Warzone
Gangsta Salute

warzone-1.jpgIn 2005, Snoop Dogg organized the Western Conference. The event assembled the West Coast’s biggest artists in order to promote unity and settle disputes. Three of the artists at the event — MC Eiht, Kam and Goldie Loc — took heed to Snoop’s message and allied as a new group called Warzone.

MC Eiht began his career in 1990 as a member of Compton’s Most Wanted. After three albums with the group, Eiht pursued a solo career, dropping an astonishing 12 albums in a 13-year span. Goldie Loc is a longtime Snoop protégé and one-half of Tha Eastsidaz with the incarcerated Tray Dee. The duo’s self-titled debut album sold over a million copies and their follow up, Duces n’ Trays: The Old Fashion Way, is certified gold. Kam released two albums in the early 90’s and was a member of Ice Cube’s Lench Mob crew. But in 1997, after a money dispute, Kam dropped the scathing Cube diss track, “Whoop Whoop.” After the feud died down, the Watts native remained low-key, only releasing one more album, Kamnesia, in 2001.

Now the three veterans are looking to reintroduce themselves to a younger generation of listeners. Warzone is featured throughout Snoop’s upcoming compilation album, The Big Squeeze, and is currently working on their self-titled debut album. XXLMag.com talks with the group about West Coast unity, the state of hip-hop and The Big Squeeze.

How did Warzone form?
Kam: We were all solo artists with our own following and fan base. So Snoop came up with the idea to put us together to show West Coast unity. The gang culture first started [here], so Warzone is a combination of the three major gang cities — Compton, Long Beach and Watts. It’s a good idea to show street and hip-hop unity by putting together a group like this. That’s what I’m about, unity. I love it. I say better late than never, because it’s kind of late in our careers, but it can be the beginning of a new type of career

What’s your role on Snoop’s new compilation album, The Big Squeeze?
MC Eiht: We were doing a lot of work in the studio, fucking around with Snoop. From the overflow of songs we did, Snoop decided to put out a compilation to showcase all the groups before we start working on individual records.

Goldie Loc: Timing is everything. There are so many artists [out there], so if you don’t have something currently in rotation, then muthafuckers are gonna forget about you. This is a way for everybody to get noticed and promoted before we [release] our album.

Have you seen a change in the West Coast hip-hop scene since Snoop started promoting unity?
Kam: There are about three or four big names in the West Coast and none of them stepped up to the plate to try and do anything like this but Snoop. I’ll let you figure out who the names are. They just weren’t the ones to do it, I guess. You can judge a man by their work and actions and [Snoop’s] the one who acted on it. So apparently, that means he’s closer to the street. Everybody claims they are so ‘hood and turf, but [they] ain’t did anything like this. So it’s definitely a change that somebody in a high position in the hip-hop game had to initiate.

Do you feel you have to be reintroduced to a younger generation of listeners?
Goldie Loc: I don’t think we were in a position where cats didn’t know about us. We’ve continued to put music out. But the music the younger generation has been introduced to nowadays is way [different] from what we are originally known for doing. So by doing this, Snoop felt we could get introduced to another audience that wasn’t trying to pay attention to us.

What do you want new fans to take away from a Warzone album?
MC Eiht: I want people to know that the West still has good music on the table. I want the younger generation to learn it’s not all about glamour and glitz. It’s not about how much money or diamonds [you have]. We’ve been speaking the truth on records. I can understand why people say hip-hop is dead because there’s nothing to inform the kids. It’s all about learning a new dance trick. That’s basically what hip-hop is teaching kids nowadays. I came from a generation where hip-hop taught me something. It would give you a lesson. I’m known for telling lessons and stories, not just glorifying the streets or gang life ‘cause there are always consequences. I just want people to know we’re still in this game and we got something to bring forth — something that informs the kids but it’s still good music you can ride to in your car.

