good, man. I'm ready to get home, regroup, and let the battery recharge
for a little bit. We've been on the road since January 22. We did the
Fort Minor tour and the Dilated Peoples tour.
the road treating you?
treating me good. It always treats us good whenever we come out. It was
a real, real good pleasure and a real treat to be out with Dilated and
Defari. Those are people we respect and enjoy just kicking it with on
a day-to-day basis. That makes for a whole lot better tour and a great
experience. That actually made the time fly by. It didn't seem like we
were out for six weeks. Other than that, the road is the road for the
most part. There's a lot of getting on the bus and riding on the bus for
countless hours. You have some bad shows, some great shows, some bad food
is what it is at the end of the day.
have any problems finding vegetarian food on the road?
I'm not a
straight vegetarian no more. It's funny. A lot of people think me and
Phonte are vegetarians because the PETA people ran the interview we did
two years ago a couple of weeks ago, like the interview was fresh. That
interview with PETA was two years ago. We did it at the Rock the Bells
Festival in Anaheim with Tribe Called Quest as the headliners. That was
the night ODB passed. I haven't been a vegetarian since June and Phonte
hasn't been a vegetarian since the beginning of January. I'm back on the
bird and Phonte's back on the bird.
were meant to be eaten.
I just realized after being a vegetarian for a year and a half and going
out on the road for extended periods of time, I ended up snacking myself
to death and that's not healthy either. It would be better for me, personally,
to go back to eating chicken and turkey so when I'm out on the road, I'm
not struggling to find some chips or some shit like that. That was my
reason for going back and eating some chicken.
with Drama seems to be doing real well. How did you guys go about putting
the tape together?
who don't know, Drama's been a fan of Little Brother since day one. We
actually met Drama for the first time out in Atlanta a couple of years
back. As far as the tape went, we were down in the Fall of '05 and he
had came through. We were kicking it on the tour bus and he said he wanted
to do a tape. As soon as we got off the tour, we went to the studio and
we created twelve or thirteen bangers for the tape, gave it to Drama,
and he did what he does.
happy with how it came out?
It's a classic.
I couldn't see it happening any other way. We're trying to set a precedent
for mixtapes. When you hear a lot of mixtapes, you hear a lot of rappers
rapping over other people's beats or old verses. When we do a mixtape,
we go to the lab and we create almost another album. That's how the "Chitlin
Circuit 1.5" was. There were some old joints and remixes. That's
how the Drama tape was. We put two joints from "The Minstrel Show"
on there. People want to hear new music. The Drama tape is good to reach
the people we haven't reached before. We're better today than we were
yesterday, and they can hear that. Then they can go back later and check
our history and see what we've done in the past. If this is your introduction
to Little Brother, we want them to hear this because this is where we
are at right now. "The Minstrel Show" is not "Chitlin Circuit
1.5" which is not "The Listening." This is current stuff
right now and I think that's what people need to hear.
put "Lovin' It" on the tape because you feel it hasn't reached
is the single, so we put it on there. I know it didn't reach everybody.
We know it didn't reach everybody. It didn't have the push that it could
have had. There are a lot of people out there that still don't know who
Little Brother is. If they don't know who Little Brother is, then why
not drop the single on them one more time?
saying Little Brother music isn't reaching who it needs to. Is that frustrating?
When I go
in to make records, I'm not shooting for a certain demographic. I just
want to make the best music possible and if they love it, that's cool,
whether you're 17 or 25. It's about reaching everybody. Our music hasn't
been pushed enough to reach everybody. Not everybody has access to it,
and I'm not just talking about radio and video. That's only two aspects
of marketing. There are a lot of other ways to do it. People think if
you have those two, you've covered your bases. That's not true. I don't
feel enough was done for this record, and it's a dope record. Everybody
can walk away from something from this record. 25-35 year-olds can probably
appreciate it more than a 17 year-old, but that doesn't mean a 17 year-old
can't appreciate it.
has the internet been to Little Brother's success?
to our success. We have a base of fans on the internet that have helped
us along the way. They helped create the buzz. I appreciate everything
the internet has done for Little Brother in the past and what it's going
to do in the future. It's been good for us. I just have a problem when
people think that's all we got and they think the internet made Little
Brother. Dope music made Little Brother. That's my only problem with it.
