BrownPride: Tell us a little about Sir Dyno & Darkroom Family?
Sir Dyno: Well, I started rapping back in high school. I was 16
years old and I'm now 26. It was the only way for me to express myself and let out my
frustration. I was going through a lot in my life with gangs. So I would
write poems. During the same years Duke from Hayward was going through
the same things, this was years before me met. I met Mr. Kee during high
school. I was kicked out of high school and sent to continuation school.
I was there for only three months before I was kicked out of there also.
I thought I was a lost cause. I was kicked out for carrying a loaded 38
special revolver to school. The principal gave me a chance, she said, "
if you leave my school now and never come back I won't call the cops on
you." I walked out and a few days later joined adult school. That didn't
last more than a month. I was just focusing on my barrio and my gang. At
that time nothing else mattered. A few months later I married my
girlfriend of 2 years. We had a daughter and I tried to focus on my music.
That was when I released my first tape locally, the year was 1990. I was
18 years old and I fell deeper into gangbanging. doing concerts for big
artists and at the same time living the vida loca.
BrownPride:Who are the other members of the Darkroom Family?
Sir Dyno: The members of DarkRoom Familia are Sir Dyno, E-Clips,
Cutty Face, A.L.G., Never, Hurrikaine J, Lil Wyno, Mickey D, Duke, Crooked, Dj M.T.,
Negative1, Low, Mr. Ace, and Drew.
BrownPride: How long have you been working together?
Sir Dyno: DarkRoom Familia was started in 1993 by Me, Duke, Crooked
and Mr. Kee. As years passed we kept adding to the Familia.
BrownPride: Are you vatos all from the same area?
Sir Dyno: We are all from Northern California but from different
cities. Dyno and Dj M.T. are from Tracy. E- Clips, Cutty Face and Low are from Modesto,
Ace is from Turlock, Drew is from Madera, Never, Hurrikaine J, Lil Wyno,
Negative 1, Mickey D are from Merced. A.L.G. is from le Grand, Duke and
Crooked are from Hayward.
BrownPride: How did you vatos come up with the name Darkroom Family?
Sir Dyno: The original studio was in an old abandoned building next
to my parents. We covered all the windows with sheet rock and textured all the
walls. layed down carpet. put up black lights and built a sound booth. it was
always dark, so we called it the darkroom, no sunlight was ever in the
BrownPride: How would you describe your music for those that
haven't heard Sir Dyno and the DarkRoom Family?
Sir Dyno: We describe our music as TRUTH. we do not let any of our
artists rap about things that they are not living or experiencing. as an example Drew
raps about gangbanging, Never raps about smoking bud. Dyno raps about
slanging dope, we all have our own thing we talk about. So you are not
hearing a group of artists talking about the same things. I will not say we are
the best rappers of the world, don't get me wrong, we are far from being
wack, but we do come with aggression and I guarantee you will feel the
songs, if I do a song about a painful experience believe me, the listener will
feel that pain. or visa versa.
BrownPride: What were some of the obstacles you vatos faced in the
Sir Dyno: The two biggest obstacles we face are that we are a
Chicano run business in this black industry. and it makes it harder for us,
and that we are not in a large company region, such as Los Angeles or New York.
Coming out of the valley of Califas there are no labels here.
so if we wanted to make something happen, we had to do it ourselves.
BrownPride: How did you guys overcome that?
Sir Dyno:We overcame it by doing it ourselves. we didn't have access
to a studio so I bought my own equipment. I couldn't afford musicians,
so I taught myself how to play keys, and drums over the years. We didn't have
promoters so we promoted ourselves, we didnt have labels so we learned the ropes of the
industry the hard way, but now all those things have made us unstoppable.
I have had a least 20 releases in my region. So we probably have one of
the strongest fan bases. We have roots deep with our fans.
BrownPride: How's the Latin Hip-Hop scene in Northern Califas?