Kam: There are more people struggling in bombed out war zone conditions than there are people flossin’ and drinkin’ Cristal. I ain’t never tasted Cristal in my life. That’s not my reality. It’s cool to fantasize, but the Warzone is reality. And you have to ask yourself why there is a war zone. There are social issues, Black on Black crime, Black on brown [crime] — all of that. A lot of people get in entertainment to escape from reality, but our entertainment dives deeper into reality.

Goldie Loc: We still have to live it. That’s our reality. Our reality isn’t a fur coat or a Rolls Royce. I don’t like to do stuff nobody around me can relate to. ‘Cause when I go back to Compton, Long Beach or Watts and there’s 15 niggas on the corner struggling, it’s wrong to put yourself in that limelight and glorify that side of life just because you’re a rapper.

Is the corporate mentality to blame for the so-called death of hip-hop then?
MC Eiht: You rarely have record companies step up and do what they wanna do. Ever since I’ve been in the game, record companies have followed trends. 10 years ago, you could never get me to listen to some of these records. So are the record companies to blame for some of these weak artists? Nah, ‘cause if you’re weak, you’re weak. And if the kids are blinded by that, then record companies ain’t gonna do nothing but feed into that. That’s how it goes. It’s up to artists to look at themselves and ask, What am I about at the end of the day? Do all I have to bring to the table is showing a nigga how to drink or do a dance move? Record companies are gonna follow whatever makes money. It’s the youth that’s blinded today. When you get on a video and you got 100 bitches dancing to some stupid shit, these 13-year-old kids, they don’t know what’s real. They are gonna follow that shit. On certain songs, I’ll rap about a female with a big butt. But if I do that throughout [my album], I’m not informing you on anything. You can’t tell me niggas talking about dance moves and soda pop is interesting.

  • kidkron3

    yep warzone is a dope ass crew!!!
    MC eiht is an OG on the westside
    ill be buying theyre shit for sho’

  • RockCity

    Talk about age catchin up wit u. But the niggas been tight so i fuck wit em.

    • G*SWIFT

      ICE CUBE E-40 TOO $HORT DR. DRE IDIOT KNOWN YA WEST CUZZ !!11

  • Holla

    Pretty interesting. Eiht talks alot of shit, but its the truth. These younger hip hop cats don’t know shit.

  • Askari X

    maofucker

  • OUTYA’SELF!

    i SMELL A FLOP! MMMMMMMMMMMMMM…THE PUTRID FRAGRANCE OF DESPAIR AND THREE CAREERS DYING INTO OBSCURITY! SMELLS LIKE CHICKEN

  • http://wcn.altervista.org Davizz

    KAM is a genius, let the man shine, finally, he’s back!!!

  • mike speez

    i cant wait to here what goldie locc have to say.them other 2 cat are some old ass bitches and i cant relate to them .I think locc should go solo then fuck with them played out ass niggas.goldie is a real ass nigga who we young niggas could relate 2 .

  • Ez

    Damn Goldie Loc been hitting the buffet on the reg

  • http://www.myspace.com/blaksocietymusicgroup blakjustice

    Kam & Watts Up: Crawling over train tracks, avoiding all ditches.

  • Holla

    lol, yeah Goldie needs to hit the tredmill or some shit.

  • Uzayr

    It’s really good to see the West come full circle. All three of these cats have etched their name in not just West coast hip hop, but hip hop as a whole.

  • M.O.

    yall checkin the mans figure? gay

  • laz

    is it me or does mc.eiht look like he bout 50 years old now. dayum brotha!!

  • jamm

    thats some gay shit talkin bout the nigga loooks.but i support the warzone…snoop is cool nigga.he aint no hatter.word up.

  • INEFEL (nfl)

    about time
    they need to check out BIG BANG he’s from the west and is unsigned but is the real deal trust
    big ups to KAM and EIHT I’ve been a fan for a long time

  • Dooce

    What three or four big names on the West Coast is Kam talking about. Anyone wanna take a fuckin’ guess? Dre is the only one I can pick out.

  • BKATLNIGGA

    who da hell is kam?

