The Federation
We Ain’t Scared

federation2.jpgWhen E-40’s 2006 hit “Tell Me When to Go” broke into mainstream radio, it introduced the energetic sound of the hyphy movement to the masses. Since then, intrigued listeners have questioned whether the West Coast’s version of crunk was merely a passing fad or a powerhouse here to stay. While the musical craze has its devout followers, cynics have suggested the fascination with the Bay Area’s unique brand of music has come and gone. Looking to disprove that notion is the Federation. Comprised of Goldie Gold and Stressmatic from Fairfield, Calif. and Doonie Baby from Alabama, the trio broke ground in 2004 with their debut LP, The Album. Produced entirely by the group’s unofficial fourth member and legendary beatsmith Rick Rock, the LP helped the upstart MCs gain a local cult following, but was ultimately overlooked by the mainstream. Now, after E-40’s success and the increased visibility of hyphy, Federation is ready to capitalize off the buzz and drop their sophomore release, It’s Whateva, on Warner Bros. Records. XXLMag.com talks with Stress, Doonie and Goldie about their new album, the staying power of the hyphy movement and the Bay Area’s influence on hip-hop.

How did you guys meet and form the Federation?
Stressmatic: I met Doonie when I was 16. We’ve known each other for over 10 years now. I knew Goldie from high school and we went to the same church. We all met at a record shop in Fairfield where they were having a freestyle battle I entered.

Doonie, you and Rick Rock are originally from Alabama. How did you guys meet?
Doonie: We had two rival cliques on the local scene in Alabama. Me and a mutual friend [of Rick Rock’s] Swinger had our own clique. So Swinger was like, “Man, they tight, our clique tight, we need to bring them together.” So that’s what we did. Me and Rick still weren’t feeling each other, [though]. But [one night] Swinger had a vision he was gonna pass away. He made me and Rick promise we would stay together. And like a month after that, [Swinger] passed away. Then Rick came to California and a year later he called me and said he had a plane ticket for me. I came out here to Cali and been here ever since.

Were you satisfied with the way your debut LP, The Album, was received?
Goldie: [Long pause] Um, it depends on how you look at it. The album came out in 2004. It’s 2007 and it’s still relevant for some odd reason. That’s the good thing. We’re able to do shows and our name still carries a bit of a buzz. As far as the push we were supposed to get, well, that could have been better.

Stressmatic: I think it may have been before its time. Sometimes it takes a long time for a certain genre of music to grow. Sometimes the fans have to grow with you, like with OutKast. They didn’t just blow up like how they are now. It took them awhile. If you blow up overnight, you might be gone just as quickly.

Describe the sound of your new album, It’s Whateva.
Goldie: If you’re familiar with our first album and you liked that, this is a total upgrade. We sound more mature and the lyrics are more up-to-date and relevant. We sound like a breath of fresh air.

You guys have stated you want to diversify your sound with this release. What are some examples on the album?
Stressmatic: We’ve got a song on there with a famous choir from Oakland—Walter Hawkins Choir. That’s something different we didn’t do before. It’s a song you would perform at the Video Music Awards or Grammys.

Goldie: I’d like to add on to that. On our first album we had a rock song. This time, we said, “Hey, let’s get Travis Barker to play the drums live.” [This album] is upgraded.

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in the hip-hop industry so far?
Doonie: Not having as much knowledge of the game. It’s easy as fuck for us to do this music, but we’ve had to learn the game ’cause nobody taught us. We ain’t had no chance to go to school to learn the music industry. You sign a contract and they explain to you what they want, but all that other fine print shit really fucks you up on your percentage of publishing. You’re not getting the best deal [or] right amount of money.

Rick Rock is essentially the fourth member of the Federation. Any plans to work with other producers down the line?
Stressmatic: Until we get a platinum plaque with Rick Rock, we’re not going outside our camp. Goldie does beats, too. So it’s like we’ve already got in camp producers just like how Cash Money had Mannie Fresh. We do work with other producers on other projects, but not a Federation album. [Rick Rock] knows exactly what we want and he let’s us do whatever we want. He’s not scared to do something that sounds rock, East Coast or West Coast. There’s not one sound with Rick Rock. If we were a rock band, Rick Rock would be the drummer.

