You probably know The Dereliks from the “A Turn On The Wheel Is Worth More Than A Record Deal” EP from 1995. Here are a bunch of DOPE tracks from 92-93 which were included on their 1994 demo tape. See below an interview with Iz and Dj Hen Boogie. ENJOY!!
Hen, how old are you man and where did you grow up?
“Old enough to know better…Is that fair? HA!
I grew up in a city called San Jose, California. Actually both me and Iz did. San Jose is a really big city though and we lived on complete different sides of the city. I was more in the North East side and Iz was in the South East side. The chances that we would have ran into each other was pretty slim considering that and that I’m a couple years older than him.” Hen Boogie
What were your first experiences of the culture?
“I mean I fell in love with Djing and the music at an age probably at alot younger age than most kids. I had really supportive parents for the most part when it came to music. Any money I earned I was at the record store buying records. I think my first real experience was when I accidentally purchased “Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel” on 12″. I didn’t understand what and how it was making those noises (scratches) but I really fell in love with it right then and there.” Hen Boogie
“When I was a kid, I went to some festival and saw this group called the “San Jose Poppers”. These dudes was killin it on stage. Black top hats, black bogards, white shirts and gloves. I knew then I was home. The music was crankin, and them boys was on point.” Iz
So Iz, when did you and Hen meet?
“So I had been in a couple of Junior High School and High School crews back in the day before Hen and I met. Mainly talent shows and neighborhood freestyle battles. I used to tag along with my step brother, coincidently at the same studio most of the Dereliks records were recorded. I thought I knew all I needed to when we hit the studio. I was wrong. Sessions were lasting 8 hours easy and I’d still have to go back and clean shit up. No pro tools editing then, so if you messed up, even a little, you had to run if from the top. And Boog and our Engineer Bill Williams were perfectionists. Ruff!” Iz
When did you start writing Iz?
“I was always writing in school, algebra, english, history. I wrote all the time but would rarely let anyone hear what I was writing. But me and my boy HP Kadofi would freestyle back in forth all day long. Eventually me in this one cat, I can’t even remember his name, was gonna try to form a group and some how we hooked up with B. Walker.” Iz
How did you two cats start recording together?
“Shit we just took what we had and went in. Actually I didn’t have much at that time. Sort of the starving musician type. I was livin in my other brother’s warehouse ( no, shower, no kitchen, no bed) when Boog’s mom let me stay there. shit we was off to the races. Everyday, morning, noon and night it was recording, shows, and more recording. If Hen wasn’t making beats, he was out a the club, or takin down some chic. I had more beats than any MC could need so I’d just put one in the air and write.” Iz
Was Dereliks yours first group?
“My first group was called ATP, All Town Posse. It was me, Dolla, and Fast Drop. Dolla was always a player, he had lyrics. Fast Drop was more of a West Coast MC but he liked whoopin cats asses, I mean he was always ready to go and I was more of the lyricist. We recorded a couple of songs and preformed at a Juneteenth or two but nothin like what was in store for DERE.” Iz
“Not at all. I was in a group with my friend Ed Main called Menace to Society and in another group called Loaded Wax. We never got further than making demos in different studios though.” Hen Boogie
Hen, what are your memories of how you cats met?
“We actually were introduced to each other by the cat named Brian Walker. I was working at this record store named Star Records and it was really the hub of the music scene in San Jose. Everybody went there to shop and the guy behind the DJ counter was considered “the man” back then. I actually took over the DJ counter position right after Peanut Butter Wolf who worked there too.” Hen Boogie
So I was looking for an MC and Brian used to come there all the time. I asked him and he introduced me to IZ and some other cat he was rapping with who I didn’t think was that good. The funny thing is what impressed me about Iz was he rapped “Sidditty Kitty” to me acapella and I was like we gotta do something. After that it was a wrap.
And how do you remember recording back then?
“We did it like it was done back then. We would prepare everything in our minds and on the turntables what the song was supposed to sound like and then go to a studio to lay it down. It wasn’t like it is now we used to pay $15 an hour which was big money for some broke dudes to get the tracks recorded and it was really a training. We recorded everything at Studio Venus with our engineer Bill Williams. He also recorded alot of cats back then but I’m pretty sure we were the champs.” Hen Boogie
So what happened after the 12” dropped?
“Man, it was like the doors opened up and closed all at the same time. I think we were one of the first in our class to drop vinyl. After we did it was as if everyone else could. It was a huge fraternity of undaground crews putin out wax.” Iz
“It was weird because we had done 3 demos and then when we did our release with Low Self Discipline it was kind of a validation in some ways but a disappointment in other ways. I mean it really was a great business card because we got played on the Stretch & Bobbitto show and even Just Blaze when he was a DJ at a skating rink. So we really got alot of East coast love because the guy behind the release Brandon Himmel was connected and based in New York.
We definitely got alot of shows out of it and performed with pretty much everybody back then. You name it man, Brand Nubian, Roots, Fugees, M.O.P., Masta Ace, Onyx, Fu-schnickens, Saafir, everybody..The downside is that no one was really feeling us then or at least we didn;t know they were. You have to realize this is before the internet was a way of life. It’s hard to imagine that now right?
But really especially in San jose we got no love and little did we know our limited run record was influencing so many people and people globally were feeling us. We just didn’t know. We didn’t see any real profit either. We would do sold out shows and someone got paid but it definitely wasn’t us. Maybe they wanted us to stay “dereliks” HA!” Hen Boogie
Did you get any offers?
“No, we got close though. We got flown out to New York to perform for a label (I won’t say who) and it was really awkward. It was like a showcase and there was like 75 people there and a really small stage. Speech and Aerle Taree from Arrested Development were there and we kind of messed up our chance by coming to the show late. We just were acting like we were stars before we really arrived. In retrospect it was better because it gave us an opportunity to meet Brandon in person and we may not have gotten the chance otherwise. He really let us do the EP like we wanted and gave us the freedom to do it where if we di d it with that label who knows what would have happened.” Hen Boogie
“We had offers before the vinyl dropped, but nothin stuck. i think our Fuck the Machine mentality didn’t do us any favors.” Iz
How come you guys didnt keep recording as Dereliks?
“Well honestly we never stopped recording you just never heard any of it. Me and iz are still brothers. Like he’s the closest thing I ever had to a brother and I’m happiest knowing that we still are like that and I don’t think it would ever change. But we have so much music we recorded no one heard and it’s only because we’re both perfectionists that it’s never seen the light of day. Maybe one day it will but I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Who knows though things can change.” Hen Boogie