How has everything been going for you?
We go through things in life so fuck it. In a twisted kind of way, I wasn’t getting all these phone calls. I guess that’s a good thing, considering the situation and my innocence and all that. I got a lot of work to do and that’s the bottom line. The shit happened at a real unfortunate time on a lot of levels. I got a mixtape Shell Shocked about to come out. That just kind of broke my momentum for a second, but we’re trying to get it back up. The mixtape is called Shell Shocked. It features my boys from BCC and Rock Brothers. We’ve been popping a lot of shit about the Rock Brothers for a long time and now you’re going to get to hear them. There’s Sean Price and Rustee Juxx. It’s a beautiful monstrosity, as I like to call it.
You’ve got assault and attempted murder charges and you’re still able to plug your mixtape.
You gotta understand, this is what I live. I lived this. I’ve been rapping since I was 11 years-old. I don’t know nothing else. Everything else in the world somehow funnels its way through that school of thought.
What went through your mind when you first found out what you were being charged with?
Basically a bunch of bullshit. It is what it is. Come on now. It’s a bunch of bullshit basically. I’m like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ It is what it is though. To keep it all the way real, I can’t and nor do I really want to get into all of that right there. It just is what it is. I’m innocent. If somebody said you stole something and you didn’t, obviously you are going to be frustrated and you are going to want to step to niggas and you’re going to want to clear your name. And that’s just the bottom line. It’s just that to the twentieth power. And that’s all what it is.
What’s the last week been like for you?
It’s been ups and downs, basically. Nobody likes jail. That’s what it is. Nobody likes jail. I guess some people might, but the people I know, for the most part, we don’t like jail and that’s the bottom line of it. If you’re in a situation that you don’t want to be in, obviously you’re going to be pissed off and frustrated. And yeah, I was all of those. That’s what it is. But I was thirsty to get out here and get to y’all motherfuckers because I know niggas are out here talking crazy about me and slandering my name and doing this, that and the third. I was anxious to get out there and get back to talking my shit and letting niggas know that first of all, to thank everybody for the support and to say, “Fuck you!” to the haters and to clear my shit up.
Has your team supported you like you wanted them to?
I’m out, ain’t I? That’s the bottom line. I’m out. And I couldn’t have done that by myself, even if I had $125,000 in my pocket. I couldn’t have bailed myself out.
And to the fans, thank you for your support, all the mail and the MySpace messages. The messages have been pouring in and I appreciate all of that.
To the haters, fuck you. That just further proves how ignorant motherfuckers is, no matter what the situation is. When I was a nigga playing a fan, listening to other artists or other people in the limelight going through their issues, I never just immediately wrote a nigga off and dismissed him like, ‘This nigga’s stupid.’ You never know.
It could be because I’m smart and some people are fucking stupid or it could be because I’m in the limelight and I understand from day one. When I first got in the game, I had imaginary baby mama’s and girlfriends that I didn’t have, so I understand how bad rumors can get and I can understand that the average fan may not understand that part of life. But anybody a part of the industry, they understand that part and they know better but I understand talking shit is part of their job. But yeah, talking shit is my job too. So talk your shit and I’ll talk mine.
Do you take that as disrespectful?
No. I just think people are stupid. You could piss in their eye and tell them it’s raining. Fuck it, it is coming from upwards and it is wet. That’s what that is. That’s stupidity, point blank, period, you know what I mean?
How confident are you that your innocence will be seen?
Oh, man, I ain’t never been more confident in my life. Nah. I’m to the good. I’m to the good. It’s a beautiful thing. This shit has turned into one big publicity stunt. I don’t like the way that it went down, but fuck it. Please believe that this will not be a downfall to me. Watch me rise. Pay attention. That’s what I tell everybody – keep watching.
Do you think the prosecution will dig into your catalogue and cite violent lyrics?
Of course that can happen. You can do what you want. I’ve been releasing music for 12 years. You can do what you want and listen to the music and that’s what it is.