When we started there was no Latin Hip-Hop scene in the valley or the
bay. Thanks to groups such as DarkRoom Familia, Funky Aztecs, M.C. Man,
B.M.P, 17 reasons black n brown ent., Latin Velvet and other groups it is
giving other Chicanos ideas to try to make it. But we aren't getting
together like we should, there is no animosity toward each other but we should be
networking more than what we are. Hopefully in time this will happen.
BrownPride: What are your biggest musical influences in our
One of my biggest influences was when Too $hort came out locally. He
had "Freaky Tales" cassettes selling with no pic on the cover. before he
came out I thought only rappers came out from New York or Los Angeles. I live
only 20 minutes from Oakland. when he came out, I thought , if he can do
it so can I.
Also Jim Morrison with the doors. He was a very misunderstood
man and a lot of people didn't appreciate him until it was to late. also
my familia, i wanted to overcome the poverty. I grew up seeing my family
working in the fields. I wanted more for me and for them.
BrownPride: Any other projects or albums we should be on the look
out from Darkroom Family?
Sir Dyno: We have many projects. for the gente that bought
Penitentiary Chances, if you liked that then you will love our other releases.
good, but the new cd's have straight HEAT. we have Veteranos coming out on
CD and movie in January. in December next month we have Lowdown and our
Spanish Darkroom Familia "Traficantes" coming out. During late Feb. my solo
titled SIR DYNO - CHICANO CHRONICLES releases. Also the CD CONNECTED will be
coming out in march. We are also going to film our next movie partly in San Antonio
and Segiun Texas. filming will start in February.
BrownPride: What type of music do you listen to outside of Hip-Hop?
I listen to a lot of Norteno Mexican music. Los Tucanes, Los 4 Grandes
del Norte, Los Tigres del Norte and groups like that. Also oldies and some
R&B. I also like to hear old Prince tapes. I listen to whatever sounds
good to me. I don't only just listen to rap. It helps shape style by
listening to other types of music. You expand your mind to different
BrownPride: Any words of wisdom, for up and coming Latin Hip-Hop
Sir Dyno: Well, I can't say anything to make anyone believe it's
going to be easy. It's a hard road that is miles long and I've only gone
a few feet. No matter what you can never stop getting better. If you think
your a tight rapper, then work to make yourself tighter, there is always room for
improvement. Every time I make a song or a CD I know it's the best of
my ability, but then the next CD I start working on is way better with
quality. Just keep at it. and the most important thing is this, DONT EVER
WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO GET YOUR MUSIC KNOWN, NO ONE IS GOING TO DO IT
BETTER THAN YOU. Even if you sign a contract with a label always keep on
top of things. make sure they are doing promotions in the right target
places, make sure the magazines know about your release so you can get
reviews, make sure stores and promoters are getting free copies for
listening stations or radio dj's, make sure your percentage is worth your
work you put into it.
BrownPride: Any last words for our readers?
Sir Dyno:Gracias for writing me and letting me answer these
questions. We are going through some hard times right now. The police detectives are saying
that we are a front for a prison mafia gang. I have had things, car, discs and
zips seized. It seems like everytime a minority comes up and is doing
something successful the feds want to take it away. These are very serious
accusations. If you want gangster rap, dont buy our CD's, if you want
dance rap dont buy our CD's. But, if you want songs that are from the
heart, whether they be positive, or negative then buy our CD's! We don't preach
on how to live your life, we just tell it like we live it. . I HAVE A
COURT DATE IN JANUARY OF 1999 for these accusations. I am not on trial, my
realities I rap about are on trial. You have all seen my CD covers, some
are with guns. now they say that I have guns and have pics with
gangmembers so they can put an gang enhancement charge. If they put me in
jail for holding a tec-9 on my cover of "Traficantes", then they need to put Al
Pacino, Robert de Niro and every actor holding a gun on their cover in
jail. They have copies of the movie, and CD months before my arrest on
Friday the 13th of November. Gracias for your tiempo.
SIR DYNO de DARKROOM FAMILIA