You live out in Arizona, which is where the Super Bowl just was. I know you had a good time with that.
Oh yeah. I had a great time. I had a great week. I got two cribs out here. I had all my homies come from New York. They stayed in one of my cribs and they had a blast. They were just driving all my cars up and down the city and going crazy and partying. We did some ill stuff, man. We partied with Shawn Marion before he left the team, man.
Do you like the Shaq-Shawn Marion trade?
Honestly it wasn’t a good move for the team but I think it’s a good move for our economy because Shaq’s going to come to the city and spend some money with us. We have a lot of things popping off.
Your One Stop Shop Producer’s Conference is coming in March. How’s that looking so far?
It’s looking real good, man. The sponsors have come along. I’m real happy with Microsoft, Zune. M Audio, Loud.com…It’s just going on so heavy that it’s incredible, man, the things that we’re about to give these producers – the knowledge, the free giveaways, the surprises…It’s on steroids from last year. Everything that I did last year is multiplied because I know every mistake that I did make. Now I made this one so top-notch that it’s really going to help people who want to polish their craft.
How did you go about making this conference the best one to date?
What I did was I just took everything and I just scoped out the whole year and looked at the consistency of certain producers and A&R’s and managers and publishers. I know who I do business with and have good people that like to network and pass out information and listen to CDs. That’s the real industry, not the ones that are just in it for the money. I like the ones that want to keep this thing evolving. I have a good crop of people that I consider to be incredible executives and I invited them all out and they’re all for it. That’s what we’re getting ready to do. It took a lot of work and I’ve been to a lot of conferences, so I pretty much see a flow. I got a great staff and we’re going to rock, man. We’re going to do it.
There’s a lot of other conferences popping up everywhere. Do you think any of them are taking your ideas?
I mean, honestly, no. There’s not enough ideas built for one man because there’s a million different types of televisions. I can’t say that I’m the only one with this, but not every one is going to be serving my purpose. Some of them are about making money. This is about the evolution of hip-hop and what we’re doing. We got a whole bunch of Grammy’s and we can drink champagne until we can’t drink no more, but this one is about that next guy who’s going to be invited to the Grammy’s. We’re really molding their minds now. When I was coming up, there really wasn’t anybody doing anything for producers.
How important is it to cater to up-and-coming producers today?
It’s real important, man, because if we don’t we’ll be losing a generation. We’re already going through a phase where hip-hop is not selling. Are we really going to go through that phase where we’re going to have all of our kids listen to pop music? We have to keep this hip-hop thing going. It’s real important, man. We can’t let the music just dwindle away.
What’s been the most successful moment of the One Stop Shop conference so far?
That’s a good question. I’m going to say it on a few scales. For me to personally be able to thank Primo for his accomplishments in hip-hop and for leading the way for me and I’ve always been a fan of Primo and being able to give him an award, that was one great accomplishment for me. For me to be able to give an ear to people and for me to be able to open my checkbook to fly everybody out and have these conferences and they can have their hotels and I can feed everybody. I’m bringing out 400-500 people. I’m going all out for the game but I’m blessed and I’m happy to be able to do it.
And one of the biggest accomplishments was one of the producers who was a runner up from the beat battle, he’s been selling music and he’s getting ready to be a phenomenal producer. His name is Jigolo.
You also manage Young Buck. What’s going on with Buck and G-Unit?
He didn’t step back. People have it a little bit confused, but Young Buck is G-Unit. He’s just starting his own brand, which is Cashville. It’s not like he’s removed or not a part of G-Unit. Him and 50 have differences like any other men in this world. We talked about it like men and everything is all the way good.
People always equate people with starting their own thing as a departure and they got it confused when he said onstage with Lil’ Wayne that he was signing with Cash Money. That’s just Buck doing what he do. Everything was just all a miscommunication and it’s all gravy right now. It’s all gravy.
As Young Buck’s manager, do you ever feel like Young Buck can be too outspoken at times?
Yeah. The first artists I ever managed was 50 Cent. I support your dream. I’m a dream-supporter. 50 did what he wanted to do and it’s the same thing for Buck. I can’t sit there and judge him and make his character be who I think he should be. That’s who they are and I don’t want to tamper with that. Sometimes they go off the ledge and they say something crazy, but at the same time, it’s their vision and it’s their heart speaking. I’m going to give them my advice off the books and if they choose not to listen and they go and they do what they do, that’s fine. I’m not one to judge. It’s a tough call because you got a guy like Fif who do what he do and he’s the biggest guy in hip-hop, so how can you tell Buck not to do what he do? You don’t want to put that little shadow over him.
