I'm a little tired today but I'm good.
October is about to drop. How do you feel about the album?
happy with it. I feel good.
your second album in a year. Before that, you weren't dropping albums
very often. Why have you been dropping more frequently?
I have the
opportunity to drop them. That's all I need. Before I didn't have the
opportunity to drop them as quickly as I would have liked to.
can you drop without compromising your quality?
I would like
to drop one a year.
you like your situation at Female Fun?
As with all independents, it's a grind and you have to be able and ready
to grind it out.
"Black October," is real dope. You talked a lot about your upcoming
prison sentence. Was that an easy track to do?
that hard. My situation is what it is. It was pretty easy. I just went
in and did it. I always think about what I do and what I see every day,
so everything you hear on my album is a true story.
like you're approaching your upcoming jail bid with a sense of humor.
have to do what you have to do. Nobody wants to go to jail, but if you
have to go, you have to go. I'm just going to get it over with. It's only
eight months. I'm going to do it and get home soon.
send you any ghetto books.
know about that. Send me something uplifting that I can use. Those ghetto
books don't do anything to me. You could put about five of those books
in a plastic bag, read one, pull out another one, and it's the same thing
all over again.
do you like to read?
I like to
read non-fiction. I read a good one called Blue Blood. I also read Step
Up. That was about a cop who worked in a precinct in the Bronx. There's
another one I read about a guy from Birmingham, England. He was Muslim
and was giving aid to the people of Afghanistan and all of a sudden they
claimed him to be a spy. He was taken to a detention camp. I would definitely
recommend reading books like this, books that will uplift you. I like
to read real-life stories. I like to read about real things. I don't read
a lot of fiction books because I don't deal with fiction. I deal with
reality. There's nothing wrong with people who want to read fiction books,
but it's just not my preference.
going to write a lot in jail?
As much as
I can. It's not like I can really work on music because I can't have an
iPod or a CD player in there. I'll be writing lyrics. I'll do what I regularly
do. I won't be able to move around like I normally do.
of rappers use jail for street credibility. How do you feel about that?
It's a new
era. They're trying to portray what they think people want to see. I'm
not the one to say dudes are fake, but a lot of these dudes aren't really
real with it and they have no idea what they're talking about. A lot of
these things are based on an image and a lot of negative things are glamorized
and glorified. My freedom is being taken away. I definitely don't want
to glorify that.
a lot of dope production on Black October. What's it like working with
Diamond for a long time. I've been knowing him since '87 or '88. It's
always cool working with Diamond.
any chance for a full-length Sadat/Diamond album?
always been talking about that. At one point we were supposed to also
hook up with Jay Dee.
got some producers like J-Zone who grew up on Brand Nubian. How is it
working with the younger producers?
I don't care where the beat comes from. As long as it sounds good, I'm
with it. Each one, teach one. That's how it's supposed to be anyway.
of teaching, are you still teaching?
been teaching for three years because of these albums.
going to get back into it?
I would like
and Education dropped a year ago. Was that album successful for you?
It was doing
what it needed to do. Studio Distribution shut down in the middle of the
album dropping so that stalled things for a minute. It did what I thought
it could do.
happy with the response to the "Back to New York" record?
Yeah, I was.
A lot of people told me that was one of their favorite tracks, so that
collaboration with Jack Johnson ever go down?
Yeah. I don't
know when the song is coming out but it went down. It was cool. I would
also like to work with the Gorillaz.
a lot of range where you can work with artists outside of hip-hip. How
do you do that?
I think that's
because I'm flexible and I'm willing to bend. I'm professional about it
and I do what I have to do.
you learn working with artists in other genres?
You get a
different perspective on things and you learn new things and how to adapt
and blend in. You don't ever want to burn down bridges. That same bridge
you burn down you may have to cross someday.
going on with Boss Money today?
doing it. They got a new thing that they're doing. They're going to be
at my video shoot.
still coaching basketball?
summer I coached the Riverside Church. I came up through that program.
We had a pretty good summer. We won a couple of tournaments.
were a lot of great players to come up through there.
Artest, Kenny Anderson, Malik Sealy
a lot of players came through
the system. I played with the original Riverside teams and the AAU travel
and hip-hop go hand-in-hand. Why is that?
A lot of
basketball players want to be rappers and a lot of rappers want to be
basketball players. A lot of places, especially in New York in Manhattan
and the Bronx, you might have 50 high schools but only seven of them play
football. Every school has basketball. It's an urban sport. You do it
outside in the parks just like you do hip-hop outside. That's how it goes
play any pick-up today?
I still play.
I haven't played this summer as much as I would have liked to but I still
play a little bit.
the best combination of basketball player/MC?
right now. Earlier I was one of the best when I was younger and I was
really playing like that. I played with Malik Sealy and Kenny Anderson.
When I was first coming out I was much more competitive. I can still shoot
you in your prime playing Cam or Mase in their prime?
have been good to see. They're both uptown dudes. I would have liked to
go up against them in their prime when they were really playing like that.
ever see a Sadat X/Ron Artest track?
Big Ron Ron?
I would like to. I've been following him ever since high school. He played
with a friend of mine, Shamgod. I would definitely like to do something
a long time since Malik Sealy passed away. What do you remember most about
we were coming up and we were playing for Riverside, he wasn't the most
outspoken person. He let it come out in his game. He wasn't the most exciting
player but he had his stats. You would look at his stats at the end of
the game and he would have 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 or 4 assists. He
was consistent and he was caring to the community. He was from the Bronx.
It was a tragedy when he passed. He was a real genuine, good guy.
happened to the song you did with the Neptunes?
I don't know
what they did with the song, but I did it. I have no idea if it's going
to come out. They do so much stuff and so many songs. They might surprise
me one day and it might pop up on something. Who knows?
going on with Brand Nubian today?
like to work on a new album when I get back. We would definitely like
to do that.
Brand Nubian isn't on Babygrande anymore?
At the time
it was probably creative differences. I don't have anything against Chuck.
We just thought it was time to move on.
will the next Brand Nubian album come out on?
gotten that far yet, but we will be looking for somewhere to put it out
you think of Lord Jamar's 5% album?
I think it's
the album of the year. It's very well thought-out and it's very well-constructed.
It has a message that's needed for today.
a very unique style of rap. Do you every worry that you can be too left-field
I don't think
so. I've always done my own thing. Everything I talk about is the truth
so it shouldn't matter if it's left-field of not.
told you that you sound like Dave Chappelle?
of times. My voice has separated me from other rappers. You have other
rappers that sound similar in tone. My voice separated me from other people
and gave me my own identity.
serving your jail term October 20. What are you doing for the next few
to work on some more songs. I'll see my family and just get prepared to
Once I know
where I'm at, I'm definitely going to have it put on my MySpace. I plan
to respond to as many letters as I can.
do you have for the young MC's on the come up?
own identity and not as much piggy-backing off the next person. Try to
have your own style and individuality.
you want to say to everybody?
my MySpace. Send me books but no ghetto books!