SIR JINX (PART 1)
2008) | Interview By:
Today, Dubcnn sits down with the
“Game Warden”, the infamous Sir Jinx! Known as a producer on more than a few
classic albums like “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” and “Death Certificate” for Ice
Cube, the “40 Dayz & 40 Nightz” album for Xzibit, as well as being the cousin
of that other well-known west coast producer known as Dr. Dre, Sir Jinx
commands the respect of both the old school and new school heads. In Part 1 of
this exclusive interview, we talk about the obvious subject of Ice Cube, his
relationship with Xzibit, the direction that west coast rap is heading and
much, much more!
Interview was done by phone in May 2008
Questions Asked By:
Sir Jinx Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Dubcnn: Yo, Jinx, what’s up wit’ it , man?
What’s going on? Let’s do it!
Dubcnn: I know you get asked a lot about working with Ice Cube, and being
Dre’s cousin so…
It’s all good, but everybody has their own opinions and questions about it.
It’s like somebody asking about 9/11; everybody got their own questions about
the same thing. I don’t mind it ‘cause there are definitely people who want to
know about it, so I don’t mind; I’m not really geeked on it. I’m not offended
like some people saying, “oh there’s more going on in my life”! Pretty much,
the two people I worked with ended up being the top of the food-chain.
Dubcnn: Well, summarize, then, how you and Ice Cube got connected.
It goes real far back. We lived on the same block, and we was basically around
the same age. We wasn’t really real good friends in the neighborhood, but we
turned out to be into the same thing. He was into sports, and I was into
break-dancing and hip-hop, which he ended up getting interested in as well.
Come to find out, I lived down the street and I had turntables, a mixer and
stuff like that. That’s pretty much how we hooked up.
Dubcnn: Are you and Cube still in contact?
Dubcnn: So you being on the “Raw Footage” album isn’t something that we can
look forward to?
I’m open. What me and him have behind closed doors is a little different, but
I would love to see us work together; the whole world wants to see it! Some of
the material that he went in a few different directions, you know, that’s on
him, he’s his own artist. I would love to work with him, but we ain’t talked
about it. The last thing we talked about was the Westside Connection, and that
shit hit the ground like a fucking egg!
Dubcnn: Cube seems to have stepped it up pretty good with his
“reality/political-rap” style over that last year or so with songs like “Why
We Thugs”, “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It”, and “It Takes A Nation” leading the
surge. What do you make of that?
Well, you know how it goes with MC’s, they pretty much write their own
stories, but sometimes they get help. He gives the consumer what they want to
hear. When you’re in the light that he’s in and doing the movies that he’s
done and doing, it’s like one hand watches the other. If he was on some real
super-gangsta shit it probably wouldn’t be a good thing, you know, with the
movies and stuff. We’re getting older, so to impress the crowd for doing
something that you never did before, rather than doing what you would want a
kid to do in the future is different. I think he’s more geeked into that he
has kids, his kids are older, and at the point of him going back, he has a
choice. A lot of MC’s didn’t even want that choice in the beginning so they
chose to do other things.
He chose to do those types of issues, and then he did some gangsta issues. So
he was around artists who can be gangsta’s, but can’t be political. He was one
of the artists that was able to be gangsta AND political, to where he has a
choice now. Just like Prince, where he does all kinds of music, but in the end
result you get a choice out of that type of artist. Like, “What is he going to
talk about now”? That’s the best thing to where some artists come out and, not
to call out Beanie Sigel, but Beanie ain’t going to say no positive shit on
his record. You’re not going to go for that, or look to his record for that. I
like Beanie, but I know that if you’re looking for some ‘keep ya head up,
brother; society is on our back’, you’re not going to hear that from him. At
the same time, you won’t hear no ‘dope-dealing, on the block, selling pure
cocaine’ from Ice Cube.
Dubcnn: Do you have a favorite, song or project that you worked on with
Nah, not really. It’s so far away, it’s like saying which one of your
childhood drawings is good to you. I mean, it’s cool, but there’s been other
things that I’ve done that I think are real dope, but didn’t get the
advertisement that the Ice Cube project got or the Yo-Yo project got. Some of
the projects that I really like are one’s you’ve never heard because of how
they were made, rather than how they came out.
But a lot of that stuff with Cube, I really wish we could go back in and
remaster that stuff, and do it in a time of now because that era is over. We
definitely need to bring that music into the digital form. I might like that
music a little more, due to the fact that that music is not clear. The Xzibit
music is more clear because technology was more advanced later when I started
working with Xzibit.
Dubcnn: What are some of the projects we might not have heard?
I did a song with Isaac Hayes that I like. It’s not the fact that I like the
song, but I like how the song was prepared, how it happened, and what I
learned out of it. It’s not just a song, it’s like when you meet a girl: you
get her, you have sex with her, and you bust. The bust is the song, but
meeting her, hanging out with her, and all of that changes the bust, you know
what I mean? So all the songs is good, but sometimes the preparations, like
with me and G. Rap; Warner Bros. paid for us to have a room at this real
expensive hotel for 3 months, and I live out here! So that was a good thing.
He was a different type of artist to where I deal with Xzibit and we went all
over. We travelled to work on his album, so his record and the songs that I
did mean more to me than it just being a song, or being in the studio. They
all mean something to me, but none of them are better; the era’s are
Dubcnn: How did you hooking up with Xzibit come about?
Well, the situation with me and Xzibit turned out to be what me and Cube
should have been.
Dubcnn: How so?
