man. I'm good. I'm just taking a break from writing for the next album
seems to love "Worst Fears Confirmed."
feels great. I think at this point, it's just a matter of being recognized.
I want my works to be noticed this go-round.
have a good time putting "Worst Fears Confirmed" together?
Yeah. I had
a ball. "The Darkest Cloud" was just a bunch of hot songs. For
this, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We knew exactly what sound
we wanted. We knew how we wanted this record to turn out. That took all
the pressure off of trying to compete with "Darkest Cloud."
That's what made recording this album even more fun. At the end of the
day, my competition is myself. At the end of the day, people say, "Is
it better than 'The Darkest Cloud'?" That's the best compliment an
artist can have. They're not asking if it's better than "Illmatic"
or "Reasonable Doubt."
I felt no
pressure making this album. We just wanted to make good music. "The
Darkest Cloud" was just a freestyle album. The boom-bap heads loved
"The Darkest Cloud." That record didn't even register on "Worst
you say this album is for?
is for the people that "The Darkest Cloud" missed. It's evident
that it is reaching them based on the publicity that I've been getting.
"The Darkest Cloud" was over a lot of people's heads from the
content to the flow
It was made for a distinct crowd whereas you
can play "Worst Fears Confirmed" anywhere. This is a system
record. This will bang in the system. This is some good-ass music right
your inspiration for "Serpent in the Rainbow"?
It's a feel-good
record. I remember when they were talking about Kanye's album and he said
he wanted to make a house-cleaning record, where you could throw his CD
on and just clean your house from top to bottom. I like where he's going
with that. That's how records should be made, where you can throw it on
and it plays five times in a row. "Serpent and a Rainbow" reminded
me of that. You can put this one song on repeat and clean your whole shit
a lot of sick imagery and punchlines. Where do you get your inspiration
different walks of life. In my office in my house, it's like my whole
universe. That's where I write most of my shit. There's so much going
on in that room. I got a wall of Jordan's, DVD's
all types of shit.
I can sit around and get ideas from anything. I find shit funny that other
people wouldn't even imagine. A lot of my good friends are comedians and
that helps me to see my friends bagging on each other.
you do your best writing?
the afternoon. Sometimes it happens in the late hours when I'm on my way
to the studio. Most of the time I can sit right here in my office and
write. I usually don't even use a beat. I just write off of skeletons.
I just map out skeletons on what I want to talk about, and once I get
the beat, I'll put that skeleton together and it will eventually become
Ras Kass seemed to have good chemistry on "Introducing."
Kass, that's a cool motherfucker. He's a special dude, man. He's a special
dude. My album was done and it was going to the presses. Then Panik calls
and tells me, "What's it going to take to get you in the booth."
"Nothing." "Well, I got Ras Kass." Me and Ras talked
and it just popped off. People criticize him and say he forgets his lyrics
at shows. I gave him the hook one time and he nailed it. Dude is a special
comparisons to Ras Kass ever frustrate you?
Day, his ex-manager, used to manage Twista. She used to stay out here
in Chicago a lot. We hadn't even heard of dude when she said I reminded
her of him. Then I saw the "Street Fighter" movie and there
was a video with him. I heard him rhyme, heard his voice, and his inflections
and I could see what they were talking about. That's as far as it goes.
We have our own styles. My style has nothing to do with Ras Kass. That's
how we do things in Chicago.
really style anymore. People pretty much grab the same flow. Back when
we were styling, we would throw styles out and jack one and make a whole
song with it. That's how Twista got his style. We heard the LL song and
bet Twista he couldn't do that style, and he did a whole style. That's
how niggas got down back then.
it working with the Molemen?
because that's family. That's my people from day one. You want to get
in the game with your people from day one. You don't want to run around
finding dudes for a beat. That's another notch in our belt. When labels
get at these dudes, they pretty much want you to already have a team in
place and make their job easy for them. That's another reason why we're
getting the attention we're getting right now. We're our own entity. It's
not like I have to run and go get Just Blaze for a beat. I already got
a crew assembled. That's the best way to give yourself a chance to win.
