Fan här låter det ordentligt. Jag har tänkt mig att både C-Bo och Yukmouths karriärer har nåt och passerat sin prime för mellan fem och tio år sen. Jag har inget emot att de fortsätter vråla in gangsterrapp här och där, dyker upp på massa gästspår med rätt attityd. Fast jag hade trott att de lite tappat förmågan att göra underverk för sig själva. Men här, här blev det ju riktigt bra. De kan än gubbarna. Det märks inte ett dugg att Yukmouth medicinerar marujana så det ryker ur öronen på han, blir han aldrig lugn? Hur arg och livad hade han varit utan den lugnande effekten av kilovis med gräs år efter år.
Sippar C-Bo på hostmedicin då och då tror ni? Han har ju hängt en del i Texas sen han slog igenom för 15-20 år sen. Och alla vet ju att det är bland Texas rappare hostmedicinen har varit som populärast, de blandar med Fanta eller Sprite, lutar sig åt sidorna och får stora tjocka magar som orsakar viss bekymmersam smärta, sägs det. Därför måste de röka gräs hela tiden så att magen inte stör och är jobbig i vardagen. De har inte tid att sjukskriva sig, måste va på tå hela tiden. Den enda som inte blivit tjock av sirapen är Lil Wayne, det är nog för att han är så livlig och skuttar runt mycket. Sacramento-gangstern C-Bo var ju DJ Screws uttalade favoritartist, Screw måste ju bjudit på en och annan cocktail tillbaka i dagarna. För nu för tiden sen nått år tillbaka, när rappare från buktområdet pratar om hostmedicinknarkning använder de ofta termen Bo. Bo = Hostmedicin alltså. Jag måste ju faktiskt vara helt tydligt.
I’m C-bo, nigga when you see me you SEEEEE – BO,
in my left hand, chopper in the right, sippin, bustin osv…
Eller är det kanske till och med så att uttrycket Bo, menat hostmedicin, härstammar från C-Bo. Det kanske var så att C-Bo åkte upp till buktområdet och sippade så mycket lean att själva aktiviteten fick namnet Bo. Det kommer nog ingen någonsin få reda på. Det är nog ingen som vet. Förlorad information.
Den här sången här ovan är en av mina favoriter av de gamla C-Bo sångerna. Den är från hans skiva Gas Chamber (han pratar inte så mycket om bensin tyvärr) som kom ut ’93. Jag tror att han kanske hade en skiva till innan den men är inte helt säker. Det dröjde ändå sex år från den här sången tills C-Bo gjorde det som jag anser kanske är hans största bedrift, samlade ihop ett gäng Pittsburg-ungdomar och skapade gruppen The Mob Figaz.
Yukmouth och C-Bo har arbetat tillsammans under namnet Thug Lordz flera gånger förut, jag vet inte hur många riktigt. Jag såg en del skivomslag häromdan hursomhelst när jag försökte googla mig till lite information om hur det kommer sig att Spice 1 var med som den tredje medlemmen på en skiva här om året. Jag trodde helt ärligt att Thug Lordz var alla de tre. De två hårdaste gangster-rapparna någonsin (inklusive mexarrappare och det säger mycket) och Yukmouth. Ingen kritik mot Yukmouth och allt, han är en tuffing han med, men han är inte världens hårdaste. Han hade kanske varit det om han inte medicinerat så mycket. Det är synd att Spice 1 saknas helt enkelt, det är det enda jag vill säga i det här stycket. Och så undrar jag om nån av er kanske vet hur det kommer sig? Varför får han inte va med längre?
