- Micheal La Shon III
Upcoming Artist: Infamous Taz
The Bay Area has a rich history in hip-hop culture, from E-40, Mac Dre and Too $hort in the 90s and early 2000s to artists like IamSu! and Nef The Pharaoh today. New artists show up in the Bay Area all the time, and one that's being highlighted today is from Pittsburg, California, Infamous Taz.
The following is a short interview with the upcoming rapper:
ML3: So Taz, what got you into hip hop?
Taz: Well, I can't exactly say I got into Hip Hop, I was born into Hip Hop. When I was an
infant, my mom would play Tupac, DMX, Scarface, and E-40 as I rode around with her in
my car seat. From that point on, Hip Hop became more of a way of life for me rather than
ML3: What's your favorite thing about music?
Taz: My favorite thing about music is its ability to reach out to the people and provoke
emotion out of them. It gives the people a feeling like no other; it has the ability to
uplift one’s spirit or give them a different perspective about life. I feel that music is the
perfect tool to get your message across, as well as a therapeutic outlet to unleash your
ML3: When did you release your first song?
Taz: I released my first song when I was 15 years old, as a freshman in high school. I rapped
over Jay Electronica’s instrumental for “Exhibit A” and I titled the song “The
Commodity”. A year or two later I went on to redo the song over an original beat, making it the intro to my mixtape that I released under the same title.
ML3: Do you write your material or do you always freestyle?
Taz: As far as the material that I come with, I've never had to write my lyrics down to remember
the words. I come up with the concept in my mind first, then I just repeatedly freestyle to
myself until I put together all the rhetoric and bars I want for a certain song. Afterwards I
continuously spit those bars to myself until I can remember them without thinking of the
words, and from there, I record the track.
ML3: Who got the J.C.O.E. group started?
Taz: As far as who got J.C.O.E. together, I’d say that I was the spark of making it into a
solidified crew. My group consists of family members that I’ve been close with all my life
and close friends I’ve known since junior high and high school, so we’ve always had our
circle. The name “Juice Crew” derives from our deep influences in Hip Hop, coming
from an all star rap group out of Queens, New York in the 1980s. My cousin Sleaze thought of
reviving the name and making it into what we called ourselves around Pittsburg. I was
the one that transformed the name into J.C.O.E. ( Juice Crew Over Everything) and made
it into a music driven group and independent label.
ML3: Who's all in the J.C.O.E. group?
Taz: All the members of J.C.O.E. are Sleaze, Jodie, Swayze, and our vocalist Nikki.
Infamous Taz's Soundcloud:
Infamous Taz's YouTube channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCHjgW3l9PTe7V1JKeKqFv8A