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1 January, 1999@12:00 am

Once naming himself the dopest lyricist on the west coast, The Alkaholiks’ Catashtrophe aka Tash aka Rico, hopes to prove that to the rest of the world with the release of his solo album, “Rap Life”, coming soon on Loud Records. We sat down with him and entered the mind of one of the most underrated lyricists in the game. Take a look….

So you got your solo album coming on Loud. Why did you feel it necessary to do a solo project?

“Rap Life”  I didn’t feel it was a necessity, but when me and J-Ro first met, we were both solo artists. We then became a group and I never got a chance to do my own thing. It’s just a goal I set more for myself.

What kind of sound can we expect from the album?

It’s like a Tash sound, same Tash the rapper, over different beats you never heard me rap over before. East coast, west coast hip-hop. It’s got all kinds of different flavors, like a pack of Now and Laters.

Who is doing production?

E-Swift did three joints, Rocwilder, who does stuff with Redman and EPMD did two joints, Younglord from Bad Boy, Battlecat, Fred Wreck, a lot different producers.

Do you have anyone guest appearing on the album?

I got Outkast, B-Real , Xzibit, of course the Likwit Crew, Raekwon from Wu-Tang, J-Ro’s on a few joints.

Are their plans for a new Alkaholiks LP?

Yeah, we started working on it soon as we finished my album.

What do you think about when people say the west coast is falling off?

That’s their opinion and they are entitled that, but if they don’t feel my stuff, they don’t know what up It ain’t about where you at east or west, it’s just more about hip-hop.

How do you feel about the new east coast thug sound, and the southern bounce sound that is dominating right now?

I feel like music is here for all people to listen to. I don’t judge it by whether you are from the east or west. I don’t say “I can’t listen to Nore cause it’s is east coast thug shit” All that labeling doesn’t make sense to me. If you are a dope emcee, I listen to you. If you’re wack, I don’t fuck with it. As far as the South, I think it’s dope that young blacks in the south are getting a chance to express themselves.

What other outside projects are you working on?

I did a song with Rah Digga for the Beatminerz album on Rawkus…. I did a song for De La Soul for their album. I just did some stuff for Xzibit’s new album. I did song with Scritti Politti overseas…. I’ll work with anybody that I feel is dope…

Do you think that there will ever be a full length project from The Likwit Crew as a whole?

Yeah, we got a deal on the table right now for that. We want to put out ourselves, but we are still thinkin about it. Plus, Me, Xzibit, and Soopafly who used to do stuff with the Dogg Pound are starting a group. We’ve already recorded a few tracks, but we still don’t have a name yet…

What artists are the most influential to you?

Ice-T, who put the sound the west coast got on the map. I also have to give it up to Freeestyle Fellowship.

What emcees are you feeling right now?

Cappadonna from Wu-Tang, DMX, I like Outkast, Goodie Mob, Trick Daddy’s hard, Mack 10, Ice Cube….

What albums are you listening to now?

I’m bumpin’ the Whoiridaz, Brand Nubian, Kurupt, Gang Starr, Big Pun, Ghostface, and Mobb Deep.

Anything you would like to add?

Tash has been in the game for a minute. I need peeps to support me, like they support the other top notch emcees. This isn’t another Alkaholik album. As a solo artist I need ya’ll to support the new sounds.

  Mixtape D.L.
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