chilling. I've been working and grinding in the studio all day and all
night. I don't sleep. I've been meeting with a lot of DJ's and trying
to get them on the same page as me. I need to give them everything they
need because the DJ's can make or break you. I'm grinding in the street
from square one like I don't even have a deal.
the DJ's been treating you so far?
A lot of them have been dropping a lot of jewels on me. I'm learning the
best promotion is your own. Everybody's showing a lot of support on the
records. Everything's cool so far.
the album coming?
real well. I can't even tell anybody what the hold-up is right now. I'm
just waiting my time. When my time comes, believe me I'll be ready and
I'll be here to stay.
Jam holding you back?
I'm not going
to say they're holding me back. I have a song coming out called "Don't
Ask Me" explaining the whole hold-up thing. If you want to know,
don't ask me, ask Def Jam. I'll make sure you're the first person to get
it. I'm not going to put Def Jam under the bus but I've been ready and
I honestly don't know what the hold-up is to tell you the truth.
have a tentative release date yet?
No. I'm just
trying to keep grinding in the streets with my music.
the album sounding so far?
I'm my worst
critic. I always look for something more, something next-level. I'm looking
for things for my next album. We already wrapped up the first album. We're
looking for that big record for the world. I can't say it's Def Jam's
fault because they're also looking out for my best interests because I
don't have that record for the world and they don't want me to flop.
been involved in the making of The Commencement?
Jay is a
busy person. It's hectic for anybody to get his time. He listens and he
throws pointers here and there, but as far as being hands-on, uh uh, it's
been the biggest difficulty you've faced recording your debut album?
The biggest difference is separating myself. There was one point in time
when I was stubborn. Young Guru, who's A&R'ing the album, and my father
and some other guys had a talk and they told me I had to separate myself
and I had to make music for people other than myself. I was making music
for myself and the streets loved it, but I have to also do it for the
people who are going to buy my records and feed my family. That's the
biggest difficulty. I have to step out of my box. I know that recently,
on the records I've dumbed-down the most on, those are the records that
are the biggest for me.
of HipHopGame's listeners don't like it when you do club-type tracks.
How difficult is it to balance the different types of songs?
I know I
have a very, very strong team behind me. I listen to my pops. My father
has me listening to different music. He tells me how to format certain
choruses. He's really showing me how to format songs. He's a terrific
songwriter and he plays a lot of instruments. He's very musically-orientated.
feel the pressure to make a big club song right now?
I kind of
do. The best songs to me come out natural. They're not forcing me to make
that song, but at the same time, I feel that pressure because I don't
want to miss my goal. I'm being patient and whatever happens, happens.
happy with how "Henny On Pour" did?
just threw that out there. It was a white-label. We threw that out there
so people wouldn't forget about me. It was supposed to be on my street
album. It's for my people to let them know I'm still here.
thing about that song is that you're not even 21.
the hood, though. I'm not going to sit here and say I'm an alcoholic,
but I've had a drink before and I've been in the club environment. I have
another song on my album called "Brown Water" about Hennessey.
supposed to graduate high school this year, right?
actually being home-schooled right now. I'm not on a timeline for anything
with Def Jam, but there is a certain quarter they want me to come out
on, so a lot of my focus right now is on my music.
have any regrets from being home-schooled?
It's fun being home-schooled but at the same time it's boring. It's key
to go to class with your friends. The thing with me is that I get distracted
very easily and everyone always wanted to battle. I couldn't get any peace
in the classroom. That's why home-schooling helped me.
your relationship with Tommy Mottola today?
out a lot. I've never met anybody like him. He inspires me musically and
everything. He's a very cool person. He's very hip and he's a very cool
guy all-around. There's nothing bad you can say about Tommy Mottola.
going on with the Militia today?
on the Militia album. We haven't started shopping it because we're waiting
to see how my album does. Everyone should have heard of Rain and his Only
in America mixtape. We have some DVD's coming out and we're working on
a movie. Everything has to fall in place. That's why I'm feeling a little
bit of pressure, but I'm ready.
feel like the members of the Militia are relying on your album to be successful?
I don't want
to say they're relying on me, but I owe them because they're riding with
me. A few of them actually had other options and they chose to stay with
me. That means a lot to me. They could have gone somewhere else but they
showed me they really want to fuck with me. I really appreciate that.
I'm going to make sure we pop regardless.
your father been up to lately?
is working on a new street album. He's still popping. My father is still
writing with Tariq. My father has a band called Crazy Head. They're do
alternative and R&B music. He's also doing production on my album.
You're definitely going to be hearing from him.
happy with how the Bronx is represented today?
In a way,
yes. You have Fat Joe and the Terror Squad and a lot of legends. I just
want to be on the list. I don't want to say I'm bringing New York back,
but I want New York to get its recognition back.
tired of hearing how "New York fell off"?
South is doing their thing. You can't hate on the South. A lot of people
are trying to turn it into an East Coast vs. South thing, but I can't
do that. I have too much family down south and I grew up a couple years
in Virginia. I just want New York to get recognized. I guess New York
rappers aren't coming out with the music people want to hear.
fault is that?
say it's the artists' fault. It's all politics. You just have to roll
with the punches, make your music, and not hop on the bandwagon. Everything
happens for a reason. New York was doing the shake and now everybody's
leaning and rocking. I'm a big fan of southern music. I grew up on it.
New York might have a new dance and then the south will come back. It's
a cycle. Everybody has a turn and I'm just waiting on mine.
your next move?
to drop this album. I also have a mixtape coming out with DJ Drama, another
one with DJ Green Lantern, one with DJ Hitz, and one with Big Mike. I'm
going to start hitting HipHopGame. I have 300 songs in my G4 computer
waiting to be released.
you want to say to everyone?
rolling with the Militia and you feel my music, thank you a lot. I also
want to thank all the haters because if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't