Your debut album Street Medicine is set to drop this year. How far along are you on it right now?
It’s coming along good. I’m about seven songs into it. I’ve been recording records all my life and I’m trying to cram all of my life into 14 tracks.
You’ve been releasing songs on a consistent basis for years. I would imagine it’s easy for you to come up with the material.
It’s not too hard. The only problem is getting them record execs to push them buttons to make it take off.
Do you think Poe Boy and Cash Money appreciate what you’re bringing to the table?
Yeah. If they don’t they’re going to be in trouble because I’m perfecting my craft. I’m still a student to the game and still humble. I’m still grinding and good music can’t be denied. Good charisma and good spunk can’t be denied. When they hear it I hope they appreciate it.
Is Cash Money meeting your expectations so far?
Of course. I’ve been waiting for this day all my life, for like 20 years. I’ve been grinding hard and trying to perfect my craft and it’s basically coming to a head now. I going to the Grammy’s because I made Tha Carter III album. That’s what it is.
What does the title Street Medicine mean to you?
It’s ill in the streets. Ever since the loss of 2Pac Shakur, the streets have been in a hurting process and it came to the music. It’s about having that real genuine sound in music and that hunger that he put into his tracks. That’s why I named the album Street Medicine.
I remember hearing you on DJ Obscene’s mixtapes way back. Did you ever feel at some point throughout the last four years that you weren’t going to have a successful music career?
Nah. I never had a doubt in my mind. I always had the faith that it was gonna happen. Basically I know that good music can’t be denied and that if you keep going to batting practice every day, you’re going to be hitting home runs because practice makes perfect. That’s the first thing I learned.
Were you ready to blow up on a national level four years ago?
I knew I wasn’t ready to blow on a national level at that time because of the grooming process. You can look at the competition around you and know where you’re at and right now I know that I’m light years ahead of my competition. Street Medicine is coming soon.
How did you get ahead of your peers like that?
I have access to a studio 24 hours a day. I always had access to Poe Boy Entertainment’s studios and that’s where I groomed myself and my vocabulary. I was basically practicing every day in the studio. That’s the one thing that I think I have that a lot of cats don’t have – that studio time.
What kind of songs do you focus on making when you’re in the studio?
Oh, man, you gotta make big records. You gotta think big and make big records. You gotta think big and think like a legend. You gotta think like you already made it before.
What producers helped you improve as an artist?
We got an in house producer named J. Rock. He basically was working on my timing and everything like that.
What was it like working with Wayne on “La La” off Tha Carter III?
It was big. He called me and told me to come in. Busta Rhymes was there to basically kick it off. It was crazy.
In your verse you talk about being nine under par. Are you nice on the golf course?
Nine under par in the golf cart! Nah, I ain’t got no golf game, man. I got a mean dice game though. I can shoot some dice.
That won’t help you on the golf course but you’d do well in Vegas.
Oh yeah. It would help in Vegas and it helps on the corner in my ‘hood.
What does working with Lil’ Wayne bring out of you?
I see a lot of Lil’ Wayne in myself. It’s about working, man. He’s still humble and he’s still a student to the game but he’s still doing his thing. Yeah, man, that’s the reason why he’s so great. He’s in that studio every day perfecting his craft. That’s golden.
What’s it been like working with Cool and Dre on Street Medicine?
Oh, they’re my brothers. We all come from Miami so it’s all ‘hood. We joke half of the time and work half of the time.
Is it true that Timbaland approached you to get on Street Medicine?
Yeah. Oh, man, oh, man. I don’t even know what to say. Words can’t describe it, man.
Do you have any problem getting beats from producers today for freestyles and mixtape tracks?
Nah. Producers know Brisco and they know how I come on tracks. It would be my pleasure and their pleasure for me to get on their tracks. You can send them to email@example.com. Holla at me. I need all these beats. My album is not closed. I’m still working.
Do you listen to everything you get?
Yeah because it comes to my phone. It’s real aggravating to check but I could check them right now.
Do you ever get some beats that just confuse you as to why a producer would send them to you?
I always think about when I was starting out. I wasn’t that good yet and you never know where greatness lies in different people.
Do you cringe when you hear your older songs?
I hate it. I hate hearing my older songs because I can hear it. I can hear the change in me. When I listen to my old records, it’s like a teacher giving you all your old papers back at the end of school and you got all your A’s and B’s and C’s and D’s and F’s? I feel like I got a whole shitload of F’s but they were good F's at the time.
That’s a good way to put it. How do you put a song together today?
Oh, man, just going through it. I go through the past experiences in my life. There’s things that I can just go on and on about. There’s just so much. I’m just observant. I watch everybody and I watch everything about everybody. I’m just observant.
You’ve also ghostwritten for some artists. I’m guessing you can’t tell us anything.