The Bay has influenced a lot of hip-hop slang. Do you look down upon artists from other regions who jack your slang?
Goldie: The music industry has been mimicking and imitating what the Bay Area has been doing for years, from “oh boy” to “fo’ shizzle.” The Bay has been a melting pot of creativity and new talent. The only thing that upsets me is they act like we don’t exist. They don’t pay homage to us. If you’re going to act like us, come and see how we’re living. Don’t shout us out on the radio station like, “Oh, yeah, what’s up?” Come out and build with the people!

How do you feel about the negative press and safety issues concerning hyphy staples like “ghost ridin’?”
Goldie: I got something to say about that—you can’t stop it! The only thing you can do is teach [people] how to do it safely. All you idiots out there who want to ghost ride your whip, quit hoppin’ out of your car when it’s in drive! Put it in neutral! That’s how you ghost ride. A lot of people are fuckin’ themselves up over this. If you’re going to do it, do it right. Safety first.

Stressmatic: It’s just a part of the culture, man. I love it when it’s done safely. I wouldn’t say we’re promoting ghost ridin’, but we can’t stop it. It’s not our fault. I just watched Arnold Schwarzenegger kill five different people in The Terminator [and] he’s the Governor. We can’t stop it [just because] they’re playing our music while doing it.

There are critics who say hyphy is already dead. How do you respond to that?
Doonie: It’s bullshit. The main muthafuckas who started it are still here. Out album ain’t come out yet. We ain’t went nowhere. It ain’t dead yet. A lot of artists in The Bay haven’t stepped outside the box. They expect every track on the album to be a hyphy song, but that’s not what it is. It ain’t finna be what everybody expects. We finna make the world go back to the drawing board, even other Bay area artists.

Stressmatic: The movement didn’t catch on because we didn’t’ have a lot of mainstream media attention. E-40 came out and that’s all they saw. Everybody thinks, “Okay, E-40’s the hyphy movement.” They don’t know there’s a lot of other hyphy artists. What the mainstream media doesn’t realize is it’s not over because it hasn’t even been exposed to the mainstream yet. It’s far from over.

  • Holla

    Hyphy is DEAD. Fuck the West Coast!!!!

    • Serandi

      HaHaHa! I only can laugh about the big comment of brebre and Holla! You think Hyphy is dead?? do you realy think it’s dead??
      Well let me tell you something! I’m from Germany! You read it? yes from Germany! Now watch out! Hyphy has got to here last year and it was a big bomb in some states! maybe you don’t believe this or think thats only a fake from a nigga from bay or else from USA! but no, hyphy got very famous here, because of its new nice flavor of very nice sounding beats never heard bevore. I’m a white man and yes I’m a russian person! here we love hyphy for our lives and would do everything that brings that keeps hyphy alive! soon hyphy, very soo they’ll see! the fans are growing and growing very fast!

  • WSO

    EAT A DICK SLUT, TAKE THE DICK OUT YO BUTT!!!!!!!! dA WEST IS WHERE IT’S AT, YA’LL MOTHERFUCKA’S ARE GOING TO BOW DOWN AGAIN. WATCH

  • KLETEWOOD

    Yo HOLLA….

    The Bay BREEDs HATERS.

    MAC DRE was spittin Hyphy shit back in 2000. “Heart Of Gangsta – Mind Of A Hustla – Tongue Of A Pimp” (2000)

    Pay Homage to the Pioneers of this RAP Shit.

    By the way…Holla; your Mama is like a shotgun, one cock and she blows.

  • SNOOP DAWG

    THE BAYLIENS HAVE LANDED!

  • SNOOP DAWG

    THE BAYLIENS HAVE LANDED!

  • brebre

    AGAIN, I LIVE IN BAY AND THIS IS REAL TALK. BAY RAP SCENE SUCKS, PERIOD. SICK OF THIS SHIT.

    ALL THESE NIGGAZ MAKING EXCUSES “OH, MAINSTREAM MEDIA THINKS HYPHY IS JUST THIS JUST THAT” STFU! NOBODY FROM OTHER REGIONS MAKES THAT KINDA LAME EXCUSE.

    EVEN NEW YORK NIGGAZ ATTITUDE TODAY IS LIKE “SOUTH IS HOT NOW, BUT WE DOING OUR PART” BUT THESE BAY NIGGAZ FUCKIN PLAYING BLAME GAME SINCE FOREVER. FUCKIN’ PATHETIC. NOBODY OUTSIDE OF OAKLAND GIVES A SHIT ABOUT BAY RAP, PERIOD.

