SAN QUINN (September 2008) | Interview By:
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
As ever, you can read this exclusive interview below and we urge you to leave
feedback on our forums or email them to
Interview was done in August 2008
San Quinn Interview Audio:
San Quinn Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout:
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,
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
San Quinn Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout: