this is a very difficult time for you. How are you doing?
been trying to make it. Most of the people I know are just trying to survive.
This is a survivor situation for real.
your family doing?
have family in Houston, so my family in New Orleans migrated to her house.
There were 30 of us in her house, and now we're branching off in apartments
to clear out the house. We're just trying to keep on.
you able to get out of New Orleans?
me, I was on the shore, and we left early Friday before the floods were
really serious. But that's what really killed us because we couldn't touch
back home to get the things we needed. Our family was evacuated without
us, so we had to go meet back up with them.
know how your house is?
Man. I just
bought a nice new house in New Orleans East. I just bought me a new one.
Ooh, it was nice. It had a nice pool and everything. My neighbor stayed,
and he got evacuated off the roof. He said when the first wave hit, he
said when the first initial wave hit, the water was six feet deep in the
house, and he got evacuated from the roof. They estimated that there was
a good ten feet of water over the house, so it had to get about 25 to
30 feet high.
do you see the future of New Orleans going?
sad to say. I'm looking at it as being more of a hotel and casino-type
place for tourists. I'm looking at the insurance, nobody's going to want
to insure that area no more.
been able to keep in touch with your friends?
swinging day-by-day by the Astrodome, picking up other people I know and
dropping them off at hotels. I'm working down here, I'm volunteer working.
a normal day like for you today?
people off at Red Cross, or bringing them to get food stamps or look for
apartments. I'm taking some people and helping them find the rest of their
you stay positive in a situation like this?
have to look for the good out of the situation. Maybe it's for the best.
God wouldn't throw nothing you can't handle at you. A lot of people are
getting a new chance on life, and you've got to keep on rolling.
do you see yourself having in this situation?
to be a real man and step up to the plate and hold your family down, and
get to the point where they can live comfortable again.
your plans for the future?
I'm going to rebuild in New Orleans. I like it there. But I'm going to
get me one somewhere else, because it's bound to happen again. It's hurricane
season, another one's going to come through next year. I'm just going
to rebuild, and I'm going to hope for the best.
you want to go back to New Orleans?
I love New
Orleans. There's no city like it. I would run for mayor if I could.
city of New Orleans prepare its citizens for what was coming?
No they didn't.
They knew a Category 5 was coming and they could only handle a 3. They
ordered a mandatory evacuation just 12 hours before it hit. How is it
mandatory only 12 hours? You don't have enough time to get your people
out. Everything was handled wrong. It was set up for the people to die.
you think of the way the news has covered everything?
I think they're
wrong [about the so-called looting]. I think they're wrong for the single
fact that everything was insured. Things were being taken so that it could
help people get along. They wasn't just looting because of nothing. They
didn't just up and say one day "let's loot." They were looting
because they were going through some trauma and they needed supplies and
had no information. That's human nature.
you feel about the way the U.S. government has handled this situation?
Oh it was
horrible. That was totally horrible. The best kept secret they got is
that the dam didn't break, they blew the dam on one side. They blew the
dams. I got people that stayed close that heard the boom, and they knew
that people were there.
of message do you feel that the government is sending to the people of
That we wasn't
their top priority.
feel that Kanye West's statement hurt or helped the situation?
really see the whole thing but I heard he was going off on Bush.
"George Bush doesn't like Black people," and then they cut the
camera off him
real. They didn't want to start a racial situation on their station probably.
feel like this situation can be looked at as a racial situation?
I don't look
at racial as Black and White no more. I look at it as poor and rich. If
it's a poor and rich situation, then yeah, I see it like that, but as
a Black and White situation, I can't say so.
you motivated right now?
I get motivated
when I hear about what happened at the Superdome. I have cousins that
were led out of the Superdome at gunpoint. And when one cousin wanted
to leave because he had a kid with him and there was violence going on
in there, they wouldn't let him leave. I don't understand that.
you want to say to the rest of the world about what's going on and what
needs to be done?
on is that we're in desperate need of help, everybody from New Orleans.
You already know how the governments going to watch, somebody's going
to get kick-backs from the money that anybody gets, regardless. But I'm
asking, if you see us, one-on-one, just help as we need help.
see the situation getting better?
still haven't come to grips with reality yet. They're still evacuating
people today. The New Orleans people as a whole, it'll still be a week
or two before we get a grip on what's happening, and how we're going to
go back and what we are going to have to do to survive.
think a lot of people are still in shock about what's going on and what's
step-mom is still traumatized from standing on the roof for a few days
with no water, walking around shaking. They're still in shock, some people
can't even believe that it's America they were in. People are dramatically
traumatized by this.
your reaction to everything that's happened?
happened to us. The whole city was wiped out. I stay across the interstate
from the Six Flags, and the water was up to the roller-coasters. It's
hard to imagine.
this situation changed your outlook on life?
cherish nothing because it can all be gone in a day. You have to always
have your ace in the hole and a secondary plan because ain't not telling
what could happen.
the conditions in Houston and at the Astrodome?
a concentration camp right now. A lot of people are trying to get out
as best and easy as they can. They're putting bands on their wrists, tagging
them like animals. "You go here, you go there
enough food and water?
plenty of supplies (laughs). There's plenty of supplies there.
clean there as well?
Astrodome is up-and-running. As far as help, they're getting a lot of
help. And I have to say love to the city of Houston, they took us in and
showed us a lot of love.
set up a charity, what responsibility do you, Juvie, and Wacko have as
my main goal is really touching the people of New Orleans. I used to be
in the streets a lot, and I show the people, I'm going through the same
thing y'all are, just to keep it real with them, not on no superstar-level.
is music in a situation like this?
still going to be a top priority in my life. I stay writing, and this
experience needs to be talked about. My music comes from personal experience,
and I write about the struggle that my people are going through.
feel like your music is helping people get through this situation?
I think right
now, I think seeing my face is helping more than the music. They know
my music and all, but seeing in me in the same place as them, it makes
them feel better like "it affected everybody."
anything else that you want to talk about?
I just want
to talk about how my people are mistreated so much. The mayor was in the
dome next door to the Superdome, and when the Superdome started leaking,
he wouldn't let them come into his dome, and he had a generator and water.
There are people suffering! These are your people, you are the mayor!
And this was a Category 5 hurricane, and you knew that the city could
only hold a Category 3, so what'd you put the people in the Superdome
for? To die? How you didn't get some buses? You put the people there to
die. He had water and power in the next arena! It's his hockey team, he
built the arena! When the president came to New Orleans, that's where
he met him at. And he wouldn't give his people nothing. The mayor's face
wasn't seen until after four days! That's why there was so much anarchy.
I know police officers that quit. They're telling police officers to "fire
on these people, stop rescuing them and fire on them." I know firemen
that quit because they couldn't take it no more. They quit because they
knew he was wrong. Before the hurricane, they had investigations on city
hall, RTA, the regional transit, the whole place had gone crooked. And
that's not even counting the murders.