as usual. I'm on the grind right now.
to your new songs, it sounds like you have a new hunger.
After being in the game so long, there's some new stuff happening. I'm
in my own zone right now.
it take for you to find that zone?
I had to
observe the game and see what everyone was doing, and do the opposite.
A lot of people like to follow trends, but I like to do the opposite.
I was never an MC that followed anybody. I always had my own style.
feel unmotivated the last couple of years?
Nah, I was
just sitting back observing the game, seeing how things sounded. I've
been in the studio. Everything coming out was too commercial for me. That's
not the type of emceeing I come from. Everyone's trying to appeal to everyone.
I appeal to myself and real Hip Hop heads that feel this shit.
observing the game, is it still something you want to be in?
Yeah. I love
the challenge. I'm a gladiator, a warrior. I love the challenge of doing
something different. That's what excites people. I don't do the same old
thing that everyone else is doing. I like to come in like Maximus. I got
my sword and I'm ready to be the people's champ. Fuck all that commercial
shit. I do this shit for the people.
have been crazy lately, how do you write those?
Those are just one-take tracks. I don't even think about it too much.
I just throw on the beat. I write down a word here and there, and say
the first things that come in my head. I'm just playing with dudes before
I come with the crazy shit. My freestyles are better than dude's songs.
As long as it has truth in it, it's good to me. I have to spit some truth
in it and put the passion in. I've been getting good responses off of
mad angry on "The Abyssinian Sword" freestyle.
was time to shut niggas down because a lot of cats were talking. I had
to let MC's know that Priest is nice and I've always been nice. I've always
been emceeing and I know I have skills. It's time for me to put it on
them like I did in the '90's. These cats are scared to go at cats. I'm
not scared to battle or to go at any MC. It amuses me! All these cats
are so scared to go at dudes, but rap is competition. It's no problem
for me. Any MC out there that wants it, I'm here and I love it. At the
end of the day, I want to make good music, but I also have a dark side
and love the battling too.
do you find yourself doing your best writing?
I've been writing a lot in the studio. Sometimes I just zone out and it
comes to me. I do a lot of good writing at the crib. Sometimes I write
it in pieces. Maybe I'll write a thought and it really cultivates itself
once we get to the studio. I'll listen to a lot of beats too, and sometimes
the beat brings it out of me. I love when I'm by myself and just zoning.
I love new notepads too. There's something about a clean canvas that just
brings it out in me.
"The Offering" coming?
Offering' is coming out incredible. It's incredible. I'm throwing out
a lot of freestyles to get everyone ready for "The Offering."
I can't wait for people to hear this album. I put a lot of time and work
into it. It became crazy. There are so many songs that I have right now,
I don't even know if I can put them all on there. I may have to split
some of the up and put them on something else. It's going to be different
from a lot of what you're hearing right now. It's back to business. On
"The Offering," I'm giving you total Priest. You want science,
it's in there. You want streets, it's in there. You want esoteric, it's
in there. There are a lot of things for a lot of people.
come through on it so far?
Nas is on
it, he came through. That's a beautiful brother right there. He showed
me love. Immortal Technique came through and blessed it. That's another
cool, revolutionary brother to sit down and kick it with. I also have
my Horsemen, Canibus and Ras Kass. The Maccabeez are also on there, Hell
Razah and Timbo.
working with RZA today?
No. I would
love to. I saw RZA out in Cali and he told me to just come through. It's
about getting up with him. It'll be cool to take it back and do some hard
work with him and really put something down. I've been meaning to work
with RZA. I want cats to know where I stand. I'm not just a young kid
running around anymore. I'm focused and right now, you put me on the mic
over a RZA track and watch what I do to it. I'm hungry right now.
