Beeda Weeda is a young rapper/producer from East Oakland, CA and first got his start in 2006 with his nationally recognized Homework mixtape. Later that year, Beeda released his acclaimed debut album, Turfology 101. The video for his single “Turfs Up” aired on 32 stations, generated over 1,000,000 hits online, and boosted the rapper to number 3 on MySpace’s Top 10 Hip Hop/Rap Artists. He later worked on a remix of the track with a number of Bay Area legends including E-40 and Too $hort. He has produced for such acts as Suga Free, Yukmouth and more. His latest project, Bass Rock Babies: The Leak, is a free mixtape and precursor to the full-length album, Too $hort Presents: Bass Rock Babies, out August 19th.
Beeda Weeda credits his neighborhood for making him who he is, but more accurately it can be said that his family struck the first match. From his big brother who inspired his rap alias to older cousins who encouraged his talent for producing, the East Oakland native started pretty young but his support system was already firmly in place. Hailing from the Murder Dubbs neighborhood of the city, Beeda is no stranger to the code of the streets, where a handshake forms relationships and keeping your word builds long-lasting bonds. The Murder Dubbs sprawl across ten avenues, between 20th and 29th in East Oakland, plenty of room to get swept into all the social ills of a fast moving city, particularly for a young man who’s seen it since birth. Beeda’s goal since 2004 was to find something else to get swept up in- something that would improve his quality of life.
“When I was young, I wasn’t the nigga in the mirror rapping and shit,” Beeda says matter-of-factly, “I didn’t want the attention. I was popular, but that was just natural.” In fact, before rapping, he tried his hand behind the boards, producing under the tutelage of his older cousin Murda Rue who’d opened a studio in the neighborhood. Before long, Rue had gotten caught up in some legal issues and found himself sentenced to life in prison, leaving Beeda to figure out the next move on his own. He’d always been decent with a pen, jotting ideas down moments before recording tracks- but it was never anything he took seriously until another young artist, Lil’ Al, pushed him to reconsider his goals. “I had a little keyboard at the house [after Rue was incarcerated],” he says, “I kept making beats. Eventually Al talked me into it and we formed a little group.” The two youngsters even pressed up copies of their street album, passing them out all over East Oakland but before they could truly make their mark, Lil’ Al found himself in his own legal situation, landing in prison for a stint.
For Beeda, it was back to the drawing board. But instead of immediately picking up where things left off with Al, he went back to getting money in the streets- that’s when one phone call changed his perception for good. The producer/rapper had formed a steady work relationship with J-Moe of the local group Unda Survalance. While he was out of town hustling, J called with some news about a possible contract with Tajai of the well-renowned Oakland-based collective, Hieroglyphics. “J-Moe said ‘We got a situation going on with the music,’” he recalls, “’Why don’t you come and do this rap shit?’ I laughed at him and said, ‘I don’t really fuck with this rap shit like that.’ As far as I was concerned, this shit was a hobby, it never brought me no money and I’d just had my daughter.”
Tajai had somehow gotten his hands on some of Beeda’s music and was so impressed that he offered the young artist a distribution deal, releasing his debut project Turfology 101 in 2006. The street album spawned his first local hit in the Bay area, entitled “Turf’s Up.” “A lot of people grew with me,” Beeda admits, “Because they were with me from the beginning. I didn’t trip off of “Turf’s Up,” but it took off and the radio ended up picking it up.” It wasn’t long before legendary Bay artists were clamoring to be a part of the buzzing single. The remix featured verses from both Too Short and E-40, ironic since Beeda wound up linked to both Oakland and Vallejo legends at some point in his career.
E-40 had hoped to lock the rapper in for a three album contract which he respectfully passed on. At the beginning of 2012, Beeda’s connections led him to start working and traveling with Too Short. His most recent body of work, Bass Rock Babies: The Leak and the upcoming Mack’N Trap’N & Rap’N Vol. 2 (slated for release on New Years Day 2013) are both presented and hosted by Too Short. Beeda’s current single, “Strip Club,” is growing legs in the Bay area and across the nation as he moves with Short. Every night they have a show, there’s a moment in the middle of the evening where the gracious headliner hands Beeda the mic and allows him a little shine as well. “Every time I do a song,” Beeda Weeda discloses, “I get better, but with me being a producer also, I mix my own songs, engineer my own songs…” He continues, “It gives me a better idea about how to make music, be a musician and make better songs. Some niggas can rap but they all can’t make songs. That’s how I think I can be a mainstream artist, because I can make music. I’ve mastered the art of being an artist.”