Between your Thug Angelz album with Shabazz the Disciple and your collab album Beneath the Heavens with producers Blue Sky Black Death, you’ve been staying pretty busy lately.
Yo, I’m sitting on a ton of music right now so I’m going really hard. I’m just getting started. I gave y’all Thug Angelz with me and Shabazz, a classic LP. The fans loved it. They went wild. They’re still loving it. We got a video coming out from the same project. Right now I decided to let my fans know that I’m back on my solo shit. Me and ‘Bazz have the Thug Angelz and there’s a whole movement going on. Ultrasounds is introducing you to the new Hell Razah shit. I’m about to give you the Heaven Razah shit at the top of 2009. I’m just working, man. I’m working on one of the biggest records of my whole career right now, man.
Is Ultrasounds picking up where your first solo album The Renaissance Child left off?
What it is is a bridge to bring them to the Heaven Razah shit. This album is showing more like a funny side to me. You could say it’s like picking up where The Renaissance Child left off. I had too many songs recorded for The Renaissance Child. When I was working on this album, I had four songs recorded and then I went and started working with other producers and the shit came out crazy. I wanted to give something to my fans while I’m working on the Heaven Razah album. I just wanted to keep something out there and keep my fans happy and let them know that I’m still here.
Are you happy with how the Thug Angelz album Welcome to Red Hook Houses did?
That album came out crazy, man! That was something that was long overdue. Me and ‘Bazz had came in the game together. That was something that we had wanted to do for years and we just had a lot to get off our chest and we got more to come. That was just a prelude for the Thug Angelz album. A lot of people got mixed up thinking that was the album that Ayatollah had produced. We have a real album where Ayatollah produced the whole record. It’s me and ‘Bazz and production from Ayatollah. WE didn’t want the fans to get confused because a lot of people were thinking that that was the one that was produced by Ayatollah. You can see that we had Bronze Nazareth and others on there. The other album is produced entirely by Ayatollah.
You said you weren’t happy with how Babygrande handled your album with Blue Sky Black Death but you went back to them for the Thug Angelz project. Why?
The whole thing with Babygrande is they reached back out and they said they wanted to do something with the project or whatever and they didn’t do nothing but the same shit in the first place.
I learned my lesson from that and that’s why I started Hell Razah Music. And now I got my own label and I’m putting all my music out through my own company. You can look for Ultrasounds to come out on Hell Razah music. You can look for the Heaven Razah album to come out on Hell Razah Music. I got my own company. I’m tired of dealing with these indies. I would rather be the person to blame for my own shit. So I put together this label, Hell Razah Music, and Ultrasounds is the fucking beginning. This is why it’s called Ultrasounds because this is the birth of my label and Heaven Razah and everything. This is a new me and a new, mature Razah. This is a business side of me and a different aspect of everything right now.
What’s the main difference between Hell Razah and Heaven Razah?
Hell Razah is my street side and Heaven Razah is my family oriented and spiritual side. You got the hell Razah who will knock your fucking head off and then you got the Heaven Razah who got tired of doing all of that and living that lifestyle and he has to raise his children. I’m more mature from living through some of this stuff. You can only be on the streets for so long before you’re shot the fuck up and murdered on some crazy shit. I’m looking at hip-hop and it needs some type of resurrection. That’s what this Heaven Razah shit is. It’s a resurrection. It’s me bringing back my old self to bring out something new.
What do you want people to take away from your Ultrasounds album?
Well, the tracks are international production. It’s me introducing a sound with international producers. I got producers from Germany, Holland, Amsterdam…All of the production is all international. I wanted to be international with each record because my fanbase is humongous overseas and I just wanted to create a different sound. With The Renaissance Child, I had a lot of different production from Bronze and 4th Disciple and all of that but I gave a lot of underdogs a chance on Ultrasounds. I gave them the opportunity because one day you don’t know how big they might turn out and you turn your back on people and one day you might need them. At one point I was an underdog. So I just gave a lot of people an opportunity to get their music out there and be heard worldwide and international. I’m not a local dude. I got motherfuckers all the way in Angola listening to hell Razah. And now I gotta start thinking like that. I figured that this record would be dope for me to put out with international production.
How is your Heaven Razah album coming?
I’m almost finished with that. Right now I’m just looking to do a couple more tracks to finish up and then I’ll be dropping that at the top of 2009. What I’m doing with that album is something that’s more different and more creative. It’s really like one of my best projects, even for me. I A&R’d it, picking out the beats and shit. Every song got a concept. That record I’m on some Isaac Hayes shit. I wanna say Rest in Peace to Isaac Hayes because it’s brothers like that that gave me a spark for this record. Losing a brother like Isaac Hayes got me in the studio and got me thinking about all those brothers that we lost like Bernie Mac and Barry White, James Brown died on Christmas…You know, I feel like I’m that rap version of Marvin Gaye and shit.
