Westwayz Compilation Series Producer Salvatore Talks About His Bay Area Rap Series

Posted by Billyjam, June 29, 2011 01:31pm | Post a Comment
The recently released Westwayz Compilation 4, a recommended collection of Bay Area hip-hop by some of its better known longtime rap artists, is the fourth and latest in an ongoing series of Bay based music produced by North Bay studio professional Salvatore. Over the past decade Salvatore has been recording & then releasing Bay Area rap collections featuring some of the most renowned longtime names in local rap.  For Westwayz Compilation 4, which is available at Amoeba Music, the producer has gone back into the vaults and dug up acapellas by the likes of Andre Nickatina, the late great Mac Dre, Totally Insane, Rappin' 4 Tay, and Cellski.  Previously released in different versions, Salvatore rearranged these vocal tracks and added new music tracks he recently produced.  He also included a couple of his instrumentals on this latest collection. This week I caught up with the Bay Area producer to talk about his production process and the Westwayz Compilation series.

Amoeblog: This is part 4 and is billed as a remix. So can you tell me about the history of your compilation series?

Salvatore: Yes, I released three other albums over the years. It was a great experience for me. There’s some parts of this game you really have to experience first hand to understand. The opportunity to work with some of the great people that I did really is priceless now that I look back. With this new album, I decided to remix some of my favorites that I have produced in the past with a few extra bonus tracks.

Amoeblog: Were the vocals on this compilation all released in the past but in different versions or are some of the vocal parts been heard for the first time?

Salvatore: Yes, All the remix tracks were from orignal songs from my previous albums. All in the same order and format, nothing chopped or moved around. Tha Link Crew track was orignally on the classic album West Coast Bad Boyz Volume 1. I remixed it for The Link Crew years ago and there plan was to use it. When I started to put this remix album together I thought it would make a good fit and hit them up. I have had nothing but support from them. Much love to Ant D.O.G. and the Link Crew family!

Amoeblog: You have some true Bay Area heavy hitters. How did you go about enlisting such a stellar cast?

Salvatore: I was introduced to this rap game at a very young age so when it came down to business I knew exactally what I wanted. I was blessed to grow up in the music era I did. When I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade my brother was a DJ and I would watch him and Mix Master Mike in my mothers house spinning in Daly City. I grew up on all rap music. I love the Beastie Boys, I love Run DMC. I remember spinning Cutting Records artist Hashim's "Al-Naafiysh (The Soul) " (aka "It's Time") for hours when I was a kid. I seen alot of this Bay Area music from the start and had a pretty good idea who I was interested in.

Amoeblog: When did you record these artists including Andre Nickatina and the late great Mac Dre?

Salvatore: Everything released on my Westwayz albums were recorded between 1999 and 2010. I was booking shows for Mac Dre in my area around 2001. Every once in a while we would go back and forth on the phone so I called him up one day and told him what I was doing and working with. Him and Kilo came out here in the Range Rover and showed some major love. He was super professional and came down to the level I was at. A real humble and solid dude!

I also hooked up with Nickatina and did a few tracks with him around the same time. Its great to see how far he has taken his music. Although we had some problems with the management and they wouldn’t let him perform at the time,  I was the first one to ever book him into the historic Phoenix Theater here in Petaluma. He is a true king at what he does, Nickatina is my boy and I will always have love for him.

: In your opinion who are among the most consistently good Bay Area rap artists over the years?

Salvatore: I would have to say Too $hort, E40, Andre Nickatina. It seems like really theres only a handful of people that are making real money out here. I was also happy to see Strange Music pick up Brotha Lynch Hung. I know they got the solid foundation he needs to help bring some of this Bay Area music back!

Amoeblog: And of the new school of Bay acts coming up who do you like?

Salvatore: I really don’t listen to much new stuff anymore. Its really shocking though to think about all the great albums we lost because of the downfall of the music industry. It trips me out, no artist is wanting to release an album and only make 6 percent of what they made when the industry was strong. With that, alot of our favorite artists just said forget about it.

Amoeblog: What are some of the recording programs or instruments you use in the studio?

Salvatore: I still got my ASR-10, I have some Korg keyboards, Adats and Mackie mixing boards, I love to use all kinds of live instruments, turntables and gutairs. Im also looking forward to getting into some live drum tracks in the future. I will use Pro Tools or tape depending on what Im doing.

: You have some instrumental only tracks on here. Have you ever released an album of just your beats? Or do you plan on doing so?

Salvatore: I did, Westwayz Volume 3 is a instrumental album. It features a full album of my production with a bonus Sean-T (from Get Gone Records) instrumental track as well. Available at

Amoeblog: Why should someone buy this CD over other Bay Area compilations at Amoeba?

: I would say because of how different this album sounds compared to all this other music coming out right now. Sometimes its nice to step back and do something a little different. I tried to incorporate more live instruments with a Bay Area feel throughout the album. I wouldn’t say my music or album is better then the next, but I would say to check it out if you’re a true Bay Area music fan. Its something you sure don’t hear everyday!

Amoeblog: What is next for you?

Salvatore: I have a new Westwayz CD coming soon. Its going to be a double cd featuring some the best tracks of Volume 1-4. With alot more promotional plans setup for this one including distribution and a possible DVD, I plan to make this album alot more accessible to the people.

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