I'm a little tired right now, man. I've been going hard in the studio.
I've been up 'til four and five in the morning writing and recording.
Now I'm a little winded, but it comes with the game, you know?
signed a one-album deal with Back Route Records. What does that deal entail?
Let me clarify
that. They put that out there in a way to make it seem as though I signed
to them. That's not the case. It's just a joint venture to put out a street
album. It's not like G. Rap's album is coming out on this label. We're
doing a joint venture, 50/50 thing. That's basically what that is right
there. That's not to minimize the importance of the project because the
street album is going to be hot. It's going to be a banger, but the way
they put that press release out there wasn't cool. I got a lot of calls
from people and I had to clear a lot of things up. We're straight with
it now, but it could have messed up other business.
going to be the main difference between this street album and the official
album is going to have some songs that people might be familiar with from
the Whoo Kid mixtape and some of the stuff that was on HipHopGame. It's
going to have a lot of songs that people never heard before. The only
major difference is that it will contain some songs where people may have
only heard one verse off the Whoo Kid mixtape. Now they'll get the whole
song. I may have some features on there that Whoo Kid didn't want on the
mixtape for whatever reason. It will be on this album. It's going to be
a real good album. It's going to be a real good street album. This is
just like something to feed the streets. It's like G. Rap's giving everybody
a gift before he hits them with the real G. Rap album. This is going to
be the appetizer. It's going to be a real good appetizer. It's going to
be an appetizer everyone likes, like buffalo wings.
your album coming?
good. I'm still in the process of inking my situation for it. It's moving
along good and it should be fairly soon before this is a done deal. It's
going to be coming out on my own imprint, Igloo Entertainment. I want
everybody to be familiar with that. This next album is coming out on G.
Rap's label. It's going to be Igloo Entertainment/whatever other label
it is the same way it's Shady/Interscope. I'm not going to put any names
out there as far as the distributor and the investment company yet because
it's not a final situation yet. As soon as it is we're going to be doing
a big press release for that to let everybody know what's going on with
were a lot of rumors that you were going to G-Unit. What's going on with
I'm not thinking
about it really right now, to be honest with you. Me and 50 spoke a while
ago. It was a couple months less than a year ago. He said he wanted to
discuss some things. Nothing ever materialized from those phone calls.
We spoke twice on the phone. That would have been a big situation for
G. Rap and G-Unit as well, but it didn't happen in a timely enough fashion
for me so I kept it moving and I kept doing what G. Rap does.
around on 50 close any other doors on you and slow you down?
No. Who wouldn't
want to have that force behind them and 50 Cent involved in their project?
Who wouldn't have wanted that? I'm at the point in my career now where
I've been around a lot of things already, so I don't let the disappointments
stagnate me. It might have thrown me off a little from the excitement
of rolling with the biggest boys on the block at the time, but after awhile,
if something isn't popping, I'm the type of nigga who gets things popping
my way. That's where I'm at right now and maybe this was meant to be.
The G-Unit thing would have been a good situation for G. Rap and I could
have added to the excitement of the whole G-Unit image by me being over
there. That's not me just patting my own back. I know I'm not alone with
that thought. People have held surveys and all that about "Who thinks
G. Rap should be signed to G-Unit?" and the numbers were big for
G. Rap. This is something they did on the radio. It's not just me saying
it. It's the people saying it. I like the situation I'm at now with me
coming out on my own label. This is what I worked for. With this street
album dropping, I'm also working on the 5 Family Click album and the G.
Rap album Grand Finale. I promise niggas that I will not release the next
album if it's not a classic album.
one of the greatest rappers ever not have a major label situation?
I don't know.
I've had this hex on me throughout my career. I don't get recognized for
a lot of the stuff I've done except by the people who really know G. Rap
and what his life is about and what he meant to the game and what he still
might mean to the game today. Outside that small percentage of people,
everyone else tends to overlook who's not on MTV or who's got that triangle
on Billboard next to their last release. I'm dumfounded myself when it
comes to that. I brought Nas to Def Jam before Nas popped off and they
said Nas sounded too much like G. Rap and we all know what happened to
Nas's career. We all know what Nas means to the game next to G. Rap. I
introduced the world to Papoose. I totally agree with you. I've had the
ear for talent to bring the next dudes to the game and I don't know why
a lot of people do overlook that. I can't let that stop me. I just have
to keep doing what I'm doing.
