Written by Venessa Renee
Right before Christmas, I had the chance to sit down and have a little one on one with Pac Div while they were on tour with Snoop Lion. It was refreshing to be able to have a simple conversation with them. It felt like I had been friends with them for a while and we were just catching up. When you have a conversation like this, it really makes you appreciate and value the artists more. We chatted it up for a good half hour and this is how it went down.
Womazing: So… How is the tour going?
Pac Div: Oh it’s going great! I mean, you know, it’s Snoop… It’s Snoop Lion so you know he has his crowd and they’re just energetic. They just wanna see good music and… just bringing it every night… it’s fun.
W: That’s what’s up.. so uhm.. for starters.. you guys are awesome. Definitely a fan of the work.
PD: Thank you, thank you.
W: You’re very welcome. You guys have worked with and you guys have opened up with a nice variety of artists and people coming up in the business would totally kill for.. how does that make you guys feel as artists and, you know, once you guys were the fans. So how does that make you feel?
PD: Oh it’s.. That feels great. I mean, just thinking like about how we started out and where we’re out now as far as you know our recognition with certain artists and like certain people. It just feels good to know that our hard work didn’t go unnoticed, you know what I mean? And to get these opportunities… that’s just like great.. it’s just like the best thing in the world Like a lot of people would kill to be in that position.
W: Absolutely. Especially, you know, with y’all… you guys have such a distinct style but it’s just… it’s smooth, it rides and it caters to a lot of different audiences so it’s definitely cool how you’ve collaborated with other artists and incorporated your style with theirs and created a nice vibe.
PD: Yeah, thank you. You know, we’re trying to stay as universal as possible. We’re emcees first and foremost and we’re musicians at the same time so like we can totally appreciate other styles.
W: There’s a younger movement in hip hop music nowadays and I feel like kids are starting out listening to hip hop younger which isn’t bad. It’s actually a really great thing but how does it affect you guys? How does it make you feel and how does it influence the way you guys write your music knowing there’s younger ears listening to music?
PD: Well it is a younger audience nowadays so its more a challenge. Like… we’re in that middle audience like we’re still the young dudes so like we’re a little more seasoned than these people that just came up so we understand that just to stay relevant music wise is to just stretch boundaries styles and just always continue to be us and remain the fly dudes that we are.
W: Especially with the kids nowadays, you guys are role models to the youth. Like, they wanna grow up and they don’t want to be doctors, they don’t want to be lawyers… they want to be rappers, singers and models so it’s cool to take the kids into consideration without comprising your style.
W: Now in ’06 you guys released your first project and since then you guys have released several projects and G.M.B. is your last project that you released. Looking back at all of your projects, how do you feel about your growth over the years? Do you hear a change in your sound or do you think it’s remained consistent and one with your style?
PD: That’s a good question. We do believe that we’ve always kept the raw elements that makes us who we are. What our style is throughout the years so all we just wanna do is just take it a notch higher every time we put out a project. So we look at all of our projects like we want them to be good but it’s not the greatest project because we’re going to work on another project that might be so we always keep that mindset that we can always make better stuff. It’s a fun thing because it’s always a challenge because I see all of the production on all of the projects we’ve made and it’s not just all one style that just sticks out. It’s all types of styles so i commend us for being able to do that, for being so versatile.
W: It’s true. You guys kept your sound but yet attracting different audiences not just keeping it to a certain type of group of people that would listen to your music. You cater to a little bit of everybody. You know, you give somebody something… something to dance to, something to smoke to, something to chill to, something to drive to, but it all still flows together. Now, out of all of your projects, which is your favorite?
PD: I have a special place in my heart for Church League cause that was the first. We could’ve just put that out as an album… like that shit could’ve rode out as an album and that’s warm in my heart and i like G.M.B. I really love G.M.B. because it reminds me of like ’94 NWA like Dogg Pound like mix with a futuristic kinda sound so G.M.B. and Church League are definitely at the top of my list.
W: Yeah, G.M.B. is definitely dope. “Slow” is actually my jam on G.M.B. I guess because I grew up in the South so that chopped and screwed like beat a little bit hits my soul. So I love “Slow“. and “Truth” is my jam off G.M.B.
PD: Oh “Slow“.. and what else?
PD: Them two songs have two different sounds. They’re two different sounds but we stay true to who we are on both songs though.
W: My favorite track out of all of your tracks is “Super Negroes“. I have a connection to that song. It just gets me hype.
PD: That song is like the turn up. It’s for real its like Marky Mark and them. It’s like an old rap song going back to Kid N Play. Like we were doing the running man while we were rapping.
W: Have you guys been burning a lot on tour?
