I am extremely happy with The Myth. he records that I’ve done…I got a couple records that are kind of dated, but a lot of people from Chicago haven’t heard them. I just wanted to get some records out there. I had a situation with Sony and I got to keep my records. I was ecstatic with that to let other people hear the music. I’ve been getting a great response. Musically, I’m in a great space right now. I got a lot of freedom. I got a lot of assistance as far as production. I don’t have any problem getting tracks. This is a very good time for me. I can’t complain at all.
Why do you think you don’t have trouble getting beats when you’re doing free projects?
I’ve developed good relationships with people I work with. I don’t look at it like a business relationship. I look at it like we all share musical interests and I have great relationships with my producers. That’s one thing that will keep me going for life! They’re my friends. I’m blessed, man. I got a bunch of good producers that flood me with beats! They sent me more beats than my Gmail could hold! I had to pay the extra $5 to get me some more space. I’m trying to catch up with the producers now! They keep me motivated and I’m very thankful, bro.
You put some older records on The Myth. How important was it to get your older records heard for people who weren’t up to speed?
It was definitely important. I can’t say the records were dated because I feel like there’s no time stamp on music. There are certain records that really represent Chicago that a lot of Chicagoans never got the opportunity to hear. I had to make sure they had records like “Out West Wit It” and“Bless the Bottle.” I had Chicago records that I really wanted my city to hear because I don’t think there is the typical Chicago flow. You can’t put us in a box. There’s so much diversity here, man. You might line up 10 people next to each other and there will be 10 different styles. Nobody’s going to sound the same. I definitely wanted to make sure that my city heard the songs that I made for my city. And the new music, I’m working with S.C. and we got a group called GunSmoke. And we’ve been recording since March. I want people to hear the new records as well, but they’re all records and they all need to be heard. Just put it out and keep working!
What are your favorite records off The Myth?
Man, my favorite records are “Lifes Forecast” with Amilcar , “HollySmoke” and “Champagne.” That’s produced by Budgie from London. I met him online when he was 16 five or six years ago. He came out to Chicago last summer and we had a blast. We just have such a good vibe. That’s why what I was saying earlier about the relationships you build with your producers. We’re in sync and in tune with each other. He heard the record and he was feeling it. I like “The Reach Out” with my homeboy RasRok. I love that record! I was just listening to that record before you called me! “Let the Games Begin,” that’s an S.C. produced record and that’s mellow. That’s not the typical track that he produces but he’s so diverse that he can do anything. Those are my favorite tracks.
There’s a consistent quality to your music regardless of the type of beat you have. What do you attribute that to?
Man, I try to outdo myself. I hold myself to a pretty high standard. I try to make the next record better than the last record. I’ll take something out if I feel like I missed something on it. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I don’t think anybody could put as much pressure on myself as I do as a writer. And I try to stay consistent. The best MCs are consistent. You might not like a beat they rapped on, but you’re going to stay with it because they’re consistent. I think that’s the main reason I put pressure on myself. I excel. I want my next record to be better than my last record. And I think that cycle has worked very good for me, man.
How’s the Gun Smoke album with S.C. coming?
Oh, man, it’s sounding nuts. I really want to get it done but we’re steady recording and every time we do a new record we forget about the last record we did. I was with him at 2:00 in the morning last night and he was playing me new beats he made and I was like ‘You made these?’ That boy is making beats every day and I’m really trying to keep up with him because he’s definitely pushing me and he’s definitely pushing the envelope, man.
And he’s real honest. We have that type of relationship. We have our ups and downs and we argue and we get into it but we’re two different people. We can be honest with each other and tell each other what we don’t like. I don’t have a problem with that because the criticism is coming from him wanting to make the best record. I ain’t gonna lie, man, he gets on me hard. He’s a perfectionist! He’s on my ass, bro, I ain’t gonna lie! I definitely attribute it to him to making me a better overall MC. He might give me a track that I don’t like but it forces me to adapt to the beat and come with a whole different flow and a whole different style. I don’t even think he realizes it. He tells me to just do what I do but I tell him how he’s making me a better MC because he’s pushing me constantly. I love it, man. I love it. I ain’t gonna lie.
When do you think we expect on the Gun Smoke album?
