Where’s Judge Judy when you need her?

Doey Rock’s Sick Wid It drama and why you’re gonna love his new album

You’re going to love <i>Mind Candy.</i> Seriously.

You’re going to love Mind Candy. Seriously.

Photo by Josh Fernandez

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As we sit in a friend’s smoke-filled Midtown apartment, Sacramento emcee Doey Rock leans heavily back into an old-school thrift-store couch. He’s been doing the final tweaks on his latest album, Mind Candy, all day (he’s studio tired), and looks almost too relaxed to talk about the friction he’s experienced with his label, E-40’s Sick Wid It Records.

But Doey, a man of the people, knows that fans want to hear Judge Judy-style drama, so he speaks candidly.

The record deal went awry, he says, after he signed a three-year contract with Sick Wid It in 2007 and his manager (and E-40’s “right-hand man,” Big Omeezy) decided he’d rather be a rapper than a manager.

“The thing with me and E-40 that people don’t really understand is that we never really got to build a relationship,” Doey says. “I didn’t know E-40 before I met Omeezy, so I think we went into that deal like, [E-40] is just going to trust Omeezy that I’m cool and I’m trusting Omeezy that he’s cool and that it’s going to work out.”

But now, Doey’s at the point where he can’t even get anybody on the phone. That’s the kind of communication breakdown that would make Judge Judy rip her wig off. But fuck Judge Judy. And the past.

Doey’s not one to dwell on drama and is just focused on his new album, a wildy innovative collection that embodies the voice of Doey’s 2005 Soul on Fire—frustrated, boisterous, witty—but with even more personality and depth.

And the album sounds so clean it would pass a piss test at the Department of Corrections.

And Doey is confident in the album. “Mind Candy is great, but I made it, so of course I’m going to say that,” he says, fiddling with his oversized Obey baseball cap. “I mean, every person is going to say, ‘Yeah, it’s the dopest album of the millennium—you should bottle it!’ But I’ll tell you this: I put a lot of effort into it … and there is a purpose for every song.”

Take the track “He Say She Say,” with a chunky ’70s electric-guitar sample and Doey yelling, “This is mind can-dy” like a deranged Bob Marley. The track is simple, hooky, full of energy and fascinating to listen to. And none of the common pitfalls of Sacramento hip-hop artists—muffled vocals, recycled lyrics, boring production, no vocal intonation—are present on Mind Candy.

“Hopefully, with this album, I can raise the bar up—qualitywise, visually, soundwise, lyrically—and people will stop putting out bullshit. I hear a lot of it, and quite frankly I don’t like that shit,” says Doey, for some reason looking in my direction like he’s going to start swinging. “I made a good album. I’m telling you!” he says, the most animated he’s been all night. “You’re gonna love it—just tell ’em. Put it in big, bold letters at the bottom of this article: You’re gonna love it!