photo credit: 935 KDAY
X-Raided has spent the last 26 years in Prison, but has become a Bay Area legend regardless, recording his 15+ albums through the phone and using music as a therapeutic outlet. Upon release in 2018, the rapper is re-adjusting to life and working on new music under BMG Records.
Speaking with Noah Ayala on his come-up and how his hometown of Sacramento, California helped support and put the rapper on in the hip-hop game. X began taking on rap growing up in the streets of Sac Town where he was much influenced by gang affiliated and the fast moving lifestyle. X shared his experience of how his music got into the right hands when he started freestyling for his friends in his free time.
When my grandmother died, it fractured the family. While the adults were grieving, the children were in the streets doing what they do. And so, a lot of that for me, encompassed like, rhymes, pop the trunk, beats playing, people drinking, the girls out there. And, I used to just freestyle for the homies. You know, tell stories about adventures and stuff like that. Rhyme it up and they loved it. I kept doing that and next thing you know, I started making tapes. My friends from continuation schools that I ended up in as a result of gang activity, those tapes ended up in the hands of Cedric Singleton. Then Cedric Singleton did his magic. That ended up in the hands of people like Brian Shafton and Priority Records and the rest is history.
While an experience behind bars could have sent X down a dark path, the rapper shares how he made a conscious decision to not let the system affect his mental health while serving his sentence. As much attention goes into medicating inmates instead of promoting mental health awareness, the prison system is designed to make money off of their inmates and X did not want that to affect his mental state and creativity.
Although I didn’t correctly use it all the time, I was fond of my mind. I was fond of it. My mother made sure that I was self-educated and educated by her. And so, I was fond of my thoughts. I didn’t want to lose that. I saw men who didn’t have control of their psychology and I felt like the system was assisting them with that.
X also saw some support from the late Nipsey Hussle’s family and team while behind bars stating, “I always have to salute to Nipsey for that. His homies were real good to me when I was in prison. Especially at the end. I didn’t really have to worry about nothing. They let me just focus on going home. “Pay attention to that, we got this.” So like, any whisper with my name, they went to go find out what that was.”
X-Raided goes on to discuss his new music with BMG Records and what life is exactly like outside of prison.
Watch the full clip below.