G. Rap be successful in 2006?
I think so.
If I didn't have total confidence that G. Rap could be successful in 2006,
I really wouldn't be doing it. I would be doing other things. It's not
like I'm hung up on this where I need this to live. I put my money other
places now. I'm a very determined person and I have thought about making
this album my retirement album.
walk away from hip-hop?
I don't think
I could ever fall back completely. I want to put myself in a position
to fall back first. I'm not trying to be the next 50 or none of that because
I don't think a 50 Cent story happens every day or every year. With a
cat like 50, all the pieces were in the right place for that dude. It's
more than just somebody who's able to spit. There was a whole package
to that dude. There was a story, a new sound and the people. A lot was
put into 50 Cent. I'm not trying to blow up like that because that doesn't
happen but once in a lifetime.
said, "Hearing me rhyme is like hearing G. Rap in his prime."
Has Jay reached out to you about coming to Def Jam?
reached out to me. I appreciate son acknowledging me before he left the
game. That was cool. He waited until the last album to do it but at least
he did it. I appreciate that because I've been propping that dude for
mad years. At least he gave a nigga a half-salute. (laughs)
see any disrespect in that rhyme?
took it like that. I didn't really get to the point of taking it like
that. The Jay-Z that I know, when he wants to disrespect somebody, he's
usually a little more direct with it. He can also be subliminal about
that. I know that about dude. I took it like he said it: "Hearing
me rhyme is like hearing G. Rap in his prime." I took it like hearing
him today was like hearing G. Rap back in like '86 or '88. It would have
been like, "Oh my God, G. Rap is crazy." It's like he's saying
he has that same effect on people.
In all reality,
there is a very small percentage of people who feel like G. Rap is still
in his prime. That's what fuels me today. You can put me on a song with
18 or 19 year-old kids and if you don't know my voice, you don't know
the difference. You think it's a new, young, crazy nigga. That's my fuel,
people feeling G. Rap is not relevant in the 2000-period. I'm a very competitive
dude. I like to prove people wrong. I'm in the studio going so hard right
now that it's not even funny. I'm going to make niggas throw their fucking
hats to the fucking ground and give me mine. Then I'm going to exit the
game. I'm going to clarify shit before I exit the game. I got a chip on
my shoulder. I have to get the chip off first. I have to clarify shit
first. All kids are going to know who G. Rap is whether they're 15 or
16. There are a lot of kids who know G. Rap right now who are not 30 years-old.
I get hit by a lot of 20 year-olds on my MySpace.
it feel to have a generation who was in diapers in '86 looking up to you
You know what it is too? This is why G. Rap can be relevant in 2006. There
are kids who don't know nothing about "Road to the Riches" or
"Ill Street Blues" because they may have been too young when
they came out. These kids who can't name one G. Rap hit but they know
who G. Rap is and it has a name that has dominance to it. They can't name
one record I ever did besides the feature with Mobb Deep but they know
me from "Hearing me rhyme is like hearing G. Rap in his prime"
or what Game said on his album or Eminem at the Grammy's. Or maybe it
was Big Pun saying, "I'm a little bit of G. Rap." They're getting
bombarded with this G, Rap name from all these artists they love. They're
like, "Who the fuck is G. Rap? I want to know who G. Rap is because
Jay-Z is talking about him, Game is talking about him...Everybody is talking
about this dude and I want to know who this dude is." I know I would
want to know who that dude is if everybody I looked up to and admired
was talking about him.
Whoo Kid mixtape help put you back on the map for the kids who didn't
know about you?
I think it did that and I think that was a beautiful thing. Now we're
about to hit them with the Green Lantern tape. Then we're going to have
the street album and the Click mixtape. Once they get all that, then I
think they're really going to be ready for that album.
the Green Lantern mixtape coming?
wrapped up. I'm sending a couple acapellas to Green so he can remix them
and put them to original tracks. It's really done. It's just a matter
of wrapping up the last couple of things. It's about to fly out. Even
all the drops are done already. That's how soon it is before the Green
Lantern CD hits. That's been in the making for awhile. With Green's schedule,
he's a really busy dude. He's in high demand, so I understand. Then we
did the Whoo Kid thing so that delayed the thing with Green. Green understands.
