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Interview With A Bullet


23 February 2002 No Comment

Bullet and Shaolin dropped the dope Small Town Big City Game. Now check out this interview we did with him recently.

Thanks for talking to us. Can you start off by telling us who Bullet and Shaolin is, and what kind of people you are on a personal level?

Well first and foremost I’m one driven by my music. Its what keeps me going everyday. I’m going to be 27 next month so you know a playa is starting to feel a little old but I’m still out here doing it big. There has many ups and down in my life through the years and like everbody I like to drink, and put it down frequently. However its music that keeps me focused and responsible at the same time. I was born In the Midwest, Des Moines, Iowa and was raised in Bellevue, Washington a suburb of Seattle. It aint the biggest city but if you want to see beautiful women, then Bellevue is where you need to be.

Your latest album really made us sit up and open our eyes. Can you tell us how it’s doing and what are your personal thoughts on the album?

The album has been getting tremondous reviews all accross the United States with different publications and Hiphop websites. The album won’t actually hit stores for another month, but the anticapation has already begun. This album is by far the best album Bullet & Shaolin have put out. I feel really good about this album and look forward to touring off this record.

How did you hook up with Mr D.O.G., E40 and Cool Nuts?

When I first got into the game back in 1997 I bought Mr. Dog’s album “Wet” and was quite impressed with the album. I contacted him inreguards to doing a song for my 2nd album “We Gets Perved”. I hooked up with Cool Nutz after the release of my debut album “Can I Go?”. I had just started my 2nd album at the time and was on my way out the door heading down to California to do songs with N2deep when he returned my call. We set it up from there, and afterwards he also helped me get the Mr Dog song finished as well. I hooked up with 40 at a show in Portland and chopped it up briefly, he was familiar with me from my song “We Gets Perved” that featured his younger brother Young Mugzi of the Mossie. I have since seen him in passing several times but I haven’t pursued doing a song with him yet but its something that I plan to do in the future.

How did you get into this rap game?

Its crazy I don’t think my story is like anybody elses. I was living out in Des Moines, Iowa in 1996 and bought instrumentals at a record store, and then I bought a Karaokee machine and I starting practicing. I just started writing songs, and it went from there. I didn’t grow up freestyling, the few times I tried I wasn’t very good. The first song I ever recorded in a real recording studio was “I’m A Rider”, it can be heard on my first album “Can I Go?”. When I grew up I loved music, my collection was always bigger than all my friends. I went to bed listening to music and wokeup the same way. I think that’s the real key to my descision to do music.

What would you say is the most difficult obstacle facing independent artists in this rap game?

Well first and foremost there are two levels of indie artists, the serious ones, and the ones who do it to impress girls at a club. For the serious ones RADIO PLAY and ROTATION. Which really equates to visibility. If you can’t find a way to stay in the publics eyes and ears you won’t be sucsessful. The not serious ones will either change the reason their doing music or they simply won’t make it.

Can you tell us a little bit about the scene there where you from?

Its a talent loaded scene as far as the Northwestern region of the United States. We have national talented artists and producers without a doubt. Maybe to many to be honest. The reason I say to many is due to the lack of support from commercial radio. With all the talent we lack options for visibility. Therefore we aren’t selling the units to attract National attention. The few that have recieved national attention have either fallin off almost completely or got big record deals only to get sat on. If we can get one artist through the door in our region, I think several others will follow.

Any artists you’d like to work with?

I’d like to work with E40, Michel’e, Too Short, Sade, Dr. Dre, Dj Quik and Kurupt as far as national or international artists go. As for Independent artists, I’d like to do something with Mac Money and Maniac Lok. I would also like to work with Des Moines Iowa’s legendary rapper Kory D. but even more than all of that I just want to do hot songs.

Have there been any negative shit that you had to deal with in this rap game?

When I first got into this game I was just happy to be in it, I was working with people who from a musical standpoint I respected, but now a days their is so much drama and fueding between artists and labels that sometimes I wonder how people can consider all of this fun. The politics are everywhere, if you think you have friends in this business, then you haven’t been in this business long enough to see this game for what it is. I’m trying to get away from the politics and get back to the music. That’s the reason I started doing it to begin with. Don’t get me wrong there are several good hearted people in this game, but the cutthroat cats are everywhere and you won’t see it until its your throat they cut.

I can see that ya’ll really worked hard on this album, and there’s no doubt from what we could hear in the snippets at the end of the cd that the next album is going to be off the hook. When that mass appeal comes what is it that you want to achieve?

Respect…I want people to respect me as artist, even people outside my genre of music. I’d like to work with some other big artists from other genre’s, I don’t just like rap music, though it is the main form of music I listen to, I can respect good song writers, producers, guitar players, etc. I’d also like to publish a book of poetry and pursue a wrinting career as well. I’m a big believer in self expression, it just so happens my music allows me to do that. I’d also like to get some other indie artists from Bellevue, Wa. and Des Moines, Ia. through some of these doors I’m trying to kick down now.

I’m sure that you’d agree with me when I say that hip hop is global, and that rings true when you hear that your shit is being played in South Africa. I mean I was at a party on Friday night playing a gig and I was playing Soaking Up My Game and the floor was packed. Do you think that artist’s should start thinking global now especially since the internet is here?

I think people need to think internationally because music is a universal language. I think as artists it is our responsibility to try to get it to as many people as possible. I know personally I make music for everyone, if Hiphop still hasn’t touched specific regions or countries than we need to get it to them. One thing I’ve thought about is maybe my fanbase is only in certain area’s of the U.S.A. or maybe it only in the U.S.A. Either way I won’t know until the consumers have a chance to make that decision themselves. The one thing I do know is that the internet can you link you to people all over the world, and people doing music should take advantage of this if they haven’t already.

How would you feel about doing gigs in South Africa?

I’d love to for the experience alone, I want to see as much of the world as possible, and if I could see it doing music I really couldn’t ask for more. I heard South Africa has beautiful women and a diversefied culture. So that would make the trip even that much more exciting.

For those who buy your album, what impression would you like to leave with them?

Well for the last five years of my life I’ve sacrificed continuosly for the music your listening to. My music is real to me, its my life on paper put to music. To me it don’t get no more real than that. Every album you here will be better than the last, and if there is a day I can’t make a better record than the one before, you’ll never hear it. It’s funny how certain songs remind me of specific events that have transpired during my life time, and if my music does that for one person, then feel I have sucseeded as an artist.

Thanks for talking to us, are there any last words or shout outs you’d like to leave?

I gotta give big ups to Arjay, Jazz, and Kaykay that have contributed to this record, Mr. Dog, and Eastside Records for keeping us in the game. If you aint copped this Bullet & Shaolin record or Bowwow Records Northwest Ridin’ be sure to grab them. Also be on the lookout for Kaykay’s Debut album “I’m Just Me” and the new Mac Money album as well.
Also I want to know what you think of the new album personally so feel free to email me direct at eastside2k@hotmail.com, and/or check out our website at www.eastsideriderz.com. I appreciate all of your support. One

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