GZA most of the time. A lot of dudes don't know that GZA brought me in
and he's the head of the clan. If you understand that, you can understand
the level that I have in here. I didn't come through on no humble shit,
even though I was just chilling and observing the game. I never really
said a lot, I just observed it. I watched what Justice and Ra were going
through and I was just figuring out how to move, especially with so many
snakes in this game.
you want to get back with 4th Disciple on "The Offering"?
beauty of the offering because I went and got most of the producers I've
worked with before on "Heavy Mental." I went and got 4th Disciple
and he laid down four cuts for me that sound incredible. Ras Kass and
Canibus got on his tracks. I did "Through the Looking Glass"
that was the first deep joint I did for "The Offering." Then
he ended up producing the joint with me and Nas. 4th is responsible for
"Basic Instructions." It was good working with 4th and getting
back in the studio. We hadn't done music in a long time. To me, I think
me and 4th should have been partners. We could have been like Rakim and
Eric B. except we would have been Killah Priest and 4th Disciple. We came
in under umbrellas, so we couldn't just become a team like that, like
Batman and Robin of this Hip Hop shit. Now that we're much older, we can
you guys work together?
4th is like
a Beethoven type of dude. He'll come in the studio, he won't say anything,
I'll be there joking and shit, he'll come in and throw on a crazy-ass
beat, and then he'll switch the CD real quick. I'll have to tell him to
go back. He won't even have an expression on his face. You have to listen
real good because 4th will switch the beats fast and he has so many beats.
If a joint sounds different, I'll tell him to go back and we have to lay
it then so I don't have to worry about someone else getting it.
"The Offering" compare to your other albums?
I put it
up that at the top. I have all of my elements and I advanced my style.
It's up there with "Heavy Mental" and "Priesthood."
I like "View From Mesada" also. That was the first time me and
Just Blaze worked together. There was a song "Fall of Solomon"
that didn't make it. That was one of Just Blaze's favorite tracks. I like
"Black August: Revisited" too. I'm going to get "The Offering"
tattooed on me.
I have to
put "The Offering" on me. I've been talking about it so much,
I have to back my shit up. Everybody knows I'm not a fronter. I love Hip
Hop. I'm a fan and I listen to a lot of albums. I'm very happy with what's
in "The Offering." I love this album. I'm not being cocky, but
I love how different it is.
did you make "The Offering" for?
I made the
album for Hip Hop heads. I made it for straight up Hip Hop niggas. It's
for everybody to get into, but it's not what you're going to hear every
day on the radio. It's definitely not that. Don't expect to get up and
dance and shit, or expect me to just shoot niggas when I'm feeling depressed
no bullshit in my music and it's not for the radio. My music is not fabricated.
found a home for "The Offering"?
there. I have three deals on the table. Right now, I'm talking to these
cats at IMG at Universal. That sounds real good. I'm also going to see
what's up with Babygrande, Nature Sounds, and Sureshot. Nature Sounds
is my peoples. Did I sign a contract with anybody yet? No.
a lot of dope unreleased material. What are you plans for that?
I want to
put all of that stuff out. I want to put the joints out in time periods,
like the joints that were made around the time "Heavy Mental"
came out, joints that were made around the time "View From Mesada"
At the time, the labels felt it was too much for the consumer.
I have the original "Fall of Solomon" with Just Blaze that's
crazy. I want to put a "Best Of" out too because I feel that
everyone would feel the stuff I have coming.
you and Nas get together?
blessing right there. I met son out in Miami. We used to bump heads way
back when he used to come over to RZA's crib way back. They were playing
"B.I.B.L.E." and he was really digging that. He was feeling
that joint. We kicked it in Miami. I was in his video and shit. We were
kicking it and we were like, "We need to do a song together."
As soon as I let him hear the joint for my album, he got on it. It's a
blessing. I kick it with him and Mike Brinkley a lot. We're talking about
forming a group to shut niggas down. He talks on some revolutionary shit
that's different from the game. When we talk, we can talk about revolutionary
shit, spiritual shit
What we have planned in store, I'm not even
going to spew it out. We're talking about some shit though.
can expect more than "The Saints" and the album cut?
Saints" is crazy and that's not even the one. We've gotten a good
response off of that. When I did "The Saints," I actually did
two verses for it. "The Saints" came out real beautiful. It
was just supposed to be on his mixtape, but it got leaked and it was time.
Somebody got their hands on it and threw it out there. The response on
there was great. I didn't even think my verse was that great but people
were like, "Yo Priest, that verse is crazy." I didn't think
it would come out good because I did the verse to another beat before.
