(July 2003) | Interview By: Westcoast2K|
Westcoask2K talked to one of
today's most talented West Coast MCs, Sly Boogy. In this exclusive interview
we discussed the history of the Black Spooks and how he later hooked up with
Sway & Tech to do the "Judgement Day" project. Read and find out on which
major label he is releasin his next album, his opinion on today's Hip Hop
state and much more.
wc2k - Sly whats the good word?
Sly Boogy - Im just chillin man, life is good.
wc2k - First off props for the "Judgement Day" album , its off the chain.
Major blessings player.
Sly - Thanks homie, appreciate it.
wc2k - For everyone who dont know you, introduce yourself and let em know
where youre from.
Sly - Well Im Sly Boogy out the I.E., for those who dont know, thats the
Inland Empire but I think most people should know about the IE by now. And Im
comin into the game with a brand new album, "Judgement Day", its in stores now
so go and pick it up.
wc2k - How did you hook up with Sway & Tech?
Sly - I hooked up with Sway & Tech when I went on the Wake up Show with my
crew, the Black Spooks. We went on and Freestyled, took a couple of cuts to
the show and after that we were gonna work on a project together but it didnt
happen due to creative conflict of interest so we started workin on the Sly
Boogy project. That was the time we did "Walk With My Dogs" and "Fatal
Mistake". Me and Tech were in the studio and he came up with the line "Steppin
To Sly Would be Your Fatal Mistake", so he was like why dont you just use that
as the hook and Bam it was there. We released it as a cd single. So thats
basically how we hooked up.
wc2k - Did you feel any pressure recording your solo with Sway & Tech pushin
Sly - Not at all! I never felt any pressure.
wc2k - Right, wanna talk about the History of The Black Spooks and how it all
went down a lil bit?
Sly - Well "The Black Spooks", that started a while ago, like in 95. Its
basically me, Dirty Birdy and Dj KMP. We got signed to Perspective Records,
which is Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis imprint. And we finished the album in
almost a months time. But we got word back that Perspective has folded and
they told us that our album wasnt gonna be released, so thats what happend
with the Black Spooks. But after that we still recorded and tried to do the
Black Spooks thing, but it didnt happen, it didnt happen the way we wanted to.
So we ended up on separate ways and started workin on seperate projects.
wc2k - If it never saw the light of day, do you mean commercially, or was it
Sly - Yeah it was just underground.
wc2k - So what happend after Birdy told you he was gonna start his solo
Sly - Well after Birdy said he was goin solo I started workin with King Tech
in the studio, we started workin on the "Judgement Day" album.
wc2k - And what year was that?
Sly - That was....man...around 2000,2001.
wc2k - Do you plan on doing another Black Spooks album?
Sly - Possibly, I doubt it will be under the name Black Spooks because that
name got snatched up by some other group that was signed to A&M I think. And
we was kinda upset about that. They went under the name "The Spooks". You know
The Spooks right? They had a single out, I think it was called "Things I've
Seen" or something like that. So we was upset cause it kinda fucked our
program. And we didnt want people to be confused, and get us twisted with
them. So if there is another collaboration it would be under a different name.
wc2k - So Why should people go out and check for you and cop your new album?
Sly - Well they should definitely cop the album, for one cause I think the
content is very captivating. I think that alot of the songs on there are very
interesting, they have content that may have shock value, very entertaining. I
think lyrically it has alot to offer, for those who like beats it has alot to
offer and for those who just like Hip Hop music, it has alot to offer, theres
alot of shit on there that you can get into. You can just put the CD in and
let it play, its kinda like a rollercoaster ride, its like a kaleidoscope to
ride for styles, as far as lyricism. And as far as beats, its like all of the
beats are totally different, every song is distinctive.
wc2k - How did you come up with the "Judgement Day" reference?
Sly - "Judgement Day" came about me and Tech were sittin in the studio throwin
around names. We were stuck on "Ebonical Slang", I had laid the intro to the
album and Tech thought that "Judgement Day" would be the perfect title for the
album so we just rolled with it, we rolled with that. It goes like "Some of
you niggas is lame/you dont belong in this game/so you better make way cause
its Judgement Day Im Comin!". Meaning, all you mothafuckas that are in the
game and really aint makin no contribution to the game, Im coming. So like
Sway said, we finna raise the standard, we finna raise the bar and we finna
make it hard. So I tried to come up with a tight story behind the whole
Judgement Day shit, but you know...thats the real story right there. Thats how
it came about.
wc2k - You told me the other day you had your own name for you solo album that
you came up with. What was that again?
