Mitchy Slick: Certified Gangsta

Without question, Hip-Hop has let a lot of its stars pass as studio gangsters. Though many would argue that lyricism is in a drought, creativity tends to prevail over reality when it comes a successful rapper. For those getting skeptical about the line between fact and fiction, there are select rappers who undoubtedly seem to […]

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Without question, Hip-Hop has let a lot of its stars pass as studio gangsters. Though many would argue that lyricism is in a drought, creativity tends to prevail over reality when it comes a successful rapper. For those getting skeptical about the line between fact and fiction, there are select rappers who undoubtedly seem to walk it as they talk it. From the gang-infested streets of San Diego, Mitchy Slick is one of them.

Mitchy built a name off of a successful independent career, as well as being a member of Xzibit’s Strong Arm Steady crew. For his latest release, Urban Survival Syndrome, Mitchy reportedly turned down backseats on the majors to ride with DJ Muggs’ Angeles Records. Where it lacks in budget, the effort is backed by powerful production from Alchemist, Jellyroll, and DJ Khalil. But in speaking with, Mitchy Slick reveals why his lyrics are undisputed by anybody immersed in the struggle of street life. In 2005, the last time we spoke to you, you were saying that Virgin and Warner Brothers were courting you, and that you were most likely going major. Urban Survival Syndrome dropped on Angeles Records, an indie. What happened?

Mitchy Slick: I’m not just an artist, you know what I mean? A lot of them cats may’ve felt that I had the potential to be artists on their label. But as far as me getting the guarantee that I’d have the freedom to release this project, and do what I’ve always done, [it never surfaced]. We real in-house over here, man. We work a lot for ours. I’m not sitting there doing the mixing, but I know mixin’, I’m sitting there during [the mix]. [Last year] was cool, but it’s ’06, ’07, I got a whole new game plan. You’ve got a record on the album, “Superstar” with WC. Given that most of California’s celebrities live around Los Angeles, do you feel like a superstar or celebrity in San Diego?

Mitchy Slick: It’s crazy, man, but I’m still right there in the hood. I mean, I’m goin’ more places and doin’ s**t, but I’m still real connected to the turf. I really haven’t gotten to go a lot of places yet outside of my surroundings and be looked at as a superstar. Even a place where I’m really known, it ain’t even a superstar thing. I’m known for bein’ the regular n***a. The superstar s**t? I don’t know, I ain’t been there yet – maybe when I start seein’ myself on TV everyday. For now, it ain’t no superstar shoes. I know I got a responsibility to uphold the city. But everybody in the city knows Slick – personally. Ya auntie know me, your big brother know me. We ain’t have no stars in San Diego. We had Jayo [Felony] do his thing, but it’s been a while now. Without us having no real major stars in the town, it’s easy to stand out as far as being an entertainer or athlete in San Diego. We hit the clubs, we ain’t got So So Def in that corner and Death Row in this corner like the days of past. San Diego just basically got Reggie Bush, Marcus Allen, Rashaan Salaam, Ricky Williams – four Heisman Trophy winners in a ten-block radius. Now with the rap thing goin’ on, we gotta see, ‘cause everybody in San Diego’s lookin’ at me like a regular dude, not a star. You had one line in that song saying, “Publicists are paid for lying.” How have you been misrepresented over the years within the media?

Mitchy Slick: I can’t speak of incidents where writers may’ve made a little mistake in their writing. But there’s been other articles where I just read s**t like, “Damn, I could see how the public could look at this and how they could be misconstrued.” I know somebody said something about me and another guy, and I never really said nothin’ like that. I know how it works, but the streets don’t understand that when they read something in a magazine that I could not be true. As soon as they hear it, they runnin’ off with it. [A writer] f**ked around a started a beef between me and someone just based on how little slightly I said something. It’s a trip, because you’re dealing with a writer that swear they know Hip-Hop and s**t, and they urban, and then they get on the phone and talk with you, and they don’t understand what you talkin’ ‘bout ‘cause they really not as street as they say they are. That’s why my album is called Urban Survival Syndrome, ‘cause I’m trying to take you through a day in my part of town, so that you can see the way s**t goes down in my neighborhood so that there won’t be misconceptions. I really don’t be trippin’ off too much of that rapper s**t. E-40, The Game, and Snoop are all showing that the West is back. But from an independent label, can you benefit and penetrate a New York or Southern market?

