I'm happy to be alive right now.
time we were supposed to do an interview, you were sick. Did those banana
Nutriments get you healthy?
you get started drinking those?
hustling back in the days. We weren't eating right. Heroes and Nutriments
and carrot cakes.
the Fishscale Tour going?
great. Everything is good.
you and M1 getting along?
is going good. We're on the same level and mind-frame. We do our work,
sign autographs, and leave.
the response to "Fishscale" been so far?
great. Great reviews so far. I can't complain.
the album keep getting pushed back?
wanted to get the spins up on the single.
you want to put out the "Back Like That" as a single?
a bigger record than "Be Easy." I needed something that would
put me on the radio and be there for awhile. I had to go do that. You
know how the shit goes. It's politics, man.
aside, what would have been your single?
I would have
given you the joint "The Strap." It's about how little kids
today don't get their ass beat no more. That's what they need right now.
I have a song like that talking about how I used to get beat when I was
little. Your moms would whoop your ass if you were bad. Nowadays, it's
easy for kids.
feel like some music leads kids in the wrong direction as well?
To each his own. There's not much of a message in songs nowadays. We need
that more, and we need to talk to the kids more. We need more conversations.
That's what rap is based on. That's not what it is.
happy with how the single is going so far?
there. It's got its loopholes. This is the industry.
could change the song now, would you go with a different R&B singer?
it the same. Whatever God allowed it to be, that's what it is. I don't
argue about things anymore.
the death of Jay Dee affect you?
It hurt me.
He'll never get to hear the finished product. It's always the good people
that things happen to. That's just the science of life. We'll all have
to face that at different times in our life. We just never know when.
Easy" was a sick song. How was it working with Pete Rock?
He's my nigga.
That was mad easy. I went through some beats of his and picked that.
happy with the response from "Be Easy?"
I'm content with it. The button could have been pressed on it where it
could have taken off more, but Def Jam didn't push the button on it. That's
what it is.
have more work coming up with Pete Rock?
Yeah. I have
more work on my album with Pete Rock.
you add "Momma" to your album?
another single. We had another artist on the song but her camp was acting
funny, and Def Jam used Megan Rochelle.
the intro on "The Champ"?
it working with Just?
I was on
the road. He sent me the music and I just did it.
two versions of the song. Are you happy with the final version?
right. It is what it is. You can't change anything. It just is what it
you feel about the way "Fishscale" came out?
have any issues with sample clearances on this album?
On this one,
no. As of right now, everything is good.
did you want to produce on this?
I got my
man Doom. I got J.Dilla, Madlib, Pete Rock, The Wisemen, Studio Steve,
and some new niggas.
you and MF Doom work together?
Me and Doom
are in the same pocket. We're in the same field. It's easy to work with
you and MF Doom going to do in the future?
to make some records and do what we do.
handle any production?
No. No production
any reason for that?
No. I had
him on every other album. I don't have to have him on every album. What
it is is what it is. This is Hip Hop. That's how I look at it.
son Sun-God on the album?
He's definitely on the album.
you helping develop him as an artist?
himself. He plays a lot of sports, so he's just doing what he has to do.
He has a few colleges looking at him for football. He writes rhymes, but
my main focus is not on him as a rapper.
you compare "Fishscale" to your other albums?
one of my vines. It is what it is. It's like one of my babies. I can't
say what's better or what's not better. It just is what it is for that
time. The next time will be a different time.
becoming Def Jam president, did anything change between the release of
this and "The Pretty Toney"?
No. I'm just
under new supervision now. That's what it is. I'm just going to do what
I do to make shit work, and they're going to do what they do to make shit
work. Hopefully we have a successful ride.
getting enough label support for this project?
I think so.
I think everybody is trying to do what they have to do to make everything
right. I'm just staying right behind it making sure the bus gets rolling.
a doll coming out too, how did that come about?
wanted to make a nice doll. I went out to L.A., we kicked it, I told them
how I wanted it, and it should be coming out soon.
cost of the doll is crazy.
ill how it's being made.
going to get into any other business ventures now that your doll is dropping?
a lot of things but I don't want to say it because I don't like to let
things go out into the universe without being manifested first. I'd rather
let my shit manifest and then bring it to the light.
happy with how Trife's career is going right now?
