Clyde Carson Interview
|Label:||Moe Doe Ent.|
|Next Project:||Theater Music|
|Twitter:||Clyde Carson on Twitter|
|Website:||Clyde Carson's Website|
When it comes to hip hop, every region has a connotation; New York equals pioneers, Atlanta equals Trappin’ and the Bay Area equals Hyphy. Well, at least until now it did. That is where Oakland native Clyde Carson comes into focus. Signed to Capitol Records, Carson looks to give the Bay area a distinctive new sound that utilizes production styles from across the country. The first example of such is on the Sean Kingston collaboration, “Doin That,” produced by L.A. sound man, Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem. During an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJ “Z,” Carson discusses his desire to create a new identity for the Bay area, how The Game helped him sign his record deal, and why the entire West Coast needs to unite in order to be successful.
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Clyde Carson Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a native of Oakland, about to take the rap game to a whole new level. Please welcome my man Clyde Carson. How you doin’?
Clyde Carson: Aw man, you know, feelin’ real good right now.
DJ Booth: What’s your day been like so far?
Clyde Carson: It’s been cool. Just really getting my hair cut right now. Just chillin’, enjoying the California weather.
DJ Booth: I just heard the hot new single with Sean Kingston, “Doin’ That,” produced by Jonathan ‘JR’ Rotem. Was that collaboration fostered because of the West Coast connection with JR? How did that work out?
Clyde Carson: Aw yeah man, I went into the studio. I was looking for something with a lot of energy. JR, he from the Bay Area, he familiar with the speed out there, how it go down. I just wanted a new sound for the bay. Me and JR came up with the track, and then Sean Kingston, who is his artist, he wanted to throw him on there. I thought it sounded hot, and it was just a beautiful collaboration.
DJ Booth: Definitely. You mentioned you have that connection because you’re from the Bay Area. A lot of people who are not from the West Coast, they hear, “Bay Area” and they automatically think of Hyphy, but you’re not exactly the Hyphy sound. Describe what you do in your music that’s different from the traditional sound of the Bay Area.
Clyde Carson: I mean when I started rapping, I started to give the Bay Area a new sound. That was my whole purpose on being an MC. When they say I don’t sound like I’m from the Bay, or my music doesn’t sound Hyphy, it’s really not supposed to. My music doesn’t have a sound to it. If you listened to it, you might think I’m from LA, you might think I’m from Miami, you might think I’m from New York. I mean, it’s all the production, and I just think – I’m free on my production, I don’t limit myself to just Hyphy music. And I can get on Hyphy music and be just as Hyphy as the Hyphy-est person, but at the same time I want to get on every track and really, represent Oakland with a class to it, whether it be Hyphy of whether it be whatever, man. Whatever we talkin’ about, it’s just gonna be on a national level where everybody can hear it, you feel me?
DJ Booth: What is it going take for you to break the mold of what people ideally think of of, as a traditional sound – now obviously you mentioned the production kind of changes everything, but do you try to change your flow, the way that you rhyme, your lyrics? What exactly do you do in the process of your musical creation?
Clyde Carson: I used to live in New York, man. I flew out there when I first started chasin’ this dream. Just livin’ in different places, you see what people adapt to and what people like. I know when I became an MC, I wanted people all over the world to feel my music on the same level, so with my flow I just try to have a flow that I think anybody in the country could feel. Not just a unique sound, or certain region – not sayin’ anybody – I’m just sayin’ everybody’s got their different flow, that’s just, mine come out that way. Where I’ll be thinkin’ about everybody at the same time.
DJ Booth: Back in the day, regions were really separate, and artists from different regions rarely merged together to make a sound that was not unique to one place. Do you think the game has now changed where it actually helps an artist to do that?
Clyde Carson: Yeah, I mean you have to. The game wasn’t like that back in the day. But then again, think about it, though: Ice Cube, “America’s Most Wanted,” you know, he went to Public Enemy to do that album. He went to New York and did that album out there. So it’s all on the beats, man. It’s all on the beats and whatever the country’s feelin’ at the time you’ve got to adjust to it. So if the beats are sayin’ they gotta be in a Southern type of feel to it, then you get songs like, “Ballin’,” which is from a New York artist to be a national smash with a Southern-type beat, with, you know, East Coast flow to it. I think it’s all on the production and where the music stands, and you know the MC does what he does, ‘cause – Ice Cube was all the way West Coast, but some beats was, you know, he went to New York producers to produce them beats.
