Rick Rock & the Federation Going Beyond Hyphy
by Davey D
original article: April 03 2006
Last week the Bay Area was treated to good news when E-40’s new album My Ghetto Report Card debuted on the Billboard charts at number one. His new single Tell Me When to Go is a bonafide hit that is lighting up radio station and night clubs from here to New York, throughout the South and even spots overseas are checking out the buzz and everybody is asking What does it mean to be Hyphy?
There is no doubt the Bay is on fire. Currently there are bidding wars amongst major labels for acts like Mista F.A.B. and Rick Rock and the Federation. T-Kash who is signed to Pariss Guerilla Funk label is finding that his new politically charged album Turf War Syndrome is one of the most sought after and heavily added on the college radio circuit. If thats not enough the Paris produced Public Enemy album Rebirth of a Nation came in at number 33 on the Billboard charts which is great for a small indie label. Lastly we have super producer Rick Rock and his group the Federation who are currently enjoying major radio play in cities like New York with their new smash 18 Dummies. Now with that being said and done the 64 thousand dollar question is Will the Bay Areas Hyphy Movement catch on and become a nationwide thing that sticks?
According to super producer Rick Rock aka the King of Slaps who along with his group The Federation put out the first Hyphy record 5 years ago, The Bay will become a nationwide stop only if people make a firm commitment to step their business game up and do good music. He emphasized the point that while Hyphy is the in thing right now, its going to take more than a bunch of songs that have the words Hyphy and other related lingo in the hooks to keep the momentum going. He elaborated by pointing out that the Hyphy Movement has gotten the music industrys attention and helped opened a lot of doors, but Bay artists will have to stretch out and constantly challenge themselves.
You have to keep putting paint where it aint, Rick Rock said. You have to come with something different. It does no good to drive down the street and hear the same Hyphy record with all different artists. Its what I call the Das EFX Syndrome. Rock was referring to the rap group Das EFX who came out with a unique triple time rhyme style that got widely mimicked to the point it hurt their careers.
Rock noted that his group is trying to stay ahead of the curve by taking innovative steps and pushing the musical envelop. Case in point, he dipped into his rock-n-roll roots and teamed up with drummer Travis Barker to do a song. Rick noted that he has always been a rock fan and the beats he creates is influenced by bands like Metallica who he considers one of the best groups of all-time.
Rock explained that Barker had heard some of the Bay Areas Hyphy songs and felt that it was natural cousin to in terms of energy and drive you hear in hardcore rock. He was anxious to get down with the Federation cats and the rest they say is history. To hear lead rappers Goldie Gold, Stress and Doonie Baby spitting on fiery lyrics over Barkers drums and Ricks amped up hyphy oriented music is something that will undoubtedly change the game once its released.
Its these types of steps that are going to help keep the Bay Areas profile elevated. Its also going to take folks who are hungry for the spotlight to sit back and stop hating on one another. Regional infighting based upon who is getting recognized is what has crippled the Bay and other burgeoning regions in the past. These were points that were emphasized by Federation members Doonie Baby and Goldie Gold. They noted that theres enough room for everybody to eat and share the spotlight.
Rock who also noted this point said its time for a lot of folks to sit down and have close door meeting to 1-Get a clearer understanding of what to expect with all this increased industry attention. 2-Learn how to better handle the business expectations major labels and other outlets will have of local artists entering into the game .3- How to operate in a hater free environment. In other words as the Bay tightens up on its business and beats it will be national factor that enjoys the spotlight for years to come.