I'm feeling good, man. Whenever there's a lot of hate coming towards the god, I believe that I’m going to prosper. When nobody's talking or hating, it means that you're doing something wrong and you have to go back to the drawing board. I always live by that theory. I think I'm doing well.
First things first, how did things between you and Green Lantern go sour?
The situation between me and dude…I don't say dude's name, and I don't want to get into too much into detail with dude because me and dude work at the same radio station and I'm not trying to spark no internal beef. All I'm going to say is that he stopped supporting me and my movement for a dude he totally didn't know.
We had a good relationship. Dude and Papoose had done records together. They did three or four records together to be exact. Dude took the advice of Uncle Murder's manager to stop playing Pap's records and to stop supporting me unless I played Uncle. That's when everything between me and him started going left. We didn't even have no problems at the time. He just got on the side of a team that was hating and he hated with them. That's how everything started with us.
Why would Uncle Murder's manager not want Green Lantern supporting you and Papoose?
His manager used to be my partner. What happened was, first things first just so everybody knows, I'm the first person to play Uncle Murder. I remember when the Ruff Ryders had him. They called me to come up to the Firehouse Studio in Yonkers. They had played his record called "Faggots." I'm seeing it resurface on the internet now. I was like, 'Dude's type hot.' This might have been three and a half, four years ago. I was supporting him them.
He died down and I don't know what happened, but he started popping back up at the station again. I started his buzz in NY again. I got freestyles with him saying "Kay Slay was the first to play my shit." His buzz came through me! Kay Slay helped start his buzz. He was getting spun the first half hour of my show. I knew he was a straight-up dude and that he wasn't a coward. Once his buzz started getting up, his manager started looking at an opportunity to snatch him. Instead of saying, "Yo, Slay, let's do this," he wanted somebody he felt he could play.
That's why he went to that DJ. He knew that if he did business with me, we would have to do business the right way. We were going to sign a production deal and we were going to shop Uncle's deal right. Uncle’s manager knew that he could play the dude. He has no production deal with the dude. He's just his DJ. He was just thrown into the situation. He's telling him to do this and to do that and he listens, even going against us.
Papoose is signed to Jive Records through Streetsweepers Entertainment. We're equal in everything we do, just like Big Lou and the rest of my artists. Dude doesn't have that situation. Uncle is signed straight to Def Jam.
The rap confrontation happened because Uncle's manager amped him up to diss Pap. We're the hottest dudes in the city. What would be the easiest way for his buzz to jump quicker than it already was? His manager amped him up to go at Papoose. When he went at Papoose, the thing that makes it so crazy is Uncle's manager gave me a freestyle to play on the air one night and when I played it on the air, Pap called me like, 'Yo, why are you playing a song with him dissing me?’ I thought that Pap was bugging, but when I played it back during the commercial break, I was like, 'Oh, shit!' I asked Uncle’s manager, 'Why would you give me this?’ He said he didn’t know Uncle did that, that he just gave him the song and he didn't even listen to it. That's where things started to go left.
And we're not with the diss shit. We're not getting on no records in this time and age talking about what can turn into a reality. My thing is our buzz came from Papoose being a great lyricist. He didn't have to go at anybody. People are going to see the difference. Ten years from now when the kids sit around and say who’s a legend, watch who they say.
But that's how that shit started. And when it started, of course it was only right and natural for me to stop playing his music. You can't go at Pap and my empire and expect me to support you afterwards. How the fuck are you going to go against somebody you've known for years after another dude comes at you with a new situation? How are you not going to play records that you produced? Because he was scared. That's why. That's the whole situation in a nutshell right there.
Why would Green Lantern be scared?
Because he's a cool type of dude, but he's not the street type. He hears this and he hears that about people and he falls into their traps. It's cool though. I understand that being from the street ain't always a plus. That's something that a lot of us didn't have a choice with though. That's where we were born, in the ‘hood.
What exactly happened outside of the T-Pain album release party between you, Papoose and Uncle Murder three weeks ago?
I'm going to tell y'all like this – I don't even know how to fucking run anymore. I'm 252 fucking pounds. My pants are sagging. I would be tripping over my own pants. That's No. 1. The honest-to-God truth is that I didn't hit him (Uncle Murder). Papoose did not hit him either. Our backs were turned. We were on the red carpet taking pictures.
