interview SAN QUINN  (September 2008) | Interview By: Javon Adams

   Living Legend is a term that is often overused but in the case of San Quinn it is an accurate description of what he has meant to the game. Dubcnn recently hooked up with San Quinn to talk about his entrepreneurial spirit and how he is using hip hop to benefit his community. Quinn does more than just cut a check to show his support. He has a program that helps the youth get to college. Commendable? Yes. Donít get it twisted though as San Quinn is still as busy as ever with the music as he is prepping for the release of the new GLP project and his own solo as well.

If you havenít heard the ďSan Franciso AnthemĒ track then you better hit up YouTube and check the video. Game Recognize Game and San Quinn is the genuine article. Enjoy.

As ever, you can read this exclusive interview below and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to
Javon Adams.

Interview was done in August 2008

Questions Asked By: Javon Adams

San Quinn Interview Audio: Listen Here

San Quinn Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout: Listen Here


Dubcnn: For those that arenít up on San Quinn can you give them a short description of who you are, where youíre from and what makes San Quinn have so much staying power in the independent game.

Well Iím a Bay Area rapper. Some would call me along the lines of, they say a living legend. Iíve been doing it for 15 years in the Bay Area but independently without calling myself a legend. Iíve just been rapping since I was 15 years old. Iíve put out 8 solo albums. Iíve sold over 250,000 units myself with San Quinn records along with collaborations like Messy Marv and San Quinn, San Quinn & Black and Brown Entertainment and Iím here in 2008, still pushing

Dubcnn: Gotcha. As you mentioned youíve released quite a few projects independently and I know youíve had some exposure to a major label in í96 with ďThe Hustle ContinuesĒ project. What did you take away from that experience and do you ever envision a situation where you might go back to a major label situation?

I think about that situation every day because I would be a lie to say that I didnít want to succeed at a major label correctly. Master P succeeded and we didnítÖwe were on the other side of the coin and quote unquote failed and had to remain independent that sh*t hurt. But Iím rapping with that chip on my shoulder. I still want national and international stardom but now itís going to have to be on another financial level because I couldnít go back to being a 10% artist who couldnít have my skateboard and couldnít have the energy drinks in the record stores and all the sh*t that I got while rapping, you feel me?

Dubcnn: Yeah. I want to talk a little bit about that business savvy that you just mentioned. I unearthed an article from a couple of years ago that said you were going to challenge yourself to become a better businessman. How are you progressing in terms of being a businessman?

I can honestly say that I am doing better. And I can always get sharper and be more punctual but I am definitely making moves and everything has a sense of urgency behind it. Like I didnít even mean to put off your interview for however many minutes, you did what Iím saying? But everything must be taken care of because I am a new artist whether I am old or newÖIím new like Ďn*gga you could fall offí like one of these new n*ggas, you dig? Or you could fall off like one of these old n*ggas.

But maintaining the status of being relevant is the main thing that Iíve been doing. Through my business the sense of urgency is what makes me relevant and because Iím knocking it out when I show up.

Dubcnn: Weíre definitely going to get into some music things but what business ventures do you have outside of music right now?

Right now I have the San Quinn skateboard jumping off. The company that Iím working with has stores in Japan and in San Francisco. They might have another store somewhere else in the world because thatís just how their rocking but they are based out of San Francisco. My partner Kent had the store for 20 years and hip hop and skating kinda go hand in hand especially with Frisco being diverse. I might live next door to my white partner who rides skateboards but we selling crack or playing basketball and going to church and thatís just how Frisco is.

Being that I had friends already in the skateboard world, ex-taggers an sh*t it wasnít hard for Kent to say, ĎWe should do a deck with you.í And Iíve never had anything against kids and skating because Iím more against kids carrying guns and trying to slay each other. So whether they call it Ďsquareí or Ďwhiteí there are millionaires being made off of skateboarding, ya dig what Iím saying? Black, white and Latino so it was cool. So, I have the skateboard going on and Iíve sold 2000 Ė 3000 decks at $50 a piece. We split the profit, me and the company .

I also have a Hip Hop Fight Federation that I am trying to get going. You know how they have the Iron Ring? Iím trying to get that going for the West Coast with my partner James Gordon. And something that he has going that I am a part of is called June Bay Prep where we are helping young people who are less fortunate. No color barriers but preferably Black and Latino because we are lacking in schooling and college. We arenít going at an alarming rate. So with June Bay Prep Iím going to send kids to college, bottom line.

Dubcnn: Nice

And Iím going to help them with housing but you gotta qualify because Iím not sending a jackass to school. June Bay in Swahili means ďTo Pass The TorchĒ.

