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interview SPICE 1  (May 2009) | Interview By: Javon Adams

   Sometimes the word legendary is thrown around to frivolously and used prematurely with artists that have yet to make a lasting impression on their art form. That is not the case with Spice One. In an exclusive interview with Dubcnn and The Pulse radio show in Phoenix, AZ (www.pulsehiphop.net) Javon had the pleasure of conversing with a true Hip Hop legend.

Peep game as Spice One aka Marvin Bay talks about his new album Home Street Home and his new label Thug World Music Group. Spice talks about the preparing to step his game up on the entrepreneurial side with his label and is adamant about being the voice that heads turn to in these trying economic times.

Oh, and Spice wants to put shady business folks on blast for buying old Spice One verses, putting them over sub par production and passing them off as official Spice One releases. So donít get it twisted, the shooting of over a year ago only strengthened his resolve. Spice One is here to stay and thatís whatís up.

As always you can contact javon@dubcnn.com with comments. Enjoy.

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Interview was done in April 2009

Questions Asked By: Javon Adams
 
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Dubcnn Exclusive Ė Spice 1
By: Javon Adams
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Dubcnn: Alright, Iím sitting hereÖDubcnn.com and The Pulse exclusive with the one and only legendary Spice One. How are you today man?

Spice 1:
Iím good man. Just running this thug world sh*t and pushing this label. Getting ready to drop this hot ass album called Home Street Home and you gotta love that.


Dubcnn: Yeah, and weíre definitely going to get into that. Weíre going to talk about the album and your label. But one of the first questions I wanted to ask you was this. When I mentioned to my crew that I was going to be choppiní it up with Spice One I could here the excitement in their voices. Youíre a legend in the game and do you ever stop to think about the mark that you have left and are continuing to leave on Hip Hop?

Spice 1:
I feel that my job ainít even done yet because I have a lot more in store. As far as my fans, if they think theyíve seen something then just tell Ďem that they ainít seen nothing yet. I have a whole lot more in store for they ass.


Dubcnn: Ok. I hear you. Weíre going to get into the things that people can expect. Being a legend comes with the perception that the bank account is full of zeroes. Has the game been good to you financially? Have you been wise with your money? How has the game treated you on a financial level?

Spice 1:
As far asÖwell, Iím not disappointed. When I first started off in this game it wasnít even about money to me. It was about being an artist and getting my respect. Thatís when it was called the Rap Game. Now itís called the Rap Business. So with all of that said, Iím satisfied to the point that Iím ready to make some grown man money. I was making little boy money at first and now itís time to make some grown man money as CEO of Thug World Music Group. Iím running my own label.


Dubcnn: Gotcha. Youíre a perfect example of underground success. Youíve had three albums go gold with no radio play. Except I do remember when Trigga Gots No Heart was getting some radio play. Youíre an example of perseverance. They always say stay in your lane and you have done that to a great extent.

I remember buying your first album and loving your flow with songs like 187 Proof and the production and all of that. The game is so watered down now with people trying to emulate lyrics from artists such as you, Pac and the list goes on and on. How do you define success when you put a project out in todayís music environment?

Spice 1:
I go with the first rule of the game which is to be original and be yourself. That will always separate me from the other artists that are out there because I know that being an O.G. nobody can be me like me. Itís all about being original and thatís what makes my music come out that way and these cats canít copy or imitate. And if they do then they sound stupid.


Dubcnn: I hear you. You talked about Thug World Music Group. Thatís your label. So your Home Street Home will be released on your label, right?

Spice 1:
Yeah.


Dubcnn: So, you love music and I imagine that you donít want to rap forever. It seems that when successful artists become the check writers that some of them donít have a good plan or exit plan. Are you going to be introducing new artists? Do you have an exit plan for yourself to slowly over the next few years take on that executive role so that you can groom the artists on your label? Whatís your plan for Thug World Music Group?

Spice 1:
Definitely, thatís the plan to find some more talented artists. Some muhf*ckaís be signing people because thatís their homeboy and just put them on their label. Iím going to find some talented artists that people are going to love and that can entertain my audience as well as their own.

As far as the direction for Thug World as a label, we plan on breaking into movies and doing videos. We are going to expand the business as far as it will expand. Even if we have to have gas stations and liquor stores. Weíre just trying to expand the label as far as possible but I plan on getting more into the movie side and doing Thug World Movies. Thatís basically the direction of the company and with Universal Bungalow behind us Iím pretty sure we can push some nice movies and drop some nice soundtracks to blow up these artists.


Dubcnn: Ok. You touched on something that I think is kinda cool. With the way you see different artists trying to embody that entrepreneurial spirit they donít put all of their eggs in the music basket. They do gas stations and all kinds of different things. So that is an eventual part of your plan? Youíre looking to branch out that way too?