    AND IT WILL BE LIKE THIS FOREVER. THEY WILL NEVER LEARN THE FACT THAT GOOD MUSIC IS GOOD MUSIC. IF YOU HOT, THE ENTIRE NATION WILL FOLLOW. BAY RAP WAS NEVER HOT AND NEVER WILL BE. CUZ NIGGAZ TOO “DUMB”. SOUTHERN NIGGAZ AT LEAST HUSTLE.

    BAY HAD A CHANCE AND THEY DIDN’T TAKE IT. BAY RAP ARTISTS CAN’T BLAME NOBODY BUT THEMSELVES.

    • Serandi

      HaHaHa! I only can laugh about the big comment of brebre and Holla! You think Hyphy is dead?? do you realy think it’s dead??
      Well let me tell you something! I’m from Germany! You read it? yes from Germany! Now watch out! Hyphy has got to here last year and it was a big bomb in some states! maybe you don’t believe this or think thats only a fake from a nigga from bay or else from USA! but no, hyphy got very famous here, because of its new nice flavor of very nice sounding beats never heard bevore. I’m a white man and yes I’m a russian person! here we love hyphy for our lives and would do everything that brings that keeps hyphy alive! soon hyphy, very soo they’ll see!

  • Rodjilius

    so who are these guys again?

  • brebre

    YOU WALK DOWN THE STREET AND NOBODY BANGING BAY RAP MUSIC IN THEIR CAR. WHY? CUZ IT SUCKS. IT AIN’T ABOUT WHERE U FROM. PPL DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THAT NO MORE. NOBODY FROM BAY STEPPING UP THEIR GAME. THEY DON’T HAVE BALLS TO GO NATIONAL. FOREVER STUCK IN THEIR OWN LITTLE TINY ITTY BITTY PLACE AND BLAMING, HATING ON THE MEDIA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD. AT LEAST THEY KNOW THEY ARE “DUMB”.

  • brebre

    MAC DRE IS A LOCAL LEGEND. NOTHING LESS. NOTHING MORE. AND BAY NIGGAZ, PLZ STOP SAYING ACTING LIKE 2PAC IS A SON OF THE BAY. HE WAS BORN IN NEW YORK AND REPRESENTED L.A THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER. “TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A”, YOU HEARD? NOT LIVE AND DIE IN OALKAND. DUMB NIGGAZ.

  • Wizard

    I appreciate xxl showin the west coast some love – yall might not know the federation out in the east coast, but these guys are talented.

  • 1N1OUT

    Hyphy is dead but that fuck the westcoast comment fuck u fucko for that shit

  • KLETEWOOD

    BREBRE…Like I said>>The Bay Breeds haters. You live here and still hatin.

    Obviously…2pac started with Digital Underground. Where they from again? The Bay

    When 2 pac dropped? Where did he live? The Bay

    1991 – 2Pacalypse Now
    1993 – Strictly For My Niggaz
    1994 – Thug Life
    1995 – Me Against The World
    1996 – All Eyez On Me
    1996 – The Don Killuminati – The 7 Day Theory
    1997 – Are You Still Down (Remember Me)

    2pac’s “live and die in LA shit” didn’t drop until he died. The track was on “The Don Killuminati”.

    As for the South, they have Mainstream Representation through SO SO Def and Def Jam. They don’t hustle harder…Its just easier to be heard. The South puts out some Gay shit though. What are you bumpin..”PoP lock and Drop It”.

    Stay True.

  • Freddy(Vega$)

    ya’ll niggaz make me sick that say the West is done or that hyphy is over, you must not go to the clubs cause I live in Vegas and that bump that shit ALL the time in the Classy spots(OPM, PURE, TAO) West aint goin no where you faggots!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/friscorepresenter anthony

    Man i wish them suckas didnt take Mac Dre
    Away!

  • {{{{{{{BAYAREA}}}}}}}

    yaadddaaddaameeennnnnnnnn..

  • http://www.myspace.com/fucklarrybrite larry brite

    TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HATE ON THE BAY – Every single one of us residence would like to say, “THANK YOU, U IGROANT BASTARD(s)!!!” We’ll see you on SoundScan.
    -
    “We got love 4 those with love 4 us” – Method Man
    -
    “So Fuck waitin – Patience is a virtue i don’t have, I got Money on My Mind & i Want My shit In CA$H!” – x Raided

  • http://www.myspace.com/larrybrite Larry Brite

    “and if she 18 i might F*ck a 12th grader”

  • HS

    props to xxl for this piece on fedgang. for those outside of cali who dont know about federation, take time to look up and listen to their music. im sure yall will love their shit cuz they dont come off as hyphy music on every track. got a lil bit of everything that all regions will like. there album will be fire just like their first. dont hate!

