STRIVIN’


Classic Interview-Andre Nickatina (formerly Dre Dog)
August 19, 2005, 12:43 am
Filed under: Interviews


Interview by Doxx… This interview originally appeared in Issue 2 of Strivin’ magazine.

The thing most are wondering about is the name change (from Dre Dog to Andre Nickatina). Explain that.
The name change is basically a change for the better. As for the Dog name it would just go down like a Rock or a Ski, those old MC names. The name change was basically based on I figured I had a little more to offer people and I didn’t want people just to be judging me by the Dre Dog name.

How did you choose Andre Nickatina?
It just came about. Nickatina doesn’t mean anything. I actually did it in a song to try and make something rhyme and it just came up. It just sounded good and I used it.

Let’s talk a little about the new underground album, Cocaine Raps. You’re not with In-A-Minute (Records) on this one. Talk about why you’re not with them anymore and what label this new one is comin’ out on.
Basically I’m not with In-A-Minute anymore because my contract was up. This new label that I’m on is my label. It’s called Fillmoe Coleman Records. It’s a label I put together that’s gonna put this album out called Cocaine Raps and it’s gonna be an album as in a volume one so you might be seeing a couple of volumes. I’m gonna try to make a few volumes, at least three or four Cocaine Raps albums.

What song do you really want people to check for?
“3 A.M.” I really like “3 A.M.” for the beat. I felt that it might be a nice little dance track. Not even a dance track, a something to ride to track. Just the feel of the album… It’s just a more mature album I think. I think I did a good job on all the songs actually. I tried to make it random (so) that people would be able to choose from. If you don’t like this one, somewhere one there you’ll like at least one of ‘em.

One thing I noticed was that the sound is a lot harder this time as far as the production. Who’s on this one on production and why did you go with these new people?
Basically it was me and this other cat, Nick Peace. We went to the studio and vibed on a lot of shit. I came through with most of the ideas or he had a idea and we both just made it happen like that. Usually I would only work with one or two producers on a album anyway. I don’t think I especially need a lot of producers on it. I basically like to go in the studio when I wanna go in there. Sometimes it ain’t like that with a lot of producers. You gotta go in when they wanna go in. When I wanna go in the studio I just be like, “Fuck that! I wanna go in now.” That’s why I mostly be workin’ with myself and shit like that.

Yeah, I notice on some songs you say, “It’s Thursday the whatever. It’s about 2:30 in the morning.”
Yeah. When I wanna go in the studio man, I wanna go in there now. When I feel it, I need to go in there and put it down ’cause it’ll come out just the way I’m thinkin’ it. I don’t care what time it is. That was what was so cool about Nick-it didn’t matter what time. If I had to wake him up in the morning to come through, he would get up.

Give a little insight as to how you come up with your concepts and lyrics. When I interviewed you before we talked about how you had the lyrics about all sorts of different shit and animals and bugs and ways of putting things. How does it all come up in your head? What’s the process?
There is no process. It’s just about havin’ a open mind when you rappin’. If you put it out there to where you concentratin’ on what you want people to look at you as the way you rap, they’ll put you in that category. If you’re always talkin’ about guns, people will label you like that. When I rap I just try to keep a open mind. I just try to put a little somethin’ in there for the people who are listenin’ to it. If you like what I’m puttin’ out there then I think I always will surprise you with somethin’. If you like my music I think you’ll always find somethin’ on my tape that you’ll like to listen to.

One thing I tell people a lot… They ask me who are some of my favorite rappers in the Bay a lot and I always tell ‘em that I think you’re one of the most underrated rappers in the Bay. You hear a lot of names like JT (The Bigga Figga) or 40 or so and so, but you don’t hear about you a lot. Does that bother you at all that you’e either not known or as talked about as some of the other artists out there?
No. It doesn’t bother me at all. I’m not doin’ it for popularity. I’m doin’ it because I can do it. The people who like it, the people who listen to it is the ones I’m tryin’ to reach. I didn’t jump into this as a popularity contest. I jumped into it ’cause I knew there was a couple cats out there that’ll like listenin’ to what I think is listenable. I’m not the type to be goin’ hella places and be presentin’ myself like a rapper. If I go to a club or a record release party, I just be chillin’. I might be the one that’s just over in the corner just kickin’ it, watchin’ the party, but not walkin’ around like “I’m Dre Dog” or “I’m Andre Nickatina.” I know every rapper out there. I know all the Bay Area rappers. All the Bay Area rappers who I know and don’t know always say what’s up to me. Everybody give me respect. I give them respect. I’m not trippin’ on the popularity.

