Funny thing is, I was on WorldStar the other day, and I was looking through the videos. You said you were the first rapper with the Dodge Challenger a couple months back. I'm curious to know, are there any new toys you got right now that these rappers ain't up on yet?
You wanna know what's funny? Ain't too many cars come out. I'm waiting for the new big, big toys to come out. You know the Lamborghinis, the new bodies of the Phantom, the new bodies of the Bentleys. Ain't nothing intrigue me lately. You know I got a lot of toys. I'm real young, you know? I feel like I'm a hated dude already. I mean I'm 26. I just turned 26 last week. I got a Rolls Royce. I was already ahead of the game with the cars. Even the Challenger, I felt like that was something extra. You know I was always in love with the muscle cars. Ain't too many toys that intrigue me. I like that Audi though. That R8. I really dig it though. I'm just plotting right now.
You know how and you were Jimmy were big on the phrase "Ballin". I know you guys have "Splash" too. Are there any new lingo you guys have now for 09?
Oh yeah. We have “sheesh.”
What's that? (laughs)
It's just, “Sheesh. Yaaa diigg!” It's like when you see something crazy, you go, “Sheeeshh.”
Cool. Well recently I interviewed Curren$y, and he was interested in the Smoke-a-Thon. What's going on with that?
You know, I had mentioned the Smoke-A-Thon thing to my man who reached out on the internet. It came about when I was telling him how I love to smoke, and he got me and Snoop together. But, it kind of got blown up real fast. People on the internet took it, and made it seem like it was going to be some big Smoke-A-Thon. At the end of the day we're artists. Having a Smoke-A-Thon is illegal. People at the end of the day were kind of implicating. That's why you ain't never really see any more blogs from me. I wanted to sit down and do it the right way with Snoop. You know, maybe get a movie deal on some Cheech and Chong type of shit, ya dig? ‘Cause I would love to do it the way it has been promoted, but realistically it'll never happen without hundreds of people getting arrested. So we need to figure out a new way to do that. I'm trying to reach out to my man Snoop, and hopefully we could do it the right way. We could get some cameras out there, and make it right.
Let's switch gears real quick and talk about your group Skull Gang. I know you've been pushing the group real hard. What's been going on in terms of an album?
It feels like an album came out. We just put the mixtape out. We're working on a compilation mixtape with Koch right now. That's scheduled to come out in like April. I'm still figuring out how we're going to do it. We just doing up the streets right now. I got my mixtape coming out. Shout out to the Boss Mob Entertainment. They're coming up. They're my niggas. You know what I'm saying.
What's the name of the mixtape you're going to be dropping?
My mixtape is called the Reagan Era. It's called the Reagan Era. Reagan Era (Better Late Then Never). You know what I'm saying? I had people waiting for a long time. I felt like you know it's only right. Believe me though; it's going to feel like an album. It's going to be a real spectacle. Listen man. This is free pay-per-view man. There's no reason to change the channel. There's no reason to pay for basic cable no more.
Being that Skull Gang is led by you; have you tried to implement some of the things that made Dipset into this group?
No and yes. When I say no, it's as far as me creating another Dipset. At the end of the day, we still fly high. How can I try to create something that's already here? Something that's so unique? Even the sound. For one, we have an R&B artist that's in Skull Gang. Diplomats had none. I have a dude from VA representing the south named Richmond Rabb. I have a dude from Queens. As you can see right there, there's nothing I was formatting together, like an electronic copy of Dipset. I knew at the end of the day, we were the only ones that could do the things we did as Diplomats. It was just all about me growing, and eventually being my own boss. Jim has Byrdgang. When I say rep, some of the ways I did it was more or less like business ways then regular strategies that I knew worked for us in the game as far as work ethic. As far as putting out material. As far as doing things that other people are not doing. Doing those things; Attacking those things.
