Interview: Pozition — The Life & New Life

Feature, Interview, Music

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Currently in talks with Christchurch promoter and rapper Young Shuck, Pozition says it is likely he’ll be back in New Zealand with Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone in 2014. “Coming out to New Zealand…New Zealand is one of its kind,” he comments after experiencing his first powhiri coming through Auckland airport. “I went and picked up the leaf they put on the ground and stuff like that. It was cool.” It’s a long way from Watts, California, where this rapper slash producer, slash beat maker grew up. “I mean you got Jay Rock that’s with TDE”, and also from Watts; but it isn’t too often one can side-step gang involvement and choose to do music instead, he says, “music kind of kept me away from everything”. Skyping WDYFILWHH from his car he lets me know, “I’m working”. By the looks of it, affiliation to Krayzie Bone’s label, ‘The Life’ consists of a busy schedule, not only does the label have artists across the world, it also has an extensive apparel line and store in Los Angeles; carrying on the legacy that is Bone Thugs N Harmony with a mantra of ‘Less Drama, More Music’ in 2014 fans can expect a TL compilation, Krayzie Bone’s Chasing The Devil (which Pozition has multiple features on), plus Pozition has music videos with Caine (‘Living In Hell’) and Krayzie Bone (‘The Future’)…”I have a single coming out called Fuck A Hater”, he adds. “This is literally what I’ve always wanted to do,” he explains, “And I’ve been blessed to do it”. On top of studio work the tour dates for the crew stay fluid too. Below is a link to one of his latest videos ‘Remenisin.’

HH: When did you connect with The Life?

P: I connected with Krayzie Bone, I would say in 2006.

HH: So what had you been doing up until then?

P: I’d actually been making beats for other people like on the underground tip and rapping on my own and when I connected with him, it was like ‘okay this is it’. At first I kind of played the background role and just seen him whenever I seen him until 2009 when we did a song called ‘Life Is A Lesson To Learn’ and that’s when he was like ‘nah you gotta stay around.’

HH: What was that like to hear for you?

P: It was cool, I mean, when I first met him I was just like everybody else like, ‘oh shit that’s Krayzie Bone’ but you know I just kept my cool like you’re a dude just like me. My first day meeting them, me, him and this dude named Keef G did a song called ‘Welcome To The Alley’, I had my own studio in Culver City and I played em’ a gang of beats; I think they got to like track number two, they didn’t even go no further than that and they was like this is the beat they want, they got a video and everything, and ever since it’s just been getting better and better.

HH: Have you found the progression to where you are at, career wise, slow?

P: I mean…In other people’s eyes it would be slow — I made money so at that time I really didn’t care; it was like as long as I’m making my money — it’s whatever, but taking it slow got me a chance to understand the actual side of the business side and appreciate stuff I been doing and a lot of the places I been going rather than, okay, like a lot of artists, I’m here today and I got this big ass single which they think is big and then next year you don’t hear shit from em’.

HH: So you’re looking for longevity as an artist?

P: Right.

[On a friend making him beats] “I was like I don’t like it, I don’t like it — so he was like you know what just let me show you how to work it, cause he got tired of getting turned down, but once he showed me the MPC my whole life changed.”

HH: What can people look out for you in 2014?

P: Me and the homie Caine just released a single called Living In Hell, me and Krayzie Bone have a video coming out called ‘The Future’, I have a single coming out called ‘Fuck A Hater’, it’s just a lot of projects coming up; we got the TL compilation, I’m doing production and I’m actually on a lot of verses for Chasing The Devil.

HH: What do you prefer to do, personally, because you’re an all rounder right?

P: Everything. I just like, I like coming up with this big ass project out of nowhere. You know I’ve always been fascinated about, you know just one little incident in life, or just one little thought or something I seen on TV or something happened.. I could just create a whole song about it.

HH: So you’re a concept man?

P: Yeah, I really like everything — I like capturing a crowd on stage, I like capturing people’s ear so it doesn’t matter I like everything.

HH: What kind of things move you to make a piece of music?

P: Anything. Like I said you got situations where you got ‘Welcome To The Alley’ where things that’s going on in the hood and you know females giving up they baby at birth, to ‘Life Is A Lesson To Learn‘ about the struggles and everything to ‘Get Down‘ where we just partying you know, we just like fuck it, we wanna have fun, it doesn’t really matter. Music is music.

HH: And where are you from?

P: I’m from Watts, California.

HH: What’s it like there?

P: It’s just like any other hood, I was one of the very few that managed not to gang bang and stuff like that cause I always had music. I ended up trying to sell drugs when I got a little older but music kind of kept me away from everything so I see it as any other hood, Watts, Compton, Inglewood or Auckland, whatever, it’s all the same to me.

HH: What are your earliest memories of making music?

