2007) | Interview By: Chad Kiser|
Dubcnn are continuing to take a trip
down memory lane with our community members and the "Dangerous Crew Campaign."
Today we present another exclusive interview for The Movement. This time, we
talk to none other than Pee-Wee of the famous Dangerous Crew! In this
interview, Pee-Wee shares with us how he began in the music industry, and
gives us more insight into The Dangerous Crew. There are a few surprises in
here that we wont give away here however everybody wants to know about the
infamous Bad N-FLuenz vs. The Luniz freestyle battle....Read on.
Interview was done by phone on March, 2007
Questions Asked By:
Pee-Wee Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Dubcnn: This is Chad,
representing the West Coast Connection & Dubcnn, and I’m sitting here on the
phone with Pee-Wee, of the Dangerous Crew fame, and we going to spit a little
game for all the homies on the West Coast Connection board. Pee-Wee, how you
doing’ man? What’s going’ on with you?
Man, I’m great! I’m living, man. Chillin’. Laughing’ at all these gray hairs
coming out my beard.
Dubcnn: You gettin’ up there, huh?
I'm 36, I still feel the same as I was in elementary school. I’m feeling good!
Dubcnn: Yeah I told Shorty B, since he just turned 46, that he sound like
he was about 28.
(laughs) Yeah, it don’t change, man!
Dubcnn: I hear ya! Well, Pee-Wee, why don’t you start this off by giving
the people a brief summary of your background. You know, where you grew up and
who your influences were…
Oh man! Major, major influences, man, cause I was born into a music family.
Everybody in my family played something, or sang. I grew up right in Richmond,
man. Stayed in Chicago for a little while, but mostly Richmond. I just came up
always playing, man. Always in school, or with my cousins, or always
everybody. I was just into music. I started off playing drums, guitar, bass,
and then just moved on around to everything I could get my hands on.
Dubcnn: So you play a little bit of everything?
Yeah, I play’em, man. Everything except like brass - trumpets and stuff. I
don’t do them, but anything with keys on it I can do it , sax , flutes ,
keyboards, guitar , bass , harmonica , pretty much anything I can hold for a
few minutes. That’s just a love I got, man. Money or no money. Fat or skinny.
Tall, old or young, that’s what I would be doing’.
Were you self-taught?
Somewhat, I pretty much just picked’em up and watched cats that was around.
Like I said all my people, my family, everybody just played, man. My Dad plays
guitar. My mother sings ands play piano and drums. I started out playing in
church cause I didn't want to sing. I played drums for Dorothy Morrison when I
was a kid, people used to trip because I was so small. She's the lady who
originally sung "Oh Happy Day" the gospel song from way back. I listened to
records, and I actually used to set my drums up, get all my daddy’s albums,
set’em around the room and play to the pictures on the album covers like they
was in concert watching’ me. So as a kid I used to think I was in Parliament,
like I was with Rick James, like I was with the Commodores, it’s like I was
with all them cats right in my living room, you know! I watched my cousins
play till it was my turn to join in.
I used to watch my cousin Levi play and try to copy what he was playing, he
was with Prince and Sheila E for a while. Studio Tone and my cousin Eddie gave
me a synthesizer and a drum machine way back when they were first coming out.
they got me into programming. I played with Jason Becker in High School. He
went on to become a Rock Guitar legend, look him up. He sparked my rock and
metal influence. Playing drums in church exposed me to a lot of great
musicians. I remember seeing Toni Tony Tone when they were kids playing in
church. I was always in the school bands. I never took formal lessons so I 'm
self practiced, but I learned from watching.
Dubcnn: You were involved with a group called Gold Money, right?
Right, right. That was me and my homeboy O, who I grew up with. I produced
that stuff and wrote a whole lot of it. Originally I was just going to do the
music and he was the rapper, but as it progressed, I started writing things
for me to say. At first I would just write things I wanted to hear him say
cause his voice was tight. Can't take away from him though, he wrote his raw
shit of his own. At times I just heard shit from the viewpoint of being a fan
of his. That was actually my first serious project , my first record deal and
exposure to any major pub of my own. We grew up doing’ it like that since
junior high, the early early eighties. We used to make beats and write raps in
Back then rap was really, really underground, so alotta times we’d just go
shop at Leopold's Records, or we in Frisco or something’ and don’t even know
what the shit was when we bought it and just get it and come home and listen.
We got into that It was like early, early, you know back then it was pretty
much east coast stuff. There was a few little things that had came through the
Bay where alotta cats right there would send they’re stuff in to KPOO, so we
had that, and we just got into the rap game cause we liked what we were
hearing. Before that, we was already musician’s doing pretty much soul, R&B,
jazz and all those, until we started listenning to rap. A lot of youngster
don't know that early in the game there was no rap to even listen to, not on
the radio. Got little bands together and stuff, but got into the rap game and
kept it going.