I think you told me before that you really don’t like to do interviews. Is that just another thing like you don’t like to be presenting yourself at functions?
It’s not that I’m not into doin’ it, but I only wanna do it with somebody who knows my music. I don’t want nobody to interview me because they seen the tape cover. I want ‘em to do the interview because they listened to the tape and they wanna talk about the tape or they wanna talk about a couple other thangs. A lot of these writers don’t know me. Like I get people who wanna interview me and don’t even know that I got two albums out.

That’s why I appreciate this a lot.
Yeah, that’s why I told you at the thang… I say I’ll do it with you ’cause I remember the article you wrote up. I really liked that article.

Like I said before, you come up with some interesting stuff. Talk about “Crack Raider Razor.”
That came about… I was sittin’ downstairs with this little broad and we was just smokin’ a blunt, choppin’ it up before we go up in the house. On the block it’s like this big hill and it was real late and the moon was just shinin’ and I can see up the street. It was this figure that was comin’ down that long ass hill. Just came over out the light and just streakin’ down the hill. It was this cat on a ten speed and he’s like a dope fiend, but he knows how to fix cars. He’s just a master wizard mechanic and that’s how he make his livin’. When it comes to cars he just razor sharp at that shit. Anyway, he was just covered with car oil, dressed in black, had a beanie on. The beanie was over one eye and the other eye was up and he was ridin’ on a old ass ten speed. Just dirty, covered with oil, ridin’ around lookin’ for somebody to buy some crack from. His mind is sharp when it comes to fixin’ cars, but he’s on that shit. I started callin’ him the crack raider until he had to fix one of my cars and I sat down and actually talked to him and he’s smart. He’s just on that shit. The song wasn’t to be talkin’ about him, but he gave me an inspiration. It was about two in the mornin’ too. It was just late night, he came over the hill. He was just ridin’ down quick as fuck! Everytime I see him I think about that beat. He was just lookin’ for somebody to buy some crack from.

Was Fillmoe Coleman Records something you had in the works for a long time?
Not for a long time, but there was something always in the works whether it was Fillmoe Coleman or Japanese Coleman or whatever. There was always something in the works. Always.

Where does the name Fillmoe Coleman come from? I know what the Fillmoe is, but what’s the Coleman?
Coleman is just to make it sound a little more presentable. I just put Fillmoe Coleman to make it sound more of a name type feel. Most people say, “Who is Fillmoe Coleman?” He or she is nobody.

When do you think this first volume of Cocaine Raps will be out?
The first volume of Cocaine Raps will be out at the end of the month of December.

Are you just doin’ it straight yourself or are you goin’ with City Hall (Records) or anybody?
I’m goin’ underground for a second. For the first couple thousand I’m gonna be on the streets. So for people to get this they gonna have to see me, somehow get my number, page me, somehow. For the first couple of months I’m on the streets workin’ it like that.


6 Comments so far
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Nice !

Would you let me translate it into French and publish it on bstwst.com ?

Comment by kreme August 22, 2005 @ 4:55 am

Dude, you know Nickatina is one of the greatest that ever did it.

Puhrops!

Comment by CultStatus August 24, 2005 @ 1:18 pm

Andre Nickatina is one of the greatest,most original,and most cleverest rappers that I’ve ever listened to.
Kudos Andre, Kudos.

Comment by Jennifer August 27, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

Wow! Amazing. Andre Nickatina is one of the best out there and pushes lyricism to a new level. That “crack raider razor” story is amazing. It just goes to show that he has a unique way of looking at the world and he comes at it with a different kind of flow.

Comment by Nick December 24, 2006 @ 12:00 am

i take it this was printed a while ago because horns and halo’s 1,2 and 3 is out. So i just wanted to compliment Niki-T because im from Canada and thats pretty much all i listen to because i can relate. Smoov-e, equipto, shag nasty. All them cats. Andre and Mac Dre is where its at, I take pride when people ask me who i listen too and i say Nickitina. Hes a level headed dude that can rap, and thats how he makes his living. I at least listen to him 3 to 5 times a day. Much Love from the Hole to the Bay

Comment by Anonymous July 6, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

well jennifer knows what time it is….but anonymous should at least know how to spell king nicky’s name…..and it aint niki…and it aint nickitina….its Andre Nickatina king nicky dre dog…..get w/ it sugar!

Comment by Nicole September 12, 2007 @ 6:03 pm



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