on man? How you? Everything's good over here.
a minute since we've done an interview. How have you been lately?
I've been blessed. I'm blessed. I'm so focused right now. There's a lot
going on. My album's almost done. It's about 80 to 90% finished. We've
got a lot of good records and a lot of things I'm happy with. I'm looking
forward to going platinum this year.
the album sound to you?
sounds, musically, it's phenomenal. I think I got the best out of Just
Blaze. I got Kanye West, Scram Jones, Digga, and Buckwild. A lot of my
favorite producers hit me with some good beats. My album, "The Greatest
Story Never Told," is a chronological story of my life. A lot of
the dudes talking this gun-busting shit, they never lived that life. This
is the lifestyle that I come from. I have two shootings on record that
I went to jail for, and now, I'm trying to teach these kids that that
lifestyle is not good. There are only two things that can come out of
that lifestyle, jail or death, and there's no one telling them that on
records. There's only jail or death unless you want to be a studio gangster,
and to me, that's fake shit.
does your album have to do to the game?
I think musically,
its so dope that you can't deny it. And the messages in my records are
real. I have songs about teenage pregnancy and niggas getting burnt. I
haven't heard a song about venereal disease since Ice Cube came out with
"Look Who's Burnin.'" Nobody's talking about the real issues
that we go through. Niggas still get burnt, niggas catch diseases, niggas
still get shot. There's a lot of fucked up shit that niggas don't address.
Now, it's all about going to club and shaking your ass like the world
is one great big strip club. There's a lot of things that people aren't
addressing that people go through everyday. The music is so industry-oriented
because people in the industry are partying everyday doesn't mean everyone
how you're on the same label as the "Laffy Taffy" dudes.
got to make their money. They have to keep the lights on. If the people
are going to buy the shit, they're going to put it out. You can't blame
the label. It's the consumers that determine what's hot. If we don't buy
it, they won't put it out. If they buy it, we're going to have the next
"Laffy Taffy" coming out soon.
back to the album, how was it working with Just Blaze?
because up until I started working with Just, I've never had anybody in
the studio telling me to rap over this beat or to rap like this. Everything
always came from me. I picked every beat I ever rapped over and I thought
of every concept, up until this album. I like it because there are some
things that I may not be thinking about and Just or Hip Hop will tell
me to rap over this. My A&R is Hip Hop. He's a real close friend of
mine, and I think he's got one of the most prolific ears out there. I
trust his ear more than my own, not only because of what he's done with
Jay-Z and Kanye and all his projects, but because his knowledge of Hip
Hop is so extensive and he knows so much that I trust him when he tells
me if something is right or wrong. His name is Hip Hop for crying out
of times a song will show up on HipHopGame and then you'll ask that we
take it down. Can you explain why that happens?
A lot of
songs that come out, they're not really done and I know people like to
judge you off of what they hear. I don't want to go back and make an excuse
for it. That's why I'd rather have them not hear it in the first place.
I don't know where y'all get your shit from. Some shit is five years-old.
People see that I'm buzzing now so they'll put it out. Why would they
push the record now that I'm buzzing? That's exploiting me. They weren't
trying to push that record before. I just want my shit to be ready before
it gets out there to the world.
put out a lot of tracks for the mixtapes, how come?
mixtape I put out was February 3, and I only put out one song since then,
and that was "Out in the Park." I'm not a radio whore. I'm not
giving mixshow DJ's a new record every week because if the record doesn't
stick, it's a waste. You used to have to wait back in the day to hear
a new Nas or Jay verse. You can burn-out fast doing that. I know what
I can do. A person can listen to one of my records and know what I can
do. I'm not trying to prove nothing to nobody.
the leak of "Preacher" affect your project?
"Preacher" was a real strong record I had because it was something
I feel strongly about. The version of "Preacher" that got leaked
was a real rough mix with me in the booth just reading off of the paper.
When I heard that it got leaked, I was worried because there were so many
stages of that record. When I heard which one they leaked, it was one
of the worst takes because it was one of the first. I tried to shut it
down as fast as possible.
you feel about DJ's that leak shit without the artist's consent?
of the industry. There's no morals or principles in this industry. It's
all about getting ahead. If they think they can get ahead by putting shit
on a tape, they'll do it. I've seen DJ's take shit off of Rap City and
play it. That's being thirsty. If artists didn't want you to have it in
the first place, you shouldn't want to play it anyway. A lot of DJ's respect
the artists, and there's a mutual respect there, but that's not always
the first East Coast artist to do a "Gangsta Grillz" tape with
DJ Drama, how did that come about?
out to DJ Drama. I'm the first New York artist to do this "Gangsta
Grillz." This has been in the making for a minute. I respect Drama
as a DJ because he scratches on mixtapes and brings it back. He doesn't
just talk on his tapes. I'm not a mixtape whore where I'll take every
chance I can to get on a mixtape. I avoid more mixtapes than I get on.
