With the sudden rise of Iamsu! and his HBK Gang, the Bay Area is becoming a hotbed again for new talent. Clyde Carson—who was part of the Oakland-based group The Team—has been putting in work on his solo tip dropping street projects like Something To Speak About. Earlier this week, Carson released his new EP Playboy, which once again shows his determination to revive the Bay’s presence in the rap game. We caught up with Clyde Carson to discuss his underground gem, the meaning of Playboy, and if he still believes the Bay is underappreciated.
XXL: How long have you been working on it?
Clyde Carson: Probably since Something To Speak About I’ve been at it. In March, I started on it and then some of the songs that we started on early that we didn’t end up using. It was kind of off and on over the last six months.
Why did you name it Playboy?
I grew up listening to Too $hort. He was my favorite rapper. He used to always call himself Playboy Short. I kind of just took it from there. I always thought it was a dope moniker so I just used it. I just thought it’d be a dope album title name.
What was the direction for the project?
I think the direction of Playboy is just really Bay Area funk. Oakland funk. Old school funk-type of underground feel. Everything from the production to even the cover, I felt like it kind of had a throwback sense to it. Except for the record I got with August, I think everything else really has a regional sound to it. I almost was going for that. I think a lot of people are paying attention to the Bay Area. I wanted to do something I felt that was really deeply rooted in the Bay Area. Something that I was not really trying to make records that would crossover to any other place. But since people are paying attention, just give them something that felt real original to its roots.
How was it working with Mustard?
It was pretty cool. I was able to work on his project Ketchup. I jumped on that for him and, in turn, we did a couple of records for me. We actually did a bunch of records but we picked to that we thought it was dope for the project. He’s a dope young dude. He’s putting out a lot of songs. It’s a good time to have some records from him.
You got a record with Master P. That’s a big look.
I remember actually going to school and just being a real fan of [No Limit’s] movement. Even before they kind of popped off nationally, when they were representing Richmond. Shouting out Richmond, California and TRU was only in Richmond and everybody was out there. I think to see them pop off and of course, he’s making his comeback now. I had an opportunity to do a record with him. I’m glad he hopped on the record. I actually think he really killed it. He did his thing on there. He didn’t come on there and give me a fancy cut. He came up and kicked his feet. Master P showing out on the record.
With Iamsu! and HBK Gang blowing up, do you believe the Bay is still underappreciated in hip-hop?
I don’t feel like that anymore. I think once we came out with the hyphy movement and the artists and we were showing that “Hey, when you mention the West Coast, please don’t forget about the Bay. And don’t think we are like anybody else.” We got our own style. We got our own dances. We have our own language. I think that is what the hyphy movement was all about. So I don’t think the Bay is underappreciated, I think back then they were looking at us funny, but the whole West Coast is doing what we started off doing. I don’t think it is underappreciated. Anytime you have major artists like Nicki Minaj or Yo Gotti or all the East Coast and down South major artists that are actually putting up numbers. When they shout out the West Coast, they make sure to shout-out the Bay and L.A. It’s not just L.A. or just West Coast. I mean, we not underappreciated at all. They listening to the music.