Rock, I didn’t wake you up this time, did I?
Rock: Nah, I’m good, man. This is lunchtime for me. (ed. note – the interview was at 8pm)
How does it feel to finally have a new Heltah Skeltah album coming out?
Rock: It feels fucking great. You know, the shit is great. I honestly wouldn’t feel so great if it was corny but this shit is fucking great. So that’s the way it feels.
Are the fans ready for the new album D.I.R.T?
Sean Price (Ruck): I mean, there’s always room for improvement but we feel they’re ready for this shit that we got. Niggas is ready! Heads is ready!
What kind of approach did you guys take on D.I.R.T?
Rock: We knew the album title first. We know the album was going to be titled D.I.R.T, Da Incredible Rap Team. So the only mentality we took was that we were fucking better than everybody else so we just went in there and did that.
You can take a few different meanings from the title D.I.R.T. What meanings do you want fans to take away from the title?
Rock: That we’re fucking better than everybody!
Sean Price: We want you to know that we are Da Incredible Rap Team. I want you to take that with you and I also want you to know D.I.R.T. We gets busy. We’re in the trenches. We’re in the ‘hood. We grind. All aspects. We get dirty. We do dirt.
Even though you two have always recorded songs together, you haven’t worked on an album together in a long time. Did anything change in the studio?
Rock: We smoke better weed now.
How do you two work together on a song?
Sean Price: I’ll play a beat and we both agree upon it that that’s the beat that we’re using. Then we both go in our collective corners. I’ll pull out the Sidekick, write a rhyme. Son pulls out his iPhone and jots some shit. Wa la.
You guys make it sound so easy.
Sean Price: It is.
Rock: I mean, we throw a few niggas’ CDs out the window. We throw beat CDs in the garbage, crack ‘em and shit. But once you get past that it’s on and popping.
Obviously if you’re throwing a beat CD out the window it’s wack. What are your requirements for giving a CD the window treatment?
Rock: It sounds like some of them niggas just need to be lawyers or something. I mean, just do something else.
Sean Price: You know, you got certain producers and certain big-time producers that made a lot of money on Casio-sounding beats and that inspired a lot of bum-ass producers and you know, these niggas is garbage, man. And when I hear those bullshits, those shits go out the window. And then you have these fake RZA-types who try to make those offbeat RZA beats. You know what? Your shit is wack. You’re not RZA. Fuck outta here.
Do most of the beat CDs you guys get not make it to a Pro Tools file?
Rock: I take a lot of beat CDs but I throw a lot of beat CDs out the window. A lot of those are coasters.
Do a lot of MCs demos get the same treatment?
Sean Price: Oh no! I tell niggas, “Don’t give me the demo!” I direct them to No Ha or Dru Ha. I don’t take demos. I don’t want to hear nobody’s raps.
That’s when it pays to have people like Dru Ha and No Ha.
Sean Price: Yeah. I send it right to the white man. They take care of that. They find talent and all that.
They must hate you on some level for that.
Sean Price: Of course they do! That’s their job! (laughs)
How did you two want D.I.R.T. to sound?
Rock: Dirt! We wanted dirt! We wanted that grime. We wanted to get busy, hardbody. We got that from Khrysis. We got that from Evidence. We got that from Marco Polo. We got that from Stu Bangas. We got that. We got that dirt. We got that grime. We got some from D-Dot.
Do you have producers who give you beats that would sound perfect for your previous albums like Nocturnal or Magnum Force?
Rock: We give those CDs the window treatment too.
Sean Price: We get a lot of beats emailed to us. I’m starting to have a funny reputation. Producers are scared to play beats around me. I got a bad rep for tossing niggas’ CDs. I’m not that cool.
There’s also that video of you snatching that journalist’s notebook, so you got a bad reputation across the board.
Sean Price: I know. I’m just a fucked up guy.
Are you guys happy with the response to “Everything is Heltah Skeltah”?
Sean Price: Hell yeah! That shit is fucking dope! We love it. We love the response, man. It’s spreading like wildfire all over.