You don't want to keep reusing the same shit. A lot of times songs come
out on one mixtape and then no other mixtape DJ will want to play it because
someone else played it
that's a waste of a song to me.
were rumors that you and Cassidy had a problem. What's up with that?
I never had
a problem with Cassidy. I'm a very outspoken individual. A lot of people
say I talk about people in interviews, but if someone asks me a question,
I'm going to answer it. I'm not pussy. I'm not going to plead the fifth.
If somebody doesn't like it, we'll deal with it accordingly. I'm not a
coward that bites my tongue. If I feel a certain kind of way, I'm going
to say something. Someone asked me about Cassidy's first album and I said
I thought the shit was weak. SOHH ran it in bold letters trying to instigate
shit, "Saigon says Cassidy's album is garbage."
I like Swizz,
but now it looks like I'm bashing their album. Then Cassidy went in the
Don Diva magazine and said something about me. It's petty shit. I hope
he gets through the situation he's in because he has a lot more things
to worry about than people saying his name right now. He's in a real jam
that could affect the rest of his life. Even though he said something
about me, I'm not going to kick a man when he's down. Keep your head up
Cassidy and hopefully your situation works out man. And watch the people
around you. I don't know his situation, but I'm pretty sure it's related
to him being around the wrong people. I'm sure he wouldn't throw away
his career just to prove that he busts his gun. That'd be some stupid
shit to do. I think he's smarter than that.
is it to you at this stage in your career to surround yourself with the
Once you're the focal point, you're the one that's going to take the blame.
They're not going to sue the hypeman. 'Pac went to jail even though the
girl admitted that she sucked his dick on the dance floor, but he went
to jail because his niggas went ape on her. You can't just have people
around you that love bitches and want to have fun. They've got to care
about your well-being.
also doing a lot of acting with "Entourage," how's that going?
Tune in to the next season. Let me just say something. I read a lot of
these internet forums, and people say that my buzz is dying down. My buzz
is bigger than it's ever been. I have a reoccurring role on an HBO series,
I have a commercial for MTV, and Newsweek named me one of the top 10 people
to watch in 2006, not just musicians. I'm signed to Firm Management. They
have Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. My lawyer also represents 50 Cent
and Eminem. I am still the most anticipated new artist coming out. I don't
have to be on every mixtape to have a buzz. If I'm not the most anticipated
artist coming out, I don't know why I'm not. For crying out loud, I have
Just Blaze producing my album and Hip Hop A&R'ing my album. I just
got a movie, "Raging Discipline," on BET. I'm running it from
so many different angles. Mixtapes, to me, is just a set-up for my album.
When I start doing mixtapes again, it's going to be because my album is
potential do you think you have?
I think I
have a lot of potential. My main goal is to school my black people. There
are a lot of things that we have a tendency to ignore. It's funny how
everyone is quick to jump on Eminem for saying the word "nigga."
I don't think that's right and I don't condone it, but look at all of
the bigger problems that we face that nobody's addressing, like guns in
our community, crack in our community, genocide, and unfair sentencing
laws. Those should be the real issues, not the fact that someone said
the word "nigga." All these media outlets try to put us against
each other every day.
and Nas were going against each other, that's all you heard. We've seen
the potential that these battles can have. When they made up, they talked
about it for one day and then it was gone. I think that should have gotten
just as much shine as they got when they were beefing, or more. These
brothers could have taken it to the next level, but they came with bigger
heads and motherfuckers swept that shit under the rug. It's all part of
divide and conquer and self-hatred. I hate the fact that people that are
supposed to be responsible are feeding into that shit. That shit is wack
to me. We're all cowards. Nobody's saying nothing. You can be rich and
still be a fucking clown. If you don't stand for nothing, you're a coward.
When you die, that money's not going with you. You're going to be remembered
as a coward because you were scared to take a stand.
like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Nat Turner, all the way down to Toussaint
L'Overture, if they didn't have balls and take a stand, we'd be fucked
up. It's like the dudes in the Attica Riots. They risked their lives so
people in the penal system in the future could live better. You couldn't
write home asking for money, they called that soliciting. They had to
eat cold soup out of a can. They knew they were going to die but they
took a stand so the people in the penal system after them could live better.
