man. I just got back from LA. I'm getting back into the Brooklyn grind.
Shit is all good. It's definitely popping right now.
crazy. Mad partying, getting fucked up, getting drunk, and recording mad
up with La Coka Nostra?
recording at Lethal's pad. He has the ill studio up in the crib. We got
Psycho Realm and B-Real doing some shit with us. Q just did some shit.
It's a lot of shit. La Coka Nostra is me, Danny Boy, Everlast, Slaine,
Lethal, Big Left, and Kaves. That's the core of the group right there.
There's seven of us. At the same time, we do have a big extended fam like
Non-Phixion, Cypress Hill, Q-Unique, Psycho Realm
Shit, even Paul
Wall wants to jump on a track. It's an interesting album. It's more than
an album. I don't want this to sound like a side project. It's definitely
a group, but there are definitely going to be a bunch of guests on there
the group come about?
La Coka Nostra
is Danny Boy's idea. He thought it would be some ill shit and to get a
bunch of homies together to work on some music. Nothing serious, almost
on some mixtape shit really. We didn't realize it would be what it's become.
Once we started doing shit, the chemistry was crazy. We just clicked.
It's been a long time since I've had this much fun in the studio. It's
been a long fucking time.
the sessions like?
It's a lot
of listening to beats, writing rhymes, a lot of kush
the best weed on the planet. He's famous for that shit. Even Willie Nelson
will tell you that nobody hooked him up with better weed than Everlast.
You know we're burning on some crazy shit, wasted in the studio. And to
be honest, I'm not on that type of work ethic most of the time. Usually
in the past when I would get drunk or high, I wouldn't get much shit done.
It's really the opposite with this shit. We're doing three songs a night
having fun. Slaine may go in the booth and set it off, any one of us might
write the hook, and it goes down like that. We all do a lot of things.
It's a group effort and that's why we were able to bang out what we did
so far. We're sitting on mad shit right now and we're about to do more.
Lethal's done just about everything so far. We haven't really gone outside
too much yet. Muggs is going to be doing shit. Fred Wreck is going to
be doing some shit. I just talked to Large Professor and he said he wants
to do some shit. It's all about having fun and enjoying ourselves. It's
crazy. We haven't played any music for anybody yet. There's some shit
that got leaked on MySpace, but that was early music. There are other
cats that are down with us, but it's not the core of the group. For the
most part, everything that you've heard so far that's been leaked won't
be on the album.
because we already have major labels hollering at us, foaming at the mouth.
We haven't even played anybody any music. If you name a label, they're
waiting in line trying to get in the La Coka Nostra business.
you want from a label?
up and down, there better be at least a million dollars on the table.
It's definitely that type of situation. It's definitely some major shit.
It's definitely a million or better.
are like the 2006 white NWA.
That's definitely what it's shaping into. This is some shit for the white
boys. Let it be. That's what's up. When people hear this shit, they're
definitely going to feel like that.
DJ Lethal's beats sounding?
I think people
are going to be shocked. People know Lethal as originally being House
of Pain's DJ back in the day. He hasn't done any production at all in
a long time. He's basically been saving shit and stacking it up. His beats
sound crazy. People are going to trip. I didn't know what to expect when
I first went in to listen to them. They're insane. To me, they're the
best of both worlds, the most grimiest shit and the most polished shit
combined. He's coming with a combination of Necro and Dre, if you could
cross-over them two dudes. Lethal is crossing over both styles. It's bananas.
When motherfuckers hear it, they're going to lose their minds. Everything
that we're bringing you is more than just a sound or an album. This shit
is a movement. I know everyone says that, but watch.
a little bit of promotion on MySpace that's already taken on a life of
it's own. There are 5,000 kids that already have "La Coka Nostra"
and "LCN" written after their names. If you think that's something,
wait for this record to drop. It's going to be everywhere. It's going
to be some shit that motherfuckers, even if they know about it, they're
not going to expect it to be as big as it's going to be. All you non-believers
reading this shit thinking I'm sooping this shit up, you're going to get
smacked in the face with the hand of God when this shit drops.
you say there's a leader of La Coka Nostra?