I heard something behind me and I turned around and I saw him staggering back. I was like, 'Who's that, Pap?' He goes, 'That bitch-ass Uncle Murder nigga.' Then he took off towards 11th Avenue. Then the nigga ran the opposite direction towards 9th Avenue. That's how everybody got to see who it was.
This is my whole thing – I don't know who hit him. I'm not saying that this person did this and did that. But what I will tell you is that he was by himself and there were only four of us, not 10 or 15. Mad Linx and Freekey Zeekey were there. There was about 200 people on that block and nobody but him will you hear try to say any type of other story. You can see comments posted where the people are saying that they saw Uncle run. There are no comments about us running because we didn't run. We had no reason to run. We weren't in any danger.
My whole thing is that if he's talking about being a gangster and making gangsta rap, then he has to protect his identity. Everybody has to do what they have to do. I'm just telling you what I saw happen that night. I didn't even see him get punched. When I turned around I saw him stumbling backwards. When he caught his balance, he didn't honestly know who hit him either, but when he looked up, he saw Pap's face. That's when he realized, 'Oh shit' and took off like a fucking bullet.
I'm going to be straight up with you. I don't know where you're from, but if there's you and four friends and one of your friends gets in an altercation with a guy and the guy reaches into his waist like he's going to pull something out and he comes out with nothing, you're going to laugh! Niggas are from the 'hood! Nobody reaches in their waist for shit and makes people run. This isn't the movies. If he had done that, he would have gotten his ass beat. There was no time for that! The only reason he got away was because I was telling niggas to let him go and stalled them when he started running.
We know who got the footage. I told them I didn't want it because I'm not trying to advocate that. It's a contradiction. You hear Papoose's music and that's not what we’re all about. We drop jewels, but there ain’t no pussies over here either. You know what his overall audience wants to hear from him. So for him to be involved in acts of violence, it's not a good look. That's why I'm glad that it wasn't me or Pap that put their hands on him.
There's an MP3 circulating of promoter Medina allegedly saying that Uncle Murder ran and then there's a clip on YouTube where Medina is with Uncle Murder and is telling a different story, claiming the MP3 was fabricated. Was the MP3 fabricated?
Listen, he told the story so much, talking about everything. He got on YouTube, talking about how he was with Medina. I know Medina. She’s been to my house before. She gave me my birthday party in Club 9 1/2 a few years ago and I used to come support her events. I know her well. I even remixed the record she did with Snoop when she was rapping. Me and Medina was tight.
She's running with him now, doing his PR work and helping him get shows. When I reached out to her and we were talking, my whole thing was that I wasn't trying to put her on blast or anything. If you notice, all we used in the conversation was the parts where he's contradicting himself, like when he says there were 15-20 people and there was only really four. We also used the part talking about him running. I could have used other parts of it if I wanted to be vindictive.
It was a third-party that recorded it. She had agreed to come over to meet us and clear everything up on a DVD but she fell back and stopped answering Papoose’s phone calls, so that's when the conversation was used.
If you see the YouTube video he made, he's saying that she knows me and that she recorded with me. But you have to understand that she's eating with him now. This is what you have to understand and I'm stating this clearly – I'm not a rapper. I'm not entertaining the Uncle situation with Papoose. There is no beef, We all know what beef is. This is just a dude doing what he has to do to get up in the rap game. His manager saw an avenue and he went for that. I'm not mad at that.
The only thing I'm mad at is that I'm the person who helped him early in his career and I'm the one who got him his first buzz. Even the joint "Suicide," I was playing that shit six, seven months ago. That was me! I gave the nigga a shot and now he's going against a nigga who gave him his first opportunity. And it's not even him! He let his manager amp him up.
For the record, Uncle Murder is just listening to his manager.
Exactly. Uncle doesn't have no problems with me. His peoples from Ruff Ryders were my peoples. He was on the Kay Slay and Greg Street album. What I'm saying is accurate. I helped the dude from the heart.
What do you see happening in the future?
