Maybe he wasn’t in the mood. Maybe he was high. But Daz Dillinger wasn’t much in a mood to talk beats. He was in the mood to talk money, hustling beats and anything that comes from making the beats. At the end of the day isn’t that information just as valuable? With his new CD , On The Left Side, in stores now, Daz spoke candidly about leaving So So Def, working with the new owners of Death Row, getting his Detox on and what Suge Knight is doing in Boston.
NODFACTOR: How does To the Left Side compare to previous Daz albums?
DAZ: Uh, you know, a different direction. But what you heard before sticks to the script, ain’t changing. Doing no popcorn rap. Doing some hustlin’ rap, know what I mean? It’s your own music, you can put your own records out.
NODFACTOR: Did you do all the production on this new project or did you get other people to produce for you?
DAZ: I got Swizz Beatz, Soopafly, Salaam Rick.
NODFACTOR: That’s a pretty good lineup.
DAZ: Got a pretty good lineup of features too. Like Keak Da Sneak, Swizz Beatz, , Snoop Dogg, Tyrese, Nicole Ray..Obie Trice, Krayzie Bone. That’s hustlin’ rap, know what I mean?
NODFACTOR: How long were you working on the project?
DAZ: I had the album for like 2 years already. But I had put out other projects before then. ‘Cause I do a lot of albums. I got another album coming out called Who Ride Wit Us? digitally. I drop a lot of albums digitally. Like iTunes, Napster, all these other places. And I got two singles from Tha Dogg Pound on there, “Cheat” and “Get Your Drink On, Get Your Smoke On.”
NODFACTOR: Yeah, I was watching the “Cheat” video online. How’s it been touring with Snoop?
DAZ: It’s a family affair, man. We been doing this for what, 17 years? 18 years going on, probably. Since “Deep Cover.”
NODFACTOR: As a solo artist, you’re not signed to So So Def any longer?
NODFACTOR: So what happened there?
DAZ: Got out of the situation. Just trying to do the Bonecrusher and J-Kwon and leave the other label, go to another label. So I have to do what I do, I can always bounce back, know what I mean? I’m in the game. The other artists, I still see ‘em but we don’t really speak or nothing because I don’t want to fuck him up. I just stay to myself.
NODFACTOR: With Jermaine Dupri?
NODFACTOR: Things didn’t end well, or I thought it was more his legal situation…
DAZ: All this type of shit. He was holding information, all this other stuff. I just let it be bygones. You do your thing, I’ma do my thing. Just like we would before. I’m shooting movies now, you know what I mean?.
NODFACTOR: Recently Death Row got sold in an auction. How do you feel knowing that you helped build that brand and that catalogue?
DAZ: Well, I had a conversation with the people that bought Death Row. And they’re going to need us to revamp their product. They’re going to come to us with a new deal and give us publishing. And other little stuff we did that never came out. We going to work out some deals. But who else can you get to revamp that? I did 14 videos to the Dogg Food album, different songs on there, that people wanted to hear, we shot videos for ‘em – and that’s one way to revamp some of the little things. Make money with records or make it with that, you know what I mean? We gon keep doing what we doin’ good.
NODFACTOR: So you’re working with the people that bought the rights?
DAZ: I been working with them already. When I heard they bought it, I had my lawyer call in. Then they all interested. The lawyer said you get to revamp the motherfucker. If Koch woulda cared…That’s why we never did nothing with Koch, we didn’t like that they was in cahoots with Death Row, and that’s why we ain’t have nothing to do with that type of shit. They just kept on recycling songs and all other stuff. Over here, we can do videos, we can do DVDs for all them albums. Explain, make a little video here, there, here, here…All that to revamp the shit.
NODFACTOR: You and Kurupt are still cool. Is there a Dogg Pound album coming?
DAZ: Yeah, we got two albums coming. We got an EP called West Coast Aftershots, and we got the 100 Wayz, the movie and the album. We in the process of making songs right now, I’ma drop a single with me and Kurupt, then I drop my album. My next single is “I’m From The Hood” featuring Swizz Beatz. And I got the remix with me, Swizz Beatz, Kurupt, Cassidy, on it. Just dropping it. I’m mainly in the studio, man. My room.
NODFACTOR: How much producing are you still doing?
DAZ: I’m doing a lot of producing, I just don’t be giving my beats out. I can make more money with my beats than the person I give it to. Because I put the records out, I’m seeing the money come in, I’m getting the ringtone money, everything. Life is in my songs, I can make a song tonight and have it up on iTunes in 2 days. Gettin’ money. With a cappellas, I’m just dropping singles right now. Why drop an album when I can drop singles? Drop a single with the instrumental, a capella [and] radio, that’s 4 dollars. 3.99, 2.99, whatever, for the package deal. But I could just keep dropping singles. DJs gon’ buy the a cappellas and somethin’ off that package they gonna get. And it ain’t costing me no money, I just upload! UPLOAD! [laughs]
NODFACTOR: Dre said he’s finally putting out Detox in November. Should we believe it or not?
