On April 3rd, Bay Area-based producer/DJ Drew Wilson, aka Alpaca, sat down with rapper 100s in Santa Cruz for an interview follow-up to my article “Ice Cold Island: Introducing 100s.” 100s was the main opener (following locals Antdog and Kam Lowery) for the night’s headliner, Trinidad Jame$, and a crowd of about 300 at venue Catalyst had gathered to watch DJ Aspect kick off the show.
Alpaca found 100s standing on the main floor of the club in the crowd. Truthfully, the artist isn’t hard to recognize––hair game (ice cold), shoe game (on point), tall, lanky, and wearing a well-pressed button-down and a wife beater––even standing alone amongst the crowd there is a quality about him that draws all eyes his way.
Later in the night he’d perform a tight 20-minute set alone on stage to an appreciative audience, closing with “My Activator” and getting the crowd hype for Trinidad, who came out swinging with an entourage of 10. Heading upstairs to a quiet corner above the main floor, Alpaca compliments the strength of his debut record as they settle in for the interview.
TSS: Your debut album, Ice Cold Perm, was released in September of last year. How has the response been?
100s: It’s been crazy. I believed in my shit, but I’ve been surprised. I’ve done a lot since it came out.
TSS: the West Coast and South have had an impact on your original sound. What producers got you into rap musically?
100s: I fuck wit Dr. Dre…I really fuck wit Dr. Dre. And Johnny J – he produced a lot of shit for 2pac. You know, Timbaland, I fuck wit him pretty hard, you know, the Neptunes.
TSS: What about guys like Sam Bosco, who wrote a lot for E-40?
100s: Yup, him & Studio Ton, they produced hella shit for E-40, them motherfuckers is hard.
TSS: Your rhyme cadences are complex. What about your influences as an MC?
100s: Definitely Pimp C, Snoop, u know, 2Pac. It’s a lot of motherfuckers because I listen to a lot of music, rap and other shit. So when I’m writing that all comes in.
TSS: Tell us about your connection with the artists featured on the album, including Main Attraktionz and Ryan Hemsworth.
100s: It came about through my friend Oliver Monday, he runs the website Dream Collabo that I originally dropped Ice Cold Perm on. He had known Main Attraktionz for, I think, years, and my producer Joe also produced for them too. So that was easy, I met em, they my ni**as & it was whatever. Ryan Hemsworth? [laughs]…Oliver again, man, he made the connection.
TSS: Joe Wax, a longtime friend of yours, produced, recorded & mixed all but two songs on the album. How long have you two been making music?
100s: Ever since I started rapping, maybe a year and a half?
TSS: You just started putting music out publicly, or you literally picked up a pad & pen a year and a half ago? You’re only 19, right?
100s: I’m 20 now, just had a birthday. You know, I fucked around – I feel like everyone fucks around & writes raps. But I guess I really didn’t start taking it seriously until about two years ago, and then I just kept working at it, you know.
TSS: Was Ice Cold Perm a collaboration process in the studio, or were the beats produced separately?
100s: He lived in LA & I lived in Berkeley. He would send me beats & I’d write to em and then when he would come up we’d knock out everything.
TSS: Joe does a good job, it should be said, of producing space in 16s for you to emphasize things. And you’re right in there, using those chances to say what’s important. The finished product is very cohesive.
100s: I would say the most help he gives me, in terms of writing the songs is: I’ll write something that will sound different in my head than when it comes out of my mouth. So I’ll ask Joe since he made the beat. And he’ll know what to say, “No, try saying it like this….” Or if I write a line that doesn’t necessarily go with what’s happening, he’ll tell me. He’s not a yes “man.”