The Dangerous Crew movement is back on DubCNN! After a bit of a hiatus, we connected with another member of this legendary west coast crew, as we sit down with Goldy.
As the only other crew member besides Too Short, Ant Banks, and Pooh-Man to release an album on Dangerous Music, Goldy took us on a trip with his 1994 debut album In The Land of Funk, which was a funk-filled, story-telling pimp odyssey, scored by the funkiest crew in hip-hop history: Pee-Wee, Shorty B, Sean G and Ant Banks. With stand-out features from the Dangerous Crew’s finest like Rappin’ Ron, Ant Diddley Dog, Ant Banks, Pee-Wee and of course Too Short, the album was one of the definite classics to come out of Oakland, CA in the mid-90’s.
In Part 1 of this exclusive interview with Goldy, we found out how he was influenced to get into music, discussed his early music career before Dangerous Music, what some of the differences between the industry today versus during his era, and we discovered how he connected with Too Short.
We’re back today with Part 2 of our exclusive conversation with Goldy. During the conclusion of this interview we discuss the Dangerous disbanding, working with Rappin’ Ron & Ant Diddley Dog of Bad N-Fluenz, collaborating with Ant Banks, and he gives us his Top 5 songs of as part of the Dangerous Crew.
“There’s no place like the Land of Funk”, as Goldy takes us on another ride!
2010 Dubcnn Exclusive – Goldy (Dangerous Crew)
By: Chad Kiser
What are some of the things you took from that era of touring with Too $hort?
$hort had shows booked in the ghettos of America, places nobody else wanted to go. We would have crowds of 30 or 40 thousand, and we always ended up out in the crowd. We ain’t no backstage-type of niggas, we ain’t no after party type niggas; we the after the show I’ma get off stage and bang me a bitch, type of niggas. That’s the kind of cats we is, and he’s always been like that; niggas always fuck with dog like that. $hort ain’t never even really hire no security team, niggas we roll with is niggas we grew up with; niggas from Oakland. Ain’t never been no high payroll type shit, it’s always been low-key. So we always been reachable, we always been touchable and that’s how it’s always been. So I got that from him, that’s how I roll, and he always set that standard.
After the Gettin’ Album it seemed like that was the last time we saw The Dangerous Crew as a unit, together. As a fan, I thought we were going to get hammered with new material from everyone in the crew, and then it was like all the sudden, no more Dangerous Crew.
That’s a good point, and I’m sure everyone gave you their impression of what happened, but my impression of what happened is $hort had announced he was going to retire. Jive Records sole interest was really in Too $hort, so they basically pacified $hort, by making him think Dangerous Music was a stand-alone label. But if you look at the game and brother’s that were putting logos on the back of albums that really didn’t do shit, I mean, some record companies like the Bad Boys and whatnot were very successful; I applaud them for that, but we [The Dangerous Crew] were basically an incentive to keep Too $hort.
Dangerous Music was an independent-ass label. When I signed my contract to Jive, I signed two, damn-near hundred-page contracts that was almost identical, but one said Dangerous Music, one said Jive. One basically said if Dangerous Music doesn’t fulfill whatever, you’re a Jive artist. So, basically I was just a Jive artist, but they avoided all the day-to-day nigga interactions to send me $10 to feed my baby, bail me out of jail or front me some money. They avoided all the headaches by putting me on Dangerous Music, which shielded them from having to deal with me, Father Dom, Banks, Pooh, Pee-Wee, and all these niggas that was on Dangerous Music. Jive just created an umbrella, where as before, we would have been direct Jive artist and they would have been dealing with all our drama, giving us all our deals, and flying in. But they made Dangerous Music responsible for marketing and promotions, knowing Dangerous didn’t have a marketing and promotions department.
