2008) | Interview By: Jonathan Hay
say Seven is a lucky number. However, growing up on the east side of
Torrance, California, life seems to falls more under the category of
inauspicious; the streets ring with an unpromising fate. But, I guess when
you’ve escaped death a few times -- once after having your car shot up and
catching two bullets yourself -- you can consider yourself a pretty lucky
man. And to dub yourself “Seven” would seem like an appropriate thing to do.
The west coast rapper, Seven, has peeled himself away from the wreckage of
ill-fated fortune and flooded the streets with a resounding buzz from his
mixtapes and promo single “The End Of Summer”, featuring G-Unit’s Spider Loc
and L.V. (yes, from Gangster’s Paradise).
Dubcnn catches up with Seven for this exclusive interview, in which he talks
about his past, present and the future of his upcoming release, F.A.M.E (Hellafyde/Fontana/Universal
Interview was done in September 2008
Questions Asked By: Jonathan Hay
Seven Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to:
A Dubcnn Exclusive
By Jonathan Hay
Dubcnn: What currently going on in the world of Seven?
I’m currently working on a new mixtape titled El Patron and production wise,
I’m currently working on some tracks for L.A. Nash’s new album. And I just
recently did some tracks for Jayo Felony. I’m also getting ready for the
release of my album F.A.M.E [Fontana Distribution/Universal Music Group].
Dubcnn: F.A.M.E is an acronym for what?
F.A.M.E stands for “F*ck All My Enemies.”
Dubcnn: Any major collaborations or features on F.A.M.E?
I got a few features on it. I got James DeBarge, Spider Loc of G Unit, L.V.,
and my boy L.A. Nash. From the Hellafyde Camp, I got my new artist Redwood
and the OG ALT the saint.
Dubcnn: How did you get hooked up with James DeBarge, from the famed 80’s/Motown
R&B group, DeBarge?
Actually, it was pure luck, I could say. One of my boys I do music with used
to work off of Crenshaw at some printing place, next door to a music store.
One day he walked in there and played some of our music to the storeowner to
get his opinion. There was a guy in there that liked the beats that he
heard. When my boy walked out, the guy approached him and asked him who had
done the production for him. He said, “my boy Seven, why you ask?” [The Guy]
then said he was friends with the James DeBarge, and that he was currently
working on a solo project, and he was looking for new music. We ended up
booking a session later that week with James and his friend, [and] after he
heard my production, it was a wrap. We’ve been good friends ever since.
Dubcnn: How did you hook up with Spider Loc for your album?
Spider Loc is a really cool cat. I actually met him a while back when he was
still at Death Row. I was there producing for one of my boys, who was on
development with the label at the time, and he was working on his album. I
believe he is one of the best out here on the west; I just think sometimes
he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. That man grinds and stays on the
streets pushing his name. The game comes full circle; the west coast will be
back on top soon -- we’ll all get the shine we’ve been searching for!
Dubcnn: Now when you said you have collaboration with L.V. are you referring
to L.V. the singer from the Billboard Chart Topping single, Gangsta’s
Paradise? Tell us about that…
That’s right L.V. [from] “Gangsta’s Paradise”. Actually, one of my close
friends knows him from back in the days when he was singing with the
legendary Def Jam recording artists, South Central Cartel. I have always
been a fan of his music. “Throw Your Hands Up” is a west coast classic; so
it was an honor to have him sing on one of my songs.
Dubcnn: Where does the name “Seven” come from? Are you a superstitious
Seven is a name I picked up back when I was in school. Back then, everyone
kind of had their own little crews and nicknames. I picked Seven ‘cause it
has always been my lucky number, and my favorite car is a ‘57 Chevy
convertible, hence the ‘seven’. About being superstitious, I guess you could
say I’m a little. I really believe that everything happens for a reason. I
believe that if you were meant to do what you want, get what you want, be
who you want, and be with who you want to be with, you will accomplish it
someday, as long as you keep wanting it and reaching for that goal. I
believe nothing is impossible if you try.
