“They say Seven is a lucky number. However, growing up on the east side of Torrance, California, life seems to falls more under the category of inauspicious; the streets ring with an unpromising fate. But, I guess when you’ve escaped death a few times -- once after having your car shot up and catching two bullets yourself -- you can consider yourself a pretty lucky man. And to dub yourself “Seven” would seem like an appropriate thing to do. The west coast rapper, Seven, has peeled himself away from the wreckage of ill-fated fortune and flooded the streets with a resounding buzz from his mixtapes and promo single “The End Of Summer”, featuring G-Unit’s Spider Loc and L.V. (yes, from Gangster’s Paradise). Dubcnn catches up with Seven for this exclusive interview, in which he talks about his past, present and the future of his upcoming release, F.A.M.E (Hellafyde/Fontana/Universal Music).   Dubcnn: What currently going on in the world of Seven?I’m currently working on a new mixtape titled El Patron and production wise, I’m currently working on some tracks for L.A. Nash’s new album. And I just recently did some tracks for Jayo Felony. I’m also getting ready for the release of my album F.A.M.E [Fontana Distribution/Universal Music Group].Dubcnn: F.A.M.E is an acronym for what? F.A.M.E stands for “F*ck All My Enemies.” Dubcnn: Any major collaborations or features on F.A.M.E? I got a few features on it. I got James DeBarge, Spider Loc of G Unit, L.V., and my boy L.A. Nash. From the Hellafyde Camp, I got my new artist Redwood and the OG ALT the saint. Dubcnn: How did you get hooked up with James DeBarge, from the famed 80’s/Motown R&B group, DeBarge? Actually, it was pure luck, I could say. One of my boys I do music with used to work off of Crenshaw at some printing place, next door to a music store. One day he walked in there and played some of our music to the storeowner to get his opinion. There was a guy in there that liked the beats that he heard. When my boy walked out, the guy approached him and asked him who had done the production for him. He said, “my boy Seven, why you ask?” [The Guy] then said he was friends with the James DeBarge, and that he was currently working on a solo project, and he was looking for new music. We ended up booking a session later that week with James and his friend, [and] after he heard my production, it was a wrap. We’ve been good friends ever since.Dubcnn: How did you hook up with Spider Loc for your album?Spider Loc is a really cool cat. I actually met him a while back when he was still at Death Row. I was there producing for one of my boys, who was on development with the label at the time, and he was working on his album. I believe he is one of the best out here on the west; I just think sometimes he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. That man grinds and stays on the streets pushing his name. The game comes full circle; the west coast will be back on top soon -- we’ll all get the shine we’ve been searching for!Dubcnn: Now when you said you have collaboration with L.V. are you referring to L.V. the singer from the Billboard Chart Topping single, Gangsta’s Paradise? Tell us about that… That’s right L.V. [from] “Gangsta’s Paradise”. Actually, one of my close friends knows him from back in the days when he was singing with the legendary Def Jam recording artists, South Central Cartel. I have always been a fan of his music. “Throw Your Hands Up” is a west coast classic; so it was an honor to have him sing on one of my songs.Dubcnn: Where does the name “Seven” come from? Are you a superstitious person? Seven is a name I picked up back when I was in school. Back then, everyone kind of had their own little crews and nicknames. I picked Seven ‘cause it has always been my lucky number, and my favorite car is a ‘57 Chevy convertible, hence the ‘seven’. About being superstitious, I guess you could say I’m a little. I really believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that if you were meant to do what you want, get what you want, be who you want, and be with who you want to be with, you will accomplish it someday, as long as you keep wanting it and reaching for that goal. I believe nothing is impossible if you try.Dubcnn: Tell us a little about how you grew up… I grew up in the city of Torrance, on the eastside -- which is considered to be the ghetto part of town. For me, it’s simply ‘the hood’. Its streets made me who I am today. I’m not gonna say I grew up poor ‘cause I’ve always had food on my plate; but like many other kids, I grew up without my father and was raised by a single mother. My mother was always at work, so I spent majority of my time on the streets, chillin’ with the homies, soaking up game and hustle. I admit I made some bad choices back then, did some bad things, but it’s all a part of growing up in the hood. Sometimes you really don’t have a choice but to get in where you fit in, especially when the rest of your friends are with it…you don’t want to be left out. I started smoking and drinking at the age of 12. I used to ditch school with my friends to go to house parties and get faded and scam on girls. By the time I hit high school, I was the man, rolling drop top low-lows, always had cash in my pocket, partying every weekend…damn, the hustle was good. At the age of 16, I joined the Delegation Car Club, which was my past-times, besides hanging around in the hood, and at 17, I bought my first keyboard. After that, it was a wrap; I chose my path, left the streets behind and decided that rap music and cars was gonna be my future.Dubcnn: Growing up, what type of people did you tend to migrate toward? How has this influenced your career?I always