Dangerous Music was as big as your house, living room, dining room, bedroom, you know? Dangerous Music was Raman, the dude I went to college with, Randy, and me; I did more work as Goldy on “In The Land of Funk”, than I did at any time in my career. I called radio promoters, made snippets, made CD’s to hand out in the streets; I was still doing all this work behind the scenes that I had been doing since day one, since ‘90. I had been waking up, calling, invoicing, making shit work; it was a lot, but Dangerous Music was never setup to be a label. $hort, no disrespect, was not and is not a label-running type of guy, he is not the CEO-type in terms of day-to-day operations; he is just not that kind of dude, he’s a fun dude, a party dude, he liked the ladies, he liked to have a good time.
The kind of focus that you need that’s needed for the artist of my caliber, artists that need development, you need somebody that’s in there everyday cracking that fucking whip on the media, on the record label, on everything that it needs to make it run, and Dangerous Music never had that. It was never the artist’s fault, all the other artists is probably just like myself, trying to re-create themselves and emerge back into society, still probably shocked. A lot of my fans is like, ‘what the fuck happened’?, I left a lot of motherfuckers hanging, but it wasn’t me personally. I remember Banks was the first one of the crew to realize something wasn’t right. I remember Banks going, ‘man, something’s going on, and you going to be next watch’. I had refused to believe, but things had got ugly, and I had to resort to another way of living.
Can you elaborate on that?
Basically, surviving in Atlanta, coming from being Goldy, money got bad, the situation between Dangerous and myself got ugly; I was going in to do my next album and the advancement wasn’t there. The talking, the communication, negotiations wasn’t there. Shit started to break down, money was getting tight, I had to resort to strip clubs with my broad and all of this. That’s why when I did that song “Pimp Me”, I’ll never forget a line I say, ‘I be laughing with Sir Captain because he asking me what happened, fall in love with money and pimping and be like fuck this rapping’. Because I was like, ‘fuck rap’, I wasn’t even talking to $hort and them, I was just on a whole other anger level and shit. I wasn’t even fucking with it like that, but those situations and those times always made me rise to the occasion and step my rap game up, I was living it.
That’s one thing about me, everything I said, everything I write I was living that shit, and I would talk about the niggas I was fucking with right there on a record, and they would know it. Sometimes they wouldn’t know it until they re-wound it and be like, ‘damn, that nigga talking about us’. From the time I got with $hort I had to wait 3 or 4 years, it’s like the song “Town Put Goldy On Top”, the town put me on, you didn’t do it, you know? When is it my time to shine? I been doing all these cameos, and I just always put it out there. But, in a nutshell, it was a failure of a company, man, and I ain’t going to blame $hort or Randy because they didn’t know.
I don’t think they knew because the structure of the deal that $hort had got when he came with Jive was an underground situation because Jive had just emerged from the dark ages. Who did they have, The Treacherous 3? Steady B? They had a lot of just hip-hop, but $hort was the first real west coast group, and by the time I had come along, it was just getting to that point where $hort was wanting to leave and they was just needing some kind of reason to keep him, since $hort had got lured by a few people; I think Baby from Cash Money, there was words that Russell [Simmons] wanted to fuck with him, but he went back with Jive. I remember we was all like, ‘what the fuck’? I remember there being disappointment in the air like, ‘why are we still fucking with Jive’?
Nobody wanted to fuck with Jive, everybody wanted to leave them alone, man, but we basically were stuck because $hort was fucking with them. Banks left, and Bad N-Fluenz had went their way with Davey D, and Father Dom was kind of just waiting on his turn, but before he could even get on, the label just went under. When I look back, it ain’t like it was ever really a label, it was just me. Banks was really a Jive artist, with a Dangerous Music logo, and I was really the first Dangerous artist that was released. The R&B group they was trying to put out, About Face, got caught up in the same shit when Dangerous Music shut down. It just wasn’t set up properly.
One of the questions we’re always asked about when The Dangerous Crew discussion comes up, is about that infamous Bad N-Fluenz vs. The Luniz freestyle battle. Were you there when that went down?