Nu börjar bonna-maten (smör och grädde) bli klar här hos mormor i Gnosjö, så jag avslutar med att bjuda på en av mina gamla favoritsånger av Yukmouth, eller av hans gamla grupp Luniz snarare. Ni får lyssna om ni tycker om bra musik. Och, helvete varför inte tänker jag, här under kan ni läsa en satans lång intervju med Thug Lordz från ett av årets nummer av Murder Dog. Den delen jag bjuder på är intervjun med C-Bo, följ länken ovan för att läsa intervjun med Yukmouth. C-Bo berättar själv om hur han kom upp i Sacramento. Han berättar om den melankoliska gangster rappens uppkomst i buktområdet, han gör det på ett enkelt och tydligt sätt. Han pratar om that mob sound som jag och Onda har pratat om massa gånger och försökt sprida. Den här intervjun, och intervjuer som den här, ger en bättre förståelse för vad Bay Area mob music är än vad Bayonnaise någonsin kan göra. Så ta er tid om ni är intresserade.
Bay Area Rap was more on the level of pimp/playa type of Rap until you came along and brought the hardcore Gangsta shit. You played a big role in shaping the Bay Area sound.
Well you know, I come from a different side. Sac is not really considered the Bay Area. It was more gangs and territory shit. Me goin to jail, goin through all this stuff as a kid—juvenile hall, boys camp, county jail, prison, CYA—bein involved in all that activity that was goin on. Me being a real stand up dude and not bein no sucker, and out there on my own—that’s how my rappin was. My Rap was always a component. Instead of just sayin I’m flossing and this and that, it was always a war or fight, a gang activity or something. That was my life.
It’s interesting what you’re saying. When you look at it, in the Bay Area there was no gang activity like you had in Sacramento.
In Sacramento it’s all about gangsta shit; it wasn’t anything else for me to rap about. The ones that’s out there rappin now, born with the microphone in their hand—they ain’t doin no gangsta shit. That’s why my career never really took off like it was supposed to. Because I kept having to go back to prison for living the way I lived. That’s the different from these rappers nowadays. They don’t really have to do nothing, cause we already opened it up. We made it to the point where it ain’t cool for nobody to do nothing. They had an example from us. Now these other muthafuckas is like, “Naw, hell no!”
They never lived the life you lived.
Right. You see what I’m sayin? They just wanna rap about the shit. What’s real about it is some of these cats that ain’t been through it, they rappin about it, but some of these cats have got real stand up dudes on the side of them that went through that shit. They can’t rap, but they got this rapper who will bring their stories out. I can understand that too. But some of these dudes need to give it up, man.
You’re saying that a lot of young artists are hearing the stories of some real OG’s and bringing it into their raps.
That’s what they’re doin. They sponging up the game.
Most people think of C-Bo as a Bay Area rapper, but really Sacramento is whole different world from the Bay.
Right. But when I first came out with my record I was livin in the Bay Area. I came home from CYA in ’91 and I went on the run. We were all absent, that’s why we came with the record company AWOL Records. T was on the run from prison. I was on the run from CYA. So we couldn’t stay in Sac cause we had taskforces lookin for us, parole officers lookin for us. We wind up goin to Vallejo, and I wind up checkin’ E-40 and them rappin. I always could rap, from beatin on the tables in jails and shit. Then when we cut the record we wound up movin over to Oakland. We stayed in the Acorn, West Oakland.
First you were in Vallejo and then you moved to Oakland?
Yeah, yeah. The thing that really got me was I had just come from YA, and when I put that record out people was like, “Who is C-Bo?” But people in YA was like, “Man, I was locked up with C-Bo! That dude from Sacramento.” So that created a buzz even more cause real people knew me.
How old were you when your first record came out?
What was I—20? 21? ’92.
You were already working with T?
Me and T from the same neighborhood. We been knowin each other before I could rap. We been knowin each other since I was about 10 years old. He lived right around the corner from me, we from the same neighborhood. He’s about 2 years older than me.
When you came to the Bay, which other rappers did you meet?