I think everybody
brings different things to the table. I think the beautiful thing about
it is that we're all generals. Everlast has been in the game since '86
fucking with Ice-T. With House of Pain and as a solo artist, he's already
sold ten-million records and better. We're not making one type of music.
I've been running my own independent label for years and I'm one of the
kings of the underground. The underground is too small for me right now.
I'm breaking out of that shit. I'm in the streets and I'm breaking out
of the trenches right now. I'm bringing all of that grinding experience
to the table right now. Lethal's seen it all and done it all with Limp
Bizkit. Danny Boy and Kaves are fucking graphic and marketing geniuses.
People don't even know they be doing shit for Nike and mad other people
behind the scenes. When motherfuckers hear Lefty or Slaine, they are going
to trip. Slaine's about to shock the world. Motherfuckers are going to
bug out. They don't know what they're in for. We're going to do the visual
shit like Kiss. Danny Boy and Kaves have the vision to make La Coka Nostra
what it is needs to be.
your deal with Warner come about?
of a Marvel team-up between Uncle Howie Records and Perfect Game Recordings,
which is my boy Howie Abrams' label. Warner's paying the bills and they
made me an offer I couldn't refuse. This deal allows me to do what I've
been doing with Uncle Howie except with a huge staff at our disposal and
more money for marketing and promotions. Howie Abrams is a good friend
of mine. We go back for mad years and working together now just makes
sense. I'm finally at the level, business-wise, to put together a win-win
situation for myself with a major. In the past, I didn't have that leverage.
I've been eating good on an independent level regardless but this deal
right here is the icing on the cake. One hand washes the other and we're
better off doing this shit together. Musically, everything is going to
be the same as before. But there will be a much bigger push marketing
to be in a position to reach more people, point blank. You can only sell
the same records to the same crowd and rock in front of the same audience
for so many years. The only way to reach the bigger audience is to get
bigger money. I've been fucking with Caroline for Uncle Howie's distro,
who is owned by EMI. They do the right thing on the indie level to a point
and I have done good business with them for years and will continue to.
Caroline doesn't have the money to push their labels the way I want my
new album to be pushed at this point in the game. Caroline is great for
a new label starting out but if you peep their track record, nobody goes
gold or platinum through their system. It's not set up for that. I'm not
trying to undersell myself. I have to reach the people that are out there.
I feel like there are over a million potential Ill Bill fans out there
who just don't know they're Ill Bill fans yet. It takes money to make
money, and these motherfuckers got money.
is your look from a major as a solo artist?
relative. As much as I can point fingers at the Non-Phixion situation
on Geffen a while back, I can also point fingers at myself because I wasn't
ready. Maybe now I could have turned that piece of shit deal into gold.
The situation I'm in now is much better than the Non-Phixion deal. I can
handle myself much better now.
a matter of having the right people around you. I have a real management
team now. They actually add on to what I'm doing instead of me having
to watch over them and clean up after their messes. This is some recent
shit. The company's called Strong Management. There is only so much you
can do on your own. Then you start micro-managing shit and you don't get
started working on your next solo album?
Me and Q-Unique have a bunch of tracks done. He's spitting on there too.
I've been working with Sicknature. Me and him are producing a bunch of
shit together. Doug Infinite did this song I did with Vinnie Paz. I just
did a bunch of tracks with HR from Bad Brains singing on them. Motherfuckers
are going to trip when they hear that shit. I did some shit with Moss.
Moss is on the grind right now. He did some shit for me that's crazy.
I did some shit with my boy Ad-Money from the Lords. Large Professor is
going to do something. Necro, T-Ray, Muggs, Lethal, it's going to be crazy.
Pharoahe Monch just told Eclipse he'd get on a track. I'm looking forward
to that. I'm doing some shit with Tech N9ne and Immortal Technique. Sick
Jacken just spit a verse for me. I'm about to do some shit with the kings
of New York hardcore Madball. I'm going to get Rae on the album. I just
spoke to OC about doing something. My man Skam2 is getting on there. I
don't want to rush this album. I want to take my time with it. I know
a lot of people are expecting some crazy shit and I'm definitely going
up with Non-Phixion right now?
