interview DRU DOWN (December 2005) | Interview By: Westcoast2K

Westcoask2K chopped it up with pimp of the year Dru Down for an exclusive interview. This interview was conducted a while ago, but it stayed in the vaults all this time due to DD's new album "Attack Season" getting pushed back so much. After countless requests, we now bring you this exclusive interview. Dru Down talks about his upcoming album as well as his previous albums and the problems behind them, his opinion on the movement in the Bay Area, working with 2Pac, and much more.


Westcoast2k: It's been a while since you put anything out. Why's it been so long?!

Dru Down: Well you know, I been doing my own thing and living my life. Cause I'm not just a rapper, I'm street based too, you feel me. So ever since I been in the streets I been into a little trouble here and there. It's been taking me away, but it ain't gonna stop none of my independent albums like "Gangsta Pimpin", "Pimpin' Phernelia". I've been having independent albums out there that you just gotta look for. Cause really, I done been on about 6 major labels, so everybody's looking for me to be on a major. But I've been getting my own dough now.

Westcoast2k: Have you been constantly in the studio recording all this time?

Dru Down: Oh yeah, that's what I'm doing right now. I got a new album coming out called "The Son Of Bootsy" [Editor's note: Album title changed to "Attack Season"]. You know, cause of Bootys Collins. It consists of The Regime Gang, me and my brother Yukmouth. So alot of Regime members, plus a couple singers. But it's lovely though, you just gotta wait to hear it. I really don't have any big features on there, like a Ludacris or Busta Rhymes. It's more like a family thang, like "I Got 5 On It Remix" type of thangs.

Westcoast2k: Who are you networkin with these days?

Dru Down: I mean, I network with my own clan which consists of Tech9ne, Yukmouth, and it's still The Luniz. Spice 1 too, so right now we keep it more Bay Area than regular. We tryin' to bring it back home, instead of just getting out there and messing with everybody else. Cause the Bay Area is lighting up right now!

Westcoast2k: Lately you ain't been doing too many features. Do you turn down alot of offers or are you open for anything?

Dru Down: I been a lot in traffic, I really ain't been doing the rap thang that much. I been pimpin cause that's my thang. If anybody knows Dru Down they know what I consist of.

Westcoast2k: So what's the word on the new album?

Dru Down: Oh, a bunch of Hip Hop for real by the old Dru Down, who everybody can't wait to hear from. It's gangsta pimpin, but it's more attack season cause I'm attacking alotta cats. Since I'm in this Regime Gang with my little brother Yukmouth, I gotta hold it down. I mean I'm Regime till I die. I'm speaking on anything, and any pimp out there disrespecting me on the rap thang, I'm getting at them. Cause I'm like really the first original pimp that put down that first platinum hit, "Pimp Of The Year". But this album we gonna push it hard with you guys. I can't wait to get back out there to do my performances.

On the production tip I got Luni Bean, Dr. Bob, but mostly it's my production team called Luni Bean. That's mostly what you gonna be hearing, but the sound is way different than before. "Pimpin' Phernelia" was my first independent album, but I put it out kinda quick cause I had to turn myself in. So I was just trying to do something real fast for the fans so they don't forget about me. And while I was in I put out another one called "Gangsta Pimpin'", which was another independent album. So right now I did this album which is more me, instead of rushing. You gonna get the old Dru Down, but updated.

Westcoast2k: What's the label situation right now?

Dru Down: I started my own label, it's called Pimp On Records. And that's in collaboration with Smoke-A-Lot Records, The Regime. I got my own thang, Pimp Phernelia to the Mob. That's what we do, everything we speak is so dope, that's where the Pimp Phernelia comes in. So the album's gonna be on Pimp On Records / Smoke-A-Lot Records / Rap-A-Lot Records.

Westcoast2k: How did the connection with you and The Regime come about?

Dru Down: Just being ghetto, hanging on the block back in the day. We hooked up, cause we was already messing with the boss, so the boss brought us together. And by us being cool with eachother, that's how it happened. That's how I hooked up with anybody else. You'll feel a person's vibe, if the vibe not cool, then it ain't cool. But our vibes was real straight, and that's how we stayed in the studio, slept, ate, shit, fucked. We did everything in the studio! Even on the road. It was all homie shit.

And as far as Yukmouth's lil brother Numbskull, he is his own man, he's doing his own thang. Numb is still there, don't get me wrong. But some people just do their own thing, you feel me? You can't knock the person for doing their own thing, as long as they never forget where they came from. But me and Yuk, we been tight. As far as this rap shit, I'm on all of his projects. If it's more updated and missed it, then I was locked up. But I'm always around, I'm like the Lieutenant!

Westcoast2k: What happened after you put out your record on Ruthless?

Dru Down: Aww I went to jail again on them, I had to do like 16 months. It took a lot out of that too. I did the album "Gangsta Pimpin" originally for Ruthless Records. But since I was doing time we got out of the contract cause they couldn't do nothing with me while I was doing time. And then we had this movie we were about to do with Ruthless called "Turf Stories". That was a movie we were presenting before anybody was even presenting any type of movie ever. But yeah, we just got out of that contract. Plus I had a CEO that was doing some bad things. My half CEO was C-Note Records, he did some bad things while I was in jail to where it messed up a couple things to where we just had to release contracts.