Rock, you said on the track that fans want to hear ignorant shit from you. Why do fans love hearing it from Heltah Skeltah but hate hearing it from some other rappers?
Rock: I don’t know. That’s for the people to answer. As a matter of fact, fans like ignorant shit. All the shit you’re hearing on the radio is ignorant to a certain extent. I was talking to my man Steele on the phone. If I want to keep the little niggas away from my crib all I have to do is give them niggas books. Them niggas would not come around no more. It’s just the nature of the people. People like ignorant shit. I’m a victim too. I like a certain amount of ignorance in my music too, so fuck it.
If you know what you’re saying is ignorant, is it really ignorant since you’re aware of it?
Sean Price: We know better!
Rock: You know, niggas like us know better but we gotta take the hard road. God takes care of babies and fools. You know the old saying. They know not.
Do you have a favorite song on D.I.R.T?
Rock: I like “D.I.R.T.” That’s a song. I like “The Art of Disrespekinization”. That’s a great song. It’s great because it’s disrespectful. We go back and forth and it’s disrespectful. We love that shit.
What’s the craziest thing to happen to you guys while recording D.I.R.T
Sean Price: One day we picked a beat and the shit was banging. And then the next day, we was like, ‘Damn, we was high man. We gotta do this shit over.’ We were like, ‘Do you like the beat or do you like the beat on weed?’ The beat was mad garbage and shit. The next day we were talking about that. That was funny shit.
Rock: We hated that shit! We made niggas dig in the computer for that shit and then when we found it and we were like, ‘Ah, this shit is bullshit.’
Didn’t you guys get that just say no to drugs speech back in the day?
Sean Price: I say no. I say, “No, you can’t get none of mine!”
I don’t think you’ll be a guidance counselor anytime soon.
Sean Price: Oh, no doubt! I’m an ACS case away from them taking my child, probably. They see how I treat him in the house. I’m like, ‘Yo, go get my dutches.’
You even mentioned selling nick’s at night, going home to roll a spliff and watch Nick at Nite with your son on “Heartburn”.
Sean Price: Yeah. By the time I come home from earning some money, your son is up and you roll a dutch and you watch Nick at Nite. That’s a real line.
Rock: You’re going to jail, son.
Sean Price: I know. And they got the old reruns of What’s Happenin’ and all that shit.
And Buckshot likes The Honeymooners. What is it with you Duck Down guys and old TV shows?
Sean Price: ‘Cause the new ones suck. Buck watches The Honeymooners and I watch The Odd Couple.
Rock: I watch all that shit.
Sean Price: I watch What’s Happenin’. I watch all that shit.
Rock: Different Strokes.
Sean Price: Different Strokes. The only thing I watch that’s new is Law and Order. I like Law and Order.
Rock: Somebody told me to watch Lost. I haven’t watched Lost yet. I watch Curb Your Enthusiasm. I used to watch Friends and I used to watch Good Friends because all them bitches were bad. But nah, I don’t watch too much TV.
Sean Price: I’m an ESPN-type dude, man. If I ain’t watching Law and Order I’m watching ESPN.
Sean, you’ll have a lot of time to watch ESPN after you retire. Rock and I were talking over the summer that we didn’t believe you would actually retire.
Sean Price: I read that. Fuck y’all niggas! (laughs) Nah, after Mic Tyson I’m going to take Noah’s job.
Does Noah know that?
Sean Price: If he don’t he’ll see it in the interview.
Rock, is that how it’s going to go down for Heltah Skeltah?
Rock: Noah will be doing all of the Ruck adlibs and shit.
Does that mean you and Noah will be the new Heltah Skeltah?
Rock: Yeah. We’re going to have to come up with a Jewish name for it.
I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to that.
Sean Price: (laughs)
Rock, when I interviewed you in January we talked about the Fab 5 album and you said if the fans wanted it you would do it. Can you make that happen?
