good. I can't complain. I have a new situation. Everything is new on the
table. I have a company called Quiet INK and that's really what it's all
about right now.
you been up to lately?
I got a release
out of the contract with Elektra in 2004. I left with all of my publishing
and master copies. I had a great deal coming in but I had an even better
deal coming out. Now I'm able to fully focus on the business aspect and
my ghostwriting work behind the scenes, which are really my two passions.
the ghostwriting been doing?
where it's at. It's been going fantastic. There are a lot of cats out
nowadays that claim to be ghostwriting. That's like the new, cool thing
to say. Ghostwriting is a technique and it's a full-time job. A lot of
people do it on the side but I do it as a full-time job. The clients keep
coming and it pays well. It's steady and it's a full-time business.
that you want to be behind the scenes when most MC's want to be out there.
When I first
signed my deal at Elektra and we shot a video for "If I Could Go,"
it was a real awkward experience for me. Anybody that knows me knows that
I'm a real quiet dude. Being on TV was something that I never liked or
took to. It was a matter of deciding if I really wanted to do that full-time.
During that process, I started ghostwriting. I got my first ghostwriting
check for $115,000. I said to myself, "If I can get $115,000 by not
being on TV, why would I want to be on TV?"
more money than a lot of rappers make.
To each his
own. A lot of people come into this business and want to be famous. They'll
compromise their integrity, publishing, and royalties. They won't really
care about that as long as they're on TV. Then there are guys like myself
and writers who I aspire to be like, like David Foster, Dallas Austin,
Diane Warren, and Brian Michael Cox, who can be behind the scenes, have
what the rappers have, and still be able to go to the mall and not be
are a million rappers out there right now. Why should someone go to you
for a verse instead of someone else?
not in the "rap circle." You'll never know who I write for and
vanity's a motherfucker! I think that's why I'm able to keep the clientele
that I keep. I'm a ghostwriter and I play the background and I'm dope.
(laughs) The big thing right now for ghostwriters is to tell who you wrote
for. That defeats the purpose in my opinion. I get paid to shut-up.
the ethics of ghostwriting?
no real ethics. You can do whatever you want to do. My style is different.
When I sit down, I really write for that artist. Everyone always asks
me to tell them who I write for, but I can't do that. That's my ethics.
times a day do you get asked who you wrote for?
hear a record, call me, and tell me, "I know you wrote that."
They'll harass me about that record. My son's mom doesn't even know who
I wrote for and she got tired of asking.
never tell anyone who you wrote for, how are people supposed to believe
that you've ever ghostwritten anything?
The thing with me is, real recognize real. I bump into a lot of cats at
the car wash. That's how they know I'm about what I say I'm about. They
see what I'm washing. That's how I met 7 Aurelius. Ask him. I was moving
out of my penthouse apartment in Battery Park and my leasing agent told
me that he wanted to look at it. One thing about me is that I'm a grown
man. I'm never in my life trying to prove anything to anybody. You can't
prove anything to anybody. People will believe what they want, but please
believe, there are more cats who know than those who don't know.
If a ghostwriter
can have so many hits for other people, why can't a ghostwriter have a
successful career as an artist as well?
I can't speak
for other ghostwriters. On my album I have a song called "Mr. Guantalo
Ahi," which is my alias. The verse says, "others ain't understand
the music I was doing/So I ghostwrote and they rapped along, niggas is
foolish." That's basically what it is. A lot of times you write for
people that don't understand your music. A lot of dudes have a problem
with me in the industry.
take away from the authenticity of the music?
each his own. To the guys who don't write
90% of the game doesn't
write. Most R&B artists don't write. Most female R&B artists don't
write, and only about 50% of rappers write. I'm not really concerned with
the lifestyle of the person I'm writing for. I read interviews all the
time when I'll write a song for somebody and the interviewer will say,
"How did you come up with that concept?" and they'll just make
something up. It's all good.
authenticity more important in Hip Hop than in R&B or pop music?
