You and Royce started out battling at Allhiphop Week. Then he released a few lines about you in his “Blue Magic” freestyle. You responded with a very personal diss record and Royce responded with “Who Got Bodied?” Did you ever think this situation would escalate this far?
Nah, not once did I think that it would go as far as it has gone. The initial battle was a good battle. What happened, happened, unfortunately. I don’t know what it was. I guess he still had something to say, so he did his little part in it and continued it. The people are making it more than what it is. This is a me and Royce thing. He got burnt when it counted. That’s all that matters.
Do you have a personal problem with Royce or is this situation strictly a rap thing?
This is a rap thing. This shit gets blown out of proportion. We both come from two cities that are known for kicking up dust. We would hate to make it a Bay versus Detroit thing. This is a rap battle between the both of us. We have great projects coming out. I don’t have a problem with him. We have a rap problem. That’s a rap beef. That’s nothing like no street shit. That’s a whole different side of it. This rap shit is like wrestling now. It’s like the WWF. That’s what it’s about. It’s rapping. There’s no street problems with that dude. I don’t have no problems with him.
What did you think of the initial battle that took place during Allhiphop Week?
For all the people that didn’t see the battle, just go to YouTube. You watched the battle. I won the battle. I won gracefully and I did it like a gentleman. I said he was a world-renowned artist and that he had lyrics that withstood the test of time. I respected that guy and for him to say my name on another record, that was crazy. I paid my respects, but if you don’t respect me, then I don’t respect you. I look at everything you’ve done and your history and what you are and if you don’t respect me as a man, then I won’t respect you. For him to speak my name and make whatever references he did, that’s what prompted the response.
What was your initial reaction to his “Blue Magic” freestyle?
I’m not angry, man. This is rapping. I’m not angry. Anything in rap is promotions, especially in an age where people are not selling records. Anything is good promotions, even if someone says, “Fuck you, F.A.B!” It’s all promotion. I was just shocked at the fact that we said it was a good battle and we were all good and he wanted to carry it out. I said, “Let me respond to make it 2-0.” He dropped a nice record yesterday. I heard it on the internet. It’s a pretty good record. It seems like he spent more time saying references that, I don’t know, I guess he got some bad information, but he really offended some cats from San Francisco. I’m from Oakland. He really offended a lot of people by saying what he said. I don’t think that’s going to be a good look for that guy.
On “Who Got Bodied?”, Royce had Trick Trick on tape saying he doesn’t know you or mess with you. What’s your take on that?
You listen to it. I said, “I fuck with Trick Trick.” When some new Jordans come out, I say, “I fuck with those.” We got a lot of people out there in Detroit and they got reputable names. I fuck with those dudes because they’re real street dudes. That’s what it was. It’s funny that he had to call him. (pause as Mistah F.A.B. takes another call) That was Short calling in reference to that shit.
Is he not happy with Royce either?
When you speak on me…I’m the prince of my city and my whole area. I’m really like the token dude that everybody depends on to bring back our area. So if you say something about me, you offend a lot of people. It is what it is. I don’t know those dudes personally (in Detroit). I was accrediting their street rep. It’s funny that he had to get them to call in. He hasn’t had a record out since I think Jesus walked the earth. It is what it is.
Do you pay attention to what the fans are saying online about this situation?
I don’t really read the internet shit, man. That’s not my thing. The only thing I do on the internet is check MySpace. That’s for the people that have time to sit behind computers and find out the latest news. Without the internet, a lot of artists wouldn’t be popping right now. Nobody’s checking for that guy in the streets anymore. These diehard fans are online and they can’t accept that time changes and you can’t continue to judge someone on what they used to do. Jordan was great when he was jumping from the free throw line, but he can’t do that no more. You have to let Lebron shine right now. That guy is a world-renowned battle artist and a great MC. Take nothing from him. But honestly, who’s checking for Royce Da 5’9”? Royce Da 5’9”, Royce Da 5’9”, Royce Da 5’9”. Let me say his name. This is like the biggest promotion he’s had in years. I hope he sells some records. Tell him I got my own label, so if he wants me to put his record out, I can put his record out on my label if he needs that much promotion.
Joe Budden went on the radio and said the battle wasn’t even that good. What do you think of that statement?
Nobody cares about Joe Budden. These are all guys who are washed up. Who cares? What records have these guys put out? These guys have internet buzz. These dudes are not selling no records. When was the last time they put out albums and what are they selling? Who’s checking for them? Right now somebody’s checking for them because of this, but nobody’s going to the store like, ‘This is Royce Da 5’9”!” This is what he’s basing his career off of? Come on. He’s been through Dre, Eminem and Mistah F.A.B. You have nothing to do, you’re bored and this is the most attention you’ve gotten in a long time.