Man, that shit was a big Oakland divide, and it wasn’t necessary because we were all one family. We had hella affiliates that was all Dangerous Crew related. That particular day, that particular battle, and I’m not going to go too deep, but that came about because Dangerous music was a 3 headed monster in Too $hort, Teddy Bohannon and Randy Austin, like I told you before. Everybody had they role: $hort was the talent, Randy was the manager, and Ted was the financer. Everybody had their own interest and $hort was the foundation, but for some odd reason everybody was looking to branch out and get their own thing, which was cool because everybody wanted to expand to keep the money going. $hort had his own affiliates and personal rappers he wanted to bring in; I had came in through Randy and he had his own personal dreams and desires, and Ted had his own aspirations as well.
At the time, Pooh-Man and Ant Banks, had came in through $hort. Chris Hicks, who later went on to produce and manage The Luniz, and Dru Down had come in through Ted. Ted was not as creative as $hort, you know $hort was the talent; he was the foundation, and everybody else was on the outside looking in, in terms of the creativity. So everybody else wanted to implement and get creative, too. Randy wanted to bring his creative side to Dangerous Music, and they all had a right to, as they was all partners, and Ted wanted to bring his side to it. $hort was like that’s cool, this is Dangerous Music, but more or less took the approach of you got to come through me; I got to be able to put my seal of approval on it. You’re my niggas and my partners, but I am the creative artist of Dangerous Music, so any artist that come through here, I got to put my name on it. I got to put my seal on it. It wasn’t as easy, and it didn’t go over as smooth as it may have seemed because records had came out, a lot of battles, a lot of beefs, a lot of shit had happened that had stemmed from the shit I’m telling you right now.
On that particular night, a battle had broken out about who gets to put their album out next, who gets to be priority. I was basically already in, I was the cameo king. I had already did 4 or 5 fucking songs cameo. So, I had my own frustration going on, I was basically the OG next to $hort; I was Pippen, $hort was Jordan. I was the next emerging rapper to come, no matter what, then $hort, then Banks, then I was next. But then it was a group that was needed, since we got 2 solo artists, let’s get a group. Bad N-Fluenz and The Luniz had to basically battle for who’s going to be the next group signed to Dangerous Music. It started out as joke, like rap for pizza; whoever loses is going to buy the next group pizza.
Now, I wasn’t even there, but I got all the details as if I was. All I know is they did rap, and Bad N-Fluenz was the victor. There was already a lot of friction going on about who was coming out next and who had rights to the studio; communication lines were not what they needed to be between the 3 parties at this time, so it had already started to break down. So anyways, that’s how it happened, that’s how it went down. Bad N-Fluenz were the victors, but they worked out a deal with $hort because they was talking to me about the techniques behind rapping. They were just on a lyrical tip, and I was telling them cats I had done cameos, and touring and wrote; basically sold myself just to get in. They were like fuck that, they were hungry and didn’t have the time, so they worked out a deal to leave Dangerous Music and make they own album.
They end up going with Priority, and at the time out here Priority was the biggest fucking label giving rappers distribution deals. Basically you put up your 50,000, and they distribute your album, but you had to do your own marketing and promotion. Then, Priority ended up going under and becoming whoever else they became, so they lost that deal. So, if you look at it as a whole, The Luniz eventually became the victors because they made out. They went on and did their Noo Trybe thing and “ I Got 5 On It” and all that; they ended up making out even better. But at that time, that’s how it went down, the loser was supposed to buy pizza and the winner was supposed to be next up to bat on Dangerous Music.
Do you ever talk to Davey D?
Yea, I still talk to Davey. I just relocated now, but I owned an after-hours spot out here for over a year, and Dave came through a few times. Yea, I fucked with Dave on many occasions over there.
What was it like working with Bad N-Fluenz: Rapping Ron and Ant Diddley? what kind of relationship did you guys have?
