just getting back from the drycleaners
apparently somebody misplaced
$1400 worth of my clothes. I'm fine.
gone through the litigation process with Priority. How'd that go?
At this point,
I can't really speak too much on it. I'm used to saying what the fuck
I want and I can't say certain things. That's kind of where I'm at. Hopefully
we can resolve it amicably. If not, then unfortunately we'll have to go
to trial which would really be bad for them as a company looking at the
type of shit they would do to an artist. Hopefully it doesn't go that
think they'll take it that far?
I think people
are greedy by nature and sometimes, until you put them on the spot they'll
keep on taking and taking. I think that's the best way I can answer that.
Have you ever watched the show Cheaters where they bust in on the guy
cheating and then he's mad the girl got a camera? People don't own up
to their wrongs but they usually get offended when they get caught doing
something fucked up.
been receiving any interest from other labels?
I can't answer
that, but I feel like certain people have shown me a lot of love and if
we can do some business in the future, then great. I can't walk up to
the third floor until I get off the stairs on the first floor. That's
where I'm at right now. I want to fix this bullshit and move on. I definitely
appreciate the support I've received.
have to watch what you say in your songs?
Not so much.
I say certain things and if they take issue, they take issue. That's my
therapy. I'm an artist and how could I not say what I feel? Three years
ago, if I called Priority a plantation, then it's an analogy to explain
my relationship to those people. I've called it that many times and people
can read into it and at least infer what I think.
you going to do when you sign your next contract?
all, I didn't have good representation back then. You have to have a good
team. This is for any artist, new or old. You have to have a good team,
all around. You have to have an attorney who's looking out for you and
not for a production team and label. A lot of times people don't realize
that the lawyers are all good friends and you think they're representing
you while he's out playing golf and hockey with the label lawyers figuring
out how to stick some dick to you. You have to figure out this game and
of course it's only a game. I have a team who has shown me they have my
best interests at heart. You have to have people who believe in what you
do and a label that will let you grow as an artist. You have to have a
label that still supports you when you have a bump in the road.
Most of the
artists you see started somewhere else to become the star they are. Look
at Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Alicia Keys, 50 Cent and Eminem. A lot of people have
started somewhere else with a different situation with a different label
before they were allowed to become the superstars they are. I've learned
all those lessons. A lot of it just comes from experience. A lot of times
people can tell you things but if you don't know, you don't know.
happy with your team now?
My whole in-house team is dope, from my lawyer to my publicist Nancy Byron.
My management, Asti, is dope and ReUp is dope. The next situation I go
to, I'm going to put it on paper where if the label doesn't do certain
things, I can walk away amicably. I'm comfortable. I'm at peace. It's
like I said when I got out of prison: I'd rather give this shit away than
have it be wasted away by idiots. Motherfuckers are still judging me off
what I did in 1998 when I was a kid. It's 2006, almost 2007. I've grown.
I've dropped three mixtapes in nine months as opposed to two albums in
nine years on a label! Those mixtapes are more like albums. I don't have
a problem with original beats or guest appearances. I would argue that
those are better than most of these niggas' albums out. The caliber of
the music, hooks, guest appearances and beats are dope, it just didn't
get the publicity other projects got. Fans and people not familiar with
me can check them out and say, "Damn! This is some good music."
That's cool. It's good for me. It's therapeutic for me.
is the rap game?
a business like every other business. There's really good people in the
business and some snakes. It's the business of selling pussy. It's the
business of selling toilet paper. It's the business is selling salvation.
There are going to be some good people in it who don't get their just
due off the bat, but you just have to grind it out.
do you want your career to go?
I want to
be a mogul. I've watched a lot of people with talent and some people with
no talent make a lot of money and create a lot of jobs. I want to leave
my indelible stamp on the game. I want to get my equity out of the game.
I don't want to be a rapper forever, definitely. It's kind of like Jay-Z.
We do this shit like breathing, its subconscious. We do this with our
eyes closed. I definitely want to be the standard of what an MC should
be. There was a time when Rakim was the standard. There was a time when
Jay-Z was the standard. There was a time when Smif-N-Wesson and BCC was
the standard. I want to be the standard. When I set the bar, it's going
to be really hard for niggas to jump that high. Niggas better put on spaceboots.
material do you have?
Do you really
want the truth? I stopped trying after my first album. I still have ideas
from when I was 17 that I haven't used yet. I do this shit like breathing.
When I set the bar, then I'll show y'all something. It could be when my
business is straight. Xzibit always said, "Handle your business before
your business handles you." I was always more into the art-form.
I blame nobody but myself. I was young. I didn't know. I was naïve.
This is all a journey and these are all time capsules. Like 'Pac said,
when "all eyes are on me", I'll show you something. I'll show
you the most well thought-out, social, political, lyrical and I'll even
make a club record. That's hip-hop and it's fun. Like I said, "When
it's my time to shine, the whole world's going blind." I mean that
shit. I'm sincere. I mean that.
you setting that bar?
I'm taking steps every day to create my time. I'm taking the necessary
steps. I was told by very powerful legends in the game about things I
need to do to create my situation. I felt I was powerless to change it,
but I can make changes. I realized I had to sue a billion-dollar company
for three years. That's a hard pissing contest. That's like my dick against
a fucking fire-hose, but I had to do it to change and control my destiny.
your new mixtape coming?
