(September 2006) | Interview By:
Dubcnn had the fantastic
opportunity to speak with J-Dee from Da Lench Mob who has been incarcerated
now for over 13 years. We discuss the effect his imprisonment has had on his
life, how he has made use of the time such as him recently completing a
degree, we take some time to look back over his career with Da Lench Mob and
the relationship with Ice Cube, we also talk about who have been keeping in
touch helping him keep his heard up. We also focus on the "Free J-Dee Project"
which is being worked on by Jazzy D at present and much more in this exclusive interview.
As always we have the transcript for you to
check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to:
Interview was done in September 2006
Questions Asked By : Nima
Dubcnn: What's up J-Dee? We'd like
to thank you for taking the time to talk with Dubcnn.
What’s up Nima and Dubcnn! I appreciate the platform and the opportunity
to speak on some things. I’m going to be completely honest…..I just hope it
doesn’t backfire on me. *laughs*
Dubcnn: You've been incarcerated for a lot of years... How are you doing?
I’m doing as well as one can be doing under the gun and behind these walls. I
stay focused, work out and read everything I get my hands on. Thirteen years
is a long time to be imprisoned for a crime 95% of my neighbourhood, community
and city [who are familiar with my case] know I didn’t commit. Simply because
I chose not to snitch on a man, the victim’s family told me that I would pay
for it. And pay I did.
Dubcnn: How has life in prison changed your views on life?
Life in prison has changed the way I view freedom, civil liberties and the
basic things society takes for granted. Privacy doesn’t exist, especially
under the Patriot Act! Educate yourself! Especially in here, rights are
reduced and violation of the law is committed more so by the prison guards
than it is by the prisoners. The guards have a union so powerful that it takes
upon the image of an organized crime family, literally. But that’s another
I’ve been changed to the point that I recognize that everything in life is
based upon race, class and status. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a racist, but
after five years in prison, constantly analyzing why things operate a certain
way….seeing segregation, hate and racism thrive behind the wall….well I now
know with 100% certainty that everything is planned. I don’t hate anyone based
upon the hue or shade of their skin, but I do understand why America uses race
as a tool to control society. It’s the best diversion!
Dubcnn: We heard that you recently graduated with an Associates Degree,
congratulations! Please tell us about that.
Thank you for congratulating me on my achievement! I’ve always wanted to
attend college, but the streets of LA in the 80’s were too appealing to me. In
Southwest LA, my business was rooted in the drug trade, so I never knew how a
real business worked. With so much time on my hands here at CMC East, I chose
to take advantage of every opportunity I could.
“Da Lench Mob” was a business lesson learned the hard way. Ice Cube didn’t
explain our contracts or the clauses therein. It wasn’t really his job to do
that. And despite what many thought of him and that oversight, ultimately we
as a group were to blame for our shortcomings. So I chose Business Management
and Small Business as my major. Jerk me once, shame on you; jerk me twice, I’m
fuckin you up real bad. *laughs. Nah, just playing; you know what I mean.
Dubcnn: Do you still make music? (If you're doing music, what are you
talking about compared to your old work?)
I still make music and I write religiously Nima. Jazzy D has been the source
of me leaking things to the brix. I want to let the world hear my new stuff
because as a member of Da Lench Mob I never had creative control. So a lot of
stuff I wrote was things I learned through my association with Shorty and the
Nation of Islam. I was never far from spit’n gangsta shit, but Ice Cube sort
of steered the group down the political path. That wasn’t really my choice,
but what could I do. I stayed on point and just rolled with my comrades,
homeboys and brotha’s in the Lench Mob.
I want to be real clear right here…..Man, I loved the shit out of them niggaz.
I loved them like my own blood brothers and I Ioved them niggaz
unconditionally. I still have love for them, but the lack of love, visits,
assistance and overall concern on their part has taken it’s toll on me. So my
music is my experience of the aforementioned and the prison culture I’ve
endured for the past 13 years. It’s raw, it’s pure and it’s the hottest shit
I’ve ever put together. It ain’t no more “Buck tha Devil” bullshit and it’s a
far cry from any old Da Lench Mob classics.
There ain’t shit commercial about me. My stripes were earned the old fashioned
way, “Puttin’ in work and taking all fades”…..WIN, LOSE OR DRAW.
Dubcnn: How do you feel looking back at your career and all the Da Lench
When I look back at my old work, projects and short lived career, the first
thing that comes to mind is Ice Cube’s ability to see something in me and help
me groom it. I’m a realist and I am very outspoken. Ice Cube is the reason my
dream of rappin’ came true. I stayed in the studio trying to do adlibs,
background vocals and verses just so I could sort of build a body of work. At
least that was my intentions.
