The last time we did an interview you said you were done beefing with everyone and the same day you release your first diss to Saigon. What happened?
People change every day. People change every single day. Yeah, we did the interview and I really didn’t have any problems with anybody and I was just like,’ Fuck it, man. This guy Saigon wants to say my name in every World Star video, let me help him out. Let me give him some cause, some reason to.’ And I just went in. I shot a little jab. He shot one back. Then it was on.
After round one did you see this being a good battle?
Well, round one is the bait. That’s the bait. Round one always attacks a rapper’s ego and pride. At the end of the day everybody’s a rapper. If somebody substantial is calling you out, then as a man and as a rapper you should respond to it in some type of way and he did. He fell for the mousetrap.
“Pain in his Life” was your second diss to Saigon. How did that song come together?
That was something that I had wrote after I heard his response. It was time to kick it up a notch, take it up a notch from round one. Round two, “Pain in his Life,” was me taking it up another level.
What did you think of Saigon’s “Pushing Buddens”?
I posted something on Joe Budden TV about it. That was after about the third time I heard it. I thought, ‘Much better. Much, much better.’ I enjoyed it and I thought it was definitely worthy of a response. I was ready to go back in the studio.
Were there any lines in “Pushing Buddens” that made you laugh?
I think my favorite line out of that whole thing was the “Touch and Go” line. “Can you name five people that felt ‘Touch and Go’/Don’t worry, I’ll wait/Hell fuckin’ no.” I enjoyed that line. It got a laugh out of me.
No doubt. You talked about Saigon wanting to have an abortion and Saigon talked about your son being gay. Did you guys cross some lines there?
I don’t think so. I don’t. On my end, I would never speak about that man’s child. I don’t know his child and it’s just not tasteful so I don’t do it. But on the flipside of that I can understand how he would do it or how it would be done.
There’s not much that you could say about Joe Budden and that’s pretty evident by his two tracks. They basically said the same exact thing. There’s not too much that you could say about me and on top of that I have the thickest skin in the world so nothing that any rapper says on a record or period, for that matter, will get me upset or take me out of my zone or get my skin boiling and shit. He felt that talking about my son was within the rules of engagement so I don’t mind it.
So you were able to brush that off?
One minute we hear there’s a phone call and the next minute Saigon says it didn’t happen. Did a phone call happen?
The phone call happened. The phone call happened. In my story the phone call happened. I’m not responsible for what he goes around saying but it’s common sense. If me and dude are engaged in a fucking lyrical battle here and all of a sudden I just stop out of the clear blue sky, there’s really no other reason for it besides there was a phone call that took place.
What did you guys talk about?
That part I’m not going to share. But we had a pretty in-depth conversation. And it was a good one. It was a good conversation. It didn’t start out well but we had a good conversation. He begged me to stop. He begged me to leave him alone.
Does that mean that you two are done going back and forth?
No, no, no, no. If you see anymore records it will be on his end. That won’t start again unless he starts it again. But no, you shouldn’t expect anymore records from me.
You both have backgrounds in fighting. Why not set up an organized fight?
I’m down with that. I’m always down with that. We could do it where the funds go to charity or something of that sort. I think that the setting it up part is always the hardest part. I don’t think that either party is against the idea but you need somebody to mediate and actually set it up, like a promoter would do a show. That’s probably the hardest part about it.
What kind of a fight could fans expect?
He looks like more of a brawler to me. He looks like a brawler. I’m more of a boxer. And I’m a reaction fighter. It’d be interesting. It’d be fun to watch.
A lot of fans are saying you two should do a song together but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen in the near future.
I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t predict the future so I don’t really know if we’ll do a record together anytime soon. I’m not opposed to it. I don’t think he’s opposed to it. I just don’t know. I don’t know. But it’s not something that we spoke about.
Saigon said on HipHopGame that you had some inside information on him that couldn’t be found on the internet. I’m guessing you can’t give up that source.
No, no. Not at all. Not at all. He asked me the same thing and I told him the same thing. I can’t give up my sources. I don’t even get into a battle with somebody without having information on them.
From what it sounds like you enjoy trading diss records with other rappers.
I do! I do. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. It’s great. I’m so competitive and I just love to rap. I love everything about it. I really do think that it’s part of a hip-hop. Battling is part of hip-hop. Unfortunately today it’s difficult because a lot of rappers take it out of hand and they get sensitive and they want to take it to the streets and they want to kill you and do all this other shit but when you talk about battling as two artists going at it on wax, I love it. I think it’s great, great, great for hip-hop.
Do you think a lot of artists are scared to battle today?
No. No, I don’t think so. I think the game right now is so watered down. You don’t have too many MCs that would even make it worthwhile. Some of the greatest rappers out there are too rich to think about that dumb shit and then you got others who are just trying to grind so hard and get their foot in the door that they don’t have time to think about that shit. It’s all circumstantial. It depends on everybody’s situation and what’s going on with them in their life.
What’s the last battle that you haven’t been involved in that’s held your attention?