We tried it the old way, you know, get your demo out, take all the roads and
try to meet this person and that person to all the labels. That wasn’t really
taking’ off, basically what got us in the game was just buying’ records and
shopping’ for breakbeats and new stuff to listen to. One day at Leopold's
Records in Berkeley Bigg Money Odis met Sleuth, who turned out a little later
on, to be the manager for Digital Underground. Sleuth was working at the store
at the time. So that record deal and all the things it led to came about from
us just doing’ it and being around. We stayed doing it and we ended up being
in the right place at the right time. We had major talent but we were also
just blessed. Sleuth hooked us up with Shock G and Money B. They were doing
the Sex Packets stuff as a group. Shock was already an act, Money B had Raw
Fusion , we had Gold Money. I think Shock had been looking at Pac already by
then. Shock thought it would be a good idea to combine all those groups and
make Digital Underground BIG. We started touring as Digital Underground and
Shock G gave us some of the time out of some of the shows to do our Gold Money
Stuff. So all of a sudden it was cool , I was seeing one of my biggest dreams
come true. I started being recognized as a producer.
Dubcnn: Yeah, I got that Gold Money album, and I saw where you worked with
the Funky Aztecs…
Yeah! Yeah! As a matter of fact, I talked to Marko, man, not even 2-3 days
Dubcnn: I was going to ask you how you hooked up with Digital Underground..
That came really from buying the records man, and Sleuth actually ran into
Odis. And Sleuth just picked up that he was a rapper because of the records we
were buying, not too many other people even knew what they were. Actually
Sleuth is from the east coast, and ended up working’ at Leopold's Records in
We used to just buy records as a hobby, and just off the records he was
picking’ up, Sleuth was like, ‘you really into hip-hop, huh?’ then they start
talking and he come home and tell me about it. We had some new tapes put
together, and we put some more stuff together to take with him, man and they
actually only heard Odis, cuz I did the music. And for a while, them cats
didn’t know what I did. They was hearing’ him, and just figured he had some
beats and stuff. But once he got around Shock and them, they started to pick
up on it and said ‘oh, so you play, huh?’ I said, that I did these here that
you’re hearing’! So from there, me and Shock kind of vibed cuz he’s like a
serious musician. So I started playing’, and we was doing’ our own thing, just
kind of really fitting’ into that whole lil’ Digital Underground vibe anyway,
cuz everybody in there was separate groups, that came together as one “voltron”-whole,
to make it one big piece. It was all good vibes after that.
Dubcnn: What albums or songs do you remember being involved with
specifically with them?
Most of the stuff for that Sons of the P album. I came around just a lil’ bit
before that, right as that Sex Packets was taking’ off, taking’ off. And then
I came through and I was basically on tour for that one doing some rapping but
mainly I was the keyboard player. I was doing that piano man stuff in concert
while Shock was rapping. And all the little make this and that at home, and
then gettin’ up in the studio, and we ended up doing’ the Kiss You Back - Sons
of the P and the This is an EP Release album. I was on was Heartbeat Props,
The DFLO Shuttle as a main vocalist. I did a lot of background stuff and
kicked around some ideas that made production all over the album. Man there’s
a few of’em. What I didn’t do vocals on, I was producing’ on , or a
supporting’ musician, or I put something in. A lot of the things I did and or
were not THE main producer on got credited as the Produce Howyalike Squad or
Staying Busy Productions. Shock alays laid out what he was getting at and we'd
all vibe and meld together with all our input. We did a lot of stuff and songs
just became songs.
Dubcnn: That’s kind of what I was going to ask you next. Cuz since you were
in Digital Underground, how close were you with Pac, and did you do anything
with him during or after that time?
Really during that time, man. We had a that Digital Underground stuff blowing
up and he came around the time we came around. And as soon as he came around,
everybody already knew ‘this nigga going to do something’. He’s tight.’ He
felt the same way about us. We all thought each other were dope. We were all
trying to just do it. So with all the different little inputs and stuff, he
had heard some tracks I had and for a couple was just like ‘make me something
cause he liked my style and because now we were family and we all pushed work
each other's way. Ok, yeah, gimme that one, I want this one.’ He was just like
that. He’d got a hold of something’ and just make something’ with it. Just
outta kicking it we did "Trapped". Him and Ray Luv had worked on that idea
before he brought it my way, but after I had the beat laid we revamped a
little bit and worked it. That was like his first single, you know, his first
“out there” one, off 2pacalypse Now.
I did I Don’t Give A Fuck with him, the day after I got out of San Fran Jail
House 850 Bryant. Pac knew I was hot about why I had to go in the first place.
He knew the details cause he was there when I got taken. Shock G and Bigg
Money Odis picked me up and we went to the studio. Pac was already there. He
said " P, we gotta do a song about that shit. I did a beat and we both wrote
the raps and laid them. That's where "I Don't Give a Fuck" came from. That one
ended up on that Grand Theft Auto, and it tripped me out when I heard that one
on the video game. I’m playing’…I stole in the car, and heard ME come on
(laughs) I’m like, ‘What is this?!!’ cuz I didn’t even know that song was on
that game. One of my cousins . Jay Beatz , he was with D.U. too, already knew
it was on there. He called me and told me to get the game and play it. I made
a few lil’ calls and see what was going’ on and got it straight. But, man that
tripped me out! But yeah I did that, and Something’ Wicked with Jaybeatz, he
was just Jay Z them. That was a beat he made that Pac wanted. I was just
playing’ around and making noises while J was laying the beat.