Sly - Ohh...ohh damn the other title that I have wanted...(laughs). I havent
even told Tech, but it I hope nobody don't bite it. It was "Uncle Sam's Black
Nephew". But Imma definitely save that one, Imma save it for another album.
wc2k - You tried to get down with Dr. Stank for your solo. But why didnt that
Sly - Well, basically I was in the studio most of the time workin on my album,
Stank was in the studio workin on his album. We hooked up and collaborated on
a couple songs for his album. We were supposed to do some more work together
but it just didnt happen. It just didnt happen. But me and Stank gonna work
together and some more shit.
wc2k - You used to do the underground thing, and now you're gettin airplay on
major radio stations and get to work with big names. How do you feel about
workin from small to big?
Sly - Ohh it feels good. I think its a blessing to be able to get airplay and
get support from DJ's. Theres alotta support coming from Power 106, KMEL and
it feels good, cause they really supportin the Sly Boogy project.
wc2k - You made a few Power 106 drops, do you feel those helped get the word
out about Sly?
Sly - Ohh yeah definitely. Defnitely, cause I think the more people have heard
the drops the name has been imbeded in their heads, the more they listened to
them. PLus it raised curiousity, so yea they definitely did help.
wc2k - How did the whole process go down? Did you have your own freedom to do
your own shit and chose your features?
Sly - To chose features...Uhh, there was freedom but the thing is the features
we have on there was people that Tech felt would make the album a little bit
more interesting. The situation we're workin with right now is cool, we
approached alot of people for features but you know, people are busy, and when
you're workin with a limited amount of money its like you cant drop so many
bombs. So we get to work with what we have as far as features. But alot of
people are givin us love now though.
wc2k - Where there any artists you wanted to work with but it didnt happen for
Sly - Yeah we tried to get Ludacris, he did stuff. We tried to get Nate Dogg.
And who else...we're tryin to get Sean Paul on some shit but I dont know if
thats gonna happen. I dont know, but I would like for it to happen. But alotta
people are kinda like, if Im workin with a new artist they kinda wanna see how
that artist is gonna do. So I dont think its gonna be like that forever.
wc2k - What was the promotion and distribution for your album like? I heard so
many people say they couldnt find the album anywhere.
Sly - Yeah I get emails too, sayin they cant find the album. Honestly, Imma be
honest with you, I really dont know what the fuck is goin on. This shit is
irritating cause I got alotta people hollerin at me wondering where the fuck
they can get the album. And I think its pretty god damn ridiculous that they
cant find it and it aint accessable, you know what Im sayin?? Its just
wc2k - But are there any places you can tell people where they can find it?
Sly - You can go to www.friscostreetshow.com and order it. And theres a couple
of mom&pop shops you can go to, but thats about it. Thats the only places I
know of. But friscostreetshow.com is your best bet.
wc2k - So I guess thats a big problem for you. You got the CD out, tons of
people want it but they cant find it.
Sly - Yeah man, its a big problem. Because people are lookin for it and its
like, Im thinkin Woah shit, if they cant find it they gonna lose interest and
they gonna move on to the next shit, and I dont wanna that to happen.
wc2k - Definitely. So you think the album will sell mostly by word of mouth if
there is limited promotion?
Sly - Yea because there is no video, so the only exposure and promotion is
radio and internet. We had samplers though that we passed out, we had posters,
we've been doin shows and shit, so thats all we really have right now as far
as promotion tool. I wish we had a video, but unfortunately we dont have one
cause that would help out a lot.
wc2k - Are you planning to shoot a video for "California" in the future?
Sly - You know what, I would really like to, but I dont think theres enough
money for that right now. I really dont know, I cant really speak on it, but
my assumption is there aint enough money.
wc2k - Do you hope your music will bubble up out of the LA Area, or would you
be happy just stayin local?
Sly - I definitely wanna bubble out, I want to circulate around the globe, I
wanna be global. I dont wanna be limited to just one locality. I wanna be
wc2k - You got plans for the 2nd single?
Sly - We aint too sure yet but the next single is tentatively supposed to be
number 5 of the album, which is "Ridiculous" featuring Saigon. But what you
think you got any ideas?
wc2k - Yea I think its a good choice, "Ridculous" is off the hook. Thats
prolly one of my favorites from the album together with "Walk With My Dogs" &
"One Night Stand". I love the story from "Walk With My Dogs", I was always
thinkin you could make a bomb music video to that story. I dont know about
"One Night Stand" though haha.
