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interview MAC MALL (April 2012) | Interview By: Nima Etminan

   DubCNN spoke to Bay Area legend Mac Mall just in time for the release of his new album "The Rebellion Against All There Is", which dropped on April 17th 2012. This album represents his reunion with producer Khayree, who provided the entire musical backdrop for the record.

In his interview, Mac tells us about the making of the album, the chemistry with Khayree and the thought provoking lead single with Ray Luv. We also go back in time to talk about some of the classics, Mall's relationship with 2Pac as well as his thoughts on current Bay Area artists.

Read on and enjoy. As always feel free to hit up nima@dubcnn.com with questions or comments.

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Interview was done April 2012

Questions Asked By: Nima Etminan
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Dubcnn Exclusive Mac Mall 
By: Nima Etminan
Mac Mall - The Rebellion Against All There Is (ft. Ray Luv) (Video)
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Watch The Interview



Dubcnn: We're here with Mac Mall in the Bay Area. Let's talk about the new album that just came out. You hooked back up with Khayree for this one, let us know what it's called.

Mac Mall: The name of the record is "The Rebellion Against All There Is", produced entirely by Khayree. Khayree is the producer who produced what some call a Hip-Hop classical, "Illegal Business", which is my first record. 10-11 years later, we hooked back and did what I feel is going to be a real strong record, "The Rebellion Against All There Is". We're rebelling against all this fake shit.


Dubcnn: A lot of people know your history with Khayree, how did you guys reconnect and did you notice a difference compared to the work you did in the 90's?

Mac Mall: When we first started working together, I was only 16 years old. So it was like a big brother-little brother type of situation. On this one, we connected as men seeing eye to eye. Shout out to Khayree, because he actually plugged me to where I own 50% or 100% of every one of my records that I ever put out. So while we was talking business, we realized that we don't have any ill will against each other so why wouldn't we get it cracking?

So that's what we did. The record took a minute because me and dude both have strong personalities and it was a pull and push situation, going back and forth. But from all the pressure, we made a diamond.


Dubcnn: When you compare the chemistry in the studio and the way you guys recorded now in 2011-2012, compared to the process back in the day, what would you say were the main differences?

Mac Mall: "Illegal Business" was my first record, so I was really just following his lead. I trusted him so much, because Khayree had put out Mac Dre, he put out Ray Luv, Young Lay. He has his finger on the pulse of 707 Bay Area music. I trust dude. So we got back together and we would just sit in the studio and talk for two hours, before we even fucked with the music. We would talk about current events, the president and all of this. From those conversations, we were able to make some dope songs.


Dubcnn: Did you guys take it back to the 90's as far as the sound of the album?

Mac Mall: It was just the way me and dude rock together. His beats is taylor made for my game. Did we go back to '93? As far as him being a producer and making real music instead of jut making a beat, then yeah we did that. We kept it mobbing like we did back then. But we also tried to grow and get it bigger. It's not '93, you feel me? We just gave it our flavor. I let him do what he do best and he let me do what I do best. The outcome is something fly.


Dubcnn: Any guest appearances on the album?

Mac Mall: Yeah I got Ray Luv on the record, I got Shima, I got Latoya Love on the record, of course Khayree. Real family thang, I'm not one of those rappers that does a record and only has three songs by themselves. I don't need that much help.


Dubcnn: Ray Luv is on the single right?

Mac Mall: Yeah, Ray Luv is on the single. Me and him got a dope video man, I want ya'll to check it out. The video really just set the pace for the record and let you know how we're coming. We're on some Mutulu Shakur time, fighting the system, straight up. Rebel riders, you know what I mean? It's basically a mini-movie, we're getting down, on some Heat shit. Definitely check it out, it basically let's you know how we come for the rest of the record, on April 17th 2012 on iTunes and in the stores everywhere.


Dubcnn: I do wanna go back in time for a minute to speak about the song Sic Wit This and its creation.

Mac Mall: Straight up! Shouts out to Furr, he's Khayree's production partner and he shot me that beat. I didn't really have to put too much effort into it, because with Mac Mall, you're going to get me - good and bad. At that time, I was 15-16, and that was exactly how I was feeling. He gave me the beat and it just came together. I never knew that it was going to be a song that I was gonna do for the rest of my life *laughs* But it's a blessing though that I could even touch people like that. A lot of these rappers take Hip-Hop for granted, I don't. I love it for real, for real. My girl knows, it's Hip-Hop and then her - or let's say they're both side by side because she's sitting right there *laughs* But yeah I love it and I feel like a lot of cats nowadays don't care. So with every song, I got to give it my all.