Sean Price: Nah, we ain’t doing that! Rock be bugging out with that. Don’t listen to him, man. That shit is not happening, bro. And I’m not saying it like we’re not cool with each other. Those are my niggas.
Rock: Nah. I gotta say that at this stage of the game, the fans gotta make it blatantly obvious. You telling me isn’t enough.
Sean Price: Big ups to Louieville, Top Dog and Starang. But I don’t think it’s going down.
What if I had my boy call you and tell you the same thing?
Sean Price: I’ll tell you what. Guess what? We’ll do a Fab 5 album just for you. You can’t let nobody hear it or nothing. Just you.
Rock: Nah, we want to do the Fab 5 album with you and your two boys.
Sean Price: You and your two homeboys and us, that’s five.
Just book the session!
Rock: You’re Starang. You’re taking Starang’s spot.
I hope Starang doesn’t mind.
Sean Price: We’ll talk to him. We’ll explain why. We’ll take care of that.
You guys have always had my back. I appreciate that.
Rock: That’s what we’re here for!
Sean, how far are you on Mic Tyson?
Sean Price: I haven’t started it yet. I’m putting the finishing touches on the Random Axe project with Guilty Simpson and Black Milk.
Rock: My solo album is almost done but we’re putting that on hiatus. We’re working on the Heltah Skeltah shit and I don’t want to record for that shit right now. The Shell Shocked DVD is on the way and after that look out for Monster Music.
Have you guys been watching the Olympics?
Sean Price: Nah. I ain’t with that shit. I see the clips, man. But every time I turn…
Rock: Word, the Clipse performing there?
Sean Price: No, the clips on TV.
Rock: My bad. Fuck.
Sean Price: Anyway, stupid nigga. Anyway, every time I turn to the Olympics, they’re fucking playing badminton or volleyball. I’m a grown-ass man, dog, I don’t want to watch nobody hit no feathery ball with wings on it.
It’s actually called a shuttlecock.
Sean Price: Pause! Pause! That shit sounds disgusting! The shuttlecock! I said it’s a feathery ball with wings on it. That shit is gay, yo! And volleyball is only fun when you’re playing it.
Rock: Or when there’s a bitch with a fat ass on the field!
Sean Price: Not even! That shit puts me to sleep.
Rock: I can watch that.
We won’t see you guys on NBC doing commentary anytime soon.
Sean Price: I guess not. Rock don’t even know no NBA players’ names anyway.
Rock: Yes I do! What the fuck is you talking about?
Sean Price: Just the ones that retired now. There’s no Reggie Miller. He punched out of here.
Rock: I know Ray Allen. Uh, that’s the motherfucker that did the movie with Denzel, nigga. I know a few players. No, I ain’t no big basketball geek. I don’t spend a whole bunch of time watching all that shit and all the players and all that shit. But I know a few niggas who I’m supposed to know, man.
Sean Price: I’m an NBA head.
Rock: I know some basketball players.
Sean Price: I’m a Knicks fan, man. I have a Bernard King jersey hanging up in my crib.
Rock: I’m a motherfucking Rockets fan. I’m a Rockets fan because they’re called the ‘Rock-ets.’ And that nigga T-Mac is the fucking best.
Sean Price: He don’t really care about them. He just likes it because it’s the only one that has “Rock” in it.
Rock: Come on, man. What are those niggas doing for you? You ain’t no Knick, nigga.
Sean Price: Yes I am. In my own mind. I’m a fan like motherfucking Robert Deniro. I’m going to snatch David Lee and treat him like Robert Deniro treated Wesley Snipes in The Fan. You ever see that movie?
Oh yeah. Why stalk David Lee though?
Sean Price: That’s the best whiteboy on the team.
You live in a city with Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Eli Manning, Brett Favre and Michael Strahan when he’s in town and you’re going to stalk David Lee?
Sean Price: Because I’m into basketball. I don’t really care about Michael Strahan, man. You know what I mean? More power to him. I only got one football friend, my guy Roman Oben. Yo, who did Roman Oben play for? (calls to No Ha) Noah? He played for San Diego.