Common Wealth Family presents D.p.s.s.p.M. “she likes” ft. Ajay Rock
Produced by Ricky P.
Common Wealth Family- In For The Night Directed by ANTUKS
Shot by: Jordan Beckham, Jeff Hilty, and Denair Issac
LIghting by Denair Issac and Josh Kubizne
Designer/Stylist: MJ Whalen
Make Up: Simone Shollito and Janneth Avila
Hair: Jason Zarelli
Pirate City Shirts and Flag: [Alley Rohm] Miss Dig
Sierra De Carolis
Se7en (gR’s Zombie head)
If you’re a hardcore hip hop head, Common Wealth Family has become one of those groups you either hate to love, or love to hate. They aren’t backpack, far from street, not exactly cutting edge political wordsmiths either. However, they are the only group in their lane in Pittsburgh and they know precisely what that means. Business moves, fan base, attention and press is all theirs for the taking. Jesse Ricketts, better known as R.I. Double, the business savvy behind the promotion machine that is Pirate City and the de facto front man of the Common Wealth Family brand is one of the most recognizable names in Pittsburgh hip hop and still isn’t satisfied. Hate him or love him, you gotta respect his hustle because no one else is doing what they’re doing in Pittsburgh and that’s in large part to him. If you thought my interview with Pyrex Press was real, shit’s about to get heavy now.
R I Double, my man. Thanks for taking the time out to sit down with me for this. How you living?
Shits kool. Just recording this new album, full time networking, and looking forward to the 2011.
We’ve known each other a good five – six years now, doesn’t seem that long does it?
Seems long too but not that fuckin long. lol
It’s been since ’06 we met, son! Common Wealth Family has been one of the Burgh’s hottest names for at least 3 years now. What do you contribute that to?
Having a phenomenally different approach to an over saturated market of dangerously similar artist, unique production, good entertainment value, raw talent ability, exceptional marketing savvy and strong supporting network along with maintaining strong relationships within the Pittsburgh Nightlife community…that means people like your self dere, buddy.
Pittsburgh has a shit load of MCs and very few real groups, do you think there’s a real reason for that? Though now in the macrocosm that is hip hop, we’re starting to see more and more groups, what’s your input?
Often times, if you can work with a team, it can propel any project ahead with more momentum, this reminds me of an analogy I like to use with the guys. If we ALL, have to push a Volkswagen Beetle up a street…we can can get to the top of the hill faster if we ALL get behind it, and push the SAME direction. It can be hard being in a group. In my opinion, only works with a good government because sometimes having a lot of good ideas influenced by many can confuse the direction sometimes making it difficult to please each individual. Bottom line…that group shit isn’t easy if your soldiers aren’t in order. One nigga pushing the right side of the Volkswagen Beetle, the other pushing the left side, and another in front, we end up pushing against each other. No room for the ego with groups.
As far as the trend…I think it’s like any other fad, things come and they go, like the old saying, “what goes around..comes around”
Let’s keep it funky, CWF has come under a lot of fire for what y’all do. Every one handles shit like that differently but does it ever take a toll on the group as a whole?
You yourself are one of the most outspoken persons on the scene and subject to a lot of scrutiny because so, do you think any of it’s deserved? I mean I know I’m an asshole so I just roll with it, but how do you react to some of things said against you?
To be honest, I’ve heard from close associates that people sometimes make me out to be arrogant and cocky. I personally don’t see myself in this manner. However, I can understand IF they are judging me on my business actions. I am pretty cutthroat, not to mention sarcastic. I really don’t know too much about this scrutiny to be honest though, Jaxx…niggas don’t say shit to me.
Every time you told me you were going to do something – it happened, maybe not on schedule but it happened. It seems people don’t overstand the prowess of your business mind. When did you realize that it wasn’t just about performing and standing out; that it actually took some savvy off the microphone?
Before we even started making music, Jaxx. Me and Mose would throw huge parties and organized events in Monroeville, Pa way before we even started taking our music careers seriously. These events wasn’t no bullshit either. I’m talking hundreds of people, bands, groups & companies involved. Those experiences are what lead to our reputation, people remember those things, so if you are a shit talker,(and damn near everybody does, especially in this business) then that shit will back fire if you do not back your word.
