After years of rumors of time in Cuba, loosing his mind, and rehab, San Jose’s most unorthodox emcee Dave Dub, in conjunction with JtheSarge (M9 Entertainment), are set to drop a raw mash-up LP Mind Police. An aggressive, progressive, adrenaline-fueled, 12-track foray into the mind of Dave Dub, Mind Police marks Dave Dub’s triumphant return to music and partnership with one of Humboldt’s busiest music labels. In addition to Jthesarge, Mind Police features hip-hop legends Myka 9 and Medusa.
“Love Lost,” the album’s first single, is a hard-charging introspective track where Dave laments the love he once lost for humanity, for music and for himself—through drugs and girlfriends—but has found again. The single, “Mind Police” looks at the propaganda generated by mass media and its effect on humanity, all over a sparse bass line, eerie horns and manic drum track. “I Need It” featuring JtheSarge and Myka 9, explores the necessity for release, from artistic to sexual to violent, which motivates mankind.
“There’s always been a poppin’ hip-hop scene in The Zae,” insists Dave Dub, who adds that he coined the term the Zae. He proudly lists off the most noteworthy artists who have hailed from San Jose: “We got Peanut Butter Wolf, Fanatik, The Architect, and Traxamillion.”
Raised in San Francisco in the 80s, Dave describes his childhood as lonely and isolated. By the time he reached high school, his mother, afraid for her son in the notoriously abysmal San Francisco public schools, sent Dave to live with his grandmother in the quainter city just south of the Bay, San Jose.
“It didn’t keep me out of trouble,” quips Dave. “But I love it here.” In 94, while working at the local Tower Records and being exposed to groups from Bad Brains to Iggy Pop, Dave met a then an unknown deejay, and San Jose native, Peanut Butter Wolf. Those two events would alter his life.
“Bad Brains expanded my horizons musically,” explains Dave, who admits to listening exclusively to hip-hop until then. In 97, Dave, along with an up-and-coming emcee Persevere were featured on “Under Bomber Theories” on Peanut Butter Wolf’s EP Step On Our Egos. In 98, Dave recorded “Necromancin” which ended up on Peanut Butter Wolf’s underground classic, My Vinyl Weighs a Ton.
Soon after, Dave and Persevere formed the group Sub Contents. In 98, they released two 12 inches, “Table Turns” and “Death Becomes Her,” but by then Dave was fighting—and losing—a battling with his own demons in the form of drug addiction. After signing with Dan the Automators’ 75 Ark and recording Notes from the Cliff, the label folded. Caught up in red tape, the album was released, but on several labels with various different covers and, unfortunately, no thorough push.
After years of getting into trouble with the law and a few stints in rehab, Dave is the first to admit he hasn’t lived up to his own musical ambitions, let alone those of his cult following. But today he is serious about his career. He revamped his label, Isolated Wax, and is back writing rhymes. In 2005 ran into old friend, musician, and label owner of M9 Entertainment Jthesarge.
“He proposed this punk rock hip-hop project,” says Dave. “Which sounded right up my alley.”
“I had Dave in mind for this record for a while,” explains JtheSarge, from his Arcata, CA studio where he runs M9 Entertainment, the label he co-owns with rap legend Myka 9. “I had been recording the album over the past year, purposely using bare bones engineering techniques. I hired a local bass player Chris Smiley and incorporated some live horns organ, some guitar. But most of these tracks are super raw: just bass, drums and vocals. I wanted it to be head-nodding, foot-stomping, body-moshing music to riot to! All I needed was the right emcee.”
To be sure, he is back making music and if nothing else, with his collaboration with M9, Dave will now be counted among the legends who hail from The Zae.