you been lately?
I'm blessed, I feel great. I'm glowing, I got the young boy glow again!
How do you feel about your new album "After Taxes?"
The album is amazing. The album is great. I stepped it up lyrically, concept-wise.
People loved "Walk Wit Me," so I already know where to go now
on this one. And there are certain things in my life, like I just had
a new baby boy. I got it back baby!
How has having a child changed things for you?
Oh man, it changes everything. Before, you were gung-ho without thinking,
now, you tend to think more because of him because at the end of the day
it relates back to him. You're just more alert and aware of everything;
it's a new concept of life. It shows in your lyrics and what you talk
What is the significance of the title for you?
(laughs) For me, it don't mean the Postal Service or nothing like that.
It's like a metaphor for what they give you, it's not the real thing.
All that Hip Hop, not everything, but some of the Hip Hop out there looks
good but it's not it. And "After Taxes," this is what's the
real deal, I'm here, I'm grinding, I'm going hard, and when the smoke
clears after taxes, that's what it is.
Who do you have on "After Taxes?"
I got production by my boy Alchemist, my man Havoc, Devon, he's a Ruff
Ryder producer, my in-house dude Vinny Idol, Rockwilda, Cocoa Chanelle,
Red Spyda, I hope I ain't leave nobody out, I know I did. And they all
brought that craziness, those big full-sounding tracks that bang in the
whip. I also got Carl Thomas, Ghostface, Raekwon, Redman, and of course
Jada, Styles P, and our new gun J-Hood. And I'm just mashing on them like
this song "Maybe if I Sing," that's gonna be a definite one
that's gonna repeat in nigga's whips.
You've worked with Ghostface in the past as well. How is it working
I got to shout Ghostface out, Ghostface is my boy, shout out to him. I
just laid something for his new album. I'll get on his joint, he'll get
on mine. He'll call me just to say what's up. And that "Metal Lungie"
joint was hot! I'm a big fan of his.
How would this album have been different if it was coming out on Interscope
instead of Koch?
Oh man, just the whole creative control of it and where they want you
to go. At Universal, they got Nelly, and other big acts. Not knocking
anyone, they sold a lot, they're cool, but I'm not on that. He joints
I wanted to put out, they're not really on that. That "2 Guns Up,"
they didn't really understand that, they weren't really with that. Plus
over there, you're only getting 35 cents a record as opposed to eight
dollars at Koch. The average artist gets a little off their record and
then they have to hit the road. I want it more than that. Then I looked
at people like Lil' Jon, and they got rich, and I wondered how they did,
and I realized they have the right deal, and right now New York is not
really on that
That's a big stereotype, that all rappers are rich
People look at the videos and think that all that's theirs. Maybe it is.
I speak for myself. I'm a couple hundred-thousandaire. I got a couple
hundred thousand but I want a million. I want to spend a million and see
what's good. And at the same time, I want my boys to have equivalent money
to what I got, and a position, not just me, and we're trying to build
something where we're all involved somewhat, somehow, and have positions,
and you're not mad because I have this money because you're working with
me and we're doing it together.
How do you feel today when you listen to "Walk Wit Me?"
I love that album, I think that joint was a classic. I didn't put no one
on it but myself because I felt people hadn't heard me in awhile. And
if they love it, they do, and they did. They ate it up and they asked
for another one. I opened up, telling niggas shit they didn't know about
me, just a whole gang of shit. This album here, I took it to the same
extent. I've been seeing the reviews of my album, they're calling it a
classic. I just tried to step it up as I'm growing as a person.
What's next for you after "After Taxes" drops?
You'll be surprised how fast I'll switch back into CEO mode. My album's
coming in Septermber. We got a D-Block compilation "No Security"
coming for Christmas. You'll be surprised how many rappers want to get
on that. They're like "don't leave us off that." I got J-Hood
following right after that in February. Once my shit drops in stores in
September, I'm switching right back into CEO mode. Once my shit drops
in stores, I'm onto the next project.
What's up with the Lox album right now?
A couple people are making biddings on that. People are trying to snatch
us up right now. The name of that album is "Live, Suffer, Celebrate."
How far along are you guys on "Live, Suffer, Celebrate?"
We've probably got eight songs done so far. Anytime we're all in town
together, we'll all get in the lab and put some shit together. As far
as the deal and signing to a new label, it'll probably be a month, if
it takes that long.
Would you consider putting it out with Puffy?
He's actually one of the dudes that's bidding on the album. And Jigga's
another one doing the bidding on it.
what conditions do you guys need before you sign on
the dotted line?
With Hova, he wants the Lox and Styles and Kiss projects too. And Diddy,
all that old school beef is done and over with, we're grown men. We just
don't want to stop what we're doing with D-Block. That's our thing that
we're trying to make bigger. We're going to give y'all music and not stop
our flow of what we want to come out. That's it. We'll meet somewhere
in the middle and make good music.
