Sir Jinx Talks 2Pac Busting Guns, "Uncle Suge," And The Lost Kool G. Rap Album
Exclusive: In part two of DX's epic convo with the OG track-master, Jinx details his experience rioting with 'Pac, his friendship with Suge, and The D.O.C.'s documentary.
In part one of Sir Jinx’s revealing conversation with HipHopDX the veteran beatmaker revealed that his 17-year delayed reunion with Ice Cube did not come to fruition as it was originally intended for I Am The West, (explaining why the once musical partners no longer speak to one another). Dr. Dre’s cousin also revealed his recent work with the good doctor for Detox, (work that included the assistance of Jay-Z). Additionally, the onetime Ruthless Records “scrub” further revealed his work in the late ‘80s with a then-teenage Snoop Dogg, as well as the work he put in a little over 20 years ago attempting to get the Hieroglyphics crew signed to Ruthless.
Now, in the conclusion to DX’s discussion with Sir Jinx, the man born Anthony Wheaton shares one more story from his historic past, this time recalling his hilarious experience rioting with 2Pac in Los Angeles during the 1992 rebellion. Jinx also reveals if he can ever release the long lost original recordings he made with fellow rioter Kool G. Rap. The producer/emcee additionally explains why “Suge is my friend,” why he is rechristening himself “Tony Villa,” and finally, what his involvement is in the upcoming documentary on the tragically cut-short career of The D.O.C.
HipHopDX: I want to go back to your Producer’s Corner feature for one more bit of information, something you said that grabbed my eye. You’ve got to be the only person in this industry who’s ever been quoted as saying, “Suge is my man…” [Laughs]
Sir Jinx: I don’t know how you grew up…but everybody got either a uncle in they family they don’t like, or a big cousin, or a big brother – you don’t like ‘em until the shit go bad. At all the picnics they fucking up…cursing people out, but soon as that dude run into your car in the supermarket and five dudes jump out, you not calling Auntie Shay Shay, you calling Suge [Knight].
DX: [Laughs] Uncle Suge.
Sir Jinx: Uncle Suge. And if you don’t want it done right, don’t call Suge. So, that’s the cold thing when people say that Suge whatever, whatever - I mean, he did what he did. If everybody was in his shoes, then they could say what kind of person he is. Everybody say [Suge had something to do with] the situation with [2Pac] and all that, but nobody don’t know. I know Suge, and [the conspiracy theory that Suge Knight had 2Pac killed] don’t add up to me like that. And I ain’t in it – don’t put [me in it] – but I see the nigga eye-to-eye and it’s hard [to see him in that way]… I been knowing Suge since he was a limousine driver. And he never swung [at] or hit me or jumped me. [But] then, I never put myself in that position anyway. ‘Cause I always had my other shit going [on]. And he was always happy for me because I didn’t have to follow behind [Dr.] Dre… He was like, “You know I always respected you, man. You went and did your own thing, man. Most of these niggas sideline Dre, kiss Dre ass…” And I’d be like, “Yeah, but he’s still my cousin.” I feel like he can be the king and I can be the prince. I don’t want his world. I don’t want them pressures that he has to deal with…
DX: One more thing I learned from your Producer’s Corner feature is that you produced Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo’s Live and Let Die in its entirety before it was remixed by the Trackmasters and others [due to sample clearance issues]. So would you ever consider reaching out to G. Rap to release those originals?
Sir Jinx: Um…they still got sample infringements in [the tracks]. Because see…we finished that album, [but] they [didn’t release it until] a year later [in 1992]. The Trackmasters…when they went back in and took the samples out, [after] I gave them the masters…I don’t know. They released a whole different [album] than I gave Cold Chillin’ [Records]… I gave Cold Chillin’ something else, and they went back in and remixed a lot of them songs. [But] with [Kool] G. Rap, that’s my nig right there. I would love to work with G. Rap [again], but he gotta wanna do it.
DX: Speaking of G. Rap, when I spoke with him back in ’08 for his DX feature he recounted for me the story of you, he and Tupac “…riding around, poppin’ they burner off out the window” during the ’92 L.A. riots. [Laughs] Just to keep it a hunnid though, was ‘Pac really riding around, shooting out the car window?
