Guerilla Black to release Guerilla City
His flow is undeniable. His lyrical stories contain the depth of a James Baldwin
Artist: Guerilla Black
Title: Guerilla City
Release date: 07/9/04
Label: Virgin Records
Buy at: Amazon
His sly humor is as biting as a Chris Rock stand-up routine. His insight is
as dead-on as that of a college professor. That's right, Guerilla Black has it all on
After heating up the streets of Southern California with his "Hood Affiliated
Mixtape Vol. 1," the Los Angeles rapper has set out to make one of the most
mind-blowing debut albums that hip-hop has ever seen.
Producers such as Jazze Pha (Big Tymers, Aaliyah, Nappy Roots, T.I., Bow Wow,
Trick Daddy), Carlos Brody (The Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, Nas) and Mario
Winans (R. Kelly, P. Diddy, 3LW, Mr. Cheeks) are among the producers already
enlisted to make Guerilla Black's debut album a landmark release.
One song sure to garner Black plenty of attention is "Guerilla Nasty," a driving
Jazze Pha-produced cut that showcases Black's verbal gymnastics and has the
type of irresistible beat that other rappers will use on their mixtapes. Black's
pounding, braggadocio heater "Uh Oh" has already earned spots on the playlists
of both of Los Angeles' premier hip-hop radio stations (Power 106 and The Beat),
while the funk-drenched "Land Of The Lost" is heating up the underground
circuit. The success of "Guerilla Nasty," "Uh Oh" and "Land Of The Lost" are
setting the stage for Black's debut album, which will arrive after the Los Angeles-
based artist has conquered the mix tape world.
"The industry just isn't the same," Black explains. "A lot of cats, they'll throw an
album out there and cats don't really think that you've got an album. My thing is
to give people 50 mix tape joints so that when I do come with my album the
fans will feel me on a much bigger level. It'll be like I've done one album but
I've got three albums worth of material out there."
Fortunately for Black and his fans, Black has a wealth of material to draw from.
Born in Chicago, his family moved to Mississippi before he hit puberty. After one
of his uncles boasted of the promise waiting in the West, Black's mother moved
the family to California. They settled in a Long Beach shelter before making a
home in Compton.
Black's brother, who had already been writing raps, urged his younger sibling to
do the same. It lit a spark. "I just started rhyming here and there, keeping a
bar here, two bars there," Black says. "Before I knew it, I just had raps. I just
started logging them in my brain on a daily basis."
Black eventually got a record deal but was so distraught with the way it unfolded
that he temporarily gave up his rap dreams. "It was a hard thing for me to do,
turn my back on something that I really, really love," he says. "I love rap. I love
to hear someone spit verses."
Black returned to the streets and lost his young bride to meningitis all in the
same stretch. Despite these devastating events, Black's brother was again about
to change his life. Black's brother had kept rhyming and encouraged Black to do
the same. On his birthday, Black's brother invited Black to the studio. The
results were astounding. "They pulled up a track and I ran through it," Black
says. "There was only three of us in there, but the other guy must have run out
and told everybody what I was doing. Then, it seemed like there was 30 cats up
in the spot by the time I hit the second song."
Word quickly spread to Virgin Records Vice President of A&R Pete Farmer, who
signed Black to a deal at Virgin Records. But rather than just rhyme about
trendy topics, Black chose to revisit some of the most fulfilling and the most
heartbreaking parts of his life in his rhymes after watching his wife die in UCLA
"Everything after then I started rhyming was about my life. I had watched all
these people die since I had gotten here and you can love all those cats in the
streets, but it's nothing like your wife or someone you cherish and loves you
unconditionally. When I lost her, that messed me up for real."
After this tragedy, Black channeled all of his energy into to his lyrics, which are
among the sharpest, most spectacular rap has ever experienced. Get ready.
"Guerilla City" by Guerilla Black - release date: 07/9/04..