you been up to lately?
been doing the street thing. The street promotions thing. Just staying
grounded, staying focused. I'm on the outside looking in. the game is
real corny right now. A nigga's not really trying to be a part of that,
so I'm trying to come out and fill that void. This shit is all about timing.
you been working on?
I just dropped
the last single from A-Mob Entertainment, the "Wake-Up Call."
The A-Side was produced by DJ Premier and the B-Side was produced by the
legendary Showbiz. I was on the Gangstarr album, "The Ownerz."
That's where I've been at, just doing a lot of independent shit.
working on that new album now
been working on that album for awhile. There's been a lot of setbacks,
the usual hood shit, you know. The Ghetto Child is still on the street.
This shit ain't no phony shit. When you just called me like 15 minutes
ago, I was in the midst of doing something that's why I had to call you
do you balance street life and Hip Hop?
life, Hip Hop, fatherhood
like, just like all those segments of my
life, I got to keep it balanced because there's no other way I could have
it. I have to balance it. Hip Hop is like my first love, since like yay-high.
You know a lot of cats in my age bracket, I don't really want to discuss
my age, but a lot of cats in my age bracket gave it up, they're probably
still at it but they just sound old school. I just kept upgrading my shit
because I've kept at it.
locked up too, how did that hurt your career?
few years. Those are setbacks. That really damaged my career man. I mean,
I'm not gonna sit back and cry over spilt milk and shit, but that did
put a major toll on my career kid. Because in the midst of getting locked
up, we was supposed to do "The Realness" video, that was supposed
to be the second single off the Group Home album. So that was gonna be
my first visual display. And in the midst of all that, we were doing shows,
to make a long story short I just got locked up on some
ill shit. I was protecting my moms. Cops maced my moms, the rest is all
history. That put a major, major setback to the career because that was
the setoff of the Ghetto Child. "The Realness" was loved early,
the Group Home, the Jeru
I feel like I'm the last dude from that
era that can keep that shit alive. You feel what I'm saying? And make
it appealing at the same time. But I ain't let that stop me as you can
you first link up with Gangstarr?
Me and Guru
was doing a lot of shit. Guru was like a guidance counselor back then
before he had his claim to fame. Me and Preem hooked up in like early
'89 because I met Preem through Guru . We did the usual, after work come
kick it, we'd rhyme
he had a little equipment. It wasn't really nothing
major. But then soon, after that, Preem came on the scene. And from there,
it was like us three, and them two became a duo, and I mean the rest is
it feel spittin on the "Ownerz?"
Let me tell
you something. The first feeling, if you need to know the truth, is "about
fucking time!" Let's do this shit!
spitting that verse on the Group Home album?
go gold when that shit first dropped, but it's gold now. So it's like,
I already know how to deal with them opportunities and shit
been grasping that for years. I look at it like shit, 700,000 people gotta
know about Smiley the Ghetto Child. I mean that album is a classic.
you put out and moved 7,000 units
how was that?
On the single
alone through Fat Beats we moved that. That's not telling what I've done
on tours last year. I was on the road three and a half months last year.
I know that single is over 10,000 now. And you know vinyl's been down
for years. I sold 2,500 right out the gate. The initial press-up sold
out in a few days. It was surprising. I know that I'm capable of that.
It ain't like I'm inadequate to this shit. I've been doing this for years.
But it was a good feeling to know that there's people out there that really,
really respect and cherish the true essence of this shit. It was a good
running your own label now too, what's up with that?
the first thing we're dropping off of A-Mob Entertainment is Smiley the
Ghetto Child, which is me. I'm gonna drop first, and then there's gonna
be the five members of A-Mob
and you know I'm connected with Gangstarr,
Bumpy Knuckles, M.O.P
the project is gonna be crazy, but I'm just
nurturing and pampering it. That's the expectations for A-Mob Entertainment
for this year.
never signed with Primo's label, how come?
I mean, Preem
would have been an honor, don't get it twisted. It would have been an
honor to sign on my brother's label, because Preem is like my big brother.
But at the same time, I got certain agendas too, and I got things that
I like to do my way. And everyone has their own chemistry on how they
work. Basically what I'm trying to tell you is that I'm the sole controller
of my destiny and I have to control my art, my creativity
that's what being a businessman is all about. I play a lot of positions
in this too
I don't play just the artist aspect. I play the CEO,
the artist development aspect, co-producing, ghostwriting, the list goes
I just play all the positions.
criticism that I've heard about Primo is that he doesn't grind for artists
working for him and put his all into them. How do you feel about that?
my man! That's my brother. But everybody got common knowledge and common
sense. Everybody know right from wrong. And I mean, the consumer is king.
And if that's what the consumers are saying and that's how they're viewing
it, I guess they're just calling it as they see it. I ain't even gonna
bullshit, I've heard that shit plenty of times myself. Being that I'm
so affiliated with these dudes, over a decade, we're talking 15-16 years
feel me? I get that too. And back to corresponding to what you were saying,
as to why I didn't sign (with DJ Premier), is just situations like that.
Situations like that that people view that people could really criticize
off of it. People are going to criticize whatever your do. But for me,
personally, Smiley the Ghetto Child, Preem is my big brother. I love him.
I would never do or say anything to hurt him. But being that I'm affiliated
with him, I've heard that too. But I've got to look at it for what it
is. So that's why I gotta do my own thing. I'm a Scorpio man, I'm dominant.
My moms always taught me, you want something, you gotta get it. Nobody's
gonna get it for you. And that's just my whole principle of life. I can't
wait for nobody. You feel me? Personally, I don't know why my brother
Premier and my other brother Guru would wait for five years to drop the
last album being that "Moment of Truth" was so hot and it went
gold. I think they should have dropped the album a year and a half after
that. But you know, the politics of the label, you know what I'm saying,
you're dealing with other people's money as well, now you gotta submit
to them somewhat in some kind of fashion, to where you got an independent
jump-off, you could drop an album every five years.
why you want to be independent right now?
I've got to be the sole controller of my own shit. I can't wait on nobody.
And that ain't no offense to nobody. However somebody do their work, their
routine, that's on them if that works for them. I know what works for
me. I gotta have hands-on. I gotta own my masters. I gotta pay for my
mixes. I have to do all that. Because at the end of the day, it's like
"what the fuck am I doing this for?" I'm not going to be doing
this for anybody other than myself, my family, and my fans.
the next thing about to drop with you?
to mix the next single this week. The next single through Fat Beats will
be out in about five weeks.
you want to say to your fans?
To my fans,
yo I carry this shit with the greatest of love. I just want my fans to
just keep it alive because real Hip Hop ain't gonna die, the essence of
it, the authentic form of it. It ain't gonna never die, because everybody
gotta remember where it started from. 9 times out of 10, fans of Hip Hop
do the knowledge so it rolls back to the birthplace, the Bronx. I feel
that just like myself, there's other people out there that's gonna respect
that and represent it to the fullest. And to my fans, just represent real
Hip Hop to the fullest. And I'm gonna keep it coming.