This is it guys. Thanks for sticking around. I started writing what you see below as a quick little send off, but it turned into a lot more. If you’re interested in reading the story of my journey in this game, then by all means, check it out. If not, it’s all good. But thank you so much for all of your support by visiting this site and giving Chronic Vacation a chance! We couldn’t have done it without you!
The Eddie G Story - by Eddie G
Ever since I was a little kid, hip-hop has always put me in a world of my own. I never liked the gritty, aggressive sound of acts like the Wu-Tang Clan. That’s no offense to them, it’s just not my style. But the bounce of West Coast hip-hop, and the producers like DJ Quik, Battlecat, and Warren G that created these sounds, brought such a sense of joy into my life every time I listened to music. And the lyrics – the songs about big, crazy parties, getting all the girls, having all the money in the world, and not giving a fuck, just added to the picture. It was like an endless celebration on wax, and it didn’t get any better for me than that.
When I started all of this almost three years ago now, I had no idea what the fuck I was getting into. I was just a 19 year old white college kid from the suburbs. All I knew was that I wanted to meet my favorite rapper, DJ Quik. Rud from Dubcnn offered to send me over there to do an interview with him and I was like, “All right, fuck it! I don’t know how to interview someone, but I have a lot of questions I’ve always wanted to ask DJ Quik, and just by getting to meet him, it’ll be a win-win for me.” Who would have thought that I would have also met Jay Rock and K.Dot that night, and give them some of their first coverage online by conducting the world’s most unprofessional and awkward interviews. My tape recorder didn’t work when I started interviewing Jay Rock, so I had my friend Cody write down notes while we were talking. Yeah, it was that bad.
After that night, working in hip-hop became my entire life very quickly. Fuck sleeping, and fuck a social life – all I did, day and night, was work. The goal? To bring the music I love to as many people as possible. I started by doing a shitload of interviews, and, unbeknownst to me at the time, that was a great place to begin. I just did it because I liked the experience of doing an interview. I could ask the questions I always wanted to know, and I considered every piece an educational experience where I could learn about what made my favorite artists tick and become so creative and successful. But, before I realized it, I knew almost every hip-hop artist in Southern California on a personal level, and by taking trips up to the studio, or even some of the dudes’ houses, it showed them that I really gave a fuck.
I know that’s what’s made me successful at this the whole time – whether or not I’m an award winning writer or a marketing genius, I honestly give a fuck about the music and the people involved with making it. Also, anyone who’s met me in person knows that I’m just me. Most people do a double take when they meet me for the first time. “THAT WHITE BOY is Eddie G?” I’ve seriously heard that from a few people. But come on. If I came in on some “Malibu’s Most Wanted” shit, I wouldn’t have lasted a second. Maybe all those old records I listened to about “keeping it real” sunk in with me, because that’s another key to succeeding in this game, for anyone interested. Just be fucking honest, hopefully with everyone, but with yourself at a bare minimum.
Being at Dubcnn was great because I (again, without realizing it at the time) was given the opportunity to break so many records, and break so many new artists that I just felt needed to be heard. Around that time, I also met Young De through Damizza, the latter with whom I had just conducted the most enlightening and insane interview a couple months earlier. I ended up being brought on to “consult” for De’s “Audio Hustlaz” project he was doing with DJ Skee, Damizza, B-Real, and Kurupt, and I was suddenly thrust (no homo) into another level of the game. Being a marketing major at SDSU, I was excited because I was finally able to apply some of my ideas and voice my opinion on how to break records and introduce De as a solo artist to the West Coast community.
The project was an amazing success, and the “radio show” that we started to promote it called “Coming Up With Young De” (which I’ll admit, was wack for the first few episodes) became what you now know as “The West Coast Grind.” I also started working more closely with Damizza, and ended up co-writing his memoir “Guilty By Association” with him and Jeff Marshall Craig. That experience was priceless too. We did it like this – every day for a couple months, Damizza would call me up and he’d tell me stories about the crazy ass shit he’s done during his career. I’d sit around in my room like a kid at the campfire, listening to crazy behind-the-scenes info on how the “Chronic 2001” album was put together, and then hang up the phone after we were done with a “WTF” look on my face. I’d tape record the conversations, and then go back later and type everything out, turning it into something equivalent to an interview you’d read on this site, but without the back and forth dialogue. That draft would then get sent to Jeff, and he’d do his professional author thing with it and make it the final magic you’ll see when it hits stores.
Around that time, “The West Coast Grind” also became the most relevant radio show on the West Coast, even though it wasn’t on the radio. We got people like Warren G, Xzibit, Bishop Lamont, Cypress Hill, etc, etc, on the program, broke all of the latest news and scandals (“No Country For Old Men,” anyone?) and we were also the only show (outside of DJ Skee’s “Takeover” show on Power and the Sirius shows) that actually played West Coast music. Hey!!!! That’s a concept for ya, huh? We also added our friend DJ Ill Will to the show as the official DJ, and Damizza offered his radio expertise to us as the executive producer. It was a bitch and a half for me to put together every week, but at the end of every show, listening to it made it worth the 6-7 hour editing experience.