Dubcnn: Tell us a little about how you grew up…
I grew up in the city of Torrance, on the eastside -- which is considered to
be the ghetto part of town. For me, it’s simply ‘the hood’. Its streets made
me who I am today. I’m not gonna say I grew up poor ‘cause I’ve always had
food on my plate; but like many other kids, I grew up without my father and
was raised by a single mother. My mother was always at work, so I spent
majority of my time on the streets, chillin’ with the homies, soaking up
game and hustle. I admit I made some bad choices back then, did some bad
things, but it’s all a part of growing up in the hood. Sometimes you really
don’t have a choice but to get in where you fit in, especially when the rest
of your friends are with it…you don’t want to be left out. I started smoking
and drinking at the age of 12. I used to ditch school with my friends to go
to house parties and get faded and scam on girls. By the time I hit high
school, I was the man, rolling drop top low-lows, always had cash in my
pocket, partying every weekend…damn, the hustle was good. At the age of 16,
I joined the Delegation Car Club, which was my past-times, besides hanging
around in the hood, and at 17, I bought my first keyboard. After that, it
was a wrap; I chose my path, left the streets behind and decided that rap
music and cars was gonna be my future.
Dubcnn: Growing up, what type of people did you tend to migrate toward? How
has this influenced your career?
I always find myself hanging around the bad crowd; for some reason I guess
we attract our own kind. All my life I’ve kicked it with nothing but
gang-bangers, thugs and drug dealers. Not that there is anything wrong with
that, all of my best friends are criminals. I’ve never judged a book by its
cover -- I know killers that are some of the nicest people you will ever
meet... Just don’t piss them off. I’ve always rapped about things I’ve had,
have or been through in life. Many of my songs come from things I’ve
witnessed growing up in the streets, and things my friends have done and
been through. The rest is all entertainment.
Dubcnn: When you say to grew up all your life with gang-bangers, have you
had any near-death experiences as a result from gang violence, etc.?
It was tough growing up in the hood. I’ve been lucky enough to escape death
a few times. I came really close to becoming another victim of street
violence when they shot up my SUV, and I took two 45 slugs to the shoulder.
Luckily, at the time the first shots were fired, I was leaning down to get
something from the floor, or else I don’t think I would be here right now
doing this interview. I took that experience as a lesson, and since then I
live everyday like is my last and make the best out of life, no matter what
situation I’m in. Believe it or not, I got shot around 2:30am and by 6 am I
was out of the hospital [and back] at my house making beats. It was then
that became the my purpose in life, and since then I’ve never looked back.
Music has been my forte ever since.
Dubcnn: Everyone has a person who keeps them grounded, like a checks ‘n
balances system. Who is that person for you?
For me it’s my mother. Just to see where she came from and what she has
accomplished in her life makes her my greatest inspiration. She rose from
the worst to being cool; besides, she did a cool job raising me. She keeps
Dubcnn: Is there a favorite lyric, or quote that helps keep you strong?
“Make sure your eyes is on the meal ticket, Get your money mother*cker let's
get rich and we'll kick it.” “All Eyes On Me”, 2Pac
Dubcnn: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
I would probably be just an average guy with a boring 9 to 5, a gang of kids
and a ‘co-parent’ who I would not get along with.
Dubcnn: What inner battles did you have to overcome to get here?
The realization that in order to achieve my dream it would take a lot of
sacrifice and 100% dedication…and that success would not be achieved
Dubcnn: When can we expect your album to drop?
The album F.A.M.E should be dropping January ’09, through Fontana/LRT/Universal
Dubcnn: How did your deal with Fontana/Universal come to fruition?
I got introduced to a Universal rep through a friend at a show. I gave her a
call and told her what I had going. She liked what I had to offer, so we set
up a meeting. Once she heard the music, it was a wrap.
Dubcnn: When will your mixtape El Patron be available?
It should be ready to drop by late October, for sure November. Make sure to
check out Dubcnn for exclusive downloads!
Dubcnn: Best way for people to show their support for your movement?
You can hit me up on MySpace www.myspace.com/siete or www.seven.la or
Dubcnn: Any final thoughts for the West Coast Connection?
I would like to thank Dubcnn and its followers for keeping the west coast
movement alive and breathing, and for giving us artist a chance and place to
be heard. Thanks for the love and support…