But what’s more important is my rise and Shell Shocked. Look at what I’m doing. I get paid to talk shit. I don’t get paid to talk stupid. This is my livelihood. I’ve been talking this shit forever. I get paid to talk shit. Basically I’m going to have my day in court. Get that Shell Shocked and get that D.I.R.T., that’s the new Heltah Skeltah album. That should be out this summer. Everybody can make their assumptions but that has nothing to do with the facts and the facts are the facts.
I’m not one of those S.M.A.C.K. DVD niggas that’s going to be talking all kinds of stuff. What the fuck do I look like to you or anybody else, no disrespect? The most important thing for me to tell y’all is just to watch. Watch and listen. I got product coming out right now. Listen. That’s the key. All that other shit, niggas are wasting energy on. But if niggas want to use that as a reason to holla at your man Monsta Man Rocko, then by all means, you got the number. Holla.
How is your mixtape Shell Shocked coming?
Shell Shocked is just about done. I’m just slimming it down because I got so many songs. It’s just a matter of editing it and taking out certain songs. I don’t want to put too much on the album. It’s a lot of music and people got short attention spans. I don’t want to give them too much if they don’t need too much. I want to see how they respond to it. We got more.
You haven’t dropped a lot of solo music in a long time. Are fans ready for Rock’s music?
It’s all good. Things happen for a reason. I’m sure you’ve said that at least once in your life. It is what it is. You gotta give them a chance to miss me.
How’s the new Heltah Skeltah album D.I.R.T. coming?
It’s me and Ruck just being me and Ruck. Everything I am, he ain’t and everything he’s not, I am and vice versa. And sometimes we reverse roles. I say that to say that we have different tastes in music sometimes. I might not like a beat he likes and vice versa. If I don’t like a beat, I’ma say it and it’s not going to get used and if he doesn’t like a beat, he’s going to say so and it’s not going to get used. That’s the good news and the bad news right there because it’s more time-consuming, but the good news is that when we do find something that we like, there’s a 99.9% chance that that shit is awesome to everybody and then we get on there and just do our dirty work. We both have a fear of being the corny one on the song so we’re stepping our shit up. We’re not rushing our rhymes. It ain’t no fucking contest to see who’s the fastest or who lays their shit down in the least amount of takes. Ain’t none of that shit important to us. The music is what’s important. Just those things alone is going to insure that this album is off the fucking chain.
How much is older Heltah Skeltah music on your mind when you’re recording for D.I.R.T?
I mean, I already know. Me and Ruck, we both basically know that we are better than we was back then. We’ve grown lyrically. We’re just better. The only thing that changed is the times. That’s all that really changed, the faces of the game. But it’s all really the same. But the best part about it is that we are literally better. I’m a better writer now and so is he.
And whenever it’s done, it’s done. But we want that bitch out this summer though. And if it’s not, just know that we’re not giving you no bullshit. And if that’s not out, then please know that we’ll have something else to hold you over. The good people at Duck Down, we do our thing and we always have some music on the horizon.
Duck Down has enjoyed a nice resurgence ever since the triple threat of Sean Price, Buckshot and Smif N Wessun almost three years ago. Are you surprised at how fast Duck Down’s success has come in the past few years?
That’s not fast. That’s not fast to me. The people on the outside see it different. We see it differently on the inside. It hasn’t been fast. It’s been long, hard work.
Have you started your long-awaited solo album?
Yeah. We’re workaholics at Duck Down. We be doing shit. We just be doing shit. In all that time away, please believe that I was not just sitting there twiddling my thumbs. I was not nowhere doing no bullshit. Please believe I could give motherfuckers a new song every week without having to record anything for a very, very long time. This is what I do. I breathe this shit. I do this shit. I wake up out of my sleep and write punchlines. This is what I do.
