Bow Down (1996)—Westside Connection
I made that Westside Connection record because of the Mecca of hip-hop, New York. Of course all the artists on the West Coast at one time were looking for the stamp of approval from the New York hip-hop kings. And we got it. We got it with Straight Outta Compton, we got it with AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, Death Certificate, Kill At Will…it was nothing but love. And then Dre and Snoop Dogg came out. But really, it kind of started with that Tim Dog record “Fuck Compton.” That to me was the first smack. Now most of the New York industry dudes didn’t support that Tim Dog shit. They knew it was foul. But then you started hearing the term ‘keep it real,’ which came out the fact that the East Coast thought the music the West Coast was making wasn’t real hip-hop. We would hear stuff like, ‘We sick of this jheri curl shit.’ It started to escalate to the point where I felt that no one from the West Coast was standing up for what we believed in and our contributions to hip-hop.
I remember Masta Ace making a song called “SlaughterHouse” on which he said all our records were just blood dripping bullshit. So that was the last straw for me. It had built up so much where we thought we needed to do a “Westside Slaughterhouse” and let them know how it really is. So we did that record on Mack 10’s album and our Coast rallied around it. It was like, ‘Yeah, man…somebody is finally standing up for the West Coast!’ I felt like I should have been the one to do it because I got respect from both coasts. That’s when Mack, myself and WC decided to do the Westside Connection album Bow Down and I was really happy with the results. I didn’t feel like we were starting shit. We were just defending ourselves because the West Coast was starting to feel repercussions from our success. That record was basically saying that there was a line in the sand. Without that album the industry would have stopped the West Coast long before that. We were getting the doors shut on us, and they are still shut on us today. That’s why I named my new album I Am The West. It’s still an uphill battle.