Your new album Trilla just got pushed back today. Is that a good move?
Yeah, man, it was a good move. I didn’t have my magazine covers where I wanted them to be. I have to talk to my people. This is the best and the hardest album of the year and I have to make sure my people know what’s going on. Of course we could be successful if we put it out tomorrow, because we’re the best, but we have to be the biggest in the business. And to be the biggest in the business, all your “i’s” have to be dotted and all your “t’s” have to be crossed. That’s why I have you on the line today, boss.
Was your single “Speedin’” not going as far as you wanted it to?
No, no. It’s the other things. The video for “Speedin’” is going to hit this week and the song is doing wonderful. It was the No. 1 most added song last week. It’s everything else that’s around it. We have to make a huge album even bigger. We the best.
How does Trilla getting pushed back change your plans to promote the album?
It just builds the anticipation from the people. The people are ready for that Trilla and believe me, it’s going to be the best album. Port of Miami is a classic album. I’m still doing shows off that. We’re still doing shows in Dublin, Ireland and shows in Alaska off Port of Miami.
We’re making the biggest album and I’m not tripping. Def Jam was ready to go with it but I wanted to keep the direction that we used for “Hustlin’” and “Pushin’”. That’s what we did. That sold 1 million copies and that was a blessing, feel me? This album is going to be a classic, of course, because we the best, but I want to be the biggest also. This is one of the only, if not the only, company that can make this happen. That’s what we did.
Are you changing any of the music on Trilla?
The music’s done. I mean, I’m going to keep recording and you never know what can happen anyway, but the music is legendary. These are legendary records. That’s not even an issue. If you listen to the mixtapes that are on the streets, you’ll know we the best. You can read the reviews and they say we have classics. It is what it is.
What’s the video for “Speedin’” like?
Oh, man, it was wonderful, man. R. Kelly, I’m a big fan of his and I’ve been a big fan for years. I’m glad we got to collaborate and make it a huge record. P. Diddy came through and showed me that love. Fat Joe came through. Everybody came through and showed me love. Shout out to everybody that embraced the boy. I’m jumping off a bridge in this video. We the best.
How did you pull that off?
You have to watch it. You have to see it. I ain’t finna tell you how I pulled that off. I can’t give my David Copperfield secrets away. This video is definitely going No. 1.
You’re going to have to cut somebody in half in the next video.
I might have to do that or shoot somebody.
How did your latest single “Street Money” come together?
That came together with the recording of the album. I challenge myself lyrically and I change my flows. You’re going to hear the triples and the paces and the breaks change more than ever. That’s just what I did. “Street Money” is one of those records I recorded when I was making the album. Of course I recorded records I knew I wouldn’t use, but I just felt like recording. “Street Money” is one of those records that’s real easy to listen to, I get straight to the point and it’s the truth.
On “Speedin’” and “Street Money”, you talk about how you want to blow all your money while also saying how you’re scared of the money disappearing. How does that work?
It works like, when you get money and you’re getting money, then you’re balling. I’m $15 million up and trying to blow it all in one week. I’m a young dude and I have 30 cars. This is my lifestyle. This is my life. If I got 30 cars, then that means I got 60 employees. I’m talking about that struggle. When I go to the ‘hood, I like to put that in there like, ‘Yeah, I’m the boss. I came up, but I’m just like you, brother. The same way you chase the checks, that’s my mentality too.’ That’s why the streets feel me and everybody in the ‘hoods and ghettoes feel me and why I’m still out here in the streets. I feel the same way. Every DJ and everybody that works at McDonald’s feels like everything could be gone tomorrow. I feel the same way. That’s why I’m out here grinding. That’s my mentality. When I say I’m going to blow it, that’s me. That’s me being the boss. That’s my motivator. It goes hand-in-hand.
What do you do with 30 cars?
A lot. When you see MTV Cribs, you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’m finna film my first version of that next month. I got a lot of old school’s. I’ve been collecting. I’ve had old school’s since high school. I’ve been collecting, but now it’s just like I’ve gone crazy.
What’s your favorite car today?
My 1973 Caprice Classic. That’s my favorite old school that nothing can happen to. And my favorite up-to-date car is my Maybach.
