I caught up with DJ Daryl who is a legendary producer from West Oakland, you may have heard some of his production credits such as Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up”. Back in the day his group 415 was pretty well-known in Oakland. They changed the sound of Oakland forever by introducing the world to Mob Music and in the process paved the way for artists like Philthy Rich and Mozzy who are in a sense the musical offspring of the group 415. He has made an incredible contribution to hip hop having worked early on with artists such as Master P and helped introduce previously unknown rappers such as J Stalin to the world.
How did you develop a passion for music and how did you start producing?
I used to be a DJ, that’s how the name DJ Daryl came about. I used to DJ all the parties in my hood, house parties. We used to have recreation centers in the projects, I would DJ there on the weekends. It got to the point where I was so popular and my parties were so live that anyone who was giving a party on the days I was Dj’ing would cancel the party they were throwing and come to mine. I got to the point where I started messing with drum machines and making beats and ended up making my first song.
How did you end up meeting Tupac and working with him on Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.?
Tupac used to come to a studio that I used to record at with my group 415. Digital Underground used to come into the same studio we recorded at. One day we were wrapping up a session and they were about to start their session and he heard some music I was producing for my group which contained Richie Rich and D-Loc and after he heard my production he said he wanted me to do some music on his album. I didn’t know he was a rapper then because he was carrying equipment around for Digital Underground. He ended up doing his first album 2Pacalypse Now, I didn’t get on that album and that’s when I realized he rapped. When it was time for his second album he came to me, that album was Troublesome 21. Things that were going on at the record label prevented him from releasing that album. We ended up taking songs from that album and putting it towards another album which ended up being Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
Who are some of the other albums you worked with?
I’ve worked with mostly everybody out of Northern California. In my group 415 it was me, Richie Rich and D-Loc, I was Rich’s DJ earlier and after the group broke up we became what we started out being, he was the rapper and I was the DJ, and we ended up getting a deal over at Def Jam. I got a song on the Luniz first album, I worked with C-Bo from Sacramento. Out of Frisco I worked with Guce. I worked with Messy Marv. I’ve never worked with Too Short and E-40. E-40 rapped on a beat of mine. I’ve done a lot of music with his brother D-Shot.
Being from the Bay Area and part of the beginning sound how do you feel about the new artists and how hip hop as transitioned?
I’ll tell you this when I first started the only rappers that were in Oakland were Too Short and MC Hammer. Too Short’s sound was more about pimping, he was painting you a picture from a pimps perspective, out of Oakland!! MC Hammer was dancing and having fun, if I had to say he was the first hyphy artist out of Oakland. Todays music doesn’t have any kind of direction. Everybody is doing the same thing and that’s the difference. Technology has allowed the youth to sound great as far as quality. You put on five songs and they all have the same type of flow, rap, and kind of beat. After awhile you get tired of that. In that era it was a variety.
What are you currently working on?
Well my thing is I always like to work on people who are unknown. When I first worked with Tupac, Richie Rich, and C-Bo they were unknown to the world. So I like to feel like I’m a part of people who can become somebody. I’m working on a project called Signature Sounds. I have a Tupac record on there but everyone else is unknown.
Ryan Glover is a contributing writer for http://www.audiofuzz.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanDavisGlover, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your google network.