To get a better understanding of the history of High Caliber Records, and it's co-founder Executive Producer Ernie G., let's take a look back at the Chicano rap game out of Southern California about a decade ago.
Ernie Gonzalez, better known as Ernie G.--- music producer, makes up one half of the chicano rap group known as "Proper Dos." This hard hitting Rapper/Producer duo was formed roughly around 1990 in Santa Monica, California. Accompanied by lyricist Fank V. this two man hard-hitting team released their first album entitled "Mexican Power" in 1992 under the Rhino Records label. Producer/DJ Ernie G. and Frank V. brought a new perspective to the rap game with their raw street style evident in their classic hits such as "Mexican Power" "Firme Hyna" "Hard Time" an many more. True classics in the chicano rap history books.
After releasing a number of singles including "Tales from the Westside" as part of the soundtrack to the 1994 film Mi Vida Loca, (Ernie G. - Producer, Engineer, and Mixing) In 1995, Proper Dos, released their second album, "We're at it Again." With tracks like "Geto Baseball" and "Who's the hardest Latin Rap Artist." This duo reafirmed their position as a strong rap force in the Southern Califrnia rap game. Their imense popularity then spread across the southwest and eventually across the entire nation. At one point, Proper Dos had their own late night radio show on LA's most popular Hip-Hop station, KPWR 105.9 --- or Power 106 to those familiar listeners.
While Ernie G went on a temporary leave from the music industry, he maintained his roots in Santa Monica and continued working behind the scenes and built his own personal studio from the ground up.(Eventually becoming High Caliber Records) Producing a dark paranoid Wu-style beat for CONEJO's Fallen Angel album on the song "I'm a Close This Chapter". Then creating an unforgettable beat behind the a burst of horns on Tattoo Ink's song "Narcotics" featured on the Infamous Latino Hip-Hop Compilation Classic THE OLLIN PROJECT. Ernie G made his legendary name known again to a new wave of Latin Hip-Hop fanatics and music industry insiders.
HIGH CALIBER RECORDS - The Legacy Continues
Ernie G. is back strong with his own record label, High Caliber Records along side co-Executive Producer Jaime "CEO" Vargas. The first artist from his label is a rapper known as "2HIGH". The first album off the new label is sure to be another sought after classic with Ernie G behind the boards demonstrating his versatility in creating infectious beats. Ernie does a masterful job at producing the right beats for 2HIGH's potent vocal flow. Drawing inspiration from real life experiences, 2HIGH delivers strong, compeling and intricate lyrics. Hailing from Pasadena, CA. 2HIGH demonstrates his credibilty as a lyricist notably by avoiding the trap of using overplayed barrio cliches. This is one of many reasons why fans have praised this album and has been accepted across various rap genres.
Many would say that Ernie G. as a producer has had a strong influence on the ever growing chicano rap industry of today. Respected by many as a pioneer in his own right, Ernie G. is the musical backbone of his newly established label. High Caliber Records will surely rise to become a strong influence in todays chicano rap game and beyond. Moving forward, Ernie G. will continue to demonstrate his masterfull skill behing the control board delivering memorable hits sure to become as popular as his early works. High Caliber Records, is sure to make some noise for a long time to come.
By: Mike Mera Nov. 2002 (credits: All Media Direct, ArtistDirect.com, Brownpride.com)