Nachdem er bei Siccmade Muzicc jahrelang hinter den Kulissen mitgearbeitet hatte, kam E-Moe im Jahre 2002 endlich zu seinem ersten Soloalbum “Ghetto Gospel”. Beflügelt von diesem Erfolgserlebnis, versucht das Allroundtalent nun, sein eigenes Label Pay$tyle Music auf dem Rapmarkt zu etablieren. Das wollte ugrap.de-Redaktionsmitglied Puddahmaan genauer wissen – man sprach über die Vergangenheit in Brotha Lynch Hung’s Siccmade-Camp, die Schwierigkeiten und Herausforderungen einer Labelgründung und natürlich das Leben des Künstlers und Menschen E-Moe. Nach dieser Lektüre dürften keine Fragen mehr offen sein.
Alright E-Moe, please introduce yourself and let the people in Germany know about your history.
Well 1st off. I hail from Sacramento, by way of the Bay Area. I grew up in Berkeley, but I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I moved to Sacramento when I was around 15 to get away from the madness in the Bay. The crack era was coming to a end, so it was time to find another hustle. Now that was around 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve been just trying to get the name out there. I haven’t really had a big budget behind me so a lot of people might not know who I am. But, please believe that my history is thick out here in Sac. I started out using my skills mixing down music for Lynch, Sicx, & Big Hollis just to name a few. That started around 92-93. Since then, as you can see, everybody has been doing what they needed to do on their own. We all had visions of being one big family, but that never panned out. So now, here I am trying to add my name to the list of Sac King(s).
So what’s going on right now in the world of E-Moe?
Right now I’m trying to get my own label off the ground which is Pay$tyle Music. I got a few artist I’m trying to develop and hopefully I can get my name to crack off. To make that happen, I put together a little underground CD called “Once Again”. It features a few songs I had laying around that I didn’t want to go to waste so we pressed it up. I made a few videos and packaged it up as a 2 disc set, and I’m getting a good response from that. Along with that, we got the Eighty8 a.k.a. C-Dubb “Boss Game” Double Album, which is me showing how I get down as a label. I met C-Dubb online and we met up. Turned out that he has been doing his thing for a while. So thought it would help us both to do a project. We got in there and knocked out a real nice album. So I had to put that out. We also decided to re-release some of the Pay$tyle catalog and show where I came from, just incase people get a chance to hear some projects I’ve been down with in the past. So to start the catalog off, we put out the “While U Wait” 2 Set DVD as the 1st re-issue. So right now, I’m just trying to show that I can be more than a rapper. I’m getting older so it’s time to set up an outlet for the future. I got a family full of talent alone, so I’m just trying to show what E-Moe can bring to the table. My son has been showing me lately that he’ll be carrying the name on, so I’m doing this to make it easier for him. I want to prove to myself that I can do the things I’ve been telling other artist to do over the years. They only use what they want to use, I’m trying to use what they didn’t use. You wouldn’t imagine the influence I’ve have had out here from Sac to the Bay.
You was once an artist on Siccmade Muzicc! How did you hook up with Lynch & rest of the family?
I met Lynch thru Sicx back in the early 90’s. My son and Sicx’s son are brothers so that’s how we met. They had just put out “Nigga Deep”, & X Raided, and then came “24 Deep”. I helped out a lot with mixing back then because I was just trying to learn. So on the side, I started bookin’ studio time and learning how do what I was seeing them do. Not to mention all the sessions I had with the group I was involved with previous to meeting them. So from there, we just became like family in a way, which lead to us doing a few things here and there. They helped me get my name known a little and I’ll never forget them for that.
How did people reacted upon the release of your first album? Did they dig the different vibe in comparison to other Siccmade releases? I guess many people was expecting something different…some sicc shit, right?
