You’ve been working on the Black Wall Street compilation album. How’s the album coming?
Oh, man, it’s definitely going to be a classic. It’s something that everybody’s been expecting. It’s definitely worth the wait. It’s pretty much like another Game album, man, but it’s got the rest of Black Wall Street on it like me, Juice, Clyde Carson and we’re reaching out to our family in the industry. Of course we’re going to have Nas on there. Probably Busta Rhymes and Lil’ Wayne. We keep everything pretty much in-house and we just try to keep our affiliates together and run through the industry doors as a team and keep it going.
How do you think the Black Wall Street compilation will come out?
Right now we’re going through distributors and pinpoint who we want to work with. I think it will be either Geffen or Interscope, most likely. Nothing is concrete. We’re going to be everywhere. The project will be on all of our MySpace’s and everywhere.
How much production are you doing on the compilation?
I’m going to probably end up doing about a third of it. I got my own production team as well called Surround Sound. I’m going to try and give them a little light also. They’ve been in training for awhile and they’re going to come out and show the world what they got. We try to keep everything in-house. We’re also going to probably get Kanye on there, but a third of it will be done by me.
It’s hard to make a lot of money off selling music today. How important is it to keep as much as possible in-house?
Me, personally, I’m all for keeping it in-house. You save a lot of money and the vibe is better. I know the artist and the artist knows me. It comes out better because the vibe is 100 with everybody. It’s different when you’re a new artist or a new producer and you have to work with people you don’t know. It’s beautiful on the business part as well because you don’t have to pay as much.
Game has been quiet for awhile. What’s he been up to?
Actually he hasn’t been quiet. He’s been quiet to the world. He’s been in his own little world, mastering his technique as he gets ready for his third album. He’s been in the chambers, man, going hard, quietly. Everybody thinks he’s asleep like the Green Giant is sleeping. But he’s not sleeping. He’s doing his homework, man, and we’re just trying to get ready for this third album and make it a success. I know he’s been quiet in the streets, but we’re about to turn it up on the mixtape scene. We’re about to release the dragon soon. We’re just trying to get everything lined up properly and then we’re going to take off.
How’s his new album sounding so far?
He stepped it up. His beats are crazy and his lyrical content is way stronger. He’s real creative with it. The album is called The D.O.C. – The Diary of Compton. To me, I think it’s going to probably be his best album. He has so much to prove and he has a lot of aggression on his chest and he wants to let it all out and let out everything that he’s been going through. He’s putting it out on the pen and pad and it’s coming out beautiful.
What’s your chemistry like with Game in the studio?
Me and Game are automatic, man. We both started off as rookies when we met. We’ve been working together for years. It’s automatic. All I have to do is play him the beat and if he likes it, he goes right into it and goes right intro the booth and lays it down.
Is there a certain type of beat you try to give Game?
I wouldn’t say there’s a certain type of sound or beat. I just try to give him something I feel he can spit on and that will come out crazy. I know Game and how he flows. Pretty much everything I make goes with him. I just do what I do on a normal basis and he ends up bodying almost every beat I give him.
Juice is an up-and-coming MC signed to Black Wall Street. What’s it like working with Juice?
We’ve been working on his new mixtape which is going to drop real soon. His album is coming out real crazy. He’s been with the Game so he’s learning every technique that Game learned from Dre. He’s going to be next up and do his thing. He’s definitely grown so much and he’s definitely stepping up his lyrical content and stepping up overall. I’m happy for him. He’s come a long way. I would say he’s probably coming in late ’08.
Clyde Carson recently signed to Black Wall Street as well. What made you guys want to sign him?
Clyde’s another good element to Black Wall Street. He’s from the Bay but he’s not hyphy. He’s got the Bay style with him. He’s crazy. I love Clyde’s style. His hooks are crazy and he’s on the pimping thing. He’s real creative. That’s another project to look out for. His project is going to be crazy.
He’s pretty much been quiet, but now we’re unleashing his music. We actually have a Black Wall Street mixtape Black Wall Street Radio Part 3 coming out soon. There’s more unity on there and everybody is doing everything together on there. It’s more family-oriented and not just songs thrown on mixtapes. It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be another one of those Black Wall Street classics that we put out.
Guys like Juice also find their own producers like the Track Slayerz. How involved do you get with other producers that are working with Black Wall Street artists?
The Track Slayerz are signing to my own label, Livelihood Entertainment. I’m open for all of that. I love hearing new dudes coming up and hearing what they have to bring to the table. When Juice and Clyde go out and find other production, I love it. If I like it, I’m definitely trying to put them on the team. That’s what happened with the Track Slayerz. I got up with them after I heard them. They also did some beats for me for my mixtape. I’m always open to hearing new production from other people. I love it. It’s just more music for my head.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m working on my album Heaven or Hell, which will probably be out in the summer of ’08. I’m also working on Lil’ Wayne’s album and doing a DVD with him and QD3, Quincy Jones’ son. We’re doing a documentary on his whole life. It’s going to be a crazy, crazy DVD. It’s going to be a big project. I definitely think that will be one of the top DVD’s to come out in ’08. That’s something to look out for.