This Heaven Razah album, that’s the direction I’m going and shit. The album is very creative and there’s not going to be a lot of features on it. I’ll have more producers featured on it and not rappers because I don’t really need a bunch of features and shit. I can express what I want to say by myself. If it’s a good chemistry, it’s a good chemistry. But this record right here, I’m going to let everybody know that this shit is a wrap and get used to this new Heaven Razah identity. They’re calling me the Honorable El Rahziel. Get used to this new Heaven Razah music because there’s a lot of it coming out. The Ghetto Government album is coming out in 2009 with artists I’m working with. Producers, holla at me because I’m giving brothers a chance. If you got some heat, hit me up and send in your demo beats or whatever, man. But don’t waste my time either. We can get it in.
Is there any chance of seeing another Black Market Militia or Sunz of Man album in the near future?
Hell yeah. We’re like the Justice League, man. In 2009, some shit like that, I think that would be dope. The fans love Hell Razah. They love Killah Priest. They love Shabaaz the Disciple. They love Prodigal Sunn. They love 60 Second. You got a lot of groups from way back in the ‘90s and right now they’re still biting our shit. You gotta remember that a lot of these cats didn’t grow up to our music. Kids 21 and up grew up to Sunz of Man but these little, young brothers, they didn’t hear that. They need to maybe be reeducated into that music and hear all of that all over again because the ‘90s was the best shit, man. What’s happening now is dope for them but come on, what better can you get from Mobb Deep and Jay-Z and Nas and Wu-Tang and Big Pun and Big L and Sunz of Man? You will never see that ever again unless we bring that shit back.
The reason why we were so ill was because we came out in the Golden Age after Rakim, Slick Rick, EPMD, Run-DMC and Boogie Down Productions. We came after that era. That’s what made us come crazy. You will never see another Boot Camp or Buckshot Shorty movement because the ‘90s was the shit. If fans saw Sunz of Man again, they would go crazy. These are all crazy individuals. Each member could hold his own individually. So that’s the shit with that. And be ready to catch that coming around on Hell Razah Music, Inc. I got a couple projects that are coming out in 2009 – the Heaven Razah album and Thug Angelz. Since 2007 I’ve been putting out two projects a year. In 2007 it was The Renaissance Child and Razah’s Ladder. In 2008 it was Thug Angelz and Ultrasounds. In 2009 it’s going to be Heaven Razah and the Thug Angelz album. I’m putting this out so you know that I’m not fucking around. I’m working on mad music and I’m going to try and release something twice a year to keep my fanbase satisfied because there’s too much microwaved music out there. It’s like you work on it for two minutes and listen to it on your iPod and take that shit out.
Niggas are still listening to The Renaissance Child and Razah’s Ladder. They didn’t even get to Welcome to Red Hook Houses. I’m going to keep my catalogue out there. I’m ready and I’m showing you that hip-hop ain’t dead. It’s in your songs and it’s in your spirit. You keep this shit alive by listening to us. I had to put this Ultrasounds album together so you know I’m coming. Wings up to all my Thug Angelz out there. The movement continues, man. It doesn’t stop. We got producers, artists, artwork, everything…
For fans who don’t know, what is the Ghetto Government?
It’s talented brothers. It’s like my G-Unit. Ghetto Government consists of the people I grew up with and started off with from the gate. My brother Tre Bagz showed me how to rhyme. I wouldn’t even be rhyming. Tre Bagz is the one who put the pen in my hand. It’s only right that I give back that love the same way I had to do Welcome to Red Hook Houses. I had to represent my projects. Jay-Z represented Marcy. Nas represented Queensbridge. Wu-Tang represented Shaolin and Staten Island. I had to represent the craziest projects in South Brooklyn. Niggas do not fuck with Red Hook Projects. That’s where Al Capone came to. He got his name from Red Hook, son. This is way back in the days when he left Chicago, he came to Brooklyn and he came to Red Hook. There’s a lot of history with the Red Hook Projects. It’s one of the biggest fucking projects in New York City as far as building-wise. The same architects that built Queensbridge built Red Hook. That’s why the projects look alike. That’s why it’s very important that we put the album out and named it Welcome to Red Hook Houses. We had to show our ‘hood some love. You can’t run away from that. They’re always going to remember you and they’re going to always know who you are. They’re always going to give you that love.
