Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Image result for kendrick lamar top dawg  billboard magazine

WATTS, LOS ANGELES, CA native TOP DAWG ENTERTAINMENT CEO/Founder ANTHONY TOP DAWG TIFFITH and his star client COMPTON native Rapper KENDRICK LAMAR discuss how they built TDE into the greatest indie  label i all of HIP HOP for the new issue of BILLBOARD Magazine!!!

Here are some interview interludes:

Top, how did you encourage creativity in your artists early on?
Anthony Tiffith: Growing up in the era of the gangsta sh*t, a lot of my friends were getting killed, a lot of friends were in the pen, I got shot. When I got with the [TDE artists], it was up to me to show them something different -- to lock them in my studio and make them build a bond as brothers, and struggle a little bit. I had the money to do whatever I wanted, but they weren’t going to appreciate shit if I just handed it off to them. So they were rushing to McDonald’s to look at what’s on the dollar menu, or going to get a River Boat special from Louisiana Fried Chicken. But I was showing them family life because my family lives in this house, too.
What made you trust these kids?
Tiffith: Me being in the streets all my life, I judge people pretty good. Jay Rock is from my hood, Nickerson Gardens. I was chasing him around, and he hides, thinking I’m trying to discipline him about some b*llsh*t. I finally catch him while he was getting a haircut: “Yo, you rap. I’m trying to do this sh*t. Let’s go.” Dave [Free] was a computer dude, he came to f*ck with my computer and played [Lamar’s] music.
How hungry were you, Kendrick?
Kendrick Lamar:
 I was too hungry, man. The summer I came over there, everyone was getting murdered and sh*t. There was a real war with my section and, like, two neighborhoods down the block. Compton [Calif.] is small, so n---as be warring on corners. By the grace of God, we found the studio.
And Top’s studio was free.
Lamar: You hear about homies going to studios and they’ve got to rush their verses, hurry up before somebody else comes in. I got to actually do a verse, scrap it, do it over and just perfect my whole shit. And that gave me the upper hand among other artists. All of us at TDE, that gave us an upper hand. Everybody [else] was just trying to get a hit record.
What do you miss about the early days?
Tiffith: I miss the grind. That uncertainty about everything, but knowing that I got some talented m*therf*ckers that can actually take over this game. Then, the bullsh*t happened at Warner Bros. [TDE’s deal with the label soured after a restructuring there.] So now, we have to regroup. I sit down with everybody and say, “Yo, it’s time to go hard. F*ck chasing these labels. We’re going to make these labels chase us.” Going with Dr. Dre [at Aftermath/Interscope] was a plus because we all love Dre. Kendrick remembers Dre from when he was hanging on his daddy’s neck. He come from what we come from. To be able to walk out in his backyard and see the whole f*cking world, point to your neighborhood -- that’s inspiration, bro. And he’s like, “Top, y’all can have all this.” He never tried to interfere with what we do. Like, “Y’all came in winning. Do what y’all do.”
Kendrick, how have your relationships with the other TDE artists changed?
Lamar: Being a fan of groups and labels, you hear stories of m*therf*ckers fighting, this one jealous of the other. Those cats never had brotherhood from the jump. I still can look in [ScHoolboy] Q’s eyes, and he can still look in my eyes, like, “N---a, I know.” Or Rock. I know what we did to get here. No matter how far we get, we’ll always have that bond, period.
How would you two define your relationship?
Tiffith: I trust his judgment, he trusts mine. Some sh*t I’m tripping on, he might call me and change my whole mind about it.
Lamar: You don’t get too many people like him this side of the neighborhood. A lot of m*therf*ckers want you to see them down just like them. Or don’t want you to come up like them. If it weren't for him, I’d probably be sitting around with this m*therf*cking money and face and platform and not doing sh*t because I didn't have the proper guidance to know exactly what to do and how to inspire the next kid.


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