Nobody knows what the future brings, but one thing's for sure, two things for certain, we're going to outshine everybody in longevity. Everybody gets an opportunity to shine. What you do with it is what counts. When it comes to the content of our music, we're going to shine, regardless.
Knowledge is the foundation of all things in existence and our knowledge is infinite. Papoose is a real MC, not a rapper. There is a difference between being a rapper and an MC and people got it kind of fucked up. I can rap about how much I can shoot people, how much I can go to jail, how much drugs I got and how many bitches I got. Where's the substance and the message at though? The difference between a rapper and an MC is that an MC can make songs that can uplift people and help guide people in the right direction. An MC can open people's eyes up to something that they had no knowledge of. An MC can keep you abreast of current events and help the blind, deaf and dumb to see, hear and speak. A rapper ain’t talking about shit we ain’t heard before.
We hear where rap is at right now. That's because we're lacking MCs.
Did you tell Papoose not to record any diss tracks to Uncle Murder?
Yeah. That was me because I don't want him caught up in that. What's the end result of that? You tell me, what has ever been the end result of artists going back and forth with diss tracks?
Besides publicity, it's never good.
Exactly. So nobody can convince to me to go down a road that I've been down before. You can't do the same thing and expect different results. You can't say, "That's not going to happen to me." My whole thing is, I can tell him not to do that, but I can never tell him to not be a man.
If somebody's talking shit, then give it to them when you see them! Give it to them. If you let one person get away with it, then everybody will think it’s sweet. When a person talks shit, you're powerless over that. You have no control over what anyone does but you do have control over what you do and over what you say. The most fucked up thing about this rap thing is that anybody can pick up a mic, go on YouTube and say shit on the internet. If the person is a good motherfucking liar, then people will believe them. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist. Hey, we got a million devils out here. All you can do is stick to what you're about and do what you do. That's what we're doing. We have bigger fish to fry.
Switching gears, what went through your mind when you first heard Stack Bundles was murdered?
I caught a little slight chill because I knew Stack. Stack was a good dude He was in the grind. He was down with the Riot Squad from out in Far Rockaway and they were really, really rolling hard, trying to get their feet wet in the game. He was the one who stuck out the most and it seemed like the team supported him to get in the door first and then to pull them in. Me and him were always cool. He was on the show a couple of times. Him and Papoose recorded a joint together early in their careers.
It's just bad. I just said to myself, 'Damn man, that's why it's so important that when you get into this game, you understand the difference between keeping it real and keeping it right.’ When you come into the game you have to know your situation, know what your worth is and know that there are some people who don't want to see you where you're at. They may have beef from back in the day. It could be a jealous girlfriend that's mad you ain’t fucking with her anymore. I urge all my brothers to relocate. It's not a matter of being ‘hood. It's a matter of being safe and being on point.
Even the biggest hustlers and drug dealers that we know, that a lot of brothers in the 'hood might remember and talk about their war stories, they bought houses in Jersey, Miami and Atlanta. They weren't millionaires sleeping in the ‘hood. I just think that brothers have to change location. But that has nothing to do with the fact that life was cut short for that young brother right there before he was able to give the world his creativity the way he wanted to. It's a bad thing, man.
Does it bother you when you see people paying tribute to Stack Bundles now when they didn't care about him when he was alive?
That always happens. I don't want to say it's bad because I believe they're supposed to pay homage and pay their respects. But at the end of the day, anybody that's never supported him should probably feel a little funny, but if you did, then it's different. I'm not saying it's a bad thing because you have to remember that there are brothers who might not have known about Stack Bundles and now they do. We lost another great rapper.
How's Papoose's debut album The Nacirema Dream coming?
The album is done. I know there's a lot of weird shit on the internet. I don't really deal with the internet too tough because I know there's a lot of people on the internet who just say what they want to say and hide behind a name. It could be another rapper who's talking crazy shit but he's not man enough to say his name. You never know how authentic the comments that are coming through are, but one thing I can say is that his album is a classic already. What people have to understand is that our album was done when we went into the deal.
