4-Tay also tells us about living under the shadow of his two 90's smash hits "Player's Club" and "I'll Be Around" and how he views the evolution of the music industry in the past decades and technologies such as auto-tune. We talk about his upcoming projects, the Bay Area rap scene and his plans for the future.
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Dubcnn: We're right here with Rappin' 4-Tay. Where we at right now Fo'?
Rappin' 4-Tay: Oh yeah we posted in the 'Sco right now, in Frisco, where I was born and raised. Live and direct in the lab, me and you one on one to talk about this album.
Dubcnn: It's been a minute since the last real Rappin' 4-Tay album, a couple of years at least. There's always been a few releases here and there but, I think this is the first one where you're really fully behind it. Is that right?
Rappin' 4-Tay: That's true. I took a minute to stack up tracks and see what's going on from the outside world and from the inside out, the different styles, how the music game has changed etc. So now I thought I'd put some music out there for the soul, something for the OG's. I always looked out for the OG's in the music game, but mainly the West Coast though. Keeping it smooth.
Dubcnn: You called this album "Still Standing". What made you want to call it that?
Rappin' 4-Tay: Well I called it "Still Standing" because of all the trials and tribulations that's been put in front of me. Life, fatherhood, parenthood, being in the rap game, dealing with those wicked streets out there. It's a lot of my homeboys - may they rest in peace - that's not here right now. I'm still standing and all my loyal fans, keep your ears wide open cause it's a lot more coming in your direction.
Dubcnn: You reached out to a lot of different artists to collaborate with on this project. Let us know about a couple of the people that you worked with on this one.
Rappin' 4-Tay: Like always I'm working with the young baby boy San Quinn, we're from the same soil. Also artists like Mike Marshall, he's OG in the game, I've always liked his stuff and to work with him. We collaborated as well. Also Montell Jordan.
Dubcnn: Where did you get Montell Jordan from? I hadn't heard anything from Montell in a minute!
Rappin' 4-Tay: He's doing gospel music right now, I got lucky cause we touched base in the digital world, he got back at me, I got back at him. We put something together, I would have loved to do the video for the song that we did, but he's a preacher now. That would be against his religion to get off into some Player's Club type of music. But it was still cool to get him on the album.
Dubcnn: You also have Treach from Naughty By Nature on the same song. How did that come together?
Rappin' 4-Tay: Treach is a long time friend of mine. We've toured together back in the day, and we ran into each other when he was out here in Frisco doing some collaborations. I was like "What's up Treach let's put something together!" So we got it in and made it happen. Like I said that's a life long friend, long time friend, we're always gonna lock it in on collaborations.
Dubcnn: Who else did you work with on there?
Rappin' 4-Tay: Matt Blaque, most definitely. That's the homie. Mac Mall, I've got him on the album as well. Baby Bash is on the album, my homeboy No Name, E Da Don, my brother. It's a lot of family collaborations on this first one and the list goes on. This is just Volume 1, I got Volume 2 coming in your direction, as well as Fo' Flavors, ya'll look out for the Fo'tress.
Dubcnn: What about production? Who are we hearing on this record?
Rappin' 4-Tay: Production wise, I kept it mostly in-house. I've been working with the Debarge family, I've worked with my homeboy No Name, I'm working with Rizzlino as well, TC, the list goes on. But the majority of the production is on the independent scale, I'm trying to keep everything in the same huddle and see if it rises like yeast and take it from there.
Dubcnn: You've been in the game for a long long time. What's your personal motivation putting ou this album right now? What are you trying to achieve?
Rappin' 4-Tay: I'm trying to stay on my own level with my own style, but adapting to what's going on right now, like the autotune etc. I wouldn't have a preferred that but I thought I'd just give it a dice roll, just test the water with it. But mainly I'm just trying to show everybody that I'm still the Rappin' 4-Tay from the Player's Club and I'll Be Around with The Spinners. Some OG'ism and more or less trying to slow down the pace of the individuals that I feel are going to fast in the music game. No more shoot'em up bang bang, yellow tape and chalk lines, but keeping it game affiliated as well.
Dubcnn: You're most known for your two major hits that you had, Player's Club and I'll Be Around. Is it hard to live with that, known that that's what people known you for? Does it make it hard to go in different directions, cause people are always gonna be like "Oh 4-Tay? The dude from Player's Club!"