Needless to say, things were really poppin off. I was also helping a lot of the other artists out here promote their projects through Dubcnn by running contests, timing leaks, and doing all those other promotions you see that build hype around a project, and adding that to the fact that I was still (and still am today) in school as a full time student, my plate was getting ridiculously full. Then, when we announced the release of the “Guilty By Association” book, Mariah Carey freaked out and sent Damizza a cease and desist notice over it. That’s awkward. Even more awkward was the field day the press had with the news. Suddenly, my name’s in the National Enquirer. Wow.
I had wanted to start my own website for a while, and even though everything was great at Dubcnn and I appreciated the opportunity Rud, Nima, Jay, and the other guys had given me over there, I wanted to present West Coast hip-hop in a new way. I just had no fucking idea how to approach the technical aspects of building a website. One day, I was talking with LuLu from BYI, and he said, “Why don’t you just start your own blog site? Rome just started one, and it’s really easy to set up.” After thanking him for sparking that concept in my head, I started researching blog publishing software. Even though Chronic Vacation looks like a fancy website, believe it or not, it’s just a Wordpress blog with some more bells and whistles.
Damizza and I talked about starting this new website together, and we were gonna add an internet radio station on it from the jump programmed by him, so it would feel like the old school Power 106 days once again. Unfortunately, the royalty rates for running an internet radio station were outrageous, so we had to pass on that idea. But, nonetheless, we launched Chronic Vacation last November, coupled with the release of Indef’s awesome street album “The Product.”
I felt like there was some bad blood between us and Dubcnn when we first started everything, and looking back on it now, that was stupid. I appreciate, and I always did appreciate, everything you guys did for me, and this move wasn’t based off any negative motivation at all. I just wanted to do my own thing, and I appreciate all the support you guys have given me since the move.
At first, Chronic Vacation didn’t take off like I had hoped. I don’t think a lot of people got what we were trying to do. Well, either that or they didn’t feel like supporting a brand new site. Either way, the people that have stayed true to me in this industry - those real, solid people - continued to support me and this site since its inception, and for that I can’t thank you guys enough. You know who you are.
Soon, I got too busy with Chronic Vacation and my other behind-the-scenes work with Damizza and Baby Ree that I had to stop doing “The West Coast Grind.” Yep, that was my fault guys – don’t get mad at De or Will for that one! I wanna give a big shout out to De for being such a great, honest friend to me this whole time, and to Will for always keeping me in the loop with what’s going on in the mainstream (LOL.) You guys are my friends for life.
My whole thing with Chronic Vacation was that hip-hop should be presented as hip-hop. I know that sounds like a basic concept, but if you think about it, there aren’t too many people actually doing that. So I developed my own formula for what worked based on what I would actually want to see if I were visiting a West Coast hip-hop website. Influenced, again, by what Damizza did with Power 106, I wanted to give Chronic Vacation the voice of a rude ass shit talker who lived and breathed West Coast hip-hop. Luckily, that’s pretty much me anyway.
I hope you guys understand that this website was my art, and every word that was dropped on here (besides the first couple months, when I was trying to find my footing) was done strategically to convey a certain message or evoke a certain feeling in you. I tried to bring other guys onto the staff, but it never worked out the way I wanted it to. My philosophy was simple - personally, I was sick of seeing all this “professional” writing when I read about hip-hop online. I wanted to see the word “fuck” five times in a post, and check out a naked pic of Eva Mendes while doing it. Add in the backdrop of something every hip-hop fan can agree with (Chronic – either the album or the weed) and you’ve got a site you can go to that is a living, breathing embodiment of the music you came here to listen to in the first place. Please know I’m not trying to toot my own horn here either. I could give a fuck about recognition or approval – we’ve already got that. Check the Alexa traffic ranking. I’m just trying to show any of you guys reading this that you can do this too if you sit down, give it some effort, and actually think about how to succeed.
Anyway, in the last few months, the site really took off like I knew it would. We were finally moving in the right direction and if we kept going on at this pace, we’d be one of the biggest overall hip-hop sites (not just West Coast sites) in no time. But something just didn’t feel right for me. I don’t know what it was, but with every project that came out, it didn’t give me the same sense of satisfaction that it used to. I thought I just wasn’t being active enough, so I started going out and doing interviews again. It didn’t work. Behind-the-scenes, I started working as Damizza’s manager. But again, I realized soon enough that I just couldn’t drag that passion and that drive out of myself that made it so easy for everything to flow in the first place. And that wasn’t fair to him, or myself, so I resigned.
And now here we are today. By the time you read this, the site will be closed, and I’ll be done with my work in the music industry. Here’s the question I’ve gotten so much in the last couple weeks - “So you’re just gonna give up on your dreams and quit all of this shit? That’s fucked up.” That’s the hardest part to explain, but I’m gonna try to do it here.
I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. I met all of my favorite rappers (with the exception of Dre) and I’ve actually had the chance to play a big part in the music I’ve loved my entire life for the last three years. It’s been nothing but a good time, one hell of a learning experience, and on top of it all, I’ve got more crazy stories to share at the age of 21 than most 80 year olds do.
After trying to figure out what caused me to “lose my drive and passion” for this, I’ve realized that everything’s still there. I’m just ready to move on to the next phase of my life now. And the next phase? Remember that shit I said at the beginning about hip-hop being an endless celebration on wax and it not getting any better than that? There is something better than that, and that’s an endless celebration in real life. I’m done dreaming. Now it’s time for me to go out and get the real thing.
Thank you, hip-hop, for showing me the way.