They were some real humble cats, but they were on it. They were polished and complimentary to each other. It was rare at the time to have two cats from the world they was from to come to the table and I mean ready; they wasn’t on that bullshit, that violent, wild shit. I’m not saying they didn’t have it in them or couldn’t be that way, but they was more of a manageable group than a lot of niggas was at the time. I don’t know what it is about niggas man, but we think because a nigga want to rap that they ready, but they don’t be ready mentally. There’s a lot of stress, a lot of drama, and a lot shit that pulls them back to the world that they come from and it sabotages they’re whole career, but these cats seemed to be ready, and they would always get at me on the big brother type tip.
Back then it wasn’t a whole lot of examples from Oakland, and I won’t say the bay, because back then we didn’t use that term because the bay has always been divided. When I say divided, I don’t mean beef, I’m saying as in identity; Oakland has always stood alone. We’ve always done what we do, we don’t follow nobody in the Bay area, and we don’t click up with anybody from the bay. Now, like I say, it’s a new genre, a new time; its bay this, and bay that. Back then it was East Oakland, West Oakland and that’s just how it was.
So, Rappin’ Ron and them repped East Oakland, and Rappin’ Ron on the freestyle, was a motherfucker! That’s just all I can say, the man was a genius. I know he wrote raps, but his freestyle shit was just as good, if not better. He had a gift, man, and Ant Diddley Dog was just a lyrical assassin. They complimented each other, man, that’s all I can say. I didn’t really hang out a whole lot because our age difference was a few years, so when they was just getting into running the streets, I was done doing some of that shit. But they came in with the right fucking mentality, like a senior quarterback and a young quarterback kind of grooming these cats for what’s due to come. They were all open to learn what it would be like. They were some fun cats, man. When it comes to that duo, in Oakland, in the bay, I don’t know anybody that could fuck with them. Not to this day.
Did you record any unreleased songs with them?
No, whatever we did together, we put out.
I noticed that “Prostitute” was on “In The Land of Funk”, but it seemed to have a twist on it from the original version on “Call It Like I See It”. What made you decide to re-make it for that album?
Man, that was motherfucking Pee-Wee! When you got a Pee-Wee around, you got to use him. He is a motherfucker that will make your song the shit! He would drink Hennessey, smoke whatever would burn, and he would just come in and take your shit to another level. “Prostitute” was already a ghetto-accepted song, but we just felt like, to go national, we needed to add something to it.
So, Pee-Wee was the man. I get speechless when I talk about Pee-Wee, man for real because Banks was the driving drum beat, he even lay the initial bassline. But it wasn’t shit until Pee-Wee came and put the sugar on it, that’s what he did to “Prostitute”; that was all Pee-Wee. When the crew started to break up, we didn’t have the same vibes as we did prior. Since I had one of the last albums right before the break up and everybody was doing solo projects, I kind of got the good feel of the crew before Bad N-Fluenz became Bad N-Fluenz; before Pee-Wee went on, or Shorty B or Banks went on, it was like from $hort album to my album. But that’s how it was “Prostitute” was made, and Pee-Wee gave it that flavor.
You had produced prior to coming in to Dangerous Music, but you didn’t really do much producing there. Why was that?
When I came to Dangerous Music, I kind of quit making the beats and focused on the lyrics because I had Banks, I had Pee-Wee; I had niggas to do it for me. I just focused on my rapping. But that album embodied everybody because I had a single from everybody. You couldn’t remake that, with all of us separating. I was open to it, a lot of cats, they get on records, they don’t want certain cats to overwhelm them on they shit or outshine them, so they cut back, pick who they want and what song to put them on. I didn’t care about that, which is why “Never That” was hot. I had two young niggas with me that was as hungry as I was, but they hadn’t had they turn yet. To rappers, competition is always looming in the air, I don’t give a fuck who you are, 50 or Jay-Z; you don’t ever want to get ripped. But I always just wanted to set the tone that I’m here; you’ll do your style, I’ma do my style and its going to work.
You and Ant Banks seemed to have really good chemistry working together. What was working with a producer of Banks’ caliber like for you?