When I first came out—T lived in Vallejo, cause he was on the run already. When I went on the run the homie told me where he was, so I went down there and wound up staying there. E-40 was his cousin. And I’m like, “I been rappin. Everybody in the hood know I can rap.” Once E-40 and them heard me rap they put me in the studio with Studio Ton. Sick Wid’ It was gonna try to produce me first, but T was like, “No. We’ve got our own label, AWOL Records.” Then we took it from there.
At that time Mike Mosley and Sam Bostic were probably just getting started.
Mike Mosley had been put on the back burner by E-40 and them because they was workin with Studio Ton. Studio Ton was comin up with the heat that they wanted, and they had Mike Mosley on the back burner. Mike wasn’t doin nothin. So when I came into play, Mike wasn’t doin nothin and I wasn’t doin nothin—me and Mike got in the studio together and came up with that “Gas Chamber”. And he brung in Sam Bostic.
That “Gas Chamber” album will be one of my favorite albums forever.
You know “Gas Chamber” was like pretty much when people didn’t know how to make records. When that record came out it woke up all the young niggaz. It was like: he can do it, I can do it! That gave everyone the opportunity to wake up and jump into the game, cause C-Bo just left the game wide open.
Your first three albums had a certain atmosphere that I still don’t hear anywhere else. I can play those records today and they’re still fresh. Something about those records—maybe because it was so real, your situation and your life. Also the production had a dark, eerie feeling. The beats were all cut up and skeletal.
That record was a real record. That was shit we was really doin! And we were rappin about that shit (laughing).
Also Vallejo was bringing a new sound to Rap. It wasn’t Ant Banks and the Too Short sound. It was more of a darker, moodier sound
Yeah! That’s what I would always tell Mike Mosley, “I like that mob sound! That horror music with like screams and that typa shit.” I didn’t want that ol’ happy-ass shit. My life wasn’t nothin happy. Wasn’t no sense in makin happy music when we wasn’t feelin happy. That’s what we was livin and that’s what we wanted to hear, stuff that could get us through the day. When it’s hard out there and a muthafucka couldn’t pay his rent or bills. Shit’s goin hard. That shit’ll make you go out and get your money.
You probably told Mike Mosley what sound you liked and that shaped the music.
That’s what it is. It’s really Gangsta music. That’s what it was, cause I seen a lotta people go to prison with that music. A lotta people told me, “I listened to your music and went just crazy!” Like, “I was mad and I put your CD in and I just went haywire.”
Your delivery was very different from other Bay Area rappers. What kind of feedback were you getting from the Bay Area people at that time?
They loved it! Even though it was different from what they was hearing. It got them to go to the level.
Lyrically you’ve always been a storyteller, but you present in such a way that it’s like poetry. You get a mysterious, ominous atmosphere. Do you write your lyrics in advance?
I write. I don’t too much plot on it. I’m like free-writing, I call it free-writing. If it comes to my mind, I just run with it. I just put myself inside the situation, the scenarios, and then it’s easy for me. I don’t know how I do this shit. I’ve experienced it, so it’s easy to write cause I’m in this shit.
It’s been so many years and your life has changed since then, can you still write about the same situations you wrote about when you were 21 years old?
The thing about me is I’m a real goon, so it’s hard for me to come out of character and go into character as far as acting. So my raps now is really pretty much about me now. I’m gonna say things that I did in the past to let muthafuckas know, but now it’s more of an OG talkin to a young nigga. It’s more on a boss level now instead of on a kid level or a gangbanger that’s real active, just terrorizing. The world has changed. If you don’t change with it you’re gonna just get left behind.
So on your new records, like on this new Thug Lordz album you did with Yukmouth, you’re a different C-Bo than you were back then.
It’s still the same C-Bo, but C-Bo just got older. C-Bo’s grown. But the lyrics and my personality is still C-Bo. I’m gettin older but I can still stand up with these young niggaz.
When I hear your new music I feel like you’re getting younger and more fresh.