The reaction was mixed but in all for the good. Yeah a lot of people mainly expected my music to have that Siccmade sound. But when they listened to the album, they saw the talent. My thing was to try and bring something to the label that would make Siccmade look like a record company putting out different music. Most successful labels have a lot of different music which shows that they know talent when they see it. Lynch was going thru the court thing with Black Market, so he was trying to get his label off the ground. He already had it moving, but they were in between switching distributors. So they wanted to put out some new material while the new Lynch album was being completed. So they had the catalog to put back out, and the COS double CD. I came thru wit my album that I had done already which had the song “Split It Down” with Lynch on it. Prior to that, Black Market found the song on the underground and put it on the Lynch “The Virus” release. So I was thinking, this could work because people should already know me as being connected from that. So we talked about how we should come up off that. So I signed with Siccmade in like 2001. But when I signed with Lynch, I wasn’t just trying to be around as an artist. I knew he needed help with trying to get his company off the ground, so I offered help with other things. I knew if we just put it out there right, it couldn’t be denied. So I was more apart of the company more than anything. I was designing ads, one sheets, postcards, setting up in-stores, setting up shows, and what ever needed to be done. And I never asked a dime for that because Lynch is family more than anything. So I wasn’t tripping off what people might say about the album, because I was just trying to get the name out there. So I was thinking, If it was me and I had a name to work with, It would be even easier then most people. You take a artist with the right line-up, you can get some money out here at least from his fan base alone. So I thought I would offer his fan base something different to show that he was really trying to be a label. Not a crew. I don’t like when all the artist sound like the main artist on the roster. If you’re trying to be a label, you should be able to move good music regardless of what kind. Rock, Jazz, Reggae, whatever. And to me, that’s what Lynch and Black Market was doing, they had some music that was original, and pushed it out there. So I was hoping to help him capitalize of that. Now as how people reacted. It was a good feeling to hear anybody say anything about “Ghetto Gospel”. That was my 1st CD so it felt good to have so many people respond in anyway. A lot of people thought it was gospel rap from the title. And I never thought they would think that with Lynch’s name attached to it. So that surprised me. Plus if you listen to it, it’s was far from gospel rap. And I had the parental advisory and all. But like I said, I was happy to hear anything. That just let me know that people seen it, and now the name is some what out there a little more. Now I’m doing interviews like this overseas and in the U.S. That’s what it’s all about. I’m not trying to be local forever. But, a lot of the Siccmade fans loved it. To me it worked in helping Lynch look like he was expanding. I get a lot of love online in the forums affiliated with Siccmade. Plus everywhere I go, I get interviewed about what’s going on with Lynch.
Where does that very soulful vibe come from anyway?
I’m 32 so I’ve been on the planet for a minute now. I’ve been through a lot of things in my life that have made me a believer. I’m on a change the world movement, even if I die trying. My real name is “Emmanuel” which means “God Is With US”, in the bible. And every since I knew that, I’ve always tried to keep God in OUR life. So if it’s doing good or bad, I’ve always had God with me. He doesn’t care if you go to church or choose a religion, he just wants you to keep believing that there is something bigger than what you see. That means the future is bigger than what’s going on now. So we have to make it better for the future or other people who have not. It isn’t about us, we got to make the world a better place if we so call say we don’t like how it is. That’s why I say T.O.E., which means to Take Over Everything. We got to take over changing things for ourselves if we want it to change. And one day, like a lot of things, God told me that personally. So that’s where the soulful sound comes from. I guess you can say because I know God. And that don’t mean I can’t be me. I learned that best from watching 2 Pac & Master P come up from the beginning. Just like everybody else, they touched me with a feeling of wanting to do what it takes to make an impact. So I feel I have something to offer the world about change. And that’s what I’m here for.
Are you planning to hit the people with a different E-Moe sound in the future or will you continue to produce that chilling music your known for?