Banks’ ego has always been enough to fill 5 rooms! That’s my nigga, but when Banks is around, you know Banks is around. So, when Banks does his album, it’s Ant Banks. I’m a rapper, my lead is all lyrics, and I don’t give a fuck where the music comes from, as long as it’s banging. Banks got to do all his shit. He controls his sessions, he controls his songs; he’s a master at it. You got to let Banks be Banks, and I realized that. Banks’ attitude, personality, ego and all of that was either you’re going to clash with him, or you’re going to get along with him.
At that time, he was the man, it was his time, so clashing with him at that time, he would have not even fucked with you or let you get on a track; he wouldn’t have even made a beat for you. Banks was picking niggas he wanted to fuck with, that’s how it was for him at that time. Everybody wanted to fuck with Banks. So, I let Banks be Banks, you know? We had rooms together, and I’d be over there fucking a broad and Banks would be like, ‘this nigga’s over here fucking a bitch right next to me’! I’m a player about mine, he’s a gorilla. I’ve always maneuvered myself through the cracks around the hard niggas or the loud niggas and the big niggas because they was like this nigga Goldy is always with a bitch, always saying something sick, and always doing him.
I don’t fuck with niggas like that to the point where I need them niggas to validate my player. I do me, and they love me for that. I love hard niggas for being hard, and I accept niggas for who they are because I ain’t got no problem being myself because I’m going to get out in the snow and get a bitch, that’s how I was. So, that’s why me and Banks got along because his identity was he’s a big bad ass; I’m going to fart, I’m going to burp, I’m going to shit on you bitch, you going to fuck with me because I’m Banks. And I’m like: I’m Goldy, I’m going to speak my mind, I’m going to do what I do, but I know my limitations. Banks going to do some shit that I won’t do, because that’s Banks. So I stay laughing at this nigga like, ‘how you got a bitch and you be burping on this bitch and farting on this bitch in bed dog’? So, we just be laughing, man.
We complimented each other, he was the heavy and I was the light, or whatever you want to call it and it just worked. Banks was always open artistically to letting me write, and letting my have my lyrical freedom. To me he was a master in his own world, and I was a master in my own world. He ain’t never try to correct me, I mean, he had your typical producer interjections like attitude or volume, but he always let me be me, and he always wanted to hear how I was going to come off; they were always surprised with the shit I was saying, more surprised than the average consumer. I think I just impressed him with my own personal early shit, and then after I did “Something To Ride To”, we kind of started recording and Banks became my sole producer my, sole engineer. Basically, he was my pre-production producer; when I went and laid my rough shit, good or bad, Banks was the motherfucker on the other side.
We didn’t have no other cat in Dangerous Music running the session, and when we did, it just wasn’t the same. So, Banks started knowing how to record me, how to punch me in, and how to punch me out; he started knowing where to go without me having to tell him because I would, basically, come in the studio with my mind already knowing where I wanted to come in at. Like I’ma say 10 bars, knowing I should have wrote it different, or knowing I should have saved myself some space to take a breath, but I didn’t; I needed to get punched in because I ain’t got enough wind to say all this shit, and Banks already know it. After hearing that shit so much, he started to show an interest in rapping, and he started wanting to develop his own rap style and pattern it after me, Rapping Ron or whoever. That’s when I started writing shit for him, so he could get his tongue work together to say the shit I write. I started him off light on certain songs like I did for $hort. I didn’t want to write for these cats because there was some shit that they couldn’t say.
So, that’s when I really started fucking with Banks because he would take the shit I wrote, and do it verbatim, we could really start doing songs together. Now I can rap, and it don’t just sound like I’m carrying you or you can’t keep up in the lyrical world because now he could hold his own. So now we’re on some personal shit, we move out to Atlanta from Oakland, with big hopes and big dreams and we kind of gelled because we were away from home and we still did us on an Oakland Tip. That shit will make you close, too. So, that’s how it went down, man.
So what songs did you write for $hort?
Top Down, Coming Up $hort; I wrote some more, but those are the only two I can remember right now.
So of all the songs you did with the Dangerous Crew, what are your top 5 songs in that era?
