J.Diggs Interview

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Apr 13, 2004
From "Yay Magazine" wit Dre on the cover

Mag: Tell us about how you met Dre
JD:We go back to kids. Basically Dre is from Vallejo and Vallejo is broke into sides. Dre is originally frim a side of Vallejo called Greer side. Even before Dre was really close to me he was close to my little cousin Kilo. We just basically started off running together as youngsters. Grew up running around the neigborhood with radios and became close. You know how kids are, you just start off just as friends in the streets and end up growing up together and becoming a crew. So We've been knowing each other for a long time.
Mag: So you pretty much came up in the Crest
JD: Country Club Crest. Dre is one of the guys that made that neighborhood famous, what it is today. He was the first rapper to put the neighborhood on the map. It was Mac Dre, then came Mac Mall. Me and Dre came from the same crew so we were alot closer. We all had passion for music, but Dre was the rapper in the group. He was the one that really had the heart. I was a rapper too but Dre was the one who was really all that when we were young. So he was like the spokesman of the crew when it came to speaking on the microphone. In '88/'89 Dre dropped his first album "Young Black Brother", that was the one that opened it up. Everbody knew this is Dre, this is the Romper Room Crew, this is where they're from. He opened the door for alot of Bay Area rappers.
Mag: As far as California goes, I think the Crest and maybe South Central Los Angeles have the highest concentration of rappers on the West Coast.
JD: Statistically you probably cant find another neighborhood in this country with as many guys with albums out as the Crest. For a small neighborhood we have somewhere in the teens the number of artist with albums out. It started out from basically one rapper.
Mag: I got a challenge for you, name them.
JD: Crest Side rappers? I'll just go off head. We started orginally with the Mac, Mick Robinson.
Then it was Mac Dre, Mac Mall, Dubee the Sugawolf Pimp, PSD the Driver, Coolio the Undadogg, The Killa Team. Dre was a pioneer. It was funny because Dre turned into a character. When he first came into the game Dre was a more Serious rapper. Prior to jus going to jail, then we came home and Dre kind of loosend up and got more into the party feel. He really turned it into a whole party grove. Thats why people like him. He made the kind of music people could have fun to. He made his own language, his own terminology, he was a pioneer. Thats why so many people loved and respected him. Because he basically set the tone for his own standard of music, his own style. A lot of people lood at E-40 as the Amassador of the Bay period. The truth is Dre is the real pioneer to Vallejo music and 40 got the notoriety because he ended up signing a deal. But in all actuallity that deal was in our face prior to 40 getting it. 40 got the major deal in the early 90's that Mac Dre should have got had we not went to prison, honestly. But it happend. 40 thats my dude and I congratulate him to the fullest. But if you find another artist out thats been in the game as long as Dre, Thats put out literally 26 or 27 albums over a 15 year period. We really showed the music game that we street dudes went to prison, we lost lost our life as a crew. Young dudes, 17, 18, and 19 years old we went to jail. At the time, young dudes realy werent int what we were into. We started robbing banks when we were basically kids. Bank robberies were unheard of, dudes didnt have the heart to even think about runnin into a bank. We were young dudes and said we were going to try something. Dre got caught into somethingand he never got the chance to set the record straight. Dre did 5 years in the federal pen for basically keepin his mouth closed. Dre was a good friend to me.

