Lifestyle has tracks so tight, it requires lubrication – or rather that’s the title to their debut release. Consisting of Bing – the younger brother of veteran rapper Snoop Dogg – and H.I.T. – the cousin of producer/ rapper DJ Quik – it’s not hard to see where they get their smooth flow from. It also doesn’t take a genius to conclude that this duo has some huge shoes to fill. Luckily, they’ve decided to go it alone and create their own sound. When their album drops on May 16, they’ll find out if blood line creates a gift or a curse.
Chronicmagazine.com: Your debut Lubrication is dropping May 16. Any butterflies?
Bing: A little bit of butterflies.
H.I.T.: You’ve got to be nervous.
Chronicmagazine.com: How do you all come up with the concepts as a group? Is it more of a collaborative effort or do you all bring separate ideas to the table?
H.I.T.: It’s more of a collab. We’ve been hanging with each other for a good thirteen years. If I think of a certain topic, he already knows where I’m going with it.
Chronicmagazine.com: Are your songs typically based on personal experiences?
Bing: Most of it is personal.
H.I.T.: Sometimes we may see one of our friends going through something and we may talk about it. Similar to what a poet would do.
Chronicmagazine.com: You all worked with some pretty big names for the first time out – Bun B., Dazz Dillinger. How did you all decide who you were going to hook up with?
H.I.T.: We went for the underdogs. The guys that were nice, but weren’t getting that recognition – people who are legends in the hood.
Chronicmagazine.com: With that said, are you more concerned about commercial success or street success?
Bing: For me, commercial. The streets are already in us. We are the streets. Now, it’s more about getting out there and people seeing us.
Chronicmagazine.com: How long have you all been doing this?
H.I.T.: About 11 years. We watched a lot of people come up.
Chronicmagazine.com: Has there ever been a point when you didn’t want to do it anymore?
Bing: A couple of years we did. This rap game goes in circles. It’s like fighting yourself. After a while you come to your senses. It’s always a battle. When you win this battle, here comes another. You’re always fighting something. When you get on top, you’re still not on top because you have to work hard to stay on top. It’s hard to get in.
Chronicmagazine.com: Is it more about who you know than talent?
H.I.T.: Yeah – especially now. Anybody can make a record.
Bing: If you know enough people, you can have a whole album.
Chronicmagazine.com: You all were on O.G.’s To Wall Street before landing on Lethal Entertainment. How did it affect you all when O.G.s shut down?
H.I.T.: It took a toll on us. It made us question ourselves a little bit, but we’re still here. It just pushed us more. I’m glad that situation happened because we became more independent. Instead of depending on other people, we became dependent on each other for support.
Chronicmagazine.com: Have you all ever thought about going to a major?
Bing: We think about it all the time, but we’ve been in the game so long we’re going to let them come to [us]. The more you show and prove, the more they respect what you do. They want to see you doing something. We’re going to go make it happen. If they come, they come. If they don’t, we’re still going to make it happen.
Chronicmagazine.com: Both of you have relatives in the game. Is that a gift or a curse?
Bing: Both. It’s a gift when people open their arms to us. They’ll do things for us without even knowing what’s going on. At the same time, people want to know where Snoop and Quik are and what they’re doing. They’ll try to use and abuse us to get to them. You can only deal with that for so long. We want to be heard too.
H.I.T.: A lot of times people will ask if Snoop’s on the record without even hearing it. Listen to the record first.
Chronicmagazine.com: Does that put any added pressure on you at all?
Bing: It did, but we’re ready for anything right now. I’ve seen too much. I’ve seen every pitch that can be thrown. Now I know what to expect and what not to expect. Expect anything from anyone or anybody. It taught us how to be independent and respect the game.
Chronicmagazine.com: Do you ever consult them when it comes to music or are you strictly on your own?
H.I.T.: We don’t really work with anyone else. We honestly hold our own. That’s the best part about being independent. You don’t really have to heed to anyone. You can do it the way you want to. If people [love] the way you’re doing it, you can’t lose.
Chronicmagazine.com: So, on Lethal you pretty much have full creative control?
Chronicmagazine.com: Have you all ever thought about starting your own label?
Bing: Oh yeah, in due time. Once we get established, that’s the next move. We’re just growing. It’s nothing but growth in this type of business. Now, we’re just trying to get our name known. From there, we’re going after the world. We’re taking it over.
Chronicmagazine.com: How’s the rap scene in the west?
H.I.T.: The west is so funny. I love it because that’s where we’re from, but you really have to be doing it in the west. You have to be on TV – already on TV [to be recognized] or no one will show you any love. I’m speaking on behalf of every artist out here. Our grind is a thousand times harder than it used to be. We’re just not supporting each other right now.
Bing: You have to be on top to be on top. How do you start on top? There are no avenues for the youth coming up in this game.
Chronicmagazine.com: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?
Bing: Be independent. No one’s going to give it to you in this game. You have to go get it yourself. Don’t sit back and wait for anyone to give you anything.
Find out more about Lifestyle www.myspace.com/lifestyle.