Hop is wack. There's really no other way to put it. Hip Hop is wack. Only
the zombies are left.
like the majority appreciates personality and images over quality.
I don't think
people know what they appreciate anymore. If they knew, there wouldn't
be so many wack artists coming out and there wouldn't be so many wack
artists coming out and getting new money and so many talented artists
wouldn't have to play the background like they do. George Carlin says,
"There's a big club out there and you're not in it." We spoke
about this before. You're not in it and I'm not in it. There are ways
to get in it, Raz-B from B2K is in it, but I'm not trying to get in it.
(laughs) It is what it is.
Hop were different today, would you try to be an artist?
I hate to
sound arrogant, but I'm a numbers man. I signed a five-album, five-year,
$4.4 million deal. Nobody had a deal like that. In actuality, I did more,
still, even in my absence, than a lot of artists have done now. Every
New York artist is still not selling what Ang (Angie Martinez) sold. News
flash, she's not a rapper! C'mon man, you have to take it for what it
you've never dropped an album?
I don't know.
I don't know. I'm trying to find a correct way to answer the question,
but I'm not sure. Some days I just wake up and say, "I don't want
to rap." Fortunately, I can say that. Some dudes can't because they
don't have a Plan B. We had a conversation a couple months ago where I
told you, "I quit." People in this business are too full of
shit for me. There is a part of me that says I need to just tell the world
my story and stop backing down from interviews. I don't do interviews.
I turn down interviews all the time. I've been my own problem as much
as these fake industry dudes.
you want to do this interview?
to do an interview, if for nobody else, then my fans. I'm so used to not
saying anything that even when I do an interview now, it's awkward for
me because I'm not used to talking. I'm used to doing. I want to do this
interview now because I have this company called Quiet INK. I got 240
song placements on TV right now. I have a female that I'm working with
named Karima from Stockholm, Sweden, who is going to be the biggest pop
star. I have a female rapper named Cristi from Alabama with green eyes
that is going to make you forget about all other female rappers. Due to
all the work that that I have done, I have the leverage to put out all
these artists. As a result, I'm playing the background again.
all your past experiences made you a good manager and someone who can
A lot of
people don't know that I used to manage Marcelle Larice. She's an actress
from Los Angeles who was the former host of BET's "Teen Summit"
and had a sitcom on UPN with Jenny McCarthy called "Bad Girl's Guide."
I signed with Angie Martinez to Elektra as an artist. I was 20 years-old
when I started working on her album. I executive produced her album and
I did the marketing for the East Coast region. I sat in on the marketing
meetings and was able to see how the industry worked. I was able to take
a lot of things into my own company and develop it. I learned everything
that's the reason why these cats don't want to deal with me. In this business,
you can't be too dumb, but you can't be too smart either. If they don't
feel they can make money off you, they don't want you. I've had meetings
with some people and nothing ever went down. I can't be taken advantage
have a lot of one-off deals or a lot of recurring business in the game?
I had a meeting
with Dame Dash. I only took the meeting because of Clark Kent. Clark met
me at The Hit Factory. He's a cool dude. Clark is my man. Clark invited
me up there. Dame didn't tell me, but he told Clark that he didn't hear
any hits. I wonder, with all the artists he's putting out, how he would
even be able to determine what a hit is. I think the whole rap industry
can understand that. That's a prime example.
you think executives don't give you respect?
but in private. God forbid that show anybody love in public.
it frustrating dealing with industry heads?
I met Eric
Nicks, who is an exec at Motown, through a mutual friend. A very credible
friend and a friend who spoke highly of Eric Nicks. The friend told him
my album was done, and all Eric said was, "Good luck." It's
not frustrating, it's funny. It really is. I'm not frustrated. I really
do feel bad for all the other dudes who just rap and don't have anything
else to do. They're the ones standing outside the label ready to shoot
the place up.
going to drop an album?
