does that make sense though? I mean I'm not on TV yet, you can't just turn on
the TV and say you see Clyde Carson. So I'm still at a point where I feel I'm
new to America. And as long as I'm new to America, I think it will be cool. Or
the Hip Hop world. I don't think everybody knows me in the Hip Hop world. Or do
they? You tell me! Am I known? Honestly, honestly though!
I wouldn't say so, at least not yet. I would say that you're heavy in the Bay,
but not in other states or even countries.
Clyde Carson: Yeah! Even
you know that, so that's not smart for me to do that. If it's not ready and I'm
just putting something out there quick? I know it's been months, but I don't care,
I don't look at it like that. I know I got fans, but my fans stick around. I'm
a fan of [DJ] Quik, Quik takes hella long to come out, but when Quik comes back
I know I'ma get Quik's album. You feel me? Or when Too Short comes back around,
I know I'ma get his album. I'll wait, I know if I can wait, they can wait. And
they know I got love for them, and they know they can always contact me, they
can always talk to me on the internet.
Dubcnn: Do you think the
Bay Area is in a good place right now?
Clyde Carson: I think the Bay
Area is where Hip Hop is. It's not poppin', but it ain't wack either, it's there.
All it needs is another hit. The minute I drop a hit, or the minute anybody drops
a hit, the Bay will be poppin' again. It's all about hits man, it's nothing else.
It ain't about nothing else but a hot song everyone loves. I mean it's talent
out there, and it's hella easy to make beats. That's how music goes, it just takes
some young niggas to be in their basement and create the new hot whatever it is.
There you go! It's gonna catch on fire and it's gonna turn into "A Bay Bay"
or any one of them.
Dubcnn: So what's the next move for Clyde Carson?
Carson: I'ma finnish the album first, but y'all finna hear something from me real
soon. That's a promise. Y'all finna hear something real soon, y'all gonna get
that album y'all want. That's what's next for Clyde Carson, the new album dropping.
Blackwallstreet/Moe Doe/Capitol Records. It's coming. And Blackwallstreet mixtapes
too, I be on line with Juice and Nu Jerzey Devil everyday. I just send in freestyles
and stay in the mixtape game. All my mixtapes should be through Blackwall. Shit
we good! (laughs)
Clyde Carson Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That
Full Audio Interview Here