Illuminati 2G hooked up with Shade Sheist for a exclusive interview. We discuss his career and the success of his 1st album, Informal Introduction, his future projects, including a group album with NUNE and his 3rd solo album and his candid thoughts on the international music scene and the domestic music scene in the US. This is a lengthy interview that covers alot of different things so sit back and soak up game.
For audio of the interview, click on the link below:
Illuminati 2G is here with Shade Sheist how's it going?
Hey what's going on with you fam?
Not too much. Let's get right into it, last year you dropped the OG version of Informal Introduction, your first album. What made you decide to do that after all this time?
Basically 6 years had past since I dropped the original version back in September of 2002. Usually people have their dates as to when they want to do anniversaries. Some people wait 10 years, I just decided to wait a year past the halfway mark because I figure by 10 years that is a significant amount of time, more than enough time for people to forget about certain things. So since that project was my first, and pretty much my biggest ever, I wanted to do something special for the halfway mark. We about to reach a new decade in 1 more year so I just felt that the timing was good plus Christmas was coming up and being independent I am able to choose my own release dates. So I thought it would be real cool to drop it the Tuesday before Christmas. It was for my benefit because I got alot of first week sales and sales after Christmas because of that so that was another reason why I wanted to do it now but that again is the beauty of being independent. I just had a opportunity to do something special with that album and it was just a timing thing with me. The timing was good so I figure why not.
How has the response been from the fans since you released it?
They love it. Most of my core audience comes from international soil so they obviously remember the original one and there is alot of different mixes on there, songs that they heard the mix before but never heard a mix like the ones on the album. It was also some new songs on there that they had not heard before and a couple of them appeared on my second album when I had moved them over. So as far as the response, it has been a variety. I have not heard anything negative about it whatsoever but also I have not heard much negative about the original either so I did not expect it. But it was a suprise for alot of people, I am known for going into the forums online and talking to my fans and seeing what's up with them and what they think about stuff. One of the things that came up..., because one of the things that people that research me know about my career, they know I have said in many interviews that the version of Informal that dropped was not the version of Informal that I had in mind. They have asked me for years if I could please drop that other version or what's on the other version, can we at least get tracklistings. Little by little I have been feeding them. I will drop a couple song titles and then I just dropped the full tracklisting and then when I decided to do the project I went ahead and dropped the new album cover and all of that so they have been in anticipation for it for years, so the fact that I finally dropped it, they going head over heels for it.
What are some good times or memories that you can remember creating that album that really stick out to you?
Oh man the whole process dog. It's not everyday that you are able to get people like DJ Quik, Timbaland and Dr. Dre to pretty much consult you on your first album. You can't just get Timbaland to be on your first single like that and have Dr. Dre next door to me everyday. He was coming through, telling me yes I like that, no I don't like that or you should change this or I ain't feeling that one. You don't get that, you can't pay to get that. You don't have enough money to pay to get that kind of counseltation like that, So my memories are great, that was the first time I ever worked with DJ Quik and Timbaland so for me working with DJ Quik, who is the first gangsta rapper that I have ever heard in my life, that was a honor. I was tripping out. I finally got to work with Timbaland who I wanted to work with for a long time, and to find out that he was actually going to be producing the first single, I flipped out over that. I got to work with Nate Dogg, who is legendary out here on the west. As far as singing and everything G-Funk in general it is all Nate Dogg. I was able to get him on multiple tracks, instead of some people that get a single, got several. Nate Dogg is one of my biggest fans and I am one of his as well. Most people don't even know that. We love each other's music so for all the critique I hear saying oh Nate Dogg made those songs, you could have put anyone on those songs, I mean that's great, that is spoken like a true hater that has never done anything. I guess anybody could have made In The Club or anything that Dre has ever made.
To go along with that, Nate Dogg is one of my biggest fans and he loves my style and he loves my music. We actually dig the same kind of music and if it was not for me, Nate Dogg would have never been on those songs. I actually chose him specifically for those songs. I could have picked TQ or Butch Cassidy, there is many a crooner that we have from back in the day and today but I knew Nate Dogg would sound supreme on alot of the tracks. I also got to work with my fam over at Murder Inc., Ja Rule, Vita, Black Child and Cadillac Tah, so I got the east coast influence on it. I got to work with Fabolous, which was also a east coast experience, DJ Clue, Kay Gee from Naughty By Nature. I mean we could cover the whole interview about the experiences of Informal Introduction, because so many people had something to do with helping me produce that, it made it a classic. That is what I mean when I say classic. People think I am going egotistical with it because it is my first album because it is mine and I am going to say that it is a classic. I know what a classic album is, I have been alive for almost 3 decades, I know what good music is. I have been around it all my life so I am not just calling my album a classic because it is my first. I mean compared to my second, I don't call that album a classic. It's a top notch west coast release. As far as Informal Introduction that is a classic west coast album. That's no comparision.