Lloyd Banks has been quiet for awhile but he made some appearances on the new 50 Cent and G-Unit mixtape Return of the Body Snatchers. Where is Lloyd Banks’ career right now?
I think right now he’s preparing to bust their ass with that G-Unit album. He’s an incredible writer and he’s really going to fucking come with this album. His verses are going to have the whole game back on the emphasis with lyrics where it used to be with the “ooh’s” and the “ahh’s.” That’s where he’s going to be with that shit. He’s been going through a growth phase. He came into this game young. He looks older than what he is. He’s coming back with a vengeance right now.
Can Lloyd Banks get his buzz back?
Yeah. What it is is that first they love you then they hate you then they love you again. It’s all phases that G-Unit went through because they’ve been successful for a number of years. It’s all growing pains and I think everybody is healing their wounds. We’ve already been around the block three times so we already know what it is right now. I think you’re really going to see a really focused G-Unit where you’re going to see nothing but talented, professional stars. They’re the hip-hop Beatles right now, man.
How hard will it be for G-Unit to get back on top of the game?
I mean, honestly, the fans, they like that funny stuff but it’s not what we’re used to. We’re coming from New York. We got that b-boy stance where we need the boom-bap. I’m not talking about the snap music, but I’m talking about how they’re popping up with these little one-time songs. What happened to the rappers when you wanted to be them? I used to have the Juice Crew up on the wall. That’s who I wanted to be. I had the gray suit with the red shoes. I wanted to be that. That’s what hip-hop is. I just don’t think the role models are kicking in like we used to and the industry isn’t what it used to be. They don’t even care about buying a CD. They’ll just buy it digitally. What happened to the pictures? It’s coming back and that’s where it’s at with me. It’s about that vibe that makes you really love that shit when you open that CD and wanna be those niggas. That’s what I miss and that’s what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for no quick money. I’m exercising my thoughts and living it out this year and you’re going to see a better difference because the floodgates are about to open.
What do you think about G-Unit Clothing shutting down?
I just read that yesterday. I know it’s business. Fif knows what he’s doing. I don’t really know what it is. I can’t say it. It’s coming back. I know that. I know it’s not shut down. It’s just not going to be the same manufacturer. It’s like changing labels. You were on Interscope and now you’re on Def Jam. He’s going to go and get another manufacturer. He’s a smart man and he knows what he’s doing.
M.O.P. is currently in the process of getting off G-Unit. Do you think that’s a good move for both parties?
I think it’s a great move. It’s a great move. I think that because M.O.P. has been seasoned vets for awhile and they have to be able to release music and go. With major labels, every other year you release an album and with their fans, they have to drop every year because their audience wants them. M.O.P. is still good music. M.O.P. is still going to be doing their thing.
What have the producers you manage been up to?
We’re all making some serious heat right now. We’re working on this Cashville Records. Buck’s got this artist named Sosa. He’s from Nashville. I’m telling you right now, that boy is about to rip this motherfucking city. He’s the next guy coming up on Cashville. I’ll tell you that. Sosa the Plug, that’s his name.
And Jake One is about to drop an album. Hi-Tek, who is my client, just dropped his album. Jake One is about to drop his album. I’m encouraging all of my producers to drop albums. Illmind is coming. He was on the Little Brother album. He’s coming. I’m getting into the R&B world and I got my boys in the South, Tha Bizness. Everyone in my squad is crazy. They all have their thing going on. We’re working with Gorilla Zoe, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Jim Jones…We’re spreading the seeds to the right people. I want to work with the stars and make the right records. We’re doing what we do and we’re just making the best music possible.
We’re working on these projects. We’re working on majors and independents. We’re working on a lot of stuff.
Young Buck also spoke very highly of Sosa. Why should we check for him?
He’s a young talent and he’s really from the ‘hood. You can hear it in his voice and you can see it in his face. When you hear this boy rap, his flow and his conviction with his southern twang, he’s not about that regular shit. His flow is crazy, yo. It’s crazy! He’s going to kill it, man. I cosign real niggas, man. I’m not into niggas that just rap. That shit don’t work. I’m into real niggas that are really going to have a following and they’re still who they are because that’s who they are.
Do you officially manage Sosa?
He’s with Cashville Records and that’s me and Buck. I’m not the manager to him. This is a movement. My hand is in every pot. Sometimes they mix. We’re here, regardless. I’m here to put some new talent into this industry.
How involved are you in the day-to-day operations of Cashville Records?
I get very involved. I don’t make my plate too full so I can’t focus, but I promise you, man, I give this industry a lot of hours of my day and I’m talking about more than 10. I’m constantly on the phone and I’m moving. I’m on the phone with every company and all of the corporations. Everything is in order. There’s no time to play. I’m not in play season, man.
