(January 2007) | Interview By:
Dubcnn finally tracked down the
illusive Alkaholik Tash for an exclusive interview. We took some time to find
out what he has been up to recently, discussed the last Alkaholiks album
Firewater, the differences recording in other countries rather than vibing in
the studio together has had and whether or not it really is their last group
effort. We also find out the details of Tash's long awaited sophomore solo
release, the follow up to Rap Life, Control Freek which is due out in May.
Topics also included Xzibit, Touring, the DPG project as well as finding out
that there may well be, at last, the Likwit clique album later this year. Read
or listen to all this and more in this exclusive interview.
As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to
check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to:
Interview was done by phone in January 2007
Questions Asked By : Nima
Tash Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Interview In Audio :
Dubcnn: We're right here with Tash
of Tha Alkaholiks on dubcnn.com. How you doing Tash?
All is well my nig, everything's good! What's popping?
Dubcnn: I don't want to beat around the bush man, people have been waiting
for new music, so what's up?
Oh basically man, I was in a situation where, after we dropped the last
Alkaholiks album, I went and got this solo deal with this company, and we
didn't see eye to eye on the music and this and that. But basically man, my
album is done, waiting to drop it, we fixed everything, rectified everything,
the little problems we had the label. You'll be getting new music from Tash
real soon man, like April or May, the album should be dropping.
Dubcnn: Let's talk about the album, "Control Freek", right?
Yes sir! Control freek!
Dubcnn: How did you come up with that title?
When I went through the problems with the label and stuff like that, I really
realized that I have to be in control of my own projects. That's basically my
whole destiny, and I need to have my destiny in my own hands. They tried to
tell me to do all this funnystyle music that I wasn't feeling, so I basically
just called them up and told them that I need to be in control of my project,
cause I can't promote it if I don't even like it myself! My girl was sitting
around me everything and she was calling me a control freak cause I wanna put
my hands on everything, I want to touch on everything that has anything to do
with me, so I guess the title fits. If the shoe fits, rock it with your new
Dubcnn: So what evolution did you go through, between "Rap Life" and this
On "Rap Life" I was talking about subjects, and a couple of punchlines, this
and that, that had to do with the time and everything, but really, this is the
same old Tash! If you felt my music before, then you're really gonna feel this
one. I didn't wanna come with a new sound, I really wanted to do Rap Life part
2! Get the same energy, get what they expect from Tash, cause a lot of people
supported the album, a lot of album felt like it was a good album, so I don't
wanna change nothing. Only thing I really changed is a couple of songs on the
production side, cause instead of going for the dudes with the big names and
spending a bunch of money, I was like "Man let's put some of these younger
cats on that are just as hungry and me." So I put a lot of my young homies on
Dubcnn: So who's producing on there?
We got a bunch of people, we got J. Wells, of course E-Swift, he did like four
tracks on it, we got a dude by the name of Emaculate on there, Rockwilder on
there, and a bunch of my younger cats, my clique Likwit Crew, Twerp & Fingaz
is on there, I got a couple of cats from Norway, Tommy Tee did a beat on my
album, and a dude by the name of Mario, he lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, he
did a couple of songs too. So all over the board with it! It's gonna be coming
out very very shortly, people!
Dubcnn: What about guest appearances?
Really man, I didn't do a lot of guest appearances. Of course I got J-Ro and
E-Swift on there. Matter of fact, I'm going to Atlanta this weekend, trying to
get Ludacris on here, he said he'd do it. I'm doing a song with Ludacris and
Redman on my album, cause I did the Rock The Bells tour with Redman last
month, he said he'd do it no problem. My boy Jon B is on a love song. The only
other cats are gonna be Stylistik Jonez, Osin, a R&B cat names Fameus. Oh yeah
I got the OG too, I got King Tee on there.
Dubcnn: What record label is it dropping on?
Really, I started my own record label called "Take Over Records". I'm still
going through the same distribution company, but the name of the record label
is "Take Over Records", my label, me and a dude named Dave Elliot, shoutout to
Dubcnn: So you said it's dropping in April?
The latest will be May man. We'll probably drop the single and video and
everything first, you know it takes a month or two to set up, we're doing that
Dubcnn: You're a relatively quiet person when it comes to the media, what
have you been doing for the past few years, except for the "Firewater" album
that came out?
