E-A-Ski & Danny Glover Discuss “Cruise Control” Video, “Lethal Weapon”, and Mel Gibson

Interview By Chad Kiser

E-A Ski has been holding it down for the west coast for years through a myriad of ways, whether it was kick-starting fellow bay area legend Spice 1’s career and getting Master P and his No Limit tank rolling from Richmond, CA, serving up heat rocks for the likes Ice Cube (“Penitentiary”, “Pros vs. Joes”), Spice 1 (“Trigga Gots No Heart”), E-40 (“Quarterbackin”), collaborating with some of the west coast’s finest like Dr. Dre, WC, Nate Dogg, Locksmith, Crooked I, or Montell Jordan to create classic songs for music lovers on every coast.  E-A Ski has been one of the west’s best ambassadors.

As well, Hollywood legend and award-winning actor Danny Glover has also been one of California’s most revered icons.  Danny Glover’s distinguished career is filled with memorable roles like Sgt. Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, Det. David Tapp in Saw, Col. Isaac Johnson in Shooter, Bob Goodall in Switchback, and even a turn as President of the United States, Thomas Wilson, in 2009’s blockbuster 2012.

Now, fresh off the release of his latest visual from Fifth of Skithoven, the uber-popular “Cruise Control”, Chad Kiser talks with west coast super-producer E-A Ski and award-winning Hollywood actor Danny Glover.  In this exclusive interview these two bay area legends sit down with Chad Kiser to discuss the making of the “Cruise Control” short film, how E-A Ski was able to get Danny Glover to appear in actor’s first-ever hip-hop video, and what it was like to work with each other on the set of the video.  We also get in a few questions with Danny Glover about his career, the possibility of another Lethal Weapon installment, and his thoughts on his “Weapon” co-star Mel Gibson.

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Danny, I’ll start this off with you. How did you and E-A Ski become acquainted with each other?

DG:  We kept connecting with each other really at the Club One.  It was a wonderful chance that we connected, and we kept saying let’s do something, let’s make something happen.  He finally said he was trying to put something together and we did the first video in L.A., which came out really well because he was able to kind of move to another level in terms of his work.  And that’s what it was about, seeing what I could do to help him move to that next level and let people see his work.  So, we did that video, “No Problems”, which Ski won an award for.  He approached me and asked me to do it, he’s my little brother, and I said ‘hey, let’s do this again.’  I had a great time!

Ski:  A lot of people don’t know that me and Danny have done stuff before this.  I don’t know if Danny remembers, but we were doing some activist/fundraiser type stuff for BET with Sinbad.  So we’ve done stuff before, so that’s how the chemistry just worked and we got down.

Ski, what was like working with such an accomplished actor of Mr. Glover’s magnitude on “No Problems” and the latest release “Cruise Control”?

Ski:  You always think you can act until you get in front of a real actor.  It’s very humbling because you see, Danny did improv parts that were so cold without even thinking about it, and it was so on point, no takeover’s, but I’m doing take-over’s.  It was just dope man, I learned a lot from him like how to pull yourself into that role, and I’m honored to have worked with someone that’s iconic, and we were able to give the rap world a look that goes beyond just the typical rap video.

Danny, what was it like for you working with Ski on these short films?

DG:  Working with Ski is really easy; to play off of him because it’s a certain kind of vulnerability about him, and he gave in to that vulnerability in the videos as well, particularly this one.  It was really easy, and I’m not in any way minimizing the work that goes in to doing this, to work on his parts and to do some things really out of his framework that he usually does as a rapper and producer, but he was really easy to work with on this.  He had a great sense of what he wanted to do.

Nobody would think of the distinguished and iconic Danny Glover doing a short-film, rap video.

DG:  [laughs] Look here, man, I got a 22 year-old and a 19 year-old son, you know what the hell kind of music they listen to and what’s on the radio station, you know what it is!  106.1, 94.9 out here!  You know what I’m saying, it’s like that James Brown bit — Papa’s got a brand-new bag!  [laughs]

What do you think about this being this is your first rap video, Danny?

DG:  [laughs] Hey, look here, man, I can’t wait to let my grandson see it, my daughter see it, and my two boys see it!  That’s who’s going to be the judge right there, they’re going to be the judge and the jury on this one.