Aw yeah I got a lot of things in my head that I have to get out before it’s too late. That’s why I went out and brought a little ProTools set up so I can do more faster. I haven’t been able to get out my soul on any of the music I have ever done. I’m trying to bring more live Bass, Drums, and musicians to make the music more soulful. I’m feeling the neo-soul movement right now. So think of that sound when you think about what you might here me doing in the near future. But I have my new album “Neva Quit” done right now. And I think this is some of my best work yet. I’m trying to get it just right, so by time I put that out, it’ll be even better. And that’s a totally different sound than “Ghetto Gospel” or “Once Again”. Plus I have a few artist that I’m trying to develop right now, so stay tuned and watch it grow. My sound will get bigger as we get bigger.
Why did you decided to start your own label – Pay$tyle Music – and will there be another release from you on Siccmade?
I’ve always had Pay$tyle Music, but it started off as just a production company. I did a lot of beats for some local Sac artist under that production company. I also had a record company I was trying to get moving called Take Over Entertainment. But we started hearing a lot of people screaming that, so we decided to put Pay$tyle Music out there as the label for now on. And Pay$tyle started when a previous company I had with Big Hollis called Sick Bay Production fell apart. It originally started with Lynch, Sicx, Hollis, and myself, but everybody started doing they’re own thing. So I started Pay$tyle while I was producing for a group called the Capitol City Hustlas (C.C.H.). So when I came to Siccmade, I had my companies in effect already. We just joined forces with them to get the name out there a little more. Now as far as another E-Moe album coming out on Siccmade? From what it looks like, I would say “No”. I been had about 2 or 3 albums done ready to release. But I haven’t heard about what’s going on with me. I see new Siccmade releases and my album isn’t inside none of them.. I don’t see no promotion for “Ghetto Gospel” anymore. I’ve been promoting that album more than anybody. That’s why I’m doing my own thing right now. But at the same time, I’m waiting on things to come together regardless. If he wants to put out another E-Moe album, I’m all for it. This is a business to me. I just be thinking if I had a release on my label, I would still try and sell the record regardless. Just like when Sicx left, I was one of the people who said that they should still sell his record. No matter what you think, people still buy the old music. If it was me, I would want to get my money back. So I’m lost on where I am with Siccmade right now. But I can say, I won’t quit until I have my next CD out there at least like it was then.
Your doing it all right now. CEO, producer, artist and much more! How do you manage to do it all? You don’t get a lot of sleep, right?
I live by the saying, “Sleep When U Die”. So I almost never sleep. I be up until like 3-4 every night. And then I get up at 7 a.m. to take my daughter to school. After that, I get online and check emails so I can stay on top off orders and all the other Internet business. Then I go mail all the orders so I get it to the customer fast, like I would like it if I bought something. When you buy stuff online, you want to trust the person or company your spending your money with. So staying in touch and replying in a timely manner, helps you build a data base. Now I have a group of people who will buy our product, because they know we handle business. Even without a budget and big company on my hands, I still try to be professional. I’m trying to learn the makings of a successful independent label. Over the time, I’ve handle a lot of things for other artist and labels. And doing that, I’ve learned what to do and what not to do. This makes it easy for me to hired the right people for the positions, because I know what to do from hands on experience. I do graphics, video editing, production, studio engineering, and everything that needs to be done. My artist can’t tell me that I don’t know what will work or not, because I’ve done it all. But my goal is to be like Motown or Def Jam one day. I want to start it off and take it the top. I know I can do it like 50 Cent, Eminem, & Dr. Dre if I had it like they do. Good promotion, budgets, etc. Man it’ll be the Take Over for real. But I believe before it’s all over with, I’ll make my mark like I suppose to.
Are you satisfied with your current situation & album sales?
