Joe Dub

Hip-Hop Core: Alright, tell us about your childhood in SF, the records that had an impact on you..

Joe Dub: Growin up in "the city" was cool...It's one of the most diverse and open minded cities in the States. Alot of pride ..not just for the city itself but for culture as well. Music and art is not only embraced, it's encouraged. I started off singin in a choir and playin the trumpet. Plus my Mom would paint so I'd get in home art lessons. But I was hella in to sports also. I played baseball from like 5 or 6 years old through highschool. I was a raw ass in fielder...but couldn't really hit too well though...haha! But yeah I had a typical childhood I guess. Gettin in to trouble...girls...yunno that kinda shit. It wasn't really until like 85 that I started rhymin. It was more some fuck around shit we'd do in the schoolyard at lunchtime. Just freestyle shit.. braggin and baggin..recorded some shit just for fun...I still got those tapes..fucking funny stuff man. Around 86 or so I remember listening to KPOO (local hip-hop radio station in the bay) when they had dj's like ..KK...Marcus Clemens and Dan the Automator. One night I remember they played Eric B and Rakim "Check out my Melody," Mixmaster Gee "The Manipulator" (check artist), BDP-"My 9mm Goes Bang" and Just Ice "Latoya" in succession. I recorded that show still have that tape in fact. Anyways, once the show ended at that moment I knew I wanted to do this shit seriously. The beats moved me but I was more trying to rap then. It wasn't till 90 or 91 when I into making beats.

As far as records that inspired me rapwise? I was a fan of all of the old stuff. Flash, Kurtis Blow, Spoonie G, but it was the progressive shit that had me buggin. Anything that Kurtis Mantronik did..Just Ice (dopest mc of all time imo)...T LA Rock...all that...Schooly D was like a surrogate father to me as a child. Quite the role model!!! hahahahah!

HHC: L et's talk about the Westcoast Workforce. How did y'all came along together, the records/ tracks you did collectively... everything. I once read about a reformation with you, Sub, Radioinactive, Xinxo, Liferex and Omid.. is that true? What about the other ones (i thought megabusive, memorex, pbofa, premonition, anti mc and alex75 were part also..) ?

JD: Well the Workforce was around before I was put on. It was Xinxo, Sub, AntiMC, Radio, Premonition, Memorex, Rhetoric and some other folks. It wasn't until 99 when I was at the B-boy Summit at ---- that I met Sub and AntiMC. We traded tapes and that was that. That was like February or March. Then in July of 99 P-minus hits me up and is like "Radio and Antimc are in town and trying to get at you" gave me the number. I called em..chopped it up for a good second but we never got a chance to hang out then. In September, Deeskee, Maleko and I rolled down to LA to kick it at the Shapeshifter house in Westwood where Rob One (RIP), Exist, Bleek and Dr. Lewd lived. We left SF at about 5 AM and got in at 10 PM. Pull up to the house and Rob is sitting outside car full of records, sayin "cool you guys are here...let's go." He had a gig and was waitin on us. So we go to the show..and i'm outside smokin and sub walks up and he's like what's up, you wanna be down with the Workforce? That was pretty much it. Megabusive, Liferexall and them got down right after that. As for getting back together, me, Xinxo, Radio, Subtitle, and Rexall, got together and talked about it when I was in LA in 2004. Some of the old names came up, but due to differences and conflictin schedules we left it at that. Omid and Premonition were included as well. But with everyone doing solo shit right now, it's just a name we claim, no albums or tours will be coming anytime soon. Me and Xinxo joke that we are the Workforce. But all of us still work together..still hang out and what not...the timing is just off right now. I'm trying to get a Workforce song on my album ...we'll see!

HHC: Y ou probably have one of the most filled discography in the bay, tons of collaborations and obscure groups.. what were the most important ones to you? also there's this one called The Citadel, which was supposed to be you, sub, liferex and megabusive.. does this one only ever existed?

JD: I've been blessed to work with the people I have! My favorite one would have to be with the folks I know the most. Friends..not just mc's doin songs together...people. Cuz there's no chemistry there. It's not just like "Hey let's do a song to do a song" it's because you know the person and you know they'd fit the mood of the song, whatever it may be. Some shit is fuck around and some is serious with money involved, but either way if it's the's fun! The folks I like workin with are like..All the Workforce, Deeskee, the Shapes, Khule, Topic, Tommy V, and the list goes on. It's laid back and relaxed when we work. Bustin jokes...talkin story..that's what I like. Like me and 2mex did this songwhen he was in Hawaii ...some quick shit...he's talking about his trip to Hawaii ..I was talking about mine to LA. It's probably won't ever come out...but those are the best collabs when you do it for fun.

Citadel? HAHAHA. How'd you hear abuot that? Yeah we did that at Sub's mom's house in Mid City. Me, Megabusive, Subtitle, and Life were kickin it hard. We all made beats and rapped so Sub had the idea let's each make a 2 beats and do songs in like a week. But the only way Sub would let me rap on it was if I styled hard....HAHAHA! See he saw me freestyle once and I was stylin it up..haha..blowed style. But that's another yeah we did that shit...came out tight. But it was just for fun..wait so you have a copy? Cuz I don't. I think Sub is the only one with it.

HHC: O n The Walk you say: 'while my friends are doin different shit, i'm doin the same'.. and it's true that your music sounds very sunny and positive, as opposite as folks like Subtitle (you did a beat on YDH though)... what about your influences and what do you think of albums like Labwaste? would you do an album with a different type of instrumentals?

JD: Oh the Labwaste album is fucking raw..that's my shit right there...from the day I got it, it hasn't left my cd player. Once everything slows down with Gino i'm gonna ask him to produce an entire album for me. Those fools are fuckin dope. Hands down my favorite album of the year. I would never make anything like that myself though. My visions beatwise are different from theirs. I'll leave their sound to them..they got it on lock. I couldn't do it justice.

