London, from the architecture to the culture to the fashion to the accents, feels like it's a special place.
Albums serve as paragraphs in an artist's autobiography.
I think every artist's next work will reflect a new chapter in their autobiography. Each album tells a story about where they were at during a particular period and how they have evolved.
It's definitely been a long, long... long, long, long, long, long journey since I was selling burnt CD's out of my backpack in downtown Oakland.
What's weird is the Hot Boys and the whole New Orleans Cash Money thing had a really big impact on the Bay when that was popping off. I don't all the way understand it. I mean, I know that they were big everywhere and had a lot of commercial success in the mid to late '90s, but they were really, really felt in the Bay Area.
When you're from the Bay Area, there's this chip on your shoulder that you inherently come up with, because us, as a region, we've been overlooked in the grand scheme of the history of the genre and the culture.
I grew up in Oakland, California, and there was a really active scene in the Bay Area. Everyone else knew it as the 'Hyphy Movement' of Mac Dre, E-40, and The Pack.
The Bay area made me who I am, and it only felt right to go back there.
I think the most important thing is to be yourself and be genuine and don't try to tell anybody else's story but your own. And if it comes from a genuine place, I think people can tell, and if it doesn't, I think people can tell, and I think that eventually it shows.
We listen to oldies when we go on tour. Beach Boys radio was really clutch; that was definitely our favorite Pandora station.
Being in a position to bring people together like we do is a beautiful thing.
I grew up in Oakland and Berkeley, California.
I used to go and cop stacks of blanks CDs and sit there and burn copies of my mixtapes and print up my own mixtape covers and post up in downtown Oakland and Telegraph in Berkeley and literally was selling my mixtapes for five bucks, hand-to-hand.
When you use a sample in a big way, when you loop something in the way I did with 'Runaround Sue,' it's like you have your chords and your melody and the quality of the song right there before you add your own production. It's like the song is already made, in a sense.
I think it's natural for a creative to be sensitive. If I'm in the studio and I write something, I think it's the greatest thing in the world; it's like my baby. I just made something out of thin air that exists now in a tangible form. It's the biggest thrill in my life.
If you look at any creative person's work, you can see bits and pieces of their influences. That's what an artist does.
There's only so much you can do on a physical level trying to tour or pass out mixtapes. Although that matters, I realized that you can reach more people putting your music on Soundcloud and networking with blogs to write about you. It really comes back to the music and what you release.
I remember, when I was ten, I wanted to look like Em. I had the bleached blonde hair.
When you sample something, you're using the crutch of borrowing chords and melodies from a song that's already great, that's already stood the test of time, that's already special. When you're trying to do it all from scratch, you're writing something brand new that has to stand on its own.
I grew up watching Kobe Bryant.