Wir kennen ihn als Monster am Mikrophon, doch im Interview mit ugrap.de entpuppte sich Nga Fish als umgänglicher, netter Kerl der seiner dunklen Vergangenheit in South Central den Rücken gekehrt hat und nun sein Glück als rechtschaffener Businessmann, Familienvater und natürlich Mitglied von C.V.E. versucht. Ein aufschlussreiches Gespräch über den Menschen Nga Fsh, neues Material aus dem Hause Afterlife und seine ganz besondere Beziehung zu Deutschland und der hiesigen Szene.
Please introduce yourself first.
You’re talking to Amierr Bratton the internet manager for the Fahrney Automotive Group in Selma, but I’m also known as that Nga Fsh, Filet Of Soul from the Chillin Villain Empire.
Your working at a car dealer in Selma, California… what’s your job in there?
I sell cars, sell Fords, GMC’s, Toyotas. I’m the internet manager over here.
Where do you come from? From Selma or are you from L.A.?
Ah I’m from L.A. That’s where I’m at right now but I’m from L.A., South Central.
Are you affiliated to a gang down there?
Wow. When I was young. (laughs) I moved to Venice, Selma because that’s were my family is from. But I tried my best and I’m still away from that kind of stuff, really.
Let’s talk about your music. Can you explain how CVE and the Afterlife crew came together?
Whoo! CVE started back in 83 with the Jammin Jay Be Nice and the Rhimin Riddlore. Together they came up with Chillin Villain Posse, that’s what it was back then. They did shows in the village in the Santa Monica area and was just servin motherfuckers on Venice Beach. Then it grows and I joined the group in like ’87 and I kinda like started rapping in 85. I went to Venice High School, the same high school the Riddlore went to. We became friends, you know. He was the dopest while he was there, and then when he graduated I was the dopest. We kinda just stucked together from that point on. Tray Loc also went to Venice High School but he wasn’t rapping back then. But after high school, that was a homie, we stucked together, he joined the crew. And we got Wreccless from CVE that joined the crew in the 90’s. He used to be a member of Hip Hop Kclan back in the days. And I guess he want to be from CV so he is from CV, you know. We got other inactive members that hold down the crew in other ways. Big Kev, and we got people that you may hear every once in a while that hold it down. As far as Afterlife is concerned, that began in the 90’s as well. That was a crew of us from the Good Life. A group of us that came together that worried about the mainstream. We did our own thing. We started the Afterlife label which right now basically is out of business. We don’t have a Afterlife label right now but at the same time we’ve done quite a bit of things with the Afterlife. We put out albums and learned a lot of things as a far as business with Afterlife on our own as a label as supposed to just being artists. There’s some people that now deal with lables here and there but they deal with ‘em differently. Cause they know what it takes to. Do what you have to do to put a album out and promote it and you know. It’s lot of hard work. They know what’s going on when those labels not doing their job.
Can you explain how the downfall of Afterlife Records came together? What happened?
Wow. I don’t know. I think the downfall is, that definitely it was a learning experience. You have to not only be a artist. When you own your own label you have to do a lot of positions as well. I think a lot of it was a learning experience where we had a lot of artists. Seventeen artists on a label that wanted to be artists even though they were owners and the label still has a lot of work to do and even though there was certain people that didn’t even get payed to do jobs. There’s still not enough people to do all the jobs that need to be done to get a label off the way that I guess you would need to get it off. We don’t sell dope and nothing like that so there was no dope money envolved in that shit, you know. It was a new adventure for all of us as far as just being in business for ourselves. I tell you one thing: I don’t look like the downfall of Afterlife, I look like the birth of underground hip hop.
Let’s talk about these selfmade CD-Rs that you sell. Don’t you think that these CD-R’s deter people to get more into your music? I mean it’s not professional… Why do you sell these albums in that form?
