Pacific Division is at the forefront of the Los Angeles hip-hop scene, bringing forth an innovative lifestyle and sound. Currently recording in the studio, Pacific Division’s highly anticipated debut LP drops this year on the independent label Two Tone Elephants. The group has already received the support of the Hip-hop community’s most elite including praise from Pharrell, ?uestlove, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, 9th Wonder, and DJ Khalil. The talented three recently took some time out to chat with our Music Editor, Rif Raf.
Like: Raf, what’s up, what’s up!
Rif Raf: So for those that don’t know who ya’ll are, go ahead and introduce yourselves.
Like: Well, three members to Pac Div (Pacific Division) “Like” that’s me, “Be-Young” over there, “Mibbs” over there.
Rif Raf: So, first of all thanks for catching up with us—and before I forget, Filthy said, “What’s up with the Roscoes?”
Like: Um tell him . . . I mean we can’t really send it UPS—come out here you know—I know he’s missin’ it out here, ya know.
Rif Raf: That sorta brings me to my first question, the first time that I actually heard ya’ll was on “sLAyer” . . . how did ya’ll link up with J*Davey? Or was it just by nature just by being in LA?
Like: I guess it’s just an LA thing. We knew them through a mutual friend; through a few mutual friends actually. And when we first heard their music we were like “Man this is Crazy!” Cause we were fans of it—so we just ended up meeting them and turns out they already knew who we were through mutual friends. It was a good bond and like I said we always try to stay around what they did, or at least hear about what they’re doing. They invited us a few times to the studio to record, then we did that joint (“sLAyer”) and we did a couple shows with them as well.
Rif Raf: Wow, now see that’s dope, because you never really get to see the shows and things. You just hear the studio work and assume that’s the only connection, but the shows are probably sick.
Like: Oh yeah, the shows are special.
Rif Raf:There’s actually a long tradition of what people would call “alternative” in the California hip-hop scene. For your music it’s not necessarily “real shit”, but real mundane type things that people can relate to? Is that by purpose or are you rapping about what you’re familiar with?
BeYoung: You know what man, I think it is real shit to an extent you know? Everybody has issues that they go through. This is kinda just . . . maybe not the gangster person’s life, but the regular young male or sometimes even females’ life with things that they go through. Working jobs, trying to go to schools, and all that and just manage everything. So, this is the real, real shit. Outside of the gangster life. Not to gangster bash or nothing, but the average person just trying to go to school and work. This is the real ish.
Rif Raf: Yeah, that ish gets pretty gully [laughs]
BeYoung: You know! Get ya lights cut off [chuckle].
Rif Raf: So the “Sealed for Freshness” blend tape, to anyone who hasn’t gotten it, for me it was funny because I’m in Atlanta, I get a pretty fair mix of music. When I first heard “Laffy Taffy” I was like “what in the hell is this?” So when I heard the “Sealed for Freshness” I was like I understand what they’re saying, but just to clear the air, what was the intent when y’all had that opening track? Cause you know how people get when they hear something and go “Oh what is that supposed to mean?”
Be Young: Ay, you know what it was just fun man, we don’t try to put a hinderance on anybody trying to live their life, and survive. So you know that wasn’t even a dis or something like that.
Rif Raf: Right, right.
BeYoung: We were just having some fun before we went in on em’ and came with that heat and started spittin’ them bars. You know, we ain’t trying to take no food off nobody’s plate, or hate on nobody. It’s not about that. It’s Black History Month right now too. . .
Rif Raf: And you ain’t trying to become history in Black History Month. And that’s the thing you know . . . the whole thing about trying to keep balance.
BeYoung: Rif raf, Rif raf, yo we be bangin that Shawty Lo song all the time too.
Rif Raf: On the blend tape you got clear influences: Souls of Mischief, Gangstarr’s “Mass Appeal”, Pharcyde—you could name the list of people. But if we ransacked your iPod right now are there any artist or genres we’d be surprised to see?