It’s like an ex-prom queen who’s going through a midlife crisis. Somebody just called her cute. (raises voice) “Oh, my God!” The nigga’s an ex-prom queen. Nobody’s worried about that guy.
It was what it was. And if you’re Royce, of course you’re not going to think it’s that great if you lose and you get embarrassed and if everybody in your corner is like, ‘Damn, how’d you let the nigga do you like that?’ I’ve lost battles. That comes with hip-hop. I’m not going to spaz out and be like, ‘Fuck you, I hate you.’ You lost. You win some and you lose some. That’s how life is. People have too many egos. Everybody’s not always going to win and others are going to be skeptical if you won or you lost. Have fun with it. It’s music. Niggas don’t understand that this is rap. To some street dudes, it’s bigger than rap. They’ll make it a coastal thing. Let’s get it out of the way. The only reason that he responded is because he lost. He lost when it counted.
Are you done trading diss songs with Royce at this point?
Hell no, I’m not done. Do you think he’s going to say something about me and I’m going to let it go? Last week we did an interview on SOHH. I know that’s another website. We did an interview and we were supposed to squash it. It was supposed to be over. I was like, ‘All right, cool. I’ll never say nothing about it again. If I’m asked about it in an interview, I’ll just say, ‘It is what it is.’’ It took him a week and a half to make the song that he did.
Say some facts, Royce. You say I’m from San Francisco and I’m from Oakland. Say some real facts, Royce. Call some people from my city. Don’t just rap. You’re rapping for internet fans. I’m rapping for you. I don’t care if one fan says, “Mistah F.A.B., you won.” He’s had the time to write these diss records and I did my joint last night, as soon as I heard it. That will be out today. I’m just addressing the issue, man. The issue is that he doesn’t have a deal and if he needs some distribution, let me know. I can put his record out and probably sell a couple records real quick. I have a distribution deal through Atlantic Records. If you need a deal that bad, it’s all good. I’ll post up some posters for you, make up some flyers and make you popular again. That’s what it seems like he wants right now. He’s like a middle child. It’s like he’s been neglected. When was the last time you checked for Royce Da 5’9”?
Last night when his camp sent out “Who Got Bodied?”
Okay, until that, when was the last time?
When Royce put out The Bar Exam with DJ Premier and Statik Selektah in the spring.
How many people do you honestly think are checking for that guy? This is the most promotion he’s gotten in a long time. Me, on the other end, I get love all throughout the industry, from battles to O-Zone to being in the magazines. They’re constantly hearing me. This is bringing the guy back. I honestly feel like if he gets any type of deal, he owes me. I should be in his “thank you’s.” “Thank you, F.A.B., for bringing my career back.” I really deserve that.
But Royce is working with DJ Premier and Nottz. He had a solid fanbase before the battle.
It’s an old fanbase. It’s people that are 35 years-old and over. Nobody’s checking for this guy right now. He’s done what he’s done. It’s just old shit that he’s done. I don’t respect this guy because it’s not good sportsmanship. I’m a good sport. If I lose, I lose. I always say, “Good game. You played your ass off.” I’m not going to diss you if I lose. This guy lost. We had a freestyle battle. He lost. When it counted, he lost. If I could hit 1,000 jump shots, that’s good. But if it’s crunchtime and I miss the shot, what does that mean?
At this point, will you battle more in the future?
These rap guys, they’re too sensitive. You can’t even battle a nigga no more. There used to be a time where you could cipher and be like, ‘That nigga is crazy.’ Now when you battle a nigga, they want to get personal. I don’t need backup. I got my whole area behind me but this is between me and him. I don’t have a personal issue with this guy. It’s hype to me. Let’s make records. Let’s see who can sell more records. My last album did 20,000 at $7 a record and my album before that did 20,000 and nobody’s ever heard of me. I have a fanbase and all this is doing is expanding me.
I’m on the rise and he’s on the downfall. He’s past his prime. Regardless, even if he does spark some hot shit to get his buzz up, how long can his career be? I had respect for that dude and I lost a lot of respect because of this. It’s like meeting one of your favorite rappers and he’s not the guy you thought he was. I’m not saying he was one of my favorite rappers, but that’s the comparison that I use. I use a lot of sports references. Forgive me, I’m a former athlete. It’s like going to a game and asking your favorite athlete for an autograph and he says no. You’re crushed.
