Yo, man, I feel optimistic and I feel hopeful. I feel like there’s a lot of potential for things to come about. So I feel good, man.
What inspired your debut solo album, 2 Much Ain’t Enuff?
That’s a great question. At the time when I started it, I was just at a good point. I had just gotten a full-time job. The pay wasn’t that great, but I really thought the job was cool. I liked it. I was just hitting a creative stride with my beats and knowing that I was going to have money coming in, I just started recording. The inspiration was good vibes. I had really good vibes when I was starting off. Then it changed. I lost my job, my peoples are going through it and me and my moms are going through it with friction with bills and loans and other nonsense. Life alone inspired it. It was like a rollercoaster creating this album.
What does the title 2 Much Ain't Enuff mean to you?
The title is pretty much about extremes. It's about greed and the hope is to be well off and to have celebrity status and to hopefully accomplish your dreams and your goals. But at the same time, as we go for these things and as we accomplish these things, sometimes it's like, 'Well, it's not enough.' Too much celebrity ain't enough. Too much limelight ain't enough. Too much money ain't enough. It's all about extremes. I have a song about the devil ruling the world on the album. I have a song about how I had my opportunity to get my higher education and I had a lot invested in that and to be financially struggling, despite that success, really messed me up in the end. I talked about that on the album. I talked about confidence and my lack of it when I first started and how I had to build that up. I basically had to learn how to stand on my own two feet. Shout out to Monsta X, aka Ntrospekt of the Dynamix. He showed me how to do that. It's all about that. It's never enough. You just have to keep going. 2 Much Ain't Enuff!
You handled all of the production with no samples on 2 Much Ain’t Enuff. How challenging was that?
That’s the biggest challenge in life, my dude! There’s a lot of debate about sampling versus non-sampling in hip-hop. There are some great samplers, like DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, Diamond D and my man Infinit Evol. There are so many cats that are nasty like that, but at the same time, I love beats by the Neptunes and Swizz and cats who don’t sample sometimes. Basically I just have one keyboard, one piece of equipment. I don’t even know how to do sampling on the joint, so I had to learn how to make beats with no samples. I was so hungry to make beats and I had mad sounds in there, so I was like, ‘I’m going to make these sounds pop and come up with some melodies that work.’ Basically a year and a half later, I have 500 beats and the whole challenge is taking something that I hear sounding hot and to make it sound hot in somebody else’s ears. It’s difficult, but at the same time, it’s rewarding because it’s all me. I just love the fact that I can compose songs from scratch and come up with a beat.
You were also very adamant about not having any features on 2 Much Ain't Enuff. Why?
Basically, with this whole album, I came out from nowhere with it. I was just recording and I didn't know where I was going to go with it. I just knew that I wanted to put it all on my back. I've done some projects in the past with Dynamix and other crews, but I just wanted to have a project that was all me, from the beats to the rhymes to everything. I wish I could have freaked the artwork, but my man Snakevscrane did that. Basically I just wanted to put that on my back so that with sales and everything else, I could take all of the blame and nobody else would have to take any. It's also hard to reach out to other brothers because they're busy and they have their schedules and stuff. I basically wanted to see if I could hold a whole album down. Shout out to Shyne. I noticed that on his first album, he had no features but Barrington Levy. I thought that was dope. I wanted to see if I could do something like that.
Looking at the album as a whole, are you satisfied with the way it came out?
That's a good question. There are a lot of things that I need to learn in terms of the production. There are some tracks that I wish could have thumped harder and I wish that I had used other words in places. But a lot of times, when cats make albums, they make 50 or 60 songs. I made 16 songs. I didn't even finish all 16 songs. I laid one verse to one of them and deaded that song. These were the first joints I came up with and I was like, 'That's a go!' To answer your question, I would say that I'm satisfied because I did capture a certain emotion and a certain continuity. That's probably the biggest blessing – the fact that I did all of the beats and that it has a certain sound to it. I definitely think the next one will be better. I definitely have ways to improve, but I'm happy with this.
You talk about going to college and coming out with a degree and being in debt on "Life and Debt."
It's deep, man, because it's like, when you go into school, you hear all these certain testimonies about how well you'll do, but it's hard out there. School itself is almost like a false promise, especially when you're going to a university with a campus. NYU has a lot of prestige around it. I studied Communications, which I liked. I thought I could make it coalesce with the music once I graduated, but it didn't really go the way that I thought it would. I thought I could do internships at certain places and I would get a job. I interned at Blaze Magazine. That went under. And then I got an internship at The Source right around the time of the Eminem controversy. Two of the executives I worked with left within five months of each other.