find myself hanging around the bad crowd; for some reason I guess we attract our own kind. All my life I’ve kicked it with nothing but gang-bangers, thugs and drug dealers. Not that there is anything wrong with that, all of my best friends are criminals. I’ve never judged a book by its cover -- I know killers that are some of the nicest people you will ever meet... Just don’t piss them off. I’ve always rapped about things I’ve had, have or been through in life. Many of my songs come from things I’ve witnessed growing up in the streets, and things my friends have done and been through. The rest is all entertainment.Dubcnn: When you say to grew up all your life with gang-bangers, have you had any near-death experiences as a result from gang violence, etc.?It was tough growing up in the hood. I’ve been lucky enough to escape death a few times. I came really close to becoming another victim of street violence when they shot up my SUV, and I took two 45 slugs to the shoulder. Luckily, at the time the first shots were fired, I was leaning down to get something from the floor, or else I don’t think I would be here right now doing this interview. I took that experience as a lesson, and since then I live everyday like is my last and make the best out of life, no matter what situation I’m in. Believe it or not, I got shot around 2:30am and by 6 am I was out of the hospital [and back] at my house making beats. It was then that became the my purpose in life, and since then I’ve never looked back. Music has been my forte ever since. Dubcnn: Everyone has a person who keeps them grounded, like a checks ‘n balances system. Who is that person for you? For me it’s my mother. Just to see where she came from and what she has accomplished in her life makes her my greatest inspiration. She rose from the worst to being cool; besides, she did a cool job raising me. She keeps me humble.Dubcnn: Is there a favorite lyric, or quote that helps keep you strong?“Make sure your eyes is on the meal ticket, Get your money mother*cker let's get rich and we'll kick it.” “All Eyes On Me”, 2Pac Dubcnn: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? I would probably be just an average guy with a boring 9 to 5, a gang of kids and a ‘co-parent’ who I would not get along with.Dubcnn: What inner battles did you have to overcome to get here? The realization that in order to achieve my dream it would take a lot of sacrifice and 100% dedication…and that success would not be achieved overnight. Dubcnn: When can we expect your album to drop? The album F.A.M.E should be dropping January ’09, through Fontana/LRT/UniversalDubcnn: How did your deal with Fontana/Universal come to fruition? I got introduced to a Universal rep through a friend at a show. I gave her a call and told her what I had going. She liked what I had to offer, so we set up a meeting. Once she heard the music, it was a wrap. Dubcnn: When will your mixtape El Patron be available? It should be ready to drop by late October, for sure November. Make sure to check out Dubcnn for exclusive downloads!Dubcnn: Best way for people to show their support for your movement? You can hit me up on MySpace www.myspace.com/siete or www.seven.la or www.hellafyderecords.la Dubcnn: Any final thoughts for the West Coast Connection? I would like to thank Dubcnn and its followers for keeping the west coast movement alive and breathing, and for giving us artist a chance and place to be heard. Thanks for the love and support…” - Jonathan Hay


“Hellafyde Records was founded in 2001 by its C.E.O/Artist Jaime Gonzalez p.k.a Seven. As a result of Seven’s first independent solo project “7 Million Ways,” his unique interpretation of the streets attracted many fans, which lead him to start his own production company called Hellafyde Muzik. After assembling a solid roster of artists, Hellafyde Muzik has now outgrown being a production company and become Hellafyde Records, the newest Indie label to represent that West Coast street sound. The imprint emerged strongly enough to solidify a distribution deal with Aries Music/ EMI Latin. Throughout the course of two years, Hellafyde Records released nine Albums through its subsidiary, and sold an upwards of 30,000 copies, with no radio play or heavy promotion! Centered on a strong street buzz and a large regional fan base, Hellafyde Records represented the West Coast Hip Hop movement to the fullest, setting a new standard for music fans worldwide to appreciate and enjoy, while building that strong foundation necessary for an independent record label. The company’s artist roster is solid, and it began by bringing together some of Los Angeles’ most hardworking and talented artists; namely, Mista Leño, Tone E Lokes, and Redwood. Mista Leño is a product of the San Gabriel Valley of California, and achieved success in the late 90s with his group, the Hard Hedz. After building with West Coast legends like Tony G and ALT, Leño joined the Hellafyde camp and began working. He released his debut album “The Life of Mista Leño” in 2010, executive produced by MC Pancho, on the Hellafyde Records imprint. Tone E Lokes is a veteran rapper who is well-versed in the history of the scene. Growing up on artists like N.W.A., 2 Live Crew, and Too Short, Lokes developed his style with a deep respect of the game. His producer, Seven, saw him out grinding and hustling his music and began working with him. Eventually, Seven approached Lokes about joining the Hellafyde label, which he’s since done and hasn’t looked back. In 2008, Hellafyde signed a new artist by the name of Redwood, which brought new life to the label, as he had attracted their attention by gaining his own street buzz. Redwood