DJ Booth: Clyde, your label, Capitol Records, has delayed the release of your album. What has been the issue there, where fans have not been able to hear this thing?
Clyde Carson: The Capitol is invested in me. They’ve put a lot of money into me, and just to throw me out with only a certain amount of people excited, it wouldn’t be smart for them. The only reason they’ve been delaying it and settin’ the release back – it’s the same reason why 50 Cent got pushed back. You want to create buzz, you want to create people talkin’. I mean, I don’t think it would be right if I were to come out this month – I ain’t even shot a video yet, you know?
DJ Booth: Right now, tentatively, when do you expect the album to drop?
Clyde Carson: This Fall, I believe the album is gonna drop. But at the same time, if it’s not ready I don’t want it to come out. I want it to come out when I got the whole country’s attention and everybody is anticipatin’ the same as if they are in the Bay. ‘Cause I know the Bay is like, they’s gaspin’ for water, like, “Please give me the album, please!” They’ve been waiting for a long time, but there’s people across the country who have never heard of me. I’ve got to get them gaspin’, and that’s when the album’s gonna drop. We doin’ it for the Bay, but we not doin’ it just for the Bay. If I don’t shine all across the world, than the Bay don’t shine all across the world. And then my deal was pointless; I could’ve stayed independent for that.
DJ Booth: The Bay must be frustrated right now though, because your album is yet to drop and The Federation‘s album has been pushed back a few times by Warner Bros. And Turf Talk, his album’s been pushed back a few times as well. Is the local scene there frustrated that none of its primary artists are gonna get their shine on anytime soon?
Clyde Carson: Yeah, I can say that. I know the true fans are frustrated, because everybody’s kind of getting pushed back. But I’ll say this, man: next month, y’all see me all over BET and MTV. I don’t think they’ll be frustrated; they’ll be excited. Because it’s givin them something. Plus, when I see “Tell Me When to Go” and I started seein’ it on BET—you don’t understand. I been sayin’ in my heart, man, “I want 40 to blow, I want 40 to blow, this album 40 gonna blow.” I used to say that growin’ up as a kid, so when it finally happened, I was excited and I was a true fan to see my long-time hero on TV. So it’s kinda like the same feeling I think the fans gonna get out here for the people they want to see blow up. You know, they like, “Okay, I want Clyde Carson to blow.” All right, when you see me on TV, that feeling is gonna be like, “Aw, man!” ‘cause I know that feeling, ‘cause I had it. And when I see E-40 doing, “Tell Me When to Go,” I seein’ Keek (Da Sneek) on TV, I was like, “Aw, man. This is our just due, man.”
DJ Booth: Clyde, I’ve read that you’re signed to the Game’s Black Wall Street label, while I’ve also read the opposite that you’re not. Do you care to clear things up for everybody?
Clyde Carson: Game got me my deal at Capitol. His label, his Black Wall Street is involved, but the initial deal is Moedoe/Capitol. He opened the door for me. But it’s still Moedoe though, it’s like – people might get confused, like, “All right, you like down with the Game, like you in the gang, in the gang with the Game,” like the Black Wall Street, and naw, I’m Moedow. I’m the same person I was. The Game opened the door and he got a part in the deal.
DJ Booth: Through your connection though, can we expect the two of you to be on any songs together-
Clyde Carson: Oh, he on my album! That’s my homie. He on the album. It’s all fam – everybody in the Black Wall Street, I got love for, the whole camp. We all family but when I came there, me and him had to discover what he knew, he knew what I was doin’. It’s like Paul Wall leaving Swishahouse or something like that, you know what I mean? We gonna released the greatest hits soon, Moedoe since ‘98. I mean, that’s ten years. So it’s kinda hard for me to just jump off of that. It would be impossible for me to jump off some of my own, and I represent so tough, and just join The Game like that. But it’s not really like that, it’s more like a business venture, but at the same time we connect to the West Coast and we keepin’ it real. It show that, you know, n*ggas from Compton and n*ggas from Oakland who really connect and make some business moves, and you know, represent West Coast and the whole California the correct way. I think that’s where it be getting confused, ‘cause it be like, “Damn, I don’t really see you with him ever.” I been really focusing on making sure my career is together. I can be up there with Game, we can be side to side like we supposed to represent the West Coast. I can’t do that if I’m under him.
DJ Booth: You mentioned representing the entire West Coast, not a particular area. It’s rare to see someone from the Bay Area hook up with someone from LA. How important do you think that connection is into the future?