With everything that went into it, it's a classic so all of my memories of that are fond. That was back when I had a working relationship with Damizza, my partner of like 8 years, that was when I met certain artists that I started working with, that I still work with to this day, during the Informal Introduction sessions. Alot of that project help establish me to who I am today, alot of people that I know, and alot of things that I still do are because of that project and specifically one of the songs. Where I Wanna Be was the #1 single, and 3 other ones were top 10, so it's all good. Even just thinking about it takes me back to those days and it is just flowing with positive energy. Because so much stuff happened in that time.
Alright let's get to the present then. What do you have in the works for 2009? Any new albums or anything you have in the works to drop this year?
Yeah I got a group album dropping with my partner NUNE, who everybody knows from Informal, and my second album and everything associated with my company, PYO Entertainment. We dropping a group album together, kinda like on some Dogg Pound shit. I decided to duo up on this particular project while people are expecting another solo from me because I feel like it is time for something different. It's cookie cutter for me to go straight into my third album. I'm working on it right now, but I did not want to just do what everyone else is doing. Everybody has a gimmick and I am just trying to do different things. When I was starting on my third album, NUNE was working on his second album and when I called on him to do certain collaboration songs with me for this new album, they just came out too dope. We ended up recording 2, then 3, then 4, then 6, then 8, and it just kept going and I said damn we almost got a whole album here we might as well keep it going. We decided mutally to go ahead and do that. I got a first single that is definitely going to knock the socks off of the club bangers out right now because it is on some electronica shit. I fused together hip hop with electronica. Not on no weird shit, so nobody has got to get worried, but sonically just some shit that I learned from Quik, Dre, just how to make good music type shit so I am really going all out on this single.
I plan to drop it in the summertime, so that is going to drop, I am going to drop the 2nd edition of my worldtape. I dropped the worldtape back in March of last year, the USA edition, the next edition is going to be the Canada edition. I should be dropping that hopefully around March. This time I got Techniec co starring with me on there, alot of good features on there from Bone Thugs N Harmony to Above The Law. We got Heather Hunter to do her nasty shit with us on a song on there so it's alot of people and as with the USA version where it was USA dominant, this one is Canada dominant because it is the Canada edition.
So the majority of the songs are produced by Canadian producers and feature Canadian artists. The next likely will be the European version and I am just going to keep going. All of these projects collectively together when you put them all together that is what makes the world tape. Not just one edition, it is all of them combined and no one has ever done it before so essentially I have patented the first worldtape and I just want to try and keep it going for years to come since I am traveling all over the world. I am working on all of these different editions as I am going to different countries and then after that we are going to be dropping something from NUNE and a second solo album, my artist Eddie Kane Jr. from North Carolina he will be dropping his debut album later in the year and somewhere around the fall, 4th quarter of this year I would love my third solo album but I can't definitely say that because I am going to be doing alot of touring.
We are going to be hitting Germany this summer and this will be the first time I have ever been out there and I am going to be out there for several months so if I can get it all done in the midst of it I would like do drop it but for sure on the horizon is that group album, that one is going to be coming out just before summer, I plan to get my Canada tape out before March and then anything else after that, if I can get it out it will be a early Christmas present.
What is just your personal thoughts right now on the state of hip hop on the west coast? As far as music is concerned?
I mean it is active. It never fell out as most people like to say or we need to bring the west back. We can't bring something back that has never left. Coasts don't disappear, it is just who is more popular now? Everybody gets a turn, it is just that as everybody knows it is a cycle too, so I don't want anybody to get too comfortable in their position because as you can see the whole music industry as a whole is declining and the only way to keep it up is through collective efforts. No one artist is ever going to bring anything back if there is even anything to be brought back. The only way it is going to stick is if it is collective. The south is winning because they are all collective. They were fucking with each other, they were collaborating and showing up at shows, they was co-signing, even in interviews they was co-signing even when those cats was enemies and they took the time out just to do it for the coast. We don't do that out here because we have too big of characters out here. Our characters out here on the west is real egotistical and we all guilty of it.
Everybody does not have the credentials to show for it, were as others do but everybody thinks that certain artists are on a higher level then others therefor they don't want to work with anybody. I work with everybody, whether you south, west, north, anybody. Wherever you are from if it is dope music involved I am with it. But as far as how I feel about the west now, I feel we have some of the dopest artists that exist. That kill most of the shit that is out now and that is my word, I am not even pumping it up, but the fact is there is nobody broadcasting it, no nobody supporting it, it is like it does not exist. Let's be real, radio stations outside of our area don't fuck with us. It's no mystery, I ain't saying nothing that is not true, it is that we already know what it is. We got blamed for something that happened in hip hop that was very traumatic to hip hop, we lost 2 of the biggest rappers ever in hip hop history and we got blamed for it.
