By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
In the interest of getting the broad perspective, I’m meeting Choc Nitty and KP from Snowman Cliq. They suggest the Pig’n Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard, a place front and center to the slow parade of German and Japanese tourists, as well as some more local talent pretending to be somebody, as opposed to San Julian Street where people are pretending to be nothing.
At first sight these 20-something rap stars in the making from Watts read more like a potential hip-hop cash cow in search of a distribution deal, tour support and radio promo budget than Skid Row crack dealers. We take a table in the backroom and I consider asking if Javier, with the harelip, is one of their clients down in the box. I decide not to, as I have no evidence that Choc Nitty is anything but a talented rapper. I do tell him how much I like his music, especially “Get Them Chips,” and the video with the drug raid as a backdrop. I inquire about his association with the super dope cops in Central Division and ask if he knows Officer Quecada.
“Nah. I don’t know what officer you talking about,” he says. “I don’t do much talking to polices so it’s like, nope.”
Choc looks you in the eye and speaks slowly with a deep and sullen delivery in a vernacular that takes extreme liberty with the language, transcending Ebonics proper, poised in the dominion of poetry. It’s compelling. He and his partner KP are undeniably charismatic.
“Well, basically, you know, man ... people who are hustlers, they go where the money at, just like anybody in the business,” Choc says. But I’m not sure what business he means. “It’s not just drugs, narcotics and everything ... I heard about Saint Julian ... I know people who selling drugs down there, you know? Everybody doing they thing. Getting how they live. I go down there and gamble. I shoot dice. I’m a hustler, so I get it anywhere I can get it. Simple as that.”
I tell Choc that the cops say he’s a drug-dealing gangster and that he picked up a case and ... oh yeah, I ask, “What does ‘chippy’ mean? You know, from ‘Get Them Chips,’ the song on www.snowmancliq.com? It says ‘I’m gonna get my chippy on.’ What does that mean? Chips?”
Choc takes a beat. Looks at me like I’m nuts.
“My chippies,” Choc says. “Chips is money. Cheddar. Whatever ... dollar signs. Whatever money is to you, that’s it.”
“And what about the case?” I ask again.
“Yeah,” he says. “They put me in jail for something. I don’t even know what I’m talking about, man. They just put me in jail. They say I was selling narcotics, whatever. They know I’m a gambler. They know I shoot dice. But they try to get me for narcotics... I don’t know. I was in jail for that. I fighting that case right now and getting that right. Well, I already fought the case and I’m doing my probation and due to the travelin’, I ain’t feel like keep going to court ... so with this music stuff, I’m just doing that and maintaining that. We don’t have nothing to do with all the drugs ... Saint Julian. I don’t know nothing about that. I don’t get down like that. They just trying to find some people they can blame it on.”
Well, that’s not very nice. And Captain Smith seemed like such a standup guy. I wonder why the super dope cops are picking on Choc Nitty anyway. Whatever. I wanna hear more about all the stuff that Snowman Cliq is doing in Watts.
“Phenomena is the soundtrack for For Real, the DVD documentary we put out,” says KP, a handsome, wiry young player with big brown eyes, cornrows and a genius for self-promotion.
“D.J. Jamar, he directed it,” KP continues. “DVD is real hot. We got big rappers on there as far as with appearances: Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, G-Unit and Floyd Maywether, the boxer. We got people on our DVD or whatever that we mess with. So it’s not just regular rap. You know what I’m saying? We rapping and we from the ’hood or whatever. Downtown? That’s a whole ’nother story.”
“We finishing up the We Are Taught To Survive album, which stand for WATTS,” Choc adds. “We got a DVD documentary coming for that too. I’m working on my album, Choc Nitty: The Listen and Learn Album. They can learn from my mistakes. Listen and learn what I’m tellin’ 'em. KP and Six [that’s 6 Reasons, the third member of the Snowman Cliq] are working on their projects right now. We looking for a distribution deal for For Real. A lot of people need to see that. Everything that’s on it is for real. The second documentary is called For Real: Part 2 cuz everything you gonna see again is for real. We got for real people, major stars ... We mess with a lot of major stars. We got like, 8-40, we got Chingy, we got Too-Short, we got 50 again, The O.G. Unit; we got Prodigy from Mobb Deep. We got some of these people on there. We got Money Mike; we got Fabulous on there from the Street Family.”
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