good. The season's starting and that's going good. The album's coming
out. There's a lot of things to look forward to.
My World is finally done. How does that feel?
good. I'm not trying to sound major because I don't have the power of
an Aftermath. We're shipping them out and I'm hoping they sell out in
stores. From an artistic standpoint, I'm really happy with the project.
It's better than I expected it to be. I always knew I could do it, but
I didn't know I could do it like this. This album is versatile and so
far people are liking it.
you initially want to make when you started My World?
have been this album. This album sounds flawless to me. I was working
on my album two years ago. I actually did two albums but I didn't like
how they sounded so I never put them out. I got 21 tracks on My World.
I probably have the most tracks on an album that's coming out this year
because most people have 14 or 15 tracks. I have 21 and a DVD that comes
have a difficult time picking your single "Fever"?
Yeah. I had
a tough time picking the single because I was thinking if I should be
hardcore, party, I got strip club joints
I was wondering if I should
go hard. I decided that I wanted to come with a more commercial, hip-hop
single. It's a really good song. When it comes on in the club, I love
how it starts. The girls just start dancing when it comes on. I would
rather have a single like that. The next single is going to be more like
a strip club joint and the single after that will be a more QB single.
talking about a lot of different issues and people on "Haterz."
What was your main inspiration for that song?
came from a lot of stress and a lot of frustration from people always
having a negative opinion of me when they didn't even have the chance
to meet me. Some people just want to see you down. I was attacking a lot
of those people. In some cases, they're people you can't even see. I was
talking about a lot of people I couldn't even see.
of people had negative comments about your music in the past on our Audio
lot of HipHopGame commentators. I got 10,000 hits on my last song. I was
talking about real life situations. People asked me why I wanted to act
hard. I can do that if I want to. That's how I felt at that time. Some
of the songs we put up are one-tracked and raw, straight out of the studio.
mention teaching David Stern about the hood on "Haterz." Do
you think he'll take offense?
I felt it
was something that needed to be said. When I found out I was suspended,
I found out by watching ESPN. I don't have a personal relationship with
David. He let me know on TV that I was suspended so I let him know on
my record that I had to teach him about the ghetto.
you feel about how the NBA markets itself today?
The NBA wants
to be a clean-cut company. It's a billion-dollar business and the corporations
that invest in the league are concerned with the image. Most of the players
in the NBA are from the ghetto and most of the time, the executives want
to hide that fact because it's a billion-dollar corporation. There are
some good players coming from overseas, but the best players are still
from the ghetto. Shaq, Jordan, me, Stephon Marbury and Iverson are all
from the ghetto. We stay real to our peoples. We've been through so much
as a race and as a people that guys like me and Iverson never forget where
we came from. We always show our respect to our peoples.
your European tour with Fat Joe?
crazy. Fat Joe gave me the opportunity to open up for him after he heard
my music. If you open up for somebody, you have to hold it down. You can't
just open up for somebody and have a weak show. We held Fat Joe down.
We rocked it. It's on the DVD. We did shows ranging from 5,000 people
to 30,000 people. The fans loved it. The fans overseas were straight loving
us. It felt like a championship.
it playing for Joe in the Rucker League?
We took that!
We were too much. It was a good league. Fat Joe's a good coach. He knows
some dope guest appearances on My World. How did you choose who you wanted?
It was kind
of hard at first. I didn't want to flood my whole album with features
because I wanted to take a stand for myself in this music. I want to attract
fans with this album, whether it's one fan, 1,000 or 10,000. When I do
my solo albums, I want my fans to get a sense of where I'm coming from.
I'm going to get a sense of what people like on this album as well and
cater to my fans.
the best rapper in the NBA?
not. I don't think I'm the best but I may have one of the best albums.
There are so many others. Troy Hudson is nice. Elton Brand is nice too.
He's from the ghetto too. When we were playing growing up, he would have
holes in the front of his shoes. He's on my album rapping some real shit.
