Discussing the Oakland rap scene wit’ one of its veterans, V. White of the Delinquents
by Minister of Information JR
Wednesday, 06 June 2007

In the early ‘90s, Too Short was the biggest Bay Area rapper, wit’ rappers like Spice-1, Poohman and Mac Dre fightin’ for second and songs like the 415s’ “415in,” Digital Underground’s “Freaks of the Industry,” and Action Packed Gangstas’ song “Action Packed Gangstas” were what was slappin’ out of the trunks of classic candy painted cars ridin’ the E-1-4 strip.

This is the era in which the legendary East Oakland-born group the Delinquents came to power, being one of the most dominant groups on the streets that dropped regularly. Most rappers fantasy rap about who they want to be or who they are in their minds; the Delinquents came to the rap game wit’ unquestionable street credentials after growing up in the government imposed crack infested neighborhoods of East Oakland, with V. being from the ‘70s and G-Stack being from the ‘60s.

I remember the summer in East Oakland, when “up early in morn/ AK sprayed/ another day, anotha dead in the alleyway,” the lyrics to the hook of the Delinquents’ first hit, was the lullaby that rocked the hood to sleep every night, when Chevelles and Novas wit’ racing stripes and old school cougars wit’ hundred spokes came through the turf in front of my grandmother’s house looking for some light. Ever since the first album, V. White has been one of Oakland’s cleanest gangsta rhyme spitters, rankin’ up there wit’ Rappin’ Ron, Seagram, Agerman, Yukmouth and Askari X.

When you fast forward to 2007, you got a hyphy movement wit’ FAB calling himself the prince of the Bay and all the youngstas 25 and under going stupid wit’ gold-tipped dreds, diamond crusted grills all over Oakland. In such a little time, much has changed. We went from youngstas who were rappers who had the wisdom of street bosses and often talked about moving kicks of coke to grown men actin’ like high schoolers talkin’ about poppin’ pills.

This year also saw both members of the Delinquents drop solo projects: V. White dropped “Perfect Timing” and G-Stack dropped “Purple Mane.” “ I dropped a solo to introduce a host of artists that are now the next generation, such as The Neighborhood, Big Zeke, Chris Lockett, 2 Face, Playa Los, J-Lee, Alicia Ward and Danny from Sobrante,” said V. White. “The new album is slap, no guff ball shit. Real life music.”

Many argue that the Hyphy cultural movement that permeates what used to just be the Bay Area, but now the world, is a good thing because it brought rappers from other cities together and made it cool in what used to be a very segregated arena, wit’ few exceptions. V. White, who has seen many rappers come and go, feels different and made it very clear on his new album: “Because I’m proud of my city. Niggas who only say Bay must not be proud of they city or they city don’t count. East Oakland. Yea, that’s right! Ha ha ha.”

When it comes to the Hyphy movement in general, V. is kind of sour. “As a business man, anything that don’t translate into money is a bad investment. As far as the image, it’s hurting us more than helping us, because Oakland was legendary for pimps, playas and hustlers. That’s what attracted movie producers, book writers and even record labels.

“So you tell me when was the last time you heard any of those type of people checkin’ for us. If you say Oakland, the Bay or whatever you want to call it, they say make up a word, act stupid, shake ya dreds, in what I consider a disrespectful joking manner. But who am I? That’s the image we puttin out!”

And he’s only spittin’ the truth when you go back and learn the history about Oakland wit’ people like Huey P. Newton, Felix Mitchell, the Ward Brothers and Micky Mo being some of the Town’s most influential figures. Many don’t even know that the movie that led to the Mackin’ craze that is still prevalent today, “The Mack,” was filmed in the streets of Oakland, creating a lure that made one of the movie’s legendary stars, Richard Pryor, continue to party in the city that Pac would later claim gave him the game that he needed to succeed.

In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, before the throw rims on your scraper era, there were even different ways in which the streets was plugging in to see what was hot. “I listened to old school Too Short and Freddie B Special Request tapes and every Sunday tuned in to KPOO (89.5FM).”

Many don’t know that KPOO was the only station at one time that played rap music, while KMEL used to be called “Camel” and was bumping only white boy rock ‘n roll and still only puts three local rappers in rotation at a time.

Hip Hop journalist Davey D has for years gone around the country and talked about how the Delinquents organized a group of brothas who came up to KMEL and forced the biggest music playing station in the Bay to play local music, which led to the Delinquents and 3 X Crazy getting played regularly in the late ‘90s.

Ever since mainstream media has been obsessed wit’ Imus and turning his racist statements against a Black female basketball team around on rappers, acting like it’s their fault that he said it, mainstream media has been on a renewed quest to criminalize rap music – most recently, because of its no snitch policy.

On a question pertaining to this unwritten policy that most rappers and the streetz abide by, V. White responded, “I plead the fizzzzzith.” As a writer, I could respect that answer because I know how a zealous D.A. could try to turn whatever is printed in this interview into evidence for the prosecution.

So with that V. White gets the last words: “You can get my album and hear real music at any Rasputin’s, Best Buy, FYI or yo local moms and pops. Just ask for V-White’s “Perfect Timing.” As far as getting in contact with me, I’m around; you’ll see me – holla. One!

Email POCC Minister of Information JR at blockreportradio@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , and listen to the Block Report at hiphopwarreport.com or myspace.com/blockreportfilm.