I’m cool with everything. It’s all due process. I knew it would take a while to get my name out there. I never think my records will sell that much because I know the situation before it pops off. I know people might not know the name, no promotion, no money, so why would I expect my CD to sell a lot? Not me mayne, I live in reality so I know what it is, and what it’s gone be. But things could be better if we would just come together and push this Sac-Town movement sound. With that being said, Hell Naw I not satisfied yet. We could’ve did more with “Ghetto Gospel”, E & J “The Paperchase”, D-Dubb’s “Mr. Simpson”, and my “While U Wait” DVD. I had people lookin for my record everywhere and they couldn’t find it. And where ever they did have it, when it sold out, no one stay on top of getting it back on the self. So when the momentem picked up, it was time to move on. I’m not happy seeing my album not being promoted as even a catalog release, like what’s in stores now. When I make promos, I put everything I had something to do with on it. That helps us all. But just to answer your question, I didn’t even get a chance to be satisfied. But I do appreciate everything Siccmade has done for me. I had a big budget t.v. commercial, they put the DVD out for me, and he help me put my 1st CD out. I never saw myself as the rapper out there doing what I do now. When he put out my record, it made me feel, if Lynch thinks my music is good enough to put his name and money into it, I must have a little something in me. So for him doing that, I can’t do nothing but praise him.
How long does it take you to finish an album in general? I’m pretty sure you take your time and don’t rush it, right?
Well I haven’t really had the time to do what I wanted to do, so I’ve been just doing what I can. All the music I’ve put out so far comes from me and my partner Money Ernin’ just paying studio time every now and then. I met him and he gave me the push I needed to believe in myself. He told me to get in the studio and start my own album in the 1st place. We would go home after work and smoke, and I would show him a few beats I was working on. At that time, I was working with a lot of Sac artist and nobody seem to be thinking about me. Even though I never put it out there like that, so what would I expect. So we got in the lab and did “Ghetto Gospel” in about 6 months. I like to take my time and go over shit and see what I could do to make it better. I don’t care if it’s 1 thing, if it’s needed, that song won’t be finished until we get our point across. I want all my music to represent me Pay$tyle as a whole. I like good music, so I want that to show. I’m a fan of all kinds of music, so I take it serious. But on my new album “Neva Quit”, I’m trying to step it up a little more. The mix is the most time for me. So I’m trying to get my music mixed in the best studio for now on. If not, I just mix it at home, and ride with the best mix I can get. Everybody got a studio in the house now, so all I try to do is try to is get in where I fit in. I never pick dates of releases until it’s official. I don’t like let people down by telling them it’s coming and it’s not. That way I can change songs if I need to make the album better. Plus I have the label running now, so we have to take time to push these CDs, and get the coming soon releases ready. So there’s more going on now. That’s why I’m trying to keep the artist around me working so we can give the people something while they wait. But I never like to rush nothing for the sake of mistakes, but I will if we need to. Some people rush everything and they getting paid. I’ve seen people get paid thousands for talents they have, and they rush it like it’s funny. I always put my all into everything I do.
Do you listen to any other music besides rap? Where are your influences coming from?
I love a lot of music, but right now I’m on this Neo-Soul kick. I think I can listen to anything in that category. To me, that’s music from my generation. Like the 30 and up crowd. You get hip hop, rap, jazz, reggae, blues, even rock from Neo-Soul. I started working with a artist that I think will do real good with that sound. Her name is “MouthPeace” and she is the future of Pay$tyle Music. So that’s what I hope to bring my peoples next. And as far as my influences I have a lot. But mainly, the local people I see turning nothing into something inspire me. Also when I hear the bull coming out and people getting rich, I get very inspired. I know I can do better than half of these fools out here, but I wish anybody doing something blessing. This shit is hard out here. I just don’t see anyone learning fast enough though. We have disasters like Katrina, and people still go back to being lazy like it’s all good. So when I see artist doing something to change it out here, I inspired by that. I like Russell Simmons, DJ Quik, E-40, Snoop, Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent and G-Unit, Puffy and Bad Boy, Jay Z and all of that out there. I love good music. But I’m really loving the Kenya West movement right now. That’s what I’m on right there. Artist, producer, now C.E.O., yeah mayne I’m trying to get out our dreams. Without getting shot or having a near fatal car crash…”laughs”
Did you work with any other artists lately? Will you be featured on any upcoming releases?