I gotta take a break, ill finish the rest later, sorry.
Apr 13, 2004
Mag: Talk to me about that because i know what kind of man Dre was. The story about that is a textbook lessin in being a stand up man.
JD: We were 19 years old and we got set into a situation where you had to say this is what its going to be. Either its going to be man or mouse. We got put into a position where we sat before a 12 man jury and trial. The DA came to Dre and told Dre we know youre not robbing banks, all we need you to do is tell us that Diggs and Nelson are robbing these banks and you can walk home. Dre had to make a decision to be a stand up street guy or be a rat basically. And he chose to be a man to his crew and he went to a trial he never shoulve been a part of. Dre rode with me and Kilo to Fresno I had intentions to do what i was doing. But Dre was actually going out there to visit some female. He was my homeboy riding with us and he got caught into a conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery that he never had a part of. Subsequently Dre ended up doing five years in the federal pen for conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery that he vever had a part of. Subsequently Dre ended up doing five years in teh federal pen for conspiracy to commit bank armed bank robbery for riding to fresno with two of his friends. Instead of rollin over and saying yeah thats what they were going to do, Dre rode it out and went to trial, was found guilt and lost his life to the federal pen because of his dudes.
Mag: So what was the plan when you two both got out of prison?
JD: We came home, sat down, and talked about what we've been through. We talked about what we wanted to do and thats what we did. Thats all we did was make music, have fun, and try to take this record company to the next level. Im not from Sacramento, I came to Sacramento because of Mac Dre. I move in a house with him, we lived together. We got up every morning, we'd smoke a joint and ride and talk about what we had to do for our label. This was our life, this is why i came to Sacramento and im here. Im living in the same apartment he left me at and i didnt know anything about Sac. But im here now, Dre brought me out here an we have a goal with our company now. Its still thizz or die, they have alot more dudes they have to kill as far as im concerned. Now its like theres alot of weight on my shoulders. We're going to make it happen, we're going to ride on for Dre. I get alot of letterw and phone calls. That dude was respected like you couldnt believe for being a real street dude. It hurt to know that it happend like that. It hurt more that anything with me because anybody that knows me and Dre knows we're normally together. And that day he went to Kansas City I was supposed to be there with Dre. I didnt go to KC because i had a court date in Vallejo. I was debating if I should miss court and get a warrant but i didnt. When i got that phone call the next morning it was like a piece of me was just gone. Im supposed to be there with this dude. thats my job as a friend, as his cuddie. We go together, we be together. I cant say that it wouldt have happened but whos to say that we wouldve been in that car. Dre is not normally by himself. Theres alot of unanswered questions, a lot of things that couldve happend. It also goes back to certain thins happen for a reason. I cant really say why they called the cuddie home but hes gone. But he left us something to work with and were working with it. That dude is going to be missed and loved forever. A lot of people say tupac or biggie is the best rapper ever. But to me Mac Dre is the Greates rapper ever. He did it on a whole other level like alot of dudes couldnt do it. And he did it without the man power and without the money. He did it strictly off his voice and street credibilty.
Mag: Can you set the record straight about what happend that night?
JD: Thats basically up for the law to determine. Its not for me to say who did what. All i can say is that it happened and somehow its gettin dealt with. Whether it be by police or by the streets. I cant speak on exactly what happened but it shouldnt have happened period. Nobody was looking for Dre, he didnt have a hit on him or anything like that. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Right after, i flew to KC, I was on the first thang smokin. And the one thing that pissed me off was the media after talkin about the shootin immediately went into he did prison time and ran with bank robbers. Instead of talking about how he was an influential underground artist. It was like they were saying it was ok he got killed because hes a bad guy. Like it was his own fault he was shot. But thats the media and thats what we have to deal with. Im doint alot better i took it really hard. I took it personel. I had to do alot of soul searching myself. I didnt just lose a friend, i lost a part of me. He left a legacy for his daughter which is like my daughter too, Drane. Shes been left with something to carry on. He only had one child, his daughter Drenay Hicks.

Finish the rest later
Apr 13, 2004
The rest

Mag: Tell us about the future of Mac Dre records. What Are you doing?
JD: Our roster is not going to do anything but get bigger. I named the guys thats in our camp, and thats just another way of dedicating our loyalty to Dre. Its going to be Mac Dre Records, we takin this camp. Its just a branch inside the Thizz Film and Music. You never really know how famous you are until youre gone. So of course Thizz Music and Film is bigger than its ever been right now. We're pullin artist that are going to represent this label to the fulles. A lot of cats know Mac Mall is part of our camp, he signed with Thizz. The next project we actually have is a Mac Mall and Mac Dre album, already finished and ready to hit the streets. It should me out in another month and a half. We have Thizz mixtapes, we took everyones beats and put the Thizz twist on them. We got Treal TV 2 thats edited and ready to hit the streets.
Mag: Lets the readers know how you want him to be remembered.
JD: I want him to be remembered just the way he was. When you see Dre you just think Hyphy, he was a Hyphy dude that made you smile. Just keep the slang, everybody knew how he talked. Its going to be Mac Dre forever, we got over 30 Mac Dre released on the shelf right now. Knock the music, they know what it is. If you came to the wake or funeral you could see the love that Dre got. Over 6,000 people in a 4 or 5 hour period came out for the wake just to say good bye. Just remember him for what he did, hes a bay pioneer and he represented the bay to the fullest. He gave us plenty of music to listen to and new slang. So just keep my Cuddie alive, thats all i can ever ask. Bump his music, always shout him out.


The magazine has a picture of Dre he was maybe 9 or 10 years old, and a picture of him in his casket, its funny because just a few pages back they talkin shit because someone took pictures of rick james in his casket and posted them on the net, and then they got a picture of Dre in his caket.
Jun 23, 2004
Thanks a lot for taking the time to post that. That last section answered a lot of questions I had, too bad the big time magazines didn't give him the recognition he deserved, Murder Dog had just that back page but at least it was something. I was thinking if Soulja Slim got the cover when he died of course Mac Dre would. Im also glad to see J Diggs' perspective of the situation and how much love hes giving to Mac Dre and not just moving on, but making people recognize who he was and what he stood for, cool interview, I got to get this mag on ebay or something.
May 16, 2004
Interview is dope. I read another interview in a murderdog with I believe chingy on the cover and there is a different J. Diggs interview and he speaks on how Mac Dre is as real as they come when it comes to the number one ruley and how he has so much respect and feels bad for putting him in that situation and would do anything for the man. What Dre did is a true friend and is as loyal as mans best friend.
R.I.P. to a real mackin' ass playah
Oct 12, 2004