By Brandon E. Roos
Two rappers cut from the same cloth, bred on the same streets, and linked to the same label, Spider Loc and 40 Glocc were bound to eventually collaborate at length and March 29 will finally present the result: Graveyard Shift, a DJ Drama hosted retail mixtape Spider Loc guarantees “people that appreciate our style of music are gonna love.” Even with mainstream Rap taking on a poppier sound, the two G-Unit affiliates remain locked on creating the music they've always loved: a gritty sound at one with the streets once known as gangsta rap that 40 Glocc prefers to label “reality music.”
HipHopDX spoke with the two West Coast emcees about how their album is right on time (despite what some fans may have thought), how “Wack-O-Pedia” can have unforeseen consequences, and how gang life in L.A. is far from what it was.
HipHopDX: How was the chemistry between you two while working on Graveyard Shift?
Spider Loc: Real natural, man, just natural. We lead similar lives, have similar concepts and views on the world and just life, period. We evolved in the same big group of Voltrons, so it was just easy. We both hold our own weight – he do his part, I do mine. We throw a little seasoning on it and it's a wrap.
HipHopDX: Did you guys find yourselves fitting into certain lyrical roles when recording, or did you two stick to the same blueprints you use as solo artists?
Spider Loc: We'd be in the studio and go through some instrumentals. [We'd] pick a beat. Whoever come up with an idea first for a hook, we roll with that. 40 [Glocc] might do a portion of a record independent of me and email it to me [or] vice versa, I might do a piece of a record and send it to him. The main goal was to knock out records, so if he goes somewhere that I wouldn't have initialy [gone], I appreciate that challenge because it gives me the opportunity to think outside of my own personal box. Music is creative, and when you give me some type of restrictions or borders, sometimes I like that. If I have to follow 40's lead in one instance, I ain't got no problem with that.
40 Glocc: Same here, man. Chemistry was real good for us. I mean, I had fun doing it. We'd sit there, we would go through shit, go through the beats and all that. [We'd] sit there, come up with something, come up with concepts. Spider would run in there like “I got something.” It was just like that. It just all came together.
DX: 40, I really enjoyed your web series “Golf Balls.” How did you come up with the concept?
40 Glocc: One of my cribs is on a golf course, so every day I walk around. I never golf, so it was just something that came to mind: “Shit, I live here. I'm always fucking with em anyway.” So I was like, “Fuck it, I'm finna try and golf.”
My camera man was there and we had the footage, so I [decided to make it] into a series, because people got to see me golfing. I didn't really learn how to golf until the end of the segments. I was really teaching myself.
People think that's all scripted and acted out, when really, shit, I didn't know I was supposed to tee off. I didn't know I was supposed to use no stick and stick it in the ground and hit the ball, you know what I mean? I'm doing the best that I can, so I'm dropping the ball on the thing – I didn't even know what the greens was called.
Spider Loc: Since Tiger Woods smacking on his game, I figured the homie might be able to get in there and get in on that spot. Get some of that Tiger money, man.
40 Glocc: Right. [Laughs]
Spider Loc: And more important than anything, it just show another side to the homie: that niggas know how to have fun. A lot of times in this soft-ass industry you'll get a bad wrap for being a bully or a problem maker and people think you don't know how to have fun. I appreciated watching it just because it showed the homie know how to have fun. He just clownin.
40 Glocc: And that's actually what it was too, [to] show the humor side and all that. We have fun too. We smile. We giggle. We have down time, you know what I'm saying?
Spider Loc: All that, all that. It's almost like we not allowed to because of what we're capable of and what we consistently do. It's like we ain't allowed to be nothing else, but fuck that.
40 Glocc: Right, same thing when they see us doing movies and TV shows and all that. Spider done did movies, TV shows, all kind of shit on your TV channels. And they don't expect us to do that. They see him do his roles, and it give you more to relate to.
DX: As certain songs and videos show, it's clear that you both have a distinct Crip connection. My first reaction was therefore to label you two as Anti-Blood. As someone far removed from that culture, can you better explain that Crip connection?