Basically man, I've been laying low. When you in the game as long as me, you
have to constantly reinvent yourself. Not saying that I'm straying away from
what I've been doing all these years as far as the music, but for this album,
I wanted to stray away from so much. You know, the Alkaholiks, we talk about
partying, getting fucking up, fuckin' bitches..... can I cuss on here?
Dubcnn: Yeah of course.
Okay, I was kind of holding my tongue for a minute!
Dubcnn: Naw, it's dubcnn, it's uncut.
Aight, well FUCK IT then! *laughs* I'm just playing man! It's all good. But I
just wanted to come with more topics and shit. On "Rap Life", I had love songs
for the ladies, talking about police brutality, people dying around me, Big
Pun passed away and this and that. I want to go kind of that way with it too,
have more self-ness to the music. So I've just been thinking, and investing,
living good. Me and my girl, we got a booking agency and everything, so we get
artists gigs, like Raekwon and Supernatural and some other people, Special Ed
and a bunch of people. But really my main thing is that real estate man! Real
estate is popping out here in Vegas, that's where I'm at now! Buying cribs,
getting money, investing it in my artists and everything on my label,
Stylistik Jones, getting him pressed up and ready to go, so we have a good
'07, you know?
Dubcnn: So you've been doing your business..
Hell yeah, plus on top of that, you know the Alkaholiks we do a million shows
a year, so we've been living on tours man, we just came back from a overseas
tour, Australia, just got back from Czech Republic, all over Europe. You know
J-Ro moved to Sweden, so it makes it kind of hard to set up tours and shit.
Dubcnn: Yeah I was just with him out here a few weeks ago, like a day
before he left to L.A., I think ya'll had a show at the Vault in Long Beach.
Yeah yeah, we just did that!
Dubcnn: Is he still out there?
Nah, I think J-Ro went home yesterday!
Dubcnn: How were the shows?
Off the chain man, that's what we known for, the live performances. The live
shows is what people really check for with the Liks. Cause we ain't gonna be
the type of group that's gonna sell a bunch of records through radio music or
shit like that, so we just basically gotta hit the road man, we're like road
warriors, you know?
Dubcnn: So is "Firewater" definitely the last Alkaholiks album we're going
to see or is there any chance of a reunion album?
I say that we're going to get back together man, cause it's like dope, if you
got that good dope, people want it. So with "Firewater" everybody heard that
it was gonna be our last album, and people was hitting me on the emails and
writers from magazines and shit like that saying "Hip-Hop is all bullshit
right now, we need the Alkaholiks to make another album. We need groups like
that to keep the balance." Cause everybody is talking about the same shit,
guns and dope and shooting muthafuckas and shit.
Dubcnn: Even in the times of the whole East/West shit, and gangsta rap,
ya'll was one of the only groups that came with some straight fun shit.
That's what we was known for though, because we were having a ball when we
were making our albums! I wasn't gonna let nobody bring me down or no shit
like that, I got a lot of friends on the East Coast, I got a lot of friends in
L.A., and a lot of this shit was politics man, like a lot of people in L.A. at
that time felt like they had to diss the East Coast and this and that, and be
involved in this shit just to get known, but that wasn't their heart though.
They didn't really want to do that but the media blew it up so tough and
started misquoting rappers and shit and next thing you know, it was on and
While that shit was going on, me J-Ro and E-Swift we bounced straight to the
East Coast, we did a 23-city tour all down the East Coast to let them know
that we're here, if you got problems, let me know right now, cause we're not
going to stop fucking with ours friends and the fans on the East Coast. But
nobody ain't say nothing, it was all good when we got out there. They couldn't
believe we was out there, cause we were really risking our lives and shit
doing the shit, but it was fun though.
Dubcnn: Are there any artists that you've been collaborating with lately,
Really, I've been concentrating on my artists on the Take Over man, this dude
Osin is incredible as a muthafucka, and then of course I just jumped on Strong
Arm Steady's album with Talib Kweli, so I'm on their album. I just did a song
with Evidence of Dilated Peoples, I did something with Will.I.Am for his
Dubcnn: Oh okay.
Yeah, me and Will.I.Am, we grew up together, we definitely were some of the
first putting this Hip-Hop shit down on the West Coast, Black Eyed Peas
Dubcnn: This year Will made a big transition to me, cause people were
looking at him like a pop artist, but he came back and did Nas shit, Game
shit, Common shit...