Manger ou Mourir, It's "Eat or Die" in French. We all have races
but we have cultures too. Ethiopian culture is different from Congo culture.
American culture is not the same as Italian culture. There are French-speaking
niggas out there. I don't speak it well, but I can understand it. My mother
is Creole. We're from Louisiana. It was supposed to be hosted by Whoo
Kid, who is Haitian. There are a lot of countries in Africa who speak
French. I see all the Spanish niggas representing, but why aren't the
French niggas representing? The only person I see is Wyclef Jean. I had
to do something for the French niggas.
won the World Cup.
homegirl Cecile was in France. They were going crazy and then they lost
the next day so I guess the whole country was sad. I'm an American nigga
so I don't give a fuck about it. Why does everybody care about soccer?
Eat or Die
is for everybody though. That's really how I feel right now; if I don't
get out here and handle my business, I would die because these motherfuckers
have literally tried to leave me out here to starve.
40 Glocc's project coming?
He's on tour
with the Mobb now. I guess they're doing an Infamous album first with
Mobb, Nyce and Glocc. We're all working. The whole thing is to always
stay proactive. We all fuck with each other, Spider Loc too. We all have
a lot of extended family. I just fuck with who I fuck with.
looking for new artists for ReUp?
I'm no help
to anybody else if I can't help myself. My whole thing is to get my whole
foundation right and there's enough in my day right now. I'm just trying
to polish Jay 211. I'm trying to help him get there and then we have Namebrand.
Hopefully they can learn from my mistakes and success and be a better
artist than I am.
of MC's never want to sign other MC's who can be better than them.
doesn't scare me. I'm not that dude. You have to understand this fundamentally
about artists and not just rap artists, but all artists: motherfuckers
are scared of getting their shine taken. I've always loved the competition.
It brings out the best in me. I don't care who it is. If they can spit,
let's go. A lot of people are afraid of not having their niche and that
fucks the game up. A lot of times people try to intentionally halt people
who could be better than them. I would try to help them. This is a business
and of course I'd be making money with someone even if they are hotter.
100% of nothing is nothing. I'd much rather get 15% of somebody that's
hotter than me. Who gives a fuck? I'm still going to do me and I'm talented
enough where I feel I can still be hot. I'm not afraid. I like it. I love
it. I want to help talented motherfuckers.
part to it. There's new circulation and bring some dope niggas in for
hip-hop's sake. Bring some dope niggas in. No disrespect to anybody else
but I would want to bring other people who are dope into the game. I can't
just bring my man in because he's my man. I personally enjoy hearing people
in their own zone who do their own thing. I can't just be with the bullshit
and put on my cousin and my brother because I have a deal.
have an album ready?
to pull a George Bush, "I can neither confirm nor deny those allegations".
I'm just doing me, bro. I'm doing time capsules. This is just how I feel
at the time. I'm not even really processing that second floor so I can't
even process doing a real album even though these mixtapes are real albums.
I'm doing albums whether or not you get to see it on BET and MTV and all
the magazines. I'm not interested in that part because that part comes
and goes and it's really some groupie shit. It's just a game. I'm more
concerned with the artistic and intrinsic value of me creating my albums
and getting it out to the world. When one dude tells me how my mixtape
is dope, I did my job. When a chick hits me on MySpace telling me she
likes my song, that's dope. I did my job. I'm releasing who I am to the
your focus for the rest of the summer?
to hang out with my homies. I just like to write and I'm just trying to
be prepared for the next stage of my life. It's out with the old and in
with the new. I'm trying to get my company together. Xzibit has his album
coming out. I'm going to help him as much as I can in whatever capacity
he needs me. That's about it. And I'm helping my dude 40 Glocc.
It's got some shit. It's introspective. It's him really being an artist
as opposed to him being Xzibit. Motherfuckers shouldn't be surprised.
He's a dope MC. A lot of niggas know him from pimping rides and they forget
or don't know he's one of the best rappers on the West Coast.
offered to pimp your ride?
I don't need
my ride pimped! Give me some 22" rims and a TV and I'm good. I don't
need a bowling alley. That's for the kids.
do you have for MC's getting deals today?
A deal is
never your last chance, but you have to seize the day. Carpe diem. You
have to take advantage of your opportunities but you also have to know
what your value and worth is. A lot of people think they're worth more
than they are. They get a little buzz and they think they're the next
Jay-Z or 50 Cent. Do you know how much work people put in? David Banner
moved to New York 2,000 miles away and drove all around in a dusty van.
Don't nobody owe you shit in this game and a lot of young niggas come
into the game thinking the world owes them something, and the world really
don't. A lot of people haven't even been through the fire and most everybody
successful in this game has been through the fire and there's a lot of
sacrifices. My homeboy Wais from the Ranjahz was telling me that the other
day. Be prepared and when you feel a lot of people don't care about your
work, get out there and handle your business and believe in yourself.
you want to say to everybody?
all the love and thanks for all the support. Also thank you to all the
producers holding me down, especially Dynamic Producers. I think we're
just getting started, to be honest. I got my second wind! It's all good.
Niggas haven't seen nothing yet, trust me.