We’re looking towards March with that. S.C. is screaming June but I love to push the envelope. I would love for it to come out on my birthday, March 22, and it’s a Tuesday! That would be a great birthday present for myself! We’ve recorded tons of records and we’re mixing them down. My producers push me to the max and they’re very demanding! S.C., Skip Lava, he did a couple of records on tThe Myth and Budgie.The records he sampled, I don’t even think anyone has those samples! That record blew everybodys minds! That dude is dope, man! I think in a couple of years he is going to explode! His DJing is dope and he put me onto some fly-ass gospel records from the ‘70s that didn’t even sound like gospel records. This dude’s ear is different from everyone I’ve ever encountered and I think that’s why we work so well. Everybody’s different and everybody comes from different places but I have no problem working with these people at all bro.
Are you seeing the benefits of your hard work today?
Oh, definitely, man. I don’t think it’s an outward thing or a materialistic thing. I think you reach a point where you realize who you are and what you do and not being in the comfort zone. It’s a drive to constantly outdo myself. Everything else is a byproduct of trying to outdo myself. When I started I don’t even think I wanted to blow up. I just wanted to rhyme. At some point when you start dealing with labels, it kind of puts you in a box and it puts a feeling on your creativity and you feel like you’re losing a piece of yourself but at the end of the day, if I do me creatively, I’m happiest! I get a lot of love and I show a lot of love and I’m very proud. I’m ecstatic. I’m very happy with how everything is going down. I got the freedom to go in there and do what I want to do. I got no issues with that. I love it!
What did you learn from Sony?
I learned that everybody has different goals and everybody has different agendas and stick to your plan, man. You might have a plan, man, but people have a plan for you. As long as you stick to your plan, you’ll be okay. I think I had a plan and I knew I wanted to get a record deal and I knew I wanted to rhyme but I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I got there. I wanted to make records but they said they were cool and they didn’t know titles and then there was a turnover in the hip-hop division and I had new A&Rs and new people and I had to reintroduce myself and get them excited about the music. It takes awhile to get an A&R excited about your music. It takes a good amount of time to keep them interested in what you’re doing. I learned that everybody has a different agenda and in order to be successful, you have to have a plan and you have to stick to that plan. The lesson I learned every damn day is that if you don’t stick to your plan something is going to go wrong. I stick to that plan every day!
How do you feel hearing your older tracks with No I.D. today?
Oh, man, I feel like those records are timeless. I learned so much about life from No I.D., let alone music. And I can hear the growth in the cadence and how I tried to enunciate certain words. I can hear the growth and I think he had a lot to do with pushing me in the right direction. He never told me “Do this, do that.” He just gave me records and told me to “Do you.” I’ve never had an issue with No I.D. and he was very receptive. I can remember where I was at when I did those records. I can remember exactly where I was at with those records. I remember where I was at in my life and what I was doing and it was a constant reminder that I could do this if I would just stick to it. And No I.D. took it upon himself to bring me to Atlanta and work with me. That spoke volumes! He probably could have worked with any rapper he wanted to at the time and the tripped out part is that when we were in Atlanta, he was raving about 50 Cent and how he was going to blow up if he got with the right people. A year or two later, kaboom, he blew up with the album! I was like ‘Man, you know what you be talking about.’ He said “Listen to this dude’s songs. He puts together good records, man. If he gets with the right people, he’s going through the moon.” Then he goes diamond! I definitely respect what he’s saying because I feel like he knows what he’s doing. I remember where I was at when I recorded every single one of those records. That’s something that’s memorable to me that I can pass down to my son and show him that I started with No I.D. I started my hip-hop career with No I.D. That’s pretty fucking good! Good looking Boogz.(laughs)
Will you work with him more in the future?
Oh, definitely, man. I actually spoke to him awhile ago and his schedule has just been out of control. But you know, at the end of the day, if I need something from him, I can get it. I’m not even worried about it. But his schedule is out of control and I know he checks for me. He hits me and he’ll text me out the blue like ‘I see you.’ I definitely appreciate that.
What were your favorite albums that came from Chicago this year?
This year....man. I’ve had Cayex Illah’s Nothin But Profit in my cd changer since I got it.
That's my shit right there. That's easily one of the most slept on albums in the Chi.
