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Interview With Bullet of East Side Records – January 2004


24 January 2004 No Comment

From the album “Small Town Living Big City Game” we knew that Bullet was gonna go far. We know him for longevity, because he has released a string of records, not only of his own but many other artists who are on his label East Side Records. In this interview he gives us the lowdown on his new single and the direction of his label.

Howzit Bullet how you doing man? 

Really good, playa the new-year has gotten off to a great start. 

I can see you making moves right now, more than ever – what is the philosophy of Eastside Records right now?

Were trying to gain support from radio and club DJ’s while we step up our visibility with heavy street promotions. That’s what we need for everything to fall into place.

You’ve just recorded a single with Dante Thomas – what are your anticipations for this single?

A Lot. I’m real serious about making this crack. This is only the first single we plan to work to radio and clubs, not to say this aint no hit cuz SEXY THING is HOT, but we got even more for the people real soon it just starts here.

How did you meet him and how did you hook this up?

Networking. I didn’t realize it til recently but I first heard him name from Arcturus of Mad Ro a couple years back, he told me he was in the studio doing a song with him for these cats from Illinois. Nothing ever came of that it was a just a 2 second conversation of small talk. Then awhile back a few cats that I fuck with in Salt Lake City brought him up to me again. Scooby aka King Cevil of The Sick Lake Click told me about Dante Thomas and gave me his back round. I went to Tower Records and copped Dante’s record, from there I knew me and him could do something big from hearing his album, and knowing what I was capable of doing. He flew out to Portland, Oregon and we did 8 or 9 songs with him in 2 days.

How long did it take you to record it?

Sexy Thing, took about 30 minutes to come up with the hook and bridge, the 2 rap verses took about 2-3 hours. Dante Thomas passed out at about 2:30 in the morning and I finished the last verse around 3am. It came together quick. For 2 & a-half days all we did was write and record songs with the exception of a dope steak dinner we had.

Was Funk Daddy there with you or did he do the beat before you record?

Funk Daddy stays up in Seattle, we was recording down in Portland but we spoke daily. The fact we did so many songs in that short period of time we had Funk Daddy & Bill Yuns cooking up tracks a day before me and Dante Thomas would write and record them. We were all under pressure for a couple days trying to get things done but we also had to make sure everything had that fire. I came to Funk Daddy and Bill Yuns both, they knew what we were trying to, we wanted something we could take to radio that could stand up against the majors and they did that, the same way Big Ice & Oral Bee have been for the past year and half.

Is it your aim to offer more diversity on your albums to appeal to different audiences?

Without a doubt the game has changed and I’m changing with it. I love the underground scene its what I’ve been apart of for years, but the C-BO, Brotha Lynch, and Tech 9 artists are few and far between. Them cats can do 100,000 independently while everybody else struggles to do 1000. I’m trying to make music that people will embrace, and right now my new record has been getting so much love its crazy. The streets can say Bullet softened up or started showing too much of his emotional side or whatever, but what can’t be said is this new shit aint hot. I may not be the best lyrical miracle back pack rapper, or the biggest gangsta making records but I can spit with the best, I can make hot songs, and I know how to put together a dope record and get it out to the people better than most. I’m a complete package business/artist and what I’m doing has been calculated and planned out for more than a year. It’s just falling into place now so yall see it. People can say whatever, we’ll see who does what when its over. 

You are releasing your EP When The Rain Falls on Tuesday. Firstly, why an EP and secondly what tracks will be on there and who’s guest appearing/producing?

The EP is the introduction to DEDICATION & DESIRE (2CD), but I call it a Double Single. I’m confident that when people here this, the Double album will sell itself. There’s 7 songs from the new double album, plus two bonus tracks. The EP features production from Big Ice & Oral Bee, Funk Daddy, The North West Kings (Bill Yuns & Cody DeCant), and Wolverine. I collaborated with Baby Bash, Dante Thomas, Bill Yuns, Tiffany Wilson, and Mikel Knight aside from the bonus track “The Global Network” which features more than 30 rappers from around the country. 

When is the next Bullet full length?

Dedication & Desire will hit late spring. The 2nd single should hit radio in March.

Man we gotta make a plan to get you out here. Have you had any other offers for touring overseas?

Right now isn’t really the time yet. I really want to finish building my name in this region and expand to a few more states before we really hit the International market. This new single is headed overseas and if we can get something going, then were ready. Its all timing, but hopefully we will have something cracking in Europe, Australia, and Africa soon.

How is the North West scene doing right now?

It’s all about perception, but personally I think it’s changed a lot. Some of its good, some of its bad, but as a whole I think its in need of a hit record period. There are a lot of artists, producers, and labels, but very few are really controlling the game, or impacting the region. There’s a lot of good records and talented people, but the business aspect of things isn’t where it needs to be as a whole. 