  • http://www.myspace.com/thagrindaholic BLUNTBLAZER

    FED GANG IS BACK YEA THA BAY IS IN THA BUILDIN HYPHY AINT LEFT YALL JUS STOPED LISTENIN

    http://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/THAGRINDAHOLIC

  • D.Dozen667

    Yaw muthafuckas gon retrospect my fam ya digz? One way or anotha, bow down and salute this takeover. Kin$moke/FED Gang n da buildin!!!

  • big one

    THE BAY AREA IS HELLA FRIGGIN COOL YO. THE FEDERATION HITS HARD IN MY CHEVY AVEO. I GOTZ MAD LOVE FOR THE YAY AREA. THIZZLE TILL I DIZZLE FERSHIZZLE. EVEN THOUGH IM WHITE I GOTZ MAD LOVE SON. FER SHO,BENICIA STAND UP PEACE OUT. ONE. YADDADAADAMEAN.

  • Boi Boi

    ignorant ass niggas…real recognize reall, so yall obviously FAKE..if u dont like us…keep it like dat..REAL TALK

  • Boi Boi

    dont trip on da Bay homey…yall niggaz aint even on our level hoe..

  • The Remedy 408

    you know whats funny? cats been saying Hyphy is dead… and that shit ain’t true, the bay is still here and we ain’t leaving, the rap game would be nothing without us yadadda? don’t be hatin cuz you can’t tycoon like we can. we loyal to our soil!

  • JDiamondz510

    That dude BreBre need 2 get his facts right. Tupac said he learned his game in oakland. He got big out of tha bay wit digital underground. Plus u say that know one slap bay shit. Boy u trippin. U cant walk down tha block wit out some bay shit slappin. Obviously u dont know that much bout bay shit. Cause people know about bay artists other than jus tha bay. The Pack had tha #3 song last year. Clyde Carson’s song 2 step was featured in tha new fantastic four. E-40 shit been known nation wide. Mac dre been known. He was doin a show in kansas city when he died, so obviously other people know bout him. And people from there was hella mad, so he aint jus a local legend. I can say hella more, but it would jus show how ignat u is 2 tha bay and how we do. It’s amazin, plus if know when else listens 2 tha bay how did tha pack get signed, mistah fab get signed, Fed Game, Clyde Carson, The A’z, big Rich, not to mention many others to deals. Matter fact wait till Ya Boy blow up, he gone show u how tha bay do. And San quinn, Messy, Nickatina, and many others have been doin it big for years. Next tyme think before u type.

  • jon blaze

    wow…JDIAMONDZ510…thats probably the sickest comment ive ever read…you really typed exactly what i wanted to say as i was scrolling through all the other comments…welcome to the baaaaaay

  • d

    im a big fan of westcoast music, i m from vegas, but i dont feel hyphy music, i grew up on gangsta bay area rap, and i prefer that bay shit. that hyphy shit dont sound like something a grown man should be listeening too, all the beats sound the same, and its not very musical, that stlye of rap will never crossover, because southern cali dont listen to northern cali, bay area rap is very big in the bay, they are there own superstars, and thats hella good, but that sound is wack

  • Al Pratt

    How can Hyphy be dead when Thats they culture!!! You guys need to travel more. They Bay artist really do not care about going nation wide, Thay can sell like 200,000 copies just in their area…Pratt boys for life!! (216) Cleveland, OH. Ohio Playa. Whats good to Krazy Ken repping that whole Yay area (916,206,707, 510 and 415) Whhhhhaaaaatttt Yeeee….

  • KLETEWOOD

    Co sign JDiamondz510….

    Yo Al Pratt>>>I feel you! California has about 35,278,768 people (according to Census – not to mention the illegals we have here). Theres about 6 and a half million in the Bay. Not to mention SAC TOWN.

    RAPPERS don’t need the EAST COAST Mainstream. If you stay Tru to the West. You moving units.