I love the internet for the buzz it helped us create.
back to the mixtape, were you addressing anybody specifically on "Knock,
us releasing some frustration. We were frustrated. The album came out
in September and the label didn't start running with the single until
the album was coming out. Normally artists have a three-month setup. Part
of that was our fault because we didn't want to wait for the first-quarter
of '06. Part of that was our fault, but we felt like more could have been
done for this album. When we went into the studio, niggas were mad and
frustrated and we just took it out on the mic. The whole "Knock,
Knock" thing is saying to let niggas in the house. We're all slaves
and shit, but we're field niggas outside in the heat with no shirts on,
out there cropping and shit. That was just frustration and us speaking
out about it.
going to make sure things change for the next album?
to do some things differently. This was a learning experience like a motherfucker.
We learned a whole lot of things when we made this album and we put this
album out. We learned a whole lot of things. We're going to do some things
differently, but that's just the way it is. That's life. The stakes are
raised and we have to learn from them. We're going to do some things differently
on the next album, but we're still going to be Little Brother. We don't
have to go out and get the next hot producer or the next such-and-such
artist that's cracking. That's not going to happen at all, but we are
going to do some things differently.
showed some diversity on "On My G."
that. I'm definitely a big Neptunes fan. I always say I want to work with
them in my interviews. When I heard that joint, I went on Limewire, said,
"Fuck this, I have to find the instrumental." I wrote it on
my way to the studio and put it down. That's one thing people get confused
and they don't know. Me and 'Te can rap over anything. This is what we
do. I can sound good over a whole lot of stuff, I just choose to do what
I want to do. A lot of niggas were shocked that I was rapping over that.
Niggas laughed. That's what I do. If you give me a dope beat, no matter
who did it, I'm going to try to crush it.
it working with Mos Def?
was crazy! We were in the studio mixing the record and Q-Tip and had been
there earlier in the day. We were playing the record for them to see what
they thought. Anytime you can play your music for legends to see what
they think about it, that's a crazy experience. They were on their way
out, and Mos came in. He was supposed to meet Q-Tip but he came late.
He was chilling, and 'Te was like, "We need to work." He goes,
"What's up with right now?" Guru was ahead of mixing, so he
goes, "It's your time." He recorded a song for 9th's project
first, and then 9th put on the instrumental CD and we knew that beat was
the right one. We crafted some bars and hammered it out. It was real quick.
There was no hook on there. It was niggas in the booth abusing the track.
It was great. It was the experience of a lifetime and one I'll never forget.
Anytime I can record with somebody who I grew up listening to, it's a
good feeling. It's cool just being in their presence. Nine times out of
ten it's a great experience. I'm a fan of music first, and anytime I can
meet someone I admire, that's a good experience.
working with Bun-B?
get to record that one together. He recorded his vocals in Houston. Knowing
Bun-B has been a blessing for me. I was the first person he talked to
out of the group after he said he was a fan of us. I reached out to Paul
Wall and then me and Bun chopped it up for forty-five minutes. He said
he respected us and thought we had a bright future. He said he wanted
to make sure we stayed on the right path and that we could hit him up
anytime. It's been great just having him there and we can call or email
him. It's important for us. When we were down in Houston a couple of weeks
ago, it was his birthday weekend and he had a party and we just chopped
it up and had a good time on some "kickin' it" shit. Knowing
Bun has been a blessing.
happy with the response off "Separate but Equal" so far?
that I've run into says that shit is crazy. They say it's our best work
to date. It's been getting a crazy response. If you like that, you're
going to love what we have in store with you for the next album. Everybody's
been loving it. We're just keeping it moving. It's another notch on the
you feel about some so-called fans saying you "sold out" by
doing a tape with Drama?
There's going to be a whole lot of that going on with us. Some people
don't want you to change or grow. They don't want you to do something
different. I'm not the same person I was yesterday, no matter how much
happened. No one is the same person today that they were yesterday. I
always tried to let people know from the get-go that I'm a believer in
dope music. I don't care what kind of music you make, you can't front
on dope music. Drama wanted to do the tape and we did it. If you don't
like it, you don't like it. That's just a move you have to make. Nobody's
in charge of our career but us. We're in the driver's seat. Fans don't
really know who we are. All they know is who we are through our music.
