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NTERVIEW WITH LITTLE BRUCE
BY "DOLLAR" BILL KELVIN
What's up with the new mixtape you just put out?
"The Truth" came out in August, Urban Life Distribution got it. It was a real sensitive issue and a lot of people wouldn't touch it.
Why is it sensitive?
'Cause I verbally came at my cousin E-40. My blood cousin, not my play cousin. 40's mom is my auntie. I didn't like the way he handled my career, I didn't like the way the business went down when I was on Sick Wid It.
What did you have out on Sick Wid It?
My project "Extra Mannish" was ready to go through City Hall. But then Sick Wid It made a deal with Jive, so, my record was supposed to come out through Jive. 50,000 orders went out on City Hall, and put me up on the Billboard slot number 60, Pacesetter. Jive seen that and they was like, "Why is this project coming out?" I was supposed to be the first act to come out on Jive from Sick Wid It Records. So it got snatched off the shelf, and got put back on the shelf after two months.
Who put it out on City Hall?
I can't say who did it, 40 or B-Legit, it was one of them two. My argument about that was: you knew you made a deal for $3.5 million, why you fumble the ball on my project? Me and E got a bad history, because of the super sigs between me and Mac Dre, when me and Dre battled.
What was going on between you and Dre?
This was way back in the day. Basically I didn't want to wait on nobody for a Rap career. So me and my patna P-Dub, we sat up in his mama house, we called ourselves not sellin' rocks goin' straight, tryin' to get jobs. Won't nobody give us no jobs! And we both got dope cases, we finna go to jail. We're like, "Damn, the Army won't take us, nothin', we fu-ked up! ***** we tried to get a job, mom this **** ain't workin', **** that." So the homey said, "We gotta take this Rap **** serious." I said, "How I'm gon' get a Rap deal? Don't nobody know me. I done been on what, three songs?" He was like, "***** you gotta battle somebody. You gotta hit somebody local. This ***** Mac Dre! You and Dre used to rap at Playboy Rick house in South Vallejo; y'all used to battle. Dre just got record deals now. If you hit Dre, and then Dre hit you back, then that'll give you a name." We sat there, broke as ****, layin' in the bed watchin' TV and came up with that plan. My first song was "Back to the Villa."
What album was that on?
It was my underground **** that never hit the street. The only reason people know about it is 'cause I battled Dre. The whole **** was "11 in the mornin'", "I'm a Dog", and the first battle song was "Back to the Villa", which was more bounce. I came at The Mack, Mac Dre, and Young Stevie D. Stevie D was young then, he wasn't PSD yet. 'Cause L.L. Cool J had that song where he came at Kool Moe Dee, Ice T and M.C. Hammer. And so that's the song that I mimicked.
What happened then? Mac Dre responded?
So Dre goes to the studio two weeks later and he do a song called "Little *****." And, to put the icing on the cake, our neighborhoods don't get along. It's 1990.
Which neighborhoods are you talking about?
The Crestside and Millersville. They ain't fu-king with each other in 1990. What's goin' on right now is a whole new era. So I come with "Back to the Villa" and he come with "Little *****." I was hopin' he would respond, but he put a twist on it! 'Cause back then I was young and I was tryin' to perfect my style and comin' with different kinda of styles than Vallejo style. So I developed my own style. ****** be like, "Damn is he from Vallejo," "Yeah that's Little Bruce." So nobody understood the way I came, it was a different style. And when Dre came, Dre hit me with the Cold, Cold Capper Part 4. That's the song he hit me with. And "Little *****" was the title of the whole situation. So now, Miami the Most, he my cousin, too. He brings "Little *****" to me, and he like "This what Dre do cuz." And I'm like, "Oh! That's what Dre do?" 'Cause Dre was sayin' mamas, and dead people! Dre didn't give a ****. Dre came out siggin'. You know how muthafu-kas play the dozens with each other and talk about mamas? That's how Dre came. And he was so fu-kin' hard, and he was so fu-kin' funny at the same time, you didn't know whether to laugh or be mad. When he came, I didn't know what to do. It caused so much confusion. I was a battle rapper, I come from the schoolyard rappin'. It threw me off, he hit me with a hard one. But see, I'm a rapper; I gotta adapt. I gotta make a move, figure out how I'm a respond to this. He talked about my dead daddy, he talked about my crippled auntie, he talked about my grandparents, he talked a bout the church, he talked about everybody, basically. But the only mistake that he made, is that he said, 40 was a **** tryin' to rap too quick. And that involved 40; he took that real personal. But he couldn't get at Dre about it, so he got at me about it. He was like, "This battle ****'s gotta stop." I was like, "Well damn cuz, get off on him. We battlin' right now." And he was like, "Man, I'm not finna be no part of that." I'm like, "Okay, cool." And so it caused a big *** family argument. But I still battled him anyway.
