This is no media kind of post. The whole hip hop community is in mourning over the tragic death of producer Kleph Dollaz. Words can't express how shocked I am over the news of Kleph Dollaz's passing. My brother Jeff C. called me with the news as I was editing an upcoming video promo for one of my Union family members. My reactions were, "Get the fuck outta here!" &"That has to be an album title." So, instead of logging on to facebook, I called Dj Marc, who knows Kleph and could clear if this latest info was true or not. Sadly it was.
Kleph was not only a excellent music producer,he was a great person. I met Kleph in the 90's working at Willies Records & Tapes. I worked at the Oak Hill Plaza location, he worked at the Broad Street Location. Kleph and his partner Bear ONe(who also worked at Willies) was a rap duo who called themselves "The Chosen Few." We all use to perform at the local venues(Disorganized Union, Infectious Organisms, Children of Izreal,etc. etc.)Kleph was ALWAYS about hip hop. ALWAYS!
Lets fast forward to the present. Go Live Radio was created. We had celebrated the art of a great hip hop performance in the month of Feb.2011. We asked Kleph to come do an interview with us. That is when he told us that he was doing gospel hip hop. The whole idea was very surprising and at the same time uplifting to me because I didn't see that coming. Not saying it couldn't be done, but it was an unique experiment to me to see how that would turn out. He played us a couple of joints off the "Square In The Circle" album and I was mesmerized by the music. A week later the album dropped. Lucky for me, I got an advanced copy and did an album review on it as I was listening to it.(To date, Kleph's album is the ONLY album I did an album review on in detail on this blog site.) That album is AMAZING.(check the album review in the older posts).
The last time I saw Kleph Dollaz was the Hit Squad Tour Show at the Showplace in July. Noah O was backstage and I talked to him from the other side where the crowd was that paid to see the show. He told me that Kleph & himself was kicking it with the Hit Squad the whole day up until the show(Which is not surprising, Noah & Kleph are celebrities.lol) So after the Hit Squad performance, I saw Kleph standing backstage as I was standing in the audience. I reached across the table that blocked the backstage from the rest of us and gave him a pound. He said, "What you doing come back here with us.." And I replied, "I'm good." But it was a great feeling knowing that he looked at me the same way I looked at him. And that look was as if I was somebody.
Lets remember Kleph for what he brought to hip hop. Let's remember Kleph for what he did for local artists in the Richmond area. Lets remember the music. Let's keep his memory alive with our music. Lonnie B once told me that he had a bunch of records, posters, stickers, etc from the 90's where he could personally start a hip hop museum in Richmond. Hey Lonnie, lets make that a reality. And one of the first statues in that museum should be a Kleph Dollaz statue with all of the record covers he had on his wall at his studio along with the studio mic and board.