interview TASH (January 2007) | Interview By: Nima

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: nima@dubcnn.com

Interview was done by phone in January 2007

Questions Asked By : Nima

Tash Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio : Here

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 shit!

Dubcnn: So what evolution did you go through, between "Rap Life" and this album?

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 the beats.

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 him.

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 next month.

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 popping!

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, doing features?

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 album...

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 included.

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 man!" *laughs*

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...

Dubcnn: Damn.

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 Here

Full Interview In Audio : Here


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