LA’s TAHOE made his name in the streets as a graff writer, he’s now a rapper that you need to listen to. Erwin Recinos caught up with TAHOE for the following conversation about his music career, adventures in writing, and of course his favorite taco spot…
What’s your favorite taco?
Chicken, I never met a Chicken Taco that I didn’t like. My favorite taco spot is Amigos Tacos in Torrance.
How long have you been writing on the streets of LA? Also how did you get started rapping?
Been writing since ’99, I started rapping just to be able to express myself creatively as I was able to do with graffiti, plus niggas keep telling me I had good freestyles.
I was introduced to your EP 7Teen, who produced it and how was the experience of putting that together?
7Teen was produced by my man Radio, he produced all 7 tracks of the 17 minute EP. The experience of putting together my first EP was dope, I would come to Radio’s crib while he would be creating a beat and we’ll come up with a song from scratch. We fed off of each others energy well, he built beats around my rap style.
Who are you currently following in the LA hip hop scene?
Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Cassie Veggies, Odd Future, Holladay, Dodger Blu, Curtiss King, Thurzday, Radio, Ill Camille, Skeme, Ghrimm, and J Go. There are many more, but I don’t want to do a sick ass roll call like this was a black book.
Who would you like to collab with on track?
I would love to do a track with Kanye, that dude is an artist and I feel he’ll force me to take myself to another level musically.
What was the last album you either purchased or downloaded?
“Control System” by Ab-Soul, purchased it on iTunes the day of it’s release.
Switching gears, how do you think the graffiti scene in LA is doing?
From what I see, and this is mostly in pictures because I’m not out there bombing anymore, there’s a whole new generation hitting the streets. Most of these dudes I came up with in graff have switched it up and started hitting low key yards and legals because we all got screwed by the system. I like what I see for the most part, it’s really been just a bunch of throwies and Bay Area inspired styles.
Do you still get up or has that taken a backseat?
It’s taken a backseat, the multiple raids, jail time, restitution, probation, and community service was an eye opener. I became a father and got myself a real good job, I knew I couldn’t risk it all again, especially with kids. A lot of the homies with kids still out there active so most will say that’s no excuse not to be getting up, but when you love your kids like I love mine, the thought of going back to jail makes risking it nearly impossible.
Who or what was your biggest influence in the graffiti scene?
I would definitely have to say Revok MSK AWR. That dude continues to evolve with no signs of falling off. I really hung out with him on a few occasions and we always have cool conversations. The fact that we always talk about anything other than Graffiti is what I dig about the guy, there’s more to him than just a dope artist.
Favorite colors for a quick throwie?
White fill, Black outline can never go wrong. Throw a Yellow border on there if you feeling fancy.
Writers like to tell of their adventures, do you have one for our readers?
I have quite a few wild tales, I’ll share this one in particular. I had parked my car and was walking to this spot that faces the 405 near Florence with 2 other homies, they walked ahead while I stayed back to take a piss. So I’m walking to the spot, my two homies had already made it there and I see the cops creeping in my direction with no lights on, they’re flashing that light all around to check the dark cuts and all of a sudden the car charges in my direction. I’m 3 feet in front of this cop car hiding behind a small concrete block on the side of the train tracks and they’re flashing the light on the block I hiding behind. I counted down in my head and when I got to “1”, I stood up and booked down the train track across Florence and La Cienega, then I ran down the embankment towards the 405 southbound traffic. I walked along the side of the freeway through the heavy brush to the next exit, it took me almost an hour to make it back to my car. I finally get back to my car and the homies weren’t there, they called me to come pick them up at Randy’s Donuts. Turns out they didn’t get to paint either, the police posted up at the spot flashing that light directly on the wall we planned to hit so they had to stay still the whole time.
You have close to 140k tweets! Most I’ve seen on twitter. What kinda of conversations do you find the most interesting on twitter?
I find conversations about religion most interesting an annoying. Most people come on Twitter for entertainment not your religious tweets, relationship advice or to read about you political views. I come on there to clown around and not be all serious, life is already serious enough.
Honestly, how many pair of sneakers do you own and which are your ‘go to’ pair?
I only own 58 pair, that sucks in my opinion, but I refuse to buy shoes I don’t really want just for the sake of having a bunch of kicks. My favorite pair would have to the Air Jordan 3 black and cement.
Lastly, what projects do you have in the works that our readers should look out for?
I’m currently working on “Nobody Special”, a full length project. I’m excited about it, I hope to meet the listeners expectations.