MACK 10, September 1995

Mack 10 emerged on the scene earlier this year with "Take A Hit" on the "Friday" soundtrack. His self-titled debut album that followed is reminiscent of the days of old when the N.W.A camp was still tight and before g-funk exploded onto the scene. We got a hold of Mack 10 while he was on tour promoting the album, which recently was certified gold.

So, the album just went gold, what's next for Mack 10?

"Hopefully platinum. I'm still trying to push on to platinum, you know. Get out there and keep doin' these shows and everything. We'll see what happens."

You're up on that new W.C. and the Maad Circle single, "West Up," and you've got "Westside Slaughterhouse" on your album. What's up with the East Coast-West Coast thing?

"I don't know. I mean, I ain't turnin' another cheek for nobody, you know what I'm sayin'? And I ain't gonna tuck my tail, so as long as them n----- come with that bullsh--, tryin' to dis, I'm gonna keep actin' the way I act. I never really understood it because when the East Coast was on top, we didn't do nothin' but give them props. Man, I ain't never said nothin' bad about Run DMC when they sold all them records, or Slick Rick or Kool Moe Dee or L.L. and them. But it's like when the tables were turned and the West Coast is goin' platinum and double-platinum, now all of a sudden they got a problem with it. I really don't understand that because West Coast people never did nothin' but support the East Coast rappers. I mean, if it's fresh, it's fresh, I don't care where you from. If it's dope, it's dope. But it's like they got a problem with the West Coast or somethin'."

What's up with Common Sense? Y'all got some kind of beef?

"Yeah, f--- him."

I talked to Common Sense about a month ago at the Source Awards, and I asked him what was up, and he said he didn't know because on his album, he said he didn't dis nobody except for the wack rappers who weren't keepin' it real.

"He was dissin' when he did that 'used to love h.e.r.' He dissed the West Coast, because in other words, he was sayin' that he loved hip-hop until it turned the way it is today. You understand what I'm sayin'? Like until it came to the West Coast and we blew it up with this gangsta sh--. Furthermore, if you don't love it no more, get out the business. You can only do this if you love it. I don't even see how the public accepted a song called 'used to love h.e.r.' If you ain't lovin' it no more, get up out the business because now you fakin'. Anything you're doin', you're fakin' if you really don't love it. So get on up out the business if you don't love it no more, 'cuz I got straight love for hip-hop. Everybody I know got love for it. Ice Cube is a true O.G. hip-hopper. W.C. is an O.G. hip-hopper. I surround myself with O.G.s and we ain't got nothin' but love for what we doin'. It seemed like he had a problem, like, in other words, he liked hip-hop until it turned the way it is today. That was a straight dis to the West Coast, 'cuz we runnin' sh-- with this gangsta sh-- right now, I don't care what nobody say. Because if I said I used to love her until it went East Coast and now I don't love it no more, that's a dis to the East Coast. But he didn't have enough balls to just dis. People should really think about what they puttin' down. You should think about what you're sayin' before you speak. So next time he disses..."

He said he wasn't going to say anything on paper about it, or to the press, but he said he might touch on it on his next album.

"He better not, or he'll get his career ended. Cause ain't no head up with me, Cube and W.C. If he disses me, I can guarantee you, W.C. and Ice Cube are gonna retaliate. If he disses Cube, me and W.C. gonna retaliate. If he disses W.C., me and Cube are gonna retaliate. Ain't no head up on ours. Westside Connection is my game. Westside Connection is what's happenin', and that's me, Cube and W.C. The Westside Connection, that's what I represent, and there ain't no such thing as head up when you doin' it like that."

When did you get started in the rap game?

"Junior high."

So how did you first hook up with Ice Cube?

"I first hooked up with Cube through Shorty from Da Lench Mob."

Is there anyone in the business you'd like to work with?

"Of course, I would love to get on a Dr. Dre track. You know, there ain't nobody in the history of rap that can get with him as far as producin'. I don't know, anybody that's real, I'm pretty much down with."

You got anybody you're gonna bring up?

