You’re featured a lot on Soul Assassins’ new album The Intermission. How do you approach working with Muggs and his team?
The only way to approach that project, man, is to look at it like this – You know, Muggs works with the elite artists in the game and whenever I jump on a track with him I gotta try and match that or be better than that if I’m gonna be recognized. So that’s how I approach everything I do with DJ Muggs.
Do you ever feel pressure with that?
I mean, I don’t really feel pressure. I kind of look forward to it because it brings out the best in me. But yeah, the bar is definitely set high when you work with Muggs. He ain’t gonna let you sit there and spit something and have it be all right. I look forward to all of that.
Does Muggs’ style of production bring something out of you that other producers don’t?
Nah. I think it’s the bar that’s set high. Because of the fact that he produces for other artists, I think at the end of the day, what comes out of me comes out of me. All that’s gonna come about depending on how hard I try and how much focus I put into what I’m doing. But definitely, you know, as a producer, he’s gonna bring his touch to it and he’s gonna bring his element to it and he’s gonna bring out the points that he thinks are gonna shine about you and most of the time he’ll just sit back and watch you do your thing and then touch it up on the back end.
How did your P.C.P project with Necro come about?
We were on tour with Necro in Canada. I think it was last January. From then we just kind of built a connection and then talking, he came up with this idea. We hit up Tone about it. That’s my manager. We recorded a few songs. The first song that we’re releasing under the P.C.P acronym is “Rep Your Set” on the Intermission project. It’s really just a taste of what’s to come. I really want to sit down with him and Muggs and see how a whole project would come out. Those guys are really talented and I think a whole project would work.
You’re both dark MCs as far as subject matter, but I feel like he would be relatively darker than you. How do you bring your styles together to make something cohesive?
I don’t know, man. Maybe it’s just the balance of his style and my style. Maybe they balance each other out and it’s the mutual respect we have for each other. We’re pretty much along the same lines. Necro is way out there. He’s a psycho for sure. It ain’t a coincidence that he has Psychological and I have Psycho Realm. There’s a little bit of psycho in all of us. It just meshes real nice, you know?
What’s it like being on the road with Necro?
It’s fucking good times! It’s work. You’re traveling. You’re driving from city to city and you’re setting up and taking care of all the business first. Once that’s all taken care of, then it’s all good times after that. There’s a number of good times. It’s definitely a good time.
When I’ve been around artists before going onstage, it seems like there’s a fine line between drinking enough to go onstage and drinking too much where you get sloppy. How do you know where that line is?
It’s a fine line for me. I love that whiskey a little too much and sometimes you cross it and you don’t realize it. Sometimes you don’t know when you cross it and when you don’t. You don’t realize where the line’s at and you don’t realize that you saw that line double awhile back. At the end of the day, once you get onstage, man, the adrenaline that kicks in lets you do your thing and handle your business. But there’s no way to tell. Nobody’s really sitting back and counting your drinks. Nobody’s really sitting back and taking sobriety tests to make sure we can take the stage. You just kind of go with the flow and you, yourself, gotta know. You don’t wanna be sloppy onstage either but you don’t want to stop drinking. You don’t want to be sober onstage either. I think you just go with it and sometimes you know and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get wasted and you make an ass of yourself onstage. It happens, you know?
What’s the worst experience you ever had?
Man, I think the most recent one was we did a show in L.A. and I got a little too excited and started drinking. I think we started drinking earlier. Sometimes you start partying at somebody else’s house before the venue and that’s when you end up in trouble. That happened that night and you get onstage and you’re having such a good time that you don’t give a fuck about what’s going on and what’s supposed to go on. You’re having such a good time onstage and you miss a few pockets but it’s all good. We all had a good time. The fans had a good time. It was a good night.
Sometimes you gotta hope the fans are more drunk than you.
Exactly. That’s another reason why you don’t wanna be sober. If you’re sober and your fans are drunk, you ain’t gonna connect with them. You look at it like it’s one big party, one big ceremony, and everybody’s in the same pow wow. When everybody’s under the same influence, you can connect and it’s all one big party. Those are actually the good shows, man, when everybody’s on the same wavelength and everybody’s exchanging the same energy and it’s going back and forth. Those shows are a lot of fun.
How’s your brother Duke doing today?
My brother’s staying healthy. As far as the paralyzed state, that’s the same. That’s kind of hard to overcome. He’s staying productive in the music. He actually produced a project on my last thing, Stray Bullets. That’s a little compilation of songs that I worked on with other artists. There was a little collection of songs like that and he produced a song called “Metal Reign.” It was the first time we worked on a song together since War Stories Part 2, which we recorded back in 1999. He’s trying to get more involved in what we’re doing musically instead of being behind the scenes. You know, me, him and B-Real are actually talking about doing another Psycho Realm record together.
Would he be able to rhyme at all?
He’s on a ventilator and it would be kind of hard for him because the vocal cords work with the air going up and down your throat and being that they’re in the trachea, in the middle of his neck, his vocal chords don’t really get much use. He doesn’t have the voice that he used to have and then he has to wait for the machine to breathe for him so he can’t really control his breath. But as an MC, you’re putting breath pockets wherever you want to breathe to help you with the next word. He can’t control that. The machine is pretty much doing that automatically. I think he’s going to be involved more musically, production-wise, and he’s going to do more co-writing with us. At the end of the day, Psycho Realm is his style and element. The way he writes and his concepts are what made the group what it was. Without it…That’s why I never wanted to do a Psycho Realm record without him. With his influence, even though he’s not rhyming, I think it’s still going to be a Psycho Realm record.
I mean, his voice ain’t gonna be there, which has been a huge part of the sound, but I think the fact that his rhyming…If you listen to “Metal Rain,” it’s a Psycho Realm song. He made the beat and he came with the concept. Just with those elements alone, even though you don’t hear his voice, it sounds like a Psycho Realm project. I’m hoping that with me, him and B-Real doing the record, it will be a Psycho Realm record. But just having him involved in it will make it a Psycho Realm record and I’m looking forward to it.
You had really good chemistry with Immortal Technique on “Hollywood Driveby.” Why do you think you guys work well together?
I just have a respect for Tech and what he does and what he stands for and his music. I just think that ultimately it comes down to how people get along and we have styles that are gonna blend well on tape. We’re in that same lane, man. We do that raw, uncut hip-hop. We don’t hold back, we don’t hold our tongues, we don’t sugarcoat anything.
Do you think you and Muggs will ever do another album together with just the two of you?
You know what? We talked about it. You know, I just think there’s probably a couple of projects that we gotta knock out before we do another record again. There’s a possibility that the next record that we do is gonna be the P.C.P record. Who knows what it’s gonna be? I think only time will tell on that one.