Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dave Dub: On to the West

Dave Dub (photo by Marco Romano)
Peanut Butter Wolf - "Necromancin' feat. Dave Dub" from My Vinyl Weighs a Ton (1999, Stones Throw Records)
Dave Dub - "On to the West" from Programmed D (2005, Grand Good)

The man known for killing the lovers and destroying the idols, lounging with the executives of California’s Bay Area, and jotting down notes from the cliff is set to discharge havoc on the masses with his “Programmed D” scheduled for release September 06, 2005. The Baron, Dave Dub, is a controversial figure in the world of Hip Hop and rightfully so. We were forewarned about his feelings of interviews and what types of questions to ask. So, we gave thought to our questions before we spoke.


Diggin’ Music: Just to get the record straight…some say that Dave is still located in the Bay, some say he is getting jiggy in Florida, and others say that he is throwing house parties for Castro in Havana; where on the atlas is Dave Dub operating from today?

Dave Dub: Currently, I'm operating out of San Jose California. The Ze', San Hopeless or whatever one chooses to call the turf of sharks that seek prey on dry land. Fidel is anxious to get me back out to Cuba though. We had a ball when I was out there last...and Florida, well let's just say that I came across some incriminating photos of Jed Bush when I was out there, they caught wind so I had to raise up.

DM: OK Dave, how do you find “interviews” and, in general, journalism in Hip Hop today? Has your opinion changed from your past beliefs or been influenced in any way recently?

DD: Well, I remember the first issue of The Source when it originally dropped. I've seen the importance of Hip Hop journalism transition from being really informative to lackluster attempts to promote wack acts. The only vicious journalism nowadays worth tuning into is usually online. That's what's beautiful about the whole journalistic realm. The alternatives. There's still a couple mags that I pick up on occasion. Fuck 'em all though, cuz none of those mags ever cover me or the fools I'm affiliated with. We're too out there I hope.

DM: Do you feel like music could exist without the politics of the business?

DD: Why would it want to? The corruption, dishonesty, disloyalty, death, disease, payola, bitches, snakes, con men, hustlers and such. It's great. It's a microcosm of America in its purest form. I love it. And it exists on both, the indy and corporate level of the game. I hope it never changes. I love the current state of the culture. The music by itself would level shit down to strictly talent and artistry. Who the fuck would want that?

DM: You have been a noticeable force of Bay Area rap for well over 10 years now, and that’s longer than some rappers’ career, have you achieved everything you wanted to do with your music or are there elements that you have yet to implement in your sound?

DD: When I first started rhyming in '88, my goal was to hear my voice on a 12'' record. That's it. I did that. Everything else was just for kicks. I take my craft very seriously, but unfortunately, I was never into selling myself. My career has probably suffered as a result. I do what I do cuz I have to. Sometimes I wish I could quit but I can't. It's like, my life is an immune system and Hip Hop is full blown AIDS. It's unrelenting, and it has taken my life. I guess that's why I'm so sick. There's still hella shit I'm interested in exploring style wise and sound wise, but I don't know what yet. Actually, I know exactly what I'm on the verge of doing...stay tuned.

DM: What was your first song and what did it speak about?

DD: "I Go For Mine". It was a battle rap I recorded through some headphones into a tape deck. It was one of those contraptions with the turntable attached to the tape deck. This was in 1989. Me, my cousin Mike and the homie Keno had a group called Big Mac Productions, and they kicked me out or some shit, so I dissed those fools. I rhymed over an instrumental for Shaft. It was strictly fun shit. I came for those fools though...

DM: Would you ever do an R&B song? Something a la Murder Inc.? It’s murdaaah!

DD: Man, I've got a whole pop album I'm sitting on. It's gonna be a sonic mind fuck. It's gonna be like Johnny "Guitar" Watson meets Michael Jackson when "Thriller" was manhandling the charts.

DM: But, seriously though, your music is raw! It’s a sound that, shall we say, is exclusive to that San Jose area. How did your style form and what influences did you draw from prior to doing your first song?

