BY: GABY MORENO
Hello Hip Hop Heads and Horror Fans,
I am honored to share this interview with you all. I got to interview the talented Smalls Uno aka Sire Spooky! It was just a few months ago I came across Smalls music and dope album, “Beast Mode” that I reviewed as well. Smalls and I clicked and instantly became spooky fam!!! He is a dope emcee from my city of San Diego and a very humble human being! Thank you Smalls Uno for inviting me to your “M.Mind Debate Show” podcast with your co-host Mastermind Guile and giving me the platform to discuss the origins of my hip-hop/horror blog! Check out this dope podcast now on Season 2. I was featured on Episode 2, go check it out, like it, comment and subscribe to Smalls Uno and Mastermind Guile’s Youtube channel! Without further a do, read below to know more about Smalls Uno and his spooky journey!
Please tell introduce yourself to those who might not know who you are.
Yo I’m Smalls Uno aka Sire Spooky aka Smalls Krueger aka The fuckin’ King!!! I’m born and raised in Daygo Paradise Hills to be exact, artist on M.Mind Recording member of Spooky Gang.
Beast Mode was just dropped a few months ago! Dope project. I know you have dropped prior albums. How do you feel you’ve grown as an emcee and what is different about this album than your previous projects?
Good lookin I appreciate that, I feel I’ve grown lyrically for sure. The project I put out before Beast Mode was called “King and His Krown” and it was a Frankenstein project, me and Mastermind Guile had been putting out a lot of classic M.Mind albums that didn’t get dropped and I needed something to put out so I gathered a bunch of songs I had already recorded and recorded like 3 new joints for it and threw it out. But I had took a break from music in 2012 when my daughter was born so my pen was a little rusty coming back in 2016.
What is your writing process like when working on an album or song? What inspires or influences your lyrics?
I always just throw the beat on and just listen to it repeatedly until a topic forms, then I’ll try and zone out. I like to write when it’s really cold at night, something about the stress on the body that sends my brain into a reflection of my wild youth and starts pulling up dark memories. I’m way too spooky!!!
Please tell us a bit about your journey and how you began rapping?
My big bro Sick Rick Da Don, he’s from Brooklyn and when I was like 8 or 9 he let me read his rhyme book and that was when I was like I can do this, so our dad bought us a karaoke machine and mad blank tapes and we started recording freestyles and random rhymes we had over any instrumental we could find. I showed that tape to Mastermind and then he started rhyming too. I didn’t really get serious with it until I graduated from high school tho, that was ’03 me and Mastermind linked back up and started getting it in. Right now I got 6 mixtapes out ranging years wise from 2006-2018 and 3 albums from 2005-present, Me Mastermind and Sick Rick have been at this for a long time, but presently the time is right!!!
The M.Mind Recording Debate Show podcast how did that come about? I know you mentioned Season 1 took place last year. When did it begin who did you interview or guests that were on last season?
This was definitely a Mastermind Guile gem, he was just trying to think of ways to get our personalities out to the public, because some people say we’re not very approachable. I’m a talker and Guile is real laid back and reserved that’s why I’m the host, MC motormouth! Yeah on the first season we had guest like Kyanite from Dead Souls click, Darky Lowks, Speak Easy & Riquested, and Gangsta Gadget to name a few. Season two is gonna be extra lit tho, 2 episodes in already! Tune in!!!!
How do you plan of making your Podcast Season 2 different? What do you want to achieve with this Podcast? Is it a round table or will you try to discuss SD hip hop, rap news etc?
So our main focus is to spread the game and information out to help those that might need it, and who else to get it from than your fellow local artists. Then season we’re gonna do more round table style multiple guest at once, last season majority of all the guests got a lot of recognition and love from being on the show, we’re looking to continue doing that.
What is the significance of your monicker Smalls Uno?
It started out as a joke or a tease my bro sick Rick is a giant, he’s like 6’3″ and I’m only 5’7″ so people in our neighborhood would see me and say ” your killing me smalls” from the sandlot, I hated it but it grew on me, and I added the Uno to just to I guess show my Spanish side and to say I am the one.
I love that you incorporate horror references in your music. Do you have any favorite horror-core albums, songs or rappers?
The Gravediggaz. Their first song “Nowhere to run nowhere to hide” when I first heard that I was blown away, but they got a joint called “Suicide” and that’s my favorite song from them, they had another song I can’t think of the title but in the video one of the cats was rhyming in a grave that was krazy ill. But mostly my horror references come from my love for horror movies.
What is your favorite scary movie? Why?
The first Nightmare on Elm Street hands down!!! My oldest brother showed me the first movie when I was like 6 or 7, and I was spooked out so he made me watch it repeatedly until it wasn’t scary anymore.
What is next for Smalls Uno? Can we expect more upcoming albums/ EP’s this year or just singles? You just dropped “Bane Raps” tell the people where they can find your dope music!
Yeah “Bane Raps” you can get that from my Bandcamp page: www.grafrapgod.bandcamp.com. Me and Sick Rick are doing a EP titled: “The Spookies”, 6 tracks spine chilling bars. I’m also doing an EP with SD producer Ray Flaqui titled “Spit Fire and Die Rhymin”. I’m gonna be adding more music to my Bandcamp page, but I got music everywhere: Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud, YouTube just Google Smalls Uno and enjoy the adventure!
What is your favorite hip hop album and song of all time?
My favorite album has to be Mobb Deep The Infamous, and my favorite song is “Where’s ya Heart at” my Mobb Deep off the Murda Muzik album.
Who is your favorite emcee of all time? Why?