Unfortunately when you go into a major deal with a major company and they're giving you major paper, they're going to want you to do work with other producers. What happened is that I started reaching out to other producers like Scott Storch. Cool and Dre, DJ Premier, Dr. Dre, Jazze Pha, Kanye West, Timbaland and Streetrunner. These are all great producers that he didn't have on his album already. From September until now, we did 90% of this album over because we were getting all of these great tracks from these producers. Who's going to turn down three tracks from Scott Storch?
There were different people coming to the table with all of this fucking heat. The songs he was pumping out were crazy. We kept four songs out of the whole 18 that we had done and we did a whole 14 songs over from there. And that starts a whole new clearance process. There are a lot of things people don't know about when you do an official album. There's so much paperwork outside of doing that album that it's ridiculous. We have producer decks, mechanical royalties, sample clearances, artists clearances etc…There's all kinds of shit that we have to go through.
The paperwork can take about five months. Let's not even talk about sample clearances! You have all these old, fat, worn-out artists that aren't making a dime sitting on a fucking porch sipping Geritol and answering their phone whenever the fuck they want to answer. You can't move until you get clearance from this motherfucker for a sample that might be five seconds long and this might be a real important record for your album.
The shit that kills me is let's not act like you don't know how fast Papoose works. He dropped 18 mixtapes over a three year period. That's over 400 songs. Fans know we can do 18 songs in a heartbeat. This album is hot but the delay is not us! If it were up to us, Papoose would have had 19 albums out! Niggas need to shut the fuck up and stop making stupid comments. Papoose's fans will buy the album and once other people hear about it they'll buy it too. What the haters say doesn't matter.
Papoose is a great lyricist. Anybody that wants to hear the truth and wants to hear good music is going to buy the album. His album is done and like I said, it's already a classic. If you get time one day, I would love to play you about seven records so you can just see for yourself.
Were you and Papoose able to make the album you wanted to even with Jive's involvement?
Yes, with the hottest producers. We even got a Timbaland joint that we're trying to get cleared. We got so much fucking heat, it's ridiculous. We have a joint with Kanye West called "2006 Obituary." We have a Pharrell joint called "The Wire." I don't know if it's going to make the cut. We got to work with all the hot producers. I know fans have been opinionated because they want to hear the album. We gave you 18 mixtapes and his nineteenth one is scheduled to drop in two weeks. It's titled Already a Legend.
Why did you choose “Bang It Out” with Snoop Dogg as the single for The Nacerima Dream?
Snoop Dogg is a legend in the game. He's a legend out West and we've rapped with so many East Coast artists already. We just wanted to make a wider, broader audience recognize. A lot of artists have to come to terms with the state of the game. You have to make a record that can touch people in more than one region. I just feel like the West Coast is slept on just like the East Coast these days. I wanted to get somebody hot from the West on the record and it already had "Snoop" written all across the beat. We heard it and were like, 'Let's put in a call to Snoop.' Scott Storch produced the track as well. People are going to love the visuals of this record. And I'm not even going to say who's on the remix, but cats are going to love it.
Papoose is from the mixtape genre but fans have to understand sometimes you have to step outside of you element and touch other fanbases in order to sell records. Never sell out, but be versatile!
When will The Nacirema Dream come out?
At this point, I would say late September. It's not us. If I could just go to a pressing plant, do the artwork, shrink-wrap it and give it to the world tomorrow, I would do that right now. There's a lot of politics in the game. There are a lot of other people involved in making this project work to the best of its ability. It is what it is. We've been patient and the fans have been patient, but remember, in between the time we've been feeding them.
A big part of the mixtape game has shut down since DJ Drama's arrest. Has that hurt Papoose at all?
Nah, not at all. First of all, when we do mixtapes, we just put them out. We just put it out there and then the bootleggers do what they do. The mixtape circuit is still there. With the internet, if I play a record on Shade45 at 8:00, it's already posted on sites at 8:30! There's still DVDs. Papoose is getting ready to go overseas for two weeks to tour. He's getting about $18,000 a show. We're hardly doing bad over here. Never that! We're doing excellent.
What we're doing is inspiring other DJs to do this with their artists. Whoever comes up behind us is fine. We lead the pack. Keep in mind, we got a $1.5 million deal. Can't no other new artist say that. I don't think there will be another artist from the East Coast to get that much bread from a record label anytime soon. The game is fucked up.
