I feel great,
man. I feel great.
happened between you and Maino at the T.I. party?
First of all, we were doing a deal for a mixtape. In the beginning, my
partner already had cold feet for the deal but I pushed for it because
I liked what he was trying to do. Maino signed off on the agreement and
got the agreement back to me, but in the process of this happening, my
partner didn't exactly want to do the deal anymore. Since we didn't sign
the deal on our end, it wasn't a fully executed agreement. Plus he never
handed in a master. He wasn't owed any monies because of the fact he didn't
hand in a master. There was nothing owed to him. I reached out to him
during the process of all this and got no response from him. It's just
a pointless effort on his part in my opinion and I think he's frustrated
because his record isn't doing too good and Universal is just kind of
dragging him along. I guess he's frustrated and he feels some kind of
way. If he felt he was wronged in any type of way, it could have been
discussed. But if both sides don't sign off on an agreement, it's not
an agreement. Maybe if we were to have gotten in contact with each other,
everything could have been cleared up.
the T.I. party, first off, obviously when you go to a party like that,
you don't go looking for war. It was me, Scram Jones and Nature at the
party. We were just there to say what's up, and he got kind of irate over
the deal not being done. One thing led to another with his little crew.
I heard a lot of rumors that I was fucked up. It's not true. I'm just
giving you the facts right now. There is nothing fabricated coming from
me. Anybody who knows my reputation, they know I'm not the type of dude
to score points on. This situation is childish and I would rather not
gain attention this way. That's the gist of the shit. It was real corny.
A few people who were there witnessed the shit and they saw what it was.
It was real wack.
a physical altercation?
nothing between me and Maino. There was an altercation between me and
Maino's people. Maino's dudes jumped for him. It's basically a situation
where they jumped me. Maino was a few feet away. He wasn't actually in
the physical altercation. It was people around him who I don't care to
know or give a fuck about.
I got a scratch
under my lip, but they didn't mess my sexy up.
you make of the whole situation now?
the physical aspect of it, as artists, we need to consider the things
we do. Hip-hop in general already has a bad stigma to it because of the
beefs between some artists and groups. We need to consider the fact that
we're in this to do business and to do it the right way. For someone to
approach me in a physical manner based off what I explained to you, which
is all facts, is counterproductive. It does nothing good for hip-hop.
It's just another ugly blotch on hip-hop. When I go to a T.I. party, I'm
going there to get my network on. I'm not trying to go there looking for
war and to get irate or get out of character there. I left the hood and
the streets a long time ago because I wanted to have a better life and
have better business practices as opposed to being on some negative shit.
From a physical aspect, I heard rumors that he fucked me up. Do the math
and look at me and look at him. I'm not just going to let that happen
At the same
time, I'm not trying to fuel it into any beef. There is no war. It's no
competition for me. I don't get no points off Maino. If anything, it's
an opportunity for someone to gain points off going at me. From my history
in the game alone, there's no comparison. It's pointless for me to return
fire. I'm not going to say I'm the one to score points on. What I'm saying
is it's pointless for me to do anything towards him. It doesn't better
Tragedy Khadafi. It takes away from Tragedy Khadafi.
the mixtape deal for?
It was for
a Maino mixtape. My partner and I were going to put out a Maino mixtape.
We picked up the ball where Landspeed left off. We deal with A and B-level
artists and give them the opportunity to put street albums out. We also
do solo albums, but we do albums more on the street level. With my expertise
in the music industry and my partner's hand in distribution, we got together
to put these projects out. My partner wasn't even feeling Maino at first
like that. I felt him to a certain level and wanted to get behind him
and push a mixtape on the street level. Initially I pushed for it but
then I felt my partner was right so we didn't complete the deal. That's
not to say we did a bad deal. If the deal is not fully executed by both
parties, the deal doesn't take place. It's immature on his part. If I
do a deal with somebody and for some reason it doesn't go through, am
I going to go shoot somebody in the head? No. That scares the money away.
I don't want to get to the point where people are scared to invite me
to parties. That hurts me as a businessman.
basically me trying to extend my hand to an artist I felt somewhat and
with my help, I felt we could do some numbers and do some big things.
I felt he wasn't being served justice in terms of what he was trying to
do and his project. Besides him riding the coattails of Lil' Kim, I didn't
see any attention on him. I don't want to put my focus on him. There are
bigger things in my scope right now. I didn't want to give it any energy
or concentration but now I have to because I want people to know the truth.
I never lie in my music and I never lie, period. I don't have to lie.
I know who I am. It's clear that he doesn't know who he is.
going on with your album?
I have an
album coming out on 25 II Life and Nature Sounds in the spring. I've always
worked with a lot of artists, but this project is going to be mainly myself.
It seems a lot of artists use the next artist as a crutch on features
and that's not something I want to do. I'm also working on a supergroup
with me, 'Mega and Nature with production from Havoc and Scram Jones exclusively.
I'm trying to find a home for that.
working on closing deals with Havoc for his first solo project and Scram
Jones. I may be speaking on the Havoc deal prematurely but I'm excited
about it and I think it's going to go through. The Scram project will
be him rhyming on his tracks and getting some features. They're going
to be big records and I'm going to be behind the records as executive
producer. These are the things I'm working with. I also have a clothing
line I'm working on with my cousin and a movie. The clothing line is a
boutique type of fashion. It's real exclusive. I'm not going to expose
the name right now. It's a real boutique, exclusive, limited line. It's
very high quality. The movie is more or less a documentary about my life,
just coming up in the industry and how I birthed certain groups. It's
real informative when you look at the history of hip-hop, Queensbridge
and music in general. These are the things I'm working on.
would be sick.
up in the air. We don't even have a name but I think QB3 is good. I know
'Mega's with it wholeheartedly and I know Nature's with it wholeheartedly.