Nope because my rent is due and those people pay good. That’s the thing about ghost’in’. I wouldn’t be a good ghost if I talked about it.
You’ve done a lot of features, from Wayne to Birdman to Rick Ross. What do you think it is about you that allows you to work with all these artists before you had an album come out?
I think it’s just the way I carry myself. They see how loyal I am and real recognize real. I basically keep it real with it them. Real recognize real and you don’t gotta say nothing.
What’s been your favorite collaboration so far?
Oh, man, that Lil’ Wayne album. That was the biggest thing so far. That got me nominated for a Grammy. I come from a small place Opa Locka and for me to be nominated for a Grammy, to be a part of that whole thing is just overwhelming.
What’s life like in Opa Locka?
Opa Locka right now is a war zone. Years back growing up it was the craziest place to grow up in. It made me the man I am today. I’m just happy to represent that place.
What artists should we watch for coming out of Opa Locka?
Well, I’m only going to name one but there's a lot of guys trying to do their thing. I’m anchoring the whole Miami movement. I’m anchoring the whole Opa Locka movement. Basically whatever I say goes right now. I just want to establish a chain of command in Miami with what we’re doing and what we’re putting in. The chain of command is going to get a lot stricter in Miami and I think we’ll get a lot more money if we get like that.
A couple years ago you and Flo Rida had a pretty similar buzz before he blew up with “Low.” Why do you think he was able to blow up like that?
Because of the kind of music that he made. He was hands-on with that and trying to make that work. God don’t give you nothing that you ain’t ready for. He don’t put nothing on your plate that you can’t eat. I guess everybody has their time. His time was a year ago and my time is now.
Flo Rida also has songs that are more pop-influenced than raw hip-hop. Would you be down to make pop songs if it meant blowing up?
Of course. Of course. I make music. Period.
How much of your album is gritty hip-hop versus radio-friendly songs?
I wouldn’t even put it in genres and brackets. I would just put it as a classic album. Nothing’s missing from that album. There’s going to be nothing missing from that album. You’ll have everything you need on that album.
How would you describe yourself as a rapper today?
One of the best, man. Everybody say they’re the best but I’m really one of the best. I’m light years ahead. Call me Elroy Jetson. I’m in the sky. I’m in space.
Do you eat your toast and waffles in a single pill as well?
You already know! (laughs) I got a maid named Rosie too! You already know! (laughs)
Do you feel The Jetsons are an underrated and underappreciated cartoon?
Yeah. The world is like that. They’ll smile in your face and then you lose focus. That’s the one thing I think we need to change in this world that we’re living in. We have to give people their credit and their just due. That’s how people really get on.
How did you feel watching Barack Obama’s Inauguration the other day?
It was perfect because it was at a time when we were celebrating Martin Luther King. It really made us feel good. It feels like there’s a young Martin Luther King there. Shout out to the Barack Obama family. My girlfriend’s name happens to be Michelle too.
I heard a story that you spent over $400,000 of your mother’s wrongful death policy in less than a year.
Yeah. I spent that shit in less than a year. It just blew me up and basically made me the man I am today. You can’t cry over spilt milk and I have 10 gallons of milk on my floor. It just made me a stronger person. I feel like no sticks or stones or words can break me or nothing.
How do you even spend that much money in one year?
Just doing a lot of shit. Just doing a lot of shit. (laughs) Put that in quotations – just doing a lot of shit.
Did that help your rap career at all?
Yeah. The things I experienced, they just blew me up.
Are you a little more tight-fisted with your money today?
I spend it. It’s called necessities and wants. I make sure everything I need is there and everything I want is there too. I basically do what I want. God has been blessing me and I’m just happy to be in this position.
Do you think rappers are feeling the effects of the recession?
We’re not above the recession because the cats that give us the money, they’re in a recession. Nah. We’re in a recession. It’s fucked up out here. There ain’t no work and ain’t no jobs.
What would you do to fix the economy?
Just give them the fucking money that they have sitting in the fucking treasury. We have the money. Give us the money.
In a way they did that with the corporate bailout, which I think you’re against.
They shouldn’t have done that. They should have given it to the people and everything else would have fallen in place.
If Obama ever needs another Secretary of the Treasury, can he call you?
He can give me a call. Just put cameras up in my office because I’ll want to take this money. (laughs)
Do you think fans expect less of artists in terms of lyrics that are coming from Miami?
Of course. That brings the sharpness factor out. I know I have surprises for fans. I surprise them every time. And artists are wrong when they say they don’t write. I make complete sentences. I was very good at language arts in school. I make complete sentences. I know the difference between adjectives, verbs and nouns.
Do you think the world is ready for Brisco?
They better be. I hope they’re ready for the realest thing in the world since 2Pac Shakur.