That's what it is. I got my degrees and I just couldn't get anything in my field. It fucked me up, man. It was literally a shock to my system. When you have these big loans and you only have six months to start paying them back, it puts the pressure on you to the point where you will take any job that you can get and lower your standards and self-worth. That's kind of what I've been going through here. I haven't been able to find anything worthwhile. I've been able to pay the bills, but it's not a career. These companies look at me like I don't really have a foundation. It's a big investment to go to school, but when you do it, you really have to have a plan and you really have to surround yourself with people that you know will be successful no matter where they are. That's one thing that I wish I had done. I wish I had attached myself to other people who would be good because I lost all of my contacts. That's what inspired "Life and Debt." All of the loans and debt really make it difficult. You just have to maintain clarity, find something you love and get paid for it.
"Come Home" is another deep song. Was that a difficult song for you to write?
Man, that whole song, even listening to it, is difficult, man. Shout out to my dude Pyro Gambles. That's my nephew. That's my young G. He has so much heart and he's such a good guy. Basically he stayed with me, but we got separated due to some unfortunate circumstances. He moved down South and I think he felt he had to make a certain choice for financing his future. Like a lot of young brothers, he chose the Army. He enlisted in 2004 and one thing led to another and now he's getting ready to be shipped off. It just kills me, man. I don't really see the point in going over there when there's so much that can be done here, financially. But at the same time, difficult times call for difficult measures. I worry about him all the time. He's going out in December.
Basically I made this album in the hopes that I could tell the world about his situation and somehow change his situation because I know that a lot of people can relate to it. I know that a lot of people have family going away. I wanted to put a song down for him and let him know how much I missed him. When he listens to that song, he knows his brother is there. It's difficult, bro. It's difficult to even put into words. I just miss my little man. I just don't want anything to happen to him, man. I think there are a lot of people that can relate to that. I'm doing everything I can to help him. Hopefully Dr. Dre can hear this album and I can call my little man up like, 'Are you ready to come home?'
On “The Biz,” you say “I have nothing to show for this music and I can prove it.”
I’ve been doing the music since like ’95, real strong. I’ve invested so much time, so much money and I have so many songs. And the shit is interesting because people tell me all the time that I really have a talent for this thing. So now I’m finally getting something out in 2007. It’s painful to know that you should have heeded advice that you didn’t heed for whatever reasons. You know what you love to do and you know that you want to do this, but for some reason it didn’t come together. My brother Monster X has encouraged me to just put my own thing out. I just feel like I have a lot of songs that people would love to hear. I put a lot of money and time behind this and I lost a lot of friends through all of this.
You and Monsta X, also known as Ntrospekt, is your partner in the Dynamix. How important have the two of you been to each other's careers?
That dude is just such a beast! That guy is just live fire, man! He'll jump on a speaker during a show, looking like he's about to kill himself, but he doesn't fall. He just puts his heart into it. His delivery and his words…He's just a smart dude, from the way he flows to his diction to his clarity when he spits. He's inspiring, man. He's one of those naturals. The guy can freestyle too. He makes beats too. He's got some shit! He's a Leo and I'm a Cancer. He's got that fire and he knows he's going to take it if nobody's going to give it to him. His energy has really helped me to get what I needed. I don't think I would have been able to put out this album if I didn't have this brother in my life. I wasn't comfortable on stage when I started doing it seriously and he's just a natural at that. I can't find a better word than 'natural.' He made me feel comfortable with doing what I felt was right, regardless of whatever anybody else thought or said. He's an extremely good person. His album will be coming out, sooner or later, and hopefully it's on Classified Recordings! (laughs)
Will you guys be releasing more music as the Dynamix?
Absolutely. He's going to do his solo thing. We came together as two soloists and we decided to push each other. I definitely think that the world needs to hear his solo project. That's been in the works for years. We have a lot of songs together. Also a shout out to Triple Deuce. We're definitely going to make it. The Dynamix album is coming soon.
What are your goals for 2 Much Ain’t Enuff?
My goal is to attract attention and to go from more than just a local artist. I want to get in some magazines, be able to travel and maybe be offered some sort of bigger deal. It’s all on me and it’s hard. I have a lot of things that I need to take care of and I hope that this music will allow me to do just that. I just want people to pay attention and see it in the magazines and in the websites. I just want to know what people think, man. I’ve been doing this for so long that it would just be nice to know if people dig it or not.
What's the next move for Junclassic?
Basically I'm trying to be a businessman. I'm selling this thing and promoting this thing. I'm also working on another project. I'm doing an album called Overqualified with my man L8Sho. L8Sho is doing all of the production and I'm only rhyming on that. I don't know when that will drop, but hopefully before '08. I also have an album titled Alien Technology that I would like to drop. I’m doing a lot of production on that. I make a lot of spacey beats and I believe in UFOs and all that so I'm going to kind of go left with it. We also have the Dynamix album. I'm definitely going to be bringing some production work on that and on Monsta X's solo album as well. I would love to do a mixtape with you too. I'm just trying to flood the market.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Thank you so much for taking the time out to read this. I hope you learned something from it and like I said in my last interview on HipHopGame, if there’s something you want, you have to go and get it. Make a plan and stick to your plan and go get it. Don’t wait for tomorrow.