Agallah and I did our first interview about ten years ago. This is back in the Purple City days and his first official release was dropping, You Already Know. When we started the interview, it only took one question for 8Off to tear through almost every subject I had questions for. I’m staring at my phone, feeling a mixture of confusion, because I don’t know how I’m going to run an interview that was only one question, but more awe, definitely more awe, because this was a dude that fully believed in his project and himself as an artist and was so damn excited to talk about it that questions be damned, he has a platform and he’s going to use it.
Fast forward ten years, and as Biggie said, things done changed. While his music has advanced, both sonically and in the diverse subject matters, you wouldn’t know it talking to Ag. On this cold night, I’m in Virginia and he’s outside San Antonio, spending time with his aunt, who just emerged victorious after a bout with breast cancer. There should be a lot to be happy about, but there isn’t.
The pain of losing Sean Price last August is still ever-present, so much so that Ag stops the interview at one point to compose himself. Sean wasn’t just a rapper friend and someone Agallah worked with. They were childhood friends, dudes who stuck together when the industry was over both of them, before Sean’s resurgence with Monkey Barz. As devastating a loss as Sean Price was to the hip-hop world, it’s much, much worse for those who knew the real Sean, the friend, the father, the husband.
Despite the pain, Agallah released his new album, Bo: The Legend of the Water Dragon, to reaffirm his place in the game and remind everyone that while he’s been suffering, he’s paid his dues and he’s still one of the most talented in the game, both on the beats and the mic. On the album, Ag works through the pain of losing Sean Price, releases the final finished song of them together, and fires some much-needed shots into the air just to let everyone know he’s still here and while he may be down, he’s far from out, the one common thread from our first convo back in ‘06.