Everything is good.
What was it like for you growing up in Lawrence, MA?
It’s Murder Mass all day. My story’s not too different from the average dude. There was the struggle and it’s nothing that’s too super-duper exciting. I had my struggle and got into trouble, but I don’t like to get into that because it takes away from the music. I like to let the music to speak for itself.
How did you form ST. Da Squad with Termanology?
Term was rapping and he was recording in the studio. I had known him since we were younger. When we got older, we ran our separate ways. He was rhyming and I wasn’t really taking a serious approach. Term was recording songs and I was freestyling and making bullshit. He dragged me into the studio and was like, ‘Fuck with it.’ One 16 led to a song and then S.T.R.E.E.T was formed. Later on we abbreviated it to ST. and expanded and formed the team.
You guys are becoming more well-known by the day. Are you surprised at all by the success you’ve attained so far?
I mean, of course, because when you’re younger, you’re just doing it and you’re not thinking about it. I haven’t even accomplished half of what Term has. That’s just me being straight up. I’m happy as hell for him. We grew up listening to DJ Premier and we used to argue about who was better, DJ Premier or Dr. Dre, and now he’s really doing it, from getting production from Primo to Large Pro to Buckwild. It’s a beautiful thing. We came up loving these cats and loving their style of production. And now it’s a time when no one’s really fucking with them no more. The game has gone in a totally different direction, not to take anything from what the new cats are doing because hip-hop is bigger than it ever was, but it’s up to cats like us to keep that sound alive and fuck with the Primo’s and the Pete Rock’s. It’s a beautiful thing.
And I haven’t really done as much with producers as he has, but I did the hook on “That Thump” with Buckwild. That was real dope to do that, I fuck with Buck.
A lot of people may look at your situation like Term is bringing you up, but how important have you and the rest of ST. been to Termanology’s success?
I think we’ve both been important to each other. Term does his own thing, but I can tell him jokingly that some shit is wack and he can say, ‘Fuck you’ on some joking shit, but I think my opinion means a lot. He revises and edits a lot based on what we say. It’s on some family shit but also on some fan shit. We talk about what the people would want. We come at it like that. Plus we’re hungry like he is. He can never slouch too much. He can’t get on a track with Ea$y Money and not bring his A-game because I’ll put him in a box. We bring the beast out of each other always. We have to all work hard. That’s pretty much what it comes down to.
How did your Hard Body mixtape do for you?
I think it was well-received and it’s a good representation for who I am as an MC and where I’m trying to go with it. Shout out to J. Cardim. He did all the production on that. That’s our album. The first real project I did that was all original material. I think that’s real important. I don’t take away from what cats are doing because hip-hop is universal, but as far as “that sound,” I think that Hard Body really represents it. Shout out to HipHopGame. You guys really showed me love on that project. Thanks to you guys we can actually get a response on it and I think that cats really liked it.
What was it like working solely with J. Cardim on Hard Body?
The reason why I did the shit with Cardim is first of all, we have so many fucking joints that it’s pathetic. We were sitting on crazy joints. It was only a matter of time. And he’s my man. He’s not just some producer cat that I fuck with. I go to his crib and we joke around and we fight like brothers. That’s what happens with family. But I also like the idea of one producer because a lot of albums these days don’t sound like albums. They sound like compilations. They have artists just reaching out to who’s hot. It’s cool because it gives you a variety, but then it just starts to sound like a compilation. That’s why I like Hard Body so much. It’s like it’s on some Gang Starr shit. Plus there are only two of us working on the music so there are not too many opinions. I have a lot of breathing room and creative control because we didn’t reach out to too many heads and there’s not too much input. It comes out good that way, I think.
How far are you trying to take Hard Body?
I just want everybody to get a good idea for who I am as an MC and I think that represents that. I’m trying to take it where everybody else is trying to take it – worldwide. We know that it’s not only about good music. If it was only about good music, then a lot of guys that we’ve never heard of would be real successful right now. It’s about getting on your grind and making connections and making things happen.
How important is it to you to be known as a solo artist and not just as a member of ST. Da Squad?
It’s important because everybody needs to have their own identity. There are bits and pieces of us that are the same, but we’re also our own people. It’s important to stand out because you want everybody to get an idea of who you are. With most cliques, every member would want to sound like Term. Term’s coming out and everybody would want to sound like Term. There would be no diversity within the camp. But we all have our own style and our own way of doing things. We don’t all want to rap like Term and we don’t want to be looked at as Term’s sidekicks.
Have you started working on your debut album?
I’m actually in the process of getting some joints together for it. I’m about to do a follow-up to Term’s 50 Bodies. It’s called 50 More Bodies. I’m reaching out to any producers that want to get down. I just want to work with down-to-earth producers. I don’t have money to pay them like that, but anybody that wants to get down, I would love to get down. I just want to make shit happen and make some hot-ass music. That’s what HipHopGame wants.
Will there be an ST. Da Squad album soon?
The ST da Squad album is definitely going to happen, but right now, everybody is focused on the identity of themselves. We’re nine members deep. We’re real deep, so to get nine heads to come together for one project is tough, but it’s going to come.
Are you looking for a major deal or are you happy staying independent?
I’m going to keep it real – I’m going wherever the money’s at and whoever wants to put me out there. Everybody wants the major label push and the independent money. It’s hard to tell you. I just want my shit to be exposed. I love making music. I just want to get by on it and I just want my music to be heard. Hip-hop is my passion and I put everything into it. If I can just be heard on an independent level, then we can do that. But if I can’t even be heard, then I wouldn’t want to go independent. It just depends on the situation. I just want to be heard, but I don’t want to go too far outside of who I am as an artist.
What’s the next move for Ea$y Money?
The album and ST Da Squad. Dan Green is doing way good for me. He’s making things happen for me. He’s been real instrumental in Term’s success too. I’m going to get on my grind and make some things happen. Me and Term started out in the same group and now he’s way ahead of me. I got into some bullshit and now it’s time to focus. That’s my kick in the ass. It’s time to stop bullshitting and it’s time to go. And I just had a son. He’ll be a month-old tomorrow. That’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I need to put him in a good position so I have to make the best of this music shit.
Would you say you’re more focused now than you’ve ever been?
I’m more focused than ever. Ever! I’m ready to smash everything right now.
What do you want to say to everybody?
I just want to shout out HipHopGame for taking the opportunity because y’all fuck with everyone from the underground cats that are hungry like myself to the cats that are in a good position. I appreciate it. I just want tell everybody that’s a fan of Ea$y Money and everybody that’s not, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and that’s making great hip-hop music. That’s what ST da Squad is going to bring to the table. We’re going to keep doing that. Respect.