After I heard Pac's rap and what it was about, I started puttin gin things
that sounded Wicked to me. I was mimicking Pac verse and following him like a
bar late on his rap and he was like " Lay that shit down. Me and Pac were real
tight, especially on the road. He's the one that I'd take off with when we had
a couple days break on tour. He showed me around places I hadn't been if he'd
been there. If neither of us had been there, we'd go and have each other's
backs and get into shit and meet the town and find the weed and all that. But
to answer the question about how close we were, we were so close that we could
laugh and argue with each other and still team up on somebody else if it came
to that. But , in that sense All of Digital Underground were my Brothers.
We lived together on the tour Busses and in the Hotel rooms for months at at
time. We all were tight, they still my niggas. Matter of fact, that I Don't
Give a Fuck was based on how I was feeling after getting out of jail for
having Pac , so the bond was real , I had his back and he had mine. I think me
, Pac had a different bond because we kind of looked alike and we got mistaken
for each other sometimes. Me Pac and and Jaybeatz had a special bind because
we were the youngsters in the crew. Bigg Monet Odis and Money B are just a
couple of years older but they were more serious dudes than we were. We were
still "Kid Spirits". Shock Schmoove and the rest of the crew had us by a few
years. But all in all , the D.U. were all my brothers and it will always be
Dubcnn: Shorty B mentioned that when he hooked up with $hort, that’s when
he came back around and scooped you up to go over there.
Yeah, that’s really how it went down. Cuz D.U had just come back off of tour,
like Budweiser Superfest or something like that, and Shock was wanting’ to
take a break for minute, cuz he was just touring and touring. And I was like,
‘I had this record out, I’m touring, and you wanting to sit down? Well, I
guess just call me when you ready to go again, cuz I’m ‘bout to go get some
work.’ Shorty B had approached me, and it was really just supposed to be me
come in and play with $hort out on the road and do a few shows and stuff with
him. He knew I did music and stuff, so that was an avenue that was open to
him. And man! It really turned into a whole lot of work for me over at
Dangerous Music. I helped Shoty B put together a Band for Short.
Somebody in the D.U. crew felt that I'd left, I never left the group. I was
waiting and waiting for the call that said " hey man, we gotta be in Cleveland
or where ever on what day". I never got the call so I kept touring and working
with Short and Dangerous. The same thing happened with Pac. He always took off
to go do other work but he would always come back or meet us on the road,
that's all I had planned to do. Around that time, I did split from the Manager
I had at TNT Records and I didn't re-up on my Tommy Boy contract for the Gold
Money projects. I never wanted to leave D.U. though. I wanted to produce more.
With the making of Dangerous music, I had access to a lot of artists. Short
had just signed about 4 or 5 acts, they knew me from the work I had done and
they liked my music and my Rap style. I wanted to produce other people and
still do my D.U. While I was at Dangerous , Shock G , Bigg Money Odis , Money
B and Tupac all came through to check me out and they got on some of the
Dangerous stuff too. Actually, when I first met Short and we were discussing
what he wanted from me, I told him I couldn't unless I could bring Bigg Money
Odis with me. Short was like, bring him then we'll find his niche and work him
in. O came around for a while but then he quit to do other things.
Dubcnn: Can you compare working’ with Digital Underground vs. The Dangerous
Well, with D.U. Shock was the main producer and really like a conductor. My
input was always taken but I couldn't do as much as I would have liked to have
done. I got work with all the TNT artists. But at Dangerous, I had the freedom
of just cranking out shit as fast as I could under my own direction to a
certain extent, the music still had to have that Bay Area sound or nobody
wanted it. With D.U I could do my wilder ideas. Other than that it was really
the same. Shock and them was maybe a little bit more playful, cuz $hort and
them be playing’ and laughing’ and acting’ a fool but not the same kid fun
like with D.U. That was a bout the only difference. And to me, I was still
doing’ what I like to do. I was just thinking’ ‘ok, now here go some niggaz to
play with! Let’s go play, nigga! Let’s go have some fun!’ it was really cool,
man. I guess that’s my chops, that was my schooling.
Dubcnn: What’s your relationship like now, currently, with some of the
former Crew members, like Goldy, Fatha Dom, FM Blue and them cats?
I talk to FM Blue every so often. I had lost contact with him for a bit, and
he popped back up after I had been everywhere, been gone a few years, and I
touch down in Sacramento, and one of my homeboys tells me that Blue was
talking’ about me. And he asked if I knew Blue, and that’s how I got back in
touch with him. So we still talk every once in a while. Me and Shorty B still
tight. We talk often. And Banks, like I said I just talked to him a couple
months ago after not talking’ to him for I don’t know how long cuz everybody
just kind of dispersed and went our own ways. Pizo hooked back up with me.
Goldy, now that’s a crazy, crazy thing. I had been hearing’ for years that
Goldy was dead. All these years I thought that. Then I went down for like the
Cinco de Mayo, and I notice my homeboy keep looking’ over my shoulder like
somebody’s behind me. So I turn around and it’s him! I’m like ‘Whooooooa!’ I
told him the whole thing, and he said he had heard the same thing. So he still
around, but I ain’t talked to him in a while. But it’s cool when I see him.