P: As far as rapping I heard one of my cousins rapping and I just looked at him like aye, I can do that, you know, they didn’t take me seriously I was only like eight, nine years old and one day I just came back [down the street] with this long ass sheet of paper and I was just rapping — don’t ask me what I said, I don’t remember, but ever since then I just played with it but I would say in high school is when I took it serious. I didn’t start producing until I was like 20.

HH: And did you do that cause you needed beats to rap on, or?

P: I had somebody to make beats, but I didn’t like the way that he was making beats for me; so I was like, you know what, I don’t like it — so he was like, you know what just let me show you how to work it, cause he got tired of getting turned down, but once he showed me the MPC my whole life changed. It was two dudes named Juneski and Doc from Watts [showed him how to use the MPC].

HH: What do you like to sample or what sounds do you like sourcing for beats, because you have a particularly west coast sound, right?

P: I try not to sample I try to just make everything from scratch but as far as inspiration goes, DJ Quik, Dre — obviously.. I listened, growing up to a lot of E-40… System Of A Down, I know that’s kind of hard to believe but I listen to a lot — that’s where I get my like singing skills — listening to a lot of shit System Of A Down do.

HH: Are you working on your own solo album?

P: Yip, it’s called New Life…It should be out this year, we got so much going on at one time, everything is just hitting me at once.

HH: How do you find it, being that busy?

P: Honestly, it don’t get hard until I get home because I got two little ones now, two little boys and when I’m home I got to try to be daddy and I got all my equipment here, so I try to create but it’s kind of hard, because you got to give your attention but when I’m gone it’s easier cause that’s what everybody’s doing, so I’m more focussed when I’m on the road.

HH: Do you wanna talk about being a dad and also traveling the way you guys do, does it get confusing being away for extended periods of time?

P: No. It don’t get confusing. Um, this is literally what I’ve always wanted to do and I been blessed to do it — it’s long, and because my eldest is four, so it’s like when I first started going overseas he wasn’t born, and you know it’s cool, you miss them after awhile but then you start thinking this is how I make money so I have to go. As long as you have a baby mama who’s down for you, it’s cool. So it’s whatever, it’s what I do, it’s cool.

HH: Where you’re from, are you lucky to be able to have travelled the world rapping and being Bone’s DJ, is that unique for someone from where you’re from?

P: Yeah… There ain’t too many people from Watts that literally made it like that. You got Jay Rock that’s with TDE, but to be with Bone is just like on a whole new level — it’s crazy.

HH: And how did you become their tour DJ?

P: I was actually Krayzie Bone’s and Wish Bone’s DJ first and then they had they little split; Krayzie and Wish were going overseas and across states around 2010; then we went to Australia and they didn’t have a DJ and I thought I was going out there to open up for em and then I got off the plane in Australia, Krayzie Bone handed me this case and I was like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ And I didn’t know shit about DJing [at the time].

HH: So what did you just have to learn real fast or something?

P: I literally, would say the first four, five shows I fucked up. [Smiles] I was looking somewhere else, I played the same song twice, missed cues… You know, at first I was mad, I ain’t like it, I had an attitude; but then this female named Mariah from Australia, she sat me down and talked to me, you know me and Wish Bone we always kick it at the end of the night, so he was like this DJing shit is going to open a lot of doors for you; so I just sat back and was like, you know, he’s right.

HH: What is your connection with New Zealand?

P: I mean when we go to New Zealand it’s a whole different thing, especially with the homie Young Shuck. That was my first time being greeted, [During the 2013 December AU/NZ tour] by the Māori out there.. New Zealand is one of its kind.

HH: Did they prep you before you came about what to expect with the welcome you got?

P: Nah they told me there would be a call, and there was somebody on the side and I heard Wish and Krayzie kind of laughing to each other like, ‘nah Poziton got to do it’, and that’s when I went and picked up the leaf they put on the ground and stuff like that. It was cool, I’m really into that cultural stuff.

HH: What was it like growing up where you’re from, because that reality plays a big part in your lyrics right?

P: I don’t really talk about it, but for me, it was just a big learning experience because I grew up without my father and then my mum when I was younger she was a drug addict, so just going through that and then living with my older cousin, I was a foster child and she was too young to even know what to do so all she did was party and I basically kind of grew up by myself until I got to high school..I don’t know like I said music really sheltered me from a lot of shit. A lot of the time when people don’t know me and then they ask me where I’m from I kind of just brush it off.

HH: What’s a message then that you would put into your music and say to other people coming from a similar background to you?

P: The biggest message is, no matter who it is, no matter what it is just don’t give up. That’s it.

HH: When did you fall in love with hip hop?

P: When I was nine. I can’t tell you if it was NWA or if it was Eric B and Rakim but I know it was something out of RapCity, but once I fell in love with [rapping] there was just no turning back.

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