What’s it like working with Lil’ Wayne?
He’s a beast, man. He’s another dude that I really ain’t gotta do too much but play the music. He doesn’t write. He just hears the beat, goes in the booth and does his thing. He’s at a point in his life where his creativity is at an all-time high. He just has to be himself and it comes out crazy.
There’s a lot of debate over who the greatest rapper alive is. Do you think Wayne is the greatest rapper alive today?
I ain’t gonna say the greatest rapper alive, but he’s definitely the top artist out right now as far as everything else. You have to check the charts, man. He’s damn-near No. 1 on everything. He’s running the mixtape game. He has the biggest buzz in hip-hop right now. He’s definitely the biggest artist right now.
You’re also working on a solo album Heaven or Hell. What are you trying to bring on that?
See, everyone is doing the gangsta rap. Me being who I am, I’m a street dude and all that as well, but I’m a pretty boy-type. I’m for the ladies even though I will still bring that gutter music on my CD. My CD is going to be geared to the ladies and the clubs. I’m trying to have fun and go to the clubs and go to the top with my family. You can definitely check for those club hits on there. I have songs for the ladies and I’m going to still have that gutter-gutter shit on there. I have to make this money. Ladies buy CD’s and the niggas buy mixtapes. I need to gear it to the ladies because I need that bread.
You also launched your Heaven or Hell clothing line. How’s that going?
It’s going beautiful. It actually started when I put some t-shirts up on my MySpace and it started taking off. I had no choice but to go full-fledged with it. Me and my team came up with some designs and they started selling like hotcakes. I said, “Fuck it” and we made it a full-blown clothing line. We’re going hard. We got Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, the Game and Gloria Velez wearing our clothes. We got a lot of support from the industry dudes. Everybody’s loving it with no complaints. That’s going to be a big trend in ’08. You’re going to see everybody wearing it.
What does the name “Heaven or Hell” mean to you?
“Heaven or Hell”, to me, means the good and bad in everybody. All our t-shirts have a meaning also, like “No honor in deceit” and “Death before dishonor”. Everything has a theme to it. It’s not a clothing line that just has some scribbles on it. Whatever shirts you pick, you can express how you feel. It’s a good concept and it’s a great look. It talks about good and evil and where you’re going. It’s a good look, man.
You came up producing with Rodney “Darkchild” Jenkins. What did you learn from working with him?
I learned a lot of things from him. The business aspect wasn’t always good, but it was a stepping stone for me. I had only been producing for a year before I got taken under his wing. I learned a lot as far as actually producing and not just making beats. You have a lot of people out there who call themselves “producers” but they’re just beatmakers. Anybody can make a beat. He taught me the ins and outs. Through him I was able to work with Michael Jackson and Yolanda Adams. I was able to learn the essence of how to make a hit record and how to make something big. I definitely learned a lot and I don’t take nothing away from him. He’s very talented and I don’t take nothing away from what he does. We just went our own ways and do what we do. I’ll meet him at the top.
Do you talk to Darkchild at all today?
We don’t talk as much as we should, but there’s no beef there. He does what he does. He’s a church man. I believe in God and everything, but he’s just more into Christian. He got married and his wife is pregnant now. He’s on the family aspect and I’m young in the game. He’s got Grammy’s and he’s content in the game and I’m not. I have a lot ahead of me and I’m in the studio every day. Our lives are real different. Our schedules don’t match up so we don’t speak as much as we should. He’s still my dude and I can still call him whenever.
Can you take us through the making of a Nu Jerzey Devil beat?
Oh, man! First you gotta get a 40 ounce of OE and a blunt and go into the chambers. I dim the lights and light the candles and find a melody. Then I just lay down the drums and then after that the bass comes in. At that point I know if it’s going to be a banger or if I have to scrap it. If it doesn’t sound good with the keys, the drums and the bass, then I scrap it and start something new.
What equipment are you using today?
Right now I got the Phantom X8. I got the MPC 4000. That’s just how I’ve always been. I always stuck with the MP’s and the keyboards. Everybody’s jumping into the computer stuff, which I don’t knock at all. I’m going to get into it. I don’t really have time to learn a new piece of equipment. I just do what I do. But I’ll get into it. I already bought the Logic. I’m definitely looking into it.
What are your goals for 2008?
My goals are definitely to get my album out and push my album out real heavy and to get Game and Juice and the whole Black Wall Street stuff out to where it needs to be. I’m also pushing this clothing line out and taking that as far as I can. I’ll be in Miami looking for a South artist. I’m trying to keep everything going and meet all my goals and get this Black Wall Street Music out and take our names to another level.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Thanks for the support and definitely check me out on MySpace. Look out for Heaven or Hell clothing. Look out for Game’s new album. And keep supporting Black Wall Street and Livelihood. We’re going to get it in.