We don't have men like that anymore. They're bitches. They're cowards.
These motherfuckers have all this power and they don't use it to help
black people. They're fucking cowards. I'm not going to name-call. I have
huge buzz, so all that shit with me using other people to get ahead, I
don't have to do that. I'm only guilty of doing that one time.
Do a lot
of interviewers bait you?
do that to set me up. What they don't realize though is that I am a very
smart person. I know what to say. I never dissed 50 Cent. I never dissed
Mobb Deep. I said I didn't agree with messages some dudes have. Tell people
about the repercussions. Don't tell your audience that you can smash people
in the face all day. If you do that, tell them what's going to happen
to them. Tell them they're going to get locked up or die. It's not like
you can walk around the next day saying, "I just knocked a nigga
in the head." Tell people the repercussions of sleeping around with
mad women, about getting diseases and AIDS.
I'm a responsible
black person and I feel that I have a responsibility to my race and my
people, the same way everybody else feels. If you're just going to sit
here and think that you can fuck my race up without me saying anything,
nah, I can't do that. I'm going to say something if I see something wrong.
That's just me. That's the way I was brought up.
do you want to go from here?
I want to
make good music that people can learn from and not do something stupid,
where they may have done something stupid if they wouldn't have heard
it. I'm going to continue to make songs about not killing each other.
We have a brother named Tookie Williams who could have used all these
rappers support all these years and now they want to step up at the final
hour because they want to get some press out of it, like, "Yeah,
I tried to save Tookie Williams." That shit is fake. A lot of these
artists have identity crises. They think they are what their name is on
the CD. A lot of these rappers are cowards. They will sell their ass for
the right amount of money. They'll suck dick, they'll let a nigga fuck
them in the ass. They all have a price. Once you can be bought, then you're
a fucking clown to me.
the world we live in, these celebrities' opinion hold more weight because
people follow them. They're put into positions where they're leaders.
If you care about the betterment of your people, then you have to do the
right thing. If you're just self-centered, then you're just about individualism.
Then there's nothing I can say to you. If you care about the sustainment
of your race like the Jews do
if you ever go to a Hasidic Jew community,
they will walk 10 blocks to spend money amongst themselves than spend
money somewhere else. We're the only race to not do that. We'll buy designer
jeans for $400 to make someone else rich before we funnel money back into
our own community. We spend about $450 billion annually, but how much
of that comes back to our community? If you go anywhere within a 20-block
radius in Brooklyn, you can count how many black-owned businesses there
are on one hand. It doesn't make sense to me how few black businesses
there are in black neighborhoods.
the schools though? There's a lot of bad schools
system is just like the prison system. It's the same people that run it.
You're there to learn how to run their corporations. It's like going through
12 years of training on how to make this economy work. They don't really
teach us how to run our own businesses. We're not taught to be self-efficient.
We're taught to go work for somebody and make just enough money to keep
your lights on.
you explain the fact that the majority of fans at Dead Prez shows are
because the truth hurts us so much that we run away from the truth. The
white kids are more in-tune with reality. They know what dead.prez is
saying is true. The white kids know what it is. The white kids know that
we're fucking up, that we don't spend our money wisely and we care about
material shit too much. I've been around a bunch of rich white people,
and they don't care about fashion like that. They're not going to spend
all their money on nice rims. They care about owning property and investing
their money, what's important. The ones who listen to dead.prez and Public
Enemy back in the day know what's up. The truth hurts, and we can't handle
why it's easier to be in a gang and kill another black man? Because that's
a reflection of yourself and there's a self-hatred that we have from slavery
that we haven't gotten over to this day. It's easy to kill another black
person. If a black person walks through a project he's not from, people
are quick to check him, thinking he's fucking somebody's girl or some
shit. If a white dude walks through the projects, our first reaction is
that he's an authority figure. That shit is backwards to me.
you see the situation getting any better?
Not as long
as we have the coward artists that we have now. Unfortunately, men like
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King aren't born anymore. Everyone is too
scared of dying. They have a tendency to forget that death is a part of
life and pretty soon the only thing that matters is your legacy. As long
as these dudes only care about how many bitches they fuck and how many
nice cars they have, it's never going to change. It's only going to get
worse, because unfortunately, the kids look up to these people. I believe
the children are the future, because we're not going to be here. We're
going to die and they're going to be in the positions that we're in now.
What are we giving them? Fuck as many bitches as you can and go get some
rims? Get some ice and diamonds? Get the fuck out of here!
to the morals and the principles? What happened taking care of your woman?