That’s what they say, man. It’s really all this experience in the world. Goin around and havin all these different experiences. That’s what makes me take my music to another level. Now it’s time for us to go out in the world and take that to another level. That’s what I see myself doing in moving to Atlanta and workin with these South beats and different things that I’m doing. But I’m still keepin that sharp edge.
A lot of Gangsta rappers boast about all of these things they’ve done in the streets, but you were different. In your music there was always an underlying sadness, a melancholy helpless feeling. Where did that moody sadness come from?
Just bein down in the bottom. Down on the bottom where you can’t get up. They got us stuck in this fuckin maze that we gotta try to get ourselves out of. But at the same time, us bein kids we get involved in all these illegal activities that we see other kids involved in. We don’t know our rights. Some of us ain’t got no father leader or nothing like that. So we turn our misdemeanor into a felony, which means that we can never clean up again. Now our record’s so fucked up that we can’t get a job. Now what we got to do? We’re sellin dope. We fucked it up more because there’s nobody to help us. It’s like, “Ah they fucked it up, let’s kick him in his ass.” Your record is your record for life.
That’s what comes into your music, because all of us feel that desperation. We are all stuck in this grid, in this system, regardless. I can imagine you as a kid growing up. What did you look like?
Very very very skinny! I’ve got pictures. Me and my posse when we was in YA back in ’89. I was 17 or 18. I’ve got a khaki suit on, got a pimp fade—straight C-Bo. I didn’t have records out, but I was rappin. I always rapped ever since I was in juvenile hall.
How was it for you growing up in Sacramento?
I grew up on the South side of Sacramento. It was fun. Growin up was fun. I had a lotta good times, did a lotta bad things. I was a kid, no responsibilities or nothing.
That quality is also in your music. Though the subjects are dark, there’s something uplifting about it. What kind of memories do you have from that time?
Walkin around from my house or my neighborhood to projects with 4 or 5 of my homies. Every day we did this, we used to walk up to the corner store, hang out. Then we’d walk from the corner store down 29th Street to the projects. Ride bikes and stuff, ride on the handlebars. Ride on the handlebars with a shotgun on your lap, just cruising! That was the good ol’ days!
Are you still in touch with some of the people you knew back then?
Oh yeah, man. All my people. I’m an OG. Even though I might not be out there fuckin up anymore, everybody respect me. Everybody know what’s happening with me. Cause I’m still passing through.
Do you remember all the people you used to know?
Everybody! Hell yeah. Some people are hard to catch up to, but everybody’s everybody in Sacramento, man.
Were any of those people rappers?
It’s a few rappers. I grew up with Brotha Lynch, all them cats. I’m talkin about before this Rap shit. Once the Rap shit got started, everybody went their own way. But before that, Brotha Lynch was right there in the hood. We’d always see each other passing through, or we’d be at the carnival. They had a carnival coming to the mall with the rides and shit. Back then we used to have break dancing and poppin and shit. We used to have our own little dances and poppin where lil homies would pop and do their thang. Everybody else was gang bangin and shit.
How did music enter your life?
Music always was our drive. We always had music. We listened to everything, all the old school shit—the Ice Cube’s, LL Cool J’s. We always had the Hip Hop playin in the back, that old shit.
Was there one artist who inspired you to start rapping seriously?
Ice Cube, man!! Fuckin Ice Cube. Maaan, Ice Cube. “Gangsta Gangsta”. I’m talkin about the eighties. I started gang bangin in ’83. So ’85, 6, 7, on my way to the YA—Cube was the one. Cube is the one that really kept us goin in the streets with that music. I was always rappin anyway, before that. I wasn’t cuttin records, but I was rappin back then. While we was rappin we was doin the shit that we was doin!
I wonder why the Sacramento sound is much darker than the Bay Area Rap sound.
Because they’re raised in different ways. There’s a lot of gang activity in Sac, a lot of killin. It’s pretty grim in Sac. We kill for nothing; they kill for something. That’s the difference there. Right now it’s pretty much damn near the same though. You’ve got more people in the Sac that’s from the Bay than people who are from Sac.