There for, we are fucked. I mean it ain't too much we can do other than Dre dropping his shit and some others dropping albums. That is why my campaign is not to bring no west coast back even though I feel like we never went anywhere, my job is to just take our coast to as many different territories and countries as possible in order to get people more aware. That's all we can do and that is all I can do and I am going to do. As far as us getting back to the mainstream light, it ain't going to happen it is not likely. International is the way to go and if more artists follow suit on this side like I am doing, if nothing else we can bring a better impression of the west coast internationally then what it is right now. I think that is all that we can do, as far as bringing us back I think it is impossible because I don't think we are going to get the support needed from certain channels ever again because of what happened in the past and that is just the reality of it.
Yeah that is some real talk. That leads right into my next question, you do alot of touring overseas. Where would you say is your favorite place to perform overseas and what would you say is the biggest difference with fans worldwide as opposed to fans that you have in the United States other than obviously the language barrier?
Well let's put it this way, I pretty much...., no disrespect to any of my supporters, I love you all, but I have given up on my domestic ventures. Real talk, I have left them unless something of any high significance comes along then I am pretty much done on that. I have been focusing primarily on overseas ventures only. The last touring I have been doing these last 4 or 5 years, none of them have been in the United States. I mean with exception to some of the stuff that I do here in California, which is typically on some private performance or speciality concert or show, I don't do too much in the states anymore. That is because it is stupid. What I mean by it is stupid is that it would be stupid of me to try to basically run a machine that does not want to be operated. What I mean by that is in order to be successfull domestically you have to get support of radio, you need MTV and all of those to broadcast you and promote you and show that you are doing your thing and what not. They are not going to do it, not because they don't like me, but simply because I am not signed to a major label anymore or I am not willing to put up the major label money to get the certain things that you need to get. Notice that you did not hear me say I don't have the major label money to do it.
I said I am not willing to put up the major money to do it. I am smarter then that, but you are talking to a cat that has been in this game since almost 1993 professionally not amateur. So I know the ins and outs of the business and while all these other cats is out here, DJs charging people for slots and this and that. Don't get mad at me if I am blowing up the spot and blowing up the game because I am going to put it like this dog, I got put on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on some bullshit trying to basically defame my character and make me seem like I cheated the whole industry for me not to bust out everybody that is doing some bullshit in the industry right now.
DJs is on some phony shit trying to get you to pay for play. I have never had to pay for play. I have never had to do payola and I am not about to begin. I am not paying a 3rd party distribution service my records when I used to get them played off the strength. I am not doing it now because I was not doing it before. Radio is haters, I will say that up and down. I can start naming DJ's by name that are specifically haters, and they know that they are, it's no mystery, they like the title and they roll with it. It's like the game has changed so much that it is not something that I would advise any youngster or anybody that wants to do music that if they asked me what would be your best advice for a young musician coming up in the game and my real answer is going to be pick another industry. Because the industry is something that...., I am only in it because I have established a name for myself and I still have alot of avenues that still make me alot of money internationally through music.
However I would be lying if I said I have not be contemplating picking something else, which I am going to be doing anyway but the reason why I have not solely quit on music is because you can't quit on something that is making you money and it is making me significant money. It is not just making me enough money to pay no bills, it is making me significant money, so I am going to keep doing it but my focus has gone more to international affairs then on domestic anymore because domestic does not support.
Finicky fans and supporters and all that, they like you one day the next you crap. The new 50 Cent joint just came out and I am hearing all types of shit about it. Some people absolutely love it, other people are like oh it's over it's done. How you tell somebody that they career is done and you don't even have a career to even gauge. That is the thing that always trips me out. Fans forget sometimes that you are our supporters, you are not in most cases our friends and alot of them like to talk to us like they are our friends. Like tell us what to do or what we are doing wrong like they just know, but yet your not running a successful multimedia label. You are not doing anything, you do not have any songs or are you a artist, so how you going to tell a artist about artistry shit and you are not a artist?
So domestic fans are like that, no disrespect once again like I said, but it is the truth. Domestic fans are like that, where as international fans they idolize you. I am not looking for nobody to bow down to my feet like I am king. I have never looked for that, fame means nothing to me homie, it is all about the money at this point so I can care less about that. But the truth is go to Japan or Taiwan or Canada, they idolize us west coast artists. Not just me but everybody, Warren G, Nate, Snoop, Kurupt, Daz. They love us, they absolutely adore us. It's nothing like when you come out here. It's like oh you know Shade? Yeah he is cool, I like his music. You go out international and it's oh you know Shade? Oh yeah Shade got this and that, yeah we love him and everything he puts out. And again it ain't just that they are on some positive shit, they positive because the music ain't crap. It ain't because they are being biased. I don't make wack music so I don't expect them to be like oh Shade is garbage.