Can anyone mess with Papoose lyrically?
Mess with him lyrically? I haven't heard a artist that can mess with Papoose lyrically because of his wordplay. I know what he can do and I know how dangerous he is. It's the same with Big Lou and I would never compare the two of them. I don't know an artist that can mess with Big Lou lyrically. It's never going to happen. I'm ending it right here and right now on HipHopGame. You heard it here first.
I don't think you're ever going to find any artist or anybody where you're from that can put this belief in me. When he did that "Alphabet" shit, it made me think, 'What the fuck?' People don't know that he did the alphabet frontward and then he had a backwards version that's also on the album, with him going from Z to A. He was going frontward and then backwards. He was standing there for 11 minutes and didn't stop. I get to asking him how he got his wordplay that serious. He told me, "I read that when Malcolm X was incarcerated, he read the whole dictionary from beginning to end. Him being one of my role models, I did the same thing." What kid from the street reads the whole dictionary? That solidified what kind of person he was and where he was coming from. That's why I don't think there is anybody that can mess with his wordplay.
Big Lou has been signed to you for about a year. What do you think of his success in the game so far?
Man, let me tell you about Big Lou. Big Lou’s performance is no joke. He has that "come here and listen to me, right here and right now" mentality and everybody just gravitates to him when the kid gets on stage. His wordplay and concepts are crazy. The records I got from him, wow. The big problem with Lou is, and I'm laughing as I say this, is that the nigga wants to release everything! I'm like, 'Yo, we have to save this!'
That's what me and Pap did in our travels. There were so many records that were phenomenal that we did not want to let go. The thing is that you have to record a nice amount of records and you pick the best ones and see what happens. I've told Lou two times to slow down for a second.
This fucking dude be sending me ten records. So I go through those and two days later, he's sending another six. And then at the end of the week there's another batch. I'm like, 'Dog, you're confusing me.' But I love that. I love the fact that I really have artists that are hip-hop and they're real lyricists. I have artists that I have to tell to slow down for a second so we can sort certain records out.
When Lou gets on stage, he's doing songs that we're trying to save for the album. I have to tell him to chill and not to do that one anymore. He'll tell me, "No doubt, Slay. I just felt the audience had to hear that one." I'm like, 'Okay.' I got two dream artists.
Lou is going places. His mixtape is coming out tomorrow. The name of it is Playtime is Over. That's just to broaden his fanbase because he still has groundwork to do. A lot of people think we need to throw his album out now, but if you look at his comments, people periodically say, "I've never heard of this dude, but he's hot." It takes more than a couple of months to get a fanbase. A person can hear you and know that you're hot, but they have to live with you for a second to go into the store and spend $16.99 on you. We're getting a visual ready for one of his joints. Lou is going places.
What's your plan for Big Lou?
My plan for Big Lou, see, let me tell you the game I play. I shouldn't even be giving you this, but I'm giving it to HipHopGame exclusively. See, I don't go to the labels. When you get an artist and you go to the labels, you're dealing on their grounds because you're going to them. You're subjecting yourself to them and their bullshit. But when you grind so hard and you make a buzz so astronomical like I did with Papoose where you have the labels coming at you, that's when you can broker those $1 million-plus deals. I think Lou deserves $1 million-plus. I don't think Lou deserves anything less than that and I'm not going to let him accept that.
We can get him a deal for $200,000 at Eat A Dick Records, but I'm not going to let him do that. Fans have to stop being so ignorant and understand that I have the best interests of my artists. I'm not trying to jump out of a window at the first thing that comes along. If Lou really wanted to do something, I would explain to him the ins and outs of the situation and if he still wanted to do it, he could do it.
Pap told me he would walk a plank blindfolded with me because I never steered him in the wrong direction. I think Lou is a great lyricist, but it's solely on Lou. I don't want anybody thinking that Papoose's album is fucking Lou up. You stupid-ass motherfuckers!
I released 18 mixtapes in album format. I would love to release everything! It's not on me. We have producers on there that I don't manage and we have lawyers and red tape. They're seeing what I'm doing with Papoose and it's looking like Lou's situation is going to be a little faster. They see that I know how to pick a winner.
