Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Moe Interview from 2002 - Murder Dog

I did this interview with Big Moe for Murder Dog Magazine just before the release of Purple World in 2002. Probably the hardest interview I ever had to transcribe, but what a cool dude. It's truly yet another sad day in H-Town.

Also the damn compouter fucked up last night so I gotta go up to KPFT and get last nights tribute show from the archives.

Photo by Peter Beste

Big Moe
By Matt Sonzala

Do you remember the first time you ever heard your voice Screwed?
First time I ever heard my voice Screwed? Oh what year?

Yeah when did you first hear your voice Screwed and how did it make you feel?
When I first heard Screw, I really didn't like Screw. I ain't gonna lie. My voice wasn't on there, but as like I grew old that's what everybody listened to and I listened to so much and it started sounding good to me you know what I'm saying? That was like '92 - '93. When the majority of the Screwed Up Clique met Screw anyway. I kind of like hooked up with him in '92, but I really hooked up with him mostly in '94 when we really started kicking it. That's when I heard my voice on a Screw tape. It sound kind of fly and I liked it so I stayed with it. I hopped on his album, you know what I'm sayin'? The album came out and the album did great. Featuring Keke and featuring me. Album did good and we all got paid. The album made our name big, you know Texas sized around here and it got deeper than that, it got around everywhere. Everybody know about it, you know what I'm saying?

Do you remember the name of the first tape you appeared on?
3 In The Morning, DJ Screw 3 In the Morning tape. Underground wise on a tape called RIP T-Lee, a dude that passed away. It was a RIP tape. He passed away and Screw wanted me to come sing on it. Some RIP shit, miss my potna or whatever. So Screw called me.

How many tapes do you think you have appeared on?
It's a lot. I don't know, probably about 30 or 40, I don't know. I know I been lost count a long time ago. I did a tape that did real good, I think if the underground sold this tape here for a dollar a piece, I think it went platinum. It's called June 27th. So many people have the tape. I'm on there, Pokey on there, Yungstar on there, to this day people ask for the tape. This tape for $10, this boy offered me $50 for a tape. That's another tape that people know too.

Do you ever make songs with what it might sound like Screwed in mind? Do you think about that beforehand?
I sing a lot. I'm more r&b than a rapper, but I rap too, I'm so used to doing straight up singing I feel that's where I sound good. And singing, got some good singing, slowed down, that'll always sound good. Yeah, I be thrown by how it sound slowed down. I'm so used to listening, I just started listening to the radio. I guess it's cuz I want to hear myself on the radio, but at first there was no radio. Straight to Screw. Straight Screw.

I want to ask you a little bit about syrup, because your new album "Purple World" kind of follows the syrup theme of your first album. Would you say that syrup use in Houston is really as big as the music and media makes it out to be?
It just really started getting big because of these teenagers you know what I'm saying? Me, I ain't a old dude or whatever, but I got a mother and she raised me, she really was a cool mother. She said "you want to get drunk, get drunk right here. You want to smoke weed you smoke weed in the house." She didn't want her children outside. "You want to have sex with your girlfriend? Go in your room." That's the kind of mom I got. So it's like that kind of mom she supervised us and that was my deterrent. I'm 20 something, she 47 she drank it before I was born. Police and all of them, they done it. What I done for it? There's a lot of old people I know that drank. They done it for a long time. But now since these laws, they got big cases and laws came up in it, and you just can't do it if you don't want to go to jail, cuz it's not legal.

Being that it's not legal, but it is a prescription drug, how do people get so much of it?
Well it's for bronchitis. That's what it's really for. It's a downer, and people like that feeling. I can't lie I done been on it. I talk about it a lot because it's what's going on. I don't talk about it and say I do it like that. I talk about it cuz that's what's happening. If I was talking about chronic right now, why not write another song about chronic? That's gonna sell you know what I'm saying. So I write a song about syrup.

But is it really a big thing here like it's made out to be. Is it really such a phenomenon?
Now I don't knock 3 6 Mafia, I cut for them. But I know where that started from. They came down here. Matter of fact, I kicked it with MJG and 8Ball, they from Memphis you know what I'm saying? They used to come down here and that's what everybody was doing. You wasn't no player if you wasn't doing it. Shit's crazy, but that's what everybody was doing. And we didn't make it no better cuz we said it so much on tape, and then people look up to us already. People ask me what it taste like? You want to ask me what it taste like, I ain't your parents. I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do basically it's on them.

So you can just get it on the street in Houston? Or do people go to their doctors and get prescriptions?
Well there's crooked doctors and there's the streets too. The hustlers. I been around all that before but God blessed me to get away from all that. I don't have to sell. It's dudes that will hook up with something and they on the block just like selling grass. I'm from 3rd Ward, there's a corner in 3rd Ward folks call the Million Dollar Corner, you go get anything you want over there. And they all know each other so somebody pull up wants some drank, there's probably drank over there so they call him over get the drink. Cuz this dude here he probably sell weed. This how this works. They had a couple doctors that was doing it too much. Just giving scripts out. And we saw that same old doctor in handcuffs. Cuz that's illegal how they do that right there. The doctor will give it to you if you really need it.

Is it a cheap drug?
It's cheap but it's high. I mean a pint will go for, at a pharmacy it'll go for like $12 or something. Out here it cost $225. So that's where the money at there. If they got the inside hook up or whatever, they can go in there and man. I been around when the price is high and I been around when the price is low. It's laid back and relaxing but it ain't good for you. You gotta drink a lot of water, you know what I'm sayin'? It'll dehydrate you. I done been to the hospital for it. It was just dehydration though. You have to drink a lot of water.

If you buy some syrup on the street how do you know you're not buying NyQuil or Robitussin or something.
You don't. For one thing you gotta know somebody. Some of them do it. Actually one time I gave this boy, when a pint was $275, I gave this boy an unopened Snapple container. Grape. I'm laughing, man. I said MAN!

How much of "Purple World" revolves around syrup?
I mean, purple, that's the color of it. Purples my favorite color, it's a pretty color. I feel I'd just change it up a little bit. Do something a little different. Like on a Kool Aid level.

But is it a subject that comes up on the record a lot this time around?
Naw I kind of slowed down cuz I talked about it a lot on the last one. This one here it's more deeper.

Can you tell me a little about the new record? Who are some of the guests and producers? What's you're favorite song?
Well I ain't name the songs yet, you know what I'm sayin'? But the album done though. I got a song called "Drop the Top." I like that song. It's about coming out on the boulevard on a day the sun out, drop the top, ride around, that's what it's about. Drop the top, ride through the wind. I ain't really got too many features. Last one didn't have too many features. This album here I got my best friend Toon on the album. I got Pokey and Z-ro. The producers are the Platinum Sound producers which are Wreck Shop Producers.

So you don't have a lot of features on your album? Is the Screwed Up Clique as tight now that Screw is gone as they were before? Do you still get down to do music?
On my album I got all the people on there. I got Hawk on there, I got Pokey on there, I got Keke on there. I got my people on there. We all sticking together it's just that we all signed with different labels. I wanted to be like a Screwed Up Productions, but Screw passed away so, but me and Hawk had talked one time and Screw was like he didn't want to do a CEO thing, he just wanted to DJ and I respected that. So it made me look and I made a decision and went with Wreck Shop. I think I made a good choice.

Who would you say is doing a good job of keeping the spirit of Screw alive?
Everybody representing him. Everybody miss him you know what I'm saying? I'm always going to, at a show or anything. I miss my boy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mannn, R.I.P.

Good read.

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r.i.p. moe.

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