Sir Jinx: Put it like this, we saw a dude in a security guard outfit and ‘Pac pointed the gun at him and laughed. That’s the intensity of the street [on] that day. It was a dude standing at the bus [stop] – ‘Cause we driving down Wilshire [Boulevard], I’m driving my car [and] he letting it loose through the sunroof: boom, boom. I mean, it’s shells in my car. I actually took ‘Pac to my neighborhood over there off of Western [Avenue] & 106th [Street] and that’s where he got more bullets from – ‘cause he emptied his gun in my car. [Laughs] And for some reason it wasn’t wrong. [Laughs] …That was the day I was supposed to work with 2Pac. That was the only day, because after that he got into some shit and then we never went back into the studio… The day before [the Rodney King trial verdict came down] he was working with some other guys in the same studio. [And] so the next day he was off from them, and I was off from working on G. Rap’s shit. [But] that’s why G. Rap was there [in the studio too]. You know how you work with artists [and they’ll] be like, “Let me take a day off [from recording] to write.” So he took a day off, and that day on [for me in the studio] was supposed to be [me working] with 2Pac, but as soon as we [started] going through the beats my homeboys come through the door with like five hats on they head like the Mad Hatter, with arms full of liquor, talking about “L.A. is on fire.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about?” I don’t know nothing. We in the studio…[but] I don’t watch T.V. in the studio. So I turned the T.V. on, [and] L.A.’s on fire. We said, “Okay, we’re gonna come back tomorrow.” [Laughs] So we went down to L.A. to see what the fuck was going on. And then while we was going down there, while we riding down Wilshire, boom, boom, boom, boom, he dumping out the sunroof. So then we go all the way down, we hit L.A., we hit Crenshaw, we in the middle of Crenshaw. I parked my car in the middle of the street, because everybody has just parked sideways like the world coming to an end. We go into Tempo Records – Tempo Records is on fire! In the back, we get in, [and] Tupac [starts] signing autographs…signing his records. I’m like, “C’mon! Let’s go! Let’s go!” …[Then] it’s like…some muthafuckin’ A-Team shit, we jump back in the car, [and then] we go to the bottoms. We go some place that I ain’t never been – ‘cause I grew up on like the Crip side, so I ain’t have no reason to be over there. [Laughs] And they would spot me out by just being from where I lived. So we go over there, the swap meet is up to your shin in water because the sprinkler system came on, because some part of the building is on fire. So we slushing through the water, getting stuff, doing stuff – this nigga [‘Pac is] outside taking pictures. [So finally] we jump in the car and then that was our day of [rioting]. That was my nigga. ‘Pac was my friend…just like Suge is my friend. [Laughs] I know some of the craftiest people on the planet, but…it’s better to have ‘em on your team than against you… [Some people don’t understand] what it takes to do business with people like Suge. And some people didn’t like 2Pac [either]. But at the end of the day, when something go wrong, who you gon’ call?
DX: I appreciate this walk down memory lane, it’s been enjoyable, [Laughs], but I need to go ahead and wrap things up. But before I let you go, I wanna get a rundown of any new projects you got in the works?
Sir Jinx: Well right now I got a couple of things that’s coming out. I done changed my [performing] name… So I got some music that I got coming out [under that name]. And the name is Tony Villa. And that’s just like my alter-ego… I got a bunch of cats that I work with, and now I’m just gon’ come out with some good music [featuring them]. Now you got the Internet, [so] I don’t have to slave myself to a record company… So a lot of the music that I’m working on with the Tony Villa project is just basically using the [new technology of] the time. Like, I would use the [technology of the] time in ’89 [and] use the SP1200 or…the Oberheim to make my world come alive. Now I got Reason…Pro Tools. So it’s just a breath of fresh air. It’s just like my album [back in the mid-‘90s], Chastisement, when I put that record out [with features from] Gerald Levert and Isaac Hayes, I didn’t make music to compete with people. I make music to listen to [and enjoy]. So I got the new project, the Tony Villa project… [The] album [is] called RSVP. That’s gonna be coming out [soon]. It got a lot of cats on it. It got Kurupt on it, Jayo Felony, it got Ya Boy on it, it got Medusa on it, it got…King Tee is on it, Domino’s on it… I’m trying to take that little hand that I got, that [Dr.] Dre gave me, and put together some good hot shit with the artists that might not get no deal. But you still wanna hear Rodney O, you still wanna hear what’s going on with Paperboy, you still wanna hear what’s going on with these other emcees – Candyman – that’s still hot. These dudes is lyricists but maybe the time has changed. But if they get up to date with what’s going on, then they gon’ be on some records.
DX: [And] you’re gonna be rappin’ on this…?
Sir Jinx: Yes, [as] a performer, Tony Villa. And I been holding it back so long because the west coast will make you feel stagnated [creatively], until you go out to Atlanta, until you got out to Detroit, until you go out to places and see what [the] west coast did for the [whole] United States. Then that’s when I [started] figuring out, “Okay, well then there is another world for Sir Jinx.” …Just reinventing yourself is another idea in Hip Hop that you get to do. Now if you wanna ride that [old west] wave of “What’s happenin’ homie?” then that’s good [for you], but I like to deal with the new shit… When the technology caught up [to where it is now], then I was able to be able to produce myself as well as do music closer to the concept that I believe… The song that I gave to [Ice] Cube, [“Life In California”], was a song that was on my album [originally]. I just took my vocals off and gave him the instrumental… So I shot him the [beat] with the hook, and with Jayo Felony [already] on it. And that’s how he got the song. [But] what he did to it after that, that was on him. So that’s why I [explained that] I never talked to him – it was just through the engineer or through Brother Ron.
DX: We all have our personal relationships that aren’t where we want ‘em to be, [but] it’s just kinda disappointing to hear that you guys aren’t like [back] in one room [working] together.
Sir Jinx: I don’t even know how to put it. I guess with…the new people that he have [working with him], he might get a better vibe, a more comfortable vibe. But we actually scheduled time for us to be in one room together, and he didn’t make it. But I don’t want it to [sound] bad. It’s just how life goes… You know [the Atlanta Falcons] got rid of Mike Vick, [but] I’m sure they feel it now.
[Conversation goes off the record before resuming] That’s with me and [The] D.O.C. I been dealing with D.O.C., and D.O.C.’s recreating that day – that day when he came to California [from Texas].
DX: He’s recreating – Like, he’s making a movie or something?
Sir Jinx: He’s making a documentary on him. So he’s getting all the cats together [that were around him in the late ‘80s]. And I’m the only person – See let me tell you something, if Cube never left [Ruthless Records], I probably woulda been D.O.C.’s deejay. Because if you look at the old, funny N.W.A. tapes with them making fun of Cube, I’m actually the deejay. We all in it. It wasn’t meant to be a disrespect. It was [just] that everybody had a video camera and they was making tapes about each other.