But that's crazy cause about a year ago, I did a Digital Underground show in
San Francisco. I was on stage and, in the front row, I saw another cat I used
to work with. He was crying and pointing at me and shit. After the show was
over I went out there and found him, he was tripping because he and all the
Funk Aztecs had heard I got killed in Sacramento. Rumors man! I talked with
Ant Diddly Dog but I lost contact with him. I haven't seen or heard anything
from Dom, not even rumors. I still talk to Short every once in a while. I'm
still cool with him and some of his immediate homeboys , so when they come out
close to me, I go hang out with them at the shows.
Dubcnn: What songs from the dangerous Crew stand out to you as favorites, as
far as from a production standpoint?
Man! I’m really trying’ to think! (laughs). I’m trying’ to think of which
ones. It’s hard, cuz I’m thinking’ about how them songs was made, and when
they was made, and went on the albums cuz there’s a whole lotta songs that’s
not on the albums. Shit, I’ma say Gone With The Wind cuz that’s one I was
rapping’ on, its all me. I’ll just say that cuz I ain’t really got no
favorites. All them songs, it was like a building’ process. Sample The Funk
was fun. "Comin up Short" , that was all me. I did "Get in where you fit in"
and I'm a Player, but those got revamped. Some of the more abstract parts were
taken out and Shorty got on the bass, Banks mixed them. There’s just too many.
Let me see, so much of the Get in Where you fit in album and Cocktails and all
the Goldy and Ant Banks stuff and Spice 1. They was just all playing’ to me.
It’s like I was really at the park. Just doing’ my drawings. I was practicing’
my craft. (laughs) I was just really having’ fun! But I like all of it. I
actually named that Cocktails Album by accident. We were sitting around and I
was on some goofy shit and told Short I was going to flip his Freaky Tales but
mine was going to be Cocktails and I was going to have a picture of some legs
hanging out of a glass. We were all laughing, next thing I know, Short really
did it. I had fun doing the MC Thick stuff and the MC Breed stuff. I can't
say, all that stuff is my favorite. I like them all for different reasons.
Dubcnn: When you all got together was it just a big party, just kicking’ it
and vibin’? How was stuff tossed around to make the songs and make the albums?
The studio place really had a bunch of rooms, so I kind of just set up shop in
the back, and it was like Richmond in the back, Oakland in the front. I had
some equipment, Short gave me some more and he gave me a room to build my
studio in. Shorty B had a setup at his house and he'd be working there.
Dangerous Studios is where we would all meet up. I’d be in the back doing’
something’ and Banks be in the front doing’ something’, and Shorty B come
walking’ through talking’ some mess and do a bass line or something on what we
It was like all the different stuff we was playing’ was coming’ up like ‘ok,
Goldy going to take that one, Spice like this one, and they want this one for
Menace II Society.’ Just stuff was put up, and it was really everyday like a
job, but it wasn’t no “white-collar, blue-coated got to get to work” thing.
Everybody just in there doing’ their own thing, and come and go. It was like
home base. And there was always something’ going’ on. Once we had a lil’ music
going’ to vibe with everybody, it’s like Goldy might come in and just lay his
vocals and nobody be there but just him and Banks. And on other ones, we’d all
be in there playing video games , doing’ our thing, and the topic for a song
might’ve just came up that day. It was just playing’ and putting’ down what we
was doing’. And had fun doing’ it.
Dubcnn: The last thing I saw you credited on was Ant Banks’ Big Thangs
Even that stuff, man. I got with him maybe a little bit before he did that and
purposely laid some stuff down with him, but alotta stuff I had done was
already on tracks. He could just pull up things I had done with him on Sitting
on Something Fat. We had tracks that we had made that didn't get used on other
stuff, on stuff we had made when we was still in Oakland, on Myrtle Street,
still doing’ it all day, everyday. And he was just able to pull’em up. We had
an abundance of music to choose from at all times. I think I heard some of my
stuff on Short's album Ten, I wasn't there when they made that stuff , but I
can tell my sound on the keyboards and I can hear it.
Dubcnn: Since then, what have you been doing’? Are you involved in any other
kind of projects?
I got one project that’s kind of close to me right now Miss Marianna. She's a
chick that I found up here in Sacramento, and she is dope. She kind of brought
me back out, and I kind of want to get her out there. I had laid off the music
industry for a while. I learned a lot from Shock G and Short , so I wanted to
do my own thing the way I wanted it done but I'm not a rich dude and I want to
do it with my own money. So I hit the school house for Pharmacy. That way I
can work part time, get major money from it to do my music. I started a
rock/metal project but I haven't put a band with it, it's all me right now
until I find the players. As far as the rap game goes, there are no
instruments producers are using ready made music makers now.
Dubcnn: Yeah, me and Shorty B was talking’ about how there’s no creativity
or musicianship in the game…
Yeah! I been doing’ alotta jazz fusion, I gotta a crazy, crazy, wild, wild
rock type of thing going and I’m about 20 songs into that. Just really trying’
to put a band around it so we can go play live. It’s all developing’ so it’s
just me right now. And I can’t do all that, live on stage by myself (laughs),
cuz I’m doing’ everything and that can’t happen on stage. So that’s something
I want to do, so I been kind of just working’ on and get more in to the
technical music part of it.
