by Charles Hurley
Since doing this interview a few weeks ago, Chris Hate has started a new, weekly hip-hop show, Da Hip-Hop Zone, at The Zone, 209 S. El Paso St., downtown, every Saturday.
The interview was conducted right before his sixth, and possibly final, Battle of the Bands. At the same time, we did a video interview.
EPMS: How many businesses do you have?
Chris Hate: Just one, now. It started with Shove Entertainment, which became Chris Hate Entertainment.
EPMS: What is Chris Hate Entertainment?
Chris Hate: Basically, now it's just a concert consulting company. Basically, promoters come to town, sometimes local promoters, we give advice, provide street team; we're a one-stop concert promotion company. We set up hospitality, sound, light.
We've done it all ourselves, so we can help, especially people from out of town. They have a lot of money riding on the show, and they've never been to the city. They don't know who to call. We steer them in the right direction.
EPMS: How many concerts do you handle a year?
Chris Hate: It's hard to say. Anywhere from two to five or six . It depends on the promoters who feel they can bring something to El Paso that is worthwhile.
People think we're promoters, but we're a one hundred per cent consulting firm.
EPMS: What is your connection to Club Vallare?
Chris Hate: I have no connection, I just do events there. Promoters ask, "What's a good hip-hop club?"
EPMS: What per cent of your shows are rap/hip-hop?
Chris Hate: Now, probably eighty per cent. In the beginning, we did local rock stuff. It depends on promoters. I deal eighty per cent with rap/hip-hop now.
EPMS: Do you have tie-ins with radio stations?
No tie-ins. Of course, we have to deal with them, when promoters ask where to advertise. I don't link to any particular station.
EPMS: What big names have you dealt with?
Chris Hate: Most recently, Nelly, Ludacris, Fat Joe, those, plus probably Twista and Juvenile. Those are probably the biggest I've consulted on.
EPMS: Do you deal with other venues?
Chris Hate: Yeah, depending on what the show is. I've helped bring shows to Club Xcape, Club 101, when it was open. It depends on what the show is, what the promoters want.
EPMS: What changes would you like to see to the scene in El Paso?
Chris Hate: I'd really like to see local cats take more of an interest in making the big time. I don't see that fire. You hear kids talk... I have seen a few bands from here make it, but I want to see a lot of bands make it. I want to see El Paso become another New York or LA.
The labels, they think nothing big is coming from El Paso. The next big band could be playing in their garage right now.
EPMS: Do local entertainment companies and record companies do a good job?
Chris Hate: Yeah, they do a good job. They work with what they have. They do an excellent job with what they have. It takes money to have a successful business. Without risk, there's no gain. Local companies do a great job. Eye 2 Eye, I know Tito, he does an excellent job getting his groups out there. He's a step away from the big time.
EPMS: Who will be the next local artists to make it?
Chris Hate: The Giantz, I like those guys a lot. On rock, I'd say, Fueled II Fire I think they're excellent. Lylah. There are so many bands with so much talent and potential. It's unfair for me to mention only a few, but those come to mind.
EPMS: What big shows are on the horizon?
Chris Hate: 50 Cent, JPA concerts, is coming to El Paso. It's going to be big; it's in the process of negotiations. The tentative date got pushed back. It will happen before Christmas. It's good for the city, the concert scene as a whole.
EPMS: How did you get started?
Chris Hate: I started managing a band called The Hate Campaign. Kind of hard music, a bunch of long-haired kids, and here comes this short, stocky black kid. They believed in me, though, and it took off from there. I went with Pissing Razors; I went out as a guitar tech. Those two bands were instrumental in giving me my start.
EPMS: I interviewed Eddy Garcia recently; what a nice guy!
Chris Hate: Eddy Garcia is a great guy. We went all the way to New York City. I was on tour with him several times. We always treat each other with respect. He helped me get my feet in the door. I'm happy he's doing the Ministry thing.
EPMS: What advice do you have for today's bands?
Chris Hate: Go out, promote yourself, and, the thing I see, everybody is so humble. You've got to have a little bit of cockiness. Say, "Come out and buy our CDs." When it comes down to it, it's all business. You've got to be ready to throw your punches, or nobody'll ever remember you. Once a band combines all those things... some bands from here are too humble. You're never going to be a household name that way.
Look at 50 Cent. Being humble is not his game, that's why he's on top.
Everybody has an opinion. If they don't like you the first time, go back again and again.
Chris Hate: Underground cats don't like me too much. This is my last year doing battles. Every year I'm called a cheater. I don't judge! I'm drinking beer during the show.
EPMS: How many battles have you done?
Chris Hate: This is my sixth year, probably my last. It's grown from my first to now. I've just never been a person to drive anything into the ground. It's always fun for bands.
EPMS: Why do you stay in El Paso?
Chris Hate: I get offers, two or three a week, to work for labels, or for different people. I've never gotten an offer I'm happy with. When I get an offer I think is fair, I'll take my crew with me, about ten people. That's been the problem. At least, I've got to take my man, Rico, with me, he's been with me since the beginning. I like El Paso. I know lots of people don't like it. You can feel safe here, and I do OK financially.
EPMS: Do you ever see yourself mentioned on the fishhook forums?
Chris Hate: I used to get mad, I 'd see Chris Hate this, Chris Hate that. Now I stay away, but I realize they're just kids.
(Melissa, of Mind Over Matter Promotions, and Flipcyide, a local producer, arrive).
EPMS: Have you seen Flipcyide?
Chris Hate: He's good at what he does.
To Flipcyide: Give me some of your beats, let me give them to some national artists. Now, producers are at the forefront. Everybody is starting to share the limelight with the artists. Producers are important. I want him to make it big and do tracks for my people.
Chris Hate: Most people hate success; they want to fail. If you're driving nice cars, wearing jewelry, they say you're a drug dealer. They've said I live by exploiting El Paso bands. Get real.
I'm really picky about where I do stuff, because they end up talking about me. If you come to my shows, disrespect the band, you'll be asked to leave. It's easy to giggle, heckle the band. Why don't you (the hecklers) get up there?
Talking about battles of the bands with Melissa:
Chris Hate: I never put a song limit, I tell them twenty minutes, you can do whatever you need to in twenty minutes.
My first year, I made mistake: I let bands know who the judges were... Basically, I'm giving band the judges choose $500. I tell them, "Do something constructive with it, don't just take your girl to the mall."
About Mind Over Matter taking the winners of their battle of the band to Dallas to play a show:
Chris Hate: I would never take the liability of sending a band on the road to Dallas. My lawyer would have a live birth.
EPMS: Thanks a lot, Chris.
Chris Hate: Thank you, and good luck.On Saturday, September 24, Da Hip-Hop Zone welcomes KRS-1 (Boogie Down Productions), GURU (Gangstar), and special guests TBA.