Every since I realized that I was going to have to do my own thing, I started putting it out there. So a few people got back at me. But mostly being online saved whatever fan base connection I had. When I got online, people started hitting me up knowing I was down with Siccmade. From there, I clicked up with a few artist that reminded me of when I was trying to do to get in. So the name will start popping up all around the world without living home. I love the Internet for everything it offers. And a few people in Germany reached out and got me on a few projects and all that. So just check for the unknowns. When a person ask you to buy a CD, cop it, I might be on there. Support the movement.
Are you planning to do any other collabo albums? Maybe an E-Moe & D-Dubb CD?
Right now I’m trying to develop a fully functioning record label more than anything. Once we do that, I’m down to do whatever. I don’t want to keep doing it like I don’t believe in my music. I’m out to so that I belong here as a independent record company. I’m not that big on rapping for nothing. If I can’t say something and be heard, I can’t really feeling doing music like that. I need to get something going that the industry can see. But we always get that question about a E-Moe & D-Dubb album, and it’s nothing for us. So when it’s time, we’ll do it right. We know that it wouldn’t be a bad thing, being we’ve probably done a CD worth of songs together at the least already. So stay tuned for that. If all goes well, we will do a nice E-Moe & D-Dubb collabo.
Out of all the MCs you have worked with so far, which ones did you feel you had he best connection with both personally and on the track?
I would have to say Eighty8 a.k.a. C-Dubb. He loves to rap. He’ll rap all day if he could. And he gets in the lab and get’s in and out. Yukmouth is a quick and professional writer. I like his work ethic a lot. I’m feeling original rappers right now. If you sound like somebody else, I move on to something for my soul. And the new artist I’m working with, Mouthpeace, she’s surprised more than anybody I’ve ever work with in my life. But she sings, raps, performs, and spits poetry. I also like the way COS does his thing. He doesn’t write anything down. Seeing that wigged me out. I see why Jay Z is big as he is. COS could be big if they just believed in him a little more.
Your favorite Sac-Town album of all time?
My favorite Sac-Town album was C-Bo’s “Gas Chamber”. That CD made me feel like we had a chance to be noticed after that. That was proof that there was more than just Lynch and Black Market out here in Sac. I also love a cd by a group I produced back in 98-99 called “We Bubblin'” by CCH (the Capitol City Hustlas). That was a CD that could’ve put Sac on the map. But I love all Sac-Town music. T-Nutty, Hollow Tip, Doey Rock, everybody. But I’ve never loved a complete album like I was loving that C-Bo.
Alright…let’s get a little more personal…how would you describe your own character?
I believe in God as I said before. I love cool people because I’m a cool person. I hate racism in any form or fashion. I’m political, religious without religion, and I like to have fun. I have 5 kids in my life, but 2 are my biological children. My daughter is 15 named Chanel, and I have a 13 year old son named Macilyn. I smoke trees a lot, not to brag or promote, but that’s what I do. If I couldn’t smoke for a long time, I would have to dip out and have a break. But at this time in my life, I’m trying to focus, so I’m very focused. I don’t laugh for nothing but I do laugh because laughter is well needed. Basically, if I was around you and we where going thru a situation like Katrina, I would help you before I did anything to hurt you. We would take pride in making the best of time during bad times.
What has been the greatest experience in your life up to date and why?
The greatest experience in my life so far was performing and going on the road with Lynch and Siccmade. That was the most people I’ve ever had the chance to perform for. And they responded well, so that was even better. It was another time my talent was proven to me and I love Lynch for that too.
And the worsest thing that ever happened to you?