He understood we had to do what we had to do. Real men don't get emotional
with this shit. Green is a real thorough, good-hearted dude. I love him
to death for his patience and understanding. I really appreciate that
dude. All the respect in the world goes to that dude. I take my hat off
it been watching Papoose rise up in the game?
of my dude. I'm mad proud of him. I always knew he had it in him. I always
thought he was a great lyricist. He's not the average rapper. I always
thought he was a standout rapper. Now he's showing that to the world that
he's a standout rapper because he's standing out.
think he had the potential to be where he is today?
I knew Papoose
could be there. It's just that G. Rap wasn't in a position to bring him
up. I couldn't walk up into offices and say, "He's the next best
thing coming," They wouldn't listen. People have to find out themselves.
It's like they had to find out with Nas. It had to happen for them to
see. You have to give people the whole picture. They can't visualize nothing.
I'm a visualizer. You can play me a song without a chorus and I know where
the song is going. You can play me a rough copy of a song and I can hear
the potential. Other people you have to bring the finished diamond with
the cuts and get it a nice setting for them to see the beauty in it.
going to do more work with Papoose in the future?
I just did something recently that would be an ideal G. Rap/Papoose feature.
This is how recently I did it. To me it's right up his alley. He likes
to do different things and I took a different angle on it.
Saigon have done some great work together. How was it working with Saigon?
We were never
face-to-face when we were working together, but I have met him and he's
a real cool, laid-back dude. He's a real thorough, real dude. He's good
peoples. That's one of my homies right there. I like Sai. We have real
always said you were an inspiration to him. Do you see yourself working
with Nas in the future?
open to working with Nas because it's more than just a name with Nas.
That's my little homie from before the world even knew him as Nasty Nas.
My door is always open for Nas. Nas knows that.
going on with the 5 Family Click?
a little slow right now because I've been working on my stuff. It's moving
but it's not moving at rapid speed. It's moving at a moderate speed. It's
not exactly all the way at the top of my list right now. If G. Rap doesn't
come out and sound right, it's going to be hard for the Click. I have
to make sure G. Rap has the type of eminence he needs. Once people listen
to this G. Rap shit, I'm going to have their nose wide open for the Click
of young MC's come to you for a verse. How does it feel getting paid to
outshine artists on their own tracks?
It's not really my intention to try to outshine anybody, but it definitely
is my intention when somebody pays me their money, I try to keep it so
professional and give somebody my best because they put their money up.
That's really where it comes from. It's not like I'm really trying to
score points off of dudes. It's not even a money situation when certain
artists I respect come to me for a feature. I give them my best because
that's what they expect from G. Rap. That's what they want. They want
G. Rap to go in. I don't think anyone ever had bad intentions with getting
me on a track like, "We're going to get G. Rap on this track so we
can bury this dude already." If anybody did have those intentions
on me, it's not going to happen. No time soon! We're all the way in 2006
now and I'm still saying, "No time soon that nobody's going to behead
G. Rap on anything." You might shine with me but you're not going
to slay me."
get older, fans like to talk about how their skills fell off and they're
not the same as they used to be. Is the 2006 G. Rap better than the '86
I feel that
way. I think when I release this album, that's how everybody else is going
to feel the same way.
and the Rolling Stones can still sell out and their fans never say they're
too old to rock...
You're absolutely right about that. They try to put this age limit on
hip-hop. Look at G. Rap. G. Rap is not the only dude in this game in his
30's. I might just be one of the honest dudes in the game because I'm
not ashamed of my age. I never lied about being older and I never lied
about being younger. I never lied about that. To me, people lying about
their age is insecurity. I'm not insecure about nothing. If I'm 40, I'm
going to tell you that I'm 40. I'm not going to lie about my age, ever.