So you got a rock band you trying’ to put together?
Yeah! I got all the songs, and I’ll come with some more or somebody else got
some, but the whole concept, the sound is all done.
Well, then you and Shorty B need to hook up cuz we all wondering’ what was
up with that Ebony Stone/Black Rock concept on the Don’t Try This At Home
album. So you two should try to put that together...
The only thing keeping’ us from doing’ that is the space between us cuz I’m on
the west coast and he’s on the east coast. Yeah, but definitely he would know
where I’m coming from. But I know Shorty B, when he hears this stuff he's
going to complain and say how crazy it is, then a little while later I'll hear
him singing the tunes. Shorty B has a straight forward rock sound, mine is
really abstract and wild. My shit sounds like rollercoaster's and monsters and
shit if you can imagine that.
Dubcnn: I’d like to hear something like that from you two...
And yeah, you was asking earlier about my influences and stuff, and another
cat that I played with in high school was Jason Becker. Alotta people in this
crowd won’t know who he is, but if you look him up, Jason became one of the
replacements for Van Halen and became a guitar god. So alotta that stuff came
from the influence of him on that end, and Shorty B got his strong, hard rock
background so I know it would be something’ if we did.
Dubcnn: Is there anybody your interested in working with that you haven’t
as of yet?
There’s nobody really that I can name, but I just want to work with somebody
who got their own voice and doing’ their own thing, and is really just into
the music. It’s like basketball team that’s put together and you just looking’
for that spark from each other to just play. So there’s like a bunch of
drummers I’d like to work with, a bunch of keyboard players, man, rappers I’d
have to say Andre 3000. Cuz from what I’m hearing he ain’t scared to go off
that trendy thing. Just avoiding that boredom is my whole thing. Or anybody
that can make me laugh, I’m with it.
Dubcnn: What do you think about that Hyphy movement?
That’s just kids being a little bit wilder than what we was, but it’s the same
thing. They got a different dress and a few little different things, but it’s
really just the same thing. High sidin’ is the side show. There really ain’t
too much recreation. I doubt you can really find even a pizza place in
Oakland, but cats just go party in the streets. I mean if we not going to have
resources, cuz you gotta think, alotta people don’t really trip off these
little towns like Richmond, Oakland and Detroit or everywhere that was a major
industrial city, all them industries closed down.
You got people left, but what they going to do? So in places where there’s no
jobs, well I can put some 24-inch rims on my car without your job. Whether
it’s good or bad, right or wrong, that’s what happening. So kids is standing
up and basically trying to be seen where ain’t nobody looking at them. That
ain’t really no different from when we was younger. Put on your flosses and
just floss. They’re just wilder with it.
Talking about Hyphy and Crunk, what do you think about Too $hort’s last few
albums going from that funk that you guys did, to moving over the crunk sound?
$hort is trying to play it like a for real business, not necessarily the MUSIC
business. The actual building of a signature sound ain't as important to him.
He wants to move what’s already moving. He's already been a pioneer so he
ain't tripping of pioneering anymore, I still am. $hort ain't a musician ,
although I've seen him mess around on keyboards. He’s seeing that these are
the things that are moving right now, so let me get some of those and move’em.
I guess that’s it. Cuz you know, out here you had me, Shorty B, Toni Tony
Tone, Hammer had a bunch of musicians and that was the vibe out here. But then
alotta technology come through and now producers can just punch in 55 for a
bass line, 37 for a drum, and 99 for an effects style and it’s almost like
playing the lottery, you know? Get your numbers in and there you go!
Time changed and had alotta influence on how we have fun as musicians. Where
I'm with creating and expanding, Short and a lot of people in the industry are
trying to sell stuff quick and fast. It’s not just with him, that’s how they
training in the industry and that’s what happening right now. And actually,
you bring up Hyphy and the first song I heard like that was from Rick Rock and
the Federation. Forty gets a lot of credit for bringing out that sound. But
Like Forty says, he's the Ambassador. Forty had the name, the strong deal, the
strong following and he was out here, and he was trying to help who he could
help and he endorsed it and gave them exposure and Boom! But I think where it
came from at first was Rick Rock and them Federation cats. A lot of it sounds
like old KPOO records to me. It's gone back to party music, so that's good.
But as for serious musicianship, there are no musicians. From a sales
standpoint, it is good. It's a recognizable product. But from a musician's
point of view, honestly, it gets boring. Not with the Hyphy and Crunk sounds ,
but with commercial music as a whole now.
It kind of makes me feel like I'm a Michael Jordan or Dominique Wilkins
sitting on the sidelines and waiting to see the new dudes come through and
slam dunk from the top of the key and expand on the tricks. But instead, I'm
seeing dudes with flashier suits using trampolines. Its kind of like the
difference between the NBA and the And 1 league. The And 1 dudes are dope but
its not the same, there are different rules. You know those guys can travel
and walk and not get called on it as long as the crowd screams. The current
state of our music leaves me with some questions of my own. Like," Since drums
are THE black instrument, how come ain't no actual drums in the music?' I feel
cheated at times. But I do know the difference between music and the music
industry just like I know the difference between Basketball, And One and the
Globetrotters. The Globetrotters have been my favorite team since I was a kid
but that ain't basketball.