That's why we worked real hard with the internet. A lot of our buzz came from that because we attacked it so hard. We did a whole lot of videos. I did the Santanuary. You know what I'm saying. Right now we're gearing up for March Madness. I have a lot of good talented people around me that understand the game, which is a beautiful thing. I'm just happy for that. That's why I say Yes and no as far as me trying to implicate any of the things of Dipset. I do as far as work ethic, but not as far as trying to copy what the Diplomats is. That's why I tell people, even though me and Cam are not doing business, I'm still Diplomat for life. I'm never going no where. I just can't do bad business. If you can't respect me for that, then you just can't respect me.
How do you deal with the distractions in terms of the Max B situation?
Nothing really distracts me because you know as far as Max B, he can't really say anything about me anyway. I've never really been around the dude like that. I don't know him. He more or less has feelings for Jim. For anything to be said about me, it just rolls off my shoulders. I know where it’s coming from. You know sometimes people tend to say things just because they want to affiliate my name because it sounds good. He was never a distraction for me. Never.
The only distraction I ever had was the bad business situation I was in which was stagnating me from being on all the features I wanted to be on, and making the news I wanted to make. As far as dudes talking on the sidelines, I honestly don't pay them no mind. At the end of the day, I deal with reality. I deal with real situations. I know how much the internet hurts people. So me commenting on anything, or trying to come back at somebody just gives them the power of what they need to get more attention. I never really responded to too much of nothing on the internet. I just produce my own cartel which is flyness. Swaggeriffic. You're not going to see me boasting or talking a whole lot of nonsense on the internet.
One dude asked me over the internet, the one time I was on MySpace, he says "Yo Juelz, I keep seeing the same cars in these videos man like the Phantoms, and the Bentleys." I say "Yeah because they're mine." If I was renting them, then of course I could put a different car. I'm trying to show you what's real. I'm not trying to fabricate to you. I could show you the title. The bank receipts. Not the bank lease. Some niggas got bank receipts, and some niggas got the lease. I got the bank receipt nigga. Stop playing with me. I tell niggas, "I don't get a car note. I get a notice. The cars paid for, and I already know this.”
As far as the distractions, normally a lot of rappers would air these issues on wax. What prevented you from doing that?
I can't pay these dudes no attention. If I was to jump, and get in the mist of fire with anybody, it would have to be somebody real deep. When I say real deep, I'm not trying to discredit anybody, but I'm not going to give anybody some unnecessary attention. If I feel like there's a reason for me to address you--if there's something that's bothering me--because when these dudes talk, it doesn't really bother me. That shit just go in one ear, and out the other. I understand. I understand what cameras do.
See, I'm a nigga that thinks a lot. I understand what cameras do to people when they get cut on. I understand how a person could be one way when a camera is not on, but just be a totally different person when the camera is on because I understand these type of things. It's the people that don't understand those types of things like, I know one thing. I'm the type of person, I always take 24 hours to do anything.
You know how people see something on the internet, then they might call their man an hour later and be like, ‘Yo I need to do this response real quick.’ I always give myself 24 hours before I do anything. It's just like if somebody comes up to you and slaps ya man. You always react. The best reaction comes 24 hours later when you already thought about it, because you get to really think. You get to think about all the outcomes like "Yeah I could go pop his head off."
‘Cause listen if I'm going to address some shit, it's going to be some shit. Only reason I didn't address the me and Cam situation for so long was because people kept asking me about certain things like, ‘Well you know we're not doing business together. What? You're just not going to say nothing?’ Yo I gave people a little bit of what they want, and I still didn't even get into a quarter of the story. At the end of the day, my career isn't built on controversy. My career is built on being an artist.
I noticed like you happened to be real big on loyalty. In a past interview I read how you said you could only be loyal for so long.
Yeah. There's a thin line between loyalty and stupidity, man. I was loyal for a long time, and being stupid because, for awhile I knew what was going on too, and I still didn't address it. I didn't know how to address it without it like getting to a point like it's at now in terms of doing business together. I was being stupid for awhile trying to be loyal. It was like my manhood was taking over. If we were really supposed to be brothers then how could you do your brother like that.