Spice 1:
Definitely. Thatís why we call it Thug World. A thug is going toÖwe carrying on the legacy of my homie Pac and the sh*t that we started back in the 90ís. We keepiní the sh*t real. A thug is a hustler so as far as me being a thug and this being Thug World weíre going to show everybody what a thug is really about. Weíre going to have everything like I said gas stations, liquor stores and weíre going to hustle to show them what a thug is really about.


Dubcnn: I hear you. What can people expect from Home Street Home?

Spice 1:
Well, from Home Street Home they can expectÖall my fans, however they expected me to come back and how they wanted me to come back...thatís how Iím coming back. Like, ďWe knew this ni**a was going to come back like this we just didnít know when.Ē

Now Iím finna hit they ass with it. I came out of the flames and went through the fire and out of the ashes. From being fresh out of the hospital with a bullet in my neck and went straight into the studio and recorded some hot sh*t with a gang of stories and real life situation about how sh*t was really going on. You know Iím gangsta rap President Spice Obama #1! Thatís my whole campaign right there. So they can expect the game to come back. You can expect Spice One to bring the real sh*t back into the game.

Marvin Bay, you know what Iím sayiní? Like Marvin Gaye but Iím Marvin Bay. I spit real sh*t like Marvin Gaye but Iím Marvin Bay. So thatís what they can expect from Spice One. Like a Hip Hop Marvin Gaye.


Dubcnn: You rep the BayÖI used to live in the Bay for about six years in San JoseÖand youíve always represented to the fullest. My question is, sometimes when artists come out with a record like your self titled debut, 187 He Wrote and Amerikkaís Nightmare and othersÖdo you have fans come up to you and say, ĎYou gotta give me 187 He Wrote! You gotta give me the 1st Spice One!Ē. If so, do you feel conflicted? Because as you get older you mature and you have different experiences and youíve been different places. Do you ever struggle with giving the fans what they want as opposed to what you want to give them because of your experiences?

Spice 1:
I do sometimes but its to the point now that I know what my fans are going to expect and when they say they want to hear 187 Proof or Welcome to the Ghetto and all of that sh*tÖmy new album is kinda structured the same way but itís a 2010 version of Spice One. Itís the same Spice One but itís 2010 now. So theyíll still get that when they buy my new album. Theyíll still get a Welcome to the Ghetto and a 187 Proof and an In My Neighborhood. They will get a Trigga Gots No Heart but itís a 2010 version of those same songs with a new type of beat and new sh*t kickiní or whatever. It will be exactly what theyíve been lookiní for.

Thereís been some independent albums that my fans have been buyingÖthis is what I want to say. If my fans have been buying all those independent albums that Iíve put out please donít that that those are my new album. Thatís my old sh*t. If it doesnít have a Thug World logo on it then that is not my sh*t! That means that those songs are maybe ten years old and they are buying some old ass Spice One sh*t. Let my fans know that. The only way they are going to get some new Spice One sh*t is if that Thug World logo is on the back of it.


Dubcnn: Ok. Now I want to touch on that. But I gotta break from script for just a secondÖyou talked about Welcome to the Ghetto. I remember being in high school and I had purchased the album and I was in class. I had an opportunity to do a presentation in class so I used Welcome to the Ghetto as my backdrop for the speech that I gave. I think it was in economics class and I was talking about the difference between the middle class and those that have to really struggle to make it. I used that as my backdrop and I introduced lots of white folks to Spice One at that time. You kind of brought be back to that moment when you mentioned the song, dog.

But you talked about the people buying things that donít have the Thug World logo on it. How oftenÖI know that artists record verses and sell them for $1,000 here or go through a two or three day period where they drop as many verses as possible. I have friends that do music and they might say to me that they came across somebody who wanted to sell them a verse from some emcee. How do you combat that when you have people that are trying to get a verse from you and they turn around and slang it for two times what its worth. How do you combat that?

Spice 1:
It happens a lot and its killing us as artists. They do that and they donít really realize what they are doing to the artist when they do that. If they really had any love for the artist then they wouldnít do that. Like I said, there are some albums in the store right now that were done the same way where people just took verses that I did a long time ago. They sold them to this person that sold them to that person and that person gets a hold of my verses that he bought from 20 different cats around the United States. Then he puts them on an album and finds an old picture of me and puts it on the album and tries to sell it and then waits for my lawyers to come at him. But by the time my lawyers come at him its too late because heís already made the money. And my fans have bought some wack ass old ass album thinking that itís Spice Oneís new sh*t when itís not.