Because we don’t do the music just for money. We do the music because we love it and there’s nothing what’ll stop us including not having enough money to pay for regular CDs that are professionally made. We got people that wanna hear us all the time that don’t wanna wait for us to get money. But it’s coming to a point where CVE is making the decision where we gon’ finally after all these years of making music, we’re gonna go into a bigger studio and do our album. Shit, all our recordings have been at the CV Shack or at the house. We’re getting to a point where now we’re deciding that we’re gonna finally spend a little money because we know a lot more about recording and everything so that we can spend our money wisely. We know how to save time when you go to a big studio. And it’s coming down to us now want me to go to a big studio and record a album. So, I would say be on the lookout for that in 2006, new CVE album, we did drop a album in 2005 that’s pretty down incredible called Villainism, that we did basically through the mail. I’m in the wrong place. Everybody was spread out, really. We didn’t record the whole album – only a couple of cuts – together. But we put it together, you know, however we was gon put it together no matter where a person was: we sent that person our lyrics, you know, and put the album together. And the album turned out great. We just want that quality to be a lot better. I recorded my vocals at home. We all record our vocals at home, but everybody else is using pro tools while I’m using a little program that is not pro tools, bascially. So you can tell the difference. It’s all about stepping up on our quality. Taking it to another level. When we do put it on regular CDs it will be something you never heard before from CVE with still the same flavour and styles that we come with but just taking the quality to the next level.
Let’s talk about your last solo effort “Kill Em All”. It had very explicit contents. Does this reflect your current situation, your current state of mind? You seem to be a very funny guy …
Yeah, man… I tell you what, Kill Em All, take it as a funny album because it’s like overkill. It’s like taking rap to the extreme as supposed to, you know, being serious with trying to be a gangsta or anything like that. Just exploiting lyrics to the fullest, taking lyrics to the next level, using lyrics as a weapon. Not trying to say that I wanna go kill somebody physically. But lyrically: yeah!
What’s up with your producer Ebow? Is he still in Iraq?
He’s probably coming back this month. So, you know, everybody pray for Ebow. I’ve been in contact with him and all is good so far and he will be back this month supposedly in Calfornia. I can’t wait to see that. But yeah, he’s been in Iraq and he’s probably over there as we speak. I don’t know exactly what date this month. Yeah, it’s something else to go from South Central, L.A. to Iraq.
Is he doing good?
Is he doing good? He would be doing better once he’s not in the mix with what our president over here Bush has going on. He be alot better (laughs). He’s somebody who gotta do what the president tell him to do, you know.
Are you interested in politics?
My life is political. But no, I’m not interested in being a politican.
How do you mean that, your life is political?
Well, a lot of a decisions that are made, especially in this country, based on keeping the rich richer and the poor poorer. Yeah, and I fall in that “poor poorer” section and it is a hell of a struggle, period. Everyday struggle and everyday fight to keep what people, what the country, what capitalism does to people with no money, that are not rich, you know. They wanna keep you poor and they wanna make it a situation where no matter what, you loose in the end, and they win. Just to give you an example: It costs 490 Dollars for me to have my wife and my son ensured for health reasons and that’s not including any bills. I mean that’s a lot of fucking money, you know, for somebody who ain’t making the motherfucking money (laughs). You know, that shit is incredible, how high insurance is and how they won’t give you any care. I mean, you know, you can find yourself dying on a table if you don’t have a health insurance. And I mean when you have loved ones you gotta take care of em, mo matter what. And you have to find a way and that shit is expensive. And that’s just one small expense compared to everyting else that there is out there in life. The average person can’t afford to buy a home, period. Almost anywhere. Almost anywhere! There’s Compton love and everything for a person who have money. Even, when you look at the justice system you can forget it if you can’t afford a lawyer. In any kind of situation that you might be in. But if you have a lawyer here you get away with a gang of shit. I’m not saying you should be geting away with a gang of shit. I’m saying the shit is unfair. Money shouldn’t dictate, you know, who spends more time in jail, you know. So yeah, it’s political when it comes down to it. When you have to live this life, yeah it gets political. You know, It ain’t like you wanna be a politician.
Talking about money. Are you content with the sales you made?
No! No, I mean, that’s a whole other job taking it to the next level. When I was comfortable with it that would mean that I would not have a regular job. The person that you talking to right now is different to maybe another rapper out there that’s in the industry that’s doing it strictly for moneterial purposes. When we come and rap we’re coming from the heart like never before man. We from back in the days when they told you in school that “Rap is not even gonna be around long. That’s stupid shit. Don’t even waste your time on it”. We out to proof bigger points than just that you can make money at it. This is a culture. We live in it.
The hook in one of your tracks, “Is HipHop Dead?” goes “Is HipHop Dead? Please pass the Mic to the Afterlife”. How do you rate the current situation of West Coast Rap and Hip Hop in general? Is Hip Hop dead?