Dubcnn: Nice. And that leads me into what I was going to ask you next. In that same article you saidÖessentially you seem to be very community minded and you were talking about the possibility of talking to the Mayor (of San Francisco) about how Hip Hop can have a positive effect on the community. So what other types of things are you doingÖobviously what you are doing with the school is huge but is there anything else that you are doing in terms of the community?

Well I just shot this video for my song ĎSan Franciscoí we have this album coming out before my solo drops and its called ďAll City Four-One-FivaĒ. Itís a group with me Big Rich and Boo Bang and the rest of the rappers in San Francisco. Itís not a compilationÖpeople try to pass it off as a compilation but itís really a union among San Francisco rappers. Nothing against anybody from anywhere else. So thatís one thing I have going on. We just spent a nice amount of money and shot a good video for the ďSan Francisco AnthemĒ song and weíve been getting a little play on MTV Jams and itís on Youtube. Iím showing that Black people do exist in San Francisco. I had people around each other that wanted to kill each other, and they still do but for the sake of the video and the movement to have Black people and Latino people recognized in San Francisco we were able to do that video.

Heís going to have to recognize me. Gavin Newsome (San Francisco Mayor) can go around meÖthey have still been giving me problems. They say I have a hit out on me or that I did a mob hit because one of my good friends was at a party and was killed at my party at The Independent. He was in the Witness Protection Program and I didnít know that but their trying to act like I knew that. I hate to hear that the friend I grew up with was in the Witness Protection Program but I donít have anything I can tell them so why would I allow a hit to happen? And the dude that did the hit is dead and they are still pressing the issue on me. Somebody gets shot at a club and they want to bring up San Quinn or say I was there. Just all the bullsh*t.

And with the positive moves that Iím making and the things that I am doing and how powerful hip hop is economically in New York and in AtlantaÖand these people say that they need money for their city and they have potholes and sh*t, how could they not tap into me? It would really open up the economic doors for hip hop in San Francisco instead of trying to go around them. They know that we make enough money to be richer than Gavin Newsome in four or five years, you hear what Iím sayiní?

Dubcnn: So transitioning a little bit, what is the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you?

To believe in God and have faith in God. Think positive. Talk positive. I got a mouth that speaks what my heart is filled with, right? And Iím a good man and I bring a good treasure and thatís what I want to be around. Thatís it. Somebody just told me to stay at it and stay thanking God and stay positive.

Dubcnn: What is your greatest strength and tell me why

My greatest strength is that I am really into music. Iím really into not having a weak verse on an album. Feel what Iím sayiní?

Dubcnn: So consistency pretty much

Thatís it, thatís it. Iím not going to be the reason why my team lost. Let it be somebody else. At least not on the rap tip. And once again I say as I try to elevate myself on the business level where my business is going to be together I Ďm not going to be the reason that my team loses.

Dubcnn: So speaking of the music tip, tell us about your upcoming projects. When can we expect this and when is it dropping? Give us a little heads up on whatís going on.

The ĎAll City Four-One-Fivaí is out on August 20th. Thatís the group album the brand new GLP album if anybody is familiar with that. Itís me, Big Rich and Boo Banga, Kelly Mac, Tha Gamblaz and a multitude of others. I donít like to accidentally leave people out. Sef the Gaffla and Lilí Quinn and a bunch of people. Thatís coming out August 20th.

Then we have my brand new solo album, ďFrom A Boy To A ManĒ coming out September 26th through SMC/Universal. Weíre gonna have a good year. Weíre gonna rock.

Dubcnn: Nice. Lilí Quinn is your son, right?

Yeah, my son Lilí Quinn. His video is up right now on myspace and Zaki is my son thatís his brother. But Lilí Quinnís video is up right now on myspace. Children are the future and we are trying to take him to another level with it.

Dubcnn: Is it hardÖI mean Iím sure your son got the desire from his father so is it hard to see your son go through things? Does he ever get discouraged and you have to keep his confidence up? How does that work?

He just wonders why certain sh*t ainít a certain way. He asks, ĎWhy you ainít on TV?í You know, all the things that a kid is going to ask. I explain to him about some of the mishaps. Like how I was a teenage father with him and I was doing all that at 19 years old since I been with his mother and we are still together. So raising a family, thatís sacrifice in itself. So, first of all I tell him to keep his weeny in his pants, you know, as long he can. Also ĎBusiness is Businessí because you donít get lucky, youíre prepared when your time comes. Iím just preparing him.

Dubcnn: Any last words for dubcnn? Let them know how they can stay up on what youíve got. Your myspace page, etc the floor is yours.

You can look up San Quinn on MySpace and google me: San Quinn. And if you want to Youtube me. S-a-n-q-u-i-n-n. Also, if you want to buy some of my sh*t *laughs* go to Ingrooves or go to any store on the shelf in the rap section and there should be some San Quinn



San Quinn Interview Audio: Listen Here

San Quinn Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout: Listen Here

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