I'm concentrating on my solo shit and La Coka Nostra. But if Sabac and
Goretex call me up and say they want to get in the studio, I'm there.
I'm going to be putting out Sabac's new CD on Uncle Howie soon. Non-Phixion
is still together but we're just taking a little break right now. I can't
be Non-Phixion on my own and right now everybody's going in different
directions. But when I do my solo tour, it's as good as seeing Non-Phixion
because everyone will be there. Recording wise though, shit's on hold.
I can't record a Non-Phixion album on my own. The rest of us all have
to be writing that shit too. If I write it myself, that would a solo album,
and Q-Unique seem to have crazy chemistry.
Me and him definitely click. That's my homeboy, aside from all this music
shit. That's basically family to me. Me and Q are real tight. We're going
to be doing a lot of shit. Matter of fact, we just formed this company
called Ill and Unique Productions. Shit is going to be popping. You're
going to hear what we've done beat-wise. You're going to get your first
taste on my record. Me and Q are working on some shit together. We're
also working on an Uncle Howie/Psycho Realm album. We'll be doing beats
on that. Q's spitting all over that. There's a lot of shit going on, bro.
I'm about to do a collaboration with Royce da 5'9" for Slaine's solo
album. MF Grimm just asked me to do some shit. I just did something for
Thirstin Howl's new mixtape. U-God just asked me to spit something on
his new album. I just did something with Paz for the next Jedi Mind album.
I can't even remember everything right now. It's a busy time. I don't
think I've ever been busier than right now.
like everybody wants to work with you.
definitely feels good. People are finally starting to check for me. I
don't think people understood that Ill Bill was in Non-Phixion and they
probably didn't understand what Non-Phixion was. I definitely feel that
as far as my solo career goes, people are definitely taking notice of
what I do.
time have you been spending on production lately?
Not as much
as I'd like to. I've just been so busy lately recording vocals that me
and Q haven't been really able to do that much aside from what we've done
for my album, but once it's done, we're going to get grinding with it
real serious. Sicknature has some crazy ideas and were ironing them out
now. I'm starting to pick up the bass guitar again, so I'm putting some
live basslines on songs. I'm enjoying that. Being a producer is a full-time
job and so is being an MC. That's why when I see what Necro has achieved,
it's very inspiring. Since they're both full-time jobs, that's why I've
shied away from the production until now. I've gotten the bug again and
it's going to be easy for me to do it now since I'm building everything
I need in the crib.
the "Coke Versus Weed" mixtape with Raekwon coming?
we're both really busy, so we got sidetracked on it. Also, a few offers
came in and they want to turn it into an album instead of a mixtape with
Necro, RZA, and Premier on the beats. He's finishing up "Cuban Linx
2" and then we can see what's up with the project. It would be much
better for it to come out as an album. Once the offers started coming
in, we started talking about getting that advance money and giving the
fans something better. We're still figuring it out.
Just to get
to work with Rae is a blessing in itself. We'll see how it evolves. I
can't wait. We're both grinding it out. When it happens, it happens. I'm
definitely going to reach out to him because I want to get him on my album.
As I understand
it, Rae reached out to you for the mixtape.
Yeah. I met
Rae through his DJ, DJ Riddler. Big up to Vinnie Ponte. Rae asked me to
jump on a track. Then that turned into two tracks, then three. Then we
started talking about doing a mixtape. For Rae to ask me to do a track
is the ultimate compliment. I've been listening to Rae for eons.
it working with Rae?
Dude is definitely a professional. Shit is grizzly. How do you expect
it to be with Raekwon? It's as real as it gets.
earned the title "king of the underground"?
I look at
it like the underground is definitely something I've conquered. I'm definitely
the king of this shit. There are a few people that could claim the title
"king." Put it like this, I'm a big fish in a small pond in
this underground shit. It's time for me to conquer the mainstream, but
I'm not changing a thing. I'm going to be the same scumbag with a bigger
you feel about the underground?
motherfuckers figured they could press up a 12", they ruined the
market for 12"'s. Shit is so fucking watered-down that it's fucked
the whole game up. I think the same thing happened with mixtapes. Everybody
has a mixtape. Motherfuckers are passing the demo stage. Now everybody
has a home studio and they're trying to record their album in their crib.
