Sabac Red Interview

conducted by Hugo Lunny

Sabac Red Interview

MVRemix: How often do you visit Puerto Rico?

Sabac Red: Not as often as I’d like. The last time I was there was 2005. I have a lot of family out there; my father still lives there and I have fifteen half brothers and sisters, and they have kids. When I go it’s like primos (cousins) everywhere. I plan on taking my wife next year.

MVRemix: Would you ever consider moving back there?

Sabac Red: I would not move to Puerto Rico but would definitely consider getting a place for vacation. Then again why spend money on a place of my own in Puerto Rico when I have so much family there. When I want to visit I have places to stay for days.

MVRemix: With the reputation and image that Psycho Logical Records has, how has the subject of “The Commitment” (from “The Ritual” album) with regards to eating better, “respecting women” and the like been received?

Sabac Red: Its been great. People know I am different than what comes out of the PLR camp; even most of the PLR fans really like and respect my music. Everyone knows there is negative and positive shit in the world and those who choose to ignore either one is a fool.

MVRemix: Has your view on your label mates music changed with your changed perspective?

Sabac Red: No, I judge no one. I don’t agree with everything said and done but that’s life – we deal with it. I live in Cali and don’t get to speak with everyone that much. Necro and I talk all the time about business shit then we’ll chop it up on some other shit but I really don’t get to kick it much with everyone. I talk to Q –Unique a lot as well. Everyone from the label came through for the filming of my video, “Viva Boricua,” and we got to chill for a while and they’re good people. They do them and I do me, it’s all good.

MVRemix: What made you move to a more mature perspective such as the song depicts?

Sabac Red: I’ve evolved as a person. I had a choice to either no be true to who I am and give you fake shit like 90% of rappers in the game or fully commit to myself and give you the truth. I am in touch when it comes to music, I know there are a lot of people who sleep on me and I’m cool with that but I know what I put out is my truth and on this album I went all in.

It was a huge risk because a lot of people don’t want to hear on record what they see in life. A lot of people what fantasy and an escape from real life, I get it, but I choose to remind people, in a creative way, what’s going on and how we as people can be better.

MVRemix: Can you tell me about the video for “The Commitment.”

Sabac Red: The homie James Wade was coming to the Bay area and hollered so I was like, “I got this song I want to do a video for,” and he was down. We did it real quick, shot it in a few hours and he stayed up all night editing at my house. He’s a beast. So we shot, edited and got everything done in a day. He didn’t have much time because he had other things to do in the Bay but it came out dope for what we had to work with. I’m proud of that video.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with James Wade?

Sabac Red: I know James for about eight years. I met him at a show Non Phixion did in LA. He was grinding out there and we just stayed in touch on some music shit and he was doing a lot of community work with the youth. We just had a lot in common and stayed in touch. As you may know he went on to do some really great work in the biz doing some real dope videos and documentaries. Google the name.

MVRemix: How has moving to the Bay area changed your lifestyle?

Sabac Red: Well I am now married, got a house; I’m working for the Alameda Unified School district just doing some real grown folk shit. I am truly happy out here. If you listen to track 13 on The Ritual, “Breaking Through,” it says it all.

MVRemix: Tell me about “The Ritual.”

Sabac Red: I had planned on putting out this album two years ago. Not the album you hear now but the title was thought out and I had some songs done that eventually went on “The Collabo Collection Vol 2.”

The time wasn’t right and when it was, I went in and did it. I am not that artist that records songs for an album then waits two years to put it out. I get sick of shit real easy… I would rather put songs on a mix CD even if they were meant for an album and just do it new. When I actually got distribution and there was a date, I knocked shit out. That’s how I like to work. The whole album was done in a few months. I love it when it’s fresh and new, I also feel like the time was right. I felt like I was in a good place to create a piece of work that would resonate well with people and the time where living in.

MVRemix: How long did the record take to record and how planned was it – ie did you set out with a tracklisting and stick to it or record a number of songs and chose a select amount leaving the rest on the “cutting room floor”?

Sabac Red: See the answer before. [chuckles]

MVRemix: What do you wish to achieve with the album?

Sabac Red: I really want people to hear it. I don’t care how much I actually sell. We didn’t spend a lot making the album so money will be generated but I really want people to hear it. I believe everyone can take something positive from it if they listen to it. I also trust that this album will give people a better understanding of who I am and who I have become. My music is still heavy, lyrical… Brooklyn real shit and it has a message.

MVRemix: What specifically inspired “Death and Destiny”?

Sabac Red: The creator; God! “Death and Destiny” was the last song I recorded for the album. I had been listing to the beat for weeks attempting to come up with something that fit. I really love the beat but nothing came out that I liked. I remember the day I wrote the hook; my wife’s family was visiting from Colombia and they were going to San Francisco for the day to chill. I told my wife I was just going to stay home and work. When they all left I put on the beat and was just zoning out. I started thinking about death and how it’s a part of life and there is nothing we can do to stop it. I literally spit the hook out loud and then wrote it just how you hear it on the song. It came out just like that, no edits, nothing just flowed right out. The next morning, like 6AM, I woke up and wrote my verse in 15 minutes. This song just came through me. I had been on tour with Slaine a few months back and we spoke about him being on the record, so when this started to come to life I could really hear him on it and it worked, he killed it.

MVRemix: Have fun with this one, a la “Fight Club” – “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight”?

Sabac Red: Nicholas Cage!

MVRemix: Would you win?

Sabac Red: I dislike him so much I would be in a zone and fuck him up! [laughs] That’s fucked up. I don’t even know dude he could be a great guy, but I hate his acting.

MVRemix: How did you get involved with the Unified School District and what inspired that connection?

Sabac Red: When I moved out here my wife had already worked for the district but left to work somewhere else so she set up an interview and I got to job. What I do is real dope, I run the High School after school program providing the students a safe place to be creative and get their grades up.

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the upcoming election?

Sabac Red: Sabac Obama!

MVRemix: What’s next after “The Ritual”?

Sabac Red: “The Collabo Collection Vol 3, BK to The Bay” album.

MVRemix: Do you have any non musical aspirations?

Sabac Red: A clothing store/brand called “OZ” me and my boy DFI started, children of my own, travel more not just to tour.

MVRemix: Any last words?

Sabac Red: Say hi to your mother for me… [laughs]

Sabac Red Interview

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