Did you have a good holiday?
Yeah. I had a good holiday, man. I got the kids what they wanted. I got my wife what she wanted. Everything’s cool.
How was your wife’s cooking this holiday?
You know what, man? Let me set this straight! My wife can cook, man! A nigga was cracking a joke! My wife can cook. Ask Poison Pen. He can verify that. He was at the crib. He know.
Wasn’t he over last year for the fish fry?
Yeah. He came through again. He knows my wife can cook. She got busy.
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
Actually I’m on a diet. I’m on diet. That’s what my New Year’s Resolution is. I don’t eat meat no more.
How’s that working out?
So far, so good. But I’m like a fake vegetarian though ‘cause I don’t eat chicken, but I’ll have some eggs though. I’m kind of fake with it. No physical meat. Pause. You know what I mean?
The last time we spoke you said the new Heltah Skeltah album wasn’t coming out until it was sounding right. How’s the album coming?
I’m working on it right now. We’re here. It’s getting there. It’s sounding crazy. You know what? I think we were just putting too much pressure on ourselves to come up with concepts and this, that and the third. We were just like, ‘Listen, let’s just go in there and body everything’ and the shit is coming out great. We’re good money, man.
How is it recording with Rock this time around?
I mean, to y’all, it seems as though we’re back vibing, but me and son have always been rhyming. When son was doing his solo album and I ain’t have no deal, I was in the background and it’s the same thing when I was doing my solo album. It’s not like it’s farfetched. It might be to y’all ‘cause y’all ain’t really see it. You know, we just put too much pressure on ourselves in the beginning but we good money now.
Have you started working on your next solo album Mic Tyson?
Are you waiting until the Heltah Skeltah and Black Milk and Guilty Simpson albums are done before you start recording Mic Tyson?
Well, we got about seven to ten songs done for the Black Milk and Guilty Simpson shit. I’m going to finish this Heltah Skeltah shit. You know what I’m doing? I’m doing a song as Heltah Skeltah and then I’m laying a verse down for the Black Milk and Guilty Simpson shit at the same time.
How do you balance working on both projects?
I usually write the Guilty Simpson and Black Milk shit at home. I usually write it at home so when I get here I can just lay that down quick (makes zooming noise) and then get to my Heltah Skeltah shit.
How’s the Black Milk and Guilty Simpson album coming?
That shit’s crazy, man. Black is ill. Black is fucking awesome. That’s all I can say. I ain’t really into praising producers like that, but God has been on my side. I’ve been able to work with some dope producers like Khrysis, Black Milk, 9th Wonder and Illmind. These fucking guys are awesome. And Evidence. Big ups to Evidence. I’ve worked with some dope dudes, man.
Is Mic Tyson still your last album?
Obviously you’re looking to go out with a bang with Mic Tyson. Are you looking for a major label deal for Mic Tyson?
You know what? I don’t want to say nothing to fuck up my chance, but I will say this: why? You know what I mean? I want a major deal and half of me says, “Yeah, son, you gotta get that major.” Then the other half be like, “Why?” Look at the game. I’m doing great. People who are on a major are selling my numbers and they’re fucking flopping. You underdig? Why would I go to a major to be in the hole? I’m in a good space right now. Duck Down is a great label and we’re doing good things. Of course I’m not trying to shorten my money if a major situation could happen. One half of me says, “Yeah, go for it” and the other half of me says, “Why?”
Who knows? Who cares? I want to just do the album. Duck Down is the label. We’ll see what happens after that, but it’s going to come out one way or another.
Duck Down has been making moves, most recently by signing Kidz in the Hall.
Exactly! We’re making moves and everything else is sounding crazy. Why? We’ll go back to that. Duck Down is fucking awesome right now.
When Duck Down was making the comeback with the Triple Threat, did you ever think you would get back in such a good space so quickly?
Good music works. On that note, we put out good music, for the most part, and people like that. We’re going to get into it. So I’m really not surprised, but I love it though. I appreciate it.
When will the Heltah Skeltah album drop?
Oh, it’s coming out this year. Oh, for sure. Probably by this spring or this summer. And the Guilty shit will drop after that and then I’ll get on this Mic Tyson shit. I’m doing Mic Tyson songs but I’m doing them every now and then.
So you’re looking at a 2009 release for Mic Tyson?
Maybe. Maybe. I just want it to be right. It’s going to come out when it’s time to come out. It might come out before that. Who knows? It’s one thing to do the music. Once I do the music and get it right and once I hand it to Dru, I trust him. He knows what he’s doing. It comes out when Dru says so.
Will you guys record another Boot Camp album?
Definitely, man. We’re going to do it when it’s time. We don’t be tripping like that. You know how we did the last couple of Boot Camp albums? Dru called Steele and Buck and they called us and we did it. It wasn’t like we had to find niggas and have meetings. It ain’t that deep. It’s real simple shit. “We’re going to do a Boot Camp album.” “All right, let’s do it.”