What happened to being a father to your child? What happened to teaching
children discipline? That doesn't exist anymore. Us, as black people,
we fucked up and we dropped the ball. Martin Luther King is probably turning
over in his grave. He's probably like, "What the fuck did I live
for?" People like Harriet Tubman could have conformed, but they gave
their life trying to help the people. 2Pac gave his life for that. We
dropped the ball on that. We're quick to say their names in records, but
we don't believe in what they stood for because we would have carried
on their legacy. We're not doing that.
I can never
fit in their shoes, but I feel that me doing the little shit that I'm
doing is more than the average motherfucker. I know how to sell records
and go in the studio and make jingles. I call the shit "jingles."
I know what works and what sells records. I know how to go in the studio
and make jingles, something that people can sing along to. For what? So
I can have a song on the radio? So the fuck what? What did I do? I didn't
change nobody's life or help no one through their day. I made a fucking
jingle. So the fuck what?
you blame for the lack of quality in music today?
is going to be the consumer. Obviously, you really can't place blame on
anyone. When you look at the grand scheme of it, it's who has the responsibility
and who doesn't. The radio programmer doesn't care because his kids are
in a safe haven in a private school and don't have to worry about gunshots.
My kids have that threat. It doesn't trickle down into that community,
but it affects my community. Me as an artist, I have to be responsible
to my community.
When I got
out of jail, Lil' Kim was hot. I met this girl that idolized Kim to the
max. She had the blue wigs and all that. I thought it was cool. Everyone
idolizes someone when they're young. We had the Michael Jackson jackets.
But then I was around some dudes and they were like, "Shorty's the
jump-off. She'll suck anybody's dick." I was like, "Oh, shit."
That shit hurt my heart. A young girl that had niggas running through
her. She really thought she was Lil' Kim. She really lived by whatever
Kim said in her songs. I was like, "Damn," and then I saw that
that was me when I was listening to these fake gangster rappers when I
I love him to death, but he is not a gangster. Dr. Dre is not a gangster.
These niggas are not gangsters. But they'll portray that life and then
they'll go in an interview and say they're family men. Fuck that. A lot
of people aren't going to read that shit. It's all about people trying
to get ahead for a dollar. I don't give a fuck what people say about me,
I'm going to talk my shit. I see a big problem, and if other people don't
see it until 60 years from now, they'll say, "That nigga had a prophecy."
We're dying at a fast rate, and when there are only 10 million of us left
and they want some answers, they can say, "Saigon knew what he was
talking about." I damn sure know that there are a lot of things that
we should be paying attention to that we're not.
MTV commercial, you specifically mention Mobb Deep's music. Do you think
they'll take offense?
take offense, but at least they know I'm being honest. They're fathers.
P said, "a little blood on my daughter, fuck it, she'll live."
If that's his mentality, go do what you do and make some money. We know
what kind of men we're dealing with. I don't have nothing against Prodigy
and them. It's partly my fault that I did what I did being that influenced.
I'm just letting them know that they do have that kind of power.
If I know
I have a lot of power and I'm leading them into damnation, then I'm an
asshole. If I tell people, "I'm going into damnation, if you want
to follow me, cool." At least give them that option.
that balance is missing, because the people that control the game don't
care about us. They care about money. If we have to kill one another to
make them money, they don't give a fuck. Remember how we came here? We
came here as slaves. There was never love between us and white people.
It was always a slave/master relationship. Now, people have a tendency
to believe there's love. We'll make you think we love you as long as you're
making us money. Until you're not making us no money, get the fuck out
of here. I remember when Hot97 wouldn't play Hip Hop, but now it's making
them money and they love Hip Hop.
ever see Hip Hop dying out?
