Cory, long time no speak. Where have you been?
Honestly, just in the studio, recording. I’ve been doing a lot of heavy tracks and writing. I’ve been working, as a whole, just been keeping it going. I’ve been on the low and staying quiet because I’m not one on talking. I’m more on action. When people hear the product, they’ll definitely be happy with it.
There were rumors that you retired at one point. Was there any truth to that?
Nah, those are false. Plus there’s another rumor that I also got dropped from Def Jam. Love is love up there. A lot of people got it twisted that I got dropped. I left. I have nothing against anybody up there. I just felt it was time to step off. A lot of people think I got dropped, but at the end of the day, it’s all love. Jay is still somebody in the game that I definitely look at as a legend and a pioneer and it’s always going to be that way with me.
One of the last songs you released on Def Jam was “Henny On Pour,” which was very different from what got you signed. Were you making songs on Def Jam that maybe didn’t represent you 100%?
I can’t 100% say that. I’m going to do me on everything, regardless. People are going to hear me no matter what beat I’m on. They’re going to learn who I am in my lyrics. I’m a street, hip-hop dude. I’m in the street. I came up on that grimy era of hip-hop and that’s what I represent. I’m stuck in that Ready to Die era and I think it’s missing today. A lot of people are pointing their fingers at the South, but they got their chance. I’m not saying everything they do is hot there, but not everything we do in New York is hot either. Are you going to point fingers or are you going to drop hot music? Nobody can deny that we don’t have that fire around us. We have that 100% fire. I’m trying to keep it 100% me now. Sometimes people feel like they’re under the gun and they have to make that record to crossover and get those fans. Me, I’m not like that. At the end of the day, it’s real and that’s how I’m going to keep it.
Did you get the attention you needed while you were at Def Jam?
Honestly, I’m not even supposed to get into it right now. There were a couple of things going on that I didn’t feel comfortable with at the end of the day. It was nothing really major. I can’t really even talk about it right now, but it’s a bunch of stuff. It all adds up. I don’t hold no grudges against anybody and I don’t want anybody to think that I would ever have something against Jay. It’s not serious like that. At the end of the day, I have to keep my mouth shut, work and be patient. I’ve been signed for a few years now and it takes time. Every dog has his day.
What did your father, Peter Gunz, think of the Def Jam situation?
He’s going to hate me for already talking about this. I’m not really supposed to be talking about any of this stuff. I’m still cool with a lot of people up there. I don’t want people to think that I have something against anybody up there. It’s all cool. It’s not even that serious. Guru is my man. I still talk to Guru almost every day. That’s my dude. I know a couple people up there who work in the radio department. There are no hard feelings for anybody up there. I’ll get into it later. The public will know soon enough.
Are you looking to go independent now that you’re a free agent?
I’m not opposed to it. One thing with me is that I want my music heard. I’m not the type of dude to take the first check that comes and run with it, even if it’s a big check. I want the people that are going to come together in whatever building I’m in to push me. That’s what I’m looking for.
What have you been working on lately?
Honestly, still, my album and a bunch of different projects. I’m writing for a couple of artists. I’m not even supposed to say that. I’m writing music still and writing my album. I got a chain of mixtapes getting ready to drop. People are going to be hearing me a lot more. Like I said earlier, I don’t like talking on things. I’m more of an action-type of person with it. For me, I’m going to let the product speak for itself. There’s a lot of music that I kept that I should have kept hitting the people with and that’s my fault for leaving the public eye. I have to keep it consistent.
Where do you see your buzz at right now?
Right now, I feel like I’m in the dark, but God put me in a good place. I didn’t even get a look yet. A lot of people see me on DVDs and they heard me on the radio a few times, but the public didn’t really get to see me yet. A lot of people don’t know me, even on the East Coast. A few people know me, but not a lot of people have seen my visual. I still have a chance, regardless of what I’m going to do. I know I’m going to keep spitting fire and keep it hot, regardless. I never got my look and I haven’t got my shot yet. That’s what I’m grinding for. I want to be professional and I want to go with the people that are going to give me that look and are going to do it the right way. They have to market me and give me that right look. I want to find the right people for that.
Is your debut album still titled The Commencement?
The Commencement, that was an idea for an album. I went through a lot of changes. There was one time when I was even considering putting the pen down, which I laugh at and regret thinking because hip-hop is in my blood. I looked at it like I wanted to stop doing it, but I just took all of the negatives in and it made me more of a monster. I feel like I got more stress on me and more things that people can relate to with me now. It’s a struggle. I haven’t put my album out and I’m still in the ‘hood. It’s not like I left my block or did nothing wrong, but I didn’t get my look yet so you can’t say, “Cory did this and never dropped this” because I never got a chance. Nobody has heard a project from me yet, just mixtapes. So once I drop that album and I get that proper push, then it will be for the people how they see me. That will be another story.
Is your group the Militia still together?
The Militia is Cory Gunz and Hash.
What happened between you and Rain, who used to be in the Militia?
I’m not even going to comment on that. Sometimes people jump ship. I don’t want anybody to stir up any more conflict. At the end of the day, it’s all love. It is what it’s going to be. I can’t be mad. There’s but so much I can do. My passion is loyalty. That’s the street rule. I wouldn’t feel right holding him under contract and he’s going to be looking at me like, ‘What kind of nigga are you? You’re promising me stuff and you have me under contract and I might miss my boat.’ We don’t want people to ever feel like that. We’re going to do our own thing and that’s what it is. At the end of the day, it’s Cory Gunz and Hash. The Militia mixtape is coming soon along with Hash’s mixtape and my new mixtape series The Best Kept Secret is coming soon. There’s a bunch of different ventures coming soon and everybody will hear it sooner or later. You can not deny fire. I’m extremely humble, but it’s time. Dudes are just bringing the ignorance out of you and that’s what it’s going to be.
How did you come up with The Best Kept Secret mixtape series?
That’s a mixtape series idea I’m coming out with. There’s series like Lil’ Wayne’s The Carter series and The Drought is Over series. Not a lot of people heard my last mixtape and I was kind of upset at that. I don’t know if we’re going to do the re-release on that and leak it again. I don’t know. I just know that everybody better watch out because in ’08, I’m not taking no prisoners. Like I said before, I’m not the arrogant type. The music will speak for itself. The people who know hip-hop are going to know what time it is.
Are you looking at getting back on fans’ radar as a challenge?
Definitely. I don’t look at it as good and bad. It’s kind of my fault for staying out of the loop. I didn’t go anywhere. I got stuff that was sounding dated, but I still record. I got thousands of songs and I’m not even supposed to talk about that. I’m a studio junkie. I love being in the studio. I’ll go in the studio and stay in the studio for days. I’ll lock in and not even come out. When I hear something that I love, I sit and write to it. Regardless of where I’m at and what I’m doing, if I hear something that I like, I’m writing it and it’s done. That’s just how I am.
Do you still talk to Tommy Motolla today?
Yeah. Tommy’s definitely cool. He’s definitely one of my mentors and somebody I look up to in the music industry. He’s very nice and as far as experience, he got me on my one’s and two’s in the game. He showed me a lot and I can never take that away from him. Tommy is definitely a cool dude.
What’s the next move for Cory Gunz?
The next move for Cory Gunz is to hit the streets and to keep it going real hard. I have to set a couple of things straight. HipHopGame will be the first place to get the product when it’s done. Right now it’s Hash and Cory Gunz.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Like I said in the interview, I’m not one for talking. I’m more on actions and I’m taking no prisoners in ’08. That’s all you need to know. I’m not going to say, “I’m back” because I didn’t go nowhere. Just keep your ears open.