You have to have a team that you know and feel comfortable with. I wouldn't
have it any other way. That's how a lot of great teams that had their
run got it popping. The best albums were albums that were produced by
one team. Those are the best albums. The classics.
your name is growing and bigger producers will reach out to you to get
on your album, what will happen?
definitely reach out. I just want them to understand my ear and my approach.
If they have something that sounds like something Vakill would sound on,
I don't have a problem with that. That's like the Molemen not reaching
out to other MC's for beat-work. Why not? Why enclose yourself? We're
all about networking. This album is produced by the Molemen, but I also
got a beat from a dude in Britain.
"The Darkest Cloud" do what you wanted it to do?
"The Darkest Cloud" set them up for "Worst Fears Confirmed."
We knew it wasn't going to hit in the mainstream. It was anti-mainstream.
That was my "fuck you" record. That was just a really, really,
really raw-ass record. I wrote the shit out of that record. It got a huge
response for the lyricism on that. I knew I would get them open on it,
but I also knew at the same time that it would be over people's heads.
It got me buzzing on the underground. That's what I wanted it to do. No
matter what happens, that's that album. No matter what I make after "The
Darkest Cloud," it will always be compared to "The Darkest Cloud."
I'm cool with that.
one of the only dudes to make it in Chicago without a huge co-sign.
my grind. That's having a team. It's not just me. If my team says they're
going to do something, they're going to do it. They know I have a nine-to-five.
While I'm at my job, they're grinding, passing out fliers, doing all the
intangibles. You need that to get this popping. That's how Hip Hop started.
It's a word-of-mouth, street buzz. That's how it's supposed to be. I've
never had a co-sign. Don't get me wrong, Kanye, Rhymefest, and Common
know who I am.
of Rhymefest, you guys go way back.
record I put out was with him and Percee P in 1996. I've known him since
he was a snot-nose. My team pretty much polished him and prepared him
for what was to come. He can't even deny that.
been doing some work with Vizion lately. Who is he?
family right there. He's going to blow fast and furiously. He's on his
grind and he's focused. He's hungry. A lot of people want to look at talent.
Talent is only 50%. Maybe that's giving it too much credit. He knows how
to grind and stay hungry. He's ready right now. He's just in the wings
would kill the mixtapes. How come you've never hit the mixtapes hard?
to dabble in the mixtape game. I've just been approached about a Green
Lantern tape. I've never really put myself in a position to be approached
by that. I've always been getting it in on an underground level. Now people
feel that I can touch the streets. It's just creating my own opportunities.
I just sat back and waited for it to be my time. There was a three year
stretch between "The Darkest Cloud" and "Worst Fears Confirmed."
I spent that time observing the game. "The Darkest Cloud" could
have been it or I could go back in and go hard and see where it goes.
The timing of this album couldn't have been better. There was no competition.
Niggas are scared to drop in the first quarter. Niggas like to drop in
the second quarter and get that summer vibe popping.
next for you?
I got a lot
waiting in the wings right now. A lot of it is just soaking in. The mainstream
is finally starting to notice me. I have a buzz without having a record
that's getting mainstream radio play. The timing is right for this type
of music. It's time for a different representation of my city to come
forward. I'm just riding that wave. I'm about to get back in the booth
and make the best album I'll ever make probably. I was going to do a mixtape,
but my focus is so strong right now I think I can trump myself and make
the best album I've ever made, especially because I have all eyes on me
with the industry looking. It's crazy, man. Vakill is going to be a very
interesting person in 2006. We're going to get some very interesting shit
you want to say to your fans?
I want to
thank them. It's not like I'm struggling for money. I have a very good
job. I don't need this rap shit as a job. The fans are what keep the fire
in you. If it wasn't for fans, I don't think I would have been going at
it this long. I think Vakill would have been gone. For that shit alone,
I just want to give them the ultimate praise. Not only do I have fans,
but I have loyal fans. That's a tough thing to have.