I have an
album that I have been perfecting for the past two years. I'll go back-and-forth
on it, adding things to it
if a verse is real hot, I'll keep it.
I never knew what I wanted to do so I wrote the album. A lot of people
like what they hear. They tell me, "If you don't do anything else,
you have to put this album out." I have a situation at Universal
where I can put it out, but I'm not sure. It depends how I feel when I
wake up tomorrow.
taking things on a day-to-day basis?
I take everything
on a day-to-day basis. I should call my album "Freedom Town"
because that's my life. I make more money writing and doing other things.
Putting an album out independently would mean I'd make a lot of money.
I've been talking to some labels overseas as well. Most of my album is
done by Swedish producers. You wouldn't know it because Hip Hop is Hip
Hop. When the time is right, I'll make that move.
I also love
my fans and my people, Latinos. This whole reggaeton movement excites
me. I'm a big fan of Pitbull and seeing guys like Daddy Yankee and Don
Omar inspire me.
your TV show coming?
is a film and production company. We're not a record label. That's cliché.
Everybody has a record label. We have a show called "South Beach
Style" in development for WB. It's hosted by one of the most beautiful
girls in the world, Sheryl K. The show is models interviewing the movers
and shakers. We did John Singleton, Eddie Murphy, and Snoop Dogg. I'm
not on camera. I'm just producing the show. The show has been doing well.
I still have love for the business, I just don't like the characters in
it. We'll be at the NAPA Convention next year for sure.
do you see the show going?
Like my man
Puff says, "We're just trying to preserve the sexiness." We're
just trying to put a show out that doesn't follow the norms. You're not
going to see too many young guys producing a show and not be on it. There's
nothing like this show on television. There are a lot of people interested.
There is a well-known female billionaire interested in this. We're taking
it day-by-day making moves.
have other ideas for shows?
We have other stuff that we're writing. That's why we're "Quiet INK."
One of my partners, Nuria Brillembourg, just sold a Spanish show called
"Tomalo Suave" to Univision. We're working on sitcoms and shows.
I've been writing a movie for a while for Tony Scott to do. He did "Man
on Fire" and "Domino." I've been writing a lot of different
things. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I'm not going to keep
going to record labels looking for a deal. There are a lot of dudes that
don't like me, and I don't like them, so that makes two of us.
have a lot of allies in the game?
people that are with me are powerful and I could call on them, but I don't
want to call on them. I don't want to force anything. I came in with one
of the most powerful people in the game. Angie and I used to laugh at
all of this. I have a lot of friends that can make a lot of calls. I'm
doing all right so it's all good.
still cool with Angie Martinez today?
My relationship with Ang is eternal. It's way bigger than rap.
was "If I Could Go" to your career?
came out and we started doing interviews, I would laugh out of my chair
when cats would say it was only getting spins because she was at the station.
Hot97 is Infinity Broadcasting. We didn't get any spins there. Go check.
All of our spins were from Top 40 stations. We were on Billboard for twenty-four
consecutive weeks in the top 20. That's huge. I haven't seen a record
that can compare to that besides 50 Cent. As far as New York, I haven't
seen that since. Before cats check up on me, they need to check up on
these dudes shopping these horrible records. I'm still getting a check
for a record that's five years old. A lot of these dude's records can't
even last a month. There are a lot of horrible records coming out of New
York. I hate to break the news.
If a song
you ghostwrote doesn't come out how you wanted it to, do you get involved?
I never write in advance. That's my thing. Sometimes I'll be writing and
I won't want it, so I'll put it aside for someone later. Then when I hook
up with them, I'll tweak it depending on what state they're from and what
they say. You have to be able to adjust it to them. Sometimes I'll write
a verse that's crazy and I'll just keep it for myself. I put out three
volumes of mixtapes just to let cats know that I'm still here. I started
my "Sacario the Boss" mixtape series last summer and we've been
flooding New York with a lot of those verses.
do you get to know the artist before you write a verse for them?
