you been up to lately?
to do it all man. I'm trying to establish my mixtape presence, continuously
storm the online field, and just record good music. I got the major production
team going right now, that's going to be unstoppable. It's called "The
Penitentiary," I call it that because they're going to lock the game
down. I'm going to have it where half the music you're going to hear is
going to be coming out of The Pen.
you put the team together?
a world that artists trying to get on really need to tap into. Rappers
are slow man. You know how they say two heads is better than one? I meet
these people online, they tell me how they got production and how bad
they need their beats heard
I'm more than a normal rapper in the
game, I'm trying to start a movement. Once they hear the music and see
that this is serious, they choose to come on the team. There's no restrictions
here because I want people to have as much freedom as possible. The only
thing we ask is that you continually lace us with that fire. As long as
you're constantly lacing us with that fire, niggas got the freedom to
also put together Pottersfield, how did you go about assembling the team?
that you asked that question because we were just talking about that today.
Pottersfield originally started in the penitentiary. People have no idea
how serious the penitentiary is when it comes to breeding rappers. People
have stereotypes of jails where it's just violence and cells. But it's
not like that. You have a lot of young dudes with talent in there. We
started a team in Greene Correctional Facility, which is a correctional
facility for younger dudes. If you're a street celebrity in New York,
you've been there. It's a jail based on popularity, as crazy as that sounds.
We started a rap group in the most popular jail in New York state, and
word traveled quickly. We were rhyming, battling against other niggas
in the yard until it got real serious and our name rang a lot of bells
in the state. We knew if we went home doing the same bullshit, we'd be
back, so we made a vow to just go home and to stop the bullshit and get
into the music. We came home, and sadly, some dudes are back up in the
mountains for 100 years for not following the music.
now is a new breed of Pottersfield. Some of the original members still
remain, but I came to the street and I recruited other members. Pottersfield
is crazy because we're not just a group that's a bunch of friends, where
three of us are nice and the rest are ok. I met everyone one-by-one that
was trying to do their damn thing before I came along. Pottersfield is
a team of rap dudes where we were all hungry, met each other in different
places and different times, and just got together for one common cause.
Right now, I got my young boys and O.G.'s in Pottersfield. We're more
than a group, we're a serious movement of individuals that take Hip Hop
seriously and really have a love and passion for this culture. We're not
just dudes that want to see ourselves on TV with gold chains on our necks.
We're really trying to change this music man, bring some consciousness
back to this music as well as some class.
is so unclassy right now. I've become obsessed with the unsigned world
than the dudes that are in the game because New York has fallen so low
on the totem pole. The majority of New York is just battle rappers and
punchline rappers. I'm not hearing too many people that are coming with
creativity and originality. We're taking it upon ourselves to fill that
void of the shit that's missing. I'm not too impressed with the dudes
that are coming up. I don't say that to shit on dudes, I want to be impressed.
I want people out there to keep me on my toes and make me step my game
up. I have to use my own team to motivate me to make hot shit because
I can't find it in the game like that, unless it's in the unsigned world.
going to jail teach you?
me one thing: it can happen to anybody. You don't have to be a criminal
to land in jail. That's one big misconception that people have. I'm not
a criminal. I'm not an angel either, I don't have wings on my back. I
was just a young dude trying to be grown, coming up in a fucked up hood,
moving a little bit too fast without the proper guidance or a male around
to sit my ass down, so I found myself in the penitentiary for a violent
crime at a young age.
I can't complain.
Jail was fucked up everyday. There was times when a nigga was locked up
23 hours a day crying, wishing I was home. But, if I could change and
go back, I wouldn't change nothing because it molded me into the dude
that I am. When you do jail time and you come out, you realize how precious
your time on these streets is. That's what makes me go so hard with this
rap game, because I know where I could be and I know where I was at. This
freedom shit in the street, you have to live it up everyday and ride it
'til the wheels fall off.
I hate to
sound like the average dude talking about being in the hood, but we are
really in the hood. Our studio is in the projects. I gutted my closet,
took the shelves out, got some soundproof foam, and put it all together.
I sound-proofed the booth myself. Our booth is a walk-in closet on the
9th floor of a project building. A lot of dudes are leery to even come
up here because it's a crime-ridden area. That also motivates me. The
neighborhood I'm in and my surroundings make me want to get the fuck out
of here and make me want to change my life and help my community. That's
what makes me go hard. The jail shit makes me feel like I have to go extra-hard
in this shit because there's another side of life that I do not want to
see or experience. It's either make myself a success legally, or who knows
you describe your work ethic?
in Pottersfield is a workaholic. I haven't had a decent night's sleep
in three years since I got a studio in my house. We built the studio around
2002. Since then, I have not had a decent night's sleep. We have about
600 songs recorded, four videos done, and I'm sitting with 800 beats in
my computer. No exaggeration. You have no idea how many producers are
out there. I record, mix, and master all my own music. I'm not an engineer,
I'm not no computer dude. It's just that there's nobody else to do it
so I do it myself. Everything I've learned, I've learned hands-on. Sometimes
I look at my set-up and I can't believe that I sat there read all the
manuals to learn the shit, but I really was determined. My work ethic
is unbelievable. A lot of rappers have managers that tell them to be in
the studio and do everything for them. I record, mix, and master my own
music, and I promote. I am my own publicist. If it wasn't for dudes like
you, the only other dude I could rely on to get an interview somewhere
is myself. I write for three websites and Rap Fanatic Magazine. I'm not
just a rapper.