Dubcnn: When I was watching the new video, it reminded me of how back in the day each video used to have a real story and a concept. I was reading back on some shit and saw that 2Pac actually directed one of your videos back in the day?

Mac Mall: Yeah! "Ghetto Theme" was the first video that he ever directed! All I had to do was pay for the video. Shout out to 2Pac and the whole Shakur family. Dude basically was the biggest rapper in the world and I met him at E-40's video shoot for "Practice Looking Hard". I saw him and I didn't wanna be like no dickrider, but I loved that dude. I'm from the Crest and we had funk with the Jungle back in the day, I had seen 'Pac ride, I had seen him in the middle of it. So when I saw him, I was like "Man I gotta holler at him." Then, and now, when I meet a new person, I don't expect you to know me. I'll give you my pedigree like "What's up man, my name is Mac Mall, I'm from the V, I rap, this is what I do etc".

So there was a line to get to him, I waited my time and then when I was in front of him I said "What up Pac, my name is Mac Mall, this is my manager Leila Steinberg, Ray Luv is my partner, I just wanna say thank you for what you doing, keep it lit!" He was just like "HUH? WHAT!" in the way that Pac would: "What! YOU MAC MALL? Oh, I LOVE YO SHIT! Me and all my partners banging that shit!" I'm sitting there just like "Fuck, I can't believe he's doing this!" He started naming off my songs: "My Opinion" etc. He was like "Man I wanna direct a video. You in Vallejo? I'ma be out there in two weeks."

Two weeks later he came to Vallejo to the YBB studios and ever since then, we were true friends. I was in high school at the time telling everybody "Man, 2Pac finna do my video!" Then he messed around and went to jail, so cats was like "Yeah, right, you ain't doing no video!" Just imagine though, a little kid coming to school saying "I'm finna do a video with 2Pac!" Ain't nobody gonna believe you! But when he got out of jail, he came, hollered at me, had all my family, my mother and everybody there. My mother was always nervous about our relationship, because all she ever really saw was news clippings, with Pac spitting on cameras, doing all this stuff."

But when we actually got there with my mother, hella Crest dudes, cats from the city, and when my mom really got to kick it with Pac, she saw that dude was one of the most loving people you'd ever want to meet. He was doing the video while he was on the phone, had court cases everywhere and you could just see the stress on him. But he would never let you know. He really looked out for me and I will always keep him close to my heart and never cheapen our relationship but trying to blow up off that. That's my real friend.


Dubcnn: I appreciate that story. You said you came into the game as a high school kid. Now, you're considered a veteran, a OG from the Bay. How do you feel looking the younger cats coming up and bringing in a new movement to get the Bay cracking?

Mac Mall: I mean, as long as it ain't whack, do it! One thing about music now compared to when I started, is that we used to all be the Bay but were still individuals. Vallejo cats didn't sound like Richmond cats and Richmond cats didn't sound like Frisco or Oakland cats, Sacramento sounded totally different. Now it feels like it ain't no innovators, just copycats. Everybody sounds the same.

It's some people out there that I dig, like Erk Tha Jerk is doing a great job reaping it, he's in his lane, he ain't doing a whack Mac Dre imitation like a lot of these muthafuckas is doing *laughs* But do your thing. Bay Area is always on the tip of thangs, just be original that's one thing I'll tell them. Stick to your guns.


Dubcnn: So we got the album dropping April 17th and I also see you got a skateboard on you here?

Mac Mall: Yeah! This is from my last record, my Mac To The Future skateboards and we'll be doing new ones for The Rebellion Against All There Is. I also got a book that's going to come out a little bit after the record called "My Opinion". I'm self-publishing it and it's going to be available real soon. Me and Khayree are trying to do a new album with me and Ray Luv and even Young Lay.


Dubcnn: Where's Young Lay been?

Mac Mall: Lay was locked up. But like I said, I'm a Hip-Hop fan, I'm listening, watching TV, peeping it and all I hear is people complaining. Hip-Hop now is so corporate and on this album, I just decided that I'm tired of the complaining, it's time that I do something about it. That's what The Rebellion Against All There Is is about.

 

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