This is no exaggeration, but we have at least 65 songs to go through. That's not including his mixtape songs. I have 65 songs and I don't even know what Lou has over there because I told him to slow up for a second. Even when you just hear how his mixtape is and how it's put together, having a brother like Busta Rhymes ask to do a record is crazy. We didn't ask Busta to do it. He said he wanted to do the joint because Busta's a lyricist and he wants to rhyme with lyricists. Sheek was like, 'Yeah, I'll rock with him too.' Real lyricists want to rock with him because they want to keep their skills up to par. Lou's album is going to be a classic. We have a couple of joints chucked to the side. I heard another song he did in the club, "Kick in the Door." That record is crazy!
Do you ever feel that because you keep it so street that people on the industry side of things don't give you the respect you deserve for your business acumen?
Man, that is 100% the truth. I just felt like me coming up and watching how things have been, brothers from the street that were rapping just needed somebody to hold them down and give them an opportunity to succeed. Imagine the East Coast without Kay Slay. Come on. I've helped start the careers of a lot of artists. If there was no Kay Slay, God knows where the East Coast would be at. The artists know that too. It's just that people don't want to see me do it at that level because I succeeded by going against the rules and saying, "Fuck the industry." I said, "If an artist is nice, then his shit needs to get broken and he needs to be given an opportunity."
People didn't like it when Papoose got the opportunity that he got. There's records that we put out that weren't and aren't supported by certain DJs, but when they see you, they want to smile in your face. There's all types of conspiracies going on, but I know that no one can stop destiny. That's why I move the way I move, because I know no matter what, things are going to be the way they are going to be whether these haters ride with us or not. Can't no one stop destiny and I always banked on that. At the end of the day, they don't have to give me my props. I’m going to take them.
They can keep hating, but New York magazine named me as one of the most influential people of New York. I was on the cover with Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch. I was on the fucking cover of New York magazine with a New York Knick-colored 8 Ball jacket and had a full-size color picture of me next to Clive Davis, and that's not an urban magazine. This year, I'm in the top 20 most powerful and influential people in black music in Essence magazine. No matter how many people try to front and act like they don't know what it is, they know what it is.
What's been going on with Vein?
Let me tell you what it is with female artists. Female artists are so much fucking harder to work with. You can lay a format out but they pretty much want to deviate from the format. You can let them do them until they come back and see that they could do what you're saying and that they could pop a whole lot more. Vein has her own little way of thinking and she's a grown-ass woman so I let her rock her own way and I got her back 100% She's talented as fuck, but she's hard-headed.
What made you want to sign Hedonis to Streetsweepers Entertainment?
The fact that she's a crazy-ass lyricist to the bone. But again, she's hard-headed also. She has her own way of wanting to do things. I tried to explain to them that it's okay to want to do things your own way, but if it didn't work for you and you have an individual who can take you to the next level, why don't you try it my way, even for a second, to see if it will work out? She's very talented and creative. There's so much that I can say about Hedonis. I could just go on and on.
You just have to package her right and get her out there with the right record and just do the right thing. Right now, she's just all over the place. We have to come together, agree on the right record and push it. She's a battle rapper and she wants that paper, so I want to mold her into more of a recording artist.
You have to work each artist a different way. We can't do 18 mixtapes like Papoose. With her, people need to see her on stage ripping it and see her sex appeal and her wordplay. I think with females, the visual is just as important.
Last year around this time, you and DJ Drama got into it. Is everything cool between you guys today?
Man, me and Drama are peace. After the situation, I went out to the BET Awards in Atlanta and me and Papoose were sitting right up front and Drama was DJing. He shouted me out on the mic and bigged me and Papoose up. From that point on, I knew that he wasn't holding no feelings towards anything I said when I was speaking my mind. After that he sent me out his single from his album and I banged it. We've been talking back and forth and it's all love.
Is the South losing its control on hip-hop right now?
Man, everything comes to an end. Everything evolves 360o. I always mention that what you hear on the radio and see in videos all day doesn't equate to album sales. Look at last year – T.I. and Jay-Z, I believe, are the only artists to sell over a million records. That's an up North artist and a down South artist. We've always been right there, but you hear more of their (southern artists) records on the radio and you see more of their videos on TV.