You would think so from some of the stuff that you hear coming out on a daily basis, you would think hip hop is dead. But that’s where the underground comes in. Have you heard Ellay Khule’s album “Califormula”? That’s proving that hip hop is not dead. We still love it and we gonna keep it alive, it’s just, where’s the rest of the world, homie, you know? Hip hop is kind of dead in a sense because right now hip hop is very commercial even when its supposedly not commercial. I mean 50 Cent, the gang banger, uh, not gang banger, but hustler, whatever you wanna call him, shot caller, he’s making his movie, you know he’s very commercial now. Everything about hip hop is very commercial. It’s about making money instead of me having to sell dope. I can sell these records no matter what I say on em, it’s not about what I say, it’s just about on how much money I can get of ‘em. But at the same time, you know, some people look at it as good thing cause it’s saving them from their past experiences, you know, going to jail and shit over shit like dope, you know. So go on look at it as a good thing and of course how could you not look at it as a good thing. I’m sure 50 Cent loves Hip Hop right now. Does he really love Hip Hop, you know? I don’t know. Cause it seems to me that judging from his first album to his second album lyrically I don’t think if he loves Hip Hop like that. I mean he’s having a good time with Hip Hop. Hip Hop right know, how commerial it is and everything, it’s very fun. Money, bitches, you know? There’s people that can tell you that Hip Hop is not dead cause they are living off it like a motherfucker. But at the same time, are you talking about rap or about Hip Hop or are you talkin about the culture or are you talking about the money. Hip Hop, the culture, is not limited to what kind of money you can make, it’s a lifestyle. People actually living off that lifestyle in many different ways. It comes through in clothing, speech, even about life. You have people like Kanye West that is trying to keep it more towards the true roots of Hip Hop as far as what he’s talking about how he’s coming at it, musically or whatever. I liked his first album better than the second album, still, you know. But at the same time I like what he’s saying on both albums. He’s on Roccafella label, that means a lot.
Which artists do you listen to besides Kanye West?
I’m not really into a lot of artists. I mean I listened to Mike Jones, but that shit is, you know, repetitive like a motherfucker (laughs). It’s some party shit, though. Just having fun with Hip Hop. But it’s like: You can work that out real quick. I listen to Twista, I like the styles, but uhh … I just see that I have complains about everybody. His album was disappointing but at the same time I still enjoyed some songs. But when you let persons like Scott Storch or whatever better rap than you on your own album … I mean … just because you not choppin does not mean you can’t come with some lyrics. Don’t let somebody that don’t really rap rap better than you. Have you heard that album?
I like his style but I think the album is horrible.
Yeah, I mean, I can’t listen to it. I already gave it away.
Back to your music. Are you still chilling at the Goodlife Cafe to participate in battles or do you leave that to up and coming Rappers?
Man, for once, Goodlife is not around but Project Blowed is. But I don’t live in L.A. And I haven’t been to the Project Blowed for a minute so I have no option but to leave it to up and comin rappers. But I’m always open to have some fun. Yeah, that arena is still there, though. Project Blowed happens every thursday night and it’s a place where people go to refine their skills so that they ready to take it to the next level or keep it real sharp.
In the past you collaborated with producers and artists from Germany. You even got a huge fanbase over here. What’s your opinion on Germany, the german rap scene?
I have fun out there, I liked it a lot. I hope I can help make it grow, you know. At some place I went on a nice, short tour out there. Some places, it was even small cities. People came out that I hope next time I get that opportunity to come out there’s it will happen that there’s more people at the shows, you know, and that they know more about underground rap. Of course they will go on an see a 50 Cent show because that’s basically cause 50 Cent came out there, or the Game or whatever. That would be a big event, because they’re from overseas, you know. But at the same time, I wanna be a big fish, too. These westcoast underground rappers came out there and showed em, you know, because german rap is so new that hopefully it doesn’t end up as commercialized and gangsterized as it is going over here. But at the same time, hopefully there’s people that love Hip Hop, that are not willing to just let it go that way. We want it to expand it and be bigger than money and be a culture that is respectable. The first time I went to germany is because they we’re having a Hip Hop workshop. That was in 2000 and we have never ever in my life since I been in California and been in the US ever been to a Hip Hop workshop like that.
What was going on in this workshop?
We were actually over there teaching some of the classes in freestyling and beatmaking. And, I mean, that’s something, I can’t even believe the U.S. has not jumped on and already been doing on a regular basis. Not only are they the creators of the Hip Hop though they making money at it. They should be out trying to take it to the next level. And trying to keep it true. That was the main thing, graffiti art. They was displaying it, showing your classes on it. That’s the kind of stuff that keeps Hip Hop more pure as supposed to just talking about money all the time. If you can show the true artform in it, be able to give classes in it and stuff like that, that really validates Hip Hop and shows that not just some ignorant motherfuckers is doing something. It’s a culture, too. It’s all about showing respect to Hip Hop. It’s not just what we’re portraying on the video. It’s bigger than that.