Some people don't like Drama because he's "mainstream." Nah,
motherfuckers, Drama represents dope music, and if you represent dope
music, we're going to fuck with you. Phonte made a post on his MySpace
page and it was great. He said some fans are like clingy girlfriends that
don't want you to go out and play pool with the boys. "Oh no baby,
don't go out. Don't leave me." I can't help what people's perceptions
of me are. It's going to be what it's going to be. I know when we put
music out, it's going to be dope. It doesn't matter if we have Drama,
Mos Def, or Bun-B on it. It's going to be dope and as long as it's dope,
nobody should have a problem with it.
a skit about it on the mixtape, but how do you respond in real-life when
people say Drama did the tape because you're label-mates?
a fan of us since our ABB days. It's not a money thing and it's not an
Atlantic thing. We respect each other's grind and hustle. We got together
and did it. It's nothing more than that. I want people to understand something
about us: when we work with people, it's people we respect. They're people
we admire and want to work with. It's not forced. It's just something
that we want to do. We wanted TI on "The Minstrel Show" but
we couldn't match our schedules. It wasn't because TI was on Atlantic.
It just didn't happen. If you see us do a collabo, it's out of mutual
respect for that artist and we want to do it. It's not somebody we were
made to work with.
done a lot of work in Bassline Studios. Any chance of working with Just
If the situation
fits, then we can make it crack. I'm a fan of Just Blaze. I want him to
do something on my next solo album. I have to get the budget right first
and holler at Just. That's somebody who me and 'Te both respect. I definitely
see us working together in the future.
you have a good time recording "The Barbershop" with Murs?
have fun recording with the homie. We didn't get to do a joint together
for "3:16." When we did the joint for my album, he recorded
the vocals in Cali. When he came to record "Murray's Revenge,"
we made a promise that we'd do that one together. That's one that I definitely
had a lot of fun doing. That's why we went back-and-forth on it. When
you're spitting 16's, you can do that from anywhere. It was a lot of fun
and hopefully you'll see me and Murs on a track again sometime.
your relationship with BET right now?
We just did
an interview in Chicago for BET.com and we did a performance with Lupe.
We'll see how it turns out in the future. We didn't really have a meeting
with the brass of BET, but hopefully the interview that we did will clear
some things up. From what I was told, it was basically a big misunderstanding
and miscommunication from both parties. We'll see what happens. It really
doesn't matter at this point because our video is six or seven months
old and we don't know if we're getting another single. At this point and
time, it doesn't mean much except clearing the air. It's always good to
clear the air. Clearing the air is always good. If we got that done, then
something good came out of it.
started your next solo album?
that, lightly. I actually used "Macaroni" and "Hold"
on the mixtape. Both of those are on my album. I have a couple more joints
to do for it when I get home. I'm looking forward to that. I'm going to
chill for a week and then go spend some time with my sister. She's about
to give birth to twins. My brother's about to get out from an eight-year
stint. He's about to be fresh out on Monday. I just want to spend some
time with the family, chill, and get my mind right. Then I'm going back
to the studio and I'm going hard. I don't know what's going to come out
next. It depends if Little Brother is able to get another single. Right
now, we're not getting one. If we get another single from Atlantic and
it pops, then I'm probably going to put my album out late '06 or early
'07. If we don't get another single, then Little Brother is going back
in the studio to work on the next album and I'm going to push my album
to the back burner because Little Brother comes first.
you want the next Little Brother album to sound?
going to be dope, man. It's not going to be "The Minstrel Show Part
Two" or "The Listening Part Two." It's going to show growth
and it's going to be crazy. We have a couple ideas, but I can't let anything
out of the bag just yet.
you want to say to your fans?
who have been supporting Little Brother since day one, we appreciate it
and we love you for it. For those who started on Little Brother recently
and support Little Brother, we appreciate you as well. Just know that
Little Brother is advocates of dope music. If you see us working with
Lil' Wayne, don't be surprised. Real recognize real. Just know that. You
don't have to like us and I'm not forcing anyone to like anything, but
know if our name is attached to it, we're going to try our hardest to
make sure it's some dope shit. You can believe that.