Tour Stories: So, You Really Wanna Be in Show Business?

How did we make this growth happen? In that time, we put out a gang of vinyls, albums, tapes, CDs, clothing, etc. (all of which you can check out on our site, if you don’t know our repertoire), and we constantly reinvested in ourselves and made sure our logo symbolized quality and forward-thinking music. I’m not a music critic and I can’t be at all objective about the records we put out, but we are craftsmen and we try to create exciting musical experiences. As little kids, we grew up with whole albums as experiences, sitting next to a speaker for an hour knowing you were about to experience a whole record, not fast forward through some shit. The time and effort we put into our music is what makes it timeless and makes people gravitate towards it.

As a result, we have one of the sickest global groups of fans who support everything we do; from live shows to recorded music to clothing. If you look at companies like Def Jux, Rhymesayers, Duck Down or Stones Throw; we all use a model of touring constantly, interacting with fans and selling our music hand to hand, while maintaining a traditional distribution chain for our products (CDs, vinyl, T-shirts, etc.) and maintaining a strong presence online. Leading up to working with Prince Paul (Souls), Tame One (Del), and Guilty Simpson (Opio) this year, we’ve always worked with like-minded artists when the fit made sense—like when Del collaborated with Gorillaz or Souls joined forces with Pharcyde to form Almyghty Myghty Pythons; and in the future we’re hoping for a Casual and Sean Price album!

Gorillaz feat. Del – “Clint Eastwood

Opio feat. Guilty Simpson – “Some Superfly Shit

I’ve taken the same strategy in my own Clear Label Media Group venture, which helps independent labels to expose the wealth of talent we have in the Bay. It frustrates me that when people think of underground, it usually means “backpack” rap music. There’s an underground in every genre and subgenre of music, talent that needs to be exposed to the world. I base my label on this variety, we’re from the Bay, the land of everything from Natural Four to Sly & the Family Stone, Tower of Power, Tony Toni Tone, to Too $hort, to Hieroglyphics—Oakland encompasses all this music. As an artist and as a member of this community, I wouldn’t be living up to my duty if I didn’t expose the world to all the talent out here in all of its variety.

Shady Nate – “Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Chris Marsol – “3 In The Morning

Deep Rooted – “Crazy

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  • capcobra

    best intro since ready to die…lol.

  • Mike Bigga

    Long Live Hiero! Preciate all the dopeness!!!!!

  • thoreauly77/ian

    proper aim IS THAT SHIT. dope video, dope song. ordering the record today.

    taj- congrats on everything man, for you and all your hiero brethren; many of us have been right there with you all these years. why dont you guys play south bay? down here in san jose we are fiending for fresh hip hop!


  • Conducta


    • thoreauly77/ian

      its not a wrong thing, to be addicted to the microphone like a heroin fiend, i’ll tell you one thing/you’ll never catch me frontin’


  • Tony Grands

    Big, big fan.

    Hiero had the ill maxi-singles, back in the day. All the b-sides, very few cats in the industry were releasing music like that.

    Cas, Del, Snupe, the whole team.

    Again, big, big fan. Glad to see y’all dudes still popping off, on your own terms.

    • capcobra

      what up grands…what up $yk.

      • $ykotic/Don McCaine

        cap what’s the word fam? Pass me some of Carolina’s best. Leave it over on

        • Tony Grands

          What up y’all?!

          Man, I used to listen to Hieroglyphics like it was going out of style. I had a couple of their “lost” demos, back in the day.

          When Taj talks about making music, that shit was making it all the way from their trunk to L.A.

          The new joint, ‘Montezuma’s Revenge’ is classic S.O.M.

        • thoreauly77/ian

          go to the hiero site; opio has a free ep link. listening to it right now and its dope.

        • Tony Grands

          Thanks. I’m going to check it out.

  • Trackstar the DJ

    Hiero was a very important part of my formative years as a hip hop fan and DJ. Respect.

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    That’s what’s up. A big fan of the camp right here.

  • thoreauly77

    this will be comment three i have tried to leave. whats the problem xxl?

    tajai- you and your whole hiero camp are and have always been ill. some of us have been fans since the jump. keep doing what youre doing.

    also, you guys are so close, so why dont you play the south bay?

  • The Kid

    The Domino link up above is to the wrong Domino on Wikipedia!!! Domino from the bay isn’t a CRIP!!! Domino from the bay is peaceful brotha… no gang bangin’!!!

  • getthesenets

    props for keeping it going without the label…..

    saw a clip of you and casual in the BET booth….you ripped the walls apart…

    my favorite beat/instrumental out of your camp was “After dark” by pep love…..

  • bollocks

    Taj –

    What’s good? Thank you for comin on here and representing the Bay to the fullest. We get no shine, but the Heiro/Souls camp is our best link to other fans. (E-40 is the shit, and deserves respect, but y’all are our true ambassadors.)

    Can’t wait to hear that new new. I’m sure it’s as great as the other billion-plus records you’re linked with.

  • silentmurder

    I love the new album! thanks for posting here as well, it was cool reading your thoughts.

  • beaver

    souls of mischief is my shit..
    great musikk..

  • sfgiants2001

    Dope read! Heiro been doing it for so long, new album is great. Tajai is doing amazing things for the Bay.

  • tutu

    All yall dope!!! Love the movement! Im Heiro to tha casket drop!!