DD: When I was a kid, I was influenced by all types of shit. Musically, soul and Hip Hop. As I got older my tastes became a hybrid of soul, punk, funk, jazz and reggae. Basically, weird, unorthodox, unrecognizable shit. Especially since Hip Hop embodies everything.

DM: It’s almost impossible to listen to Dave Dub and not ask how Uncle Sam helped shape your savagery blunted raps? (Respect to Mr. Aeks)

DD: Well it's very simple. I'm a fuckin' commie parading as a capitalist! Nah, seriously I love this country. I just hate most of the lames in it and the lames that make up the governing body.

DM: Those of our readers checking out this interview right now are most likely already aware of the things you’ve put out in the past; from those early EIM days and Underbomber Clique, to the more recent SubContents material. Those that don’t know you, fuck ‘em! What projects are you working on today and what are we to expect in the near future?

DD: Man, I was never a part of none of that shit. I'm a big fan of all those groups mentioned though. As far as now, there's hella projects cooking. The "Stalin and Lenin" album with me and Jihad from Third Sight. The "Fucking Mutants" album with me and Megabusive. The Dub Brothers album "Bad Luck and Bad Bitches", a collaboration between me and Young Joseph aka Joe Dub. The Epidemic album with comrades Grunge Toefu and Kaoe Device. Those are just a few projects, not to mention the "Ligaments For Amputees" twelve inch. That's me and my folks Ro pushing boundries. Release dates? Who knows...

DM: Since early 2004 there was buzz about the album entitled “That, Which Don’t Bleed”. It was extremely anticipated by your fans. How did “Programmed D”, out of left field, come about before this? Are any of songs recorded for “That, Which Don’t Bleed” on “Programmed D”.

DD: Yeah, "Programmed D" is actually "That, Which Don't Bleed". But that was initially the first concept. I dropped a 12" called "Upgraded Text", with my folks the Architect some time back. And that was technically the single for "Programmed D". " The album is produced by Tapemastah Steph, Ro, Clishe' and Megabusive. It's a compilement of a bunch of nutty shit I've been reconfiguring on and off for the last couple of years.

DM: This album is strictly indie, will you ever do a major label release after the demise of 75ark? How did SubContents end up with 3 different versions of the album “Notes From the Cliff”? Please, explain.

DD: The whole 75 Ark thing was fucked. "Notes From the Cliff" was a classic album. When the label folded, the album kinda sat in limbo and a couple of different people tried to put it out. Hence, the different covers and rearranged tracklistings. Nowadays I'm really deadset on getting my label, Isolated Wax, back on its feet. Especially since with this indie, underground shit, fools call you to tell you lies and the business side is crooked. No different than corporate shit really...

DM: You’ve worked with a sleuth of legendary beatcrafters in the past, including Peanut Butter Wolf, The Architect, Fanatik and Tapemastah Steph. With such a vast spectrum of production each of them brought a unique sound to your music and it’s possible that if somebody liked tracks you did with one producer they may not be feeling tracks you did with another. This is true for any artist-fan relationship. How do you feel about this?

DD: I feel like each producer a rhymer builds with, will pull out different styles and subjects from him or her. I spit usually according to what the beat says to me. So I feel like fans are definitely gonna get a vast array of songs from any artist that works with hella producers. Some of it fans might dig, other shit they'll wish never existed; including the artist.

DM: Any valuable advice you might have collected over the years for aspiring MC's out there?

DD: Stay away from fake, 6 faced people, style the way you want to, don't do hard drugs and get all the pussy, money and spirituality that you can...

DM: Dave, you’re a busy man and your time’s highly appreciated. Please forgive the long-winded questions and thanks again. Do you have any last words, shouts, or F.U.’s?

DD: Yeah, fuck all you faggots that front. Dave Dub and the Sutter Cain Gang don't even exist.


Dave Dub’s “Programmed D” hits stores September 06, 2005 and you can pick up your copy at Access Hip Hop.

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