It’s a 50/50 split between Prodigy & Ghostface Killah, Prodigy’s pen is extremely detail oriented so I can visualize what he’s saying. We both little dudes that grew up grimey doin wild shit. And Ghostface is hella smooth but dangerous all in one, like he be saying shit that will leave you stunned like “yo what did he say?” His story telling abilities are highly slept on too. His verse on “Impossible” on the Wu-Tang Forever album is everything every emcee should wanna be able to create.
What do you believe sets you apart from your peers or competition?
I say the angles I hit with my pen, my ability to tell stories in great detail, and my voice. I love rhymin, to sit and think of a verse and to try and hide simple meanings inside of intricate wordplay is something I really enjoy doing.
Do you feel the San Diego hip hop scene has welcomed you? What constructive criticisms or advice would you say the SD hip hop scene needs to do to be considered a hub of hip hop like LA or NY?
Honestly this year was my welcoming year, for a long time I felt like I was invisible or being blocked out, but the invisible cloak is gone. If you would’ve asked me this question last year or two years ago I would’ve said there’s no unity in Daygo, but there’s tons of unity. What I believe is happening is there’s the hip-hop scene and then there’s the rap scene. But people like Nate from Sdloveshiphop and Gohamradio are bridging that gap by doing business with artists from both sides. That’s like me and Mastermind I’m a good ol’ backpack emcee that listened to El-P’s “Fantastic Damage” while on bombing missions and he’s a certified G that will hop in his ride and slump out to Three Six Mafia’s “Tear Da Club up ’97”. We’re bridging the Gap!
What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind either creatively or on a personal level?
I just wanna be in the argument of greatest emcees of all-times, I want my kids to see that daddy wasn’t krazy for all that time he spent writing raps or rehearsing songs for a show in the backyard. I’m not in this to get rich, yes it would be amazing to be rich, I’d rather after I die my kids and my wife get the royalties and all that money if my music can reach that status, I just wanna be in the argument!
What advice would you give an up and coming emcee?
Practice your craft, if you really wanna rhyme and be taken seriously, practice! Write all the time, I don’t like to freestyles anymore but freestyling helps, and always remember you were a fan before you became an artist so don’t be afraid to support what you consider dope. And never ever ever, try to spit darts at Smalls!!!
What do you think about Hip Hop music becoming more intermingled with the horror genre? Not sure if you heard Rza is making a horror movie. Also most recently Jordan Peele used “I Got 5 On It” for his psychological horror movie “Us“? It’s been done before like Tales from the Hood , Bones etc. Do you think this can become a successful trend? What are some of your thoughts on this.
It’s dope, I mean who doesn’t like horror movies? Redman was in a Chucky movie. Everyone has a little evil side to them, horror movies can only help you bring that out and use it for good. That sounded hella evil right now!
What other creative arenas do you want to enter if any? You are a rapper and a podcaster that’s why I ask.
I’d like to be in a movie or two, I think I can do it, be a bully in a high school movie. I’ve been writing a book for the past 6 years, I go back to it write a little leave it alone for another year or so. I don’t know, I’m open to a lot, a pro wrestlers manager, get in the ring talk some shit, smack a couple dudes and bounce. Boxcutta Maxx what’s good yo?
What do you consider is the difference between a lyricist (MC) and a rapper? Specially in this era?
To me an emcee is more of a news reporter, they’re gonna tell you what’s going on in their region, what they did last week, who got shot and why, what their favorite food is, all that in rhyme form, where as a rapper is just gonna put words together over a beat to get paid.
What do you feel about Jordan Peele bringing back the original screenplays to the horror genre. As well as giving black actors major lead character roles in a genre that typically has not been that way? Do you prefer original horror movies or remakes?
They’re both great styles, some originals have good storylines but based on the time it was made the technology didn’t allow it to be super scary, where the remakes can take the old storyline beef it up and they have the technology to do over the top shit to make little kids piss themself. I’ma be honest I haven’t seen Us yet, but I love that Jordan Peele is making a way for black actors to break into this historic genre, we all don’t have to die within the first 5 minutes of the movie, unless your talking about Kelly Rowland in Freddy vs Jason, how in the hell did she survive so long?
Who is your favorite horror villain or horror icon ? Why?
Freddy Krueger, he talked mad shit to his victims, he didn’t walk he ran, and just the whole mindfuck of him making you afraid to go to sleep and then finally your body shutting down forcing you into a coma like sleep is brilliant. Those elm Street kids would be so afraid they wouldn’t even realize they have actual control over their dreams. I need to be in a Freddy movie or on a soundtrack.
Any shout outs you want to give out to any platforms or people that have supported your craft?
Shout-out Mastermind Guile, Sick Rick Da Don, Speak Easy, Nemy, Indian K, Boxcutta Maxx, Ric Scales, Yazi, Twomps, AC Braxton, Pottie Mouth, Bubu The Prince, Kyle Jimenez, Spookygang!!!!! Shout-out to Nate at Sdloveshiphop, Kill C Rey at Platform Collection, Kahlee, HipHopWeds, Bars Weekly, Hip-Hop with Robby C, DJ Escobarz from AEO music group & 1700 Radio, 7 Octoberz hip-hop/horror blog, Dee Barber, Westside Spanky & Westside Pee-wee, and Mama Bear! M.Mind Recording X Spooky Gang!!!!
Thank you Smalls Uno for your time and being down to do this interview! I truly appreciate you! Spooky Gang👻👻👻!!!To my readers and supporters hope you all enjoyed reading this interview. Go stream, listen or buy Smalls Uno latest project, “Beast Mode” and his new single, “Bane Raps” to support dope hip hop music! Until next time horror fiends and hip hop heads. While you’re at it please feel free to follow my blog on social media @7octoberz and Facebook!