An average person could have been able to tell that something was up between you guys, because the only real feature people heard you on during that time was Wayne's "You Ain't Got Nuthin".
Definitely. You know I was stagnant. I couldn't do a lot of the features and shit, but that's neither here or there. I'm free. I'm more than happy right now. I'm so far ahead of the game. Like I said, I'm in boss position right now. I'm 26 years-old. I know so much. There's a lot of niggas scared of me. They know I'm in a great position right now. I'm just going to take advantage of the position I'm in now. I'm not really going to dwell on the past. I'm not going to be harboring over what happened. I gotta worry about what needs to happen, and what's going to happen. At the end of the day, I wish Cam the best of luck in his endeavor. I'm not trying to start another Dipset. I'm just trying to do me. I'm trying to help the people around me. You know, give them the opportunity to not treat them the way I was treated. At the end of the day, it's not going to be easy for him to get out, and create a Dipset.
Funny thing is, the other day, Cam was on MTV speaking on how he spoke to everyone including Jimmy, but today, Jim comes out and denies a conversation ever taking place.
Yo, I can't even comment on that for the simple fact that I don't know. I don't know what happened either. When I heard the comment of him speaking to Jim, I heard it the same way. I'm sure Jim would have probably called me, and let me know if he spoke to him. Then I heard the same thing you heard, because you know, things happen so fast. You know, Jim is gearing up for his album right now. So we don't even get to see each other a lot since he's on his promotions tour, and I'm in the studios working on so much shit. But like he said, I haven't spoken to him.
The thing that confuses people since you guys portrayed such a brotherhood is what keeps brothers from talking for so long?
You know what I think it really is? I think it's easier to talk to somebody when you kind of expected to. It's like when you don't expect nothing from your brother that's what makes it so hard. That's what people always think. Like, ‘Damn, if it's such a brotherhood--which is true when you really think about it, then it should be easier for people to get over it.’ That's what kind of makes it harder my nigga. It's like when you sit there and you don't really expect nothing. It's like if you with the new nigga that you just met yesterday, and he runs from a fight, but you with your man that you knew for ten years, and he runs from a fight, you might be speaking to that nigga you met yesterday. At the end of the day, he might say, "Yo, I'm not built like that. I'm a punk. I wasn't ready for that type of shit." But your man, it's just like nah. That's what I think makes it much harder, the fact that it's coming from somebody that you just don't expect, and that you just hear. It’s just harder to believe that they would put you in that situation.
Switching gears, when you made the track “Who Am I” off the Diplomatic Immunity album, did you feel like people didn't understand you or that there was a misconception about you?
I don't think there's too much of a misconception about me. I feel like you know I have yet for people to tell people who I totally am. I don't think there's a big misconception. I don't think people say too many misconstrued things about Juelz. I don't, I really have such a label on me being a great artist that hasn't gotten the proper shine he deserves. Besides that, I don't think they've gotten to know me enough.
Another track is “Lil' Boy Fresh” off your last album. You delved into the harsh realities of the streets. How important is it for you to expose that in your music?
Oh, man, it's beautiful. That's where I come from. That song is actuality based on a movie, and a reality. It was like a movie I've seen that was so similar to a reality that I knew. The movie was called Fresh. That story was so similar to a story so close to home. That's just the art of music. I'm an artist that just puts real content; and not really beat around the bush too much. Of course it’s entertainment. I may do things that are eye candy, but at the end of the day, I definitely feel that I'm one of those artists that's more real, and adds more content to the music.
I've been hearing that you've been getting your Will Smith on with acting.
Yeah. I did a little test runs with the acting. You know, reading scripts, and trying out. The movie I actually did was about 3 1/2 years ago. It was a movie called The Project. It was real low budget. I just came and read my lines on the spot. They said it won a couple little awards in the film festival. I haven't actually seen the finished product yet. I'm definitely going to be branching out on everything.