As evidenced by the last Wu-Tang album 8 Diagrams, it can be a challenge with a big group to have everyone on the same page and come out with a product everyone likes. Is that ever a challenge with Boot Camp?
Don’t get it twisted. We have our arguments too. We just try not to make them public. I don’t want people in our business. Come on. The bottom line is that we’re all grown men and we’re going to agree to disagree on certain things. If you listen to the Boot Camp album, there are certain songs that I ain’t on. There are certain songs that Rock ain’t on or Buck ain’t on. That doesn’t mean the song was corny or that the song was bad. It just means that they didn’t want to rock on it and that’s it.
Rustee Juxx is dropping his debut album Indestructible this year. How’s the album sounding?
That shit is crazy! Son is a hardcore rapper! (laughs) For real! That shit is hard. Pause. When you hear it, you’re going to be like…I wish I could explain it, yo. I wish I could rhyme like that. I’m proud to be a part of it.
Do you think the album will catch a lot of fans off-guard?
Yeah. If you know me, you know Rustee’s been rolling with me since Magnum Force. For the people that know, they know what to expect. But I think it’s going to shock a lot of people though. He’s real versatile though. He’s got some nice shit. I wish I could rhyme like that sometimes, for real.
You dropped your sophomore album Jesus Price Superstar last January. Because it dropped so early in 2006, a lot of people tend to forget it dropped in 2006. Do you ever get offended when you don’t see yourself on year-end lists?
You know what? I don’t know. I just saw one with Primo and I wasn’t on it.
I was surprised about that.
You know what? I was going to call Gordy today and ask him about that, but you know what? The hell with it. If I’m not on it…Do Primo like the album? Hell yeah. He told me that personally. He likes my shit. Maybe he forgot. Who knows? Whatever. No hard feelings, B, you underdig? I love them niggas, man. I ain’t worried about that. That’s why I’m not even going to call Gordy on no bullshit like that. Maybe he forgot or whatever. It don’t matter though. I know he likes the shit because he personally told me. That’s better than any fucking award or list or whatever.
You were going through some voice problems last spring and summer. How’s your voice been recently?
I’m back with no problems. It was crazy for a minute. I was real sick. I was on the road, man, and just nonstop on the road. I just got mad sick to the point where my voice was gone. Word up. I was on the Jedi Mind Tricks tour, dying. Shit was real fucked up for a nigga. I got home and went to see a doctor. They stuck a camera up my nose to see my throat. My larynx was swollen and I had to chill out for a few. But I’m back though. I’m ready.
I took the medicine they gave me. I got it back and did what they said. It worked. So I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go, man. I’m ready to go.
Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz renamed himself “Sean P” last summer. I know you wanted to talk to him about that when it first happened. Did you ever talk to him about that?
Nah. I ain’t talk to him. But I don’t think duke was trying to disrespect me. Ehh. Whatever. I don’t care, man. I understand why he’s doing it. And I don’t think he was like, ‘Fuck that nigga!’ Not at all. He probably doesn’t even know who the fuck I am. How ‘bout that? So I’m like, ‘Fuck it, man.’ I don’t care. It ain’t stopping me.
Now if he comes at me on some crazy shit, that’s different. But I’m not coming at him. It is what it is. I’m not worried about that. I wish him the best because I actually like the Youngbloodz. There’s no hate there. Do your thing.
A lot of artists reach out to you to do singles for their independent album. What does that mean to you when you have these artists coming to you and maybe spending their whole budget on a verse from you?
Some of them shits I do for free. It don’t even be for the money sometimes. Sometimes dudes is just dope. So I don’t mind. It’s all good. Let’s just get busy, man. I’m expanding my catalogue. My man King Magnetic fucks with Vinnie Paz. We did a joint and he paid me to do a joint, but we’re doing another joint right now. I said, “Listen, man. Fuck that bread, man. This shit is just dope. Let’s just do some dope shit.” It ain’t always about the money all of the time.
You don’t hear that too often.
Sometimes you just want to do dope shit and sometimes money is the reason they don’t want to get at you. It fucks up the creativity. Fuck the money. Let’s just do it. We’re going to make money off it anyway if it’s right.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Thanks for the support. It’s been a great ride. I’m going out with a bang. That’s all I’m saying. Look out for it, man. The Heltah Skeltah album, the Guilty Simpson, Black Milk and Sean P album is coming. The name of that is Random Ax, for those of you who don’t know. Then the Mic Tyson shit. The Mic Tyson shit is the last Sean P album.
And on January 18 we got a show at the Knitting Factory at the end of the day. Come through and enjoy yourself. It’s going to be a beautiful show. I’m going to be there with Rock and Rustee. Smif N Wessun and Black Moon are going to be there. O.G.C. will be there. It’s going to be awesome. As a matter of fact, we’re getting ready to go to Chili on the 12th. So yeah.