I don't see
it dying. Hip Hop ain't even Hip Hop to me anymore. The shit that's happening
now isn't Hip Hop. They might as well give it some other name. Hip Hop
began as a cry for help for us. Melle Mel made "The Message"
talking about our fucked up condition. Hip Hop was a cry for help. Breakdancing
was artistic expression. We used cardboard because we didn't have nice
dance floors. We wore baggy jeans because they were hand-me-down jeans
from our big brother. We didn't wear them because they were stylish. Now,
clothing companies, which are owned by white people, make their clothes
baggy because it's in-style. They're capitalizing off of our pain. They're
packaging our pain and we buy into it because us coming from the hood,
we'll do anything to make money because we never had shit, so this lifestyle
that they put on TV, we're intrigued by it and think we have to live that
that Tru Life has a good situation now
out to Tru Life. Tru Life is my brother from another mother. Without that
dude, I wouldn't be where I'm at now. He's the first person to put me
in a real studio. The first song I ever recorded in a studio was "Bust
Your Guns." He opened his arms up and wanted to help me. Most rap
motherfuckers, when they see someone with talent, they don't want to help
them because they think he may be competition to them. The average individual
wouldn't have done that. Tru Life is a stand-up individual. Tru Life is
a real gangster too. He's gangster to the core, and if he wanted to, he
could talk about all the shit he did, but he don't do that. He don't do
that. That's another thing I respect about my homie. We ain't gotta do
that. Michael Jordan doesn't have to keep telling everyone he's a basketball
player. Let your actions speak for themselves. If you have to say, "I'm
hood" too many times, I don't believe you.
a long time to sign the right deal, so how do you feel when you see artists
signing deals and then complaining about them?
I just don't
understand going to the radio. What the fuck are they going to do? What
are the people going to do? I know it's good to rally sometimes and have
the people behind you. It's always us against us to some capacity. If
you sign a bad deal, that's your bad, because you agreed to the terms
to the deal. It's not like someone came and changed the contract. I signed
a fucked up deal with Sureshot with the "Warning Shots" shit.
I can't blame nobody. My management advised me to sign that deal. You
can't blame the label because you put your John Hancock on it. Not to
play devil's advocate, but there's should be a point where us as people
should be able to look past a contract and say, "Fair is fair and
we can move ahead." A contract is a contract, but I think us as people
should be able to look past a contract.
think it's a good thing that all these DJ's have their own artists?
got so political. It's hard to get support from DJ's because they're all
trying to eat off their own artists because it's more fruitful for them
to push their own artists. There's not one DJ that doesn't have an artist
that they're pushing. The play that I deserve because I'm a better artist,
I won't get it because of your loyalty to another artist. You'll sacrifice
me so you could play your artist. The same shit that everyone blamed Benzino
for, they're all doing it now. Every DJ, especially mixtape DJ's, have
an artist. It's more so the mixtape DJ's, not the real DJ's that scratch
and cut. They care about the art of DJ'ing. Now there's the "mixtape
DJ" and the "mixtape rapper" titles, and the shit is fucking
up Hip Hop.
realize that only five out of 100 artists succeed in this game. For every
artist that does well, there's 10 that flop that we never hear from again.
DJ's got a better chance of keying in on their own shit than starting
a record company. It's hard to run a record label. Everybody can't do
that. Just because you've got a nigga that can rap and have bars
can walk down any street in New York City and find 500 kids with hot raps.
There's rappers in abundance right now, but there's not a lot of superstars
like Saigon. There's not a lot of rappers that HBO will want to put on
their hit series. MTV's not going to want to give a lot of artists their
own commercial without even having a video out.
at that, would you encourage kids to take rapping as a serious career
Not at all!
Hell no! It's too shallow, it's too fickle, there's no stability in the
game. You could be a dope-ass artist and never get a deal. The climate
of the industry is that East Coast shit isn't hot right now, so if you're
from there what are you going to do? You could be the dopest MC in the
world, but if the game's not fucking with you, you'll never get a chance
to show what you're working with.
getting press in Newsweek and Rolling Stone, two mags that aren't known
for their Hip Hop coverage. Why do you think you have such a wide appeal
I think I
have a wide appeal because I stand for something. I have a non-profit
organization, I lecture at colleges teaching people the importance of
self-empowerment, making your own decisions. You don't have to try to
be something you're not. Look inside yourself for your motivation. Don't
let some man-made shit make you as a person. You can make your own clothing
line instead of buying $400 jeans.
I think there's
just so much more to me than being a rapper. My non-profit organization
takes care of kids who have incarcerated parents. Jail is destroying our
communities. Jail doesn't offer us nothing. They'll keep you in there
for 10 years and then give you an eight-week release program before you
get out, then they throw you to society and you're like a caveman. That's
not reality. That's why they say 90% of the people are coming back. They
know that. Until we start talking about it, nothing is going to happen.
talked about this in the past, but when do you think everyone is going
to wake up and stop romanticizing the jail experience?
start realizing that this is a serious problem. The media have it so fucked
up because they make it out like we belong in jail. Is all this cocaine
just sneaking in under the governments nose? Y'all are the one's bringing
it here, let's keep it real. Y'all are the ones making the shit so accessible.