Would you ever be able to make a record with the same feeling as the music you made when you were 21 years old? Can you go into that mindset?
What’s done is done. It’s history. Everybody loved “Gas Chamber”, everybody loves “Tales from the Crypt” and “Autopsy”. Why would I want to go back there? My music will always be nice.
The first Thug Lordz album was real hot. How does the new album compare with that one?
The first one was dope. This time we just went in there and made it work. We got some old songs on there, and we got some new songs on there. Just mixed it up. I think it’s a nice record. We didn’t go all the way dark with it. It’s Thug Lordz, so it’s more of a boss type shit, big money shit. These are the bosses right here. You got C-Bo and Yukmouth, two pioneers come together to cut this record. I put a bit of my vibe on there, my game. Yuk’s got his vibe—Bay Area ballin and turf shit. We came together and came off real cool though.
I hadn’t heard from you in a while. I kept asking people what was up with you and trying to get in touch with you. What was going on? You disappeared.
I was workin on an album. I wanted to write an album. I’ve been in Atlanta. I’ve been working with Young Buck. I’ve got some things poppin up right now. I’m working with Block Entertainment, tryin to do a new Boyz N Da Hood, so we’ve been working on that. That’s what’s up. We on it.
Do you think living in the South is influencing the way your music sounds?
Naw. I’m still gonna be doin that music. It’s street music, so it’ll never change. I don’t do girlie songs. I don’t make songs you can dance to. It’s all wild out Gangsta shit.
It would be interesting to hear if your music were remixed by some of these new club DJ’s. They would sound good in dance clubs too, you’d be surprised! If a DJ like Diplo or Sega were to cut up “Gas Chamber”, that would be classic. Are you working on a new solo album now?
I’m first gonna get this group thing done. I’ll come with something after that. I wanna do something major. I don’t think I’ll put it out independent.
I remember over the years whenever we wanted to do an article on C-Bo we couldn’t get photos because you were always locked up. That was hard for you. Do you think your career would have been different if you didn’t have all those problems?
Definitely. We took off in the era when shit was hard. Pac got killed. We were really the only label, AWOL Records, that was really new and independent. Wasn’t nobody selling no units independent. Sick Wid’ It was with Jive. We were the only ones that was out there in the streets, that had to go these cities, go to the ghettos, pass out these flyers, sell our CD’s. We went to Atlanta in ’95 when the FBI raided us. We got raided in Atlanta, everybody ended up goin to prison—all the people that ran the company. Once that broke up everybody was tryin to pull out in the California State parole type shit—we couldn’t make it happen. T had 13 years and I was caught up on some other shit. Master P had the game from us, he got it movin. He was in the South. He did what we were doin—goin to the Mardi Gras and Jack the Rappers and these other things and let the people see that it didn’t take no muthafuckin major to make the top 200 Billboard or whatever. That’s where we were, that’s what we were doin.
There was a gap for AWOL when you were all in prison. At that time people like Master P came in and took that place. And by the time you came out the game had moved to the South.
That’s exactly what happened.
What inspires you to do music?
Nothing inspires me but me and my family. I know what we got to do to stay above. I know I have to turn my stuff back up. I had my feet up, kickin back for a while, just enjoying life. I watched the game make the turn right in front of me. It was in the East, then the West, it’s in the South now. It’s time for the West to bring it back, somebody from the West—it’s gonna be me. We comin back with nothing but that Gangsta shit.
Jag skulle lägga upp delen med Yukmouth också, men jag har fått för mig att man kan få skit om man lägger upp hela intervjuer som tillhör andra så där. Den här skiten är ju snubbarna på Murder Dog’s leverbröd, så gå till deras sida och läs delen med Yukmouth. Ja, nu blir det bonnamat med en lättöl och lite ostkaka till efterrätt.