With The Big Doggs (Pt. 1)
By Gregory L Johnson
Snoop (talking to Bad Azz) : See how Priority did
their thing [promoting] this album right here [singling
out an NWA album on a plaque of the label's groundbreaking
albums hanging on the wall], man? They came out doin'
this kinda shit: NWA, Geto Boys …
Bad Azz: Well, they fucked my first record up! If
they woulda did that to Tha Last Meal, I was really
gon' kill somebody!
Well, they fucked my first record up! If they woulda
did that to Tha Last Meal, I was really gon' kill somebody!
Snoop: Well, don't feel bad. They fucked Top Dogg
off. Remember, "Bitch Please" was the song that brought
the West Coast back. They managed to fuck that album
up! But we gon' leave it alone. We on another record
right now. (Turning his attention to the VIBE.com staff)
All bullshit aside, Priority don't know how to put no
Bad Azz record out. That's why I'm steppin' in here,
cause I love my lil' nigga and I don't wanna see him
go out backwards twice. He's a part of me. If he look
bad, I look worse. If he look good, I look great. I'm
trying to put him in the situation where he can learn
how to put together a solid record. The key to longevity
is to put together a solid record. It can't be no one-hit
wonder. It's got to be meat and potatoes. From top to
bottom, we gotta concept it. What is this record about?
What are you about? What do niggas know about you? What
do they wanna know about you? You gotta put all that
shit on wax. And once you get them wantin' to know about
you, you gotta keep 'em hooked.
VIBE: Wasn't there an album a while ago, a song
on a soundtrack, that both of you were involved in?
Snoop: LBC Crew, "Beware of My Crew." It was on
the Martin Lawrence movie [A Thin Line Between Love
and Hate ] soundtrack.
Bad Azz: That's what set us off. [Snoop] used to
tell me when he slid through the Eastside, "Man, I'mma
start this little group, you know I gotta get my shit
right." And me, personally, I was like the last rapper
that he recruited, so it's like, Tray Dee was there,
Lil' Style, Technique, Soopafly, Cyntrell, LT - we was
doin' a lot of music, but that song? Snoop was like,
"this what y'all need to bust on." And I bust on the
shit, and the shit was real mega. That's where I learned
to trust his judgement. This nigga got a silly ear for
Snoop: Actually, where I got the idea to do that
song, I was in the hood rapping. [In] '87, '88, we used
to make beats and Domino - his name was Gigolo back
then - Gigolo had a song off the "Heartbreaker" beat,
and it was harder than a muthafucka. I was like, "If
I had the right rappers…" When I added all the right
pieces, the LBC crew, I was like, I wanna do a song
with my group, and I'm not on the song. I want them
to stand on their own two feet and I'mma produce the
song so I can be a part of it. That's where I came in
as far as just producing it with LT [Hutton], laid a
few keys and let them niggas rap their ass off. [I]
gave them the concept, DJ Pooh put the talkbox on it,
then we got Roger Troutman to do the remix, rest in
peace. It was off the hook.
VIBE: What was it like working with Roger Troutman?
This nigga got a silly ear for music! Retarded!
- Bad Azz On Snoop's Taste In Music
Snoop: [Inhaling smoke] That was my dog, man. Roger
Troutman was like a big ass kid, man. I mean, when you
called him on the phone, he talkin' like Daffy Duck,
man. He talkin' on the [Vocoder], "Ay yaay yaaay, Nnn-Yaay
yaay yaa-ay!" He was not like an old man. He did not
smoke no weed, none of that shit, but he was like, so
energetic and so fun. I remember the last time I talked
to him was after 'Pac died. We was at Larabee Studios
West, and he was just comforting me like, "You know
Dogg, you gotta be strong," just being there for me
like a real uncle should because I was kinda confused
VIBE: Was he the first member of the Funk Mob that
Snoop: I met James Brown , Bootsie Collins, Bernie
Worrell Parker Jr. Cuz, I'm fonkay (funky)! I go out
and look for 'em. And then yesterday, just on some ol'
school shit, I went and found Special Ed. I'm finna
put Special Ed back in the game. I really liked his
shit growin' up. And I feel like he's a missing piece
in the rap game right now.
VIBE: Might there be one of those famous Snoop remakes
Snoop(smiles): "Still Got It Made"? "We on a Mission"?
Bad Azz: I'm like "damn, [I'm] in the presence of
muthafuckas that's legendary to me," if [Special Ed]
wasn't legendary to nobody else. I done met Flavor Flav
dealing with Snoop, and met Biz Markie. Snoop, he always
been famous to me, but it was more of like a local fame
though. I heard his tapes before they really even surfaced.
When you got someone that close to you and then they
become a rap icon? And superstars I thought I'd never
see, they like this fool. Special Ed didn't do five
solo albums. I'm really starting to see as an artist
on my second record, what it takes to be a superstar
and make five records. It's hard work! It ain't something
VIBE: You've stolen the show on a lot of guest appearances.
What are your favorites?