How much longer do you think your artist Riz will be unsigned for?
I think he’s real close. We’re going to drop this Harlem record for the streets that’s going to be crazy and he’s got this other record. It’s hard for New York rappers. I don’t know what it is but the shit is not right. The support is not there and everybody ain’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. But I really want to turn this around. Riz, I promise you, I don’t take niggas because they rap. I don’t even want to tell you who’s behind him, but he’s a real street nigga and I’m trying to keep him out of trouble. I’m taking him to the gym and he’s picking up more weight than me. He just do what he do. It’s R.N.S. – Real Nigga Shit.
How’s your video game Traxxpad coming?
We’re in development of the new one, Traxxpad XL. We see all these new things coming up. Right now we’re on Sony Playstation but we’re working on some other devices so you can fully make beats and import them and export them into Pro Tools. We’re working on updated technologies and making it where you can go online and download things. We’re trying to make Guitar Hero for hip-hop.
What you’re saying is that there will be a million more kids with beats.
Yeah. I want to take some of that responsibility for keeping these kids’ minds right the same way they’re able to learn how to play guitar and other instruments. Traxxpad is that program for hip-hop. Let’s give it up to the producers and then let’s give it up to the DJs for playing us and then let’s all give it up for each other, but instead of making it an awards show, let’s make it into a conference so we can all make some money together.
One of the users on HipHopGame wanted to know when you and Cormega were going to make some new music together.
There’s a big chance of that happening. Cormega is the first person who ever bought a beat from me. I met him when I was a street team member working for Steve Stoute, trying to get on. I was giving out free shit like niggas are supposed to do when they’re trying to come up. I met Cormega coming out of doing a show with Lauryn Hill and Biggie Smalls. I gave him a beat tape and his boy called me back and 24 hours later we had “Angel Dust”. That was the first beat I had ever sold. I would work with Cormega for free. That’s my nigga. That’s nothing. He runs Queensbridge. He’s a real nigga and he was always real to me like Trag and everybody. I’m a Queens nigga. Any nigga that rapped in Queens that had something going, they know they worked with me. They knew I was on the grind. That’s how I met 50.
What was it like recording “Angel Dust” with Cormega?
That was a good experience, man. I was in the studio with him at Chung King with Havoc. It was basically just a dream come true. I could tell you those feelings were the best feelings in my life, knowing that I had rappers with official deals rapping to my shit. I got a tax ID with my check. That meant a lot to me. I love Queens. Hearing him come home from jail, “What up with ‘Mega, have you seen him, are y’all together?”, hearing Nas drop that line, that whole Queens shit is all in me and it was a great experience for me and I’m glad it was done by an official nigga like that.
What’s it going to take for QB to make a comeback in the game?
I don’t know. They’re trying to turn New York into the underground. I heard some shit Noyd did and I was like, ‘Noyd is coming with it!’ They’re making it to where we have to be underground with that shit. We have to come all together because when you start dividing everyone, that’s when you lose some of the fans. I think that’s what happened with everyone. Everybody left Queensbridge and they went to a whole new borough or a whole new city. They probably went to Philly and then it happened in Philly. When the streets don’t get behind it, it don’t mean nothing. It don’t mean nothing.
What was it like recording “Get Out My Way” off The Realness with Cormega?
Oh, that was hot, man. “Angel Dust” is when I was trying to mimic Havoc and what he did, but “Get Out My Way” was when I was in my own zone and I was bringing in the horns and the breakdowns. That was a good record, man. I just saw the video on OnSmash. It was real hot. I seen that. Cormega, man, he needs to come holla at me, for real. We need to just do that because we made some good records, yo.
What’s crazy about that record is that beat could sound like it was made in 2008.
I know, man! When I heard it, I was like, ‘I was like that back then!’ That’s why he dropped the video again. I had never seen the video for that. We did that when? Damn, man, I can’t even remember when. That shit was done awhile back. That had to be 1999 or 2000. What’s up with Tragedy? I see y’all support the whole Queens movement. I like that, man. Does someone from Queens run HipHopGame? I don’t know, but I see a lot of Queens and I love it.
What’s the next move for Sha Money?
You’re going to see me continuously producing and managing. I’m going to take it one step further with the technology companies and really coming up with more modules and things that I can create to sell and to put out there. I’m really working on that. And I’m a business man. They say that people like me wear too many hats. Guess what? It made me rich! I go to bed at 3 in the morning and I’m up at 6 in the morning. It don’t matter to me. I’m a workaholic, man. I’m going to get it in. I want everybody to know that the world’s not enough.