Check the Soundscans. I'm not going to put anybody on blast, but you will see who's who and what's what. All coasts are suffering right now.
Where do you see the game going in the next few years?
I'm going to tell you like this – if they don't get a way to stop that downloading shit on the internet. Man, I can't even really give you an answer because the internet is killing hip-hop. It's not the mixtape game. It's the internet, because at the end of the day, anything you want, you can get it on the internet, for free. So why pay for it? That's the whole downfall of this motherfucking culture. It's going to be this internet. They can point fingers as much as they want to, but it is what it is.
Mims is a good rapper. I've heard him rap before he put out "This Is Why I'm Hot." I feel he put that out because that's where the state of the game was at. Now, for example, him making that record, the record wound up being bigger than him and Mims not having a bunch of freestyles and songs out before and being recognized, everybody envisioned him for "This Is Why I'm Hot." Them not hearing anything else, what did they do? They got that record off the internet or they just bought the one song off the album, and that's why his album didn't go where it should have. The fucking internet allows you to just get that record. It's fucked up now.
If a consumer only has $20 and smokes weed, it's a wrap. They’re going to buy a dime of motherfucking smoke and one song. You can still buy your smoke and your dutches and something to drink because all they have to do is pay for that one record. Or they'll just download that shit. The internet, man, it's fucking killing us, yo, for real. It's like I said, I can play an exclusive on Shade45 at 8:00 and it's up on sites at 8:30 later that night. It's not exclusive anymore. It's on the other side of the world!
Has the internet made your job as a DJ more difficult?
You know I stay up on my shit. I don't care who gets it. They're going to listen to it, but they're going to hear me on it. They're going to hear my gunshots and me shouting out, "Drama King! Streetsweepers' exclusive!" I stamp my shit. You're not going to hear no records playing through without my name. There's pros and cons to it.
Speaking of that, one song that has your drops on it recently is Young Buck's DJ Khaled diss. Could playing that record hurt your relationship with DJ Khaled or Fat Joe?
This is what I state to everybody – I am a DJ. It's my job to play records. I've played records from artists of the highest caliber where they're going at each other. You know this. I played a Young Buck record and if he didn't have a situation, I could see people not thinking I should play it. But this is not a new situation. This is something where they've taken shots back and forth at each other. I'm a DJ and my job is to play records.
If Uncle Murder came with a hot song, would you play that?
You know what? I'm the type of person…It depends. If he's not talking no dumb shit towards my dude, I'll probably play it, but that's if Green Lantern plays a Papoose record. There has to be equality. I might just play the record anyway because that's just the type of person that I am. Anybody that knows who I am knows that about me. I'll do something just because it's not what people expect from me.
And for the record, I don't hate Uncle. I'm happy to see somebody get into the game and prosper. I just don't like what he did and I know he didn't do it on his own. He was coerced into doing it. He's not the person I'm angry at. I'm angry at his manager. His manager used to be my partner. People know that. We used to be together every day for the last couple of years. Uncle doesn't have a problem with Papoose. Somebody put that into his head to do that.
Are you working on a new DJ Kay Slay album?
I've been had an album 90% done, I just stopped because I'm a team player and I feel that Papoose needed all the attention for his album to come out. I have an album that's blazing with heat.
I also have a magazine that I just dropped too. It's called Straight Stuntin magazine that the streets are going crazy over. I love women. I love beautiful models. I have a magazine geared towards women – executives, models, artists, bodybuilders, bikers…There's more models in there than anything and I balanced it out with celebrities like Busta Rhymes with his cars and Chamillionaire and Bun-B. I even have artists such as Tiye Phoenix in there, which a lot of people might not be up on. She's a female beat battle champion and she raps with Shabaam Sadeeq. That's the avenue that I give females because I've given that avenue to males in the rap game for years
What are your goals for Straight Stuntin?
To do the same thing for females that I do for males. There's a lot of females that do a lot of things, like we do, but you don't always hear about it. The visual of the female sometimes overrides the audio. I'm doing it so that when you see them, you will love them. The first issue is also 246 pages. I already have a lot of magazine cats scattering. They're like, 'What the fuck is the matter with this dude?' This isn't no staple magazine. My shit is bound. Everybody is going crazy over this magazine.
