“Barely contained hyphy beats — glistening with an element of sex appeal — are complemented by Carson’s gruff voice. It’s music for both clubs and cars.” – LA Weekly
Clyde Carson may be deliberately strategic with releasing projects, but when he does unleash new music, he makes noise. As one of the preeminent voices of the Bay Area, the Oakland native has spent the past decade-and-a-half bringing the sound of his hometown to the listening public, both as a member of the foundational rap group The Team and as a solo artist, taking breaks between each single and mixtape to better bring his vision to life.Read more
“I’m really meticulous about the music, about the way I come out,” says Carson. “If it’s not all the way to my liking and I don’t think it’s special or right, I might hold back. You could say it hurts me and it helps me, because consistency is very important in this game. But I also believe that at the same time, as long as what you putting out is the quality of what you wanted, I’d rather stay safe than try to rush something.”
Following his last full-length mixtape, 2012’s S.T.S.A. (Something to Speak About), Carson plans to drop its sequel S.T.S.A. 2 as an EP in January 2017. Tapping fresh up-and-coming producers and emcees to round out his supporting cast, he follows a string of recent singles—the handclap-driven “Let’s Get It” and mean-mugging “Trap Boomin’,” the latter off his July 2016 EP release Time—that convey how his sound has evolved from when he started out in the early ‘00s as a figurehead in the hyphy movement to become a dependable force on the west coast.
For Carson, dreams of pursuing a rap career didn’t take hold until he exited his teens. Raised by a single mother in Oakland, he was reared on classic soul music (Al Green, The Isley Brothers) and soon began to soak up the sounds of local heroes from Richie Rich and The Delinquents to E-40 and The Click. In 2000, he started writing lyrics and soon joined forces with Mayne Mannish and Kaz Kyzah as The Team in 2002. Their formation was swift and successful: the trio released their debut Beyond the Glory that year, followed by The Negro League and World Premiere in ’04 and ’06, respectively. World Premiere bore the most fruit, peaking at No. 50 on Billboard’s Top Indie Albums and number 95 on Billboard’s Top Hip-Hop Albums charts.
But Clyde had always been a solo artist, and in 2006, he decided to focus on his career apart from The Team. Though he had released his first EP in 2001, he made his grand entrance with 2007’s Doin’ That EP through The Game’s Black Wall Street Records, Capitol Records and Moe Doe Entertainment—the imprint behind The Team’s releases. After parting ways with Capitol in 2009, he put out another EP, Bass Rock, as well as mixtape The Bay Star that year. It wasn’t until S.T.S.A. that he reached his mainstream peak: summer cookout classic “Slow Down,” which saw him reuniting with The Team, hit No. 22 on the Hot Rap songs chart and scored 10 million streams on Spotify as well as a staggering 13 million views of its video on YouTube.
While Carson enjoys time off to perfect his confections, S.T.S.A. 2 marks the grand return of one of rap music’s cornerstone figures, with more than 15 years under his belt. And while he may be out of the public eye from time to time, it only makes him hungrier. “I feel I’m an OG, but there are a lot of people in the whole country and in the world who haven’t heard of me,” he says. “But I still feel like the music is young and fresh and it still has quality. So I feel like a young OG. I definitely feel like there’s levels and there’s another level I should be at. It’s about consistency.”
Clyde Carson and Mozzy Take a Trip to Paradise in the Visual for the Tropical Hyphy “Bring All Your Friends”
West Coast Radio Mainstay Clyde Carson Recruits E-40, Mozzy, DJ Mustard, Keak Da Sneak and More for S.T.S.A. 2
Clyde Carson Brings E-40 and DJ Mustard to the Club in “She Ready”
Clyde Carson and Keak Da Sneak Throw Down at the Bank, Get to the Source of Their Money in “Gettin To It”
Clyde Carson and Mozzy Invent Tropical Hyphy on “Bring All Your Friends”
Celebrated Bay Area Hitmaker Clyde Carson Announces S.T.S.A. 2, Hitting Stores January 27th