We did "The Saints" and we have another one we did, and a joint
for my album. "The Saints" isn't going to be on my album, but
I like the title. Nas came up with the title.
up with The Maccabeez today?
everybody is just doing their thing. Everybody's trying to knock out their
joints. Razah's working on his joint and Timbo's doing his thing. They're
both on my album. It's about getting your team together and being on the
same page. There were so many problems with The Maccabeez. Look at Daddy
Rose, he's locked up because of snitches. Flames, from Queens, they tried
to lock him up too, but they didn't get him.He was going through some
when the Maccabeez drop, it's going to be some shit. I've been
telling people about The Maccabeez ever since "Heavy Mental."
I'm trying to put this together and get everybody on point. That's what
it's about. The Black Market was an extension of Maccabeez. The only extended
fam we brought in was Tragedy and William Cooper. We also have Star Blaze
and them coming in.
album is going to be incredible. Putting that together is going to be
a treat. I put The Black Market together. That was another one of my ideas.
Right now, it's all about making classics. I'm not trying to make hits
for the radio. I don't go in the studio trying to make hits for the radio.
It's about making classic material that niggas are going to love. Too
many people waste time making songs for the radio. This is my fucking
music. If you don't like it, fuck you.
going to be another Black Market Militia project?
We're working on that right now. That's definitely going to be in the
works. It's for the fans. Y'all keep me doing this shit.
of Man any closer to a reunion?
Yeah. I saw
P-Sunn out in Cali, he's doing his thing out there. I went out there to
a show with RZA. We're going to do that. I just have to knock out some
other stuff first. I'm looking for 60-Second anyway. I wanted him on "The
being worked on. Ras Kass is one of my best friends. Canibus is out in
Las Vegas. He hit me with a, I don't even know what to call it, it's like
48 bars. He hit me with some shit that's going to be on "The Offering"
that's going to be bananas. Kurupt's out there with D.P.G. He always calls
here and there. Happy New Year to all the Horsemen!
of your groups, do you ever feel like you're spreading yourself too thin?
If it's in you, you can do it. Dr. Dre is an artist in his own right and
he has a lot of people that he produces. This Hip Hop shit is in me. I'm
real with myself. If I run out of ideas, I'm through. I'm finished. Ideas
are just hitting me from the universe. It's like lightning bolts striking
me and I strike the pen.
lot of shit going on surrounding "The Offering," and everybody
is going to find out. There's a lot of motherfuckers out there that know
it's going to be some shit when it drops. For the cats who see it and
see where I'm going, because I have a lot of offers and investors, that
shit makes me feel good. I feel good doing this shit myself. It's fun
running to the studio and all that.
you see the quality of Hip Hop music improving?
I try to
always keep my ear to the street. You have dudes like Saigon spitting
some real shit. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to get him on "The
Offering." I like Saigon, and anybody that works with Just Blaze
is my peoples. You have a lot of cats that are doing their thing. I think
the radio is fucking shit up. I'm going to put this in a rhyme: "Turn
your radio off, put down your Vibe and The Source/That old commercial
shit already took it's course." Now it's back to real emceeing. Y'all
niggas used to be nice. What happened?
like 50 are getting money, but you can't forget about the real shit. This
started in the streets. That's what I'm about. I'm not scared to say this
to anybody. This goes out to 50 Cent and everybody else: keep your shit
real. Keep your shit hard, the same way you came up. All of this singing
and dancing, nah. I'm about the real shit. Killah Priest said this, and
I don't give a fuck.
age matter in Hip Hop?
No. If you
got it, you got it. They say entertainment is a young man's game. Right
now, I'm writing like I'm 16. My fountain of youth is my fountain pen.
I think that the young dudes coming up, seeing their movements, they're
not even aware of me. It makes me feel good when they recognize that Priest
has some shit. I've studied. I've sat down in the school of thought to
do this. This doesn't just come overnight. Not everybody is cut out to
be an MC. Some people need to be managers and all that. There's a lot
of other things that people could be doing other than sitting down and
grabbing a microphone.
grab a microphone and turn that power on, that means something. When those
lights come on and that microphone is powered and the electricity from
the wall goes into the mic, that means something. You're holding lightning.
