Real Name: William L. Calhoun, Jr.
D.O.B. 1970 Texas
Label: Lench Mob/Priority Records
One of the most hardcore Cali gangsta rap artists, WC aka Dub-C held down the Los Angeles' scene in full swagger from the late gangbangin' 80s. Pants saggin, flag in the left pocket, dusted Chucks for the notorious Crip walk, WC is the walking-talking icon of gangsta rap. WC brought back the explosive gang-affiliated rhymes covered in powder burn residue as shots ring out through his Westside Connection and MAAD Circle joints. Alongside Mack 10 and the legendary Ice Cube, WC became the Gangster with the Killer and the Dope Dealer. He is reality rap at its most rawest, broken down component.
By 1988 WC The Big Scrilla opened his recording career in Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate where he traded verses on a compilation album produced by Afrika Islam and Ice-T. While with the Syndicate he paired up with DJ Aladdin to become Low Profile and signed a record deal with Profile Records and dropped their début MC/DJ album, We're in This Together in 1989. The album is a classic 80's underground reality-rap album for the 80s, a standard of the time. The urban violence tale, "How Ya Livin'" is a superb social commentary as is "That's Why They Do It" explaining why inner-city youths resort to drug dealing."Pay Ya Dues" makes a bold statement about not giving credit in the rap game where it's due. The entire album works well as a DJ/MC joint. WC lyrically handles the tracks while DJ Aladdin displays his impressive turntable technique and production. We're in This Together wasn't a major hit but remains a pivotal album in early west coast hip-hop. The partnership was short-lived as DJ Aladdin joined Ice-T's production team and WC went on to form the group WC & the MAAD Circle with DJ Crazy Toones and future rap superstar, Coolio. The trio released two albums, Ain't a Damn Thang Changed in 1991 and Curb Servin' in 1995. The albums spawned the ghetto-cred singles, "Dress Code" (1991), "The One" (1996) and "West Up!" (1995) featuring future partners, Mack 10 and Ice Cube. Both albums clocked gold in sales.
During the MAAD Circle period, Dub C associated with legendary South Central L.A. rapper, Ice Cube and was seen featured in his shadows in the video for "Jackin' For Beats" off the KIll At Will EP in 1991. This long standing relationship held in good stead when Ice Cube invited WC along with Mack 10 to form the supergroup, Westside Connection in 1996. This was organised as a retaliatory project at the height of the East/West feuding. Their first group album, Bow Down peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 on November 9th, 1996 which shipped 145,000 units. Sales later increased to 1.7 million units with RIAA certifying it platinum on October 1st 1997. Bow Down was released on Ice Cube's Priority Records imprint, Lench Mob Records. Bow Down repped the Cali' bangin' lifestyle to the fullest, with slamming production of hardcore rhythm with dope funk from the mothership connection. The grinding but graceful lyrics brought out the emcee pedigree in three of the west coast's most vicious motherfuckers. Dub C had his brightest spotlight here and ran with it till 2003 for Terrorist Threat, the group's follow-up album and three solo albums in between. WC became the lone gangster he had fighting for.
1998 brought out The Shadiest One, WC's initial solo release on Payday. Here he held back the might of the MAAD Circle grunt in favour of reaching a wider audience, however the ghetto soldier was still saggin' with his reliable gang-related lyrics. On "Keep Hustlin'" he receives a slight pop makeover with good results featuring Bay Area's finest, Too $hort and E-40. The tracks lose a little focus of purpose but still comes back down to grind reality back into us with it's edgy production and rhyming flex. The Shadiest One comes over as a solid breakthrough performance for the O.G. who has definitely done his dirt to be where he's at with this album. Four years later and switching labels to hip-hop giant, Def Jam Recordings, he dropped his sophomore solo release, Ghetto Heisman. The album featured many of Cali's biggest emcees over popular Parliament funk sampling production. Attempting to become worthy of a Heismann, WC displays a fleet-tongued twist on many of the album's tracks, including "Bellin'". Ghetto Heismann falls slightly from his first release, however upholds his name in west coast gangsta rap indefinitely.
WC explains the message he is trying to bring out in his latest solo album, Guilty By Affiliation:
“Growing up in a gang-related area, I realized that you can get caught up in the justice system, and I saw how it easily becomes the injustice system for us, I wanted to call the record Guilty By Affiliation for that reason. Also, being from the West Coast, there’s been so many uphill battles just to get noticed.”
WC details the pitfalls of life in Los Angeles ghettos and his struggle to ascend to music industry stardom on the intimidating “West Coast Voodoo,” the confrontational “This Is Los Angeles” and the Butch Cassidy-assisted “Dodge Ball.” Elsewhere, the title track details how being black isn’t a job, but an adventure — with police, rival gang members, drugs and other forces waiting to derail you. WC then references the famous fairy tale on “Jack & The Bean Stalk,” which signals the awakening of a sleeping giant — WC, in this case. On this monstrous cut, WC flexes his visually arresting lyrical skills : “I’m harder than Michael Jackson’s dick in a day care…I beat a rappin bitch up, too, ‘cos I don’t play fair.” The piano-propelled “Paranoid” further showcases WC’s twisted humour : “I’m nothin’ nice, like Fantasia without no make-up on, on the mic I’m a ugly ass sight.”
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