I felt so good when I went out there on Old Timers Day. We got a video coming out from out there. Foxy Brown came out there with the Brooklyn Don Calvin Klein. If you don’t know who that is, go back and do your homework. You’re supposed to be a gangster? You should know the name Calvin Klein. He’s a real gangster nigga. This is the shit that we represent. At the same time, me and Shabazz are the first hip-hop artists to get record deals and come out of those projects. We had to put our fucking ‘hood on the map and now we can get into our Thug Angelz shit out there. There was a lot of shit going on and now we got that out of our system and now we can make that Thug Angelz music. The music is incredible. Your grandmother is going to love them shits. That’s how real it is, man.
A lot of niggas gotta stop being fake, man. And there’s all this shit with hip-hop and politics. You gotta understand, Democrats and Republicans are both political parties and whoever’s running for President, I don’t think that shit matters. We are the people and the people make up the government. The Most High should be your President. That’s the problem with the whole company. You gotta understand that America is a corporation. This presidential shit is all for the business. He’s the President for the District of Columbia. Everybody’s going to do what they’re going to do anyway. You should be worried about what’s going to happen in the next four years because they’re going to be the President when the Mayan calendar ends, which is the year 2012. Definitely you should be worried about what can happen.
As far as this hip-hop shit, yeah we can have a Black President, but listen, man, the Most High should be your President and God already gave us a government. That’s why I started The Ghetto Government because we were talking about that shit back then and now they’re all on some “Black President” songs. That shit is corny. I respect the movement and trying to help out Barack Obama and shit, but y’all don’t even give back to your own ‘hoods. Niggas are supposed to be making a change and they’re not doing anything but the same shit these devils are doing. Go read Malcolm X, man. Malcolm X was going to deliver one of the greatest speeches before he got killed and believe that, that speech wasn’t everybody’s friend. He was going to air out Elijah Muhammad and Martin Luther King because he didn’t believe in segregation. If it ain’t Malcolm X running for President, it’s bullshit. It’s puppet and strings because when they get in office, they gotta follow the same rules and the same oath. It’s all under the same bloodline and it’s all Harvard and Yale students. So y’all need to do y’all’s homework before you go running out there and have the kids running out there. It’s like sheep running to the slaughterhouse.
And remember, I was the youngest one out of Sunz of Man and I had to be sharp and keep up with my big brothers. I was advanced and I got a lot of love from them. Those are my big fucking brothers, man. Like Kanye had “Big Brother”, those are my big brothers coming up in the game and my big brother Tre Bagz, that’s like my pops in this rap shit because he taught me the ins and outs of this whole shit, which got me to the whole point of hooking up with Killah Priest and all of that. I’ve been doing this shit for 10 years, man, so when you hear my music, I ain’t no fucking amateur, son. You got a R&B running around with half of my name and hip-hop artists taking pieces of my name. That shit is nothing to me. I’m an originator. I make up new shit every day. Right now I’m the Honorable El Rahziel. I’m creative every day. Y’all better stop biting niggas’ shit and be original. That’s what this shit was. I was listening to ‘80s shit the other day and back then if you was a biter, you was getting called out. It wasn’t cool to bite somebody’s lyrics. It wasn’t cool to do that shit. It was wack. You can’t tell me everything you hear is banging either. You mean to tell me everything you hear you like? Why is the radio not separating what’s right from wrong? Why are they keeping things underground”? What is underground? Underground is what’s not on the radio. What is underground? We run this underground shit.
Look at the groups like Cella Dwellas and Gravediggaz and shit like that. We ain’t new jacks, man. I just want everybody to know to salute niggas. You see me or my family come through, salute us, man. It’s like, don’t get it twisted just because we’re righteous and positive that we ain’t about our shit, man. That’s just hip-hop in itself. But from the year ’09 and on, it’s going to be a problem. I advise y’all niggas with no talent that are looking to copy shit because Down South came in and took over that shit, we’re going to show you how the East Coast puts it down. We’re keeping the East Coast the East Coast with shit like Sean P and Termanology. There are only a few couple dudes and that’s that real hip-hop shit that I remember. I’m in that same age bracket. Even Lil’ Wayne is coming up. Lil’ Wayne, that’s like a sixth grader in a fucking high school but you can’t get mad at these guys because everyone else is lazy and people think they’re being creative.
Niggas are not creative anymore. They’re mad that Lil’ Wayne came up and they can’t keep up with him. Lil’ Wayne is studying the shit that we came up in and the ’80s and that’s why he’s successful. Go out there and sharpen your skills. When Lil’ Wayne hears my shit he’ll be in a state of shock because my shit is mad advanced. I’ma give them some college degrees. He’s going to be fucked up when he’s listening to some shit like that and Kanye West. They’re going to be loving the shit that I got. They’re going to think that I need to be on a major label but I’m underground with my shit because I like it down here. I’m in more creative control of my shit and I can do whatever the fuck I want to with my music. I don’t have anybody fucking telling me what to do with my music.