Didn’t you and Jay record a song called “Maybach Music”?
Yeah. That’s why we did it. When I went to the studio Jay was working at, I saw the Maybach outside and I told E-Class, “That’s what I want.” Me and Jay came back on this one and collaborated. The music is sounding like an orchestra. That’s why I said, “It only makes sense that we call it ‘Mayback Music’.” It’s for everybody with those Maybach dreams. It’s going to be a record that they’re never going to forget.
There was talk that you and Kanye were working on a song for Trilla. Did that happen?
We were out in Vegas and we went into the studio. My man Kanye just has so much going on and the records that he played, I just wanted to wait a minute. Then that happened with his mom. I have to give him time to do his thing. My condolences go out to him. He’s a talented brother and he just needs his time right now.
A lot of artists coming up from Miami, like Flo Rida, say that you played a big role in helping them. How important is it for you to help bring other artists up in the game?
I think, to me, that’s what being trill and being trilla and keeping it trilla is all about. It ain’t just about Rick Ross. I want the city of Miami to be mine. The city of Miami is already mine, but my brothers, I want to see them eat too. I want Flo Rida to sell more records than Rick Ross because that will mean 15 years from now, I’ll be the d-boy version of L.A. Reid. That will be my life. I’m doing what I can to help Brisco, Flo Rida and Triple C’s and everybody that’s doing their thing like DJ Khaled. I was on five songs off DJ Khaled’s album. This isn’t a company. This is a family. This is blood right here. This is bigger than music. That’s why I did that, you feel me? And that’s the way it’s going to go.
A lot of artists in Miami support each other and there’s a lot of give and take. Is that why there’s so much unity in Miami?
I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for what Miami is finna do. Trick Daddy is back in the loop. Everything is coming back and we’re just getting stronger. To me, the best albums in hip-hop and when the most records were sold and when the people really gave a fuck, it was when Death Row was out with 2Pac and Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound. There was N.W.A., Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren. There was Biggie, the Lox, Mase and Black Rob waiting in the wings. To me, that’s when it made hip-hop exciting. Not just when it’s one dude but when it’s a movement. That’s what we’re cultivating and that’s what we’re working on and I think we’re going in that direction.
Can Miami be the biggest city for hip-hop in the future?
Most definitely. That’s plain to see with your glasses off. Miami is going to be the biggest spot for music. For one, all the biggest names in the game record in Miami already. If you’re not recording in Miami, you’re not one of the biggest names in the game. The biggest names come in, like Timbaland on down. Miami is a beautiful place. It celebrates celebrity. It’s the place to be. It’s M-I-Yayo. It’s where I’m from. Why wouldn’t you want to be here?
Why do you think artists like Fat Joe leave New York to record in Miami?
Why not go down to Miami if you’re from New York? Your cars just get booted, there’s no palm trees, the ladies don’t wear bikinis for no reason and you can’t just drink a margarita. Come on. In Miami, you get to drop the top down, you get to enjoy life and you don’t have to worry about your cars getting booted. That’s illegal in Miami. The weed is better. The studios are…Come on. It’s only the right thing to do. You can get everything done down here too. You can get your Rick Ross feature. Bring your $100,000 cash and it’s real easy. You’re going to see me somewhere. Trust me.
After you blew up, did you see more people in Miami rocking the Rick Ross beard?
Of course. Of course, man. I love that. That just lets me know that they’re embracing me. The beard was going on before me, but I think I brought that out down South.
Do you have the best beard in hip-hop?
Of course! What kind of question is that? Whose beard looks better than mine?
Are you going to be releasing any mixtapes before Trilla comes out?
Yeah, definitely. We’re releasing the Mayback Music mixtape. I just released the Trilla mixtape. That’s hosted by DJ Khaled. That’s real big. I’m going to squeeze another mixtape in there and just tweak everything. It’s a presidential campaign we’re running here.
What do you have to do from here on out to make sure Trilla does the numbers you want it to do?
The music is already there. I just have to make sure everything just falls into place, like the little, small things. The video is going into rotation next week so that will be No. 1 soon. I’m standing out here promoting and shooting these magazines.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Trilla. I put a lot into the album. I went in like a boss. We’re doing this for the streets. Just get the album because it’s going down.