Southern California hip hop artist Saint recently released his new album Too Boozed Too Cruuz (Spotify). Saint is also part of the duo Lime Light alongside Ambishus, who appears on TBTC (watch the music video for “All We Know”). Saint has opened up for Tha Eastsidaz, Chino XL, LuckyIAm of Living Legends, Artifacts and 2Mex, and is currently working on Collaborative Minds, an album where he will feature one local artist and one famous artist on each track.
Describe the typical Saint fan.
My fans stem from all walks of life. Most are conscious of music beyond the radio and mainstream. A typical fan is some one who enjoys seeking and sharing new music and content all while supporting the artists they like and the culture as a whole. Of course though you always have the fans that just listen to the music because it sounds good and nothing else and don’t follow you. But a fan is a fan and we accept them as they come it’s all love no matter why you enjoy our music.
What inspired the concept for the Collaborative Minds album?
Most albums people have a feature or two in some of the songs but you don’t see too many albums that are fully all featured tracks. I want to showcase myself of course but I also want to build /network with likeminded people, and what better way to do so then to get on a track with someone? I also want to give people a voice who are passionate and want to be heard, which is why I’m featuring one independent artist per track. Then back to building and networking – what better way to do so then getting some powerhouse names on board for each track and building with them and their managers. The true inspiration overall is to be able to build, network and create platforms and ways for other likeminded individuals to connect and also build and network with each other on their own outside of just what I’m doing. Teamwork makes the dream work!
What do you think the old school can learn from the new school and vice versa?
I’ll be honest I’m not a real new school fan. I just have not heard anything that sparks my interest enough to pay attention and generally a lot of the instrumentals sound the same. So anytime I hear an instrumental close to what would be considered mainstream or radio I’m automatically shutting off hearing what the artist has to say. I’m not a real new era hyphy / mumble rap or trap kid. Even the new music I find through Pandora or IHeart, the artist sounds like the artist I’ve enjoyed already – even though it’s new music made in present time it’s got that old school style I grew up on. I understand music evolves and I’m not hating on any of it. It’s just not my style and not what I listen to, just as I’m sure people say the same when they hear my music. That’s the beauty of music. There is so much of it in so many genres, so we can be picky with what we want to hear. Doesn’t mean the other stuff sucks, it’s just not what we’re into.
How do you feel about the evolution of California hiphop, with the popularity of Kendrick Lamar, Odd Future and others in the last few years?
California hip hop like all hip hop has definitely evolved from the days of NWA, Biggie or Tupac. I’m not really mad at the way things are progressing. I try not to dwell and hate on anything too much – it doesn’t really get you anywhere. I do just wish that as much as it is changing it would have just as much staying the same. The 90’s hip hop and early 2000’s had some really dope stuff coming out and I listen to it still today. A lot of the new stuff I can’t just get behind like that mumble or hyphy stuff. Give me something real I can understand and relate to in my life ya know? I’m really happy with Kendrick though. I think he’s definitely an improvement and refreshment to some of the other music coming out at the same time as him. I’m happy he’s been involved with other artists I respect like Tech-N9ne. You don’t see to many of these other artists crossing realms into that independent underground scene. All in all if we can continue with artist like that and keep real hip hop alive I think the evolution of the rap game will be just fine.
What’s your favorite verse in hiphop history and why?
I don’t even know how I can narrow this question down when there are literally so many amazing lyrics throughout history. I can say one of my favorites though from one of my favorite groups called Potluck is …
Even though I’m not there Thanksgiving and Christmas
And I missed your birthday, guess it comes with the business
I missed my grandma’s funeral, I wasn’t around
Cause Potluck had a show out of town
I’m sorry, I always really wanna be there
Everybody that I love, please know I really do care
But I got this talent, I can’t waste it
I’m stuck in between a fucked up situation
Cause if I don’t make music I’m not happy
And if I’m not happy then where will that have me
Probably depressed and feeling so whack
So I’m giving it my all trying to never look back
This verse is something I can really relate to and get behind, which is why I love it so much. People who don’t make music have no idea the sacrifice that it takes and the time it takes to be fully involved in music, not just when you’re out performing shows but even just the time spent in the studio, or promoting or creating the albums and artwork etc., especially when you do it all on your own without a label or team to help. Even artists who do make music but have no real commitment or aspiration to take it further and perform shows or tour have no real idea what it takes to be fully involved in your music like this. I myself missed my daughter’s first birthday because I was out on tour but when you got a dream the dream sometimes comes first sadly. Music interrupts your normal life for sure because dreams don’t wait and neither do the opportunities you may miss if you skip out on a show or a studio sessions with someone. Every chance you get to network and build and be in front of people as an independent musician trying to make it you have to take it almost every time. Then like the verse says too, it’s not like we don’t care, we do want to be there, but music makes us happy as well and we can’t bail on that either. It’s the struggle of being in between a rock and a hard place but we push on and try to balance it all accordingly. This is why I love music that gives you something to relate to because it allows you to put your feelings into words when you’re not able to articulate it yourself. That is why this is one of my favorite hip hop verses.