Spider Loc: I think we show love for it all. It's not wrong or naïve of you to think that it's anti-Blood, but that's just what the word “Crippin'” has been for the last 15, 20 years. The trickle down started in my personal life. I have affiliates that's Bloods, but the major saga between Crippin' and Bloodin' is enemies. But these days, there are so many other lines to put people on the opposite side of the color rag it's ridiculous. If it's not the fact that your sister got a baby by a Blood, so therefore your nephew father's a Blood, and you see him at Thanksgiving, you see him at the baby shower [and] he's your family, you might make a bond with a Blood there. You go to county jail [where] we outnumbered by the Mexicans, so when it's time to get crackin' in there on the racial issues, you don't care if the nigga next to you is a Blood or only got one arm or something. It don't matter; you ride with him
I represent Crips, Bloods – everybody that run these L.A. streets, whoever has. Matter of fact, across the world now, because this shit spread out. It's a spirit of G-ness that has just taken over the world [and] we just happen to be Crips, so if you got a problem with that, Blood, whoever – you can get problems. When I do celebrate that part of my life, I'm gonna celebrate what I am, but it's nothing disrespectful toward anyone else.
When you look at my first mixtape after I got signed to G-Unit [Records], which was the Bangadoshis mixtape, there was more than one Blood on the cover holding his hood up. So us claiming Crip, we have to take the opportunity to be able to function as if we was at a Crip meeting and you weren't invited, so anything that's done is not disrespect. If you choose to look in and peer in at what we do, this is what we do. And because this is business, we've taken an opportunity to give outlets to Bloods too, just to let people know. If you take the “Blutiful World” remix, I gave a real good platform to the Bloods called The Red Ragz. They got to sign real hard on my shit, so I don't think there's anybody who's really concerned and affiliated. I don't think they really got a question whether niggas is mature enough to draw the line with that bullshit.
40 Glocc: A lot of us, we've surpassed that, know what I mean? It was just someone or something that made it look like there was some anti going on, when really, we done surpassed that in Southern California far as gang ties.
Spider Loc: Yeah, what it was isn't what it is. At one point, what you pre-conceived was correct. At this point, it's a different dynamic. If you a Crip, you can get smashed on by a Blood or a Crip just as fast, or you can get a pass from a Blood or a Crip just as fast. It's more of on a man-to-man, money, wrong place at the wrong time, right place at the right time . . . Anything can happen, but then again nothing has to happen. There's really no rules to this shit. It ain't no more you see a nigga wearing the wrong colors – it's an on-site issue. We beyond that. We been losing too long doing that. I think the general consensus of blacks from the areas we come from have learned [that] we lose. We're either gonna hurt another black and take him out of the game or get locked up real quick too easy. So we gotta take that element out of the game because there are too many other pitfalls the other way to fall out.
I love niggas. Period. Point blank. For so long, I lived my life like I didn't give a fuck about niggas. But then it got to a point where I love niggas. I love to see niggas do good and I don't like to see niggas hurt behind nothing. So you can't carry that on into every step of your progression, man. That shit is over with.
DX: Spider, how has the move to EMI been?
Spider Loc: Oh man, I ain't move to no EMI. I don't know if you got that off the "Wack-o-Pedia" or some Internet rumors. I ain't on EMI. I'm still signed to G-Unit Records, dude. I heard that rumor, though, so I ain't gonna hold it against you.
40 Glocc: Wack-O-Pedia. Tell people start calling it Wack-O-Pedia!
Spider Loc: I hear a muthafucka quote Wack-O-Pedia like it's The Bible and I know there's faulty information on there about me so I really don't trust what it says about a lot of things.
40 Glocc: I had a show in South Carolina and they stopped the show, the Summer Jam, saying that if I was a part of it, they'd tell the radio station they was gonna shut the Summer Jam down, so my lawyer had to get on the phone and call them. He had to talk to the mayor, and the mayor and them told him they got the information off of Wack-O-Pedia. [Laughs] And they was in fear of me. And then when I got there, they didn't even know it was me.
Spider Loc: Wow. They was scared of a ghost.
40 Glocc: Right
Spider Loc: They didn't even know what they looking for.
40 Glocc: All they heard was I was coming with 100 dudes, 100 gang-bangers, and we was all getting on a plane. And we was coming to tear up the Summer Jam. [Laugh] But you know, after the litigations went down with the lawyer, the mayor reneged because by law they couldn't take me off the show or whatever because it was already a contracted deal. But that just shows you how people really trust the Wack-O-Pedia.