Ronnie Price and Quincy Douby are nice. A lot of athletes like to rap
and they usually support each other.
have to choose your words wisely because you are in the NBA and are very
well-known outside of rap?
in the NBA and you want to put out an album, you have to come correct
and you can't be too crazy or gangsta with it. My album would probably
have curses on it if I was just doing an album and not thinking about
my image or my celeb. When you're in the NBA, you have to think about
what you do. You can't make a song cursing up a storm and talking about
guns and all that crazy stuff. That's the good thing I think about being
in the NBA because my album has to be somewhat censored. We get to tell
our view on life and at the same time, there are so many kids out there
who are influenced by music and if we're constantly putting out negative
music, it's going to hurt them.
you spoken to Stephen Jackson since his strip club incident?
get a chance to holler at him but I know he's doing better now. I spoke
to some of his friends and he's doing better. That was a bad incident.
you liking Sacramento so far?
is hot. The fans really support their peoples and they're all bumping
my music right now. They're just so supportive of me over here. If you
play ball, you want to play in Sacramento. That's the place to play.
feel like you're developing that chemistry with your teammates too?
We're definitely getting a feel for each other on how we play. We're definitely
it playing for Eric Musselman?
is a good coach. I like him. He's the type of guy that keeps it real.
He's definitely not your everyday coach. Musselman is a cool, cool guy.
He's somebody you can chill with and talk to.
recent DUI change the way his players are looking at him?
like a friend to us at the same time. It wasn't like, Man, our head coach
is bugging. It was just like, Our head coach made a mistake.
you can't be too happy about Bonzi Wells leaving.
is. Bonzi's a beast. I was real disappointed about that.
you feel about the sportswriters and critics who say the season is about
to start and you shouldn't be promoting an album because it will only
be a distraction? How do you respond to them?
down jumpers and playing defense. My jumper is on right now. It's like
throwing a tic-tac in the ocean. My game is on point right now.
bother you that you didn't get an invite for Team USA?
I was kind
of heated but when I got a chance to think about it, they didn't want
me because of the image that I have. It's all about image and Ron Artest's
image doesn't fit the Team USA image. My image is for hood basketball
and that's not what the people in power at Team USA wanted.
feel the need to change your image to have opportunities like playing
for Team USA or are you happy where you are right now?
I know if
I changed I could probably have a lot more endorsements. But I like being
who I am. I'm from the ghetto. I want people to like me for who I am.
If they don't like me for me, then I'm not trying to be somebody else.
All that stuff on TV is so fake. It's all propaganda. I don't really want
to be caught in that world and get caught acting. I have to stay real
and stay true to my path.
at that, how important is religion in your life?
like I go to church every Sunday, but I do believe in God and it's definitely
important. It's important that I try to stay real and live my life right.
I think me just being me, I think I'll be fine. God is cool with that.
Of course I have to be a better person.
your goals for Tru Warier Records in 2007?
2007 is going
to be a big year for Tru Warier. I have my artist Foul Monday coming.
Look out for him. We're going to make a bigger presence in 2007 because
of the things I've been doing. I've been grinding a lot. People hear the
music and they can see that I've been grinding. 2007 may not be our year,
but we're definitely going to be in the mix of things.
your plans for Foul Monday?
best new artist coming out of New York City. If there's a better artist
than Foul Monday, then I definitely applaud them and wish them great success.
Foul Monday is the next best thing. I'm putting his whole package together.
Foul Monday is coming. He's about to have his mixtape in the streets.
Also look out for Braska and Ruc and my producer Wip.
looking to sign other artists right now?
more strategic about it right now. I have a couple artists that I'm going
to put out and I'm working on a couple groups right now. I'm definitely
being more strategic and make sure that every project I put out is going
to be my best project. If I don't do that, I'll just be throwing money
away. I already threw away $3 million just by not planning but I already
made $1 million back. I can easily make more just by planning. I'm being
more strategic about it. I want to partner with a label on my next project
so I could be more of a powerhouse in this game. I'm with Lightyear now
too. They held me down and they taught me a lot about this game.
goals for My World based on fans or sales?
It's on quality.
I hope people like the quality of the album. My next couple of projects,
I'll be more interested in sales. I hope people like this album. I'm not
interested in selling. I'm not shipping 500,000 the first week. I want
to sell a million records by the end of the year but I'm not shipping
that many records. Jay-Z is on the radio and that is pretty hard to compete
with in terms of getting a following. I'm in it for the long run. This
is the first quarter for me as far as basketball and music. I'm in it
for the whole season, not just the first year.
started thinking about the next album?
Yeah. I already
started working on it. I already got songs. Depending on what this album
does depends on when I drop the next album.
Kings get the Mavericks this year?
to be hard because the Mavericks are nice, but we're definitely the team
to do it.
you want to say to everybody?
I love all
my fans and I appreciate your support. I appreciate my fans who support
me through thick and thin. Thank you for supporting my rap career. That
means a lot to me.