But out here I expect them to say it because everybody wants to be a rapper now. Everybody wants to do this so if I am doing it and I am successful, or I sound good, I am competition. Once I become competition I am no longer good anymore, I am crap. That is how it goes, and I can't gauge my career off of biased opinions and false critique. You are not telling me the truth, you are telling me things to make me discouraged so that I won't do this anymore. That is what you get domestically that you do not get internationally. Internationally it is all love, they wanna shake your hand, they wanna go out to dinner. It is alot of stuff beyond the performance and the internet aspect of doing a concert for people. These people when they go home, they still thinking about you. They got you on their walls like back in the day. Like back in the day when you would take posters out of magazines and put them on the wall, they doing it. You can go to some places in France homie I shit you not, Paris, France and these other places where they do grafitti and all of that, you will find certain hip hop artists faces on the wall, and mine is up there with the greatest of them. With the 2pac's and the Biggie's and Jay-Z's and all of that. I did not tell them to do that, that is just how they feel.
They just have a certain type of shit that they like and I just happen to fit that bill. I have worked with damn near every artist that I can think of or that I ever wanted to which is all of them so I took a little bit of something from all these cats. That is why they like me so much is because I sound alot like these artists that they love and idolize because I worked with them before. I like them too from a consumer standpoint, I like they shit too. But I wish more domestic consumers could be like me and think like I do, but that is impossible, the world would be a real bland place if everybody was the same. International is the way to go. I hope with the new President in place, the economy is starting to kick back some, hopefully shit will kinda go back. I don't expect it to be ever how it was in 2000, but I do expect it to go back similar. And if it does you might see a resurgence of myself and alot of other people domestically, but if not homie I am willing to go overseas and do what I got to do.
While they may not be showing me no love here, they treating a song that I did..., like Where I Wanna Be, I did that song in 2000, it's about to be 2010 and that song just resurged again in Germany. They back to playing it on MTV. As with other countries they are following suit. I did that song a long time ago dog, I am bumping the same stuff and the new stuff they bumping that too. But I can get more work off of songs I did a long time ago. You can't do that domestically. You try to put Where I Wanna Be out now and they would be like you already dropped that what the fuck are you doing?
A classic song don't die. Just because you put it out before does not mean it can't come back. That is exactly what is happening in these other countries. Old songs are coming back, because everybody that was a teenager when that song came out, now they are adults and then everybody that was a kid that really did not get to hear it when it came out, they teenagers now. So they hearing it for the first time and they feel about it the same way they mom and dad felt about it or their older brother or sister felt about it and it is just a resurgence. Resurgence is allowed homie, I wish our industry would allow resurgence. We have more artists that are out here grinding. But domestic is full of shit. Domestic is real political, everybody is into they own, everybody wants to make they shit pop and that is just how it is going to be. So either adapt to it, accept it and love it, which I am never going to do, I am always going to go against the grain, even if I have to leave the country soil to get it cracking then that is what it got to be.
That's real talk. What is your myspace or website info for people wanting to check out your music or see what you got going on?
Dog everything of mine is Shade Shiest. You can go to my regular site, www.shadesheist.com, or .net, if you want to hit me up on myspace, you can at http://www.myspace.com/shadesheist, or any social network for that matter. I am pretty sure I am on every last one of them. If it is a custom name that you have to put in, it will always be my name, Shade Shiest. HI 5, Facebook, whatever it is, and you will find. And if all else fails, we have this beautiful thing called Google, type in Shade Shiest and if you feel like searching through thousands of pages of whatever to find what you are looking for, you can do it that way too but one thing about me is that I am so easy to contact and so easy to find. You can catch me online, I ogt online access on my phones and devices and laptops, my Ipod, anything. Shit that I saw years ago in Japan and Hong Kong and all these places even came out here and now we get to utilize it. If anyone tells you that Shade Shiest is hard to reach, they lying, they don't know shit about me. I am the easiest artist to reach. Even past Mike Jones, who put his damn number on his T-shirt years ago when he first came out.
Well that is all the questions that I have for you, appreciate you getting down for the interview. Is there any last words or shoutouts you want to get out there to the people?
Just much love to everybody, stay checking me out and my company PYO. I am one of the real advocates for real music. I don't just ride for west coast. I ride for hip hop music in general. I don't want to see it die personally because I love doing this and I love making money off of this particular profession. However most people would expect me to be like 2pac was and Westside Connection. Man I am the whole world until I die. I want everybody to get this good shit. It's not that much good music left and I want people to stay checking me out because one thing I can guarantee until I decide to stop doing this man my shit is going to be John Blaze my shit is always going to be hard, I am going to make sure of that.
Appreciate the interview