Y'all bring the guns here. They're aware of all this shit. If y'all don't
want motherfuckers to pick up guns, there should be much harsher gun laws.
Guns is what's killing us, not crack. And you can get the same time for
having a gun as you can for crack.
that the prison population has quadrupled is because prison is big business.
They need reasons to keep motherfuckers here. That's free labor. When
you have a street sign or license plates, those are made in prison, same
as mattresses in hospitals. That's free labor. That's not punishment.
If you're punishing them, why are you making them work? You have to work
when you go to jail, or else they keep you in a box 23 hours a day. Now
they got the shit where the prisoners are training seeing-eye dogs. You
know how much you'd have to pay someone on the street to do that? That's
big business right there. That's all that prison is about. Prison isn't
about punishment. Do you think they care if I shoot another black person?
They don't care about him. It's like killing two birds with one stone.
If I kill another nigga, they'll lock me up, bing bong. They win no matter
how you look at it. I'm not a racist, but I'm aware of it. Our initial
purpose here was to be slaves and pick cotton. My great-grandmother was
a slave, who taught my grandmother, who taught my mother, who taught me.
was your upbringing to how you turned out today?
It took me
to realize that I needed to go to prison to see what's going on. Prison
will either set you straight or it will destroy you. This whole gang epidemic
that we have in New York City right now came through Riker's Island. When
you're in jail, you want to belong to something, and a lot of [prisoners]
are not man enough to stand on their own so they join some shit. I feel
like that's very detrimental to us, this whole prison system. I took it
like, "Fuck it, it's time for me to get a sense of direction because
I didn't want this for the rest of my life." I started to read and
once I started to read, some doors started to open for me and I realized
that I didn't want to end up like the Native Americans where we're almost
extinct. That's what's going to happen.
Look at AIDS.
You know you can't reproduce if you have to put a piece of plastic over
your dick when you fuck a girl. How many guys are going to go to the clinic
to get an AIDS test every time they fuck a girl? Condoms prevent diseases
but they also prevent you from reproducing. You can't reproduce if you
can't have unprotected sex, so it's a no-win situation. We would be reproducing
at a much faster rate if it wasn't for condoms. That's population control.
That's man-made. I don't believe this shit just popped out of the blue.
That's the same way with the Indians. They put smallpox in their blanket.
A blanket is something you give somebody to keep them warm, so they thought
they were trying to help them. Is that some grimy shit or what?
saying condoms are a bad thing?
No. But the
fact that we have to use condoms, that prevents us from reproducing at
the rate we're supposed to reproduce at, because you have to use condoms
or else you're gambling with your life.
are a lot of irresponsible kids and adults that shouldn't be parents.
right. But it's natural for us to fuck. Fucking is a natural thing. If
you take a boy and a girl from birth and you hide them from society and
they never watch TV or read a book, and you put them in a cave with no
exposure to the world, they're going to figure out fucking. Babies automatically
know to suck on titties. Sex is the same thing, just like smiling, its
natural instinct. We're going to fuck, no matter what, because it's human
nature to have sex. That's why I have a penis and a woman has a vagina
and it fits perfectly. That's why it's placed where it's placed. It's
a natural thing. When you come with the unnatural shit
men fuck up
the natural things. It's like us going to space. Why do we feel like we
need to go to space? Why would you try to go somewhere where you know
you don't belong?
homosexuality. Why would you stick your dick in another man's ass? That's
like saying "Fuck you" to God. I don't agree with that. My perception
on life is a lot different than a lot of people's. If you can walk out
of your house, especially if you live in the ghetto, and think, "This
is how it's supposed to be," then you got it fucked up. I've lived
in the suburbs too, and I haven't seen the fucked up shit there that is
in the ghetto.
you find a lot of people disagreeing with your opinions?
Yeah, a lot
of people do. A lot of people feel there's nothing wrong with homosexuality,
but I was taught as a kid that pink is for girls and blue is for boys.
When they wrap you up in a blanket, boys get blue. My whole thing around
homosexuality is that it's based around sex, a lower desire. I have guy
friends that I'm close to too. Why do you feel that you have to cross
the line and have sex with a man? That's lustful. Why can't two girls
just be real close? You're not gay until you start licking someone else's
private area. That's what makes someone gay, that lower desire to have
sex with the same sex. That to me is kind of crazy.
got that DVD coming out, what's good with that?
I got a DVD
coming out with War Report. They did the "Trap or Die" DVD with
Young Jeezy. They work closely with Drama. It shows how I came up in the
game, from going to a maximum security prison to being on HBO. A lot of
people may try to downplay that, but that's a huge, huge jump. That's
like going from hell to heaven. You never could have told me I'd be on
a hit show when I was sitting in the box. I documented my life and the
people who helped me get to where I'm at.