gotten tracks from Heatmakerz, Green Lantern, Liveson
how do you
manage to get those beats?
this, and I'm going to keep it thorough. Producers that's on, they wasn't
always on, and they was giving beats out like hotcakes before they got
to the level they are at now. Sometimes producers would pass me beats
or I would get it through some other means. I would always contact the
producer and let them know I'm using their shit. They might not be cool
with it at first, but once they hear it, they can't deny it. That's why
I get tracks from Liveson, Empire State
when you're going hard and
they see that this dude isn't going anywhere, he's got a strong team and
a crazy team behind him, they say they might as well record songs with
this dude because they see where I'm headed.
is a big team, so we all get up off our ass and get to hustling. We go
all over the place pushing our music. The object is to meet the right
people. I've never paid for a beat in my life, and I probably never will.
Every time I'm on a track, I'm giving producers an opportunity. Empire
State, those are my niggas man. They have unbelievable production and
they've worked with a lot of people in the game, and they're hitting me
with a lot of tracks. We just did the song "Holy God."
over 600 songs is crazy
what's your writing process like?
On some real
shit, this is the type of rapper I am: if I'm really, really feeling the
beat, I'll sit down and write my three verses on the spot. I can't move.
I'm going to be scared that another rapper will pop up that week with
the same sample. Within an hour and a half, I'll have the verses laid
out and everything straightened out.
I'm not really
a big freestyle dude. A lot of people ask me for mixtape freestyles, but
I find it hard to motivate myself to write to someone else's beats. You
have to be a special DJ, the only ones I would do it for is you, Diggz,
E-Nyce, and DJ Styles.
I hate to
say it, but it's the actual truth. I got a few songs in my archive that
I wrote in my head. It's overrated how hard it is to write a song in your
head. It's all memory. If you've been writing 16's for a while, you just
have to memorize eight rhymes. I have a song called "Fools"
that I wrote with no pen and paper just to prove to myself that I can
do it. But I feel that writing with a pen and paper brings out the best
lyrics in me.
did an entire album together too
don't know how to pinpoint a producer's sound and pinpoint what to do,
and that's exactly what we did. The "Can't Buy Love" track is
a banger. I let everyone else get on there to show that everyone holds
their own weight. I'm not the leader, but the spokesmen and the front-man
because I'm a good communicator. The album is ridiculous. We have the
other single "'Bout My Dough" with that "Kill Bill"
sample. Everyone says that's a hit. There's "Extravaganza,"
" This is the only street album that features
every Pottersfield member on the album. We've done albums in the past
where we can't do that. We crammed every single member of Pottersfield,
including Trinity and Switch, into one album. It's historic.
are you working on?
on a movie and a book. Getting on in this game is a movie in itself. When
you're on the streets and you don't have nothing, starting from scratch,
getting on in itself is ridiculous. My life story is a movement. I'm writing
my own book by myself. Nobody's telling me how to do it. I'm doing a movie,
book, and a soundtrack to it. And this is what I'll have in my backpack
when I come in this game as ammunition, ready to be released and distributed
however. Everybody that knows my history knows that this will be worth
your goals right now in the music game?
I need distribution, no beating around the bush. I got a lot of good music.
I know the game is 90% politics and 10% good music. Most of the time,
you're weeding through the politics. I stay motivated in myself because
of my song archive. I always keep in mind that Nelly recorded "Country
Grammar" two and a half years before it was released. A song may
be old to you and your team, but to everyone else, it's new. I hear so
many hits that I say "I have to keep going." I know when I get
up in the game, I'm going to throw a few "Country Grammar's"
out there. I always keep in mind that I can do it at any time. I'm looking
for New York rappers because we can't do the out-the-trunk sales. We can't
do that in New York. New York is a jungle full of 10 million people, 12
million rappers. There's a rapper on every corner and it's real hard to
get noticed. If you can get noticed, your name, your imprint, your style
known out here, that means you're ready for the game, quiet as kept. They
might not tell you that because they want you to settle for less, but
if you can get a buzz popping in New York City, you can get a buzz anywhere.
I don't need a buzz, I need money. I need someone to say that they want
to distribute the money. Someone that sees the talent and the work ethic.
I'm an intelligent dude, and I will not sleep until what I do is a success.
I don't want to get $10,000 in my hand and then not be able to be found
to do a track with someone. I'm a workaholic in every aspect. I'm looking
for a team on the label tip that wants to get together with another team
and get millions of dollars. Either we can do this the easy way, or the
hard way. I'm definitely headed for "50-Cent-ism." That's a
new term for when a rapper comes out of New York and says "you better
fuck with me before I get on" and then shuts down the whole game.