I was crushed that he was that bitter. Are you really that bitter? Is that what the game has amounted to? Are you a hater? That’s what it seems like. He’s bitter that Eminem blew up. He’s mad that Em put D-12 on. He got mad at Kanye because he couldn’t afford a beat and Kanye sold the beat. Look at that. Does that not reflect the history of a hater, or is it just me? Because if it’s just me, maybe I’m blind in my own vision, but he has a history of being a bitter-ass motherfucker and that’s not what it’s about. I do this music shit because I love it. I’m not a bitter dude. Anytime I’ve lost a game, I say, “I lost. Let me go and see what I need to work on so I don’t lose again.” I don’t say, “Fuck him” because I’m not a hater.
How’s your new album coming?
My album is crazy right now. I have two different albums coming right now. I have an album coming with Alchemist called The Golden State Warrior. That’s going to be on some lyrical shit. It’s a real conceptual album. And then I have an album coming out on Atlantic Records. I have my own label deal through Atlantic Records. The album is coming out. It’s called The Yellow Bus. I have a list of production on there that’s crazy. I have Rick Ross on the album, Capone and Noreaga, Chamillionaire and Travis Barker. I’m just working with cats that are good people. Snoop Dogg is on the album. Of course my guy, Daddy Too Short, is. It’s going well for me. I’m having a great, great, great time in music right now and I’m having fun. I love the fact that I have the ability to have fun. I’m traveling, meeting people, networking and getting money. What better life could you ask for? My mom’s straight and I’m 25 years-old. I don’t have to worry about nothing but my career.
What project are you dropping first?
You’re going to see the Alchemist album first. I’m in L.A. recording that now. We’re going to go in tonight. You should see that, hopefully, in February. That joint is going to be crazy. I think Alchemist is not only a great producer but a great guy. He’s a real humble guy and a good sport. I love that guy. And who knows when my Atlantic Records album is going to come out. I’ll probably turn it in in January to get it popping. All of this is buzzing for me, like the Royce battle and Joe Budden saying my name on Hot 97. All that shit is buzzing. I don’t worry about those guys. I want all the fans to know that this is strictly rap. The media will make it look like a Detroit-Bay thing. You would hate to see a beef like that over some stupid shit. This is rap. This isn’t no personal shit. This is just two artists battling it out, some old school hip-hop shit. Leave it at that. I come from a city that’s known to kick up dust and Detroit is known to kick up dust and niggas don’t want to collide like that, especially over a bad sport.
What do you want to say to everybody?
The reason why this is going on is because Royce lost and he was mad. He got bitter and he responded, so I responded. Don’t make it seem like, ‘Oh, F.A.B., why is he doing this? He’s doing this for buzz.’ He lost a battle. He wasn’t a good sport about losing a battle and he said some funny shit and I responded. Don’t make it seem like I’m picking on him. He’s sensitive and he’s emotional and he’s angry. Him being a good artist goes out the window when he’s doing the shit that he does. You can’t give somebody credit for being a good artist when they’re angry and jealous. That takes all their shit out the way and it makes you not respect them.
I’m a good dude all around the board. I’m courteous to everyone I meet. “What’s up? Hey, how you doing?” I never do nothing to anybody that hasn’t done nothing to me. I’m not a bully. I’m not a person that goes out and picks wars. I play defense. All I’m doing is defending my area. He spoke on us and I’m going to respond. This is a Mistah F.A.B.-Royce Da 5’9” thing, not a Detroit-Bay thing.
At the end of the day, he’s using this as promotion. He has a record coming out with DJ Premier, who’s my favorite producer in the world. Let’s see who wins. Let’s let Soundscan judge the battle. Keep saying what you’re saying, but you’re not going to determine who wins and who’s going to be the most successful with record sales. What else are you going to be doing? You’ve been battling since the beginning of your career and that hasn’t done anything for you yet. You’ve lost a lot of relationships. Loyalty goes out the window when you’re envious and shit. Nobody’s loyal anymore. I’m not envious or mad at anybody. If I see somebody doing good, I congratulate them and I don’t want what they have. I say, “I’m going to work my ass to get there” or “You whooped my ass. I’m going to study the fight and see what I can do to prevent a loss in the next battle.”
But I just thank you for the opportunity. It crushes me to find out that people are really that bitter over nothing. If you use this for promotion, then just say it. Just say, “Hey, thank you for promoting me.” Let them know why you did it. But if you’re really that mad and that bitter, then I could never respect you again. Shout outs to everybody. Make sure you Google and YouTube me. Check me out. I got a DVD coming called The Prince of the Coast. You could get that off my MySpace page in about a month. That will have the battle on there for all the fans that didn’t get a chance to see it and all the other stuff that I’ve been doing.