Sly - Haha yea, we cant really play that on the radio, I dont know what the
ladies would think about "One Night Stand" (laughs). But umm, its tentatively
"Ridiculous" with Saigon. And thats supposed to be droppin here soon. Saigon
is a cat that people dont know, he's a cat from the East Coast, he's from New
York. He's one of the sickest, sickest mothafuckas coming outta New York.
wc2k - Yeah I've heard his mixtape. That was tight, and he's mad slept on just
Sly - Yeah man, its frustrating.
wc2k - So talk about the Californa Remix man. How did yall get those cats on
Sly - Ohh man you heard it!!! Shit is real bigg. Peep this, we got the one and
only E-40 Fonzarelli on it, Jayo Felony, Roscoe...Man Roscoe is sick, you
heard his album? He's so fuckin sick. Then we got Kurupt, and I think theres
gonna be 2 versions. The one in the Bay has San Quinn and Mista F.A.B. And the
one out there, I dont know for sure but I think Crooked I is gonna gonna jump
on it. Both version feature 2Pac.
wc2k - How in the hell did yall get 2Pac on there??
Sly - He was in the studio with us man!!! He's alive dogg really, 2Pac was
right there in front of my eyez!! (Laughs). Nah you gotta ask Tech that one, I
dont know it might be an old verse or somthing but I can give you Techs number
and ask him, he hooked that up.
wc2k - I heard you're already workin on a new solo album?
Sly - Oh yeah, the next album is the bigg album, its gonna be the major album.
"Judgement Day" is just the appetizer and the next album is gonna be the first
course. "Judgement Day" is more of a mixtape album. I rapped over used beats
like on "Jackin 4 Beats", and we put the Wake Up Show Freestyles on there so
its more of a mixtape to let people know. But the next album is gonna be big,
I dont have a title for it yet but its definitely gonna be heated. The texture
of it is gonna be a little bit more smooth, its not gonna be as rugged and
grimey as "Judgement Day", but its definitely something to look out for cause
I have a lot to offer. I dont wanna let the cat out the bag too
early...but...oh well fuckit, you're gonna be the first to know, we just
hooked up a deal with J Records. So next time you gonna see Sly Boogy on a
major label! Its official and hopefully we can make it crack over there, if
not we'll take it somewhere else. Sway and Tech hooked that up, its Bolo
Entertainment / J Records.
wc2k - Aint Tyrese and all them on there? You think they ready for your heat?
Sly - Man I dont know. Thats what I wanna know. But we gonna see, we'll
definitely see, because Im a handful, I dont know if people know yet, but Im a
wc2k - You got any features on there?
Sly - Yea we got Raphael Saadiq, we got Ms. Roq from the Chronic album, we got
TQ, then we got Jayo Felony and Kurupt on a couple of cuts, we got Crooked I,
we got Noelle. Oh we also have Freckles. I dont know if you heard of Freckles,
but she's one of the coldest riders in the game. I dont even know where she's
from but shes cold.
wc2k - Mind give a comment on todays Hip Hop state?
Sly - Hip Hop right now? I think that radio, the payola,all that man...what
was that movement again? There was a movement in New York, I think it was
called "Turn Off Your Radio" where everybody turns off their radios every
Thursday. It was some movement in NY. You heard about that? I think it was the
"Turn Off Your Radio - Movement" if Im not mistaken. I think we all need to do
that. Everybody in the United States needs to turn off their radio until they
start playin more shit and quit all the politics, all that payola shit, leave
that bullshit behind and just start playing some other shit, some new shit.
Cause its messed up right now that alot of people record dont get played.
Alotta other people have contributions to make too, and I think its unfair to
those people when you cant get your shit on the radio. Niggas put they heart
into this game, but thank god for the internet though, thats great promotion.
wc2k - What do you think is the reason that West Coast Rap is in a Slump right
Sly - Honestly, I think its just all the politics. Its like somebody told me
the other day, it dont matter how talented you are no more, it really dont,
talent really aint got nuthing to do with it. Skillz dont count anymore, what
I hear on the radio is just shit, and I dont wanna insult nobody, but its all
political. I mean I do hear some West Coast shit when Im over in New York, I
heard Shade Sheist, but all the payola shit is killing Hip Hop. But as far as
the West Coast, alotta artists are trapped in that 93 to 97 era. Alot of
people are trapped in that era and they keep on doing that kinda music, and I
think thats kinda hurtin cause they keep on tryna recycle that same sound. And
I think thats definitely effecting the West. I say we need to move forward,
try to be inovative and create a whole new sound for the West. Like I said I
dont wanna insult nobody, but theres alotta artists that are still doing the
wc2k - Do You plan to put the IE on the map or are you jus gonna rep tha west
as a hole?
Sly - I plan on puttin the IE on the map. Im claimin and reppin it to the
fullest. Its lookin real good, its almost there, but theres more work to be
done to get it on the map.
wc2k - Wassup with that "Got E" mixtape coming out the Empire soon? Do you
know anything about that?