PD: Oh yeah, definitely… for sure. Just nice to be seeing how people conduct themselves whether Snoop or you know anybody else on the tour. It’s a lot of genuine people. The one thing I think we all take away from this is that everybody is really themselves. Snoop is exactly how you think he would act. Nobody’s pretending. That’s how he really is. When he wakes up, that’s how he is. It’s not a switch, it’s not a gimmick. it’s a lot of genuineness that you will see going on this tour.
W: That’s good for people to know because a lot of people always think that it’s a front, that it’s all a facade, it’s fake, it’s just for tv. People at the end of the day forget that we’re all human. We all wake up and have to brush our teeth the same. Whether it’s a $200 toothbrush or a dollar toothbrush you got at the dollar store, you’re still brushing your teeth everyday, you know what I mean? So it’s good to know that people remain true to themselves.
PD: Exactly, exactly. And that’s what you see because who knows? You might see somebody that you think is like a 35 year old teacher’s aid or something like “What the hell are they doing out here at this show?”. But as different as you think they are, there’s still something in there that’s relatable that you’re all gonna come to a snoop dogg show.
W: Everyone has this one great ballad that they love to sing when they’re alone and no one can hear them sing it.. most of the times it’s their shower song. What’s your one big great song?
PD: Oh goodness. Probably like “One On One” with Hall & Oates.<
W: Hall & Oates? Really?
PD: Hall & Oates. Yeah… old school stuff. That’s the one right there. It’s an old school song but it got a funky groove to it. It’s something that if somebody sampled it, it’d knock real hard. it’s got a lot of soul in it. For some white dudes, they had a whole bunch of soul.
W: So, if you handed over your iTunes right now, what would we find in there that we wouldn’t expect to see?
PD: Wow… damn that’s a good question. Oh my goodness… maybe Flock Of Seagulls. Yeah. That would probably be the most obscure thing in there maybe. Yeah the old school Flock Of Seagulls.
W: Flock Of Seagulls? I really do feel like if they were to go back and listen to 80′s music it would probably be so relevant right now. Beat selection, production, everything would be so relevant.
PD: Yeah the whole style and the feeling of it. It reminds you of that whole Scarface era and that whole Miami disco dance, going out on the night type of thing, John Travolta and shit like that has a whole different texture and feeling to it.
W: So do you see yourself putting on a three piece suit with the pointy collar and going out getting your disco on?
PD: Oh Yeah. Might have to go out on the town and pull the chest hair out a little bit.
W: So talking about production and what not, when it concerns beat selection, what is the first thing you look for when listening to production for the first time?
PD: If you can, you wanna feel it or it should be a feeling more than a thought. You want a kind of feeling. Kind of let the beat guide you where you want to go with it as far as concepts and how you wanna get on the song. You want it to be a feeling so the thought process becomes more natural that way.
W: Did you feel that you guys like really kind of expressed yourselves freely on G.M.B.? Did you have creative freedom to go and do your job, do your thing and just really put yourselves 100% into it? Sometimes, I hear a lot of artists say “Well I tried to give this project my all you know and because of blahzayblah happening in life it truly affected this album.” I believe it affected your album in a positive way but sometimes you can hear certain differences in artists in the way they feel about their album. How do you feel about that?
PD: That’s definitely true because as you mentioned before, I mean, everybody is a real person at the end of the day. You could try to, you know, hide things or try to shield certain ways about things. But it always comes out natural and that’s why the feeling of the music…the songs capture that emotion. You want songs to capture the times of being happy or the times of being pissed off yelling to somebody “Fuck you”. You want that same emotion and everything that you’re trying to convey. When you go through life naturally, if you can, just that’s how it comes out. And just like you said, also you know, we get in certain situations. Sometimes you try to bend to make things work a certain way and then other times of course we bended for the major label so we tried to do a few things. Not change ourselves but kind of accommodate some of the ideas they had. Stuff like that of course but that goes back all the way with our own ingredients. We got our own spices and herbs in there so it’s just all the way there. Never really changed but sometimes you try to accommodate and cater to certain things but this is all natural, this is all from the gut.
W: Now which… out of all the tracks, if you can think, is the most heartfelt song that you’ve put out. Like you put your all into everything. Like the rawest emotion you could possibly feel. Which song would you say that would be?
PD: Goodness.. As far as that goes, especially off the new one, that would have to be a song we have called “No Superman“. “No Superman” on G.M.B. would have to be exactly everything we were just talking about. Shit, I do some cool shit somedays. I feel like I accomplish things certain days. You might feel weak somedays but you know that’s all part of it. Nobody’s perfect. No Superman. Somedays, you’ll be able to fly in the sky, you know, and other days, somebody’s gonna hit you with that kryptonite and push you on back. Either way. Even Superman had his off days. Shit, he couldn’t even get Louis Lane somedays. She wasn’t fucking with it. No Superman. Nobody’s perfect. That would definitely be the one off the new album.
