Psycho Realm Conducts
their Sick Symphonies
5/30/06 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview
Gonzales Brothers Jacken
and Duke hail from the Pico-Union area of downtown Los
Angeles, and made their Hip Hop mark in the 90's. While
gaining a new group member in the form of B-Real of Cypress
Hill, the brothers shunned mainstream sounds and found a
strong underground following while dropping rhymes with themes
from inner city life to government Conspiracies.
Sick Jacken took some time out en route to a concert in Mexico
to speak with us about their upcoming projects and proves that
personal tragedy can't keep the brothers away from music in
this exclusive interview.
LatinRapper.com: Does Psycho Realm have any new albums in
Yeah, actually my brother is helping me do the Spanish record
that I'm starting to work on, you know he's paralyzed from the
neck down, so he can't really step in the booth like he used
to. But a major role that he played in the record that we did
before, I do the music, he comes out with the concepts, we
each write our own verses, he comes up with the majority of
the hooks. So he's actually stepping back in and doing that
for these projects that I'm doing. I'm going to do an English
record with him also. He helps out with different projects we
have out, Street Platoon project, the Sick Symphonies one we
put out last year.
So you guys in the studio recording new tracks already?
Actually, when I get back from this Mexico trip, I'm going to
get into the studio and start writing and recording this
Spanish record, I got to have to get it done in four months. I
got a joint venture with Universal under Rebel music group,
its an all-Spanish Hip Hop label that they're giving me.
Universal Latin, it will be the first record on that joint
venture that I have with them.
As far as you doing the shows in Mexico, this isn't to
promote an album?
Yeah, we just got booked to do a couple shows out there. We
just did Greece three weeks ago, we did a big festival in
Watts. Right in the hood in Watts, L.A., right off Central and
89th I think it was, we pulled over 4,000 people. We just been
doing spot dates, man, you gotta keep the name afloat, know
what I mean?
Is this your first time performing out in Mexico?
Nah, we've done a few tours out there in Mexico, man. Mexico's
actually a big market for us. We were there last year, as a
matter of fact, did a four-city tour out there, it was nice
For those not up on where you're from, where are you from?
I'm from Los Angeles, born and raised in Downtown.
You mentioned that your brother is unable to tour, how did
that come about?
He got shot back in '99, right there in Los Angeles where
we're from, it left him paralyzed from the neck down. For a
few years after he got shot, we were just trying to make sure
he got better and things like that. Now that he's better, he
handles the whole internet operation. All our fans, he's
pretty much, man these fans love this dude, he pretty much
keeps in contact with all the fans. He does our website, he
handles all our merchandise online. He's still in the mix, you
know, he's not 100 percent, he can't step in the booth and
drop a verse. He's on a respirator. He got shot in '99 and is
paralyzed from the neck down, bro.
Did that situation get resolved as far as who shot him?
Homeboy's locked up, he's doing life. Just another L.A.
incident. S**t happens, he got caught that night.
I figured you weren't affiliated with anything, repping a
We don't gangbang or none of that. You grow up in L.A., you
don't have to gangbang for s**t to go down. S**t happens, s**t
can pop off anywhere and everywhere, you just gotta be
So everything got put on hold for a while after that?
Everything else I put on hold until he was better. That's my
brother, this music s**t's secondary to me, you know. I had to
make sure he was cool. He's cool now, after he snapped out of
it, we put out a couple of records after that. We have an
independent label called Sick Symphonies, and the only groups
on it are Psycho Realm and Street Platoon. Street Platoon is
another group from Los Angeles. When my brother got shot, they
used to get on stage and help me out, they used to cover my
brother's parts. We started touring over the years, we just
did a record together, August of last year, called Sick
Symphonies Sick Side Stories.
You've been getting a pretty good response off of Sick
Well anybody that's a fan of ours knows pretty much that Sick
Symphonies is our home, we've been getting a great response,
I remember hearing about groups like Cartel de Santa out of
Mexico, I remembered that they used the same producers that
you do. Whose doing your production now?
Well the production for Psycho Realm stuff, I do 95% of it,
occasionally one of the guys from Street Platoon will have a
track on there, my DJ will have a track on there. Sick
Symphonies record, we all pretty much produced it. I produced,
Crow and Cynic from Street Platoon produced, DJ FM produced,
we have a production team called the Drug Lab. We pretty much
do our own production. Cartel de Santa, they use production
from Jason Roberts, an engineer for Cypress Hill back in the
day. He recorded and premixed our first album that was on
Ruffhouse. Control Machete uses him, and so does Cartel de
Santa, but we pretty much produce our own s**t and they work
with Jason Roberts and a couple other cats.
Who makes up Psycho Realm right now?
Psycho Realm is always only gonna be myself, Jack, and my
brother Duke, and DJ FM. Right now my brother is not
recording. The Spanish album I'm doing is gonna be Psycho
Realm Presents. Its not really a Psycho Realm record because,
like I said, he can't record. I don't want to use the name
without him, its a 50-50 thing. His half is a major half, I
can't do Psycho Realm without him. Anything that I do now is
pretty much going to be Psycho Realm Presents, just so people
can be familiar with the project.
Before, B-Real was heavily associated with Psycho Realm,
what's the situation now?