That sh*t hurts the artist a lot. When they can hear what Iím doing right now as an artist in 2010 and 2009 Ölike the song I got about my daughter. When I got shot and almost died on that stretcher I dedicated my life to this album and it shouldnít be so easy to get to. People shouldnít be stealing music like that because music is the soundtrack to my life, you know what Iím sayiní?

When I was on that stretcher and the doctor asked me if I wanted to live or die I thought about my daughters and said I needed to write a song to them on my new album. That was some real sh*t to me. Because I put my life and my real life experiences on my album. And what theyíre doing is a way of robbing me and robbing the people and everybody else of real sh*t when they go buy some old ass album that somebody put out and expect it to be my new sh*t.

They can just sit back and wait for Spice One to drop a new album of some real sh*t when he gets a deal from these cats like I just did. So now Iím about to drop some new hot sh*t, you know what Iím sayiní?


Dubcnn: Gotcha. You touched upon your near death experience. Sometimes life imitates art and vice versa so when you were going through that and your recovery did you ever think of making a career change? I know the shooting wasnít involved with your music but did you ever think that it was time for you to do something else or that it was time to get away from here? Or just time to make a change? Did it ever cross your mind?

Spice 1:
Definitely. Positive things like that cross my mind anytime bad things happen like that. But itís hard because IÖI catch all of these gun cases as a youngsta and I get a little olderÖI drop the guns and I quit trippiní and cockiní the pistol and popping it in the air. I quit doing all of that sh*t and the moment I quit doing it I get shot. So, itís hard for me to think positive when sh*t like that happens.

Like I said, I have my kids to worry about. My two daughters and I calmed my nerves and I wrote a song to them. Its fu*ked up. That was some random sh*t that happened. It would be different if I dropped the pistols and I knew that I had problems with ni**as and I got shotÖbut I dropped the pistols and I didnít have problems with anybody. I was just an innocent muhf*cka sitting in my car and I got shot. So its hard for me to think positive on that note. Every time somebody gets shotÖif you ask anybody what they wanted to do after they got shot, most of the time they say that they want to go shoot a motherfu**a. Because it makes you want to get up and go shoot somebody else. I see how that sh*t can happen but I have God on my side and I was blessed with a talent. There arenít too many mothafu**as that can rap like me. I know that I was blessed with that talent and thatís what keeps me positive. My spiritual side of my life is the only thing that keeps me positive because if it wasnít for God and me being spiritual about that sh*t, Iíd beÖand my daughters keep me positive too. But if it wasnít for that, Iíd be out here acting a damn fool, you know what Iím sayiní?


Dubcnn: You mentioned just a second ago that no one can rap like you and I agree with that. So how has the economy affected your ability to get out and perform in front of those people so you can show them that nobody can do it like Spice One? Are you able to get out and do shows? I know thatís how an artist makes the lion share of their money. So how has the economy affected you or has it affected you at all?

Spice 1:
Well, right now people are lookingÖlike I say, my name is Marvin Bay. Iím Spice One, Gangsta Rap President Obama One. Marvin Bay though. Thatís where the Marvin part comes in because we are having hard times right now. Weíre in a recession. Sh*tís broke and it ainít right. Sh*t ainít going right for nobody. The tax returns ainít coming in right and all kinds of bullsh*t is going on. These are the days and times back in the day where Marvin Gayeís musicÖeverybody wanted to listen to his sh*t back then because he was talking about some real sh*t.

Well now in 2010 Iím Marvin Bay and Iím about to drop the same type of sh*t that Marvin Gaye would have dropped back then in that recession that Iím about to drop in this recession. My fans will pay just to get that real music feeling in them. It will ease their mind and calm them down and help them get through life situations that they go through. Thatís what type of music that the people should be looking for today. At least thatís what I would think.

Like I said, weíre in a recession and mothafu*kaís aint trying to hear nobody on their album talking about how rich they are and how much money they got in the middle of a fu*@ing recession! Who the hell wants to hear that? I donít want to put in a cd and listen to this ni**a talk about how much millions heís got and Iím sitting over here broke as fu*k in the middle of a recession. Thatís not coinciding with what Iím going through in life. My music right now is going to connect with the people of the world in the middle of this recession.


Dubcnn: I hear you. Any last words for dubcnn.com and The Pulse?

Spice 1:
They can hit me on www.myspace.com/spiceone. I have a few websites they can get at me on and I will be dropping the album pretty soon. Listen for me on the radio and in these magazines. Like I said before, tell them to disregard all of them fake ass albums. Any album that they go buy in the store, if it doesnít have the Thug World logo on it then donít buy it. If it doesnít say Home Street Home then its not my new sh*t.


 


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