Clyde Carson: Me and Game, that’s real important. It’s really big on his part too though, ‘cause he from Compton – he ain’t had to just go reach some old Bay n*gga for no Oakland n*gga. He reached out and – see, he think bigger. For me, I think bigger. ‘Cause usually you wouldn’t see a n*gga from Oakland goin’ down there signin’, f*ckin’ with a n*gga from Compton. He sees bigger and I see bigger. He see the whole West Coast – I didn’t even look at it like that, so he broke it down. But he right. That whole West Coast, from Arizona to Seattle. I mean, the South do it. The South gonna go from Miami to Houston, you know what I’m talkin’ about? They gonna put Tennessee and St. Louis – that’s all South, and they all ridin’ together. So why can’t the whole West Coast ride together? Why can’t I go down to Phoenix and f*ck with Phoenix n*ggas and we reppin’ West Coast, all through Las Vegas, all through Seattle, all through Portland, all through the Bay, Fresno. I mean, Game see the big picture. When he say West Coast he really mean West Coast, and he opened my eyes on that, you know what I’m talking about?
DJ Booth: Yeah, and the interesting thing is it took so many years before all the Southern regions that you mentioned were able to actually pop off individually so that they could collaborate together-
Clyde Carson: They deserve it, though.
DJ Booth: They do. How long do you think from now, do you think it’ll take for all these West Coast cities that either traditionally or untraditionally are known for being hip hop regions, to come together?
Clyde Carson: I mean, I can’t tell you. Maybe a couple years. You know, me comin’ from Oakland, Lord willing I’ll become successful on a national level. That’ll be big, and it might be a n*gga up out of Fresno right now, or somebody up out of Portland or Seattle or something.
DJ Booth: Who knows? The next big thing could be from Montana. You never know.
Clyde Carson: Yeah. I don’t know, though. Montana? [laughter]
DJ Booth: There’s gotta be one, right? There’s gotta be one.
Clyde Carson: Yeah, gotta be one. There’s somebody in Montana, but you know, that’s, whoa, that’s up there.
DJ Booth: Clyde, I peeped your Myspace page and I clicked on the link to Clyde Carson TV. The video shows what a typical afternoon is like, but if someone were to really follow you around for one full month, would your life be a drama? Would it be a comedy? Would it be an action? What type of TV show would your life be?
Clyde Carson: It would be hella comedy, and I don’t think that part’s gonna sleep too much. I’d say more action and drama. I don’t really – I don’t know if it’d really be drama. We’d be cuttin’ that sh*t off. But there’d be some action, you gonna see some crazy sh*t ‘cause we gonna be in the hood doin’ all kind of crazy sh*t. What’s up, you got somebody gonna follow me around or somethin’? What’s goin’ on? “Z,” what you doin’? What you plannin’ on doin’?
DJ Booth: I’m always just thinking, you know, and so if I’m able to work a deal with one of these networks, which one do you want to go with? Because that’s the next question: is this gonna be cable, is this gonna be network, satellite?
Clyde Carson: We probably can go with VH1 since they wanna dramatize things. I could give VH1 some drama, but I don’t wanna say too much on this motherf*cker. VH1 crazy as f*ck, though, they need to follow me around.
DJ Booth: Clyde, if we use VH1 as our vehicle for your TV show, you might have to deal with some of the leftovers from Flava Flav’s show, and I don’t know if you wanna have sloppy seconds?
Clyde Carson: No, I’m cool, I’m cool. I can do that, man.
DJ Booth: Okay, well listen: if I broker this deal, I need about ten percent, how does that sound?
Clyde Carson: You got ten percent man, it’s all good.
DJ Booth: Beautiful! I mentioned the Myspace page, why don’t you go ahead give everybody the address to that and a website so they can find out more about you and when your new release hits stores.
Clyde Carson: Aw, man. Check out myspace.com/clydecarson, y’all know how to get to it, man. clydecarson.com, but right now just do that, go to hyphyjuice.com learn about Hyphy Juice. We got 40 water, we got different flavors, we got all kind of sh*t going on. We got the Wild Out energy drinks. It’s just all this sh*t we got goin’ on, so check out my Myspace, you know you can find out about it.
DJ Booth: I appreciate your time. I wish you nothin’ but the best of luck with your upcoming career, and I hope that you got a nice fly haircut this afternoon, that this interview didn’t mess anything up.
Clyde Carson: [laughter] Naw, it didn’t f*ck nothing up. It’s good pimpin’.