I'm really good.
Just out here in California grinding.
in Fresno right now?
Fresno's like two
hours from L.A., two hours from the Bay, we're right in the middle. We have
a little of the L.A. mentality and a little of the Bay mentality. It's real
weird. It's multi-cultural. There's no big skyscrapers or nothing, the crime
rate beats most of the other cities, it's violent down here. It's a little grimy
spot, but the houses are cheap.
What are you
trying to give people with your music?
Really, I'm just
trying to show them something that they haven't seen, but also something that
they've already seen. No matter where you live at, it's pretty much the same
but it has a little twist. Fresno is different. We've had a lot of people come
out here. Rafer Alston went to junior college out here. We get a lot of cats
from Florida for junior college. This is the spot for people that want to come
out to the West Coast and live cheap. As far as the sound of it, I think I'm
the first person that's going to define what it sounds like coming from Fresno,
You've put out
two albums, how have they done so far?
They do well in
my area. They sell out in two to three weeks. I'm just trying to break out of
home now. I lived in L.A. for two years, I was on Def Jam for two years just
sitting. Out here, I get a lot of love. All the shows are mine. No matter who
comes to town, I'm the opening act. I get radio play out here, I do commercial
spots for people out here, model t-shirts, trying to do the clothing thing,
I got love at home.
with Def Jam?
That was my first
label situation. I worked with production companies out of L.A. with them. It
was real cool, but I just happened to be there at the wrong time. It was right
before the Feds investigation of Murder, Inc. That stopped everything, Foxy,
Redman nobody could do anything because there was such a hold there. It
was hard for me being a new artist. Imagine if people like Foxy and W.C. couldn't
talk to anybody at the office, how could I? I had to get out of there. Kevin
Liles left, Gina Davis left. It was a cool experience, but I just got there
at the wrong time. The labels that were a part of Def Jam like Rocafella, they
did their thing, but no Def Jam artists were coming out of that time like Redman,
Method Man, Keith Murray there was a hold on everything. It was a good
experience for me though, being young in the game. It was a great experience.
What are your
goals right now?
I'm just trying
to get that paper! I'm hustling. I'm putting out DVD's, singles, mixtapes. We're
doing it non-stop. It costs money. I learned that even with a deal, you're going
to have to come out of pocket for promotions and all that. It costs money to
play this game here. Nothing worth having is easy to obtain, so I'm just working
as hard as I can, mentally, physically, financially I'm just out here mashing
trying to make a name for myself. I believe my music will speak for myself.
I've been all over the U.S. on my own without a label backing me, and a lot
of people are feeling me, but at the same time, it don't matter. Right now,
I'm just trying to make sure I'm heard. If they hear me and don't like me, I
can't be mad because I did my job. I'm going to make sure everyone gets a chance
to hear young Diego Redd.
How did that
"City Behind Us" track with Kanye come about?
What happened with
that is there's a small clothing store out here called F.T.K. (For the Kids).
The cats there, Bobby and Sam, did some artwork on Kanye's first album cover.
They did t-shirts too for him. They're good friends with him. They were talking
with him while on tour, and they told Kanye I'd be perfect to do a track with.
They played my music for Kanye, and Kanye said I was hot. He sent me the beat
on a Pro Tools format, and I got it back the next night. I laid my verse down
and he said it was hot, and he was going to use it on his mixtape. The song
ended up becoming that boost mobile commercial with Ludacris and Game. I believe
they already had that worked out, so I wasn't a bit mad or upset. I think he
just wanted to hear me under pressure. However, just me being on another version
that's out is good enough for me. A lot of people thought I jacked the beat,
but I haven't heard anybody with that beat on a mixtape anywhere. The instrumental
I had came from Kanye. I didn't clip it from somewhere and do my own version,
he sent it for me. It was a blessing. He also gave me a drop for my mixtape
letting everyone know Diego Redd was hot. It doesn't matter if you're hot, people
don't believe it until someone else says it. I really don't care if anyone says
it, but for him to say that then, it made a big difference because people want
to hear somebody that's doing something say that. He really helped me solidify
that I was one of the hottest on the West Coast and in the game period.
Will you be
working with Kanye in the future?
I would hope so,
but dude has a lot on his plate right now. I'm not some artist looking for some
other artist to discover me. I am a Kanye West. I talk to a few of his people
every other day. G.L.C., he's also from Chicago, he's hot, and he's Kanye's
first signee. He's on the GOOD Music label. Right now, I'm just content with
working with G.L.C. and other dope artists that I meet on some music shit. I
would love to work with Kanye, hopefully he finds the time to sit down and work
with me. But that goes for everyone in the game, anyone in the game I want to
sit down and work with you! I just met David Banner, I'll probably do something
with him. Anything is good right now.
up for you?
I got a group,
the Underworld Rebellion, we have an album coming out, my next project coming
out, called "The Rap Game." I have a mixtape coming out called "All
Eyez on D," which is me redoing the whole "All Eyez on Me." That's
a tribute to 'Pac, nobody's ever done that before. I'm just working right now.
I'm working on a mini-movie called "Diary of a Dealer" a short film
which chronicles the day-to-day life of a dealer. I'm working on whatever's
coming my way.
the hardest part about being independent?
The hardest part
about being independent is getting your music to different areas and places.
I feel like I have something anybody anywhere can relate to. You have to have
distribution though. I wouldn't even call it hard. I'm a hustler, period. I'm
not a dreamer, I don't dream, I don't wish. I think about what I want and I
get up off my ass and go get it. The hardest thing is getting music heard in
another region. I get out and I'm going to get it heard. You have to sacrifice.
When you're independent, you have to sacrifice. You can't always have the freshest
car or the freshest shit. You have to spend that money on yourself. You have
to spend your money on CD's and give them out. Not too many people are going
to give you money if they never heard of you. If you're not from their region,
it's even harder. It's that simple. You have to give some shit away in order
to get something back. That's the hardest part, when you're spending money without
getting it directly back.
Why should we
check for you over everyone else coming out right now?
Why should you
check for young Diego Redd? Diego Redd, there ain't been a nigga like me since
fill in the blank! That's just the way I'm feeling right now, and I honestly
believe that. It's not a marketing scheme. I'm a lover of music. I'm in the
record store every Tuesday buying four or five albums of artists coming out,
and I haven't heard anything like me. You can put my real life stories together
from front to back. I can do the punchlines, the hooks, but at the same time,
my shit is real life. It's real life shit. Even though they can't rap, they're
listening to themselves.
What do you
want to say to everybody out there?
I just want to
say to everybody out there, you can achieve anything that you put your mind
to, but nobody is going to do anything for you. Don't let anybody ever tell
you how to live your life. Nobody's going to give you anything. Believe in God,
because He'll never put nothing in your hands that's too heavy to carry. Peace
to the Rebellion. Skeam, Ntriuge, Money Bo$$, Saint, and my mans Hecktik Soprano.
Also check for Diego Redd "Dog Eat Dog," and The Underworld Rebellion
"Above the Law." I just want to say to just stay strong and hold it
down, because nobody's going to do nothing for you.
further information on Diego Redd, contact: email@example.com