"Yeah. I'm lookin' for some acts. I'm definitely lookin'."

You haven't found any yet?

"Not really that I can honestly say that they're the sh--."

I read that you used to get pumped up for football games listening' to N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton.

"Yeah. You know what? I just bumped that the other day. I had it in the CD, turned it up real loud and went crazy."

On your album, it sounds like you've got more of a return to that sound ...

"That's what I tried to do, exactly what I tried to do. Go back to like 1990 or somethin'. When I went to the table I told Cube, 'Man, we gotta make this record sound like it was made in like 1990.'"

So you used to play football?


What position did you play?

"Running back."

Was y'all any good?

"Oh, man I had game. I probably wouldn't even be rappin' if my knees didn't get bad. I had one bad knee, and that's why I didn't do too much after high school in football."

One thing we found interesting on your album is that you list all of your lyrics inside the cover...

"Yeah, I wanted people to respect me as I writer. I don't want people to say Mack 10 is comin' from the dome or freestylin' this or that. I wanted people to respect me as a writer. I want it to be known that Mack 10 is a writer. I put sh-- in story format. Like when I did 'Wanted Dead,' that high-speed chase on the second song on the album. The whole song is in story format. It's a chase, you know what I'm sayin? I try to put everything in story format."

So, how do you feel about the attacks on hip-hop that are goin' on in the government right now?

"There's a lot of people that just don't understand hip-hop. That's all it is. You know, I really don't get too political as far as preachin' and constitutional rights and the government and all. I'm a gangsta. This is all I know is this ghetto. That's all Mack 10 is gonna keep puttin' down. The only way you won't get another Mack 10 that's straight ghetto is if they ban it. Otherwise, you ain't never gotta worry about me changin' or nothin' like that. All my records are gonna be straight from the streets and they gonna be bumpin'. They ain't never gonna sound like no g-funk."

So what's up with the birds?

"I raise pigeons, homey. I've been raising 'em since I was a little boy."

How many you got?

"About 50 or 60."

So why do you like raising pigeons so much?

"They flip. I got tumblers, the kind that go up in the air and turn flips in the air."

What's the scene like in Inglewood?

"It's like L.A. Just a regular West Coast scene. I grew up in a gang-infested neighborhood."

I read somewhere that you used to cut hair.

"Yeah. I know how to cut hair real good. I never really went to school for it. I went to school for cuttin' hair for like two months and the teacher put me out and gave me my certificate and said I was completed, and it was supposed to be like a two-year process. I just knew how to cut hair naturally for some reason. Before I took it in school, I was cuttin' everybody's hair in the neighborhood, so that was just somethin' that was like natural to me."

So what's up with Cube? Is he gonna come with an album this year like always?

"I don't know, man."

Isn't he in South Africa?

"Yeah, he calls me every night. He says it's boring. I don't know if he's comin' with a record or not."

What was up with that intro to "Foe Life?" It sounded like you were dissin' KRS-One.

"It was just to say that we ain't fittin' to do nothin' that sounds East Coast. This is gonna be a West Coast record, and that's all there is to it."

What do you think of groups from the West Coast tryin' to sound like the East Coast?

"There are some that I question. It's like, 'Where do they think they're from?' Sound like Wu-Tang or somethin', sound like the East Coast. You on the Pacific, fool, this is West Coast foe life on mine."

So what do you do for fun out there?

"I kick it, man. I low ride. I love to low ride."

Now that you've got this album, do you have a lot of groupies?

"Oh, yeah. Groupies come with the territory. They're off the hook."

You gave props to Eazy E in your album cover. How has his death affected the hip-hop lifestyle?

"I don't know. It's definitely been a wake up call to everybody that this sh-- is real. See, when Magic got it, it didn't hit us like that 'cuz Magic is more out of reach than Eric was. Eazy is like somebody we kicked it with. I don't even know nobody that knows Magic, you know?"

So what are your plans for the future?

"I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to be a successful black businessman, whether it's in music or real estate. Got to keep these chips comin', homey. I'm on a straight paper chase."

-- Cvere and Mason Storm, The 411

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