Joe Moses is an LA staple. Being featured on Ty Dolla $ign’s “Paranoid” with B.o.B was no coincidence, especially growing up with Ty$, YG, and DJ Mustard. Making music in the studio alongside these greats is just one part of the job — a job that pays off. In addition to being signed to Atlantic Records, he has since started his own record label titled NWB. Read more…
With West Coast Hip Hop in its prime, Joe Moses proves he is not slowing down anytime soon. At the end of last year, Joe dropped a project titled Til Death Do Us Part’ featuring his NWB Music crew. The theme? Loyalty.
For those who don’t know, who is Joe Moses?
Joe Moses is LA — the streets. I’m the diamond in the rough. The underground king — I crowned myself that. I been out here putting in work for a long time. Now it’s time for my just dues.
How’s your sound evolved over the years?
I think it’s all about my surroundings and my sound is just… everything that’s going on in my life. When I first came up, I was rapping a certain type of way because that’s what I seen everyday. And as your life progress and change, you change your music. It’s the same grimy and grinding sound, but you know, you gotta change up a little bit. I think over the last couple of years, my sound has changed. But it’s still the same Joe Moses.
Where do you think West Coast Hip Hop stands in the rap game?
Me personally, West Coast hip hop, we like the strongest because our content is… we have more of a story, I feel. Than everybody right now. Like our story is just different from everybody. I think we stand out from everybody because of our story. The stories that we use and the storytelling of growing up in California: the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego — same thing, just different areas. And I think our story is definitely different from everybody else’s. So, I think we stick out.
Talk about your new project, Til Death Do Us Part.
Til Death Do Us Part is a project that I always wanted to do. It’s definitely a project that I had my hands on day in and day out. I chose different young guys from different areas and brought them all together in as one. And put them under one umbrella and one roof — what I’ve been trying to do for the last couple of years. But you know, I had to focus on definitely myself.
This project was just showing the streets that we can show unity within each other. And build within each other and help each other, instead of everybody just being so spread out. You don’t really see LA rappers really help each other like they supposed to do. And that’s just what I want to create for California. I just want to create something — a stand point that we stand on and we just create the unity within each other.
And that’ll save a lot of people from dying. That’ll help a lot people get jobs — priority jobs. And keep everything in place. And I just feel like how Atlanta doing it right now, they just help each other. They might not even deal with each other the way we think they do, but they help each other so drastically. And I think that’s what LA needs to do right now.
What are your favorite records on the project?
It’s a record called “Fuck With Me.” It’s with Quan and AQ. And I think it’s D’anna Stewart, if I’m not saying her name right. But they got a record on the joint, it’s crazy. It’s one of my favorite records on the joint. It is my favorite record on the joint, period.
What’s the message in that one?
It’s just like, fuck with me. It’s a song for the women. It’s like, fuck with me! Down or high, fuck with me! That’s just the whole concept for the music. And that’s why I love the project — they came with actual concepts. It’s not just doing anything for the project. It’s one specific sound that we went for. And you know, just tryna create something hot for the streets
Talk about working with artists like YG and Ty$, who have reached mainstream status.
Them my brothers. It’s like working with your brother. Me and Ty$ will knock out 15 songs in one day. Working with Mustard, it’s the same love. Same feeling. Go in there, knock your verse out, spit a hot verse — hot beat, hot verse. Same thing working with YG. I mean, it’s so easy on us working together. We all started together and it’s just a blessing for us to be at a spot that we need to be at and to help our families.
And that’s the main important thing, being able to help our family. I remember when all of us was at a point in our life where we didn’t know if it was gonna work. But everybody stuck through it. And I’m like the last out that whole situation to really get my just dues now. So you know, it’s a blessing to me, too. And it’s a blessing to them to see what they’ve done and see what they still doing. And for me to finally start progressing at what I need to do.
What’s your end goal?
My end goal as an artist… I don’t know. Like I got a old soul, but I’m still young at age. I’m kinda on the verge of being a voice of the streets and I’m kinda on the verge of still being out here in the streets, too. So it’s like a mixture of both. But I don’t wanna be a contradictor in a way. I don’t wanna say, “Kids put down the guns,” if I still gotta protect myself and keep a gun. You understand what I’m saying? So it’s kinda hard for me. I’m kinda on the verge of both.
But I am supporting my city and doing what I need to do for my city.
Why the name change with your record label? It used to be AOB.
The name change because NWB was a bigger horizon for us. “Nigga We Brothers.” “Niggas With Bands.” It just was bigger to me.
It limits the people who can actually say it…
It limits people that actually say it, but it’s like N.W.A. I took that whole little idea. When N.W.A first came out, it was crazy. It was a movement. It was culture. So NWB is just like… nowadays a lot of young dudes are doing a lot for the money. They going hard for the money.
So that’s why I wanted to change the projective for everything. From alright, we gang bang, we did all that. Now, we trying to get money. We trying to take care of our families. So that’s why I changed it from AOB to NWB.
How’s your journey been at Atlantic?
I love it. I work every day. I mean, as much work as you put in, I feel, is as much work as they put in. It’s not all about the label sometimes. Sometimes it’s about you putting in all the work.
What’s a normal day in the life?
A normal day in the life? Waking up. Going to work out. Probably on a Monday and Wednesday, going to play basketball. Coming to the studio. Probably going to do a show. Probably working out again.
Damn, you work out a lot?
I work out twice a day, because I eat so bad. Trynta be in shape for this little tour coming up soon.
What would you be doing if you weren’t rapping?
Playing football. Hustling, in the streets. So I’m glad rapping paid off.
What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a fan?
The best encounter? [laughs] Some crazy shit. The best encounter I had with a fan was probably….
You can say it bro!
Doing it to her! [laughs]
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Probably myself and Future.
Probably Eminem or something like that. Eminem. Probably Jay. Hov — the greatest alive. Lil Wayne.
Anything else you want to let Young California know?
Let Young California know that I am Young California. I was the first actual artist that did Young California. Ask anybody. I drove all the way to the Bay for their first anniversary. I support everything — DJ Amen, DJ Carisma, Dre Sinatra.
Anybody on Young California I support man, they’ve helped us so, so much. So much. They been in the rain. I’m talking about been in the snow and the trenches with us. They not Hollywood. I support everything with Young California. It’s a whole big team. I’m a part of Young California just as everybody else. So, squad!