When you were putting together these two short-films Ski, was Danny Glover always the idea for these roles?

Ski:  When I made the “No Problems”, I had the song pretty much done and I felt really good about the record, but I didn’t want to make just the typical video of shooting in the hood and doing the normal thing.  God works in mysterious ways, and me and Danny happened to be finishing our work outs at the same time, and we was just soaking in the hot tub, chopping it up.  We were both just kind of talking about what we were both working on, and it just kind of clicked right there.  So I didn’t know what concept for “No Problems” would be, but as Danny said he would be open to doing it I went and tried to come up with something that I felt…because I liked Danny in “Shooter”, and I had never seen Danny play that type of role, it caught me off guard.  So that intrigued me for “No Problems” to have him play something sinister.  Even in “Cruise Control” people don’t really know what I’m signing, and I don’t want to give it away and what it’s leading to in the situation for the “No Problems” video.  But Danny really added that twist to the hip-hop and entertainment realm that I think hip-hop is missing.  When you combine real talent all together, I think you just do amazing things.

You also had Ice Cube make a cameo appearance, which you worked with on last year’s “Please” video and record.

Ski:  Right, adding Cube this time around, instead of having  him rapping this time like what people had seen him do in the “Please” video, let’s have him go into his acting mode since he’s also an actor.  It made it more star-powered, and gave it a different twist and look that I think people haven’t seen.  I think that’s what hip-hop and entertainment is about, the creativity in bringing something new and refreshing.

E-A Ski just brought up “Shooter”, Danny, which you did with former Funky Buncher Mark Wahlberg.  I had never seen you play that sinister role that Ski just alluded to.  How was it playing that type of role, which was such a departure from the roles like Sgt. Murtuagh of Lethal Weapon that many of your fans are used to seeing you portray?

DG:  It was really just me trying to do something different.  I did a role once in a film called “Switchback” where I play the serial killer, you know what I’m saying?  But this guy [in “Shooter] was a guy who was in the government, and these guys are some cold cats.  When you think of them designing co-intel programs and everything else, man, these guys don’t play around here.  There’s another kind of righteousness in which they connect themselves to do the job they have to do.  The law is on their side, that they can manipulate everything, and that’s what I tried to do with that character.  There were no boundaries for him, and there’s an even higher authority that he has to be accountable to.  That’s where I tried to take it when I played that role.

Staying in Hollywood for a second, Danny, what’s up with your guy Mel Gibson?

DG:  Oh, man, you know let me tell you, I love Mel, man, and a great deal of what he’s dealing with I can’t speak to, I can’t even read the blogs and all the other stuff. I know that the guy that’s done what’s happened out there, giving the pressure he is in, you know it just happening that way.  I live right up here in the bay so I don’t get involved in a lot of the riffraff and all that other stuff, but I saw Mel about 3 months ago and he’s doing good, so I can’t speak to all that.  We’ve known each other for over 30 years.  He’ll come out alright, man.  He’ll be good.

Speaking of Mel Gibson, There’s a lot of talk about a possible Lethal Weapon 5 coming up. Are you getting too old for this shit, or will we see Riggs & Murtaugh hit the big screen one more time?

DG:  [laughs] We are not looking at a Lethal Weapon 5.

Lethal Weapon is done?

DG:  It’s over.  It’s finished, baby.  It’s good, but it’s finished.

We thought there might be one more, but if you say you’re done, then it’s a wrap.

DG:  You never know, but for right now there’s no more.

So now you’re leaving the door open to it?

DG:  Well, yea, when a brother’s got house notes to pay, tuition to pay, you leave the door open, wide open [laughs].

That’s real! Danny, is there anything we can look out for from you in the near future?

DG:  No, not really, I got a few things happening here and a few things happening there.  It’s good, I still love acting, so any time I can get a job doing that I’m fine [laughs].

Ski, as always it’s a real pleasure and honor to speak with you.  We look forward to your record “5th of Skithoven” and wish you well.  Will you come back and chat with us soon?

Ski:  Much love homie.  Thank you, bro!

Mr. Glover, thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to sit down and chat with us for a bit.  It’s been an honor.

DG:  Thank you!  Take care, now!