The crazy part is that young up and coming producers won't know
instrumentation if they only stick to machines and never learn an instrument.
Like I say , they'll learn to paint by numbers, rely on other people sounds
and they'll be dumbed down of they don't get and start working on the
foundations of where the music comes from. There are times I let other
producers hear things I'm working on and they'll ask, where'd you get that
sample? What program is that sound in? When I tell them I played the stuff
myself, either they don't believe me until I play it in front of them or they
think I'm weird because I can do the real thing for real. Now that's what's
weird to me, musicians that can't play music in your face. Like I said a lot
of producers remind me of people playing the lottery, they are literally just
picking numbers and hoping they hit!
Dubcnn: Now help me understand this. You and Banks worked on who knows how
many songs, and all those albums together. How did is it that you guys ended
up not working together no more?
That’s a funny situation, because Banks really already had his whole thing
going on you know, messing with $hort and from the early days and projects he
was into. Me on the other hand, I had the Gold Money stuff, Digital
Underground’s stuff, Funky Aztecs and everybody, so I was used to doing my own
stuff. Cuz that’s even how the studio was set up like I said before. He’d be
in the front and I’d be in the back. But there’d be certain times where he’d
say he had a bass line that’d be tight with what I was working on. So I just
came in and laid it and take it back to my room, so kind of being side by side
put that music like that. But we always mostly worked separate. You know, we
might call each other, or walk by and say ‘you should use this snare’ or
whatever cuz he was there and heard it. But we’d never really sit down from
scratch and do it like that. We was both kind of like 2 drivers. I need to
drive, and he need to drive, but we’d catch up to each other along the way.
As time passed our live band got smaller and smaller. On $hort's tours the
live band got squeezed down to it just being me on Keys and Ant Banks running
the DAT machine. A little more time went by and it was just me and $hort. Me,
Shorty B and Ant Banks ended up being in different places so we didn't get to
work together until years later. I'd moved to Sacramento and Banks moved back
to the Bay. He called me up and I went to his crib and we made a few songs.
Some of them went on Big Thangs, I can't say what happened to those. But just
recently, maybe a couple of months ago, Banks hit me up and told me he wanted
to get with me, he just moved to Arizona, so distance is the reason we don't
have anything together right now.
Dubcnn: Was it like that during the making of The Big Badass? Cuz that
joint y’all did, The Drunken Fool was tight. I liked that one.
Yeah, that was another where he was in the front and I was in the back. “P
come jump on this song with me!” I was always known for having a pocket full
of Hennessey and some crazy shit to say, and I could write and freestyle on
the spot all day. Plus a lot of the raps I did on Dangerous were actually me
getting drunk and freestyling a rap off the top of my head. So I think he was
thinking about me and he wanted to do it Drunk Style. I wrote the first part
of my rap on that one and just went with the flow and freestyled the rest.
That’s really just what it was. He had his tracks laid out, you know. I played
a few tracks on there, and wrote the beginning a rap real quick and put it on.
We sat up there and was laughing after that. Banks always had his doors open
Dubcnn: I notice on the Gettin’ It album that you weren’t listed or
Nah, I was back in California at that time and I can’t really even tell you
what happened on that. I just kind of heard that they was working’ on it and I
said I’d get back out there just let me know what’s going on. And then it came
out. I can hear referenced to me in the raps about me not being there, and
there are similar sounds but I wasn't there. I think Short shouted out to me
on that album in one of the songs he says " All I gotta do is find Pee Wee".
When I heard that, it tripped me out because everybody that heard the record
started calling me and saying Short is looking for you man, how come you ain't
out there with them? I really couldn't answer other than to say that haven't
haven't gotten any calls, I ain't hard to find and if nothing else, even if I
never touched another telephone of my own, Shorty B, Short, Banks, old
girlfriends and school mates could call me Mom's house. That number has been
the same since I was a kid, everybody at least had that number.
I can't tell you why I wasn't in that album. After it was made, Short and
Shorty B were down in LA. Shorty B called my house and told me he'd just got a
place in Pasadena Hills and told me to come down. I was like " You lying man,
you ain't got shit in Pasadena Hills". He said "P, I got it man come down now,
Short and them are down here and we trying to put this music situation back
how it was". I told him to give me a little while to go get breaded get a
ticket and a place to stay down there and I'll be down". Shorty B was like
"Fuck it man don't trip you can stay with me, I'll call you back in a few
minutes". He called back and told me to go to Western Union, to give them a
code and show my ID". I did, Shorty B had put a few thousand bucks in there, I
didn't even ask him. I jumped in the car and drove to LA and met with him and
Short. They told me that there was no more Dangerous Music but that Short was
getting ready to do another label. I told them I was with it and ready, but I
don't think they got a hold on Banks and that situation never happened.