That's what's going to happen, 50-Cent-ism, because my team is unstoppable
and my young boys are crazy.
do you have to offer the game and save New York?
is so full of followers. Let me stop beating around the bush. Everyone
in New York is blowing Down South cock. I love the South. I love Southern
women and I love Southern niggas, but I was cruising around the other
day, and I was listening to Hot97, and I hear nothing but Down South on
the radio. Every artist on the radio was a Southern artist. And if it
wasn't a Southern artist, it was a New York artist on a Southern track.
The trend-setting city has become a following city. I'm going to make
New York once again the place that starts everything that everyone else
follows. You can hear a lot of rappers, but that's not them, that's what
they want to be. I give people me. I'm not just talking about thug, gangster
shit, I'm talking about true, heartfelt music. Music you feel with every
inch of your being. That's the type of music I'm trying to make. Anything
else, I'm not doing my job. Not everybody can make quality, classic music,
and that's what I have to offer the game right now: quality, classic music.
I can show niggas better than I can tell niggas. That's why I'm so impatient
in the game because I just need that chance to get it out there.
the name Pottersfield mean to you?
means so many things. Let's just say this. Pottersfield is where you get
buried when you can't afford a decent burial. A lot of dudes run these
streets and do what they do, and a lot of dudes are going to Pottersfield.
Anybody that's familiar with the Bible, Judas felt guilty for betraying
Jesus, and he tried to return the money to the people, and they didn't
take the money back, so all they could do was build a cemetery and they
called it "Pottersfield." Pottersfield is also a nickname for
jail. When we were in jail, we used to be like "man, this is Pottersfield,"
because nobody was coming to visit. When we came back to the streets,
we saw that it was the same out here and that nobody cared. Where we live
is where people are mentally dead, worshipping nothing but materialism.
Happiness only comes with a big-screen TV and a nice car instead of spirituality.
Everything is backwards man. This is our reality, a graveyard full of
mentally dead people, and we call it Pottersfield. That's what we represent,
the understanding and the realization that the ghetto is nothing more
than one big cemetery full of mentally dead people. We're aware that this
is not living.
you feel when you hear songs about glorifying things like the ghetto when
you know they're spitting empty words?
If a dude
is truly conscious of where he came from and he helps dudes rise from
their conditions, then you can show the ghetto in your music 24 hours
a day. But if you're not helping anyone in the ghetto and you're out,
and you have the crabs-in-the-barrel mentality
dudes are not happy
in the streets. We're far from happy. Niggas are hungry. There's plenty
of nights niggas are eating sleep for dinner. Niggas don't know nothing
about recording on an empty stomach. A lot of dudes could be helping and
they're not. Let's not act like HipHopGame doesn't get 80,000 hits a day
and people can't hear the hunger. People don't reach out. If you have
a friend in the business, or your pops or cousin works for a label
no rappers reaching out to each other. You can't hear the pain, the talent,
the quality in the music? There's been some dudes that reached out to
me, but never no artists with power that could possibly change my situation.
You don't see me on TV with Bentley's and Rolls Royce's.
shout out "New Industry," what does that mean?
thing I have to offer to the game. Once I'm in the game, watch how many
people I give a chance to. That's the science behind my new label New
Industry. I'm not going to be chasing around dudes that never hollered.
The biggest DJ in the game, I'll make a new one. That's the science behind
the New Industry, all new players. This time, humans that have hearts
that care about others and help others with talent, that's what New Industry
is about. If I was trash, I wouldn't try to make it.
you feel about a lot of older MC's still getting deals?
man, stop signing these senior citizens man, on some real shit. Get an
office job. If you had five or six chances, we don't want to hear you
no more. Let other niggas eat. Sometimes I really don't understand these
dudes with signing power. You have to sign these new, young warriors that's
really ready to get this money. Stop signing these senior citizens, real
done a lot of work with 354, what's your relationship to them?
354, I met
Wop (354's manager) when we were locked up. I always had respect for him
and he always had respect for me. He's a sly dude. I never knew he was
scheming on the music industry. He had the D-Block affiliation and when
he came home, he started up 354, which is the name of the building where
they're all from. They've been going extra-hard and they've been doing
a lot of recording in my 9th floor closet booth. A lot of their recording
is what you hear is done with me. Snyp is the A-man like Laz is the A-man
in Pottersfield. We're working hard to put our stamp on the game. When
you see Pottersfield successful, you'll see 354 successful as well, and
you want to say to everyone out there?
that St. Laz and Pottersfield is the truth. There is no getting rid of
us. We are here to see and we are here to dominate. If you can take 10
minutes out of your day and listen to a few of our songs, you will not
be disappointed. When we get on, it will be no surprise. We are not here
to be on the mixtapes. We are here to sell millions and millions of units.
The reason I want to sell millions of units is because I want my music
heard worldwide. That's what I'm here to do and I will settle for nothing
less than greatness.
the Best of Pottersfield here:
Hip Hop Disciples XIV feat. St. Laz' "Holy God" here: http://www.killahertz.com/730%20Presents%20Hip%20Hop%20Disciples%20XIV%20(Hosted%20by%20Poison%20Pen).zip