Personally, I'm like a method actor. If I'm writing for somebody, I like
to have them talk to me for a little while. I'll have somebody talk to
me at least for an hour. I'll see how they pronounce their words and what
slang words they use. I'll see how fast they talk. I'll listen to their
older music and study them. That way, I can write a song for them and
it doesn't sound like it was written by anyone but them.
put a price-tag on your verses after you right them?
I've done hooks for $8,000. It depends on the person, the budget
people will come with a price and ask if they can get something. Sometimes
I'll call my publisher and see if I can get some work on someone. Everything
comes through BMI, if you want a hit. I'm always in the building.
ever find any difficulty writing songs that come from different regions?
I'm a method
writer. Look at Denzel Washington. He can do "The Preacher's Son"
and then go and do "Training Day." You have to embody the person
you're writing for. Other ghostwriters can't really answer these questions
because they're not writing for anybody. I'll spend time with a person
and be able to write a song for them. One female I wrote a song for, after
I gave her a song, she was like, "How did you know all that?"
It was because we talked.
like saying, "How can a guy rap about a guy?" Don't you know
that most of these songwriters writing for females are guys? They're not
gay. Well, some of them are. A lot of them just know how to switch it
up, like myself. There's a method to it.
still be awkward making a sexy song about a dude.
I was in
Sound on Sound in Manhattan and I was referencing the record to my client.
I like to do it with the adlibs. I want it to sound just like it would
on the album. They walked right in when I was saying something about a
dude. I busted out laughing. I didn't want them walking out thinking that
Sacario is writing songs for dudes. It does feel awkward, but you get
used to it after awhile. I do write for a lot of girls.
do you have for up-and-coming MC's?
wouldn't encourage kids to become rappers because rap right now is stunted
in growth. There are 40 year-old dudes dressing and acting like children.
From a business perspective, that looks corny. It's still a $2 billion
annual business. Hate it or love it, Hip Hop still has a presence in the
marketplace. I definitely wouldn't encourage kids to do this. I would
tell them to learn how to talk first. If a lot of rappers knew how to
speak and conduct a conversation, a lot of their songs would reach a broader
audience. If you can't speak and hold a conversation, how can you talk
to an audience. Learn how to read. That's why Canibus was so hot. He's
a smart dude. Learn how to read, then rap.
the corniest trend you see in Hip Hop?
industry dude. You know the guy. He's everywhere. He's the guy who just
got the Sidekick or the Crackberry with the horrendous earpiece. He knows
all the latest Hip Hop lingo, says "holler" a lot
talker, real corny. That's the guy. I hate that guy.0
ever get mad about people talking about your voice and who it sounded
I got frustrated.
I definitely was frustrated for awhile. It bothered me because it took
away from people hearing how dope I am if all you're focusing on is my
voice. I did me. I didn't see it. I feel like you should judge someone
by who they are, not by what they sound like. There was always more differences
than similarities. I don't get those comparisons anymore.
do you want to get into?
I want to
finish writing these movies and this television stuff. I'm working on
finishing the script for "South Beach Style" and I'm working
on finishing these other shows. We've got great relationships with people
like Christina Norman and Richard Parsons. We're trying to write more
As far as
the music, Cristi's new single, "Twist," is done. We're going
to release Kerima's single "Under My Skirt" and my single is
called "Okay Playboi." It's going to be a busy year. I am going
to release my album when the time is right. You're definitely going to
hear that this year, sooner than you think. Remember Quiet INK Productions.
you want to say to everyone?
I'm a Latino,
you know how I do. I represent pa vida! For everybody out there that was
wondering what happened to me, I'm doing real good. Thanks for the support.
You can check me at myspace.com/sacariotheboss. Thank you for doing the
interview because you have cornball websites that act like they're promoting
all Hip Hop but they're only promoting some Hip Hop. And to all of the
suits out there, fuck you very much! You may have my signature but you
will never have my soul.