Mitchy Slick: You know what’s crazy? You should see how much love they give me in New York, even Boston, New Jersey. It ain’t a big giant fanbase, but it makes me proud to say that people who know of Slick, know me from my independent push and mouth-to-mouth efforts. I made myself. There’s a whole lot of cats in the East livin’ how we livin’, even more with the Blood and Crip factor goin’ on. And a lot of my songs are from a Blood and Crip perspective. It ain’t like I’m gonna make a song about “I’m happy to be a Blood or Crip,” but I’m from Southern California, and the code of the streets is a gang-banging code. I don’t give a f**k where you is, if you got a Black neighborhood in Southern California, it’s probably a gang neighborhood. It’s gotten so ridiculous that I’d say 50% of the states in the United States is really on some Blood and Crip s**t. So when I think on how they gonna take my music, g#######, if you a Blood or a Crip in the East Coast, I’d imagine you’d trip to hear Mitchy Slick s**t, man. The s**t’s so authentic. I’m the epitome of that – from gettin’ money, to being on the streets, to lowriding, to flyin’ South to do my thing. It’s always been a connected thing, man. I feel Jeezy, I feel [Lil’ Wayne], I feel Juelz and Cam and Jim [Jones]. You’ve got folks everywhere, man. There’s people on the West, MC Eiht for instance, who have vocalized a problem in that though. In watching your Strong Arm Robbery DVD, you see first hand the day-to-day deaths happening as a result of gang activity. In New York, the stakes don’t seem as high. Don’t you think it’s a different world, really?

Mitchy Slick: I really don’t give a f**k what somebody else is doin’. To me, it’s kinda fascinating to see some cats so far away feel this movement. It must be some s**t for us all to feel a necessary need to represent what they doin’ and where they from, based off some s**t that was [from California]. I don’t glorify the s**t, sayin’, “Oh, this belongs to us, whatever whatever,” why would I give a f**k? I don’t trip off the small s**t. I can’t knock ‘em, homie. What I do is this gangbangin’ f**ks up the rap s**t, and that’s one of the main reasons why the West Coast ain’t where it [needs to be]. That’s why, because it’s hard from the movement to travel from hood to hood when only half of the hoods is really gonna accept you bein’ from where you from. You ain’t even gotta push it to the forefront. In California, you could dress clean, get it all together, the first thing anybody in California that’s from the streets is gonna do is see which side of the tracks is he from. This s**t f**ks s**t up. Is that what made Death Row so strong, because it was built on the backs of Bloods and Crips?

Mitchy Slick: It would not have happened if both were not together. It can’t. Suge knows what he’s doin’. The n***a’s smart. I don’t give a f**k what nobody say, dude’s smart. There’s no way that he could’ve put something that big together without including everybody. It wasn’t just Bloods and Crips, Suge was f**kin’ with Bay artists like Mac-Shawn, with Down South artists like Tha Realest, East Coast artists like Sam Sneed from Pittsburgh. It takes everybody. That’s a great segway for this track “Termination” with C-Bo. It’s powerful music, but it also shows Northern and Southern California artists from different sides getting down together…

Mitchy Slick: C-Bo is really a force within itself. A lot of cats was on the commercial s**t comin’ up, but if you was a really, really, really hood cat, comin’ up in the ‘90s, C-Bo was one of the cats that didn’t fall off. C-Bo was getting million dollar deals through the West Coast drought. I had homies that was locked up with him; his songs are what it’s really about. C-Bo was official. Everybody loves C-Bo, Blood and Crip alike. Sacramento is one of the Northern cities that still take the Southern code. The Bay ain’t really on some Blood and Crip s**t – even though I got some homies up there. C-Bo crossed them boundaries. He our underground favorite. For me to make “Termination” – he stay smashin’ on the police, so it made sense to me. I hopped on C-Bo and Killa Tay’s album, a song called “I’m a Killa” produced by the homie Cricet. After that, Bo and I put it together. It’s been a marriage ever since then. Real n***as do real s**t.