You know, I'm a fly guy. I'm from Harlem. So I definitely have that Diddy run. I wanna have one of the biggest labels, which I wanna do with Skull Gang. I wanna make that like a Bad Boy. That's what I want to do with Skull Gang. I want to make it how Death Row was. It's more like a label. It's not like a crew. It is a crew in the music, but at the end of the day, it is a certified label.
Speaking of certified labels, you're at Def Jam with the likes of Nas, Fabolous, Jeezy and Ludacris. How important is it for you to make sure you're a priority instead of being a disgruntled artist?
I mean, pretty much, I like to lay a lot of my groundwork. I pretty much understand the linguistics of how a label works, even though they do have a lot of faith and belief in me. They feel I haven't reached that mark that I need to reach. I know a lot of the times the label waits for the artist to lay out that ground work down. If you're an artist that waits for the label, then you're going to run into those troubles sometimes. So me, I'm always going to get myself hot. Just keep the ball rolling for me. That's what they like to do. That's what they wanna do. They're not really sacrificing a lot. So you gotta sacrifice it. That's my motto right now: Sacrifice for what I believe in. I believe in me. I believe in Skull Gang. So if I gotta sacrifice what I got for what I believe in then fine. That's one area I think missing from the game. People sacrificing what they believe in.
Speaking of the game, because I know you've been watching from the sidelines the past couple of years, what is your outlook on the game?
You don't sound to pleased. (laughs)
It's not too pleasing. You know, it's different. That's all I could really say. It's different. You know I'm young artist. I came in listening to hip-hop. I was a hip-hop head even when I was on the corner in the streets. So I definitely know the essence of hip-hop from the start to where it's at now.
The people have been dying to know. When are you and Wayne going to drop I Can't Feel My Face?
I'm not even going to promote it no more. I'm done promoting that album. Not in a bad way but, you know, the album is done, which I keep telling people. It's just the politics. I wish I could just give all the music out.
Why don't you guys just drop it as a mixtape if anything?
Yeah, we're gonna have to do that. I'm going to call Weezy and let him know that we gotta give it out. The music is going to get old. It's gonna get to the point that we're not going to want to put it out. So we might as well just do it. Like I tell people, the music is done, and that's the best thing about it.
Now as for Born To Lose, Built To Win. What's going on with that?
Yeah, yeah. That's the prize right there. That's my Get Rich Or Die Tryin' right there.
Sounds like you're trying to bring about a classic?
Yeah, yeah. I'm definitely trying to bring that classic album. You know, something niggas could bump for the next ten years. I feel like the title is so perfect. It definitely means a lot to me. It means a lot to everybody because that's a situation in that we're all born to lose man. You gotta build yourself to be a winner.
Any tracks, producers, or features you could mention?
Stay tuned. That's all I could say. It's going to be a motivational album. When I say that, I mean for everybody who loves music. It's going to be a like a breath of fresh air.
Now, we're going to switch it back to Cam. The allegations that Cam said about you being addicted to syrup. What's up with that?
As far as what? I told people. It's been out there. I was always drinking sizzurp. The syrup…I wasn't addicted. As far as for him to say I was addicted, it was just stupid. I wasn't addicted. I was drinking it. I definitely drank it, when I felt like drinking it. The only thing that really made me upset about the whole thing was the fact that he tried to compare it to crack.
As much as it offended me, it was kind of ignorant. I've been sitting in the studio sipping lean, and everybody as far as other artists might not have drank it, but asked like "let me see what that is." Those were like big artists.
I don't think if I pulled out a crack pipe in the middle of a session, and started smoking, niggas would be like, ‘Yo, let me get that.’ For him to compare it to something like crack is like come on now. It's like you just trying to pull wool over the people's eyes. I wasn't addicted, but yeah, I drank it. I don't drink liquor. I never popped a pill. I know niggas that popped pills. I never popped pills. He acted like I was out there doing wild drugs. Like come on man. Get the fuck out of here. I was really offended. I actually haven't drank sizzurp in the past two years, but weed I'm addicted too. (laughs)