We have three powerful minds. It's just about finding the time to do it.
We would get Crime Fam and Bravehearts involved, Nas, Mobb Deep and CNN
too. We would get the pioneers involved too. We want these artists' input
and involvement as well.
said he would be down to work on an album with you. Do you see that happening?
I would love
to see that happen. I'm trying to get a steady number on him. His number
is always switching up. I would love to work with him. I started Ayatollah
in this business. I got him his first MP. I'm partly responsible for raising
Ayatollah as a producer. I basically brokered the deal for Ayatollah to
do Mos Def's "Ms. Fat Booty."
done a lot behind the scenes.
I'm at the point now where I'm going to start cashing in from being behind
the scenes. I'm not going to lie. There was a point in my life when my
consistency level would go up and down, but that's not going to be a factor
right now. A lot of people are hating on me because they know I'm a fucking
ever capitalize off the CNN or Juice Crew situation?
I was still
a baby when I was a part of the Juice Crew, so that was more of an education
for me. I was 13 years-old then. I saw Marley Marl, Biz Mark, MC Shan,
who's the godfather of this Queensbridge rap. Then came Nas, Mobb Deep
and CNN. I benefited on a monetary level on the CNN album. I co-wrote
a lot of the album and I was a major hand for the marketing and promotions
of that album. I started promoting CNN with $50 before we had a deal.
Me and Stretch directed their first video, "LA, LA." We started
it back up on the East Coast level in '95, 94. We retaliated at the West
Coast when they made "New York, New York." It wasn't a beef
thing but we responded to the defamation they were doing. I orchestrated
that whole thing. If you talk to Nore and talk to Havoc, what I'm saying
is all fact. I benefited a lot from CNN and the Juice Crew.
your relationship with Marley Marl today?
spoken to Marley in awhile. Marley's my older brother who I don't speak
to all the time. If I speak to him five years from now, he's still my
in a good place right now?
times when QB was on the tip of everybody's tongues and there were times
when QB was in the back of everybody's minds. Now QB is simmering up to
be on everybody's tongue again. We had gotten used to the Nas' and the
Mobb Deep's. We have to get used to the new QB. That consists of Crime
Fam. QB is never going to just dry up. Let's look towards the new QB and
Crime Fam is representing the new QB. Look towards the new QB. The Infamous
Mobb is still doing their thing. We're going to let the industry know
that we're a force to be reckoned with and that we can never be slept
heard Nore's reggaeton album yet?
had the privilege of hearing the album. Nore's very resourceful and whatever
he does, I feel he'll come out on top. Nore knows the game and understands
the game. He's a strong individual. If he wants to go in the reggaeton
direction, I wish him success and I wish him the best.
going to Def Jam a good move?
For a lot
of reasons, I think it is a good move. It shows a lot of maturity on Nas'
and Jay-Z's behalf. At the end of the day, we're entertainers and we make
music and that's not to discount Jay or Nas. I think it's a good move
because it shows maturity. At the end of the day, we don't need to be
shooting at each other. That's counterproductive to hip-hop and life.
I think Nas is going to make some credible music. Nas makes hot music.
I can't say Nas and I have been the best of friends, but he's a great
artist and has strong narrative skills and gives a strong perspective
on life from a street angle. I'm looking for him to do some big things.
Whatever flag Nas puts down, he's still a QB affiliate and it still breathes
life into QB.
stage in your career, do you want a major or are you happy being independent?
to become happy with being an independent. The thing with the majors is
a lot of their releases are not doing what they expect them to do. Let's
just look at the sales and the numbers. The money that's being put into
these groups and artists by the majors are not constituting sales. On
an independent level, although it's somewhat harder to promote an independent
artist on a major scale, if you have a credible rep, it constitutes sales
in a much better way, in my opinion. I'm not necessarily looking towards
the majors right now. I'm just plotting and I'm lucky to be in with some
good people. It's allowed me to grow as a businessman and an executive
as opposed to being a major label baby. I think a lot of major artists
get comfortable on the major and stop promoting. Look at the South. They
made themselves heard because nobody was listening. East Coast artists
need to pay attention. Don't run to the south to do their music. We can't
bring our sound back by copying Southern artists or artists from anywhere
else, but we can affiliate with them.
is part of the generation who grew up listening to you. How is it working
I'm one of
the first artists to really open my doors for Scram and that's because
Scram opened his door to me. He's not just a beatmaker. You have a lot
of beatmakers out there who are great at making beats, but Scram is a
producer. He knows how to arrange a song and direct an artist. Aside from
your Pharrell's and your Dre's and your Premier's, there are a lot of
dudes who are just beatmakers. There are a lot of producers I didn't mention
and that's not to take away from them. Scram is a great producers and
he just needs an opportunity to show that. He's been nominated for a Grammy
with Mariah Carey and he started out doing underground hip-hop tracks.
working with any young guys now that we should be on the lookout for?
my eye is on Crime Fam. I'm working with them through In Ya Ear Studios
and In Ya Ear the record label. We're joining forces to release some hot
mixtapes and get them out there, at least initially in the mid-Atlantic
region. That's where my focus is at now as far as up-and-coming artists.
your focus going to be on for the next couple of months?
with Havoc. He's one of the best producers on the East Coast. And of course
I'll be working on my next solo effort, The Hoodfather. I'm crossing all
my t's and dotting all my i's on that project.
you want to say to everybody?
and focus on what counts.