Mibbs: My music catalogue, you’d probably see Block Party, The Killers, um like BeYoung listens to a Flock of Seaguls, Michael McDonald, Sugarfree—a lot of Sugarfree, whatever that is—but Sugarfree goes there.
Rif Raf: That’s dope, that’s dope.
Mibbs: We’re not like pigeonholed to one type of music “Oh we just gonna listen to underground Hip-hop, Hip Hop, HIP HOP!”
Rif Raf: Yeah, exactly I think Like touched on that and we were talking about J*Davey, and it’s like OK if you got turned on by them. Clearly your catalogue isn’t monolithic, it can’t be one thing. So are there artist y’all like to collab with or are collaborations coming up?
Like: Yo, we’d like to collaborate with EVERYBODY, any and everybody who has a dope vision or fits good on a record we’re trying to do . . . it’s kinda like um, we’re really selective with who we work with, because there has to be some sort of a marriage. It has to be sort of like something that connects. And they don’t have to necessarily be “like us”; they don’t have to be rappers that are “like us”, or rappers who are “Hip hop.” It can be anybody and sometimes we’ll come out with a song – man I wish we had Jeezy in here, we’d throw him for that. I wish we had Trey Songs in here we might as well throw him in for that. It’s just kind of depends on the record we’re doing, man.
Rif Raf: So based on the song “Taste” – a girl is about to whip up your favorite dish which is…
BeYoung: A girl just recently almost stole my heart. She told me she was gonna make me some shrimp alfredo.
Rif Raf: Damn. Aight she could win with that.
Mibbs: I’ll go last, I’ll go last . . . I gotta think.
Like: She ain’t even gotta make me nothing man, she can just order me some pizza man.
Rif Raf: Wait, wait, wait who is this?
Like: This Like.
Rif Raf: Yeah, yeah I saw you eating the pizza in the F.A.T. Boys’ video! I knew it was you!
Like: I’m down like that man. Everybody was like “Man we doing the video . . .” I was like “Man! I’m finna eat this pizza.” Everybody that knows me [knows] I eat pizza like seven days a week.
Rif Raf: Damn dude you need to move to Brooklyn.
Like: Y’know how fools be wine tasting? I’m like that with pizza.
Mibbs: I want a chick to fix me the hood n**** tacos.
Rif Raf: Laughing. Aight what’s the concept of a “real n**** taco”?
Mibbs: A real n**** taco like in Baby Boy and he’s like “You gonna go in there and make some tacos ain’t you?” That’s exactly what I would like. The turkey tacos with the tacos seasoning, all the works, tomatoes, – that’s a Los Angeles hood.
Rif Raf: Wow. Real n**** tacos, I’m writing this one down.
Rif Raf: So based on the song “Gorgeous,” pumps or flats – if you saw a girl which one?
Like: Aw man, that’s a hard question. I like flats man.
BeYoung: Ay man, this is the type interview I like here! You know what there’s something about when chicks get in the pumps, and the legs start flexing and you see all the muscles up and down on the back of that thigh—on the back of the calve muscles. I gotta go with pumps right there. All the girls look like they ran track.
Rif Raf: Sassy or Classy?
BeYoung: Need a combination of both.
Mibbs: Man I say PUMPS! And keep them on while we’re doing our thing too. Tell them to keep them on man! I got something for them nice . . . them whatever kind of pumps.
Rif Raf: Stilettos?
Mibbs: Yeah, stilettos. It don’t matter—them six inch joints.
Rif Raf: You’re talking about those health hazard joints!
Mibbs:Yeah, exactly. The ones that are unsafe to dance in at the club. Dude I recently went to a rooftop party and I seen somebody with some pumps on that blew my mind!
Like: Sassy or classy? I mean it depends. She kinda gotta be both. She gotta feel classy, but sometimes she gotta . . . I want the “Thong Song” sometimes!
Rif Raf: So ladies gonna want to know: Do you have “Women Problems” or are you looking for women solutions right now?
Like: Hmm, looking for women solutions.
BeYoung: Nah man, no problems. I ain’t had no girl since 10th grade. I’m looking for these women solutions!