All I can say to that is, loosing a lot of love ones. Last year I went to like 3 funerals in like 1 month. And that was just the ones I could make it to. And a few of them where my age so it made me wake up. But I haven’t had nothing that dramatizing happen to me, like get shot or have a fatal car crash…lol I try to stay away from the trouble.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love to read. I have a terrible magazine collection. I stay in the new mags trying to stay informed. I also read books about god and religion. And every Tuesday I’m at the record store buying the best new releases and renting DVDs. I love to watch a good DVD with good effects, sound, action, drama, and especially comedy. Sometimes I catch boxing when I can and my goal is to be able to attend the big fights when I get it right. But I got this family, so I got to keep the fun to a limit. But like I said, when I get it, I want to see the world and experience everything. I’m asking myself could if I go sky diving, deep sea diving, or drive a motorcycle. I wan to do it all so I can be a good leader in the future. I like to bowl, and play board & card games too. I love dominoes, and I want to go fishing more in my life. Whatever I don’t have the fear to deal with, I want to do it.
Did you read anything special these days or did you watch any interesting movies? What books or movies have influenced you?
I’ve been reading the “Conversations With God” series by Neale Donald Walsch. I’m on book 2 on about the 4th chapter. That book is deep. You feel like you’re really having a conversation with God when you read it. The artist I mentioned earlier, Mouthpeace, gave me a good book a couple of weeks called “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. You have to read a chapter a day in 40 Days and I’m on like chapter 21. So I’m almost done with that. But I love magazines like King, XXL, Smooth, Feds, The Source, and all the local mags like Murder Dog, and the 916 magazine . You have to read those to see what’s up out here. As far as movies, I haven’t really seen to many movies lately that I can remember right now, but I love a good movie. I like funny movies a lot. But lately, the documentary DVDs move me more than anything. I love to see behind the scenes. It makes me feel like it’s real info I’m getting. When I make a album, I try to make it like a documentary movie. A good movie can make you think, laugh, get scared all in one. So I stay at the movies and renting movies. I had to tell myself to slow down because my money was needed to put this music out there.
So you’re into boxing? Did you watch the super-heavy-weight championship fight Brewster-Krasniqi?
No I didn’t catch that one, but the homie Eighty8 can tell me anything I want to know if I miss any fight. He’s the one to ask more about boxing. I’m just a boxing fan. My favorite boxer is “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather.
If you never stepped into the rap game were would you be today? Which profession would you choose?
I would be into computers maybe. I dropped out of school when I was like 15, and later I went back and got my GED. So I would have to take what society let me have if I was working. They got all that drug testing everywhere now, and I don’t see the smoke stopping no time soon. That’s why I’m trying to do this for real. I’ve spent to much time doing this to really even think about that. It’ll take even longer to do anything without support. AII I know is that I wouldn’t be trying to do no heavy lifting all the time. But whatever to pay the bills.
Alright, thanks for your time E-Moe!! Do you have any shoutouts or last words?
I just want to say thank you for the support. And to anybody reading these, please donate whatever you can to Katrina victims. Other than that, log on to www.paystylemusic.com, www.cdbaby.com/group/paystylemusic, or just enter E-Moe or Paystyle in your search. Check out my new underground CD E-Moe “Once Again”, the new Eighyt8 “Boss Game” Double Album, and anything else from we got out there reping this Pay$tyle movement. 1 Love to my homie Money Ernin’, D-Dubb, Mouthpeace, Mae Gee, Young Ameen, 1 Fam, My family at home, Lynch and the Siccmade Family, and my homie Big Hollis. 1 Luv to Germany and all the countries around the world that buy my music from long distance. God Bless everybody for that. 1 luv to anyone who has ever bought a cd from me or reached out to network from here to there. God Bless all the love ones that I’ve lost, Big Rel, D.J., Tone, Odessa, Pop, Sleepy Dave C, Shawn, and my homies in the Pen, $ir Sox, Marv Mitch, and all the fallen soldiers from my block to your block. Stay up and Support The Movement. One.