That's not an album, that's a demo. I don't know who's going to define
it and I guess at the end of the day, you've got to let the motherfuckers
live. I'm not trying to fight the game, I'm trying to win the game. To
each his own. I'm on some other shit. I'm about to get a show on Sirius.
I'm not even worried about what other motherfuckers are doing. I'm focused
on what I'm doing. I'm not even worried about mainstream radio and those
politics. Between mainstream rock radio and satellite, I'm going to be
owning the airwaves over the next couple of years. If a station like Hot97
decides to catch up to me, cool. If not, cool. My business plan doesn't
rely on Hot97. The love I get from everywhere else makes it all gravy.
Let's not even forget about the internet. I don't think anybody's shown
me more love than HipHopGame. It's all gravy, man. I don't even get myself
involved in the politics of that shit. I'm doing my own thing. My shit
is self-contained. If you notice and you really pay attention to what's
going on with me, I'm not going to nobody and I'm not asking nobody to
help me or to co-sign me. Motherfuckers are coming to me, not necessarily
for a co-sign, but they're coming to me. I feel like Metallica in 1984
when they were coming up. It's a different kind of music and a different
time, but really, it's exactly the same.
the Ill Bill radio show going to be like?
It's a throwback
show. It's me and my boy Seth Abrams. We're going to do a show that's
on some '80's and early '90's shit. We're going to play a whole lot of
Hip Hop, metal and hardcore punk. We're going to have mad guests up to
the show bugging out. We're going to get dudes like Joe Pesci and Mr.
T up there. It's called "The Crack Era Throwback Show" with
Ill Bill and Seth Abrams. We're getting that shit popping right now.
one of the first MC's to take advantage of MySpace. How has MySpace helped
I think MySpace
has basically turned into a music site. Even though it wasn't really that
when it started, it turned into something where artists are promoting
their MySpace page on their albums. It's easier to promote MySpace because
that's where the kids are. It's easier to get them to come to your MySpace
page. At the same time they're checking for music, the chicks are looking
for dudes to chill with and dudes are looking for chicks to hook up with.
It's a twisted-ass social club. For better or for worse, the internet
is the most important communication tool we have today. It's vital. Everybody
uses it. MySpace took over a large part of the youth culture. A large
part of the youth today are on MySpace. When I first signed on a couple
years ago, there were five million subscribers. Now there's over sixty
million. You can go on my MySpace and I have eighty songs posted up for
kids to listen to. Shit is definitely a great way to get the word out
on projects. This La Coka Nostra shit has basically taken over MySpace
without us even trying.
mad friends on MySpace.
Shit is crazy.
I have like 30,000 friends on MySpace. It's a great way to get the word
out. Kids would rather go to your MySpace page than your website, point
blank. You can buy an Ill Bill t-shirt off my MySpace. Rupert Murdoch
spent $700 million on MySpace. There's a reason he did that.
your focus on a day-to-day basis?
lot of things. Besides recording for my solo record and La Coka shit and
doing shows, I'm doing a new company with my boy Howie McDuffie from Draft
Records. It's so new we haven't even decided the name yet. We're going
to be doing some internet records straight to iTunes. We're also shopping
for some major distribution right now. I'm doing some other shit besides
being an artist. Out of everyone in the music industry, artists make the
least amount of money. It's not smart to just be an artist. You have to
have your hand in other things. I'm shopping some acts and keeping Uncle
Howie Records going too. We're going through some things figuring out
what we want to do. We're going to be putting out some shit soon. I don't
want to say too much because the deals aren't done yet, but you're definitely
going to bug out when you hear who's coming out on Uncle Howie.
you want to say to your fans?
I have the best supporters. Thank you for supporting all my projects over
the years. Y'all definitely show me mad love. I give you that love right
back. I can't wait to see you on tour and let you hear this new shit.
Stay tuned. We're not stopping for nobody.