You're a regular on a lot of mixtapes, do you have a different approach
when making a mixtape cut versus an album song?
You have to. A lot of people think all those songs on mixtapes are going
to be on your album. I tell niggas "nah, I'm just airin' homie's
beat out, having fun with it." On the album, I'm still doing the
hard shit, but I'll take the beat home and really think about these verses.
The thought process goes a little deeper than getting to the studio, lighting
up some weed, and laying it down.
You bought that studio in Yonkers, how's that working out?
That was one of the first things I bought back then. We'll all be there,
Styles, Kiss, all my dudes come through.
How was the last session?
That was last night. My man Allen Iverson walked in, he was just sitting
there. I was working on the remix with Jadakiss and Young Jeezy, this
"Kiss Ya Ass Goodbye" remix.
always shouting out Poobs, who is that?
(laughs) Oh man, I'm glad you asked that! That's good! Let me give my
boy some love! Poobs is our engineer, he goes hard for us. We have two
up-and-running booths in the studio and he holds them both down. He's
family. He picks some of our freestyle beats. It's teamwork with us. Even
when we get to the point where we got millions in our pockets, I'll thank
Poobs. I'll remember you, you did your thing.
Are you still working with Liveson?
I guess he's ok, I haven't heard from him in a long time. He's definitely
a cool dude. He's got some dudes that he wants to put out now. He's definitely
a cool dude.
What is your exact role in D-Block?
I'm a CEO, I'm an artist, that's what it is. I'm one of the owners, along
with Kiss and Styles. And Supa Mario runs D-Block for us as the president.
I'm in all the meetings, talking to the lawyers, and taking care of my
son, I can't leave him out, that's a new thing in my life. I'm a busy
man with all that.
Could you have a calm conversation with 50 Cent today?
I think a calm conversation is possible. I think we're all businessmen.
No shots went off yet, and hopefully none will go off. I'll sit down with
them at the table and talk, as long as no lines are crossed, minimum ice
grills and all of that. But, if the line is crossed, let the chips fall
where they may.
Has the beef been good for D-Block?
The beef great for D-Block. The beef is great for Sheek Louch! I'm mashing
on niggas right now. It's beautiful for me. He's rich already. I can't
wait to keep mashing on him and keep shutting him down.
If you see 50 Cent tomorrow, what will you say to him?
I'm going to tell him "you a faggot." And I'm not just yelling
out words because I'm hardcore. I think the shit he did is some soft sissy
shit. You're mad because someone did a song with Ja Rule? Jada didn't
have anything to do with that beef. I just think it's some little chick
In our HipHopGame poll, you guys ended up ranking higher than G-Unit
for "Best Rap Crew." Do you think you have a stronger fan base?
I think he came into the game and made his mark off the backs of certain
people and controversy. As for as us, we can be at the same arena and
have people losing their mind at out new and older joints. I think we're
stronger in the hoods too, walking around any hood, not just in New York.
And you name the place and club, and we're there with us and our goons.
We're mingling with our fans and all that. And they say "damn, homie
is mad cool." When you interview me after I sell 30 million records,
I'm going to be the same person.
So people can approach you on the street?
That's the whole thing! Yonkers, Queens, Harlem, I'm in the hood, I'm
still there. When I leave today, I'm going to light up and get a drink
and I'm going back to the hood.
What's a normal day like for you?
I wake up, if I'm in town, lately I've been running around. I got Jimmy
Henchman on management. But on a normal day, I'll get my son dressed,
take him to day care, I'll go to the gym to work out. Then I have to take
mad calls, my phone is ringing. I have to lock in certain things. Then
I'll try to hit the studio, keep the pen moving, I have to keep that shit
moving, then I'll see what Hood's working on, I'll meet up or have a conference
call with Kiss and Styles so we stay in tune with what's going on.
What's been up with J-Hood?
Shout out to my boy J-Hood, not even on no music shit. Dude's been waiting
and has been loyal. There's not a lot of loyalty right now. He didn't
bounce, not that there are a lot of places to go. His album "Tales
From the Hood" is coming, he's got a few more songs to record. We're
trying to keep him as far away from this 50 beef because he has nothing
to do with that.
Do you feel that he is he ready to come out now?
I think he's beyond ready for his album to come out. I think J-Hood is
a star of his own, not to mention the fourth member of The Lox and D-Block.
He was 17 when you first heard him and were loving everything he said.
I think he's learned and seen the ups and downs of the business side and
he's ready to hit.
you want to say to everyone reading this?
Go get the new Sheek album! It's crazy, it's coming in September. It's
16 bangers, I stepped it up from my last album. D-Block's going to keep
giving you that music that you love. We're going to keep banging out!