That being said, what’s gwanin with CWF’s label situation? There were rumours and all that, but lemme hear it straight from the source.
We are not signed, bro.
I’ma shift it to straight music now, “Eat It Beat It” was moved to be pretty big, with a video and all that, then nothing really happened? What made you pull out, pause?
lmao. We pulled out because we felt that the project did not turn out the way we wanted to all together. In my opinion, this was the biggest thing that hurt us this last 2010 and slowed our momentum significantly (very stressful at the time). However, we gotta lil’ something’ for y’all asses real soon, you might get to see it before this comes out…maybe after but all I gotta say is PIRATE CITY – TAYLOR x GANG COLLABO = ANTUKS
This is a true story, I was in the kitchen and I heard the chords for “Eat It Beat” It on MTV Jams so I rushed into the living room only to see Soulja Boy in the video of a song with almost the exact same beat as your song. Mose B expressed his displeasure with, “Fuck Soulja Boy” Roscoe was flattered, I didn’t talk to GR about it, so what do you say?
I didn’t even think it was that similar, But I hear what your talkin. To be honest I clicked, listened, and went back to building my Popsicle stick house.
Sticks and stones, eh? GR is working on solo material, Roscoe is doing his thing, do you and Mose have any separate projects?
Just to clarify, gR is NOT working on “solo” material and Roscoe networks a bit, but we all are on the same page. You’ll see some collabs here and there…NO, NO, NO, wait… actually a lot coming up soon. We have been really exploring those options lately.
A lot of people are saying that Roscoe’s absence takes away from the group. Hows that make you feel?
They’re fuckin right! lol. It does take away from the group. There is only four mafakkas in the shit. If it didn’t take away from the group, then what sense would that make? Shit if you took anybody from the group, it would “take away” from the group. Imagine CWF with no Mose Butch, you smell me? What people need to understand is, Roscoe is not gone, and this will show our strength as a group in the long run. What niggas need to talk about is “HOW THE FUCK ARE WE PULLING THIS SHIT OFF WITH OUT US NOT BEING TOGETHER?” Right? Haha. We have a lot of loyalty in our sect, so we are being patient and doing our best to work with the situation at hand. Its NOT easy. At the end of the day… just like the fans, I can’t wait till we are back on the same stage permanently. That’s the way its supposed to be. (*sniffles, tears run down face*)
Crazy live shows, promotions out the ass, videos and more. Do you think CWF has reached the respect you deserve?
Yea and No. Because if you don’t like us, you heard us typically (around here) that’s all we need. Till we blow the fuck, being the underdog is way cooler.
You mentioned to me before about how many local artists you personally have put on for a lot of your jams and how less than 95% have reciprocated and reached out to CWF to do shows, do you think that’s ubiquitous for the Pittsburgh hip hop scene? Every one wants a hand out?
I mean…anymore I haven’t even really been paying it attention really. There was a time where pretty much all we did was put artist on. After weighing out the pros and cons of that type of tactic… We decided to pretty much continue on building and working out of our own personal network that actually is more nightlife and entertainment based, and less Hip Hop based. Shouts to Clique Vodka and Faded Industry. That choice turned out to be not only more lucrative, but also better for our audience. We have fans. They want to see us, not the whole fucking hip hop community.
Thanks For the Interview nigga. Shouts out to my Pirate City Fam.
Pittsburgh super group Commonwealth Family finally blessed us with a new track that they dropped on Twitter today. It’s called “Keep Rollin” and it was produced by Cynik Lethal. Take a listen and rate it!
Keep Rollin | DOWNLOAD
I knew that Common Wealth Family and Pretty Ricky linked up at some point, due to some tweets to that effect. I’m glad to see that they collab’d and lent their “Rollin With a Star” beat for Pretty Ricky to add their touches. Check it out, rate and leave some feedback.
Rollin With a Star | DOWNLOAD