HHC: Y ou moved recently to hawaï.. tell us about it, how's life out there, differences with california , the hip hop scene, if it's a good place for cratedigging... the cool places... anything.

JD: Life in Hawaii is slow. A far cry from the pace of the rest of the States. Everybody out here does things at their own speed. Where as in Cali everythings done on a schedule. I pretty much work between the two...though it's tough sometimes. It's a small island so the scene is smaller than I'm used to. There's some good talent and the fans support. I don't get out that much though so I can't speak on it too much. Yeah man there's a few dope spots for diggin out here. I left alot of my records back in Cali and I have like 5,000 here in Hawaii. Most of which I got here, some common shit, some rare shit, but theres alot of come ups, not many people out here are lookin for the kind of stuff I am. So I always find something worth while. Plus, the prices are record is ever over $20...almost everything is under $5..I'm kind of spoiled with that!

HHC: A re you doing a job besides hip hop? if not, how do you manage to live decently?

JD: Nah, I haven't had a 9 to 5 in about 3 or 4 years. Music hasn't been great to be but it's been good enough. I just sell beats and work on music all day. Hit the beach and drink myself to sleep.

HHC: Y ou got an album with Ellay Khule called "In A World Of My Own" that will be released soon... can you tell us about it? and also, what about this 8 inch released by Anti Party? i'm curious to see what a 8" looks like... who had the idea for this size?

JD: It's actually called "In My Own World" The album came about through a mutual friend of Khule and I. He told Khule to check out my beats and I've always been a fan of Khule since I can remember so I was obviously down. At first I'd send him beats in the mail...then he wrote the songs....then i flew out to la to lay the beats and vocals down.... I prefer doing music in person not long distance. It helps the chemistry. But yeah, I didn't want to give him elaborate beats...I wanted his vocals to be the focus...there's something for every khule fan on the album....there's some hard rifleman shit.....some ellay khule aggressive styling...and some real heart felt personal shit....this album is probably the most complete project i've worked on to and khule have talked about doin another project together so this definately won't a one shot for the's a collection of about 5 or 6 songs off my old "noise pollution" tape....yeah dj plankton from anti party really wanted to release the whole album on vinyl but...i'm about moving the sound quality on that tape really wouldn't cut in on we agreed to bust a limited run of 8"'s with some of the songs off noise pollution should be coming out in july....very limited though....i heard something like under 100 are being pressed...

HHC: More generally, as a westcoast OG, what's your opinion on the evolution of the underground scene?

JD: Umm i mean... damn... haha... it's weird... i'm kinda removed from the cali scene being out here in hawaii... but... i'll say this... the way the scene used to be.... everyone knew their had the mcs/djs/producers/bboys.... the vendors.... promotors.... and the fans..and who you were was cool..everyone respected it..... now with all the advancements with technology and free programs for computers.... i'd have to honestly say that 70-75% of the people in the scene are mc's or producers i'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed their voice...but....go through the proper one has to hustle anymore....we used to take the last 100 bucks we had....go get tapes made...have about 20 bucks left....spend that on gas and roll to la....just to slang tapes at shows...and to tap into a different region....get our shit out there...sleep in cars...on couches whatever....we'd sell about 50 tapes or so in a weekend for 5 bones...and come back home broke.....but to us the trips were always a got a website with a's so easy don't have to leave your house and you can move 1000 units no sweat...i'd have to sum it up by saying that there's less passion nowadays....i really don't want to go any deeper into this.....haha

HHC: How do you see yourself at 50? and do you project yourself in the future as a rapper, i mean, do you have plans of doing something else?

JD: A t 50?....if i make it that far...i'll still be making music....if i'm rappin still it'll probably just be for myself....but i'll still be producing...i'm a proud drop don't think i'll ever rock a career or a 9 to 5 for that matter again....but if my life changes drastically by then....i can say i'll always have music....

HHC: W hat are you listening to right now... and your all time 5 favorite lps..?

JD: R ight now....i'm listening to ellay khule-califormula...alot of mandrill.....gong....totally insane....young ed....alot of my beats(not because i'm an ego maniac...but because i'm kinda forced to listen to them as i make them)....and all the myspace mc's who want me to "check out their tracks".......all time 5? i mean.....i'll just give you 5 incredible albums i'm listening to now.....utfo-lethal earth wind and fire-greatest hits...sade-love deluxe......cid-harder they come.....just ice-back to the old school

HHC: What about your future releases? do you plan to have some other artists on Asita?

JD: F or me i got my new album "Pooretry" almost completed...that should be coming out in like sept/oct of this year....the pain killers album...which is me and my homegirl topic...that's gonna be out on beyond space ent. ...not really sure of the date there....but that one's bangin....we got beats from...sach...deeskee...liferexall...matth...meaty ogre...alex75 and many many i said before....the khule album is pretty much done...we're just waiting for califormula to drop....before we release it.....yeah there's gonna be alot of other folks comin out on asita....once i finish my album...i'm going to start a project with nocando....he's a younger cat coming out of blowed and his crew customer service...he's got some specific shit he wants to do so i'm making sure i'm free of all commitments before i start on that.... plus an asita/la2thebay beat series....the first installment i believe will be myself...deeskee...liferexall and sach....just all instrumentals... some old some new....we'll be puttin out new ones like twice a year...featuring all the producers in the family... and i'm currently trying to do a couple projects with some other folks but so far it's just talk...

HHC: Ok thanks a lot for the interview.. any last words?

JD: I guess just thanks to all the supporters world wide... from hawaii to europe....and of course one love to all my family... blood/friends/musicians... the people i do this for... be easy.

Interview by Pseudzero
August 2005

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