We had the opportunity of meeting Lootpack during their concert, given during their European tour. The Pack were deprived of Madlib, who is currently busy with projects with MF Doom, Jay Dee, his group Yesterdays New Quintet, and a mixes for Trojan and Blue Note Records. To replace Madlib in their luggage, Wildchild and DJ Romes invited two other members of the family. The first is Medaphoar, an emcee from Oxnard, where they must be raised on phonic potion as many talented artists come from this little village of irreducables, facing the rest of the radio soup. The second, Oh No, is the brother of the Loopdigga.
We’re joined here by the very talkative Medaphoar, who is surely the fastest beer drinker in the west, and later, by DJ Romes.
Are you also a part of Madlib’s family?
I’m Madlib’s homeboy. I’ve known him since 1992. When I was in high school, I was in a group and I had a concert. We needed beats and Madlib already had a name. So I went to see him to ask him for some music, and he answered that I had to stop rapping with the members of my group to join the family, and I’ve been representing Lootpack and 805 (his area code) ever since.
You’ve been homies for 10 years?
Yes. “Psyche Move”, the first EP from the Pack, came out in 1994. The first time I put my voice on a record goes back 10 years. That’s a long time. And since, I’ve been trying to work for me, creating a fan base.
The first 12” I saw is one or two years old
Yes, “In Rhymes We Trust” came out in 2001. They were old songs. They came out on Stones Throw, both sides produced by Madlib. I have a new 12” that’ll be coming out real soon, still on Stones Throw. “Bang Your Head” produced by Madlib. The B side, “Overdues”, is produced by his little brother, Oh No. You can count on the fact that this single will be better then my first one.
How does one feel, surrounded by talents such as Madlib and Oh No? Is it a source of inspiration?
At first, we all did this for hobbies, having fun. We were lucky that people came to see us, like Stones Throw Records, and other labels. We have several people who can make our music available to listeners now. Concerning my inspiration, it comes from my homeboys, the members of my crew. Like Kankick, who got an album out last year.
Yes, “From Artz Unknown”. Were you on it?
Yes, me and Oh No opened up the LP with “Live As It Gets.” He has serious beats. What Kankick put on the album was good, but he has much doper. He didn’t have the best conditions making this LP, so he didn’t want to get out his best creations. It’s only a part of what Kankick can do, he has so much talent, just wait and see.
There’s going to be a new Medaphoar 12”, will there be an LP?
Yes, I’m going to try to get the LP out by 2003. I’m going to try to get another single out in between time, adding to this new one. I will also be on a single from a compilation that should come out three weeks after the single. Have you heard of the 7” collection that Peanut Butter Wolf got out?
I should also have one coming out at that time. So I’ll have three new products at the same time in the crates.
We’re going to see you everywhere!
Yeah! I’m also on Wildchild’s new single, from his album. It’ll be me and Percee P from the South Bronx. Have you heard of Percee P?
Yes (Percee P, the Rhyme Inspector, from the Cold Crush Crew).
He’s a legend. Peace to Percee P. He’s one of the dopest guys I know. He should of blown up too. I don’t know what happened. Sometimes the people with the most talent don’t meet with success. Others meet success when they have no talent.
We won’t name anyone. Do you think you can work with someone who’s not from the family, outside Stones Throw?
Yes. If it’s to make a rap song, hum, it’s not easy. There are so many talented people that I would like to work with. Eric B. I would really like to do a collaboration with KRS 1. He’s one of my favorite artists. I grew up listening to him. “By All Means Necessary” is my favorite album. I have memories with that record. For example, I went to bed, woke up, and listened to my “By All Means Necessary”. Or else I would leave far away from home, and the only thing I took was my “By All Means Necessary” and I listened to it again and again. There are many others, but KRS 1 is for sure one of the ones I would like to work with.
Did you all grow up in L.A.?
We’re from Oxnard, California. It’s 35-40 minutes away from L.A. But I have many family memories from L.A. I was always in L.A. Now, it’s as if I was really in L.A., working on my music. I have to move out there once I’m done with my album, because I’m going to be out a lot doing shows. And it will be easier to meet people. My whole crew is from Oxnard. Putting Oxnard on the map! I don’t know if you’ve heard of Fernando Varguès? He’s from Oxnard, from the other side of the city. We don’t go to that side a lot. But he’s representing the city anyway.
I think he’ll blow up soon.
He already has blown up. He’s a multi-millionaire. In his neighborhood, where my aunt lives, it’s very pleasant. Everybody has a normal house but he built a huge house with cameras everywhere. And it’s his mom’s house. He had it built for her. Respect to him, to all those in Oxnard doing their thing.
How would you describe your style of rap?
Pretty rough. For “In Rhymes We Trust” it was without bullshit. On the B side, I didn’t want to put a potential single, that’s why I put “Associates”, to snitch on fake friends, people that surround us for interest, saying that they are our homeboys. The next 12” will be done in the same state of mind. Concerning my style, it’s influenced by the street. With my experience. I’m going to try to work my style too, while trying to integrate all styles. I want people to learn when they listen to me, but I’ll always have my rhymes to remind others that I can rap. My main objective is to remind people that I’m a rapper, an emcee. I got skills, and I got style. Other people don’t have anything, just the hits, going the easy way, with weak rhymes.
Your show is on soon.
Yes, Emanon goes, then P-Trix. Oh No and myself come, and finally Lootpack. I’m also going to do one or two songs with Lootpack.
Are you going to do the back-ups for Wildchild?
No, Oh No will take care of that. He’s gonna play his song with them. And me the one we did with Percee P.
You’re not going to do the one that you featured on for the Pack’s LP?
Nah. It’s an old piece. I’m not motivated to do old pieces. At the same time, they organize all that, so we do what the Pack wants during their show. But for my show, I won’t play it.
Are you impressed by P-Trix skills?
Nah!…. No, just kidding. He’s incredible.
Did you know him before the tour?
Yes. We have the same area code, 805, even if we’re from two different cities. He’s really dope. It’s a priviledge to be on tour with him: he was the world champion (actually, he was champion in the states in 1999 to finish third in NYC at the world DMC chamionships, and second in the Vestax competition, the “Extravaganza”, behind A-Trak, which is already pretty good ; Winner of Dirtstyle 1999 though, organized by the ex-Piklz).
Is there any chance that there will be a dj brought onto the LP or the following tour, P-Trix for example?
I don’t know. I already got DJ Romes.
Yeah, but he’s cool. He’ll do it. We’ll make him work even more (Medaphoar laughs). Going to all the shows, carrying all the vinyls. Romes will work with me in the beginning. Also, I try to stay with the crew up to now. More work we all got, the better it is.
How has the tour been up to now?
Very good. We’re just coming back from Germany. I’ve already been there three times. It’s my first time in Paris and in France. So it’s a good experience. I went to Amsterdam. I’ve been about everywhere in Europe. It’s really a priviledge. I thank god for that. I have a good time everytime I go somewhere.