The DOC has teamed up with West Coast punk band Codefendants to fight injustice and police corruption in the video for their new collaboration “Fast Ones” — check it out below.
Known for his work penning hits for Dr. Dre and N.W.A, The DOC (real name Tracy Curry) released his explosive debut album No One Can Do It Better in 1989. But just months later, he was involved in a near-fatal car crash that left his vocal cords damaged for life.
Since the accident, the gruff-voiced Dallas-bred rapper has put out just one other full album, 1996’s Helter Skelter, and made only a few appearances on another, 2003’s The Deuce. In the two decades that have passed since, The DOC has recorded music behind closed doors but has never released any of it.
“I never stopped recording,” The DOC said speaking exclusively to HipHopDX. “I’ve been recording music the whole 20 years. I just recorded for myself. If it’s not something that the machine deems commercially viable then the chances are the people from my past who I would have dealt with wouldn’t have been very accepting of it. So I do it for the love of doing it.”
Asked whether any of it will ever see the light of day, The DOC said it’s unlikely as he’s become fed up with the music business. “I’m very disillusioned with the machine,” he explained. “I’ve given it everything and it still doesn’t want to give me anything back, and so when I do things it’s just out of love or there’s a purpose behind it.”
In 2021, he was introduced to NOFX frontman Michael “Fat Mike” Burkett through mutual friend Gary Ousdahl, who produced The DOC’s upcoming DOC documentary — part of which was actually filmed at Mike’s house. Hitting it off instantly, the pair formed an unlikely friendship which led to Fat Mike’s new “genre-fluid musical collective” Codefendants — which also includes Sam King and indie rapper Ceschi [Ramos] — inviting him to get on a track with them.
“He’s so fucking cool. He’s such a sweet, funny dude,” Fat Mike said of The DOC while speaking to DX. “He’s so articulate, and he’s smart and he’s funny and he really impressed me. I just really enjoy his company. I talked to the Codefendants and I was like, ‘I think we should get DOC on this.’ And they were like, ‘Fuck yeah! He’s a legend.'”
View this post on Instagram
The track in question is “Fast Ones,” which finds The DOC putting his signature rasp and ferocious wordplay to work as he recalls some of the challenges he faced back in the day while also taking aim at some of rap’s new generation.
“We used to say, ‘Fuck the coppers’ on ayahuasca/ All I want is knockers and poppers to keep it popping/ I been living so off balance that even drowning’s a fuckin’ challenge/ Violence every day this ain’t ‘Fantasy Island’/ N-gga’s wildin’/ I was when it used to be attitudes, now it’s just a minstrel — Black fists, Black fools, clowns in Blackface,” he spits, not holding anything back.
As much as it “felt good” to be back behind the mic, The DOC said the main reason for doing the track was down to his close bond with Fat Mike. “I was really just doing it because Mike asked me to do it,” he explained. “I consider him a friend and I wanted to be of service to him.”
Speaking on Mike’s creative process, The DOC said it reminds him of Dr. Dre’s. “I’ve said to Mike a lot of times that he reminds me of Dre as a producer, just by the way that he goes about his work and his creations,” he said. “And they both live in those minor chords, and those minor chords are where the emotion lives, and they both understand that.”
Although The DOC felt a bit apprehensive at first about doing the track, Mike was on hand to reassure him that his voice was perfect for it. “He hasn’t done shit in 20 years or something like that because he’s been told that he shouldn’t because he lost his voice,” said Mike. “I think it’s gorgeous. He’s like a Barry White or a Tom Waits and he fits in perfectly for us. His voice makes my ear happy. It’s like Louis Armstrong.”
In fact, he loves it so much that when The DOC said he wanted to redo his verse a second time, Mike told him not to because he wanted the rawness of the original take. “I needed the original,” he said. “And I’m not like that. When I do vocals in NOFX, I’ll do 30 takes of one line because it’s melodic. But this verse from DOC is from the fucking heart, it’s emotion.”
“Fast Ones” is taken from Codefendants forthcoming debut album This Is Crime Wave, which is set to arrive on March 24 via Mike’s own Bottles To The Ground imprint. You can pre-order it here.
Arriving alongside a video directed by INDECLINE, it’s the final installment of what began as a trilogy and quickly grew into a hard-hitting five-part series that shines an uncomfortable light on police brutality and the injustices that continue to plague marginalized ethnic communities in America. It follows on from “Suicide By Pigs,”“Abcessed,”“Bad Business” and “Def Cons.”
Getting its premiere on HipHopDX, you can check out the video for “Fast Ones” below:
All five parts of the video series were written by Fat Mike who wanted to give fans a dose of the unexpected. “I like all of these to be a surprise, and the ending of [‘Fast Ones’] is a total surprise,: he explained. “The point of the whole series is: it doesn’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty, you lose — because it’s not fair. The whole thing isn’t fair.”
The new video also features cameo appearances from Stacey Dee of Bad Cop Bad Cop, Jen Razavi of The Bombpops, Zeta, 2MEX, MYKA9, Awol One, professional BMX biker Rick Thorne, and pro dominatrix Bettie Bondage.
“Fast Ones” won’t be the last time The DOC and Codefendants collaborate as Fat Mike has asked the Dallas rapper if he would be up for working with the band on more music in the future.
“He sent me some drums, he sent me some beats, and some music that I haven’t had a chance to touch yet because of my documentary,” The DOC explained. “But once I get past this I’ll be in a much better space and I’ll get into making some new music, especially with Mike and them because we have the same sort of vibe.
“My whole M.O. now is being back on this N.W.A type deal, where I wanna destroy whatever system is in place. I just wanna tear it up as best I can. And [the Codefendants] are like that too.”
In addition to making new music with the band, The DOC will also be joining them on a few upcoming tour dates — but it won’t be the first time he’s shared the stage with Fat Mike.
“He came out and sang ‘Kill All the White Man’ with NOFX in Dallas. It was amazing,” Mike explained. “The whole crowd was chanting ‘DOC’ afterwards and it blew his mind as he never really got to experience that before.”
Codefendants are set to hit the road for their first ever U.S. headline tour in April. The This Is Crime Wave Tour will kick off in San Francisco on April 14 and hit 10 further cities before culminating in Atlanta, GA on April 27.
The band will then head to the U.K. to perform a headline show in London (May 23) and support NOFX in Leeds (May 26), before playing Slam Dunk Festival in Italy on June 3. You can pick up tickets for all dates here.