There are a lot of new fans that weren’t around when Heltah Skeltah’s Nocturnal and Magnum Force albums dropped. Are you confident that you can bring in new fans or is that not a concern for you?
You just have to get them the music, B, that’s what it is. I’m not tripping about old or new. I’m just tripping about hot because hot always works. Hot always works. I don’t care what the brand is. If it’s popping it’s popping. You got mad old brands of clothing that will make a comeback years later. You got very classic brands of clothing like Gucci, where even if it’s not popping it’s a classic and all they have to do is put out a new line and it’s popping again. Old and new doesn’t matter. It’s about popping. What’s rocking is what’s rocking. That’s all that it is, whether it’s Rocawear or it’s Louis Vitton.
How do you make sure that you stay popping?
I don’t know. This is why they call it a gift. If I could explain it, I would probably sell it. It just is what it is. In my opinion, there are certain rappers who I don’t feel do no wrong. They might make a song that you might not like, but they don’t never really spit corny verses. That’s because they’re not spitting verses. They’re being themselves. That’s just the shit that they like to talk. That’s their formula. They write a certain way and they feel a certain way. That’s not to say that they do everything they say they do in their rhymes, but their brain works a certain way and they have certain habits. I write a certain way. I could spit that hardbody shit in my sleep. I could write that in my sleep. That’s the kind of music that I like. My taste has funneled through my brainwaves or however it works and the shit I write combines with the shit that I believe and the shit that I feel and some of the shit that I hear and some of the shit that I see. It’s like magic. It just works itself out.
A lot of artists get you on hooks. How do you approach those guest appearances?
I mean, if somebody wants me, holla at me. It’s that simple. It’s not free. And that’s the bottom line. Honestly, I don’t like doing songs with artists that I think are wack. If I think you are wack, I don’t particularly want to do a song with you. I don’t only do it for the money. I do it for the love too. I like painting beautiful pictures. But if someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse…
Do you think Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C. will ever reunite to record another song as The Fab 5?
Who knows? Let’s see. Why don’t you ask the fans? Let’s do a poll and see what the fans think and I’ll be able to holla at Starang. Do a poll. I’m on my shit. When it comes down to Boot Camp, that’s the family. I’ll start rhyming for them right there if that’s what they want. We’re a family and it’s always a team effort. I could either be spearheading the mission or I could be a soldier on the mission. It don’t matter. But I’m there spitting. Anything is possible. It all depends on what the fans want. I ain’t giving nobody what they’re not asking for. But y’all should really do a poll.
If that’s what it takes, that’s what we’ll do. From looking at your MySpace, you have a lot of fans who really seem to care about you. That’s gotta feel good.
Yeah. It’s all good. There’s a few haters. It’s all good. I live with love and hate every day. I want to thank all the people showing love and I want to thank my management and my label and all of that because without that, shit really wouldn’t be possible. That was a handsome ransom but it’s all good. Everybody held it down. Shout out to my brothers and Magnum P.I. Entertainment. I hear a lot of people talking about me these days. Now they just have to come talk to me.
Is it disappointing that it takes attempted murder charges to get you back in the headlines?
It’s not disappointing at all. It’s not sad. This is the game. You could either hate it or love it. Name one rapper that this hasn’t happened to. If they’re in the headlines or whatever, the people start paying more attention. I’m smart enough to know that that’s what happens, period, even if it doesn’t happen in rap. I’m smart enough to know that that happens. I could sit there and be bitter about it and say that I’ve been nice and that I’ve been spitting hardbody. I could do that, but what am I going to be mad for?
What’s your focus going to be for the next month?
Shell Shocked, baby! Shell Shocked is the motherfucking movement and it’s the motherfucking mixtape. It’s going to be fire. I’m just on the grind. I’m working on verses, albums and shows. I have to get my money. I’ll have my day in court, but in the meantime, I have work to do.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Everything that glitters ain’t gold and everything that’s dirty ain’t coal, my nigga. Shell Shocked is coming in February. Get that.