released “Clowning Everybody,” and he continues to flourish under the label’s independent mindset. In 2009, the label inked a new distribution deal through LRT/Ingrooves/Universal. Since signing the deal with LRT/Ingrooves, Hellafyde has released four new albums and has added four new artists to their roster, the aforementioned Mista Leño, ALT The Saint, Oso Vicious, and J.O. Also in the works is a new group album by the name of Tha Hogz, which will be releasing music in the summer of 2011. Hard work pays off and this ahead-of-its-time record label has solidified itself as a major player within the music industry. Working together with like-minded artists has allowed this upstart imprint to shine above the typical politics and roadblocks that often hinder independent labels. Now, ten years later, Hellafyde has forged its reputation and is recognized everywhere from the streets of L.A., to the continental U.S. and even overseas in Europe and Japan. From music to clothing, Hellafyde has gone from being a sound, to an image, and it has slowly converted to being a lifestyle for those who are a part of and are a fan of this Hellafyde Movement. Read more: http://www.lowridermagazine.com/events/1201_lrmp_hellafyde_records_label/#ixzz2i8VHTgXe   ” - Jae Bueno

— Lowrider Magazine

“Exclusive Interview Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.I was born and raised in the city of Torrance California and my love for music began at a young age. In junior high I became a DJ along with my boy Javi and started a party crew called The Lil Raskals, that’s how I began to get into the party scene and from there a whole new life began for me. By the age of 17 I had already bought some equipment and began making beats. I was then introduced to L.A. Nash who introduced me to many cats in the rap game, that’s when I began to write rhymes to the beats I was making and started my own label Hellafyde Records. Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.The song I’m pushing now is called Ink Shadows, produced by myself featuring Sick Jacken of The Phsyco Realm and Cynic. We came together to do this song for my boy’s tattoo shop Cultural Image and it’s been getting a lot of love out here in L.A. It also got picked up for the trailer of the movie Tattoo Nation which will be released 4-4-13 in select theaters across the U.S. Also I just dropped a album called Hog Status through Thump/Universal. It’s available through all major music outlets. Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?One of the hardest challenges has been getting heard. Being a Latin rap artist has shut many doors down because many people look at the image: bald head, tattoo’s and automatically shut us down or expect my music to be cholo rap; in other words neighbor hood rap. Yea I represent the West Coast because that’s where I’m from but I also got other songs talking about day by day situations and some nice songs for the ladies. My music is not for everyone but out of 10 people that actually take a minute to listen, 7 to 8 will like one or two of my songs. I’ve always had this in mind, if I can get your head bobbing with my beats and get you to like at least one song on my album I did my job. Back in the days when I was a rap fan I used to go buy a whole album for only one song that I heard on the radio or in the street bumping, we took the risk of the rest of the album being whack but regardless we paid good money because we wanted that one song. But if the album was good I was happy as fuck because I got my money’s worth. What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?Well, I’ve always have been independent, signed to my own label Hellafyde Records but with major distribution. I think the biggest set back has been not having a big budget to get where I want to be. I’ve done good as an independent artist, have traveled the world thanks to my music, but there is always that thought of “what if.” What if I had a major deal? What if I had a big budget? What if so and so produced my record? You know, I’m sure every artist has asked themselves the “what if” question at one point in their career. I’ve learned to do with what I got and that has got me in a good place. What are some things artists need to be careful of?Make sure you always read what you sign. Shady people do exist, this is a business where a lot of money could be made and there is always someone trying to get over on you. When you deal with people, do your research, especially when dealing with money or if you are gonna pay for services. Try doing business with cats that got a good track record, good feedback is always important. What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?My advice is: if you really want to be an artist stay on your grind and keep doing what you do no matter what they tell you. Now with the internet there are so many ways to get heard that it’s nearly impossible to go unnoticed. I’ve learned that not everyone is gonna like my music but the ones that do will keep coming back for more. What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?Online of course. I like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Reverbnation. I’ve been updating my YouTube page with new songs and videos. I also hit local rap shows and car shows in California and across the southwest region. I have a website but it needs to get updated so I’m promoting heavy through the social networks. Where can people visit you?www.facebook.com/sevensmuzikwww.reverbnation.com/sevensmuzikwww.twitter.com/sevensmuzikwww.instagram.com/hellafyde_bosswww.youtube.com/sevensmuzikwww.sevensmuzik.comwww.hellafyde.com” - Staff


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