I just want
the world to know where I'm coming from because a lot of people get confused
with my music. One song I may be busting my hammer and the next song I'm
preaching. My music is a chronological order of my life. I really lived
that lifestyle. There was a point in my life where I was a hit-man for
a very notorious drug gang where I had to pop whoever didn't pay. I'm
not going to glorify that. I have lifelong enemies to this day. There's
niggas in Brownsville and Bed Stuy, if they see me, that would want to
kill me. I have to live with this for the rest of my life.
going to be in the public eye a lot more
Yeah, I have
to always look over my shoulder. I like to have fun, but unfortunately
the choices I've made in the past are forcing me to live like this now.
I can't go apologize to people I may have cut in jail or somebody who
I might have shot their mother when she was smoking crack. They don't
want to hear, "I'm sorry, that was the old me."
I love Young Jeezy. I don't like when they glorify drug shit. If you've
done it, nobody can tell you not to talk about your life. Jeezy is a dope-ass
artist and you know what he represents. How would you feel about Jeezy
if you were to find out that he never sold a drug in his life? Wouldn't
that make you look at that dude like, "Aw man, come on." Most
of these rappers have never done any gangster stuff in their life. Come
on man, get real.
in my crew has bodies on they record. The other night in the studio, all
my boys had bodies on the record. If I wanted to exploit that, we would
be the most dangerous rap group ever. I could make so much money, I could
do movies about it
we all grew up in prison together. A lot of these
dudes did way more time than me. My man Lucky just did 12 years for airing
a nigga out, and he raps about positive shit. You know how he feels when
he hears these fake-ass rappers hearing about how many guns they bought
or they're in magazines and DVD's with guns, and they've never busted
Look at dudes
like Cassidy who put themselves out like gangsters and then he had to
do some gangster shit? You think if Cassidy could rewind time he would
do the same shit again? Hell no! You think if Shyne could rewind time
he'd do the same thing again? Hell no! These dudes had it made! It's crazy.
It's almost like you would think these dudes are retarded. The thing is,
these niggas never lived. Everybody wants to be something they're not.
Jay-Z when he talks about how he's a hustler, because it's a true story.
But he doesn't sit there telling you to sell drugs. He says, "Hov
did that, so hopefully you won't have to go through that." Jeezy
says there's no morals in the game right now. None. Zero. Zilch.
clapped niggas. I'm not bragging about it. People tell me, "Let it
be known who you are. Fuck that, you're marketable." At the end of
the day, I'm trying to leave that life behind me. I feel like if I brag,
that's going to cause me more problems than I need. C'mon man, there's
gangsters out there that I can't compete with. I'm not even living that
life anymore anyway. Those days are over. I'm going to protect myself,
but I see the bigger picture. I want a family someday.
like you and Quan could make some good music together
I've never met Quan, but Nas is family, so he's fam. I've read a lot of
his interviews and we see alike on a lot of things. We've both been through
the same struggles. That's why I was so disappointed about the shit that
just happened to him. He knows he's already in trouble because of his
criminal history, so you have to stay away from all that.
in the past you would do a publicity stunt by knocking a rapper out, are
you still down for that?
Nah, I was
just joking because of the climate of the game with everybody beefing.
I might go shake some hands or make a "We are the World" or
"Self-Destruction '06." Put all the rappers on there that hate
each other, just throw them on the same joint just to show them that we're
smarter than we look. As black people, it seems that we go out of our
way to prove these stereotypes right. Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens
can't even get along.
has the internet been to getting your message out to everyone?
shit. I love the internet. You can get any kind of information on the
internet. I just don't like when motherfuckers don't know me and they
like to judge. I read the forums, and they say, "Saigon's always
talking about 50 Cent." For those that don't know, 50 Cent holds
some significance in my life. I've seen this dude go from a hot artist
on the street to being one of the most powerful men in the world. I had
a chance to learn from this dude, and I'm going to hold that for the rest
of my life. Call it what you want, 50 is going down in history books.
He's part of American history. He comes from the hood and he easily could
have lost his life, and look who he is now. That's some significant shit.
Dudes can try and downplay it, but he's a part of American history.
if somebody tells you they were around Prince before his record deal,
and we were cool and we were going to work together and things didn't
work out, people would say you were name-calling and all that. If I wrote
a book, I would talk about my experiences with 50 Cent. He's going to
be one of the biggest people in the world, and people on the internet
tend to look at it like it's an everyday thing. It's not an everyday thing
where I come from.
