interview Westside Bugg  (April 2009) | Interview By: Javon Adams

   Charisma will get you only so far. Same goes with talent. But the combination of the two can be all the necessary ingredients for success. Let me introduce you to Westside Bugg. He is the embodiment of a Hip Hop Five Tool Player. He can rap, produce, mix, master, do artwork and he has loads of charisma. Javon hooked up with the multi-talented Bugg to talk about his compilation, Westside Bug PresentsÖ. The man has heavy hitters on speed dial and he talks about this project and his upcoming sophomore project as well.

Bugg also talks about how he earned the title of ĎCaliforniaís hardest working Hip Hop artistí and he lets dubcnn.com in on what his Plan B is. Bugg is community oriented as well and you should take a few moments to learn about his Luu Youth Works Organization that he has been running for years to help build confidence in the youth. Get familiar with Westside Bugg. Youíll definitely enjoy the conversation and you just might get inspired.

As always you can reach Javon at javon@dubcnn.com. Enjoy.

Interview was done in April 2009

Questions Asked By: Javon Adams
Dubcnn Exclusive Ė Westside Bugg
By: Javon Adams

Dubcnn: Westside Bugg, welcome to Dubcnn.com. How are you doing?

Westside Bugg:
Chilliní man. Just trying to get rich and I got about $4.28.

Dubcnn: *laughs* I feel you. I wanted to get right into it. I know you are an artist and a producer so I definitely want to touch on some of those things during our conversation. Your debut album The Roach Motel came out in 2007 and you are working on your sophomore release. So, why come out with a project like Westside Bugg PresentsÖ? What made you do that before your sophomore release?

Westside Bugg:
Just trying to show everybody how the West Coast rocks it right now man. A lot of our heavy hitters havenít been out in a while so itís time to show some of this new flavor. I called all the homies and said come get on this record and they came to represent it for me.

Dubcnn: Speaking of that, Iím curious what does your rolodex look like when you have all of these heavy hitters on this compilation? Do you have them on speed dial? How did the compilation come about?

Westside Bugg:
Throughout all these years of rappiní and networking and talking and being a people personÖI thank God that I donít have many enemies. I try to make as many friends as possible so these arenít just homies or other rappers these are friends of mine. I could call on them and say, ĎCome help me cut the grass.í And they would do it for me because I would do the same thing for me, ya dig? Call me when your car breaks down in San Bernardino or L.A. and Iíll come get it for you! Iím AAA all day!

Dubcnn: *laughs* I hear you. So is this project more of a platform for your production? I know you are an accomplished producer and I was checking out some of the songs on your myspace page. You seem to be very talented in terms of the sonic backdrops that you create. So is this more of a showcase for your production?

Westside Bugg:
Definitely a showcase for my production. Production side. Mixing side. Mastering side. Artwork side and the new Jake Records side, you know what I mean? I have a new deal now. Iím with Jake Records now and Iím so excited that you just donít know. Iím doing the Ďpee pee danceí right nowÖ

Dubcnn: *laughs* So you mentioned the mixing and mastering. Do you do all of those things? Are you that multi-faceted?

Westside Bugg:
I do it all. Iím your one stop Hip Hop shop. I do everything but rap the verses for you.

Dubcnn: *laughs* I like that.

Westside Bugg:
I canít rap Ďem for you but I can do everything else from Point A to Point B.

Dubcnn: Youíre from San Bernardino, CA and I am very familiar with that area.

Westside Bugg:
San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Louisiana, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona, JapanÖIím from the West Side of the world.

Dubcnn: Ok, ok. How did the deal with Jake Records come about?

Westside Bugg:
I got a myspace hit one dayÖthank God for myspace, on the real! I used to say, ĎForget myspace!í Without myspace I wouldnít be on this phone conversation right now. I donít want to talk about my last little record deal. We donít want to say anything about that right now. It wasnít all that I wanted it to be. Someone reached out and touched and I hollaíd at my boy Scott. My boy Scott plugged me up and he gave me a cool deal and got your boy back in the game.

Dubcnn: I like that. One of the things on your bio describes you as Ďone of the busiest Hip Hop artists in Californiaí. So, describe a day in the life for Westside Bugg.

Westside Bugg:
Ah man, this is amazing. Youíre going to trip out right here. I get up every morning at 4:00 A.M. I brush my teeth and get dressed and take my kids to school. From school I go to schoolÖyes, Gangsta rappers still go to school. Iím one of the intelligent ones. Iím working on my Bachelorís and my Masters right now. I go to school and then I come home from school and I coach at the High School. Iím a High School coachÖI still teach the kids. Iím a High School coach and a T.A.

I live from there and I hit the studioÖfirst I go to my little sonís practice then I hit the studio. Night time studio starts about 6-7 oíclock. I get all of the rappers in and I get my production down and the rappers come in and out until about 2-3 in the morning. I donít get a lot of sleep. I get home and rest up and Iím back on it again the next morning.

Dubcnn: Letís talk about that a little. I was going to ask you about that because I noticed that you have your Associates Degree so what are getting your Bachelorís in and ultimately your Masters?

Westside Bugg:
Iím working on my Nursing Degree so I can shoot somebody and to make sure they donít die so I donít get life I can fix them. *laughs* Donít quote that. Iím working on my Nursing Degree and also my Psychology Degree.

