DJ Shabazz sits down with Hip-Hop Wired to talk the murder, acquittal, and the release of slain rapper Dolla's mixtape, The Miseducation of Dolla.
In what looked to be a fairly straightforward case, the trial of the murder of up and coming rapper Dolla, left the admitted shooter acquitted of all charges and left the family, friends and relatives of Dolla wondering how a case that seemed so simple, could go so wrong.
The defense portrayed Aubrey Louis Berry as acting out of self defense after being threatened by Dolla, who they painted as a man with alleged gang ties and a real life persona that matched his violent lyrics.
Dolla - "Closer To My Dreams"
Dolla's prosecution claimed that Berry shot Dolla once in the head and three times in the back as he was trying to flee the scene.
Whichever side you believe, this murder just adds to an ever-so-long list of slain Hip-Hop artists. DJ Shabazz gives his side of the story on what happened that day, what he thinks of the judicial system and what Dolla projects they will be releasing in the near future after the break. [More]
Hip-Hop Wired: When the jury verdict came through a couple of weeks ago what went through your mind?
DJ Shabazz: I was actually in Atlanta the day before with his brother, working on a whole bunch of Shyte and when I had just got back to San Francisco, his mom called me and she was crying. And I was like “what's up” and she was like “they just let him go.”
I was like “what you mean let him go?” She said, “he got acquitted on all charges.” I was like ‘how is that possible'. She said, “man I have no idea.” So I was just in a state of confusion, you know what I'm saying. Like, I'm not a lawyer, not a judge, not a juror.
So I was just thinking like, how did that all play, how did it all come about. Like the Shyte's on camera, we're unarmed, broad daylight, in Beverly Hills. I mean that's a pretty straight forward case to me. You know what I mean. Like I said, I'm not a lawyer. So I was just, in shock. Like, okay I guess his evidence and whatever else he had to say, worked. Shyte was crazy.
News Report Of Dolla's Murder
Hip-Hop Wired: Now that the trial is over, in your own words what can you tell us what happened that day?
DJ Shabazz: Umm, sh*it, we went to P.F. Changs—that's exactly what happened. You know what I mean, that's Dolla's favorite restaurant. He loved that place. Any city that have a P.F. Changs, we there. We went there and [the defendant] happened to be there at the same time. And I guess, what I hear they got in an altercation in Atlanta that I wasn't present for, so I really don't know the details about what happened—if there was a fight, if there were just words exchanged. So I guess he recognized who Dolla was. So when we walked out, that was it, he just took off on all of us.
Hip-Hop Wired: I saw your Web blast that you did about Dolla explaining that he was more than just a hardcore rapper. Explain to us who Dolla was in regards to his talent singing, rapping, etc.
DJ Shabazz: Aww man, Dolla was ahead of his time. He was only 21 when his life got taken away. And obviously the main singles that had come out were the “Who The Fawk Is That” single with T-Pain and the “Make a Toast.” And it really didn't show a quarter of the talent that he could display, so when we came up with the concept [to the mixtape] he was listening to “The Miseducation of Lauren Hill'' and he was like “that's my next mixtape.” He was like “no one understands me; everyone thinks I'm just this one hit wonder, T-Pain, hook feature. That's not me.”
So this whole mixtape that we are putting out on Tuesday is just 26 tracks of fire, like he really could rap. He had a lot of talent. He was talking about uplifting Black people, the gentrification of the Black community. He was talkin' about telling kids, Fawk looking at drug dealers and rappers, go to school and get an education. He's talking about beautiful Black women. He talking about just everything, He was like a young activist and he was only 21 too.
Dolla Interview With DJ Rok In Pittsburgh
Hip-Hop Wired: What about as a person? Who was Dolla as a person?
DJ Shabazz: Man, as a person he was probably the most humble kid I've ever met in my life, like for real. All smiles, never had no problems, like very reserved, shy kid. You know, the music Isht, he did, that's what he did but when we didn't do the music stuff, he was not Hollywood. He was just a down to Earth, real dude—like plain and simple. [He] Never went out thinking he was bigger than who he was or who people perceived him to be. At the end of the day he was just Bucc. We call him Bucc; he was just Bucc to us.
Hip-Hop Wired: A lot has been made about Dolla's “Georgia Nights” track because it seems to predict what would eventually happen three days after its release. I know you spent a lot of time with Dolla, do you think he could sense something bad was going to happen?
DJ Shabazz: That's crazy, you're the only one to ever ask me that so far. And for real, there'd be times in the last couple of months where we'd just be kickin' it at the house and he'd just be talking [about] having dreams about death. Just saying like “yo dog I just woke up and my body was there but I was like looking at my body and someone was reaching for me from above. Like I don't know I can't tell. I don't know if it was my dad, I don't know who it was. I could just see myself laying there”. And he would talk about that a lot. And what was crazy was the “Georgia Nights” track we did like a year before his life got taken away. That Shyte got leaked three days before. Like, we didn't leak it, the producer leaked it.
