We Interviewed Andre Nickatina, Who Detests Doing Interviews
Andre Nickatina smokes one for Mac Dre...
Andre Nickatina has been a mainstay of the Bay Area rap microcosm dating back to the early 1990s, when he went by the name Dre Dog. He regularly sells out shows around the country and he even has New York elitists chanting "Crack Raider Razor... Sharp!" like it's 1997 when he visits.
Like now! Nickatina is currently in NYC for a show tonight at Santos Party House, so we caught up with him for some good conversation. It may not have been as exciting as his "Conversation With A Devil," but nonetheless there's plenty of good stuff here.
Welcome to the Big Apple big homey! How do you like NYC?
I like NYC. I dig it a whole lot. I like how y'all parties go down. I like how y'all party 24 hours a day. The parties go 'till really late out here man and I love that.
I heard through the grapevine that you detest doing interviews. Is this true?
Well yeah. A lot of the time they're boring to me. Not always though. Like if it's a good convo that's cool, I'll enjoy the interview. But honestly I usually get corny cliché questions. So that's why I don't always [grant] interviews.
Well I'm glad you let me live. One thing I've always wanted to ask you though: What the fuck is a "Crack Raider Razor?"
[Chuckles] You know in the hood that dude who is a crackhead that can fix almost anything? The one you get to work on your car for a few bucks and he fixes it and it runs perfectly for a two weeks and then breaks down again? That's a crack raider. I just heard the beat and that situation is what popped into my head.
So I was just watching the video for "Break Bread" Why you got shorty rapping your verse instead of you?
Glad you asked that. I'm not getting in front of the camera no more. I ain't gonna be in anymore videos. I been in front of that motherfucking camera for 23 years. I'm trying to spend more time behind the camera. It's been getting that way with since the "Jelly" video. I've been more of a producer and director just to better my skills so I can make films.
Is that a difficult transition so far?
No not really. Most rappers get asked what they want from the directors anyway. The director will ask them what they want to do. So, I was already [directing and producing] in a sense. It's like any job or being a journalist,for example. You gotta just roll with it till you get better. Some dudes like being in the studio but hate being on stage and vice versa. The more shit you can do and you're good a, though, the better artist you'll be.
Very sound advice. So here's something I don't want to really ask you: How did Mac Dre's murder affect you?
What I can say? Speaking as a rap cat we lost a really creative cat. At the time we was doing stuff together so losing such a close rap friend was big. I'm part of the Bay like everyone else so it affected me as a fan too. I still roll a blunt for him and keep it moving. My respect for him was [immense]. I was in the same lane as him and to see him get cut off when his creativity and name were really starting to pop was tragic.