Published: Friday – May 7, 2010
GW: When you started rapping, you were about 16 with the Young Assasins?
GW: Then you hooked up with the Loccest?
TACALOC: It was some neighborhood friends that was a little bit older than me and whatnot. I definitely took a liking to their music and just bein’ around certain people, association brings similarity. By them bein’ so dope as artists, man, I just kept on doing it. Man, I love these guys. I would keep it to myself but I started unleashin’ it to the public, or whatnot, in the neighborhood and to other talent shows, and people took a liking to my music so I just kept it persistent.
GW: Where were you during Hurricane Katrina? What were you doing?
TACALOC: I was actually in New Orleans. My grandmother lived on the Westside of New Orleans which didn’t get any water. If the hurricane was just a little to the right, then we would’ve got water also, but we didn’t. I lived on the East Bank in New Orleans, that’s where my house was and we lost everything. Basically, the house had 15 ft. of water and I had a child at the time that was six months and I wanted to stay. My grandmother kept callin’ me so we went to the Westside, by the grace of God I went. I was in New Orleans, I didn’t evacuate.
GW: I was reading about the difficulties of evacuation during the hurricane due to a lack of transportation. Did you have the transportation?
TACALOC: We had the transportation. We’ve been through so many hurricanes in New Orleans that, OK it’s just another. It’s gon’ come and go, but it didn’t. We shoulda knew but we didn’t. We had to evacuate afterwards because we had no electricity, no water for weeks. Everybody definitely had to evacuate but a lot of people didn’t evacuate ‘cause of money too, not just transportation.
GW: On your mixtape, I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, you mention Hurricane Katrina a couple of times but don’t have an entire song dedicated to it…
TACALOC: I never dedicated a whole song to it, but we do have a whole CD we puttin’ out called Post-Katrina Syndrome. That was the actual CD that got put together after Hurricane Katrina and a lot of songs was lost. We still have some of ‘em. So DJ Ice Mike, which is one of my DJs behind me right now, I think that we’re gonna still be putting it out. Post-Katrina still is post-Katrina, years the later the city is still suffering, things haven’t been rebuilt. The economics of the city…all the money ain’t right. So hopefully ya’ll will hear that and they do have Katrina songs on there.
GW: You mentioned you had a child? How many kids do you have?
TACALOC: Yes ma’am. I have one daughter and she is five years old. I love her, definitely. That’s been a blessing in my music, since she’s been born, to make me wanna strive harder for it. I had not had parents. I had my mom in and out when she wasn’t in jail or when she wasn’t on drugs. I had no father figure, so by me not havin’ parents, I’m dedicated to my daughter like 100%.
GW: Would you go into the details about your mom a little bit?
TACALOC: She was in and outta jail, on drugs. When I was nine, she went to jail for armed robbery with my little brother’s dad. After she got out the first time, she got on drugs real bad and when she did start to get her life right, when I was probably about 17, I finally got on my own, she moved to North Carolina and I didn’t go. I love my mom; it made me who I am today.
GW: Who is Dee Martin?
TACALOC: The real me. My real name is Derrick Martin. That’s my government name but Tacaloc is, not an alter ego, but my music, you know? It’s to analyze certain aspects, learnin’ out culture. Our culture is about music, or life period, you know what I mean? I’m a very deep person, I like to study things. I like to be observant and watch my surroundings. Whatever I’m puttin’ into my music, I’m doin’ research for certain songs, I’m tryin’ to find out about certain things that make music about our life, opposed to just makin’ a song about shinin’ or blingin’. Not to knock anybody’s music, ‘cause everybody does what they do. Me, I like originality. If you sound like somebody else, I’m not listenin’ to you. I was thinkin’ about comin’ out as my government as a rap name, but everybody keeps tellin’ me go with Tacaloc ‘cause it’s original. So, I think ima just run with that.
GW: Why do you wear a mask in some of your shows?