What are the plans for East Side Records in 2004?

Drop less albums, but sell more records. Right now we’re pushing When The Rain Falls, after that its Juice – The Sunrise, Bill Yuns – Yun Stand Me?, and then my album Dedication & Desire. We have a few other ideas in the works for 2004 like a North Coast Rain Part 2, a Bullet & Dante Thomas group album, as well as Kay Kay – I’m Just Me. We will just have to see what happens right now, but Eastside has countless records that can come out, but it has to make sense.

What have you been doing the past few months since we last spoke?

I’ve just been wrapping up this album for all of my fans. I’ve done a great job at keeping my name out here for the past 3 years with the Bullet & Shaolin album as well as the North Coast Rain compilation, but if you think about it, this is really my first solo album in over three years. During this time I’ve been building one of the best records to ever come out of this region and the record will prove it. It’s been a long road, I’ve met a lot of new people, and made some new friends, but I’ve also buried my grandmother, and lost close friends like Shaolin and Arjay. Three years ago Shaolin and Arjay were like my aces in music and life, now we all just do our own thing. I guess its crazy how times change.

What’s happening with Arjay, Kay Kay, Todd G and your other artists? Any new albums planned?

Arjay is no longer with the label, but I do believe he is recording again. Todd G is my folks still riding and playing a role in this Eastside movement but for now he is working on establishing his label To Die 4 Records and plans to drop his 2nd album The Track Coach in March, as well as his artist Scott Free by summer. Jazz recently moved to Salinas, California but plans to head back to the studio this summer to start wrapping up his debut album. Kay Kay’s debut album is already done and most likely will drop this year. Bill Yuns is wrapping up his debut album now and its got some fire for sure.

Back to the song with Dante Thomas – have you released it radio yet and if so what has the response been like?

Yea it’s started in Boise, Idaho. I met with the program director on Wednesday three-days later Magic 93.1 FM broke the record Saturday. Dante Thomas & I did the on air interview to introduce it. They played 2 songs off the album, the single Sexy Thing, and Work It featuring Baby Bash, Mikel Knight, & Dante Thomas. The feedback from both Jim Allen the program director and the fans has been crazy. People are really excited about the record. We went out to the clubs, bouncing spot to spot introducing the single to all the DJ’s throughout the entire Boise area. Every club we hit played at least the single, some clubs played both. 

In terms of radio play which city would you like it to blow up in – what are the important stations?

I would really like to see the single break on commercial radio in Seattle, Portland, and Des Moines, Iowa just because those are places I have strong roots to but honestly it really don’t matter to me. I just want to see this single hit rotation and gain attention from the big labels and people who really call shots in this shit. I would love to have a plaque to put on my wall, but even if it don’t get there and I don’t become the next platinum selling artists, I want my talents validated by those who call shots. I already have numerous albums, I just want to prove how dope this record is. 

Did you press vinyl for this single?

Not yet, we want to make sure Sexy Thing is gonna be the one before we take that step. If it is we will, if not we will wait till we have the song that’s doing it and then press it.

If you plan to do a video which song would you choose and why?

I’d like to do a video to I DON’T REALLY KNOW featuring Tiffany Wilson, but no video will happen until we have a song that is really hitting radio and getting the results that warrant it. The single is new and its still to early to tell which one will get the better response, but the 3 possibilities are SEXY THING, WORK IT, and I DON’T REALLY KNOW.

How are Big Ice and Oral Bee doing?

Right now everything is really hectic with the new record so we haven’t spoke in a couple weeks, but before the record came back we got a chance to really talk about what was going to happen, and what needed to be accomplished. From the beginning Big Ice and me had a great business understanding, and that was that we both wanted a hit record and so we’ve always worked to make that happen now more than ever. Aside from the business he’s a close friend of mine, somebody I enjoy hanging out with aside from music. If I can get this to happen, he is somebody you’ll see with me at the top. I take care of my people, my artists, and my friends that’s just the kind of person I am. I know I can’t help everybody, but production wise Da Playboy Foundation & Funk Daddy have what it takes to play at that level. 

What’s the reason for being out in Idaho right now?

I have a lot of people out here in Idaho and a lot of people that not only believe in what I’m doing but support it as well. With that said I knew it was the spot to introduce the record. I gotta give a shot out to all my people out here: Kalyn (Eastside’s Queen), Texas T, Dante Thomas, Ready Star (Formerly of Mad Ro), Double 0 Ryderz, Brown Ecstasy, Fub, C-City Locs, Jim Allen at Magic 93, the club DJ’s, the street promoters, and all the fans. 

Thanks man, for talking to us, last words?

As always homie, thanks for all the continued support its always love. Happy New Year to South Africa and hip-hop fans worldwide. Be sure to grab your copy of my new album. You can grab it online at www.cdbaby.com as well as hear sound clips from the album.

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