When I get into the studio with Xzibit, it’s just like going into the
studio with Cube because, you know, Xzibit can’t boss me down. I have sold
records! So, with that little bit of respect we have a good relationship. If I
probably didn’t sell no records, he wouldn’t have no reason to fuck with me.
But he comes and fucks with me, and I try to oblige with whatever he needs in
the mysic industry in trying to make it happen for him. That’s the kind of
producer I am. That’s why I can’t go out and work with just anybody because
they’ll kill the messenger, if you just fuck with anybody in rap music.
I watch who I deal with, and Xzibit is definitely not like the guys out here
on the west coast. I mean, he is like that, but in business terms he doesn’t
have “homie guilt”. He wasn’t raised in California for him to have that guilt,
to where a lot of us from out here got guilt. Xzibit can keep going, and
that’s why he went further than King T; that’s why Xzibit went further than
the Alkoholiks because he wasn’t holding on to old luggage. That’s what west
coast people do, we hold on to old luggage. We’re too loyal for our kind, and
once we bring our hood or our homies in they’re not going to sell no records.
Xzibit was a first-round draft pick. They picked him and he’s still selling!
He’s still doing what he’s supposed to do because of him not being from Los
Dubcnn: To expand on those thoughts, in your eyes, what’s the state of west
coast hip-hop and where is it going?
Once the west coast realizes that hip-hop is its own vehicle, and not a
vehicle for gang-banging, not a vehicle for ho-ing, not a vehicle for pimping,
but a vehicle for itself. Once the west coast stops relying on those elements
to sell records then we will sell music. The west coast can’t sell 2 things at
once, you have to sell one, and that’s good music, rather than trying to
implement gang-banging and all that to sell records. 2Pac didn’t say he was a
gangsta to sell records, his views made him sell records. A lot of people
assume they were on the same vibe as 2Pac, but they’re not because they don’t
feel it the same way. They probably went through more shit than he had, but
they don’t feel it the same way. When somebody feels it more they’ll make more
music out of it. That’s what he did. A lot of n-ggaz don’t feel it like that,
they feel like they can just get on block and say that they’re realer than Ice
Cube, and say that rap and think it’s convincing, but the consumer doesn’t
think it’s convincing. So, in order for west coast rap to sell music we got to
go back to what it takes to sell records, not put your business card on every
Dubcnn: They say Dr. Dre don’t reach back and help the west, but what…what
am I trying to say here? I mean….
I know exactly what you’re saying. With Dre we just need to re-invent the
wheel, and sometimes people don’t want to do that because it takes too much.
But that’s Dre’s procedure in looking for artists. There’s a whole bunch of
other people that might have a different procedure dealing with the music
industry. Dr. Dre and that empire has been going on for the past 20 years. For
somebody to come in and think that they’re going to change that, there’s just
a difference. We got to go through the same thing that he went through.
Somebody say they want to change the game, ok, give me the same superman
outfit. Don’t ask me that same question without a lawyer; without an
accountant; without a publicist; with out some money! He had all of those to
start that. So, you can’t break that until somebody else has that to offer to
an artist that’s trying to raise his daughter. We need another investor and
that type of empire. You can’t make no Kobe over night. Dr. Dre is a Kobe.
That whole environment is. Most athletes can’t even talk to Kobe; they don’t
even get along with him. Why? Because he’s different! And he’s better! Duh!
I don’t get along with people good. That’s what people say. Why? Because I’m
passionate about my craft. I don’t try to make a person not kick me out
because my beat’s not good. Kick me out ‘cause my beat’s not good! That’s how
I want to be treated. I don’t want to be treated like, “aw, you my homeboy”.
And just ‘cause he’s my homeboy I can go fuck some bitches and not work on no
tracks, so tomorrow when I have to deliver this song it’s garbage. I don’t
think like that! That’s why I’m still around, and why we’re on the phone right
Dubcnn: Where’s it going to be 5, 10 years down the road?
Rap music is a job now. At first it was a hobby, now it’s a job. Everything in
the world is made into hip-hop. It’s going to take some of these rappers that
fell on their face to come in, turn around, and be more like counsellors. Like
when Rambis came back! When Rambis went out, and then he came back to the
league and started doing consultations to new basketball players, that’s where
music is going to have to go. People from like time ago like Yo-Yo and Special
Ed are going to have to prepare new people for the industry. That’s where
people in the old school, if we want to call them that, will be able to get a
job. The new school don’t understand rap. They’re just thinking rhymes, but
they don’t know what part of life it plays. It’s not made to be a tool for
dope-dealing. When you listen to Melle Mel and all them dudes, they wasn’t on
the aspect of being the drug dealer, but rather they were on the aspect of
telling you the problem. But a lot of people are telling you they’re the
Music is going to change when people from my era, like Stetsasonic, Masters of
Ceremony, Grand Puba, are going to have to tell the new crowd that you won’t
win a talent show like we were taught a long time ago, when you get up there
saying “fuck”, “bitch” and all that. You won’t win a talent show. You’ll win a
talent show by saying, “We gonna rock non-stop to reach the top/and all the
sucker MC’s in the show will drop!” You can’t get up there like, “fuck my
momma/she’a ho”. That’s not what rap music is about. Rap music is a upliftment
to give you a youthful spirit like the drums of Africa! That’s where rap comes
from! We use it to tell a story, but just because you tell a story doesn’t
mean you’re a good storyteller.
Stay tuned for
Part 2 of this exclusive interview with Sir Jinx.
Sir Jinx Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That