Mix tapes were so last year

Brutal questions about ’08 with Cawzlos

The face of 2009.

The face of 2009.

Cawzlos commands you to attend this art show, Aman Wyzdom Smith, Amanda Lopez, Mikey Dewitt, Pete B., 7evin and many more on Saturday, January 10, 7 p.m.; free. Sub-Q, 1715 I Street; (916) 446-9777.

Since his involvement with now-defunct group the Cawz in the late ’90s, Carlos Lopez has been an integral part of the Sacramento hip-hop scene. Although personal turmoil led to the Cawz’s demise, Lopez (Cawzlos) is back and bigger than ever—both physically and mentally. With an array of management projects, musical endeavors and get-rich-quick schemes, the emcee is ready to take 2009 by the horns and kick it in the face.

Thankfully, Cawzlos—one of the most vocal members of Sacramento’s hip-hop community—was willing to answer some of the more puzzling questions about music in 2008.

What’s up with hip-hop dudes releasing horrible mix tapes last year?

I would say lack of capital, ignorance. Not getting out of your comfort zone and not seeing how the game works. The capital gain is low right now. Finding money that’s loyal and long-term investments—people are short on cash and shit.

What about producers in Sacramento? I feel like all the cuts now sound like tracks from Messy Marv’s recycle bin.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m going to vouch for people I’ve worked with and for: Chase Moore, Slim [Jae Synth], Tofu [de la Moore], DJ Epik. And [Middle Class] Rut—they’re producing for me right now.

But would it kill hip-hop producers to use a real instrument every now and then?

I don’t think they naturally even think of it. When you get to full-blown production, like, “Oh, I want this guitar piece,” it’s a money situation. Culturally, hip-hop music was made on a broke level.

Who is the best group in Sacramento?

That’s a tossup. When I think of rap groups, I think of Alumni. But they’re not really shaking and moving as much currently. I think of Righteous Movement. You know who really caught my eye? Tribe of Levi.

Is there a worst group in Sacramento?

I think the old Cawzlos would really try to break it down and get to the bottom of that question. But the new Cawzlos [thinks that] right now everybody’s marketing game is horrible.

Do you think A New Hope is the worst group in Sacramento?

Who’s that?

They’re definitely not the worst group, but that’s the worst name for a group.

You write from some crazy mindset. Is that really how you feel?

Their name sounds like a Christian rock group, that’s all. Hey, how would you tell someone to stop rapping forever?

I think that people should say it. If you say “stop rapping” and they don’t stop rapping, that means they’re a real rapper. I think that should be said early on in careers, because then there would be less fake motherfuckers over here. You know what I mean? Just be brutally honest.

What else do you want to say?

I’m working with Doey Rock, I’m managing him and I want everybody to know he’s back and he’s ready to move forward.

I thought you said I couldn’t say you were managing him?

No, you can.

What can’t I say?

I just don’t want you to talk about [classified information]. You can even say I’m part of his management and promotional team. You know, just say I’m his manager. That’s a huge statement, dude.

You’re full of them.

Why do I keep doing that?

That’s just what you do.

I’m pretty extreme, though.

You’re an extreme dude.

I’m trying to win.