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Beeda Weeda Q& A

Learn your Turfology

Beeda Weeda brings images of sideshows, beat downs and other elements of street life with Turfology, one of the latest releases to help fuel the increased interest in Oakland’s burgeoning rap scene. The album also marks the debut release on Clear Label Records, a new company created by Hieroglyphics co-founder Tajai, a rapper known more for rocking college campuses than gritty street corners. Beeda Weeda spoke with SF Station during a phone interview.

SF Station (SFS): You’re from the Murder 20s neighborhood in Oakland. What is life like out there right now?

Beeda Weeda (BW): It’s hectic right now. It’s hectic all over Oakland. My whole neighborhood supports me, so right now our thing is music. Music is the positive thing that is keeping our spirits up and keeping us going. I have a lot of loved ones that have passed away this year and a lot of loved ones that are in jail. I’m trying to stay on the road as much as possible to keep away from the hood so I don’t get wrapped up in bullshit. It’s just like any other hood with problems.

SFS: Crime is increasing just as Oakland musicians are gaining steam and getting more national exposure. Do you think there is any correlation?

BW: Crime has always been here, but there is a lot more attention over here now from the media. Hopefully, the attention is good so somebody can do something about the situation. Exposing our lifestyle shows our reality. It’s necessary right now because people don’t know what is going on and, now that they see it, maybe they can make a change.

It’s the drugs on the streets and financial issues that are causing crime. Music doesn’t really have anything to do with it. The music is a reflection of what is going on. It doesn’t cause anything to happen, if anything it brings attention.

SFS: You call your music street narration, what is that?

BW: I’m not rapping and saying, “I’m the hardest nigga and this and that, and I’ve killed 40 niggas.” If I had done that I’d be in jail today. I’m narrating, talking about what I see, people I grew up with and what’s going on around me.

SFS: You were a producer for seven years before you picked up a mike. Why did you start rapping?

BW: When I was a producing for my partner, I was messing around and started writing hooks and he told me I should start writing raps. I started writing raps and we formed a group, but he got caught up and that forced me to started doing songs by myself. I started doing my thing and it took off from there.

SFS: How did you hook up with Tajai?

BW: When I started rapping solo, I put a little album out in my neighborhood and somehow it got to him. He came out looking for me and it was good from there.

SFS: His background is in a different side of the hip-hop spectrum than the music you make. Where you surprised when he tracked you down to do business?

BW: I looked at is a compliment. He has been in the game for a long time, he has a good fan base and he is real lyrical. For him to come fuck with my shit like that, I thought it was a good look. But, it didn’t really affect me too much. Good music is good music, regardless of what type style of rap or hip hop it is.

SFS: You did all the casting for E-40’s “Tell Me When to Go” video shoot. Where did you get all the cars for the sideshow scenes?

BW: They were just people from Oakland. I asked a lot of people I know to come out. Even though there is a lot of hatred going on, if someone from Oakland is trying to shine people support each other. The whole hip-hop scene coming from Oakland and the Bay has been lacking in visuals, so I just thought if the rest of the world could see what we are doing they would pay more attention and get more opportunities. And ’Town niggas is arrogant, so if E-40 wants to get the whole street element of the sideshow, we are going to show them.