Spider Loc: Right.
40 Glocc: It can be edited by anybody.
Spider Loc: Anybody. That's what I learned. And just to add a little more clarification based on that EMI shit, I did put two independent projects out before [G-Unit] actually merged or turned over to EMI, through Koch, and it's just that I have a percentage of my publishing that is owned by G-Unit, and they basically gave me the freedom to get my bread where I can get it because they gonna get theirs regardless.
DX: 40, what was it like signing Ras Kass?
40 Glocc: I didn't necessarily sign him. We did like a joint venture where he can put out product and content through my label [Zoo Life Records], and through what we doing. In the end it's a good thing because Ras [Kass] is a dope lyrical artist, you know? Real respected. It took a while for us to finally come to negotiations with it. We made it happen and [now] we pushing forward.
DX: With Gangsta Rap taking a back seat in the mainstream to a more Pop-oriented sound, how to you feel about Hip Hop and where it's going?
40 Glocc: I think it's basically starting all over. You know how they say history repeats itself? I've been looking at it and analyzing it like. Look at these dudes – they going back to dressing how U.T.F.O. was when they came out in spandexes and man-purses and all that. What they stereotype it as is Gangsta Rap, I like to call “reality music” – that's just raw entertainment. It's repeating itself and [Gangsta Rap's] gotta break back through doors again. And it's gonna take those like us to stand firm and keep our feet on the ground and keep pressing, the same way that the N.W.A.s and so forth before us did it. It's definitely gonna take that, I believe, or everybody gonna keep trying to follow the same trend. In order to be a trend setter, you can't follow trends, you know what I mean? You can't be a trend setter by following a trend.
Spider Loc: I agree that everything's coming full circle and going back to where it began. For me, it's a little less about the gangsta thing [and] more so the lyrical thing. I was into Hip Hop before it turned to something really lyrical just because it was really trendy, but what would have me really admire an artist was the content of his lyrics. Like  said, it's going to the beginning. In the beginning, muthafuckas was saying [quoting Sugar Hill Gang's "Rapper's Delight"] “the hibbie, the hibbity hip hop ha hop”and nowadays you got muthafuckas saying just about anything and they experience the success.
Like I said, in the beginning, it was about having a beat with some energy, making the crowd go, and getting a nigga that could jibber-jabber and say whatever, and now it's coming back to that again. You don't need to say something special, just say something that's can help the party go. That's just where the game has gone. I'm not gonna take it personal, man. I just do me.
But the game in general, outside of just the lyrical content not being highlighted, the whole gender of it has taken a real feminine step that I don't appreciate. Niggas is just too pretty, too sweet, and too soft, period. [Laughs] You ain't gotta be gangsta to be 100% man, but I just don't like the metrosexual overtones.
40 Glocc: It's definitely a point about bringing back the consciousness, the art form of that, where you can basically hold a conversation with a muthafucka through his music and they can get something out of it, or you could paint a dope picture so they could understand where you're coming from. You don't get that no more. You just get the artists talking about they jewelry, their cars, skinny jeans. Everybody on the skinny jeans. It's kinda crazy.
Spider Loc: Which is not cool at all. [Laughs]
40 Glocc: And you'd say the skinny jean thing been around a few years now, but if you ain't in skinny jeans, they look at you and say “Oh, you old school.” [Laughs] We're old school!
DX: Last Question, and this is for you Spider: Loc to Loc, and with you excluded, who would you go with – Tone-Loc or OG Loc from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?
Spider Loc: [Laughs] I'm gonna have to say OG Loc from [Grand Theft Auto San Andreas]. [Tone-Loc] was wearing skinny jeans back then! Go and look up all the videos, [and] that nigga's jeans tighter than a muthafucka! “Wild Thing” . . . He was tight. Shit. We was kids, man. See, they thought Tone-Loc was cool. Going and looking back, Tone-Loc was dopier than a muthafucka. I know his baby momma though. Shouts out to his baby mama though! His son cooler than a muthafucka. Yeah, no, I think I'll go with OG Loc from San Andreas.