Exclusive interview: Clyde Bazile / Blackat Productions (Houston, TX) Part II

G-FUNK.WS: Exactly at what point did you realize it back then it got to the war for you with Pen & Pixel, was it any graphics work for any particular album that started it all?

BLACKAT: I got crazy with the Lil Flip Cover, this was and idea I brought to Flip and Hump. I came from a song by C-Note, “Diamonds All-N-Yo Face”. On Flip’s verse: “Lil Flip on my arm, eating a bowl of Lucky Charms”, and that was the cover idea, a box of Lucky Charms from Cleveland. We started created promo a year before the album dropped. When PnP takes the Cereal idea to Yungstar. What made it even better. Pen and Pixel had a PR machine promoting their company, when a writer showed up at my office with a million questions, asking me about the dates on my artwork, which I always add. That’s when the article hit in the Houston Press, sampling Styles. PnP was pissed, the press had did there research and found out the truth. PnP treated to sue them and me for definition of character. I once asked Shawn from Pen and Pixel, how do you sue the press your PR person got to do a story on you. Never got an answer to that question. I’m sure I never will. This guy even tried to sneak in the Lil Flip cover as his own until someone called him out on it.  

G-FUNK.WS: Was that just one artwork story?

BLACKAT: My early years with Blackat Productions most of my work was direct to labels, like majors labels that do there own printing and manufacturing. It wasn’t until I designed the cover art for the .380 album  I learn to control the whole process from design to print. I turned over the art to .380 and they took it to Pen and Pixel to print and that’s when PnP added an overlay onto the art and added, Design and Printing by Pen and Pixel to my artwork. It also stopped people from going into my files and savaging them. 

G-FUNK.WS: Could you tell us about Bling Bling type of art which was the South’ thang, who originated it & brought into the masses? 

BLACKAT: Bling was a term given by Cash Money, That name I didn’t come up with, It was an effect I added to things in my art, from metal, to jewelry, or glass, anything that would reflect light. The effects are called Lens flares, Cash money was a client of Pen and Pixel. If you take the time and research  PNP’s work like 20-2-Life or Trinity Garden Cartal there was not Lens Flare effects. When I came along it was just a part of my work and was added when necessary, they took it, put it on everything and road it to the grave, and that Red fucking Sky.

G-FUNK.WS: What graphics designers out there you can say you were real cool with & respect their work?

BLACKAT: Mike Frost, Kid Styles – I’ve always been a fan of their work and both are great guys.

G-FUNK.WS: Have you been in good relationship with DJ Screw, Screwed Up Click members & affiliates?

BLACKAT: I never hangout with Screw much but in the business you know each other and always around the work I did. I do remember him not liking Skulls but as any artist, you don’t have a choice when the label is in control. I remember a story Beyonce told me about the single Bonnie and Clyde, it wasn’t her pick for a single, but that’s what the label was gonna go with. She had to fight for her power.

G-FUNK.WS: Would you share with us some good memories about Pimp C in his remembrance?

BLACKAT: Pimp was like family, he was home. Every holiday I would go down to Port Arthur to visit Family, food and fun, Then my next Stop was Chad’s house, is what I would call him. So hard to call him Pimp C face to face when you know him, kinda like I do with Flavor or most artist I have a personal relationship with and they call me Clyde.

G-FUNK.WS: Were there any rappers whom you worked with but you could say it grew into a friendship?

BLACKAT: Willie D and the Geto Boys, Pimp C was like a little Brother to me, we both grew up huge Beatles fans, DJ DMD who did the song 25 Lighters, my hometown Brother also, Big Mello, D-Wreck of Wreckshop, C-Note of Botany Boys and its been a few, we have spent time beyond the music and work. To family friends watching each other kids grow up.

G-FUNK.WS: Can you share a funniest story that happened with you during your career / in your life? 

