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 UpTight Interview Part 1 (Former Silverback/Aftermath Records Artist)

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Join date : 2011-10-05
Location : Las Vegas, NV

UpTight Interview Part 1 (Former Silverback/Aftermath Records Artist) Empty
PostSubject: UpTight Interview Part 1 (Former Silverback/Aftermath Records Artist)   UpTight Interview Part 1 (Former Silverback/Aftermath Records Artist) Icon_minitimeSat Jul 28, 2012 4:34 am

I2G is back with another in depth 3 part interview. This time we sit down with former Aftermath/Silverback Records artist, UpTight for a exclusive interview. In part one he talks about his start in the game, how he met D.O.C. and the early days of Aftermath and working with Dr. Dre. Kick back and enjoy, part 2 coming soon.

We are here with UpTight of Silverback Records, what’s up? Actually the name of your new company is Life Game Entertainment right?


Ok, let me correct that then. I’m here with UpTight, FORMERLY with Silverback Records and now with Life Game Entertainment. What’s up with you today man?

Aww man trying to make things happen, trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents.

I feel that. How did you get your start in music?

Actually when I was younger, I was 14 when I started writing, I started working with this guy in Dallas, he was Hispanic, he was responsible for the song, and with you being on the west coast you might not be familiar with it, it was called Neck Work. It was real hot because a Latin guy was performing it, and he was the first person to put me in the studio. From there I started to develop a interest in music and that was when I met up with Big Al. He was part of this group named Nemesis and they at that time were probably the biggest group in Dallas at that time.

I met Big Al at a hotel one night and he asked me to rap something for him, because a buddy of mine took me over there to see him and I spit a couple verses and he was impressed. He gave me a track to take home to write a song over it, I did 3 verses and brought it back to him and needless to say he changed the entire song after that. We revamped the whole record, it was on Profile Records at that time, the same people who had LL Cool J, DJ Quik, AMG.

It was a good look, we rewrote it, redid the single and it was cool. They wanted to sign us as a group but I did not do a actual deal with them because they wanted it to be just me and him. I did not think that was fair to the other members, but Al never told me that there was a half a million deal on the table for that.


They don’t tell you that and that is how the music industry is. Because if they were honest from the get go, it would allow you to make better moves and decisions. That was the first record that I was on, it was called Buddha Clan Presents Texas G’s. It played alot in Texas and Profile Records gave us a budget for it. They had DJ Scorpio promoting the record and we did a big show out here with Westside Connection when they were in their heyday. KC & JoJo were there, MC Lyte, Eightball & MJG, UGK, and we threw a afterparty as well. Everybody came up, broke bread with us, it was a beautiful thing and I still have pictures from that as well.

Wow that is a pretty big beginning. So basically you did not continue on with Profile because they did not want to sign everybody?

Nah they did not want to sign everybody because I was the one writing most of the material. Of the 14 songs on the record, I wrote 8 or 9 of them.


Everything that Big Al rapped, I wrote for him. My girlfriend at the time, she was in the group and I wrote all of her stuff and then there was me. All the singles we put out were with me on them.

Well that makes sense then, a little bit of sense now. So who are your musical influences?

LL Cool J, Kool G Rap, Rakim. I was part of the old school cats so my main thing was wordplay. People liked my wordplay in my music, even when I was working with Dr. Dre. The east coast always influenced alot of what we did. Even though I am from the south, it’s like a cesspool. You have east, west, midwest and the south bubbling down here style wise. I came up around 89, 90 when Kid N Play was popping, dancing was cool, Roxanne Shante, Chuck D, NWA. They were the ones that reshaped music, it became harder, more real stories, especially Ice-T, so yeah it really shifted from east to west.

So how did you end up linking up with D.O.C.?

Funny story as well, we were at Spud Webb’s house, who used to play for the Atlanta Hawks, and I grew up around him when I was a kid. My mom used to date his brother and when we did the Buddha Clan record his brother was part of the group and that was actually my connect. We were at Spud Webb’s house throwing a party because we had just released our single and they are playing it at his house and I started rapping. D.O.C. was over there hanging out and doing a little gambling and he heard me rap and he wanted me to hear some of the beats he had in his truck.

He starts playing them and I start freestyling over them. He is crunk already and he is getting hyped off the tracks. He says man you remind me of me. He then says that he wants to offer me a deal and I said ok we can see whats going on with that. At the time I had the same attorney as Erkyah Badu, so we went into negoitations thereafter and that is how it got started.

When was this, 95 or 96ish?

This was the end of 1996, beginning of 1997. I moved out to California in 1997 to sign with Dr. Dre.

So when D.O.C. initially approached you about the deal, did he tell you the deal would be with Aftermath? How did he approach you with the deal?

Well we talked more about the business side of things. His attorney and my attorney discussed the business because I was working on putting together my deal. But I was willing to be flexible because moving to California and getting a opportunity to work with Dr. Dre that is a big opportunity. You can become a millionaire doing just that, and I knew that I was not going to make alot of money off the record, but the point was that Dre was going to do my first 2 singles and we were going to do videos to them.

So after you inked the deal, then what happened? Did you move to California or how did they plan out your situation?

Yeah I moved to California. D.O.C. had a investor at the time that was willing to pay to let us stay in California and work on the records. We had a nice spot out there so I really could not even complain about the situation. I just moved, I had money in my pocket, so yeah coming from the projects of Dallas to working with Dr. Dre, I could not complain.

People dream about working with Dre and being around him, I took it as a blessing and took it in stride. We moved to Cali and within a month moved to Woodland Hills but yet it was a good look initially.

Right. Who was all in the camp when you first came in?

This was right around the time that Aftermath was rebuilding. Dre had just left Suge and he did the Aftermath Presents album, which did not do so well. When we got there he was cleaning house because he put that album out and it flopped so he was looking to do something different. Alot of those artists from that album were not around when I got there. Mel-Man was there, Dawn Robinson from En Vogue, she was real cool and we got tight. Xzibit was around alot, they were big on him and he was always a cool guy to be around. He was the main person they were dealing with when I was there.

So when they first brought you in were you working on Chronic 2001 or what records were you working on?

Well we were supposed to be working on my records, and it started off that way. When I first touched down, we went over and hollered at Michael Bivins because he had a basketball tournament going on and Aftermath was going to be playing his team. So for me I was thinking is this a test to see if I am a team player or not because I had just inked the deal.

So yeah when I first got there, there wasn’t really any pending projects. It was more about getting in the studio and knocking out tracks and Dre could hear how I sound in the booth. So I got in there with Mike Lynn, he was running the sessions, and Dre had a producer from out of New York that is not there anymore. He gave me a track to rap to was more like a Tung Twista type track. Granted this was 1997 and Dre was not really feeling that kind of style. At the time when I recorded it, the people in the studio were feeling it. D.O.C. is jumping up and down in the studio, so I felt like yeah it was a hit.

Even though I knew I would got get paid alot from any of the records, if I go in there and make something dope and go platinum, I can renegotiate my deal.

So basically everyone else was feeling the record, but when it came out to Dre hearing it, he was not feeling the track. So basically they were fronting on the record?

Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview where UpTight talks more about his time at Aftermath and much more.
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