This was an online interview that took place in a FaceBook group page , D.E.S.P [deejays,emcees,singers,and producers], which boasts a membership of over 3,400 of talented artists from across the country. The page’s moderator Mo Beatz asked if was interested in doing an interview and, of course, I was wit it!
Mo Beatz: Hey, Quique Cruz, what’s good fam?! I know you reppin Cali hard and I’m feeling your movement. What’s the hiphop scene like in your city?
QC: Well, I’m in Orange County. So, u already know that this area aint really known for Hip hoppin. But, we’re here! I’ve been here since ’86… an import from NYC. I like to think that I carried the Hip hop torch out here. But… in all honesty, most Hip hoppers in OC travel to the county just north of us… LA. The emcees & producers from down here tend to get overshadowed by the happenings in LA. But, I work with a promoter out here that has been bringin BIG NAME acts to Santa Ana. So, hopefully that’ll all change pretty soon. We’ve had Chino XL, Dilated, Muggs, Rapper Pooh, LMNO, WC, Sugar Free, Talib Kweli… and many more… all within the last few months.
Mo Beatz: It’s so funny cuz people outside of Cali think that Southern California is just Dr. Dre and sunshine, but y’all have a real hiphop scene out there for real. Right?
QC: INDEED. We got MAD Graffitti heads & B-Boys… Emcees & Beat Makers… Clothing lines… Lowrider Car Clubs… STREET SHIT. Ppl think that OC is all snobby ass, rich, white folks… NOPE! Matter of fact, Santa Ana was once the leading Spanish speaking city in the country. Also, we had one of the most MILITANT Black Panther Party chapters RIGHT HERE IN SANTA ANA.
Mo Beatz: Cool! Most 90’s hiphop heads would call their style of production”Boom Bap.” How would u describe ur style of production?
QC: Well, I pride myself in my versatility. I don’t have one particular style or sound. Although, I do consider my specialty SAMPLING… & layin heavy synth on break beats… shit like that.
Mo Beatz: Nicely put! Good music is good music so why put yourself in a box… right? I think producers nowadays put too much thought into sounding a particular way and end up messing with creativity. Just mess around and come up with something creative. So what type of equipment do u use?
QC: HA! Well, ever since my crib got burglarized, and they took my MPC 2000XL, back on ’01, I’ve been using strictly software. UNCONVENTIONAL beat makin methods also. I like to play my keys RAW… un-quantized. I use FL Studio, Steinberg Wavelab & Nuendo. Sometimes I use listentoyoutube.com & DL an old record that sumbody uploaded… & CHOP THAT SHIT UP! I’ve even made beats by sampling from a VHS tape. It all started with a Tascam Porta 1 Analog 4 Track recorder, a Gemeni 12 sec. DJ Sampler & a toy keyboard. That was back in ’94.
Mo Beatz: Very interesting but I think I have your MPC 2000XL right here. If u want it back, it’s gonna cost ya! LMAO
But seriously, you seem to be on da emcee side of things. So, who are your favorite emcees of all time?
YES! I definitely am an Emcee first. I only started makin beats cuz I got tired of rappin over peoples instrumentals. Let’s see… Emcees currently killin shit… Sean P, Elzhi, Royce, Ra Digga, Joell Ortiz… YO! THAT SHADY CIPHER AT THE BET HIP HOP AWARDS… BANANAS! Khalik Scientific, Sa Roc, Rogue Venom, Planet Asia & TriState… I can go on & on. I don’t have ONE particular favorite. My criteria is, IF U EATIN UP THE MIC, AGRESSIVELY DELIVERING, & GOT STYLE… I like you.
Mo Beatz: What?! How dare you not put Vanilla Ice?! He’s the reason why we’re all here! LMAO
But I’m not mad at your choice selection though. Now, what do u think about the industry and the way a certain type of artist is pushed aside and considered NOT relevant?
QC: I don’t even pay attention to the industry anymore. To me… THEY ain’t relevant… PERIOD. With all the tools at our disposal now… WHO NEEDS THEM??? Now, I ain’t tryina buy a mansion & a yacht. I’m just tryina live comfortably & take care of my family. I don’t need crazy chains & whips… cuz I aint no slave. feel me? I’m just me… a rebel. That’s how I got the name “El Terrible” (the terrible) cuz I go against the grain… in almost every situation. People ask me “u heard that Big Sean?” I’m like… “WHO???” Same goes for Wiz Khalifa & what’s that new white kids name? Mac something? Cookie cutter shit is the EXACT opposite of what Hip Hop represents in the 1st place.
Mo Beatz: We need more people who think independent mindedly, like yourself. Just get on your grind and DO U! SCREW THESE COMMERCIAL LABELS! It’s a pity that some people are still waiting to get signed. IF U CAN CREATE A FOLLOWING AND FANBASE FOR YOURSELF, then brand yourself and make all your money without da labels. How can people reach you if interested?
Mo Beatz: BIG UP FAM! THANX FOR TAKIN THE TIME OUT TO KICK IT WITH ME. YOUR A REAL G FOR REAL! I DEFINITELY GOT A LIL INSIGHT ON YA MOVEMENT AND CALI! TAKE CARE… PEACE!!!
QC: NO… THANK YOU!!! MILLIONS!!! I really, really, appreciate the support & the push. You made my day. PEACE TO ALL!!!