BLACKAT: Sum of that funny shit that might have happened to you & that still get you smile after all these years when it comes to your mind.
It was when Flavor Flav lived with me. We both was hanging out at a Hotel in Houston called Hotel Derek. Flavor wanted to go outside and Smoke. Now there we are with both our backs against the glass of the Hotel talking when out of the dark, I hear my name, “Hey Kat! Hey Blackat!!!” when out of the shadows comes Pimp C. I walk out to give him a hug and at that moment, Pimp C looks over my shoulders and see Flavor Flav. Pimp freaks out and runs over to Flavor and drop to the ground and kisses Flavor Flav shoes. By this time Flavor is High and freaking out, like “WTF! Kat!, Who is this Guy? Make him stop!” Flavor tried to back up and run but he slam into the glass and was stuck. I could do nothing but Laugh my ass off on the look of Flavor’s Face, Like it’s a huge Bear was sighing on you and I was nothing you could do. It get funnier, years later after Pimp C’s death. I’m in Vegas with Flavor, both my sons and his kids at Flavor’s Crib, we was all in the kitchen when Flav went off, that he met Pimp C and Pimp Kisses his shoes. LOL No one would believe his story so he looks at me like, “Kat!, tell them I’m not lying!” Again I did nothing but laugh my ass off, I couldn’t even verify the story form laughing so hard. LMFAO!!!

G-FUNK.WS: Where do you get inspiration from? 

BLACKAT: Comes from people like Sergei Eisenstein, Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol. Robert Rauschenberg from Port Arthur, Texas, my mind was blown the day he won a Grammy for the cover of Talking Heads, Vincent Van Gogh and Charles M. Schulz, he worked at home creating his vision, was something i always wanted to do. and of course, George Lucas’  THX1138 and Star Wars, and Marvel and Stan Lee.

G-FUNK.WS: Who were your mentors back then?

BLACKAT: David Bowie, Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Bono of U2, Chuck D, manager – Shep Gordon, U2’s manager Paul McGuinness, Ricky Richardo, who was a Tour manager for Vanilla Ice and Whodini.

K-Locsta – Hustlas On The Come Up EP (2019)

The 2019 ain’t done yet bringing solid releases to your music library. This time K-Locsta is up with brand new EP released on CD. If you already know him – then you know that it will be nuttin’ but quality, last few years Russian g-funk camp shows some real rise. This one will include guests like Collarossi, Benjilino, G-Money (R.I.P.), Loco, Mista L, Ghost Dest… Flow fits perfectly with beats by Rabzooz, Loco and RTN. Short, but so dope, nuff said. 

As always, no bullshit CD-Rs. Support the real thing and buy it @ K-Locsta Official Bandcamp , supplies limited to 100 copies worldwide, get one while it lasts!

Exclusive interview: Clyde Bazile / Blackat Productions (Houston, TX) Part I

G-FUNK.WS: Wassup Clyde. Would you let us know how & when it all started for you with the graphics designing and artwork direction? 

BLACKAT: I been designing since I was 8 years old. Drawings here and there. It’s when I entered High School in Port Arthur, TX that’s things started coming alive. Designing T-shirts for the school and I was chosen to re-design our football team Logo and Uniforms that hardly been changed since 1986.

G-FUNK.WS: What did you do before you went into graphics?

BLACKAT: I always did art, from Stain glass windows to sculptures to murals and T-shirt designs. Art has always been the way I made money.

G-FUNK.WS: We have peeped your Instagram, you got a lot of old photos of yours with or related to some celebrities, how did you come to know them all? 

BLACKAT: I’ve been learning about music history all my life. I grew up in a house where my parents and grandparents partied and listen to music, stuff like The Doors, James Brown and Tom Jones. But it was when my grandparents got me a Vinyl Record player and give me old Blues records I started asking questions about the music. So, by the time I left High School I was a walking music encyclopedia and would win music Trivia Contest. When I moved to Houston and started going to the Art Institute I met a student there whose family was in the concert business. He was blown away of my knowledge of music and asked me have I ever seen any of the artist or groups Live. At this point I’ve never seen a live show or any type of concert ever. So he took me to my very first concert to see Fleetwood Mac, he took me back stage for the very first time and I was hooked. From that point I knew where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do was be around music. As a 19 year old Black kid with a history of music like no other I was like a Unicorn to them but growing up around old people taught me how to converse with people beyond music and artist just took a liking to me, plus having knowledge I knew about the personal things about each artist. Most would sit down and tell me about their lives. Those was my tools to create a job position for myself. Whatever the artist needed there was a list. Well if I knew I wanted to impress them, I had to go above and beyond my Job duties, fix the tiny holes and details most people would leave off, to make their life on the road a little better sometimes. That was always appreciated, to have that one person out of everyone that would help them with things, they couldn’t talk about but had to get done. Like send cash to a family member or picking a girl out the crowd to help shopping for wardrobe or being there on stage to run messages back and forward to make sure they had towels and water to stay performing. I even helped some artist with wardrobe and set changes. Over time being on the road, you don’t see each other as a artist and a worker, you become a family, going for city to city.  For years I was the youngest in the production crew at age 20 in the entire music business. Rock legends became mentors and friends over time.