Mibbs: I’m looking for women solutions!
Rif Raf: Aight, cool, cool we got a consensus here, unanimous ladies! Understand it!
Like: That was a song—cats wrote, well maybe I was going through women problems but the solutions—like my brother say, “I’m sucker free right now.” I have no type of women problems. I got LIFE problems.
Rif Raf: Yeah you don’t need any extra ones to go on top of that.
Rif Raf: People never pay attention to the dude behind the beats, cause the arrangement of beats and tracks you can’t really pinpoint. You might hear Detroit, East Coast, or West Coast. So who’s behind all that and what are all their influences.
Like: It’s a mixture man, because like Swiff D, our in house producer. We all grew up together, so we grew up on all kinds of stuff. We grew up on Tribe, De La, Pharcyde, and all that and real West Coast DPG, Twinz. . .
Rif Raf: Kurupt and all that.
Like: But respected the East Coast and what they had with the whole Bad Boy movement, lyricist lounge, sound bombing like all the underground Hip hop over there, and all the Primo stuff over there. Pete Rock and down South stuff, we really feelin the production down there too. Like we don’t feel like we’re in one box, we feel like our music is one collective of how we feel at that particular time. Like nobody is in one mood all of the time. Nobody is one way all of the time. Sometimes you feel like going to the club, and sometimes we feel like we just want to chill and create music. We try to reflect to the music.
I’ll tell you what though, as far as artistically, we wild out to the beats, the choppy drum beats. We wild out over that. We definitely respect the art to that. Like our boy Swiff D, we always go and support. We be in awe of the things these producers can do these days man. And Dilla is our all-time favorite producer.
Rif Raf: His influence was so profound. Really people didn’t know how much they loved him until they found out he was the person who did the song. He did “Got Til It’s Gone” – how many people love that song?
Like: Like and Mibbs – we been Dilla fans since like 4th or 5th grade. That was especially abnormal coming from L.A. when everybody, I mean everybody was on some West Coast Gangster shit at the time—because it was really raining. But we were the type that when we’d hear Pharcyde “Runnin” play on the radio, we’d go wild.
Rif Raf: Exactly.
Like: We was like, “Who is Dilla?” I remember the first time we saw the “Stakes is High” video and we was like “Man this beat is CRAZY!” And then Friday Night Flavors we heard “Get this Money” and we was like “Man whoever doing these beats—got to be the same dude.” And then we all heard Tribe Called Quest “1nce Again” video, it all made sense. . .I have so much respect and love for Dilla. That’s one of my favorite producers of all times.
Rif Raf: So this year A3C in Atlanta we got Del the Homosapien, Aceyalone, we got I think your homeboy Blu, we got a couple of West Coast cats coming. Are Y’all gonna be here?!?
Like: Man we’re trying to do our best we can to get out there. Man we never been to Atlanta. We’re trying to go, we’re trying to get out there—holler at ya peoples! Let them know what’s up!
Rif Raf: So on that note, next video, tour, expected EP in 08′.
Like: All of that! But I can’t give you a date on neither one of them. It’s just going to happen! We got something real special real soon coming up . . . I’ll say about April. Filthy—that’s a cool dude by the way. Shout outs to Tanya Morgan. Can we do our shout-outs real quick?
Rif Raf: Yeah, yeah! Do your shout-outs, do your shout-outs . . .
Like: Our DJ Sean G, the homie Swiff D, the homie Blu, the homie Teron, y’know Dom Kennedy, 87 Stick-up kids, Cool kids, Carl Weathers, Carl Winslow, Eddie Winslow, Orlando from the Lakers, Ernie Hudson, Charles S. Dutton, all them is the homies. Uh, what’s it called? Grace Jones. Shout-outs to Wilt Chamberlain.
BeYoung: Lou Gosset Jr.
Like: Damn. Going too far back.
Like: Shout-outs to Quincy.
Rif Raf: Yeah Dede’s doing things. She’s major, major. She’s making her moves. She’s doing her business.