So this went on for a while?
Hell yeah! I came back with "The Dope Rhyme Sayer." I just didn't know his mama and them. I didn't really have no game. It was like, "Oh this ***** wanna sig, I know how to sig, but I don't got no heat!" So I ain't gon' lie, to find heat on Dre, I had to go to old people. I really had to go talk to old people and sit around 'em and act like I wasn't really tryin' to be in Dre' mama and them' business. I sit up there and smoke weed with 'em, and they'll sit around and talk about all the people in Vallejo, and I just wait till they get to the Hicks part. That's what I came over here and smoked all my weed up for, to wait till they get to the Hicks part and start gossipin' about people. And that's how I got my heat on Dre. He was mad as ****. Miami'll tell you, that ***** did not know how I came up with that heat. And then the battle was really on, it was back and forth. And then Coolio came.
You're talking about Coolio from LA?
Naw, not Coolio from LA, Coolio Da Underdog, Dre's patna, his best friend. He backed Dre up. He had his own songs k!llin' me, too. The Crest was k!llin' me. They had like 11 songs at me, and I only had like four, five songs. So it was a big *** battle, and we was like sworn enemies. But life twisted around though. That was part of the reason me and cousin fell out. 'Cause he didn't really appreciate me doin' this battle 'cause that was givin' them the freedom to say his name. That was givin' them the freedom to say **** 40, **** B Legit, **** Sick Wid It. Because they sayin' **** Little Bruce. And cuz, he didn't like that ****, we ended up growin' apart because of it. We had a f!ght and a whole bunch of other ****.
How long did the beef last with Dre?
The beef with Dre lasted for a year and a half, two summers. It was '90, '91. This was before Sick Wid It. Sick Wid It, they loved me. I was family, but I was a loose cannon so they wasn't really gon' sign me. But all the noise that I made with Dre, that's what caused the signin'. Other people lookin' at me, like "We can't let this kid go, this our family. We gotta do somethin' with him." That's kinda where I'm at on 40, "If he gon' be out here rappin', he our lil' cousin, I don't want him over here fu-kin' with these ****** and them other ******, I want him to **** with me." I was wild. I stayed on the turf, I ain't gon' lie. I sold rocks, but I was young; I feel like a muthafu-ka should'a taught me more. We fell out because me and Dre battled.
That was what the split was about?
Really I got kicked off Sick Wid It in '95 over a union scale check that I was tryin' to collect. A muthafu-ka didn't want to honor my union scales. Me and the Funk Mobb was broke, so we came up with this scheme to get union scales from the work we did. So I got into a argument with B-Le, which ended up with 40 calling me back and said, "Cousin, you released from the company." And I basically said, "Thank you." And I been moving around for the last 12 years, and I spent 10 of it on the run from the police.
You were featured on "Rap Star" on B. Legit's "Hemp Museum" album in like '98, right? That was after you were off the company?
Yep. I was still fu-kin' with B-Legit. B-Legit was really the only reason I signed with Sick Wid It. After I got kicked off Sick Wid It I started fu-kin' with B-Le, wantin' to do shows. Cuz first was payin' me a little bit of money and it was cool. But then, bein' on the run, runnin' from the feds and the police at the same time, a muthafu-ka had to find a way to make some money. So a ***** fell off into the pimp game, accidentally. Oo, wham! Got some money, I'm back up on my feet! I got money, I'm spendin' money that I ain't never seen before. Damn, I'm buyin' Versace, I'm buyin' Gucci! Damn, I got real live gators, I got suits and ****, cars and ****. I was like, wow! I don't even need to rap, **** rap! I'm a pimp!
So that was a whole different life for you then.
I'm a whole different motherfu-ker. I done touched down in nearly every state in this country, not doin' no concerts. I been doin' what I been doin'. That's how me and Dre met again. 'Cause in Miami, I'm out in the streets, gettin' into it with other pimps, Miami the Most, he the only big cousin to come down into the tenderloins and the ghettoes and say "What's up cousin? You alright?" That's how me and Dre met, 'cause cousin Miami had been lookin' out for me. And Dre like, "Man, where Little Bruce at?" And Miami like, "Little Bruce don't rap no more, nothin'. That *****'s a mack." And Dre like, "You a muthafu-kin' liar. Show me."