He's been writing and writing and writing. He's got his game-face on right
now and he's just waiting in the cut for everything to fall in place.
2006 looking for Trife?
to do a lot of shit. We're just waiting for the time.
you help Trife?
I just had
him around. He just had to sit around, watch, and learn.
guys working on a new Theodore Unit album?
We've got some cuts done already and we've got some cuts that we have
to get in and do. Everything will be complete real soon.
chemistry of the group change when Solomon Childs left?
all good. We still have the nucleus. It doesn't matter if anybody leaves.
It is going to be what it is going to be.
is it to have personality in your rhymes and stand out?
I don't know.
I just do what I do. What you can recognize in me, I may not be able to
see because I'm the one doing it. If you can see that, it's a blessing.
do you do your best writing?
In the house, on the water, or in the car. Somewhere by myself where I
can just zone out. A lot of this album I wrote in my house. Last year
I broke my ankle so I was in the crib a lot. I wrote this album with a
fucked up ankle.
you break your ankle?
On the motherfucking
ice. I can't walk on that shit right now.
hearing a radio interview with you where you said you write things down
and go back to it and can't remember what it means. Does that happen a
when I was rhyming abstract on a few cuts, when I'm just throwing shit
in the air and say whatever I feel like saying at the time. At the time,
I might have had an idea of what I wanted it to mean for myself. Those
were different styles I was using. That was during the "Supreme"
ever worry about fans not understanding everything you say?
adjusted. They were like, "I didn't know it was going to be like
that." It didn't mess me up, but I realized that I had to watch what
I said. Some people like it like that for some reason, and some people
are like, "What is going on?"
feel like you have to be accessible to everybody?
There are going to be joints on the album that everybody can get.
"Fade to Black" DVD, we see Slick Rick lending you his jewels.
It seems like there's a lot of respect between you two.
doubt. That's my homie. We're stuck in the same time zone. I love him.
That was one of my idols coming up. For me and him to be getting it on
in this era right here is a blessing.
inspire your story-telling songs?
On "The Sun," I went into his world. I was even inspired by
the way he dressed.
one of the only ones in the game that can compete with your chains?
On that level.
We have other brothers coming up like Busta Rhymes. Pharell and those
niggas are coming up, too.
ever influence your lyrics?
but not too much. What's real is real, but at the same time, this is just
the Wu Tang Tour go?
was great. It was successful. You can't ask for anything more than that.
have been rumors about everyone not getting along. Was it all good on
all good. Fuck rumors and fuck what people say. Fuck all that "he-say
guys record together on the road?
Wu Tang album any closer to seeing the light of day?
Deck told me in an interview that he doesn't feel the industry is ready
for another Wu album. Do you feel that's true?
I don't think
the Wu is ready for a new album. I think the world is ready but I don't
think Wu is ready until everybody comes together.
it going to take?
to take everybody to be serious and look each other in the eye and really,
really, really want to do this from the heart. Fuck the money and fuck
everything else and put your heart into it. Stop playing games, man. I
think that's the best way to get it done. It depends on everybody's schedules.
Everybody has built so much of a base where they got their own stuff popping
off. Now you have to find time to put the Wu album in the schedule.
important is it that everybody handles their issues with each other inside
the family instead of taking it to the media?
to do that. You're supposed to handle it with the family. All that other
stuff is irrelevant. It's not supposed to be anybody else's business.
Once it starts getting out there and it's everybody's business, it makes
it blow up even more. Now more people are whispering in your ear and all
that. I'm not going to go shut anybody down. If I have a problem with
somebody, I'm not going to go to radio and magazines and blow it up. That's
chemistry changed in the Wu or will it always be there?
I don't know.
I think it would change because it's been so long since we've worked together.
I can't even tell you what I think the chemistry would be. I don't know.
I don't know where to start from. You might get in the room and brothers
may not want to write around each other. I don't know how it might be.
It's all cool, though.
you going to make sure "Fishscale" is successful?