  • Holla

    If you don’t know who Kam is read the intro u illiterate fuck

  • Karim

    I’m impressed to here something positive for a change envolving hip hop and unity. DO you think were possibly embarking on a change gearing towards promoting “Peace In Hip Hop” ?

  • http://www.xxlmag.com THABLOCK

    MIKE SPEEZ, MC EIHT A REAL G. AND HE’LL KILL GOLDIE LOCC ON ANY TRACK

  • D.J

    MC Eiht is a hip hop legend and is the only one to go platinum solo out of those three MC’S but there all Dope and have made Classic’s to many to name checc the history homeboy !!! MC Eiht – the O.G OF GEAH !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CALLOWAY

    LMAO@WARZONE!!!

  • http://www.originalartstudios.com kevin Gentry

    Please check out my site. Fresh new hip hop art and designs.

  • BigKdogg

    “So what” if they don’t go platinum!!! what they are rappin about can teach you something…it’s not their fault mostly everyone under 26y/o would rather listen to “LAME ASS” rappers that only talk about:(a new dance/how much booty they got/how much they spend on alcohol or how much dope they sold/) I’m 34 y/o, i don’t want to hear the same BULLSHIT 17 tracks on and album. Can any of these new booty ass rappers rap without braggin on what they got or what they can do!!!!!!!!!
    If you are not from the WESTCOAST i don’t think you’ll understand, but all that “Front’n/Floss’n/Flaunt’n” iz not the buisness, IT WILL!! GET YOUR ASS KILLED!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/jondog1982 Jon Dog

    This is what the west coast needs. Kam & Eiht are o.g’s, and Goldie is dope. Big up to Snoop for takin’ action. WE NEED THEZE CAT’S TO SAVE THE GAME YA’LL!!! Hip hop is all some of us got. I’m Canadian, and we got some wicked ass emcee’z up here, but I was brought up on “West Coast” hip hop. To see the West shine again would be a blessing for me, the rap game, and all the West Kostra Nostra’z out there.

  • Trait 5

    WEST COAST NEED NEW TALENT…

  • http://www.fabsats.com V!RTU (The Hip-Hop Anchor)

    Hip-Hop Heads will be grateful for the forming of WarZone. Kam has always been one of my personal favorites from the West Coast; his ability to rhyme and tell well crafted stories is only equaled by his delivery and unique voice. MC Eiht is a pillar in Hip-Hop and his name alone will automatically bring a huge following to this new project. Goldie Loc is the least experienced of the bunch, but still has something to offer to the trio. I think it’s good to see some pioneers step back into the game under the “wing” of Snoop Dogg. I don’t expect a 5 mic classic album, but I do expect to hear a few songs that will get the gangsta blood pumpin and the trunk straight thumpin! I wish more old school Hip-Hoppers would get together like this! (Hint, Hint to East Coast!!) Don’t let the younger generation determine how the OG’s do thangs! When the kids start messin up, it’s time for Daddy to take it back and show ‘em how to do it right!

    Preserve Hip-Hop for Posterity!!!

  • jonblazinsoamazin

    ay all you fuckers should watch mc eiht in menace to society, hes so hard

  • CRIP CRIP HERE

    THE BIG BAD HUB, DUB AND THE LB! NOW THATS GANGSTA

  • http://www.myspace,com/mc585 M.C

    Now I don’t know to much aboyut Kam but that dude that wrote that sht about EIGht deserved to get his wrist snapped…Eight been down since 87–88–For you youn’gnz that wanna peep the legends work–listen to the Menace II society sound track–or better yet watch the movie and listen to EIght spit at the end of that movie–You young fucks will never learn..Homie EIGht’s is not your typical gangsta”so you would not be able to relate BRAUD””…..SHout out to the West–Goldie does hes thing–I wonder what’s good with Tray–EVery Gangsta got their days i guess

  • http://www.myspace,com/mc585 M.C

    oh shit, now that I just peep the pic–That nigga KAM’s a BEAST—I heard lil from him but I like that move SNOOP—WEST COAST 4real–bring that sht back