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The invasion from the City of Champs continues to produce music to keep your car bumpin and you head noddin. The platinum beachhead established by Mack 10 was followed up by solid sales from AllFrumTha I is now followed up by the Inglewood trio called the Road Dawgs. New York born Boobie broke for what they affectionately call "the wood" in 1979, and met amiable Gangsta Luv almost fresh off the plane. Still inspired by the rhymes from his home town, he set Luv off with the idea of rap, who caught up fellow banger BR in the covenants of beats and rhymes. After first building an Illtown connection with Naughty By Nature which resulted in some soundtrack cuts, they now present their debut album Don't Be Saprize under the supervision of high school classmate Mack 10. These grinders sat down with The Source and talked about how they needed four mics or else, how bad they want to do a song with Mister Mike, and how they, like the "Inglewood Lakers" (who don't even play in LA) have been misunderstood and wanna work hard enough to earn their respect.
SOURCE: How did the Road Dawgs come together?
LUV: We been a group 'cause we been homies. Before we was rappin we was doin' other things.
BR: We did this for real. It's all 'wood, we real grinders, street niggas, gang bangers. We did all that. We ain't gonna glamorize it to kids, but to adults, we gotta get our respect. To the children, we ain't gonna try to instill sellin' drugs or killin' somebody. We 'bout it, we been together for a long time, tight knit. You got groups that's put together, they break up, or you can just tell they ain't got no unity when you holler at 'em. We family.
SOURCE: Explain the name "Road Dawgs," for all those who don't know.
LUV: Road dawgs is what we are. It's a term on the west coast, they probably use it other places. That's your ace.
BR: Here that's like your family member. That's my road dawg. I'd kill for him, he'd kill for me. I make sure he got some bread on the table. If I got fifty dollars, (pointing at his partners) one of these cats get a third of it. When you need somebody, you got a lotta homies, but then you got your road dawg
BOOBIE: Who you can depend on.
BR: In any other town it's like a cat sayin' "That's his dawg." Most cats call they homie their dawg, that's like they closest homie. That's the homeboy, and that's my dawg. We just came up with the name, it fit us best.
SOURCE: How did you leave the streets and end up on wax?
LUV: We been knowin' Mack 10, 'cause he went to school with us. He from Inglewood.
BR: He like a fourth Road Dawg, 'cause he solid like that.
BOOBIE: We'd been on separate paths in the game, and wound up meeting.
BR: Everybody was rappin' and doin' their productions. Mack 10 was doin' his thing with DJ Pooh at first, him and Pooh didn't work out. He went to Cube and got down. The Road Dawgs was already out with Naughty. He just stumbled up and hit a lick, that's how we look at it. Now he's in the game, and he was able to provide another door for us.
LUV: We stay true to what we know. How we gonna be out in the game and not be down with [Ms.] Toi [from Militia]? She went to school with us, Inglewood High. We from the same place, we got to ride for Inglewood. You couldn't miss a lunch period. You had to ditch one class cause you had to see both lunches.
BR: My fourth period, on everything I love, I missed 72 days. I was tryin' to see lunch every day. My 11th grade year I didn't go to school.
LUV: Somebody was squabbin' every day at lunch, it was just comedy.
BOOBIE: Leave, go get some ass, go get faded ... we missed like nine months of school!
SOURCE: How did you connect with Naughty in the first place?
LUV: We'd been making music since 91, 90, puttin songs on tape, demos of our work. We was eager to do something, but it didn't work out like we wanted to at that time, like we thought we could get a record deal, didn't happen. We had other connections ...
BOOBIE: Homeboy Remo!
LUV: The homie Remo we met him at Jack the Rapper. He used to go meet artists, and whoride for us. I don't think we was the Road Dawgs then, we had other names, but we met him at In Living Color, just stumbled up on him. We was goin' to see Plastic Man, Monie Love DJ, we knew him. We knew some people in the game, because we was tryin' to get out there like that. Remo connected with 'em, he another Road Dawg. Us three represent the group, but it's like a family. It's like a clan that we're starting.
BR: The Naughty thing, they still our family.
LUV: They a whole 'nother story.
BR: We did a song with Kay Gee on the album, called "Break Yourself," but we still get down with our people. We just chose to come back and deal with Mack 10 because he was our homie. He had our best interests.
LUV: To come back to the West Coast, it was home. Out there we was tryin' to do business, but it was kinda awkward. We learned a lot.
BOOBIE: We paid dues. We was out there five years. Back and forth to Jersey for five years. World wide for three years. Double I, Inglewood and Illtown.
LUV: Double I is a gang.
BR: It's music too, but it is a gang. Everybody got two "i's" on they neck ...
LUV: Treach got the tattoo on his neck.
BR: They can't let it rest. We been on tour worldwide with 'em. A lotta cats know us, from LL Cool J, Total, Biggie rest in peace, Tupac rest in peace ...
BOOBIE: They all know us.
BR: Lil Kim, Junior Mafia, Digable Planets ...
LUV: SWV, Run-DMC, Redman, Willie D, Scarface. We learned the game
BR: We know all these cats. They know us. They really anticipatin' our record. Everytime they see us, "When y'all record comin'? What's up, what y'all waitin' on?"
SOURCE: Was it a conscious decision to work with so many artists on this album? Militia's Ms. Toi on "Bonafide," Kay Gee, Vernell and Coffy Brown on "Break Yourself," Cube, CJ Mac, Eiht, et cetera.
LUV: Definitely. Why not? We know 'em. The politics of the game, they wanna know what's goin' on how you connect ...
BR: Your affiliations ...
LUV: We wanted to do it. It ain't like we just hogs, we could ball our own album, and we soon will. We knew the game, we ain't gotta force it. Next was our homies, we did the song ["Break Yourself"] with them originally, but it's still all love ...
BR: Politics with Arista. Mention I said, thank you Vernell, with your pretty ass! It was better to do the album like we did it. We showed West Coast unity with "Gangbang Shit," with five Crips and five Bloods, that was big. I wouldn't change it. West Coast is starvin' we need to save it.