I'll tell you that I'm 38 and I'll still give it to anyone. Let's do a
track together. Let me know your intentions are to make my age show before
we even do the track. Just let me know that that's your intention.
from hip-hop fans to English professors can argue that you don't have
a great command of the English language. Is that something that's always
been a part of you or did you have to work at it?
just something I always had. Even when I was young, I used to sit down
and write stories down. I used to always visualize things. I was the kid
in class who was always daydreaming. My mind would always go somewhere
else. I used to write stories and stuff like that, like scary stories
and all that. I know I would be an author or writing movies if it wasn't
for rap because I have a knack for writing in general. Hip-hop was the
most attractive way for me to express it.
take us through your writing process?
go down in my little office with my laptop and listen to some tracks.
I smoke damn-near a whole pack of cigarettes. I smoke less than a pack
of cigarettes a day when I'm not writing, but when I'm writing, I can
go through a pack in seven or eight hours because my mind is racing. Smoking
is something I do when my mind is racing like that. I play the music and
try to hear what the track is commanding. My wheels are turning at that
time. I'm in different modes, like a writing mode or a watch a movie mode.
When I'm in writing mode, I'm in a whole different world. Everything around
me is blocked out. Other music and the sounds from TV are blocked out
when I'm writing. I'm going to zone out.
were rumors that MC Shan is trying to put together a new Juice Crew. Are
you going to be a part of that?
I'm not going
to be a part of that but MC Shan is my man though. He's my homie and labelmate
from way back. I'm not going to be a part of a new Juice Crew and I would
never try to be part of a rejuvenated Juice Crew movement. I think the
artists that were in Juice Crew have more of a significance as individuals
than as a group. I think MC Shan is more significant than being MC Shan
with Masta Ace, Craig G, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap and Biz Mark. I think
the names have more significance by themselves than by being a part of
the Juice Crew.
you think about Marley Marl and KRS-One doing an album together?
I think that's
hot. I think it's kind of late because it took so long. I think that's
hot. I think a lot of underground hip-hop heads are going to really be
excited about that project. I'm curious to know how that project is going
to come out. I think that's very late. As far as the masses, I'm not sure
what that could do, but I don't underestimate anybody either. They could
be in there putting a hell of a project together and take the hip-hop
scene by storm. Who knows? But to be realistic, I think they could put
together a project that could take the underground hip-hop scene by storm.
I'm not sure if they could be a big mainstream success with that because
neither name is in the forefront right now.
open to doing a concept album with one producer or one MC?
We kind of
put something in the air with Green like that. Who knows? We're putting
out this mixtape now. If I did something like that, it would probably
be with somebody like Green Lantern. I could do it with Kayslay. As far
as producers, right now, Dre doesn't really do stuff like that so I couldn't
really say Dre. If Eminem wanted to give me production I could do that.
I think that could be exciting. A whole G. Rap album produced by Eminem.
Dude's tracks are bananas. He puts some hot tracks together.
Ma Barker doing?
the Wife of a Don street album coming out. That's fire. I think her hardcore
fans are really going to appreciate that. She's a hardcore lyricist and
no, G. Rap does not write her rhymes. I want people to know that on HipHopGame
because I've seen the comments. G. Rap does not write Ma Barker's shit.
I want people to know how talented she is and she deserves all the props
she gets for her writing ability. She's a very talented artist.
the next move for G. Rap right now?
Do this album
and make sure this album is a classic. I'm in the lab every day right
now. It's a work, work, work thing. I have a lot to prove. I'm not going
to rest until I clarify this shit. Otherwise I'll be turning over in my
grave because I left something incomplete. From there, I just want to
put my artists from the 5 Family Click out there collectively and individually.
Those are my plans as far as the music is concerned. Outside of that,
investing money. That's it. Investing money and different ventures.
you want to say to everybody?
is getting updated with everything that's going out there with G. Rap.
Log on. There is going to be a lot more things happening to the site.
The stage the site is at right now is perfect for the person who knows
the Kool G. Rap name but doesn't know anything about Kool G. Rap. This
is the perfect place to go and get familiar with him. If you're already
familiar with him, then the site is going to be a little more attractive
to you in a couple months. It's going to be bombarded with a bunch of
stuff. It's going to have the Green Lantern mixtape and there's going
to be contests going on. Stay tuned because shit is going to be popping
off very soon.