Dubcnn: Nice, I like that. My wife is a Nurse.

Westside Bugg:
Thatís my Plan B. If rap doesnít work I canít be a 40 year old rapper. Gotta be able to get a job.

Dubcnn: I heard that. You said youíre doing coaching in sports and what notÖ

Westside Bugg:
Yup, Iím been coaching for the kids for almost 10 years. I have a group called Luu Youth Works, which is a non-profit group. What we do is get all the inner-city kids and through sports and academics and athletics we try to keep these kids from becoming hoodlums and thugs. A lot of these Gangstas are super talented because if you can run around these streets and sell drugs and hide in the bushes and shoot somebody and run from the cops and hit 3 or 4 fences then you are going to be a superb athlete on the football field.

Dubcnn: *laughs*

Westside Bugg:
We show them how to be successful. A lot of kids drop out of sports because they donít have the proper training. They donít have the fathers and no one actually tells them what they can do to be successful out there. So we run skill camps and we donít charge them anything. We get them out there and we make them athletes so they can build their self confidence. And when they do go out for their High School teams they will be good and they wonít quit and give up. They will be one of the kids that excels. And once theyíre successful they usually stay in it.

Dubcnn: I gotta askÖI love the fact that you are talking so openly about education and itís importance. Sometimes with Hip Hop education is looked at like a Scarlet Letter sometimes when you try to be an intelligent emcee. Do you worry about that as you go about building your career?

Westside Bugg:
Definitely but rap is so crazy. If you get all intellectual with your raps then they call you a Ďbackpack rapperí and nobody wants to buy your record. But if you go out there and dumb it down everybody feels it. So do you wanna be X-Clan or do you wanna sell records like Dre and Snoop?

You gotta appeal to your audience. I definitely respect all of the intelligent rappers like Common that speak knowledge. And I shouldnít say intelligent because youíre intelligent to be able to rap and go through the business end and make some money. If you can do that I think you are an intelligent person period. Whatís bad is when you make a million dollars and youíre broke the next day and you didnít help anybody along the way. Because if you get a million dollars and you spend it and you help people the whole time you can go borrow at least $500,000 to come back up. If youíve had a million and blown it and canít come back up then you mustíve sh*tted on everyone on the way up. So everyone that is doing their thing and making money and taking care of the folks and giving backÖthey are doing a beautiful thing and I think that is the most intelligent thing you could ever do.

Dubcnn: I know the album has been out since December, right?

Westside Bugg:

Dubcnn: So tell me how is the response? How is it doing so far? And tell us a little about what we can expect from your sophomore project.

Westside Bugg:
First of all, you know no one is going to tell you that your sh*t sucks to your face. They donít want to hurt your feelings. But I have been hearing from third parties that the album is great. I havenít gotten any negative feedback at all from third parties. No one is going to tell me that everything I do is goodÖI know my damn self that everything I do isnít good. I hate some of my own stuff. *laughs* But I have been getting a great response.

For my sophomore album, this is definitely going to be my best work so far. I think I have some real catchy songs. Before I wasÖI hate to say it because youíre going to quote me but I have to keep it realÖI asked some people to give me some positive criticism and tell me the truth. You gotta have those type of people in your corner. They told me that on my records I didnít have a lot of content and I wasnít really saying anything. They said I was just rapping.

So, on this record Iím trying to say something. I have to appeal to the audience so Iím some songs I gotta do what I gotta do and make bouncy songs and feel good music. And I love to do that. With this record I put 3 or 4 songs on there that mean something like a story or something you can definitely feel. I wish I could play it for you right now but this isnít Westside Buggís Listening Party its an interview. *laughs*

Dubcnn: Are you holding down all of the production or do you bring in outside production from time to time?

Westside Bugg:
Thereís definitely outside production. I have J Steez, Battlecat, Amplify, Prodigee from South Central Cartel and my boy Bambino that does all of the Keak Da Sneak joints from The Bay. He blessed me with two tracks and did the hook for me and thatís probably going to be one of my first singles. Jake Records! You probably donít know how excited I am to be with a record company that has my back.

Let me say this and please quote this: It is so important, so importantÖ beyond the money and all the other B.S. you have to have somebody who believes in your music. I donít care if its wack or dope or the dopest music of all timeÖif you donít have someone to believe in you and believe in what you are doing then you are never going to go anywhere. Period. And thatís why Iím so excited to have somebody that truly believes in my music. You know what Iím sayiní?

Dubcnn: I can hear the excitement in your voice and it comes across. How can folks stay informed on whatís going on with Westside Bugg? Give them the myspace and any last words for dubcnn.

Westside Bugg:
Ah, tell my boy Nima to holla at ya boy! I havenít talked to him in a year! I miss Ďem man! I love Dubcnn! Thatís my favorite spot to go to. Weíre on Dubcnn everyday! Tell everybody that Westside Bugg loves you! And if you love Bugg heíll love you back. If you donít love bug then you already know what the business is.

Dubcnn: *laughs* Shoot Ďem with that myspace page.

Westside Bugg:
myspace.com/yaboybugg (Speaks to Scott, CEO of Jake Records) Scott, is that my myspace page?

Scott: Thatís the one weíve been using.

Westside Bugg:
See! I told you I have a good company! I told you! *laughs*



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