So Miami called me, he like "What's up *****, what you doin'?" "Sittin' around the house watchin' TV with my bi-ches, bullsh-ttin'."
And he like, "Well, I'm finna come through there, me and Dre."
And at the time I'm like, Who? "Me and Mac Dre, *****." My heart start beatin'. Man, this ***** been in the pen, I been on the run, we done battle rapped each other, we damn near fought. This ***** finna come to my house? So Dre comes through. And he like, "What you been doin'? You been rappin'?" Man, I don't give a **** about no rap. I done fell out with the family over rappin' and everything, I ain't got a check in 12 years. ***** don't give a **** if I swim or drown right now. He like, "Oh you lyin', you lyin'." Naw, cuz, I'm pimpin'. Every car outside, everything in the house, it's all on a *****.
And he wasn't trippin' off the beef or anything?
See, that was the cold thing. He wasn't trippin'. He came in like he want to see what his arch rival was doin'. Whether we was from the same neighborhood or not, we was part of each other's lives because we battled each other. Those is memories that ain't never gon' go away. So he like, "You really pimpin' huh?" And I'm like, "Man, I'm gettin' it." It was good back in them days. So he says, "That's what's goin' on, huh? Watch this." Dre comes back two weeks later with three blondes, in a burnt orange Range Rover, and says, "Look cutty, is this what I'm s'posed to be doin'?"
Ohhh! You is dumb! I didn't see him for another three months 'cause I moved to Vegas. I was standin' on the strip at a liquor store, and before the "Yeezy" that came out it was "Punya." And I hear, "Punya! Punya!" And I turend around, and that's Dre right there in a big *** Excursion. He pulled over, it was on from then. We hooked up in Vegas, we took over the Crazy Horse, we took over the Spearmint Rhino, Cheetah's. We was in every single studio; we did it big. We went to every casino gamblin', just havin' a ball. I'd fly to the Bay and check on his house, he'd fly to the Bay and check out my house. When we got cool like that, that's when he start askin' me, "What you wanna do? I'm finna start this death Row-like ****." Man, I don't rap no more Dre. And then cousin Miami, he was like, "C'mon *****." I was like, "I'm cool on this rap, look at me. I got on Prada, I'm wearin' iceberg. I'm pullin' up in cars, I just wrecked a Northstar. I ain't trippin', I'm gonna go get another load, it's nothin'. I'm livin'. Why I wanna trade this for that? And then he said, "You know what? Just be on the label, you ain't even gotta rap." I was like, "Alright, **** it cutty. But I don't want to fall out like me and 40 fell out. Me and you already done fell out, we re-friends again.I don't want to get into it with you over this rap ****, I hate this rap ****. So what I did was never rapped, but I was always right there. And then they try to start pushin' me back into the studio. "C'mon, get yo *** in there, I need 16, I need 16."
Thizz brought me back into the entertainment world; Mac Dre did. My arch enemy in rap, and our neighborhoods was funkin', he embraced me. And then I gave him my independent album, "Give It to Me Baby," which he put some new songs on and turned into "Mac Dre Presents." Muthafu-kas was like shocked on that. "Base Rocks to Pimp Socks" was the next album I had on Thizz. But it kinda went bad right when Dre passed. It was kind of a soft album for me. It's not my best work, and that's kinda because of the stress that was goin' on around there. Then I moved back to Vallejo, I ain't been in Vallejo in 10 years. I moved right back to Millersville; that's my hood. I been here for the last year.
So now you're officially back in the Rap game.
Now if you go snatch up "The Truth", my new mixtape that I just put out on Thizz, you'll know what's goin' on with Little Bruce right now. Half of the Bay love me and half of the Bay hate me, but it's been like that for my whole life. I ain't goin' nowhere. This cat came up to me one day and said he was a Little Bruce fan, him and his son. He said, "I been a Little Bruce fan ever since you battled Dre. I just wanna know how you ended up from Sick Wid It to Thizz." So I spit him a little bit of the information of how it was supposed to go and he said, "Write a song about it, man. We your fans and we want to understand why you on Thizz. Why you not over there ballin' with your cousin and why you on Thizz ballin' with Dre." Him and his son asked me that in front of Rasputin's. That's what sparked "The Truth." I owed it to my fans to let them know why I'm not with my family. Because if you want you could take it out of context and say, "Little Bruce is a turf jumper. Wait a minute, you was Millersville Sick Wid It, now you over here Crestside Thizz. How that work?" Well that's the question, how does that work? All I know is Thizz take care of me. Thizz or fall down a flight of stairs, you Beezy!