The travelling, tours, and meeting my favorite artists such as Run DMC,
Scarface and Jam Master Jay was huge to me. “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” and
“Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed” was the beginning of J-Dee as an artist. I’m
proud to be a part of the history of West Coast hip-hop. That was one of the
best eras of my life and I met some solid brothers and sisters of all races
during those times. I am not one who has many regrets.
Dubcnn: Have you kept in touch with Ice Cube and all the cats you came up
Yes and No! I have written at least several letters to all of them cats and
maybe one or two were answered. Ice Cube has never answered one of my letters.
This is what makes me wonder if there ever was a time my niggaz loved me.
Shorty is the only person from the Da Lench Mob family that’s ever given me a
direct line to him, his home or his office. I’ve never betrayed any of them,
especially Cube. You just don’t bite the hand that helped feed you and your
family. So for the past 13 years I’ve asked myself question after question,
wrestled with the answers, and damn near went crazy behind these walls
wondering why the brotha I loved that much and would take a bullet for, would
leave me for dead. It’s one of the hardest things I have had to endure as an
Niggaz have tried or have succeeded in keeping communication to none and for
that rumors, bullshit propaganda and hate has spilled into our LA streets.
Cube taught me the game and helped me feed my family when he put me on, so
that love can never be repaid. The haters planted seeds and we watered the
shit out of a tree produced by lies and dissension. I commend Cube on his
success, longevity and his loyalty to his children…..that’s what this game is
I can say with a clear conscience that I’m not mad, and I love you niggaz to
death, all of ya’ll, from Ice Cube on down to the last man standing. Uhuru Na
Dubcnn: Jazzy D and Ms BattleCry told me about the "Free J-Dee Project"
that's been embraced by a lot of cats. Tell us about that.
As far as Jazzy D and Ms BattleCry go, I love the hell out of them! They just
came to visit me on September 2. Jazzy is my brother in the struggle and
albeit his plate is getting full, he still finds time to holla at me and look
out for me.
The “Free J-Dee” project is the second of its kind. My homeboys “Black Ant’
and “Seldom Seen’ gave birth to the first one but there wasn’t enough people
interested in contributing to really make a difference. So with brothers the
caliber of Chuck D, South Central Cartel, King T and Young Maylay on this
project…..well, I am pretty pumped up about it. We need some big names on the
joint for me get the help I need to get this bogus conviction overturned.
It’s like this….I want only those who care on this project. Could a nigga get
a song for the “Free J-Dee” compilation, I could sure use it. I would love a
song from Ice Cube and Dub-C on this joint. Cube’s new CD has some
penitentiary elements and those are bangers to me. Dub has always been tight
on the mic. I’d also love to hear T-Bone and Shorty spit 48 bars on this joint
for old time’s sake. I guess we’ll see.
But I want you to know that I have love for every cat or group who has made a
commitment to this project because it shows they give a damn about J-Dee. And
I give a damn about them too…..real spit! Seems like the people who have the
least are giving the most. I’ll never forget the love you cats are giving me.
Dubcnn: Have you been following the Hip-Hop Scene throughout the last
years? If so, who are you feeling right now?
I’ve been following hip-hop nationally for the entire time I have been down.
The late 90’s gave me DMX, Jay-Z, Nas and Ja Rule. Then Xzibit came bangin’
with “Paparazzi” and all the heat he wrote afterwards. Right now I’m bangin’
T.I., Young Jeezy, Juvi, Luda and my favorite of all time…..Scarface.
Big ups to Dre the Doctor and Scarface.
I’m dying to see my coast get back in the game because there’s some cats out
here with heat seeking missiles! The hottest to come out now are G. Malone,
Young Maylay, Spider Loc and them hard ass Young HOGGS. Those cats are going
to lock the West down and blow up. I don’t mean to slight anyone here cause
there’s really too much talent to name them all.
Dubcnn: Is there anything else you'd like to let the people reading this
My situation isn’t unique. There are quite a few men in the system that are
actually innocent and have been left for dead. The system doesn’t give a shit
about justice for all. Justice is bought, and freedom ain’t free in this
country…..especially in California where the CCPOA dictates the governor’s
every move. The only thing different about me is that I am serving 29 to life
for not snitching! But I am blessed to have a mother and two daughters who
love me and understand why I didn’t snitch.
I also want to implore blacks and browns to remember that we are more alike
than we are different. Please do not continue to fall prey to the government’s
agenda to divide and conquer. To the young homies…..prison ain’t no place for
anyone. Get your head right, your priorities straight, and do what you have to
do to break the cycle.
Please support the “Free J-Dee” Project.
Dubcnn: We appreciate your time J-Dee; keep your head up. Peace.
Thanks again for this platform Nima. Peace.
Da Lench Mob, 1st Up
DaSean Cooper J52728
CMC East 3201
PO Box 8103
San Luis Obispo, CA 93409