How did you hook up with Taktloss? Do you still remember him?
Oh, for sure. Tell him I say what’s up to him. What they here for? He knows what that means. That’s when you shootin’ dice (laughs).
What’s your opinion on him?
I love Taktloss, man. I can’t wait to hook up with him again, man. He’s a crowd motivator, you know. I haven’t seen him, you know, since I been out there in 2004 but that hasn’t been that long. He was coming with something that other people weren’t coming with from way back. And he’s just been improving and improving and trying to take his style to the next level. I wanna see more style, more technique. And that’s gangsta talk from all my people because I don’t want them to make a false reality over there like we have over here. Gangsterism is about to be a way of life that you wanna live. People that really have been in it have tried to detour people from going through. It ain’t nothing cool about going to jail. Fuck it. I said it. But who’s gonna really tell you that? If you from the hood, anybody really gon tell you that. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about. I don’t want it to come to a point in Germany where people think it’s cool to go to jail, it’s cool to shoot people. Life is way bigger than that.
Believe it or not: we already have a German gangsta rap scene over here.
I know (laughs). I know, I just don’t wanna pump it up (laughs). Y’all been working on that one for a minute. Taktloss, Jack Orsen, man, those are some of the cats that were doing that before I heard anybody else that were doing the shit. But at the same time, like I said, the german gangsta rap scene does not impress me. That does not make me wanna say ‘oh, Germany is dope’ because they got a gangsta rap scene, you know. I mean I really wanna hear that Germany is all on top of being some good ass rappers, you know what I’m saying. That’s what I wanna hear. I don’t wanna hear them talking about the same capitalistic stupid shit that these other motherfuckers is talking about.
When I got it right you took care of the technical equipment at the Project Blowed shows in the early years. Is that right?
Yeah, myself an Ridd, we were the engineers for many years at Goodlife and Project Blowed. But what about it?
Do you still got some old and unreleased stuff on hold?
Oh yeah man, we got a whole album. It’s called “Chillainism”. We just dropped “Villainism” and we were gonna drop “Chillainism” and decided not to. We decided, I mean, been there, done that. We just got through doing an album where we were all in different places and we recorded it any kind of way that we could and the sound quality sounded better than our other stuff. But at the same time, we like, it’s time for us to take it to the next level. So we have a whole album material of work that we’re not realising right now. But maybe we’re releasing it at another time, you know. As a kind of unreleased album or whatever. But like I said we are working on this new album. Who knows, the new album might be “Chillainism” still. I don’t know. We haven’t decided how we gonna name it or anything. We just know that we want our dopest beats, Ridd is all over that job, our best concepts, we wanna take it to the big studio and let the world see where CVE really is as supposed to judging from the housework that we did. We not mad at we love, because that’s the truth right there. It’s not sugar-coated in any kind of way. But at the same time, if you wanna compete and compare us with the rest of the world, we have a album for that, too.
What’s the state of the recording process of this new album?
Doing some of the same things, recording it whereever we can, but at the same time after we get the songs done and we like it, then we gonna re-record it in a bigger studio. The main thing is, that we’re gonna record it in a big studio, like we’ve never done any of our albums. The sound quality and everything, it will be totally different, you know. That’s what money is made of. We’re in the process, we don’t have any street date for this album. We don’t know how long this gonna take. But at the same time, we don’t sell dope. So, you know, we can’t put our dope money in it, you know. But at the same time, we have goals and we always reach our goals. You will see that album in 2006, that’s for sure.
Okay, can’t wait to hear it. We are already at the end of this interview. Do you have any last words, shoutouts, or anything else?
Yeah man I wanna give a shout out to Gen 2 from Germany. They working on the next Nga Fsh album. I’m gonna take it to the next level. It’s called “When Piranhas Attack”, you know. And that’s gon be a album that’s gon be produced by them with Nga Fsh as a artist. We haven’t decided how exactly we gon release it and all that biz stuff. But none of that is more important than having this sound better than any Nga Fsh album that you ever heard. That’ll be the main goal. I wanna make something where you all can be proud being from Germany that it was produced by Germans, you know.