With his hit “Playaz Club,” Rappin’ 4-Tay cemented himself as one of West Coast rap’s leading voices in the 1990’s, when he worked with some of the top names in the game – including 2Pac. 4-Tay’s legacy and lyrics continue to live on today, even with Drake rhyming with words controversially similar to his on YG’s recent “Who Do You Love?” I caught up with the Bay Area-born rapper via e-mail just as he was overcoming a recent sickness spell, and by the sound of it, he’s back, ready, and still going strong for Velvet Jones’s Pimps and Players Bash on Friday, July 29, with Suga Free. We talked about his new movie, working with 2Pac, and the issue with Drake’s lyrics.
Sorry to hear about your health. Are you doing okay? I’m doing great, just one of those days. I been so busy with shows and trying to finish up my new studio album.
How has your 2016 been? 2016 has been a great year. My manager, Herman Watson, has me on every major concert. We have been working with my Nephew G-Eazy & Damizza, working a new song featuring Nate Dogg and G-Eazy produced by Damizza. Working on my album and a new movie. So much going on right now, this year have been incredible so far.
How do you feel about the upcoming show and sharing the stage with Suga Free? Suga Free is my blood cousin. I’m excited for this show coming up in Santa Barbara. Going to be a movie! Always a classic show, we have a project coming out called The Cat in the Hat. Will be performing live again at 93.5K Day Fresh Fest. Lots of big shows going down.
Looking back, what do you feel to be your greatest accomplishments? Working with 2Pac on “Only God Can Judge Me,” my hit “I’ll Be Around,” plus my song “Playaz Club is number 3 greatest songs of all time by Complex Magazine. The longevity of the song is timeless, even when Drake tried to flip it on YG’s “Who Do You Love?” I’m truly blessed for everything that’s happened in my career, and now working with G-Eazy has been great. My new album will be a classic for sure. I’m reaching out to Snoop Dogg, Drake, Young Jeezy, and others. I’m excited.
How do you feel about Drake basically lifting your lyrics? He owes me big time. I’m hoping we can fix everything when his tour hits the West Coast in September. I’d like to get with him personally instead of having to go to court. I’m sure we can handle this like grown men, plus I want him on my album.
What would you say about West Coast rap now vs. 20 years ago ? In what ways does it feel it’s remained the same, and how has it changed? The game has changed completely. I can’t really complain. It’s a young man’s game. I just gotta play my part as an OG and help the next generation any way I can. I don’t know about everyone trying to sound like Future or Skinny Pants tho, LOL.
How do you feel about the song “Lay Ya Guns Down” and the present day gun violence – does it feel especially relevant at the moment, has it taken on a new life? And/or how does your music now, both new and old work, feel in this climate? “Lay Ya Guns Down” is very relevant today because of everything going on with gun violence. All lives matter. Instead of giving these kids guns, they should be getting books and an education to survive because the world is the ghetto. I hope things get better in our country.
What does the year ahead hold for you? Busy, busy, booked til 2017. New album on the way, new single with G-Eazy and Nate Dogg produced by Damizza. My new comic book and soundtrack. I’m in a new movie called California Dreamers where I play myself in animated form, along with Egyptian Lover, Kurtis Blow, and more. So much going on right now, just stay tapped in make sure you go check out www.theplayazclub.com.
Anything else you’d like to say? Shout out to all my loyal fans, my manager Herman Watson, my label 4Flavaz Entertainment. Much love, Santa Barbara, see you this Friday!