W: Now last year you guys parted ways with Universal Motown. Are you guys looking to get picked up again or are you going to continue down the indie path?
PD: We would definitely entertain it. We don’t put the road block down on nothing or box ourselves in but this time around we would definitely get everything we deserve and more. We have a lot more knowledge of those situations so if there was ever to be another case, we would have everything single thing, all the dots connected, all the way around. Just getting excited about getting it because it’s your first time around. You actually get through it and you get the chance to learn the game and soak up the game. You could could definitely get better this time around. I mean, we’ve already been listening to a few things, you know, it’s people interested but we’re definitely in no rush, no rush at all.
W: I feel like you guys definitely express yourselves through your music and you can hear like… it’s funny how a fan can hear the ups and downs in your own life and we experience them with you through your music and with this last project you released you can kind of hear whatever. Whatever stress you had at one point is gone and whatever happiness you’re starting to feel about just being able to go out and explore and be yourselves and be completely expressive again.
PD: Thank you. Thank you so much.
W: You’re welcome. Like I said, I speak as a fan and, you know, you use music to release and we use music to release. The difference is we’re listening and you’re speaking. So when you say what you say, we’re hearing what’s going on in your life whether you allow us to fully know all of the details or not we still know what’s going on and you can hear your emotions through your songs, whatever it may be. But you can hear the change up from when you guys were with Universal Motown and now that you’re not I wanted to know if you guys wanted to get picked up again and if that was something that you really wanted to do and what not?
PD: Exactly and there’s major labels interested right now but we definitely learned throughout this that the right answer is always within us. We don’t have to search for too many outside answers. We never went wrong trusting in ourselves so we’re definitely in no rush and no pressure. Either way, we’re going to be good. Either on this side or on that side, we’re going to come out on top. When you have that option, you can’t lose.
W: That’s a great outlook and I hope you guys maintain that outlook. definitely. So.. random, we all have weird superstitions in the world and customs that we do. Any of you guys do any weird, funky stuff, OCDness?
PD: I guess there is little stuff in between. One of our homeboys kinda got us on the superstition. There’s a superstition he started with us of not putting any hats on the bed. You can’t put any hats on the bed. You could fuck the whole day up on some “break the mirror, seven years bad luck” type shit. If you’re in the hotel, you can put your hat anywhere but just not on the bed. No hats on the bed. No hats on the bed cause it’s bad luck. Put that shit on the table, on the chair. Shit, put that shit in the bathroom, on the toilet, dont put that shit on the bed. I don’t know where the origin of that came from but, shit, it sounded right and I haven’t been putting hats on the bed since. I’m not about to be the one to find out.
W: Yeah, leave a bad day be your fault.
PD: I ain’t gonna be the one to tell you about it. I just rather not put my hats on the bed.
W: So that’s the only thing? I mean you guys are doing pretty good if that’s the only superstition that you guys have.
PD: That’s the most prominent one right now because we’re doing a lot of moving around. New hotel this day, new hotel tomorrow so it’s like so we get to run across that superstition everyday right now. That one’s reoccurring at the moment.
W: I’m gonna have to start spreading that one around. “No hats on the bed. Why? Because Pac Div told me not to”.
PD: Stay away from that.
W: So who is your favorite artist? What do you find yourself listening to the most right now?
PD: Right now at this very second? Wow. The legendary Suga Free came out to some shows. I’m a huge Suga Free fan. I’m not a fan of too many other artists but I am an avid Suga Free fan.
W: So you say you aren’t a fan of many so… your number one favorite artist of all time?
PD: Oh of all time that would be Tupac. yeah, hand’s down. Of all time, if I had to pick one, that’s the one right there. The full skill and the bodying of everything. He did everything from the rooter to the tooter. Of course there’s other rappers that other people feel are more lyrically talented or whatever. You know, that particular opinion. But as far as everything, the whole spectrum, I think he was the most well rounded.
W: I hear that often coming from West Coast artists and just people in general from the West. Growing up on the East Coast it’s always been that huge Tupac vs. Biggie debate so it’s kind of interesting to hear people’s take on it and everybody always has a different reason as to why they love Tupac or why they love Biggie. It’s never really the exact same answer.
PD: Exactly. And it’s all opinion anyways, but most people look at us and they definitely think of course big east coast influence or something like that but no, he’s definitely the one.
W: It’s good to show patronage to your favorites.
PD: Oh yeah, big time.
So there you have it folks. Up close and not too personal with Pac Div. Pretty cool dudes with some pretty rad tunes.