Sly - Yeah, the IE mixtape, the "Got E" mixtape. I dont really know whos
puttin it out and I dont really know much about it. I think it should drop
soon but I dont have any info on that one.
wc2k - I heard this sick track by you and Dr. Stank called "On And ON" is that
from any of your projects?
Sly - Ohh yea, that ones new, we recorded it for his album that was supposed
to come out on MCA before he got dropped, but I dont know whats up with this,
if they gonna use it or save it for something else. Him and Bird got alot of
wc2k - You recorded a Wake Up Show Anthem with Ras Kass and he's in a pretty
fucked up situation right now. Mind give a comment about that?
Sly - Well yeah we did that song for the Wake Up Show a few years ago but I
dont know Ras like that. I met him like once or twice so I cant really speak
on him, plus I didnt hear the full story about what happened to him so I cant
speak on this one.
wc2k - Alright, So what is the real Sly Boogy like? You got a side people
didnt know or expect from you?
Sly - The real Sly Boogy? Im just a cat who loves music, I like lyrics. Just
the regular cat who kicks back, have me a drink, little bit of smoke and just
chill. If I had it my way, hell I would just sit in the house, watch DVDs,
smoke, drink, eat and fuck, if I had it my way, but that aint reality. But I
like to kick it, I like to have fun, just a regular human being. I like to
talk shit over beats and shit, but it aint even like that cause Im a cool cat
that you can approach and we can kick it, you know? We can kick it together.
wc2k - So what else can people expect from you in the future?
Sly - They can expect a rollercoaster ride, a variety of distinctive sounds
coming from me. There is no tellin what I might do, I dont have no limit and
there is no specific sound that Im tryin to do. Im tryin to be as diverse as
possible. As for the new album, we are shotin for 4th quarter this year, but
thats tentative. I got some collabos comin soon, I got a new one with Kardinal
Offical and the tracks with Dr. Stank, then a lookout for the collabo with the
group outta the I.E. alled The Outskirts. But other than that I just been
workin on my own shit. But I am hoping for collabos, anybody who wants to get
me on some shit, just holla. I serve a verse like a package of herb. Holla at
me and I come hook it up.
wc2k - Do you got any upcoming shows?
Sly - Yeah I got a show on the Lowrider Expierence at the LA Sports Arena.
Then I think Im perfomin at the B-Boy summit and thats about it so far, but
Ill let you know about any other shows that come up.
wc2k - Are you planning to perform at Rhyme Night next month? Your cousin
Birdy performed at the last show.
Sly - I dont think so but thats definitely a good thing for young MC's, big
ups to Xzibit for doing that. Aint too many cats doing that.
wc2k - Do you got any shout outs or a message for all your fans out there?
Sly - Yeah I wanna give a shout out to the Cali Kingz, Impact Record Pool,
KMEL, Big Won, Johnson, everybody in the Bay, Sway & Tech, Felli Fel, Mr Choc
cause I think Choc was actually the first one to spin my records 2 or 3 years
ago, Khool Aid, everybody else up at Power 106, the IE, all of LA, all of the
Bay, everybody in California, Big Cain of course doing it real big out in
Dallas, big ups to the homie reppin the E. And to everybody out there if you
aint copped "Judgement Day" go and pick it up. If you cant find it go to
friscostreetshow.com. If your homies got it just go and dub that shit, fuck
wc2k - You feel like bustin something over the phone right now?
Sly - Yeah sure...Peep this.."Sly Boogy drops A Freestyle".
wc2k - You just kicked that verse and I gotta ask you that question, do you
think a freestyle is a freestyle if it was written?
Sly - Yes definitely, because coming off the top of the head and freestyle,
alot of people say 'Ok Im coming from the top of the head, it aint written'.
But some people freestyle and they dont realize that sometimes they are bustin
rhymes that they have already written, pre-written rhymes. So when Im coming
off the head, just naturally Im gonna bust some shit that Ive written, theres
gonna be rhymes in that freestyle that Ive busted before.
wc2k - That one you just kicked was written?
Sly - Yeah that was written. I wouldnt bust no freestyle like that on
something like this (laughs).
wc2k - You never do that, a real freestyle from the top of your head?
Sly - Yeah yeah I do, but I think a freestyle is when you're with the homies,
or you're in a situation where you're around people who are hip hop heads,
cause you can just freestyle and let it out. But not in some cases like
interviews, cause if I woulda freestyle, Id be freestylin for hours man, cause
you feel like you gotta keep going and goin, you gotta bust that nut all the
Aight thats basically it. Thanks for takin the time to speak to us and keep
doin the damn thang.
Sly - Aww thank you man, I appreciate all the support and everything, much
love. Good lookin out for real!