If the building
is on it like that and they let me do what I have to do, then it's all
regret that "Tush" was released before "Run" could
not that upset, but whatever happened just happened. I can't even cry
over spilt milk. What it is is what it is. The game is twisted. The building
was going through a lot of problems at the time and I got caught in it.
of people say New York is in a bad position. How do you feel about that?
We put ourselves
in that position. At the same time, what goes around comes around. It's
time for other niggas to get their burn. What goes up must come down.
You can't stay on top forever. At the same time, we have to do what we
do. I don't know how people look at Hip Hop. My eyes for Hip Hop are a
lot different than other peoples' eyes. I'm not saying I have the best
eyes. I feel that the old music that we used to listen to was the best
music. I feel that that's the way it should be. That was music you could
feel and have fun. Everything is too stale right now. To each his own.
We're in a fucked up state, though.
you blame for the situation?
and the record labels. Once you take money to play a joint, that really
knocks off the next nigga. Then you have DJ's that want you to make shit
"radio-friendly." Being "radio-friendly" kicks a lot
of the shit out when it was real. It's on both sides. You just have to
bend with the wind. That's why I told you I had to come like that for
the single. When in Rome, you have to do as the Romans do. That's what's
going on right now. It's politics, man.
see things getting better?
No, not really.
Everything is getting worse. You know that.
Wu bring back New York?
We have to
bring ourselves back first before we do anything else. If we fuck around,
everything is going to be the same. We have to bring ourselves back before
we do anything. It all starts with self.
ready to record with the Wu again?
to do whatever. The problem is that everybody else has to do what they
have to do. I've been like that. I have a lot of stuff that I have do
now, too. Everything has a line now and I can't just skip and go straight
to that and not fulfill my other obligations. Before, we used to depend
on that, but it's not first anymore. That's how it is.
an album with DJ Muggs, do you see yourself doing an album with one producer
and one concept?
I'm not sure.
I never looked at it like that.
you want to tell people about "Fishscale"?
It's a fun
joint. It's nice shit. It's a nice balance of real shit, but at the same
time, it's fun. It's a rollercoaster ride. You're not going to be mad
at it. It's me doing me. You're not going to be mad.
your goals for "Fishscale"?
It's in God's hands. I don't have a goal for "Fishscale." God
has the goal. It's out and I'm ready to do more music. It's out and I'm
ready to do more music. I don't like to be worried about what I'm going
to do on "Fishscale." I have more albums to create and more
mouths to feed. I don't get stuck on one album all the time and expect
it to do whatever. It could sell three copies, I don't give a fuck. This
is just what I do.
ever see yourself dropping a lost tapes-type of album some day?
I don't know.
I really can't tell you that. I'm so much on a spiritual level. All of
the questions you're asking me is in God's hands now. God is going to
give me my answers. Whatever He allows, that's just what it is. People
have to get back on God again. That's what time it is, G.
Hop ready for that?
I don't care
what it's ready for. Ready or not. I know it's "to each his own,"
but they better be, or else their punishment is going to be real severe
at the end of the day.
don't agree, they might tune you out.
On the Day
of Judgment, it doesn't matter if you agree. God has the last word at
the end of the day. He knows all of the secrets of the heart and the mind.
That's what it is right now. I don't care if you don't agree with me.
I'm in tune right now. I'm His servant.
hard practicing your spirituality on the road?
I'm conscious of a lot of things that I do.
veterans get respect in rock and roll but not Hip Hop?
I don't know.
Maybe it's because you're not putting in the same work that you used to.
I never thought about that.
age be a factor in Hip Hop?
A lot of young motherfuckers don't really know the essence of this shit.
If they don't know where it all started from, they'll never know where
it's going. They're just caught up in right now.
do you have for kids trying to get in the Hip Hop game?
Put God in
your life. Try to get in the game and do what you do. Work hard at it,
and put God first. Without the Father you're not going to ever make it
anywhere, I don't care how nice you are with it.
have any other projects you're working on?
joint and a couple songs with Raekwon.
Rae's album coming?
I haven't heard anything. I just have some shit that he wants me to get
you want to say to everyone?
28, go cop that album, "Fishscale." It's your boy, holler. That's
what it is.