One half of U-N-I hopped on the phone with my old stomping grounds to talk about the inspiration behind his upcoming solo album, altercations with the police and more.
The project started with the first song I recorded for the album, “Los Angeles.” Ro Blvd made the beat and initially I was gonna go in on some Jay Electronica-type stuff, just some crazy raps and all that. But I sat back and listened to it, and I wanted to involve my fans into the record. So I had people call and e-mail me voice notes of a well-intentioned statement of what Los Angeles meant to them. And I just wanted to paint an honest picture of what Los Angeles is. So I was able to get all these little positive comments of what Los Angeles is, as well as a few negative comments, and kind of painted this picture of Los Angeles, and that’s what sparked the project. At the time some of my folks were doing research on the Los Angeles riots, and that title struck me. I was like, damn, I want to do a project called L.A. RIOT. It’s not solely based on historical events. A lot of the music is intense; it’s like scoring the lifestyle of a young male in Los Angeles.
Like I have a record called “Niggaz” on there, and the record is a self-critique. I’m looking at myself, I’m looking at some of my friends, and I’m looking at the word “nigga” and I’m giving a little history of the word and I’m studying why we call ourselves that on a daily basis. And at the end of the song, I’m like I don’t want to be this word, let’s be kings. A lot of the music on there is kind of intense and uplifting and knowledgeable. And that goes hand in hand with the “Rodney King” record. It’s a riot in music, a riot in art, and I’m just kind of going against the grain of what’s popular. It’s not the same hit record that you hear over and over and over. I’m not trying to do that.
Remember when Blu had a live performance of this during a show over a year ago? At long last the audio of the massive “New West” posse cut from NoYork! is released, courtesy of PacDivDaily. Applaud them please.
THURZ and members of the #92CREW talk to the camera while shooting the “Rodney King” Evolution to provide insight on the LA RIOT album, the inspiration behind the “Rodney King” record and what they RIOT for.
April 29th will mark the 19th anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots. I really hope people don’t try to “celebrate” that tragedy; there’s nothing right about celebrating violence and death to me, yet we still do it at the drop of a hat.
With today marking the 20th year anniversary of the atrocity that many remember as the ‘Molotov Cocktail’ that sparked the 1992 LA Riots… THURZ gives the first person perspective of the night that lead to the infamous beating of Rodney King.
MEKA: Anybody that grew up during those time knew how crazy that was. I remember having to leave school early the day of because the riots were getting dangerously close to it. Inglewood hasn’t been the same since, and I don’t know who’s really comfortable driving down Florence and Normandie late at night sometimes.
Now that I think of it, Los Angeles used to not give a fuck back in the day. Aside from the Riots, there was the infamous OJ Simpson chase and the North Hollywood bank robbery/shootout, and the near-daily high-speed car chases that used to happen so often the show “World’s Wildest Police Chases” started because of it. Crazy how things seemed to have calmed down since.
Anyways, Thurzday’s solo debut, LA RIOT, is set to drop soon.