Honestly I don’t even recall. I don’t recall. I don’t know if it was Eminem and Benzino. I just love to hear Eminem and the way he puts words together. I’m sure that the last one had something to do with 50. (laughs) I don’t really know who he was dissing but I just enjoy it every time he’s dissing somebody.
At the end of “Pain in his Life” you said, “At this point I’m just battling my own perception/Trying to beat what’s expected of me.” What do you think the fans expect from you?
I don’t know. I’m just held to an extremely high regard and it’s nobody’s fault but my own. Artists are judged by the music that they put out. I put out music to be held in a pretty high standing. Anytime I’m dissing somebody my fans are expecting “Ether” times a million. Those are probably a few of my favorite bars of the whole battle. That’s really how I felt. I really wasn’t battling Saigon. I was battling me as far as the fans go.
Looking at the results, who do you think comes out as the winner in this battle?
We both are. We both are. If you’re strictly talking about the battle between me and him then I won. I definitely won, hands down, because the thing that certain people don’t understand but him and his camp and a few people’s camps is that I went from “Letter to Saigon” and then I went up another notch on “Pain in his Life,” I could have went up quite a few more notches. (laughs) I could have really took it to another level and then before we had our conversation I planned on it but like I was telling him on the phone, round three was about to get extremely, extremely, extremely personal and there probably wouldn’t have been any coming back from that. He would have really wanted to put his hands on me after round three.
But there is no round three. It’s over. It’s over. So that’s why I won. To my peers and to rappers and DJs and just everyone that’s around me, they put “Pain in his Life” up there with some of the best diss records that they’ve ever heard.
But from his standpoint, you could say he won too because a lot of times anytime anyone gets the last word in they’re looked at as the winner. That’s number one. And number two, Joe Budden did not respond to his last word. So even if his plan was to put a diss record out and then they agreed to stop and I listened, he still wins. So the perception is that he wins. So we both win. He wins for the people that he’s trying to win for and I win for the people that I’m trying to win for because you really can’t lyrically listen to both of those disses and say that his was in the same league as mine.
Switching gears, you had your Slaughterhouse show this past weekend. The show sold out really fast. Did that surprise you at all?
I expected it to sell out. I didn’t expect it to sell out as quickly as it did. It was really sold out fast. We had to stop the tickets. We had to hold tickets just so people would be able to buy some at the door. It was crazy. It was a great, great, great night.
Besides the sound quality, were you happy with how everything went?
Aside from the technical difficulties we had as far as the sound, other than that, it was a great night. I was happy with everything. I don’t know if it was the speakers. There might have been something wrong with my playback machine at that point. Whatever it was something was definitely fucked up. But when you have four MCs of that magnitude on that stage, the sound is not going to stop the show. And it didn’t.
You spit an accapella for your girlfriend during the show. What do you think of her sudden fame in underground rap?
(laughs) I’m happy for her. I’m happy for her. She’s enjoying it. I’m enjoying it because she’s enjoys it. As long as she’s having fun and as long as she’s comfortable then I’m all right. The second that it becomes too much for her or that she starts to get uncomfortable with it then that will be the day that it all stops.
Did you see that one coming?
No. No. (laughs) No. I’m not a psychic. I can’t predict these things. God just has a plan and we all are pawns in His chess game and He made that happen. That popped off quick. People seem to love her. I can see why. I mean, I love her. I don’t know. I guess people look at her and they feel the same way that I felt when I first saw her. “Damn, look at that woman!” I get it.
Will Slaughterhouse be adding new members to the group?
Not at the moment. Not at the moment. I don’t think that that will happen anytime soon. Uh uh.
Before each Saigon diss track you shouted out The Padded Room and Joe Budden TV. How much of this was done for promotional purposes?
Maybe 5%. 5% was for that. Neither one of us planned for that to happen though or staged what happened or scripted it. But I figure if I’m going to do it and I know that people are going to listen to it then I would be a fool to not promote my own music and my own website, which is growing every day. I would be a dummy. I kept it short and put an accapella plug in the beginning before every record and then it was right to business.
Now that you and Saigon are pretty much done with each other, do you have another target in mind?
No. No. No, I don’t. No, I don’t. This rapper dude is trying to get me to do something to him but I’m not because he’s not worth it.
The Padded Room is coming out in February. What’s next for you?
I just want to make people aware of it that it’s coming out. I’m not going to go out and try to con everybody into buying it. But I’m going to hit the road. I’m going to get on the road and hit a couple of different markets and make my presence felt in these different markets and let the people know that I have an album coming out in February. I’m more excited for the people to hear the album and some of the songs that are on it. It’s really a great body of work with a lot of replay value.
By the time this interview runs I wouldn’t be surprised if you already had another diss to someone else out.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No more. Me and Saigon did what we did. Me and that other dude, that was bullshit so I don’t even count that. But no. I don’t want people to look at me as the guy who runs around and starts beef and starts drama. I don’t want to be that guy. That’s not a nice tag to have. So no. No, no, no. Don’t expect me to be in anymore beefs anytime soon. I’m fucking Martin Luther King. I agree with Saigon. I’m Martin Luther King. I’m for peace and unity. (laughs)
>>Also read: our interview with Joe Budden (1/15/09)