On the "Can U Feel Me" album too, I went away. On most of the times that I did something, it seems like everytime I'm doing bad, I end up going down while my album's toppin', so I don't get to see some of the things I need to really see. But since I learned a lot through the music industry and I know what's about to take and what's about to go, I'm straight man cause I got the game locked now.

Westcoast2k: How did things change for you after "Pimp of The Year" blew up?

Dru Down: Oh man, that blew me right up. Which wasn't even expected, maybe if I was a shy guy or something it wouldn't have blew me up as much. But I went on tour with the Biggie's, the Pac's, the Above The Law's. I was with everybody you can imagine back in the days, rippin' it up! And my show and my performance is something else.

Westcoast2k: With you being one of the original ones that worked with 2Pac, whats your opinion on all these remixes that came out recently?

Dru Down: It's just a money thing right now. Some of these people that's on songs with Pac, Pac would have never did songs with them. I know that for a fact, that was my homeboy. I ain't just talking on him cause people hear him on the radio. "Oh I Love Pac", naw man, that was my partner, we kicked it, we did things together, we rolled out, we fucked bitches and popped bottles. We did it big! And it's a couple other people that's from East Oakland, West Oakland, that didn't do the same cause Pac was known in their town. He got a lot of love! So me and Pac was almost on the same page, we were the same age. When he got out the pen, I got out the pen too right before he hooked up with Death Row, or while he was hooking up with them. And that's how we really collaborated, that's how I got on his album.

But as far as the music that's coming out today, people trying to get they money. I can't really say nothing on that, all I can do is say rest in peace to my partner. If they disrespect him in my face, they got problems.

Westcoast2k: Why did you only have a few words on Pac's "All About You"? You had a verse on there that got cut?

Dru Down: I only spoke on it cause the song was already done, and since me and Pac was already in the studio kicking back and listening to his mixes, the song popped up and he just said 'Dru go and get in there and say something on the beginning of the song, before the album's done!', cause I caught him right at the end of the making of the album, that's why I didn't get no verse. But that was my nigga, more different than a lot of cats. Cause a lot of cats out there got a lot of talent that didn't grew.

Westcoast2k: What was the whole beef with you and Too $hort about?

Dru Down: You know that's a long story, that whole incident. But everything is squashed now so everything good. But yeah, we had problems back in the day but we ain't got no problems now. I made a song about him called "Mista Busta" on my album. The Luniz made a song about him too. It was some little issues, but personal issues. Cause we were originally supposed to be on his team, but he was acting funny and he didn't wanna mess with us. So we messed with somebody else and blew up that way. Right now everything cool again, ain't no problems between nobody. There's always been little personal things here and there, but we all straight now.

Westcoast2k: How do you feel about the movement that is coming out the Bay Area right now?

Dru Down: I'm with that. I'm with all that new Bay stuff. I mean I don't have no super favorite artists, cause all I care about is The Regime gang, they are my favorite artists. But outside of that I'm feeling Ludacris and Lil Wayne. That's about it. But that Bay Area thang, that type of era don't stop, cause we're really giving it up right now. We come down these radio stations and knockin' everybody from independent albums to majors, they all Bay Area. That's how we been wanna hear it. But back in our day, when I was doing my thang as a platinum artist and Luniz platinum and gold, they wasn't giving us that attention. All they played was "I Got 5 On It" and "Pimp Of The Year", but they wasn't playing none of the other songs on the CD, like they doing now. So yeah, you can always say the game changed a little bit, but it hasn't. It just moves a little fast.

Westcoast2k: So do you feel that you get the respect that you deserve?

Dru Down: Not enough, due to the Hip Hop artists way back in the industry, all these pictures that they got up with the Biggie's and 2Pac's and all that. I think Dru Down should be in there. I think Snoop Dogg too. Alot was cause of me being locked up. The all around flip from a gangsta to a pimp, that was all Dru Down. But you know, I can't knock nobody for doing what they do. I still do what I do, can't nobody knock me. I get all the respect from here to all around the world. So I'm respected, but I just think I could get a little bit more.

But I'll see after this album drops. But right now we gaining all the respect back, as far as the Bay Area. Because they left us after Pac died, and went all the way to the East Coast, stayed there for a minute, and all of a sudden the South started blowing up. But now they gonna have to give us our turn back, cause we so saucy over here. It ain't nothing like us, ain't nothing like this Bay man.

Westcoast2k: Are you still doing movies nowadays?

Dru Down: Oh fo sho, actually we got one coming called "Elevators". I'm writing it, it's a drama suspense. It's about a family, two brothers and a mama with a father that's gone. And the mama's trying to feed both of them, and their birthdays is on the same day, but one year apart. And they go from a nice area, to where they end up having to be in the ghetto projects. And it got to do with the elevators in the projects. I'm not gonna give you the whole movie, I can't do it like that! (laughs)

Westcoast2k: What ever happened to the movie "Love Chronicles" you was supposed to be in?

Dru Down: Maaan I don't know what happened to that. Where is that movie at? I was looking forward to it, but I didn't see it on the shelves or nothing. But we did it! Me and Ginuwine's wife. I ain't seen it though!

Westcoast2k: Is there anything else we can expect from you in the future?

Dru Down: Man just being an entrepreneur of my own label, CEO of Pimp On Records. And raising my son. And I'ma be keeping jewels and big things in my life, cause I'ma keep it P.I. till I die. That's about it man.




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