Is there anyone else in the game that would take a dump, eat a bowl of cereal and film a video for YouTube at the same time?
Nah, I don't think so, man! Anybody that knows me knows that I'm a humorous type of dude. If we're on a personal level, I joke a lot and I do a lot of wild shit. Niggas tell me that if people really knew how I was, they'd really fuck with me. But when you don't know people, they'll put something on you where they make you seem like a villain or an asshole or a thug. I do wild shit just for the fuck of it. You have to have some humor in your life. Anybody that knows me knows, man.
I saw some of the new chocolate Cap'n Crunch in the supermarket and I said, "I'm going to be the first nigga eating this shit. I'm going to do it on YouTube and shit on niggas, cordially though." It wouldn't have made no sense for me to be on there screaming. The fact that I'm sitting on the toilet bowl threw people off as to what it was all about and had people talking about how I was nasty for shitting and eating a bowl of cereal at the same time.
How is the new chocolate Cap'n Crunch?
That shit is good, man. I'm not getting endorsed by them or anything, but I think you need to go cop that. Word up. The new chocolate Cap'n Crunch is popping. That shit is good like a motherfucker. In fact, I'm about to go eat a bowl right now.
The clip is four minutes long. At any time throughout the filming of that clip were you worried about the cereal getting soggy?
No, because I did that in one take. The difference is that when you do something from the heart, it doesn't have to be rehearsed. I told my boy, "Just trust me. Put the camera on. Just stand out there and film it." Of course I wasn't really shitting. It was just a fucking look to make people laugh and to make people notice.
Didn't you notice how I kept going, "Straight Stuntin Magazine!"? I learned that from 50 Cent. When somebody takes a shot at them, he takes that and turns it into a marketing strategy. I don't know if you ever noticed that, but he does that. He markets whatever he's doing off of the disrespect that somebody shows him. I took the opportunity to do the same thing. The first thing I did is put the magazine in front of the camera. If you look at the hits on YouTube, there's 100,000 people now who know about Straight Stuntin Magazine. You don't see people do shit like that anymore. I saw Lloyd Banks the other day and he said, "Man, I saw that YouTube clip. Why didn't I think of that shit? That's classic!"
This is how you keep yourself grounded and see the longevity in this. What people fail to realize is that I'm from the birth of hip-hop. I've experienced it. I DJd in the park in '79. I'm from the birth of hip-hop. I am not new to this. I was doing house parties when I was 12 with one component set up and the other one turned down. There was no mixer. I’ve been around from the birth of this whole culture. The first ever documentary of this culture was Style Wars and I'm a prominent figure in that. People know about Dezzy Dez, the Graffiti Gangster, Zulu Nation. I already know how important it is to be able to shift gears every time the game is changing. That's why I'm still here and at the top of what I do.
What advice would you offer to artists trying to succeed in the game?
In this day and age, if you don't have any originality to bring to the game, you need to focus on maybe being an engineer or something closely related to that because right now, there are more rappers than there are fans. That's crazy. Every fan decided to rap. They all want to be a rapper. It's crazy now. There's not that many deals out there now. I'm not trying to discourage anybody. You reach your goals, but if you don't have any originality to bring to the table, you may need to get into something else because it's rough right now, especially if you're coming from New York.
What do you want to say to everybody?
To know me is to love me. I don't have hate for anybody. But in this game we're playing though, you have to rule with an iron fist. It's a tough game. The street elements are in the game now. You really can't get caught out there slipping. You have to do what you have to do. But anybody that knows me and knows how I get down and how I rock, they've never had anything bad to say about me.
All I've ever done since I got into this game was help people. I never asked for anything in return. I help people. That's what I do. That's just the way that I keep my longevity in the game. That's me giving back to the game. In return, I expect my just due. I may not get it because of the politics and the hate in the game, but right now, no matter what happens after today, Kay Slay is going to be a legend. No matter what, Kay Slay is going to be a legend. I have a lot of different accomplishments in different parts of the music game. How many people can say that? I got 30 years in hip-hop, which is longer than some of these artists have been alive.