Dolla Interviewing With Video Vault TV
Hip-Hop Wired: What do you think about the California judicial system with this being the third rapper that has been killed in Cali and the case was either not solved or the defendant walked?
DJ Shabazz: Man I think it's just Fawked up, you know, they have jurors that go up there, and if you are a rapper and you get killed I guess the defense can just play some negative music and the jury will just be like “oh we're listening to it, he's talking about guns, he's talking about violence so I guess you know he had it coming.” And that Shyte is just wack to me, you know what I mean, that Isht is Fawking wack. Like at the end of the day, we're entertainers, we're artists. If Denzel Washington got killed no one's going to say in American Gangster he poppin' and burnin' people, you know what I mean; it's a source of entertainment.
A lot of Isht you can't take literally. The jurors, you see it on camera, it's not like it's not there. It's in their face that P.F. Changs in the valley, they have cameras everywhere, so it doesn't show us doing what they were perceiving in the music that they were playing to outweigh the defendant shooting Dolla three times in the back.
Hip-Hop Wired: Also, with gang violence being so prevalent in Cali, does some part of you feel like the Judicial system in Cali is just letting these young brothers and sisters handle their own problems in the streets? Basically just let these brothers kill each other?
DJ Shabazz: I really do. I feel like they don't wanna get involved, they just wanna throw it on the jurors. You know what I mean. “They in the street wildin' out let ‘em just do what they have to do.” Like for real, all these damn murders that go unsolved in the Black community as a result of gang violence and even with Tupac and Biggie. All of that stuff, you mean to tell me you can't solve that? But anything else, that's non-related to that, I bet you guys are on, tough. So they just letting it [go], you know. LA is crazy, for real. LA is real racists especially with the judicial system in my eyes.
Hip-Hop Wired: How does the DJ Shabazz's camp pay homage to Dolla on a daily basis?
DJ Shabazz: I mean Shyte, I talk to him every single day. There's not a day that goes by I'm not listening to at least an hour or two of his music. It's hard for me cause me and his brother were actually there with him carrying his body and Shyte. So it's still like, we still in shock. So it's hard. There [are] times where I'm thinking he still here, trying to pick up my phone and text him, I'm like ‘A$$ Isht, can't do that'. When I go to Atlanta and me and his brother get together it's just a state of shock we really have nothing to say.
And especially at time because he was just on his way, we were just working with T.I. in the studio 3 weeks prior. [We were] just about to release this mixtape. So Shyte was just going in a positive direction from what we wanted, I mean the “Who The Fawk Is That” was huge, it did what it did. Number 2, number 1 on 106 & Park but now we was finally given the opportunity to do the type of music we really felt would work. And that was just the young Pac in him, he just wanted to put out just good music.
Hip-Hop Wired: I know you guys had tons of Music you were working on that had not been released yet. So what's next for Dolla's music? What projects are you working on? And when will they be released? What producers are you working with?
DJ Shabazz: The mixtape is coming out on Tuesday, it's “The Miseducation of Dolla.” It's 26 tracks. About 19 of the tracks was for the mixtape. He would come to the Bay Area and stay with me for weeks on end and we would just work on the mixtape. So 19 of the tracks is form the mixtape and then there is like, you know we would always be in the studio and he would do verses and whole bunch of other stuff. So I chose like five more tracks that I felt just made this mixtape a classic. That comes out, I have enough to put out another project and then we have an album.
On the album the producers range from 3 Six Mafia to Akon to T-pain to Drumma Boy. But pretty much solely, the homie out of Malibu, this white kid, Julien Bunneta, he pretty much did like 9 of the tracks on the album. The album is all picked [but] we gotta figure out the bullShyte with the music industry—if Konvict is going to get involved, if we're going to do it on our own, TIP said he wanted to play a part in it. So we just dealing with the mixtape right now.
Hip-Hop Wired: Has Akon reached out to you since the verdict was reached in the case?
DJ Shabazz: I haven't personally heard from him, I seen his brother Bu at the funeral and he sent his condolences and he keeps in contact with us. I haven't really heard form Akon personally. The only person that's really reached out to me is Pain, T-pain. He had me come on stage with him 2 weeks ago in Frisco. Like he's the only one that's really reached out.
DJ Shabazz Speaking With Los Angeles Leakers
Hip-Hop Wired: How are you going to publicize the release of his new music since obviously he is not able to go out and promote his work?
DJ Shabazz: To tell you the truth, I feel like once we drop this mixtape and it just creates the frenzy, the music is going to speak for itself. I really feel like no one's going to have to say anything. I mean we picked a single that we want to use, maybe shoot the video for cause we have clips, you know we have a whole bunch of videos of us in the studio performing songs and stuff.
So we have enough material to put out a video just so people can start seeing the face again but I really feel like the mixtape itself is just going to take off. People are going to hear it and be like damn this is an hour and sixteen minutes of just Goosebumps. Like where was this kid? How come they didn't put Shyte out like this before he passed?
Download The Miseducation Of Dolla at http://djshabazz.ning.com/