DAZ: You better believe it, ‘cause I’m on my way out there on the 8th to drop my part. ‘Cause everybody else did theirs. Snoop did went over there, Kurupt went over there. I talked to Dr. Dre on the phone and he’s like, ‘Daz, come on over here.’ So I know it’s going down. Once you have Snoop on there, it’s solidified.
And I’ve done heard some of the songs that motherfucker did. He’s tight with that 5.1 Dooby [I think he meant Dolby] shit…Dr. Dre on some other shit. He got a song with 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and R.Kelly. So that shit knocks.
NODFACTOR: Are you just doing verses or are you contributing any production to it?
DAZ: I ain’t went over yet to let Dr. Dre hear what I got. I just need to get my shit together right now so when I get off the road, everybody going back, everybody gon’ be over there. So I go over there, late style, you know what I mean?
NODFACTOR: Now there’s a lot of stuff that you did for Death Row after Dre left but a lot of people still don’t realize how much you did. What was some of the stuff you produced for Death Row after he died?
DAZ: I mean, I did remixes of his, songs with 2pac, Top, and you know, just different other stuff. We was really about us, we was just doing the music. I’m like, g-songs, know what I mean? Just put them all on auto [?] and then my real name, all that shit going to pop up. Put that in your engine in the Google and my whole history pop up. Ever since I was 15 years old.
NODFACTOR: I read an article you did one time, you said you used to do a lot of digging online. You go to iTunes and listen to music and get ideas from beats by doing that. Do you still do that?
DAZ: Yeah, I still get a lot of ideas from everything. I’m just getting into everything. Expand your mind. Travel. You know, ‘cause I live in Atlanta.
NODFACTOR: How is that different?
DAZ: It’s some street shit, it’s about how you make it. I’m like, if it’s Too $hort out there, if it’s me, nawmean? I’m a West Coast nigga in the South! They respect me up there and I respect them. And we get money together, me and DJ Funky and other people, nawmsayin’? And I got the knowledge on this digital distribution so I just be hookin’ niggas up. You gotta have product. Have your shit, I’ll bust on your shit, here you go, homey, you can have that.
NODFACTOR: How did you become so comfortable with all the digital distribution?
DAZ: You know, learning. Keep your mind open. Never say no. Stop being traditional. Just getting into new things. My lawyer told me, ‘that digital ain’t going to pay like that!’ But now you get a check and you hear, ‘Ohhh!’ [laughs] Yeah, you know what I mean? iTunes, Napster, and a whole bunch of stores online. I just drop ‘em like that and they put ‘em on the internet. ‘Cause they got to buy ‘em to put ‘em on the internet. Or they hackin’ them motherfuckers. There’s a lot of hackers out here. I got about 300 new programs I ain’t even paid for. The internet can hurt ya and it can make ya.
NODFACTOR: Yeah, I know. If information gets out there, rappers gotta change their whole personas. People’s whole job records is out there. [laughs]
DAZ: [laughs] Nah man, they trying to put the whammy on my boy Rick Ross.
NODFACTOR: What do you think of that?
DAZ: Getting that shit published out to a motherfucker. [?]
NODFACTOR: So you think it’s Photoshopped?
DAZ: You never know. Shit. I know Suge Knight, he was doing dirty shit like this and we was doing the same thing.
NODFACTOR: Making up pictures of people?
DAZ: All kind of shit. About jealous motherfuckers trying to destroy your career.You gotta bounce back over this shit.
NODFACTOR: What kind of things did Suge ever do? I thought he just intimidated people, I didn’t think he went to those levels.
DAZ: Yeah, he ain’t did shit but lose his company. But you know, hey, they’re still here. He in Boston. Let’s check about 30 years from now and see what’s crackin’. He ain’t got no artists, he can’t get back in the game. He probably got some money hidden somewhere but goddamn, how long’s that gonna last? Money don’t last forever ‘til you work.
NODFACTOR: Now you got dude’s barbers knockin him out in nightclubs
DAZ: Heh heh. Shit, the bartender going to knock him out. Shit…a roach! Never know, know what I mean? That’s why I just keep my mind on my business and my business on my mind. And my business don’t let me go around and bullshit. I don’t give a fuck about being no big star, doing this and this and this, I’m just doing me, nawmean? I move around a lot and that’s what I like doing. I’m in the hood, I’m a hood nigga, we do all this but I’m like, handle your business. Raise your kids and shit like that.