You have had a lot on your table these past several months. Why have you released so many projects lately?
I am really into consistency right now. I dropped The Yellow Tape album and Mooga so it has been an exciting summer. Now we are getting in the lab so we can release Broken Safety 3 at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
Mooga was your last release. Are you getting the response you expected from the album?
You know what? I like HipHopGame a lot so I'll keep it real. Honestly, I am just disgusted about that whole release.
Was it the album that you weren't satisfied with or the label?
The label. This label that it's under is just riff raff and it was the way the business was handled and I didn't agree on a lot of the shit that went down. At the end of the day it's a hot album and I need people to know that. Everyone around me that does know that is feeling the same way I'm feeling - like why is this not being promoted right?
Good promotion seems to be the problem for many artists today. Do you feel cheated out of Mooga?
Well I'm still excited because this is what I like to do, make hot music for people. But at the same time I feel that the people are being cheated out of it more because of how I was being presented to them. The promotions over there is very slow and is like the worst I have ever seen. I'm not going to bite my tongue on this one. When they don't do good and I do my hardest to make it a hot-ass album that ain't right. A lot of people didn't know that I dropped Mooga in stores and they were surprised so it's not even like an album, it's like a mixtape. I feel like there's more to come from me and a lot that people haven't seen yet. I feel that I am being sheltered sometimes by these labels to the point where niggas can't even see what I want them to see. At the end of the day I just have a lot of animosity. I'm disgusted with the whole rap game right now.
Can you share some of that disgust?
It's not so much disgust but it's just not the same anymore. The dudes that I'm competitive with now just aren't putting out albums and people aren't copping them they way they used to. Before you would cop an album and you would cherish the cover and spin it like 200 times. Now it's just like, 'Oh shit, his album just dropped. I'm gonna go download it.'
The title Mooga stands for Money Over Other Gangster Activities and the cover is of your face on a bill. Is this album like your ode to dough?
Ya man, we call it mooga because that's what you call dirty money. On the street we got bills in our pockets and it ain't that crispy shit from the bank but at the end of the day the whole album is about getting that mooga and it's a part of your life. I got a lot of joints though on there. I got joints on there that you have to rewind, I'm that nigga that keeps that swing going in the game. There ain't many artists that got that kind of music that you gotta rewind and say to yourself “That's that shit.”
It's no secret now on your feelings about the promotion but how has the response from the fans been?
Man, I just got done signing some autographs for the fans in Brooklyn. You can tell they knew what was up, they expected the whole 40 Cal deal. You know like a video and a commercial but instead like I said, they got cheated. The fans that know me copped it and loved it but if you don't know me you're not going to be turned on by this album because you won't know that it is even out.
The features on this album are slim. Was that intentional?
With me every project I do has a lot of features. I just wanted to show people that I can do it by myself more or less. To be honest I probably would have put a couple people that I thought would have made some tracks a little better but all in all I liked how I did it.
We did get to hear JR Writer and DukeDaGod on it. Are you closer with them than you are with Cam or Jim Jones?
Yeah, I guess I am closer with them but I'm cool with Cam. I was with him a little while ago partying. It was never jut business because we were close before all this record shit because we were from the same block. I will tell you that my relationship is stronger with Cam than with Jim right now.
Did you try to get Cam on Mooga?
Cam was in a dormant period and doing what he had to do. I just caught him at a bad time, I mean he was on my last project so I'm fine that he didn't get on Mooga.
Do you know what's going on with him now?
He got an album he's working on that's called Crime Pays but I told him I think it should be called the Owner's Manual. That's all I know right now.
Cam'ron sold Juelz Santana's contract this summer. How close were you with Juelz and what did you think about that move?
I don't really know the specifics about that to tell you the truth. It was all business. It's the decisions that the bosses have to make. If this was the NBA it's just like him getting traded to another team because they are no bad feelings at the end of the day, it's all a big business. We wasn't that cool like where we would go to the bar but we would get in the studio and do our thing. He was on my last project and he's from Harlem so we were down. The best way to describe our relationship is that we are at a barbeque but sitting at different tables.
In general what are your feelings about Dipset today?