What are you going to do that? Are you going to spit some weak shit while
you're holding lightning? You become a god when you hold a mic. Holding
a mic, to me, is like becoming Zeus. It's like a lightning-bolt that you
hold. That same power that lights up a mic can electrocute and kill you.
You have to put forth that same type of energy in the words into something
that will bring some real shit.
If you can't
do that, get another trade. Leave the rapping to the MC's. If you're a
DJ, do that. That's what "The Offering" is about; being yourself
and sticking to what you do. I'm just sticking to what I do. I wish everyone
the utmost success in what they do I'm just going to continue to do what
I do, and what I do is make songs.
find members of the younger generation sleeping on you?
all good. It's real that a lot of the younger generation might not have
even heard of me. It's all good. I never waited for people to expose me.
Everybody knows what me and the RZA went through because I wanted to get
exposed. There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with wanting
to be out there, especially if you have talent. I think a lot of younger
dudes are sleeping on me. If they're sleeping on me, it's because they
haven't been exposed. When they see me, they know what I can do though.
on the audio page said that your flow has deteriorated over the years.
How do you respond to that?
That's the best part about that. Those are just freestyles. It's not me
sitting down and concentrating on a song. Those are one-takers. If you
listen to "Basic Instructions," that's an enlightening song
about me rhyming about my life. If you hear my songs and really pay attention
to me, you can see that my flow has actually gotten better. Plus, look
at the freestyles I've done. They all have different flows. Look at the
difference between "Rocket" and "Pain." I did the
"Rocket" freestyle in one take. I'm not just one way. Whoever
says my flow has deteriorated is going to get a rude awakening when my
album comes out. You can't judge someone's flow on one song. My flow never
deteriorated. It evolved. Keep looking. I'm glad that y'all are paying
still enjoy living in New York City?
Yeah. I love
it. I love all of it. Sometimes, I look at the radio, and I look at what
everybody's playing, I'm going to be honest with you, I like a lot of
the Down South beats, I'm from the South, I have family down there. I
love everything about New York. I love the pizza, the pizza shops, the
I also love every other place too. I love Cali, Chicago,
Milwaukee, and Arkansas. Those are the places that I go to and have a
good time. And Arizona. But living in New York is good. To be honest with
you, I also go to Miami because I get a lot of love out there.
your goals for 2006?
2006 is to
give these motherfuckers the pain. Give these motherfuckers "The
Offering." I'm going to do these mixtapes and I'm going to do a whole
series for people. For cats that said my flow deteriorated, I'm going
to show them a flow out of this world. I have a lot of projects that I'm
working on right now, The Maccabeez, Black Market, Razah's joint "The
Renaissance," Timbo King
basically I'm going to be working and
I'm looking for people that want to be down with the team. Holler at me
or someone on my squad. I'm trying to move forward. 2006 is about being
focused, moving forward, and doing me. If cats want to be with me, they'll
roll with me. If they don't want to roll with me, fuck it, Priest is still
going to do his thing.
you want to say to everyone?
heard the words spoken straight from my heart. If you were offended, I'm
sorry, this is real. For the cats that love it, this is your pain that
I'm putting out there. This is our pain. We share this. Live life to the
fullest and be prosperous, and never stop believing in yourself. "The
Offering" is coming soon. For everybody who slept, I don't care who
you are, you need to get this album. We have to put a new face on Hip
Hop. To any MC's out there, take it how you want it. If I didn't name
you in the elite group, take it how you want to. I love it when rappers
step to me and try to say something smart. We can do it. One love to Kool
G Rap, Rakim, Kane, Slick Rick, and KRS-One, the pioneers that held this
shit down. To all the real pioneers that did this shit, big up to all
of them. You heard the words from Priest. My name is Priesthood. I'm going
to drop the "Killah." Too many people want to run with "Killer."
Whatever. It's time to take that shit off. I'm evolving right now. One
love to The Nation and one love to the Elohim team. Shalom to everybody
in the universe across the board.