B-Real jumped on board for the first album because we don't
really do guest appearances. He wanted to do a guest
appearance on our first album, we told him we don't do guest
appearances, so he joined the group for the first record. But
when he joined the group, it was a tug of war between his
Cypress responsibilities and the stuff that we were doing,
because we were doing a lot of promotional tours and all that.
It was taking up a lot of time, so we told him to go do the
Cypress stuff, because that's number one, you know, and just
let us do the Psycho Realm stuff. After the first album, I
think he's on one song, on Book 1.
As far as the Spanish album you're putting out, are we
going to hear Cypress on it?
You'll probably hear B-Real on that. We just did a song for a
graffiti movie called Infamy, me and B-Real just did a song
for that. I was on both of his mixtapes, we still collaborate
and do stuff together, we haven't lost that connection. But as
far as Psycho Realm, its just us. On the Spanish record, you
might hear from B-Real, guest appearance on a beat from DJ
Muggs. Bobo's gonna be on there, percussion player for
Cypress, he was all over the first record, he's an original
member of Psycho Realm also. We keep it in house, anyone from
the crew, anybody that's around us, immediately family, you
can pretty much expect them on the record.
Any other guest appearances?
I'm not too sure, probably just me, probably some cat named el
Ferruco. Before we put out that first Psycho Realm record, it
was me, him and Duke that were on Psycho Realm. He kind of
left the group. He might make a comeback on the Spanish
record. You'll probably hear Cynic from Street Platoon on
there. We're not too heavy into guest appearances, we pretty
much want to make our own record?
Is there anyone that you'd like to have on the album that
you haven't recorded with?
I don't really know, bro. I can't think of nobody. There's a
lot of groups I would work with, I've been doing a lot of side
projects, mixtape s**t. But as far as my record goes, we like
our album to have some sort of theme or storyline, sometimes
when you bring guest appearances it throws that rhythm off.
But there's a lot of artists I like to work with, Non Phixion,
Immortal Technique, the same section of Hip Hop as us,
underground raw s**t.
As far as Immortal Technique, I'm assuming you met him at
the Latin Rap Conference?
Yeah, I met him at one of the Latin rap conferences. That show
in Watts, he did that show with us. I keep in touch with the
dude. I guess when you're Latino, you kind of look out for any
other Latino that's out there, you kind of check out his
sound, see how they sound. A dope cat, kind of representing us
right. Immortal Technique, I've been up on his s**t for a
So can people outside of California catch you on tour?
Yeah, we're actually scheduling a few tours. We've been
hitting a lot of tours outside of the country. We're setting
some up for Japan, Australia, we might even go into Spain.
We're trying to set up a US tour, but its kind of hard because
you gotta have that commercial background. Radio airplay, you
gotta have situations like that. When you go out of the
country, Hip Hop is still fresh, they still love the culture.
Underground s**t like ours, they love and embrace, they'll fly
us out no problem. Try to get on a tour out here, they're
like...... Let me see your Soundscan, and who are you, what
label are you with. It's just a big f**kin' hassle.
Do you ever have people assume that because you're from
California and Latin, that you're doing Chicano rap?
Always, that's always the case. I think we broke that
stereotype a long time ago. To this day, you're always gonna
get people that have that. If we had our picture on the front
of our cover, they'd put us in the Chicano section. The fact
that you have a group called Psycho Realm, and the cover's
just some crazy artwork, they're not going to know what it is.
They're just going to put it in the Hip Hop section. That's
what I want, I don't want it to be classified as anything but
Do you have any big singles right now, anything on the
We got a single called "In this Lifetime", that's off of the
Sick Symphonies Sick Side Stories record. We got a video for
it, we been shopping it to MTV and all these other places. But
like I said, you don't have a major label, you don't have
this, you don't have that, its kinda hard. But
they can go to our website and download the video,
www.psychorealmonline.com. They can go to myspace.com/sicksymphonies
or myspace.com/psychorealm213 and they can download the videos
and check those out.
What's the timeline on getting all the albums out?
Spanish album will be out at the end of this year. DJ FM's
putting out a mixtape in the next few months, gonna feature
the whole crew and a bunch of other people that we've been
working with. Street Platoon started working on their record,
that should be out beginning of next year. And then probably
summer time of next year I'll be putting out an English
Are you guys doing any business outside of the music?
Just that joint venture with Universal, we got our merchandise
going. Our merchandise is pretty big, man. That turned out to
be real huge to us. Its just the music and the clothing and
trying to keep it moving.
What would you like people reading to know about Psycho
We're just a real Hip Hop based group. Anybody that was into
the 90's hip hop: Wu Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, that's us. We
don't do nothing commercial. Anybody looking for the real
deal, check us out.
Any last message to the hardcore Psycho Realm fans out
Good looking out for the support. Any time you guys see me on
the street, hit me up, come talk to me. We'll be right here as
long as you keep supporting us, we appreciate it. Anybody that
has Psycho Realm tattoos, 'cause that's a real big thing, just
send us an email. Anyone that wants to chop it up with Duke,
can just send him an email through the website, he's the one
that gets them. We don't have no staff, we don't have nobody
filtering the emails, its all him. Hit him up on the email,
say what's up.
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