I feel like disappointed because if we would have kept it how we kept it we would be running this rap shit like we were before. This kind of shit makes you feel like you want to fuck shit up because you have come so far to be back where you started. It's like when your moms and pops break up because you know it's still family but it's a little separated.
The production array on Mooga was not as familiar. Where you trying to find a new sound?
On this album I wanted to give the new dudes the shot. For production I get mad beats by anyone and me and the homies sit there like American Idol and we listen to all of it and pick the beats we want. We will find one dude that has that beat and he may not even be known at all but we will take it from there because it's hot. We gave a lot of new dudes the shot. There is nothing lazy about the production on Mooga.
That's starting to catch on now where more and more artists look to the smaller producers for the tracks. Why do you think that is happening?
To me it's the new dudes that are hungrier. The dudes that are known are making the same shit and they have joints that are hot but they are charging a lot of money. The new dudes that have that same kind of sound just really want a shot and aren't in it just for the check. I'd rather open up the lane for the new dude then pay the established dude big bucks. I do get the known dudes beats but I'm coming from the underground so I've always been broadening my circle and not keeping things exclusive.
Were you trying to get away from that signature Diplomat sound?
Well everyone knows that there is a Diplomat sound but we all put our own touches on it so it's never really the same. I'm different too and I do what I want to do. On Mooga I was just trying to show people my versatility and just be me.
How does Mooga stand against your previous albums?
I think it's as hot as Broken Safety 2 but I don't want it to be overlooked like, 'Oh, another Dipset project…' The people gotta hear it to really dig what I'm saying and feel the whole energy of Mooga.
Your style revolves around battle lyrics, do you ever think you will stray away from that?
I don't think it's always battle lyrics but I do tend to keep it in that genre, especially when I'm freestyling. That was my main fan base and that's how I came up so I got to keep it there. But on Mooga I did the Spanish joint and then a joint for the ladies so I'm not really always aggressive and on the offensive side.
Speaking of battling, will that ever come back into the picture or do you think battling is just a stepping stone into a studio career?
Truthfully I think battling just died out. When I was doing it, it was the shit. It was like a heavy weight fight when I was doing it. Now it's just like a streetball game, it ain't hot no more. The best battles now are when the dudes get into fights because that's the only entertainment to people now. When I was battling I had seen some championship shit Fight Klub Pay Per View kind of deal. I saw it working but then it got fucked up and now it's dying.
What was your favorite battle moment?
When I battled this dude and Raekwon was in the crowd and I said a few lines that was so crazy that he just left the building he didn't even want to judge the shit, he was like, 'That was too crazy. I'm out.' Everyone just left the building. That was probably the dopest moment I have ever experienced while battling.
If you could battle any mainstream heavyweight who would it be?
I can see why, but can you explain?
Because he on top right now and if he gave me a shot then I would beat him and I would be on top. I know a lot of dudes on the street who just want to battle me and they got a camera in their back pocket so they can stick it up on YouTube or something. Everyone ones to battle the big dogs.
Do you think you have grown from the battle rapper to the 40 Cal that we see today?
Yeah, I still got it in me to do that but it's not even popping no more. Maybe if someone did some good TV battling shit then I would do it. That goes back to your question about battle rap lyrics. I still try to satisfy those fans that wish I would go back to that by giving them that in my songs on the albums and mixtapes.
How's the mixtape game treating you today?
That shit is dead too. I was talking to Duke Da God and he told me that the shit ain't popping no more. Where I come from when the DJ Clue tapes came out if you were on the tape it really meant something. Now everything is exclusive and bull shit. Anyone can be a DJ, all you need is Limewire and Photoshop. All you have to do is put together tracks and call yourself a DJ and put it out online and people will download. The game is just saturated, there are a lot of dudes that ain't really getting their shine because they ain't putting the tapes out right.
Before we end can you tell us a little bit more about Broken Safety 3?
Yah, I'm working on that. I'm going to let a sample go before the end of the year to let people know what's poppin'. People call me Mr. Consistency, I already dropped three projects this year. I just want people to hear it so I need to spend more time promoting. I got different features and things you wouldn't expect, I got the last person you would expect on Broken Safety 3. People are going to go crazy, people are going to be like, 'Damn, I know this nigga did not get on with him.'