G-FUNK.WS: How many people have been working in Blackat Productions? Can you give us some idea on your artwork creating process?  
 
BLACKAT: That process comes from listening to the artist’ ideas. As in the conversation, right in that moment I’m creating the cover in my head, down to all the details, the next step is putting it down to print. I’m the only artist in Blackat Productions that designed, I designed props, scouted locations and rented cars, boats and helicopters – I did production like a movie studio but for album cover. I’ve been designing Covers almost everyday since 1993 even on Christmas days, I work. I just love what I do. If I hit the Lottery I would still do this but maybe give more away. But until that dream happens, I gotta eat.
 
G-FUNK.WS: What kind of equipment have you used for photography & artwork design?  
 
BLACKAT: Computers have always been Apple Macs. Software is all the same basic shit every designer uses, from Photoshop to Illustrator. But Computers and software are only tools to me like a hammer and nail. You gotta have an imagination to create, your hammer and nails can’t think or build for you. Before computers, I was designing posters, ads, covers and T-shirts. Some Technology has helped the process move faster to do more work, but there are still some things as a creator as the technology hasn’t caught up with yet.
 
G-FUNK.WS: What’s your favorite CD artworks you’ve ever designed? Were there any interesting stories behind? Is there the only one artwork you still like most? 
 
BLACKAT: As crazy as it sounds, there is no favorite, I’m always designing to do better. I always look for the next to make it better, more challenging. I never wanna do the somethings over and over because it’s easy, I get bored fast. I gotta have a challenge.
 
G-FUNK.WS: What you got to say about Pen & Pixel Graphics? They’re also from Down South and seems like they might have been your competitor…
 
BLACKAT: It takes great competition to make you great, but when you break it down, we both where 2 different companies, Pen and Pixel was a design and marketing firm. You go in, do a green screen photoshoot and you background was selected from CDs from Shutterstock or other Clipart companies. They had a stuff of 10 artists under the art direction of Shawn Brauch. This is how a normal Design and marketing company works. They where great businessmen and very successful with Public Relations. Now me on the other hand. I was Blackat, the artist, Blackat Productions. I saw myself creating a big production, wardrobes, locations and sets. I was a master at cut & paste, photo-editing, hell I was picked as one of the first Beta Testers for Photoshop to help make design suggestions in its software. But just because I’m good at something doesn’t mean thats all I can do. Why to use clipart of things that’s not you or represent your city. Every artist is different. So I pushed to get the artist vision out in a way to stand the test of time and not just another product with a RED SKY of the factory lines. Like I once told Shawn in 2015 when he decide to troll me out the blue. Don’t be mad at me because you sent the press to my office and it back fires. I am an Artist, you was a design company. Companies go out of business everyday. Have you heard of Picasso going out of business orVincent van Gogh closing his office. No artist don’t go out of business and they don’t steal others art and take the name off and add there own name to it. At that point I had to draw a line. It wasn’t competition it was WAR!
 
 (to be continued)

Bossolo – Written chapter two (2019)

Just a few months after droppin’ the first volume of Written, Bossolo is already back with the Chapter 2 !

It feels good to see rappers with a long career still doin’ that sick gangsta funk and being productive.

This is something we can’t say for most of the 90’s artists, famous or not. In fact most of them are actually not making the sound they dig but what can be sold the most depending the musical fashion trends.

They are evaluated and ranked by the number of spotify streams, youtube views or social network followers but what about introducing other criterias like consistency or integrity ?

If we do so then artists like Bossolo & Steve Vicious, with more than 25 years of West Coast groove activism are on top of the game, cause this whole music thang ain’t about fakin’ the funk but stayin’ true & keepin’ it real!