  • Town Biz

    Bay Music is bigger than you think. Maybe it’s not that big on the East Coast or South. But the Bay has a lot of neglected markets on lock. Seattle, Portland, Denver, San Diego, Fresno, Hawaii, Alaska, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Reno. Just like how the New York cats are always doing shows in Pittsburg, Buffalo, Columbus, Hartford etc. It doesn’t have to go national. What a lot of you are missing is that this hyphy shit is for the youngstas 13-24 of all races and nationalities. All you have to do is check youtube and you can see just how popular the hyphy movement really is. E-40 is just the beginning. Wait until Fabby Davis drops or Clyde Carson who is probably the most versatile of them all with the right marketing he can go national. The Federation epitomizes hyphy there beats go. No question their beats make you move. And that’s what the youngstas want to do dance and have fun. They don’t want to listen for similes and metaphors. Truthfully once it catches on with the youngstas in LA it will go nationwide. That how bay slang and culture travels. From the Bay to LA to the rest of the nation. And its almost there. The other day I saw a hyphy group out of Long Beach.

  • BlackGenius

    YaYArea stand up and go hard as usual and fuck everybody talkin down on the Yay or the HYphy movement!!!

  • LoveCaliButLiveInTheEast

    I lived in the Bay and the only new artist that are talented IMO coming out of there is THE FRONTLINE, Clyde Carson and Turf Talk. Fab is cool in a goofy dont take me serious kinda way, but if any of the 3 I mentioned get some nation wide exposure…the globe will know.

  • http://xxlmag.com DARK

    fuck northern cali and the GAY area LA all fuckin day land of the real gangbang.

  • therealmayor

    L.A don’t feel that way about the Bay^^^
    We fuck’s with the yay,it’s alway’s some sucka who stuck in the 80′s and got nothing to do with this Cali movement speaking bout some bangin niggaz is lame!

  • geminisav

    LA steals shit from the bay :pop ya collar snoop stole, fa shizzle snoop stole look at sports every body poppin collars and thats town shit to the fullest. Do your homework old e-40, 3x crazy, yuk, too shizzy, …etc. You hatin bitches. Town Bizzness. east oakland square ass bitches.

  • P NuT Da’ LoCo

    Ya’ll dumb, no nothing ass nigga’s- CHECK DA TRACK RECORD ON RICK ROCK & SEE WUT MAINSTREAM RAPPERS USE HIM AS A PRODUCER- I BET HE RAN YO CITY AT 1 TIME OR ANOTHER…..STOP BUMPN’ YO GUMZ- YO FAVORITE RAPPERS KIC’IT OUT HERE!!!! ALL ON KMEL 106.1 TALKIN’ BOUT “I GREW UP ON THIS YAY SHIT”, when asked never mentioning other rappers from other regions, who made an influence on them-”Da’ BaY gOt DaT sLaNg” way before da MACK- every region idealizes him- OH YEAH, FUCK NINO BROWN, WE PRODUCT REP FELIX MITCH’ ALL DAY-DO YO RESEARCH
    KEEP EAR HUSTLIN’

    YaDaDaMiNn

  • mute1nhcrew

    fuck the federation and all these other hyphy fucks…mainstream rap is wack as fuck to much gimmicks…xxl mag is not a hip hop mag its just a bunch of commercial bullshit…wheres the real hip hop???

  • fed life

    that new FEDERATION track with snoop Dogg is crazy….” happy i met you”

  • Yadadadada

    YAY ARRREEEEEEAAA!!!!

  • joe motherfuckin v

    Im wit kleetwood on this one and brebre need to shut the fuck up. Just listen to mac dre you bitches the cutthroat mothafucka him self i aint never heard anyone spit punch line after punch line like “sour filthy call me nasty, all in her guts while i’m slapping her ass cheeks”. mac dre the boss tycoon the reason there even is da hyphy movement THIZZ IN PEACE MAC MOTHERFUCKIN DRE

  • town shit bitch

    to all bitch ass niggas and trick ass hoes…they yay is in the area. learn about it!

  • Andrey

    HaHaHa! I only can laugh about the big comment of brebre and Holla! You think Hyphy is dead?? do you realy think it’s dead??
    Well let me tell you something! I’m from Germany! You read it? yes from Germany! Now watch out! Hyphy has got to here last year and it was a big bomb in some states! maybe you don’t believe this or think thats only a fake from a nigga from bay or else from USA! but no, hyphy got very famous here, because of its new nice flavor of very nice sounding beats never heard bevore. I’m a white man and yes I’m a russian person! here we love hyphy for our lives and would do everything that brings that keeps hyphy alive! soon hyphy, very soo they’ll see! the fans are growing and growing very fast!