“Pop Champagne” is doing real good right now. The single is buzzing. The video is receiving a good amount of plays. How do you feel about the response you've been getting?
Beautiful response man. It’s what you want as far as you being an artist as far as coming out with a hit song, and being able to be associated with a great hit song. So you know how I’m feeling. You know Pray IV Reign, the new album, is coming. You guys look forward to that. I got some things coming on with that for real.
"Ballin" catapulted you to real big success. How do you feel when people say, “Oh, he can't top ‘Ballin,’ and that will be his one and only hit”?
I have nothing to say to the haters. I pay no mind I just keep it moving. I’m just glad I’m on their mind nah mean, ya dig?
Who is going to be featured on the album?
You know I got the whole Byrdgang. I got Ludacris, Busta.
POME was a great body of work. It also had great productions on the album. Who can we expect this time around in terms of productions for Pray IV Reign?
I got Chink Santana, Ryan Leslie, Ron Browz, a couple new cats.
Dipset is known for its anthems and like I said productions. How do you feel when people try to credit your success to the nice beats you have?
Whatever it may be…As long as I get paid. (laughs)
Speaking of beats, was Kanye able to give that beat you were asking for? I know you said you were going to whoop his ass if he didn't. (laughs)
Nah. I’m looking for Kanye. (laughs). Let me stop. Shouts out to Kanye. I fucks with Kanye. People always take my words and take them out of context but it was a joke.
Recently Dame came out talked about the concert in Chicago when Kanye was supposed to receive his Roc-A-Fella chain, but Jay refused to give him the chain. What’s your take on that?
It wasn’t as big as people thought. It was in the midst of me doing the interview. It was like a sidebar while I was on. So I don’t really wanna talk about that.
In a video you recently were found at the club singing to Jay’s verse from “Swagger Like Us.”
People are a little confused.
Why? Because I like music?
I mean on whether it’s cool to be a fan of someone’s music and still dislike the person.
My personal grudge shouldn’t have nothing to do with music, ya dig. But when he does make a wack verse or a wack song that makes me even more be like, ‘Oh, that shit was wack.,’ but when he does something good, how the fuck can you hate?
You're real big on swag. I know you felt Jay and T.I. didn't have swag in comparison to you. Who else do you feel in the game is being given credit for possessing swag they don't really have like the capo himself?
I wasn’t talking like, ‘Fuck T.I.’ I fuck with T.I. They took that wrong. See, I was just trying to make my point. When I say things I’m sort of like a kid. I have no gauge in what I say sometimes. I just talk in what I feel is the truth.
The “Jacking Swagger From Us” record with Wayne and Twista is a good record. How important do you feel swag is in the development of a rapper?
You gotta be cool. Cool has a lot to do with you being an artist. Music is a big component. It’s your point of view of fashion is not cool, and what kids wanna be, then there’s a conflict there. All the rappers I wanted to be like, I wanted to dress like them, ya dig?
You know you, Juelz, and Cam made a huge impact with the Diplomatic Immunity Albums. Aside from G-Unit, you guys were the only groups representing NY. So do you feel you guys set the standards as far rap groups?
I don’t know if we set the standards. I’m just happy to say we were one of the prominent rap groups of all rap history nah mean. I think we did stand out like that.
How did you feel when Cam sold Juelz to Def Jam for $2 million?
I don’t think he sold anybody to anybody. I think it was a business move. I don’t know if it was $2 mil but bottom line is Juelz did good business to get out of his deal and now he’s his own boss. He has his own ventures.
When’s the last time you spoke to Cam?
I can’t say. I don’t remember.
You have had success with records like “What You Drankin On”, “Love Me No More”, “Reppin’ Time”, “Certified Gangsta”, and of course “Ballin”. Will this album push you over the top in terms of best rappers?
I mean that’s the plan. You always want to be amongst the elite. I been doing this for a minute, and I’ve been putting a lot of work in so...I’m trying to make this album have real success as far as money is concerned.
You see everyone is jumping ship and collab’ing with an R&B artist for a best of both worlds type of album. What’s the possibility of you and Trey Songz doing an album together?
I don’t know about me, and Trey. Shout outs to Trey. That’s my little brother, but I know me and Ryan Leslie have a few songs. So we’ll probably do a little collabo together.
Any last words for the fans?
Hey man, ya boy back out to play. There’s been a lot of things going on that I don’t really understand, and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry these people have been misleading you, but you know, the truth is back, and we gon’ see if these niggas are really who they say they are. This one is on me. Drinks on the house. Jones!