Yeah man, one thing about Will.I.Am, that's a talented muthafucka boy. I
didn't even understand him back in the day, when we was coming up and
everything, and they had circles and everything where people be breakdancing,
and back then, he took the breakdancing shit and incorporated his own groove
and moves and dances and shit, and I just thought he was weird as fuck back
then. I was like "man that dude is weird! This dude is off a couple of notches
It took me to really get to know him, cause we used to battle, my crew would
battle his crew. They was dancing, I used to always be the rapper with the
microphone in the clubs while they was doing that. I'd be bagging on the Black
Eyed Peas, calling them the Wack Eyed Peas and shit, you know what I mean?
*laughs* All this type of shit. Then, I really got to know that dude man, and
that dude is talented. All three of them dudes, the Black Eyed Peas are
talented as fuck man, I couldn't believe it, super duper talented man.
Dubcnn: What's up with Xzibit, have you been talking to him?
Yeah I was with Xzibit a couple of nights ago! I had a block party for my
record label and everything, and he came out and supported the shit. The funny
part is that me and Xzibit hadn't talked to a long time, and I kind of bugged
out because... you know, we'd talk real brief and everything, he'd call me, or
I'd call him , for some business, but we never really sat down like the family
we are, like my kid hasn't been around with his kid in years! His son Tray and
my daughter Tiana damn near the same age, so they used to run around together
when they were little kids, but when all the buzz started... I mean I never
had any animosity towards Xzibit period, but then J-Ro made a diss record, and
we kind of disconnected.
But when I saw him the other day, what tripped me out was, somebody said
"That's Xzibit over there he wanna holla at you real quick." I didn't know
what he was going to say I hadn't talked to him a minute, so the first thing I
did was go over there, and this nigga opens the door, jumps out and says "Man
I just want you to know that I fucking love you man, I love you." And he just
kept saying it, "I love you, I love you!" And I was like "Oh shit!" I guess
the only right thing to say in that moment is "I love you too muhfucka!!
*laughs* I was like "I love you too man, now let's go party muthafucka! Let's
do it!" So we went in there and had a good ass time, just like the old days.
Dubcnn: Ya'll should do a Likwit Crew reunion album, with King Tee, Tha
Liks, X, Defari, with features from Strong Arm Steady, Stylistik Jones, Planet
Asia and shit... That would be crazy.
That's what we doing right now, it's funny you said that. They've been saying
that for years, and somebody just told me that King Tee is doing that right
now, he's trying to get Xzibit and everybody back together to do a Likwit Crew
album like everybody wanted to hear over the years but they never did.
Dubcnn: Ya'll need to do that real bad! Get DJ Khalil, E-Swift and a bunch
of dope cats to produce a tight ass record.
Hell yeah. Khalil did a song on my shit, but he don't even know though! I was
at Phil Da Agony's house and shit, and I liked this one beat on Khalil's beat
CD he had given Phil, so I asked Phil for the CD, went straight to the studio
and recorded it off the CD! Khalil don't even know about it! *laughs* But it's
mine now, Jack!
Dubcnn: It's all good, he's gonna get the surprise, if it's hot I'm sure
he's gonna be cool with it!
It's going down!
Dubcnn: What about the Alkaholiks/DPG connection? Is that still alive?
Oh yeah, that's what I'm going to Atlanta for, me and Kurupt started a group
called DNA, Dogg Pound N Alkaholiks.
Dubcnn: That was a long time ago!
That's what I'm saying, but we just now getting back on track. Kurupt was all
over the place, one minute he's with it, the next minute he ain't, the next
minute he's doing this, next thing he's beefing with Snoop, then he's back
with Snoop, you know what I mean? It was too much shit going on at the time.
You heard of a producer called J. Wells?
Dubcnn: Of course man, come on.
Aight! I'm staying at J. Wells crib in Atlanta, I'm leaving on Saturday, Daz
said to come out for a week, stay with J. Wells, and knock out as much music
as we can knock out until the 27th, so that's what's going down right now!
Dubcnn: That's wassup.
You know man, what it was, an unfortunate event happened a couple of years
ago... Basically, it kind of took me away from things for a minute and I had
to move. A friend of ours, rest in peace, even though I don't agree with what
he did, we used to call him Too Much, cause everybody said he drank too much.