Rappin' 4-Tay: Sometimes it's hard, because I'm not a pimp, but I do know how to narrate pimping. I'm a mack for life, don't get it twisted, but I have things in my life like fatherhood and having daughters etc, so I needed to educate myself on what kind of music to put out there to the world. So yeah, it's tough, cause they look at me and they're looking for the video vixens and that's a part of it, but I like the messages and I like to just make the people move on the dance floor. That's my thing.
Dubcnn: What's your mindstate right now, as far as your personal life?
Rappin' 4-Tay: My mindstate right now is basically to keep the Bay Area on the map. Hopefully we can huddle up and represent like the South and the East is doing. With a little bit more unity, we'll be on the roll. That's my mission right now, to try to unify. The Bay Area is real tough, it's real rugged, hard knocks, hard blocks, but wherever there's a will there's a way. And that's coming from Rappin' 4-Tay.
Dubcnn: One of my personal favorite collaborations that you did was on the Eastsidaz album with Snoop and the Twinz. Going back in time, how did that song come together?
Rappin' 4-Tay: That came together when everybody was down at Snoop's house. Me and Snoop have been close like family for many many years. He hit me up like "Fo' we need that 4-Tay blending on here." So I represented for the Bay Area and it came out like that. Secondly, Snoop and individuals like DJ Quik and my cousin Suga Free, those are collaborations to look out for real soon as well.
Those are individuals that will call me up to come jump on a show, just to spread the name. That's the love that's needed in this industry. Especially my homeboy Dru Down, one love to you too as well, and good looking out. Mistah FAB too, it's about the collaborations. We're better when we huddle up instead of the hating.
Dubcnn: Do you keep an ear to what's going on right now, as far as new artists coming out?
Rappin' 4-Tay: I do keep an ear to it and I listen to what's going on on the radio and it just seems like it's different trends going on compared to when I started in the rap game. When I first started, you were just able to go to the stores, get the vinyls and people would purchase CD's, cassettes.
But now the digital world has kicked in like a slot machine. They don't even need the record stores anymore. I'm trying to work the digital stores as well. Just look out for Rappin' 4-Tay cause I'm about to flood the market on every level of the game like a box of jolly ranchers, assorted flavors, something for everybody.
Dubcnn: You mentioned you've got Still Standing Volume 2?
Rappin' 4-Tay: Yeah Still Standing Volume 2 but keep your ears wide open for the Fo'tress, that's my own package right there, with features like Wyclef. Me and Wyclef did the Player's Club over, that's something to look out for. Features like the homeboy Breeze, Dru, my cousin Suga Free. I go so many songs, I'm just taking my time but I'm going to slowly but surely satisfy my loyal fans. That's who I'm doing it for.
Dubcnn: Ideally, where would you like to see yourself in the next couple of years?
Rappin' 4-Tay: I'd love to see myself snatching up some of the bosses in the Bay Area, OG rappers all the way down to the young G rappers, and us going on tour and representing this West Coast to the fullest extent. Instead of all these other artists coming out from different regions, coming out here and blowing the scene up. We want to do the same thing. Whenever there's a will there's a way. I'm here to stay. Rappin' 4-Tay, double OG in the game.
Dubcnn: Before we go is there anything else you wanna let everybody know?
Rappin' 4-Tay: I got my homeboy Rizzlino right here, he got all the information you guys need for features etc. StillStanding.com is going to be my new site, also check out rappin4tay.com. Rizzlino is making hot beats, I'm messing with these young producers who really doing their thang as well. Get at them Rizz let them know what's going on!
Rizz: You can follow Rappin' 4-Tay on Twitter @rappin_4tay, you can also send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and rappin4tay.com, that's where you should be at!
Rappin' 4-Tay: So yawl be on the look out! Listen to the message that I'm bringing! Don't nobody die, don't nobody get killed, cause only God can judge us. One love to my wife for keeping me on my focus and all my loved ones that's locked up in the pen. Stay strong, be out soon, stay on your focus. And the youngsters, listen to the music, respect your elders too as well. That's the only way we're going to palnt the seed and grow - and that's from Rappin' 4-Tay.