Bad Azz: I feel like I've been blessed to do some
nice things in the rap game [but] I haven't done the
"nicest" thing yet. I did a duet with the late great
Tupac on that [Makaveli] album [entitled "Krazy"]. The
song wasn't all the way planned. I fell into the studio
one day. Him and the Outlawz was working, and he was
like "What's up?" like he was rushing them. "Somebody
got something? Drop something!" And he had two verses
[of "Krazy"] playing, and I said "I got something for
it." He was like, "Go drop it!" I vibed off that song.
It was crazy because … that rap I wrote two days before
that. It was just a feeling. You know how you be in
touch with yourself a certain way? It was just one of
those down days.
VIBE: I heard a rumor that you had to get some lawyers
involved to make sure you got paid for "Krazy." Care
to talk about that?
Bad Azz: Yeah. Everyone keeps sayin' that I'm suing
Tupac's mom. I ain't never took his mom to court, and
I would never take no money out his mom's pocket. Me
and him had a relationship that was friends and music.
If there was any money exchanged, it was because of
the love. Snoop (talking to Bad Azz): But you know what
though? If 'Pac was alive, you wouldn'tna went through
that bullshit. But since bullshit muthafuckas running
his [estate], they felt like, "Nigga, 'Pac gave you
a chance on this record, nigga - you don't deserve no
money! You oughta be thankful." And that's what be the
fucked-up mentality a lot of times. [Turning his attention
to VIBE.com] If 'Pac respected [Bad Azz] enough to let
him rap on this shit, goddamnit, break bread with him,
even if you give a nigga 50 cent! [They] wanna act like
a nigga ain't got nothing coming. A nigga got to eat!
[He] gave his all up on that song, and true indeed it
was with 'Pac, but goddamn, [Bad Azz] did his damn thang
too! That's how the game go, but me personally, when
I get down with muthafuckas, I don't do it like that.
I break bread. Everybody that fuck with me done got
chipped off. You'll never hear nothin' about Snoop Dogg
not payin' a nigga! I pay muthafuckas - up front, behind
the wall, under the table, it don't matter.
VIBE: On the East Coast you have open mics, rapping
in a circle [on the streets], different ways for an
underground artist to get their buzz going. I wonder
whether it's like that out in L.A. or on the West Coast?
You'll never hear nothin' about Snoop Dogg not payin'
a nigga! I pay muthafuckas - up front, behind the wall,
under the table, it don't matter.
Snoop: It's hard on the West Coast. You got record
labels that just put out hate music. Then you got a
label like mine that's putting out positive music and
giving back opportunity. There's so much hate out there,
and there's confusion and money and everybody seeing
what's going down and a lot of people don't like to
take directions. First of all, when you on Dogghouse
Records, the first thing you gotta do is take directions.
From Tray Dee on down to the littlest artist we got,
they all respect and take direction from me. Cause I
feel like, I've been in the game long enough to direct
you to not make those mistakes. So what I try to do
is make the West Coast like the East Coast, where it's
open, there's a lot of rappers, a lot of new, fresh
talent - street shit, R&B shit, just open up them airwaves.
The West Coast, we feel like we get cheated because
we don't get no airplay on the East Coast. But if you
come to the West Coast, the East Coast niggas get played
seven days a week. It's not fair, but who are we to
blame? The artists, the program directors, or the muthafuckin'
DJs? We should blame the whole rap community because
the East Coast artists should stand up and say something
as a unit, "We respect [West Coast rappers] individually,
now we gonna make the radio respect them." [East Coast]
niggas don't know who Mixmaster Spade is, who our legends
and Gs is, but here we is respecting their Gs, and Marley
Marl suing me for 150 muthafuckin' thousand dollars
for borrowing the "Ghetto Symphony"! I'm a real nigga
from hip hop; I'm giving you love for re-doin' this
VIBE: Y'all got Rakim coming over to deal with y'all.
Snoop: Rakim with Dre right now in the lab. I'm
sayin', "Why didn't none of these niggas out here hook
him up? Why I got to go find Special Ed?"
VIBE: Is time healing some of the wounds, the disagreements?
For example, you and Daz. Is the Dogg Pound come back
Snoop: DPG gon' be on Dogghouse. You can make that
official like a referee with a whistle!
VIBE: What about 213?
Snoop: We in the same boat. If it ain't Dogghouse,
I ain't fuckin' with it. And they already know what's
happenin'. That's the shit that's movin' right now.
VIBE: No matter what big record label …
Snoop: Fuck 'em. It's gotta be Dogghouse first.
You know what I'm sayin'? Go through my channels. That
way, I can make sure it's gonna be handled right. Cause
I know how to get in there and articulate and talk and
make these muthafuckas give up bread and do what they
'sposed to be doin'. If I depend on your peoples, it
might not happen.
VIBE: What about the NWA project?
Marley Marl suing me for 150 muthafuckin' thousand
dollars for borrowing the "Ghetto Symphony"! I'm a real
nigga from hip hop; I'm giving you love for re-doin'
Snoop: I'll let Dr. Dre handle his business on that
cause I'm takin' a backseat to a bigger power than me.
VIBE: When is it coming out?
Snoop [pauses]: 2002, being honest - 'cause niggas'
schedules is hectic right now. [If] that record gon'
come together, we gon' need to have nothin' to do for
two months but be in the studio and create this NWA
record. Other than that, shit ain't gonna happen.