This said, let’s talk about that fresh release…Somehow we can compare it to a perfect dinner not that wack ass trap junk food but a funky gastronomic menu. Starter, dish, dessert wine & cognac to close the deal, every g-funk addict while goes out after the session with the stomach filled and head buzzin’ with good vibes.

Same ingredients, different recipes once again legendary SD producer Steve Vicious aka VMF brings his home made criminalistic funk on the table getting along smoothly with the voice and flow of the experienced southern cali MC.

Lyrics stay conscious but no falling into something spiritual, these positive messages will speak too all the cats around the globe strugglin’ to make a livin’ or facing personal issue.

Trough his life experience Bossolo act as a filter for the young generation, blocking violence and greediness, letting love and happiness spread. Something we are not used to in our favorite music genre but finally well welcomed.

Album contains 13 tracks filled with uptempo beats and synth bass, definitely enough to prevent you from skipping. The tradition of rappers from the golden state is also respected. With track California, the aera got another anthem, hook is laced by tight singer Ben Franklin, doin’ also 2 others in the album. Check this out :

 

No doubt we got here a dope soundtrack for this summertime, and like Pac said don’t support the phonies support the real so you betta don’t sleep on this and get your copy HERE !

 

XL Middleton – 2 Minutes Till Midnight (2019)

After making serious noise in the modern funk world, XL Middleton makes a return to the g-funk/hip hop sound that marked his earlier work with “2 Minutes Till Midnight“. It’s a funked out, synth-heavy excursion with an equal amount of appeal for modern funksters or the underground legions of g-funk fans that put XL on the map originally. Those familiar with his most recent albums, “Tap Water” and “Things Are Happening,” will recognize the signature synth leads and intricate analog bass lines. Those unfamiliar with Middleton as an MC will find that he challenges standards in the worlds of both underground and mainstream rap, eschewing the backpack as much as the Bentley, falling into a space that few can. XL’s lyricism is cerebral and well-read, yet it’s clear that he comes from a part of the world that relishes khakis, Chuck Taylors & Zapp records.

“2 Minutes Till Midnight” stands firmly rooted in the funk tradition of Los Angeles, showing reverence for the music that inspired it by bringing g-funk legends Kokane & Domino (“Getto Jam”) into the fold as guest artists and by featuring album artwork from Joe Cool, who designed the iconic “Doggystyle” album cover for Snoop Dogg. XL’s contemporaries, such as labelmates Zackey Force Funk, Moniquea, & I, Ced, also join in and help to remind us that the album is not just a self-indulgent tribute to a bygone era of music. As modern funk grew largely out of hip hop, XL takes that growth backward, and moves the music forward as a result.

We has a unique chance to listen to the whole album in advance and we have to admit that it’s the amazingly dope g-funk album with a modern funk feel to it. It is available in Vinyl, CD, Cassette & Digital formats @ MOFUNK  RECORDS BANDCAMP

All the orders are shipping now!!

Enois Scroggins ‎– Feel My G-Funk (2019)

This time in the same post we have the good news as well as the sad news. Let’s start with the good news, though. The French label, Diggy Down Recordz, is dropping a new album by the one & only Enois Scroggins – “Feel My G-Funk“. While the title speaks for itself (you won’t have hard times guessing its music genre), it’s worth to mention the featured guests: Enois Scroggins new album will be out on June 5th. It features G-funk Legends as Mnmsta (of Foesum), Big Prodeje, Moe Z, Shade Sheist and great artists like Sligh, 40 MacaFramA, T-Box Sehrer, Saskia, Don Stormy, Louie Bagels, Pimp Counsel, Lonnie Barker Jr. aka L.Boogie, Don$etti, Kanzaz Chiefa, Bad Habit, Kelo, Flamer. The tracks on the album were produced by Sergio Doc Barone, Wadz & Trouchpac

After listening to the album trailer, we’re pretty much positive that all the g-funk heads would definitely find it too dope not to miss it in their collection.

The CD album as well as their previously released albums are available for Pre-Order thru DIGGY DOWN RECORDZ WEBSITE. The official release date is 5th June 2019, however, the CD’s are already in stock & ready to ship soon so there’s no need to wait for the release to place your order!

The negative news is that this album is gonna be the final one by this wonderful label. We know for sure that this is the real bad news for many of their supporters as well as for us since it was our favorite label from France!