He was staying with me, J. Wells and E-Swift, we were saying in house
together, we had a big ass house in L.A. and we was roommates and got a lot of
work done, cause we lived together. But this dude man, he woke up one morning,
mad at his girl. This muthafuckin' stupid ass grabbed a gun, walked down the
street cause his girl lived right by us. Me and J. Wells were sleeping, and he
walked down the street, knocked on the door, girl opens the door, he shoots
her five times, kills her, and then puts the gun in his own mouth and blows
his own head up...
So that just kind of shook me up, me and J. Wells broke out the house, we had
to go the crime scene and shit, see if it was really him... and it was... So
soon as that shit happened, it just kind of shook me up so much that I packed
my shit up that day, like "I can't take this L.A. shit no more.", and I
bounced to Miami. In Miami I met my girl, we stayed in Miami for the past
year, and I'm just now making it back to the West Coast. So the rap game ain't
really heard a lot from me, mainly cause I've been on my own little grind, I
ain't really been around my fellas and shit, you know? But now I'm back on the
West Coast and everything...
Dubcnn: It's gonna get crazy again!
Yeah, me and my partner Jennifer Burbank, shouts out to Jennifer Burbank,
she's got a company called Fnom Recordings, it's going down too, shoutout to
Fnom. Just keeping busy man!
Dubcnn: You had one of the dopest remixes ever in Hip-Hop with the G'z Iz
G'z Remix, do you still sometimes listen to that?
Yeah man! I try to get Snoop and Kurupt to come out everytime we around and
everything, but sometimes it be Snoop, sometimes it be Kurupt.. Sometimes it
don't be none of them, but everybody loves that song, so if I'm by myself
doing a solo show, I gotta do it, cause I gotta keep it in their heads!
Dubcnn: How about your album "Rap Life", how do you feel about it, looking
back a few years later?
I love it, cause every song came from the heart! That's how the new album is.
I could've put out 4-5 albums in the meantime, but I just didn't want to put
it out wrong, I didn't wanna put it out half ass, with these labels. It's like
"Firewater", it took a lot to make that album because J-Ro lives in Sweden,
Swift in L.A. and I was in Miami. So most of them songs were done through the
internet, like Swift would send me a beat, I'd rap on it, then send it to
J-Ro, then send it back two weeks later... you know what I mean?
Dubcnn: But you can hear that in the record, that it wasn't made when ya'll
was together. Eventhough it's dope, it just doesn't have that feeling that the
old Alkaholiks records had.
Man to tell you the truth, that's my least favorite album.
Dubcnn: It is though. It's still a good record but it doesn't compare to
records where you can just feel through the song that ya'll was in the studio
having a ball.
Yeah man, that's what people have been telling me too. I ain't mad at
criticism, criticism is good, matter of fact it makes you stronger!
Dubcnn: I guess it's impossible to try to recreate that atmosphere when
you're alone in the studio, emailing shit back and forth, that's been taking
away a lot from Hip-Hop, cause a lot of people have been doing that.
Exactly man, I'm tired of that shit too. Oh I forgot, I actually got another
deal too on the table right now, me and Tony Touch got together right before
New Years, he had a show in San Diego, they flew him in from New York, and we
know each other from way back, and we sat down and chopped it up about making
an album together, so we're gonna start with a Tony Touch and Tash mixtape,
and then we'll come with the album. So that's another project that I'm working
on as we speak.
Dubcnn: Sounds good man! I think we covered pretty much everything, so go
ahead and promote "Control Freek" once again before we go!
Mic check 1-2 1-2! Wassup ya'll, this is Catastrophe, aka, Flashy Tashy from
the world famous Alkaholik clique, Likwit Crew in the muthafuckin' house!
Lookout for my new album it's called "Control Freek", tentatively dropping in
May! May sounds good to me. I think we're going to drop it in May, and fuck up
the whole world with it real quick. Some of that good Tash shit, it's like Rap
Life part 2.
Dubcnn: Aight man, do you have any last words for the fans?
Yeah, just thanks for the support, I've been in the game for a long time, I
feel like Scotty Pippen, I've had a long career, I've played with the greats,
so I just want to thank them for putting me in the same category as the great
rappers that came down the pipe, touring with Biggie, to doing Summer Jams to
doing this and that, and I never really got no negative feedback from nobody
about my lyrics so I just want to say thanks for the support. Keep Tash on
your brain and everything's good!
Tash Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That
Full Interview In Audio :