So when the next albums and deals came for Short, I guess he just grabbed
tracks that were close to him instead of calling. I didn't do anything on
Short Records. Shorty B would call me from time to time while it was going
down and tell me, You need to get at Short he's got something up. I couldn't
catch up with Short though, his numbers kept changing, they always did and I
wasn't in Atlanta anymore. When I was there I could just go to the house or to
the studio, same thing when we were in Oakland. But around that time I was in
school so I needed to know exactly what I was going to do when I got out there
and how long so I could plan around it. I couldn't get that so time went
passed an I didn't get on that album. Before, when I wasn't in school, I could
just go and hangout. I couldn't do that anymore and take care of kids and
hustle and go to school at the same time, not being so far away from the crew.
If they were just a car ride away it would have been no problem.
Dubcnn: So there wasn’t no beef where you just skipped out?
Nah. I had came home to California cuz my little sister had some stuff going
on, so I came out here to be with her for a little while, and while I was out
here they did that album. And I guess it just went really, really quick and
from there on I didn’t really hear nothing about the crew, it changed up. I
guess $hort changed up his live show, so I didn’t get the call that put me
back on the road for the touring work. And soon after there was new producers
and everything, so I couldn’t really say that them niggaz was tripping on me
cuz they off doing this, but it wasn’t even like that. I think somebody around
there started telling everybody else I just was straight gone, I left. I left
town, I didn't leave the crew! I wanted to come work, it never happened. I
have some family down in Dallas who told me that Short was messing with one of
their homeboys, Quint Black. He did some stuff for Short. He and a few other
dudes and time went by. After that, Short kept changing producers and its been
the same since.
Dubcnn: Did you ever have any plans to release some kind of a solo album?
I was more of the musician, who wanted to produce and that is my thing. I
always used to write raps with people’s certain voice in mind from the point
of view, you know as a writer. I can still get up there and do that, and put
out just about anything I think of. But that was never my first love.
Everybody was on me to do an album, but I think of so much different stuff
that I could never just put myself into a box to really do an album. Because
really, if I make 4 or 5 songs, man, it might be a rock song, a gospel song
for my momma, a nice party rap, a gangsta rap and then something that shows a
whole bunch of different elements. But as a artist that ain’t really what’s
being pushed cuz it’s a one image thing.
Most record companies want artists that do one thing and when and artist
changes up his style they companies and even a lot of the fans don't
understand the move. It's like if you had a big afro on your first project ,
they want to sell that afro and keep selling that afro for a long time. A
situation like that would be like prison to me, I'd feel stuck. And that don’t
fit my personality. I'm the kind of artist that is look a gourmet chef; I can
make a whole lot of things. As a commercial artist I'd feel like a Gourmet
Chef that has to make Big Macs and couldn't let anybody smell all the smells
and taste all the tastes and arrange all the colors I could as a Chef with an
extensive menu. That's why I have to produce!
Cause after that Dangerous Crew album, I thought we was about to get hit up
I did too, but it’s like I said, everybody just kind of went their own ways
and it was all separate projects really , from the start. And $hort was trying
to do Dangerous Music, the little label he was putting together with a couple
of the homeboys, and he actually took that name from another project he had
done a few years before that, with him and Spice-1. So he just kind of took
that name, and said that me and Shorty B ought to do something. So we had all
these rappers around us, we wrote us a few things, had a bunch of pieces so
grabbed Dom, Goldy, $hort and everybody in the house and that’s how Don’t Try
This At Home came about. And I could see the anticipation for the Dangerous
Crew, but I didn’t really see it being nurtured and pushed, like this IS the
thing. It was more like it’s coming, but not like " ITS HERE". Our video, Buy
You some, was pretty much a Too Short and Eric Sermon Song.
So when people that heard the Dangerous Crew saw it they didn't meet the
Dangerous Crew. That album was more like a label compilation than it was an
actual group. It was a compilation of label mates, but it was design to be an
outlet for me and Shorty B. We wanted everybody in the Crew to have some bread
on the table. All the rappers had deals, Banks got one, I didn't turn in an
album, me and Shorty B got the Dangerous Crew deal. It wasn't really pushed to
the public like that though.
How did Rapping’ Ron and Ant Diddley Dog get involved with the Dangerous
The homeboy Dave brought them through. And it was really Ron! Man, he would
just rap all day. Never write nothing’ down, raw shit every time. Ant Diddley,
his homeboy, would sit down and write something *connection lost* Yeah you was
asking about Ron and Diddley? Dave brought them through really to have them
with Dangerous. Things happened and they did CellBlock Records. But they were
down with the Dangerous Crew always.
Dubcnn: Were you around for that infamous Bad N-Fluenz vs. The Luniz
freestyle battle that went down?
I was actually supposed to be a part of that. That was so crazy cuz it was
really over some pizza, but on the under it was who was going to really get
down with Dangerous? But we took the bet on some pizza, and it was going to be
us 3, me Ron and Ant against them 3 The Luniz and Dru Down. If their team won,
our team would have to buy them pizzas and the Luniz would get a deal on
Dangerous Music. If our team won, Bad N-Fluenz would get the deal and they'd
buy the pizzas. And I can’t remember if it was Yuk or Num, but one of them
cats went...and then Ron went...and they forfeited! I swear to God! (laughs)
That is what happened! I was scanning the room thinking what I’m going to say
and what I’m going to do, and it never even got to them rounds. It was like
first string and boop! It was over. That’s what happened!