“Something To Ride To”, “Never That”, “Pimp Me”, “You Gotta Come Home”, and “Fucking With Banks”. I would say those stand out in my mind right now.
One other thing that I noticed on your album was that Krushadelic had done some work on the project. What was his involvement there at that time?
Yea, me and Krush had a personal relationship man, and I was basically bringing a producer into a producer’s house. Everybody knows that two different people are going to do shit different, so at that particular time, Banks was basically the house producer. You had to go through Banks because he was $hort-sponsored and he basically ran the studio. Me and Krush had developed a relationship where I was able to do more basic, down-to-earth, dig in the crates, go over songs back and forth, waste time, laugh, eat, drink, and go out and run the streets. It was just day-to-day shit you can create when you don’t have time to do it with a Banks because he working on a Dru Down, or a $hort. Banks started to get limited with his time and availability because he was doing $hort shit, Dangerous Crew shit and just everybody’s shit.
So, Krush provided me an outlet when it was time to start the next Goldy album, and I was constipated with ideas. I needed to get my initial shit going; shit that I heard from commercials or movies, or that I thought of while I was driving, you know? Spur of the moment shit where you just got to call somebody and just regurgitate to get it out, or you’re going to lose the fucking momentum. He became that person that allowed me to do that when I couldn’t catch Banks because Banks was already creating his legend. Krush was trying to establish his legend, and something about that hunger makes a person go the extra mile. Dangerous Crew was established, they got a chemistry, they got a formula, they got a deal; so, Krush was like, ‘let me get in, let me add my style to what he got and maybe I can establish myself’, those were Krush’s words.
I already know from that hunger, being from Oakland and the same world as him, he’s going to do whatever it was going to take to get himself where he needed to be. I’m not saying it was a gimmick or all fake, I’m just saying I needed somebody with that hunger, to take my ideas since I had abandoned making my own beats; I saw that I still needed a crutch to facilitate my brainstorming stage, and Krush did that. He had the crates and the pre-production, so by time I took it to Banks, I already had almost a song. So, Krush helped me start putting it together.
See, I lead with my creativity, which sparked the music. Banks had maybe some baselines or some drumbeats, but it wasn’t formulated songs, it wasn’t arranged. I would come at Banks, or Pee-Wee for that matter, with ideas from songs or samples I heard, and be like, lets do that; then they would take it and put they shit on there, and then bang, there you go. I had did maybe 4 or 5 songs, that initially started with me and Krush, and I gave him credit on the singles because I ain’t the type of nigga to just not give anybody they credit. But don’t mark my words because I don’t remember how many songs I gave Krush credit for.
He did more for me personally, than was reflected on the album credits because the shit was all political when it all came down; certain songs were used, certain songs were not used and there’s reels with songs on them right now that were not used. If they still exist I don’t know, but me and Krush had a whole album that was ready. I would literally get on the phone, like me and you talking, and call that nigga Krush and talk for like an hour, two hours; that was my nigga,, and we really did it like that because like I said I needed a companion in creativity, kind of like a Guru and Premier. Because artists, we funny people man, we pull from the universe, our minds, our ass; we drive, we eat, we get a flash of an idea you know? I need to go from the fucking dinner table right now and write this shit down. I would have to do that and Krush was like a crutch for me when Banks wasn’t, you know? Banks was more of a ‘let’s record the shit right now’ type of cat.
Was there a 2nd album recorded for Dangerous Music?
Yea, I didn’t title the album, but there probably was an albums worth of material that Krush and I had worked on, I would say.
So there’s some unreleased material out there?
Man, I’m sure I could put my hands on it, nah I can’t even lie, I don’t know. Because at that time we were using reels and the shit done gone through so many different formats now, but I don’t know. I probably had made 3, 4, or 5 albums unreleased. You know how you do your own thing everyday? I’m making songs at the house, making albums; just constantly making songs and making songs.
That’s all the questions we have for you, Goldy. We appreciate the time you took out to talk with us, and letting us catch up with you.