TACALOC: Shout out to my dude, Code 6. The first time I actually did a stage show, scheduled to perform on the bill, me and my guy, Code 6, came out with the original Jason mask, just to do something outlandish. If everybody’s up there on stage and people’s watchin’ you, you wanna be the one to get talked about, so we jumped up there with the mask. It was crazy! All publicity is good publicity, whether they talkin’ bad about you or good. The mask gives you a mystique. They wanna find out who is behind the mask. It’s definitely somethin’ to stir up talk, promotion.
GW: Being from New Orleans, would you be interested in working with Lil’ Wayne and Young Money?
TACALOC: Depending on the artist and the song, I’m very choosy. If the song doesn’t fit my character, I’m most likely not gonna do it, ‘cause I don’t believe in artists that do stuff just ‘cause everyone else is doin’ it. I believe in makin’ good music, do you on a song, be yourself.
GW: You host a radio show on blogtalkradio as well?
TACALOC: It’s through blogtalk but it’s also urbanunionradio.com. It’s hosted by myself and DJ Ice Mike. We do interviews with artists, it’s an opportunity to get artists out there. To even do a show like that, you have to respect that. We have a talk show segment on Sundays called, Getcha Game Sundays. We talk about stuff the labels don’t want you to know about the music business and encourage artists to do the right thing about the music.
GW: It seems like you’re very much about helping young artists who are trying to come up.
TACALOC: Right. I’m a young artist, tryin’ to come up. Everybody needs somebody. Give everybody a shot until they prove you wrong. I try to help every artist out there, man, ya’ll want features, I’m a local artist in New Orleans, I’m tryin’ to get what they’re tryin’ to get. If I can help you, each one teach one.
GW: You talk about how much you smoke on your mixtape. Does smoking help you get through your struggles?
TACALOC: Yeah, it do, man. Everybody that smoke know one thing: if you goin’ through a messed up time, all kinda negative shit comin’ your way, you just gon spark up. Some people need it to be artistic. With me, I believe that you don’t need that in order to be artistic. I wrote some of my best songs when I was sober.
GW: You wear a shirt that says, “Hip Hop is Alive.” Do you think that people who say hip hop is dead have given up on hip hop?
TACALOC: They haven’t given up on hip hop. They’re brainwashed by the radio and the TV that’s playin’ nothin’…there’s real artists out there, they just gotta find ‘em. There’s a lot of dope talent throughout the world right now, it’s just getting’ slept on. It’s not getting’ broadcasted by the DJs. I’m talkin’ about the BETs and the MTVS, they brainwashin’ the people with this saturated music, so that’s all the people think’s out there. If they would dig into they roots, they would find hip hop is alive. I called [the mixtape] I’m Here to Stay and [the upcoming mixtape] I Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere because I feel real music will never die. If you got concepts and social commentary in your music, it lasts forever.
GW: On your radio show, when you play music, do you play music from local underground artists only?
TACALOC: Support local music means, not just your local city. We’re based out of Houston, New Orleans, and we have a West Coast Wednesday show that’s in the work right now. We just support local music, period, and no I don’t play the same songs you gon be hearin’ on your radio or BET. I won’t play those. The point is to have somethin’ new for your ear that nobody else is puttin’ out there. A lot of the cats that we interview and play they’re music, they’ve never had an interview or had play on any radio station. It’s just another outlet for local artists to get their voice heard.
GW: What are your musical inspirations?
TACALOC: Pac was always my favorite artist. R&B, Al Greene, Marvin Gaye, man, I grew up wantin’ to make music off of that. Reggae, Bob Marley was a big influence. As far as rap artists besides 2Pac, a guy named Tech N9ne. He’s from Kansas City, man, this guy right here, I been listenin’ to him since ’96. This guy came from nothin’. His music is so different, he developed his own fan base and is sellin’ out packed arenas and whatnot. If he can do it, anybody can. It’s about your grind. You get what you put in. All ya’ll artists out there that’s young, just keep your focus.