I got Tree “Third Floor” in there too..I just saw Gemstones at Power 92 and he gave me a copy of On the Road to Glory which has been in the deck since i got it too..YP and Lungz both dropped some heat as well. I’m looking to forward to hearing Sly Polaroid mixtape when it drops. I just went to Mikkeys meet and greet for his album and I know he got some heat on there. There’s a lot of new cats popping up and they got some dope records. It’s seems like the city is really building up and getting behind each other and supporting each other. There’s so many projects that are dropping. There’s a lot of cats out here working. Naledge came out with a dope mixtape and he gave me a shout on it. I did some work with him. I got a lot of Chicago CDs in my car! I ain’t gonna lie. I got a lot of Chicago CDs in my crib! But the environment is building up and everybody is working together. MCs, whether they like it or not, they’re going to have to come through here and come through hard. There’s many talented people here, man. There’s not too many people here who don’t say they can do what they do. If they say they can sing, they definitely can sing. If they say they can rhyme, they definitely can rhyme. If they say they make beats, they can. There’s some talented cats. There really is.
You’re part of a group named United Center. What’s going on with the group?
Yeah! That’s me, Quebillah, Big Wiz and Rashid Hadee. Man, we did a lot of records, bro. I wanted to put one on the mixtape but I had to talk to the guys and they wanted to save the records and push it out. We’re definitely finished with the project. We just have to put it out. We’re looking for some type of backing but at the end of the day, I think we’re going to just end up putting it out. We got these records and there’s no reason to leave them sitting around. We still have a record we dropped two years ago still in rotation and the tripped out part is that’s the first record we did together. The first record we did jump-started the whole Untied Center project and people love that record. They love that record. I like to stay busy. If I got a lot of idle time then I’m doing something wrong.
How do you keep the quality level high on all the projects?
Man, that is a juggling act. That is a juggling act. I don’t know, man. It’s really just time management because you know when you’re dealing with different people, everyone has different schedules. I’m lucky to work with bunch of people that are devoted to their craft, like The United Center. Regardless of if we did another project, those guys are working consistently. Those guys never stop. Rashid Hadee never stops. Big Wiz records every other day.Quebillah goes back and forth from Atlanta. Those guys work hard. When you do a group situation, you always have a problem with someone and I ain’t never had a problem with those brothers. Those brothers are devoted to their craft.
What’s your favorite memory from 2010?
I think my favorite moment this year is when I got up with a producer, Tommy Skillfinger, and he allowed me to record all my records at his crib and he gave me the green light to do whatever I needed to do and I love that man for that because that allowed me the freedom to record when I need to record. When you got that idea that you just want to record, he’ll tell me to call him, come through and get it done. He’ll leave me in there to get my stuff done. And that was around March. I talked to him and told him I had all these ideas and all these songs and he told me to just come over and record that shit and just lay all that shit. And that moment for me kick-started where I’m at now. I haven’t stopped. I’ve been recording for seven months straight and I’ve never stopped. That was my most memorable moment, him giving me the green light. It's hard for people. If you don’t have the resources to put your music out, it’s going to be hard for you to keep yourself interested and evolving and progressing. If you’re a rapper and you don’t have a studio, then you’re fucked. You might have to get a studio that you can’t afford and you might not be able to do everything you want to do. You might have to just do two records instead of three and Tommy Skill Finger gave me the green light. He might be moving to Atlanta and I might have to throw the lasso around him and keep him here. That’s a good dude and he definitely affected my career.
What’s 2011 looking like for you?
I want to put out at least four to five projects because we got so much shit that we’re working on. United Center, Gun Smoke, my album that I’ve been working on…I was thinking about doing The Myth Remix because I think of myself as a myth. Everybody in the city has heard about Mick Luter but they don’t know where I be at. They say they’ve heard of me and they’ve heard my music but they don’t know me. I like being the myth. You don’t know where I’m at and I might just pop up with a record or a project. My goal next year is I want to release at least four projects. I think I’m capable to do it. I don’t think there’s no reason why I can’t do it. I’m gunning for it. The Gun Smoke album, the self-titled album, United Center and my record with Skip Lava where we’ve already done six records already. As long as I stay busy and active it shouldn’t be a problem.