Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:34:02
"Every day above is love," smiles Scoe.
That statement holds true especially when you're successfully keeping old school West Coast hip-hop alive. Scoe is one of the torchbearers for the Los Angeles sound that defined a generation, and that's easy to feel after one listen to his latest project Tha Influence. [SoundCloud link Attracting the likes of Xzibit and Kendrick Lamar to the fold, he delivers an intoxicating and infectious California opus. It's the start of big things for the West yet again.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Scoe opens up about Tha Influence, talks movies, and so much more.
What ties Tha Influence together?
The long hours of work I put into it [Laughs]. Tha Influence was just never finished. Nothing was ever completed. It was one of those types of projects. I put every single ounce of energy and time I had into it.
Was there a story you wanted to tell throughout?
It's my story and the influences growing up. Those are the things that make me who I am. That's Tha Influence. It is what it is. Everybody is influenced by something. A lot of people are influenced by me. I know I've been influenced by a lot of people. A lot of people are under the influence of music anyway. Everything is influenced by something. Every action has a reaction. That's what it's all about. It's all about evolution. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I changed a lot, but I'm still the same me—just a lot better.
What's the story behind "Somebody Gotta Win"?
The way I see it, every time somebody wins, there's got to be a loser. Everybody really served their purpose. There can't be winners without losers. There can't be successes without failures. With every failure comes the seed of the equivalent success. Everything has a purpose, even your failures in life. You've got to lose before you can win. You've to crawl before you can walk. You can't be a boxer and never lose. Floyd Mayweather may have no losses on his record, but he lost in the gym. That's how he learned to fight.
Failures are just lesson.
Exactly! It's a record that makes you understand in life, if you're a George Foreman and you lost to Muhammad Ali, that's a fight that went down in history. Even George Foreman wouldn't say he'd want anybody else to be in that position but him. He went on to be the champion.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Yeah, it's a step forward for me because I've always been able to paint a picture with a record, but to be able to paint a picture that could help somebody, teach a lesson, tell a story, or have an experience in my life manifest in a way I could share it with the rest of the world. It's not just selling them something. It's giving them something.
Where did "They Ain't Ready" come from?
That's gangsta shit [Laughs]. That's how I grew up. That's paying homage to my lifestyle and how I grew up. Having Xzibit on it was a plus for me because he's the big homie, and I always wanted to work with him. For him to drive down to the studio in L.A. and knock out the record, that was different. It was like it was the nineties again. I was always younger than everybody. To have your big homie come out, acknowledge, remember you, and support you, I don't get that a lot.
How did Kendrick Lamar get on the album?
He's another one who descended from on high to show support. "Thank You" is meant to make me remember and help everybody else to remember. It's dope. He was like, "Thanks for letting me be a part of it". He's humble. He's so successful and where he's at because he understands and pays homage to where he came from. He gets it. Real recognizes real.
If Tha Influence were a movie or a combination of movies, what would it be?
Wow, that's a dope ass question. I'd have to say a combination of Harlem Nights, Menace II Society, and Boyz 'N the Hood. It's the South Central vibe with a little bit of Scarface—the 1932 version. If you hear the actual album, Tha Influence I have coming after the mixtape, you'll hear it in a more cinematic way. It's crazy you said it that way. The album is so crazy. There are alternate album revisions. It's everything I did on the mixtape revamped and taken to the next level. I had a lot of East Coast and down south-sounding records and adding a West Coast flavor. I have another version of the "Cocaine" record with more of a Colombian flavor. I want to shoot a video with that Colombian feel like the 1983 Scarface. I was born in '83. I appreciate great questions like that!
Have you heard Scoe? Check out his site Roscoe DPG!