I'll be around
Jay a lot and I'll be like, "Oh shit, that's Jay-Z." I could
be around him three days a week, and on the third day, I'll still be feeling
weird like, "That's Jay." I'm a fan of Hip Hop. What these dudes
did, hate them or love them, what they accomplished, they are icons and
you have to give them the respect they deserve.
you looking to drop "The Greatest Story Never Told?"
Greatest Story Never Told" is coming out early 2006. It's almost
done. My mixtapes are like albums, so I got a new street album, the "Gangsta
Grillz" street album, coming out. My songs stick to the ribs. People
still rock "The Color Purple." After the album drops, my label
wants to put out an EP of the old music because it's so powerful. A visual
for "The Color Purple" would change the game right now.
shoot that video yet?
I'm working on it. I'm working with Fab 5 Freddy on it. I don't just rap
to rap. Anybody can rap and do punchlines. It's not that hard to sit down
and think of some funny shit. But to rap something meaningful, that's
a whole 'nother level.
We all start
out with the same standard record contract, and then you have dudes that
you never hear from again and you have some dudes who walk into the room
and people start crying when they see them.
to HipHopGame, y'all are doing a lot for new artists. A lot of these sites
don't show new artists no love. That's why I fuck with y'all hard-body.
I have artists asking me all day how to get their shit on HipHopGame.
Signed artists ask me how to get on it. Me and Memphis Bleek and Proof
from Get Low sit around and talk about the site. It's a conversational
started getting bigger around the same time.
and that's beautiful man. That's why I want to grow with y'all. I'm going
to give you a snippet of the DVD, and that's going to be the first time
anybody ever sees some shit like this. My DVD is the best DVD out because
you can get so much from it. You can take it home and show your mother
and grandmother, as long as they don't mind a few cusses here and there.
They're going to see that I'm on the right path. The game needs me. Not
because I'm the best rapper, but because I'm trying to enlighten these
young kids as to what's really going on.
reason why New York rap sucks right now. It's because nobody's saying
anything with any validity. Everybody has bars. Name me one New York artist
that has something valid to say. You could say dead.prez, but stic is
from Tallahassee. My man M is from Brooklyn. You see what happens. They
don't get the kind of embracement they deserve. They're two of the dopest
rappers in the game. Nobody can see them lyrically. If they rapped about
bullshit, they'd be world-famous. They're creative, they can harmonize
the fact that they're coming on some reality shit, people run from it.
Radio programmers would rather play some shit that doesn't mean anything.
The majority of the songs have no meaning to them. There's no Marvin Gaye's
diss Michael Jackson all you want, but the reason he was so big was because
he made meaningful music. Even songs like "Beat It." "Beat
It" is saying "get the fuck out of here with that bullshit,
get out of here." In the video he breaks up a fight and they all
start dancing together. This is why we grew up loving Michael Jackson.
He made songs like "Man in the Mirror." He made songs that meant
something. That's why he has this legacy. Fuck his personal life, as far
as music, he made music that was meaningful. Rap artists nowadays don't
you want to say to the HipHopGame audience?
of a new name to call this Hip Hop shit, because this shit isn't Hip Hop.
We should do a contest where people can submit their names, because this
is not the kind of Hip Hop that I grew up listening to.
rapper growing up was Kool G. Rap, and he was a beautiful storyteller.
He wasn't really trying to make you believe he was transporting ki's with
the mob. Artists nowadays, they try to make you believe this is their
lifestyle. We're not stupid. You're a celebrity and you're in the public
eye, you're not dumb enough to do shit. We knew what was real back then.
Kool G. Rap was a great storyteller. Slick Rick was a great storyteller.
You could hear the substance and knew "Children's Story" was
Hip Hop. Kids today can't even tell what's real and what's not real. Look
at all the rappers that went to jail after they changed their situation
and got established. It doesn't make sense.
I just want
to tell the people to look out for "The Greatest Story Never Told."
The album is crazy, and I know it's a classic. It's definitely a classic.
Hands down, no doubt about it, my shit is going to bang for five years.
I got a "Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" on my hands. Like I said,
my shit sticks to the ribs. Also, I'm about to start giving out a sneak
peek about what's to come. I'm going to start flooding the site with a
lot of records. We're going to get it right man. Big shout out to all
of the new artists doing their thing and all the artists I fuck with,
you know who you are. Keep pushing, and be authentic and you'll shine