Dubcnn: Did anybody record that?
I’m not even sure man. But I can tell you on the tape, Ron said something
like, ‘nigga, and that’s that, muthfucka where’s my pizza at?’ And that was
the last thing that was said, and that whole thing was over who was going buy
the pizza tonight. And that was it.
Dubcnn: Now, the phone is a little fuzzy, so I’m not sure if I got all this
right, but I’m going to type it all up and send you a copy so you can
basically proof it for me so I get everything right for you.
Yeah, ok and I appreciate that. And for anybody that got that Dangerous Crew
album, CD, Tape, LP or whatever, that ain’t my picture in there.
In the Don’t try This At Home album?
Yeah, man that ain’t me!
Dubcnn: I remember that, who is that?
That’s like $hort’s cousin. Mistaken identity on behalf of the person that
approved the album cover.
Dubcnn: On Bad N-Fluenz, alotta people was wondering what happened. I know
Ron died in that car crash, which was just horrible cuz he was the shit!
And that was pretty much it, man because him and Diddley was really like a
compliment to each other. I talked to Diddley a few times, and he still raps
and he still got it, but he ain’t just really so juiced about it like that no
more. I kind of felt like that after Pac got killed so I feel him.
Dubcnn: What’s he been up to?
The last I talked to him he said he might be trying to get into some gospel
stuff, and then I lost contact with him.
Dubcnn: Yeah, I got their Bad N-Fluenz album, and I think I play that at
least every other day or so.
That’s what gets me about that stuff cuz I know Ron, I mean they probably had
a few ideas about what some of them songs was going to be about, like ‘ Ok, we
about to go do this.” But I’m willing to bet a WHOLE bunch, that on most of
them he just went in there and did them and didn't write em. Not too many cats
is like that.
Dubcnn: Do you know, by any chance, what happened with their second album
that went unreleased? The He Was Slippin’ Into Darkness album?
No! that one’s a mystery to me too!
Dubcnn: Had you worked on their follow-up?
I know I did a few songs with them, but I ain’t sure what happened to them.
Dubcnn: Cuz in that Cellblock compilation insert it had an ad about their
upcoming album coming in August of ’98, and I figured if they had an ad and an
album name, there had to be something recorded for it.
Yeah, and I’m trying to think, but it’s like all that Dangerous Crew stuff.
Alotta stuff was made because cats was just doing it everyday. So I can’t tell
you what was saved up, or spread around. Somebody made a beat, put it down and
it was there. I remember doing some things at a couple of other studios and
going to their lab, but can't say what went where. So I don’t know, man! They
was doing it like everyday, so I’m quite sure there’s a whole bunch of
Dubcnn: I’d like to get my hands on some of that!
Yeah! There’s a few things I need to get. You say you got that Gold Money, and
I don’t even have that!
Dubcnn: I got Gold Money, and here’s a blast from the past; MC Thick.
WHOA! I remember Thick!
Dubcnn: Yeah, I got his album too.
(laughs) That was a trip listening to him. He came out and was kind of in the
house with us, but used to just crack me up. We did a bunch of stuff with MC
Dubcnn: How did Breed hook up with Dangerous?
Man, just out there in Atlanta, just by being around. We kind of ended up in
the same places. Same with Erick Sermon. It was just kind of at the time
everybody had flocked to Atlanta and bumped into each other. I remember
meeting Erick Sermon way back when EPMD first came out. And later , I was at a
video shoot and I heard somebody say " Is that Pee Wee" , I turned around and
it was Erick, I didn't even know he knew who I was!
Dubcnn: I was talking with Shorty B, and telling him that y’all, The
Dangerous Crew, is what I grew up on. So this is like a dream to me to get to
talk to you.
Yeah I been there with some folks I met too. Like I grew up on George Clinton,
and when I met him, man I was done!
Dubcnn: And I’ve just collected as much Dangerous Crew stuff as I can find
over the years..
Yeah! Well thanks for that, man. That makes me want to put out more!
Dubcnn: And I was telling him about all this stuff too, like MC Thick and
some others that he don’t have either, and I told him we was going to have to
hook up and I’m making plans to get down there to Atlanta and bring all my
shit with me, and we going to just do some things.
Well, just let me know what’s going on.
Dubcnn: I will, cuz if I can get alotta of y’all up in the studio, I’ll
have my video camera with me and we’ll do like one big Dangerous Crew, live in
the studio interview or something.
YEAAH! I mean, gettin’ us in the studio, that might really turn out to make
something. Video us doing something, and we’d be doing something about the
video (laughs). Yeah, that’d be nice. I’d like to get in on that.
Dubcnn: I’ma tell you, like I told Shorty B too. If you happen to get in
touch with any of the old crew like Banks, Goldy, Spice-1, Diddley or hell
even Too $hort, then just shoot them my number and tell them what’s going
down, and to get at me for these interviews.
Right! Now I talked to Spice not too long ago and he was talking about he was
trying to do something with Breed and D.O.C.
Yeah, they trying to link up there and do some kind of deal he was telling me
about. I think they trying to move something, like in some major way.
Dubcnn: Thanks Pee-Wee! I enjoyed it!
Me too, thanks!
Pee-Wee Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That