I'm hanging in there, trying to grind out and make good music while looking
forward to the future.
got this new project Hey! Young World. What's that project about?
four kids from a fictional place called Young World, NY. I collaborated
with my partners from Beat Brokerz Ent. It's a lovely project. Everybody's
going to love it.
did you do for it?
My man Portiay
pretty much created the project. He had an idea about how he wanted to
put it together. He had a storyline for it. For two months we would go
in the studio. I would read the storyline and then put it in rap form.
It's about four kids and they're each rhyming back and forth in conversation.
I pretty much put them in song mode.
this project be successful?
Not to knock
today's hip-hop because I'm a part of it also, but I definitely realize
some of the things we say aren't good for the children of today. I have
a son and I definitely don't want him listening to the "bang bang,
shoot 'em up all day" type of music. I try to raise him correctly
so he can make those decisions truthfully and honestly and with advice.
"Hey! Young World" is another option for the parents out there.
If you know your kids listen to hip-hop that you don't want them to listen
to, Hey! Young World is the perfect middle ground option and it sounds
like today's music. It's about conflict resolution and education. Volume
One contains a spelling tests and gym class song and is based on true
friendship, which is also the title of the CD. It's really good for the
the age range on this project?
We sat down
with kids of all ages. My son is one and he was just dancing to the music.
He doesn't really know what's going on yet but that tells you how melodic
the music is. This can be for anywhere from kindergarten through sixth
or seventh grade and parents will love it too. That's why we're creating
a new category of hip-hop called "Family Hip-Hop."
the plans for the cartoon?
As you know
we're putting out the soundtrack before the cartoon. It's pretty much
a situation where we created the songs and the songs are so visual that
we have to do a cartoon. All of that has to come. It's necessary to bring
the brand forward. We really want to get the CD out there first. It's
something the kids can play in class or the family can play in the living
room. We want to get it out there and make it gyrate and generate buzz
to the point where people are like, Where's the cartoon? They'll come
to us and we'll be like, We have to do a cartoon for this. We have the
characters all drawn out and we're talking with animators now.
worried that "family hip-hop" is going to put you in a box?
Not at all
because my fans are familiar with what I do. All my music is really conceptual
from songs like "Cold World" to "The Life." In "The
Life" I was playing a character about a kid trying to go pro. I was
Michael Jordan in the second verse. What I do is create music somebody
can relate to in another form. My fans usually relate to that. When they
hear this music, they're going to be like, Wow. It's very creative and
my talent definitely shines on the writing side.
all play the same character.
fault. The whole idea of music, I mean how I see it, is to pretty much
bring life on a beat. If they want to play the same character, that's
a lot of y'all competing for the same role. My raps are real and I'm bringing
real lyrics to the situation. I'm not in "Hey! Young World",
but I'm bringing my lyrics to the project. I haven't lived everything
in the soundtrack, but I can relate to a lot of things. We have a song
about a spelling test that has sounds like "The Whisper Song"
where we're helping kids spell words. It was created that way because
in reality you cannot talk during a test but most kids whisper to themselves.
It's a marvelous thing. Today's hip-hop is a major key to this project.
this is for the kids. This is not being marketed to the thugs out there.
We know that they're going to be like, Hold up, this isn't for me. They
can go get their favorite artists who shoot 'em up, bang bang all day.
That's fine. We still welcome them to come take a listen though. This
is family hip-hop. This is a brand-new brand. This is for the kids. How
can you not back it? Our future depends on them. They need something to
drive them and get them going. If they're taking rap seriously with all
the gun play and drugs, they're doomed. They're going to be in jail or
dead. We're giving the families an option to pick the CD up and give it
to their kids. We're not saying it's going to change their life but it's
giving them something to relate to. Everybody doesn't sell drugs.
do you see today's hip-hop affecting kids?
No one really
wants to be a role model but the truth of the matter is that when you're
in the public eye, you are. I've realized that they take this very seriously.
Look at the clothes the kids wear. They wear G-Unit and Rocawear and they
try to live that life. They see Jay-Z with the champagne and Blackberry
and they want the champagne and the Blackberry. Music is very influential.
going on with the Tribeca project?
I'm still signed to Major League. I actually have a meeting coming up
with Matt Marcus up there. He's branched off into management and is doing
well at it. He's contacted me telling me he was ready to do this. He's
gained more knowledge and all that. Ironically enough, I have also. I'm
doing shows and traveling a lot. I've been running around doing my thing
but it's time to get it popping here. Labels love my music and people
still holler. The Tribeca project is actually coming. I did the trailer
for HBO's The Wire for the upcoming fourth season so I have the official
HBO's The Wire mixtape coming soon. I have a sports and hip-hop CD coming
soon with songs like "Home Run Kings" and "Cold World"
which was featured on the One Love basketball DVD. I even have a joint
I'm about to do about BMX biking and X-Treme sports. I'm about to change
the game with some new concepts.
you stayed at Major League all these years?
When I first
signed I did it for my fam. They wanted to do the rap thing and they didn't
have an outlet. I was producing for Camp Lo and some other labels. Major
League offered me a deal to get my artists and my music out. I got a lot
of press off "The Life" but things slowed up after a couple
years. I've learned from my mistakes. A couple years of my life have been
taken from me. You have to learn from that and just come back stronger.
That's what I've been doing. I've been doing a ton of commercials. I'm
just trying to stay as active as I can. Thank God for production.
your production going?
has definitely changed. The sound is changing. People aren't really checking
for the sampled beats anymore. You have to switch it up. My style has
definitely switched for these commercials. They need synthetic sounds
that will really pop out at you. I'm getting good work. I haven't been
producing too much for artists but after my next project I'm going to
start reaching out to artists to see what I can do.
you think the War album will drop?
done. That's ageless, timeless music. Whenever Major League is ready to
drop it, let's do it. With iTunes, we can do that tomorrow. I shot the
cover photo years ago. It's ready to go. It's just a matter of sitting
down with Major League and knocking it out.
your former hype man Kobaine teaching now?
a teacher/guidance counselor at a charter school. I'm proud of him. We
don't stay stagnant. That's another thing that formulates Hey! Young World.
We're all not negative. We lived that life once in a time but we have
been going on with Camp Lo?
released The Best of Camp Lo on iTunes and eMusic. They're doing their
thing. Sometimes I say the Bronx has bad luck. Hopefully somebody changes
that theory but it just seems like that. Camp Lo had a big single and
they were in and out. They were Billboard Top 5 for weeks with "Luchini."
Jay-Z just mentioned in the new XXL how the "Feelin' It" song
was Camp Lo's but he asked for it. We have to reach that top level. We
got hits. That's got to change.
you want to say to everybody?
Young World" will be out very soon. You can check it out and purchase
the CD on our MySpace as well. You can also purchase it in Shop Rite nationwide
as well as Wal-Mart. Anybody interested in carrying the record in their
shops please get at me. That's next. I got the official HBO's The Wire
mixtape coming sometime in September. I also have the War album coming
soon and the Tribeca World album coming. I've held this music back too
long and I don't want to lose my fans. I know it's easy to forget and
people hear a song of mine and are like, What happened to that dude? You
might be watching television and hear my voice. That's really me. It's
more than just an artist thing going on with me. I'm still here. Stay