Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy
“My mission, to keep it real with no condition,” Wais P spits on the DJ Premier-produced track “You See It,” should come as no surprise to anyone who’s followed the storied career of the Brooklyn spitter. As one-half of the talented duo Da Ranjahz, Wais P caught the ear of Jay-Z and Dame Dash and would help to steal the show on Jay-Z’s Life and Times of Shawn Carter Volume 2 album. Unfortunately, the Rocafella situation didn’t last and Wais P soon found himself almost back where he started. A combination of the experience he’d gain touring with the Roc along with a keen business sense meant Wais wouldn’t be down for long. As he refocused his music, Wais P also got into another game: pimping. In an exclusive interview with HipHopGame, the Brooklyn Ranjah breaks down where he’s been, the ins and outs of being a good P and how Pimpin’ Saved [His] Life.
From coming up with partner H.A.P.H. as Da Ranjahz to rolling with Jay-Z and Rocafella
How did “You See It” with DJ Premier come about?
You see it! Premier has an eye for talent and if he fucks with you, he fucks with you. It doesn’t matter if you sold 10 million records or wood in the ‘hood. He reached out to me and I reached out to him and we did the record. The reason I wanted to do “You See It” is because that’s a saying in the pimp world. “How you doin?” is what people usually say. I want the world to say “You see it.” If you see me doing good, you’re going to see it on me. If you see me doing bad, you’re going to see it on me.
That can save a lot of time in unwanted small talk.
Exactly! (laughs) I like that. We’re saving small talk!
That can get awkward after you talk about the weather, their weekend, their dog…You don’t really care about their answers.
Exactly! You hit it right on the nose, man!
What was it like working with DJ Premier on “You See It”?
This is the second time I got to work with him. I did the record with Cee-Lo Green and Da Ranjahz with him. It’s intimidating, to be honest with you. You want to put your best lyrical foot forward and I didn’t want to let him down, especially with the content that I’m putting inside records. I really try to take a step to be lyrical because usually when dudes talk about the same things I’m talking about, they’re not as witty as they are with other things. It was a little intimidating but it was also a blessing. He also talked on the record and he doesn’t usually do that. I felt accomplished because of it.
Are you happy with how fans are responding to the record?
It’s definitely a blessing the way people are responding to it, but I’m trying to take it to a whole other level now too. I’m trying to get more spins on the commercial radio set and satellite radio’s really supporting it. Shade 45 and Sirius Radio are supporting it. Almost all of the DJs are playing it. So now I’m just trying to get it to a level to where I can expose it to most people who don’t try hard to find good music. I’m trying to get it right in their lap.
What are your expectations when you release a song online?
Well, some songs come and go so fast online. You know, the life of a record is a short span online. So usually I’m just like a dude in a crowd of people waving my hand, asking them to pay attention to me. That’s what I’m trying to do. Most people are putting out records with the same content and nobody from New York is talking about what I’m talking about. I really got my own lane. Everybody from New York is the biggest killer or the biggest drug dealer but hold up. I’m the biggest pimp. I’m online telling people I’m over here and come follow me.
Your album is titled Pimpin’ Saved My Life and that’s something you talk about a lot. Do you ever worry about any of the legal ramifications that can come with talking about your past activities?
That’s something that I did when things didn’t work out in my musical career. I went ahead…I’ve been blessed with a musical career but I never really got to go gold or go platinum. It’s like 50 and his story when he had to go back to the block and grab a package of drugs and go sell that in order to sell that and stay up until his music could pop. There’s no legal ramifications for that as long as he didn’t get caught and I don’t think there should be any legal ramifications with what I did. I’m making records and I’m talking about what I did at that time. I’m not actively pimping at the moment. I’m just putting on record what my lifestyle was in between the record deals. People ask me where I’ve been at and you see it. I was on the block grinding but I was on the block grinding in a different fashion.
Grinding, no pun intended.
What goes into being a successful pimp?
Well, here’s the thing. In order to be a successful P, you gotta be a man first. You gotta be a gentleman first. You have to have morals. You have to have scruples. You have to have a keen business sense because you’re not just selling a piece of paper. You’re not controlling a piece of paper and asking them to buy a piece of paper. No. You’re actually dealing with people. You’re really managing a Fortune 500 company. You’re dealing with the accountant and another person in marketing and another person in sales. You’re just dealing with it in a different fashion. In order to be a successful pimp, you gotta be a gentleman first with a keen business sense and you have to know how to problem solve and how to delegate responsibility.
Morality and being a gentleman doesn’t seem to go with pimping. How do you have that and be a good pimp at the same time?
I’m glad you asked that because that’s the light that I want to shed on the game and that’s why I’m rapping about it and that’s why I’m talking about it. It’s not really what people think. The statement “You can’t turn a ho into a housewife,” man, you know, a good ho is a housewife. They cook, they clean, they iron your clothes and they get everything together. The real statement should be “You can’t turn a housewife into a ho, so let that housewife go and keep that ho!”
Morality is in question because what people don’t understand and I’ve been on tours before and I know what we did with girls on tour and how much fun we had being on tour with women and actually, being a good P, you teach your girls that if you’re going to do those things, make sure you earn some money and make sure you’re fully, fully protected. There’s a lot of girls out there on tour that are giving dudes blow jobs with no condoms. Rappers are getting blow jobs with no condoms. I’ve witnessed it. A real good ho never does that. A professional never does that. So who’s really cleaner? Who’s really got more morals? When you really dissect the game, the morality is in the pimping and hoeing.
How does the transaction go down? If you get a bad feeling about the John, do you pull out of the deal?
Well, a good P doesn’t set up transactions. I’ve never set up a transaction in my life. A P controls the means. You’re giving your girl the game to set up her own transactions. And that’s another misconception, that the pimp is somehow controlling the John and telling the girl what to do. I’ve never told a girl to be with a guy in my life. They control their own transactions and they run their own game and I always tell girls that if they got a bad feeling, it’s probably a bad date and don’t do it. It’s like it is with any person.
What you’re talking about isn’t what people see in the movies. It sounds like you’re more of a coach.
Exactly. It’s like Phil Jackson. You summed it up right. Like a basketball player already knows how to shoot and a boxer already knows how to box. But Rocky needed a good corner man to tell him to work on his jab and protect himself. Tiger has a caddy telling him to use the 9 iron. The caddy man is the unsung hero and Tiger’s on the stage. Well, the bitch is on the stage and the P is in the background letting the bitch shine. That’s all it is.
How do you keep a girl from saying she can carry her own clubs and doesn’t need a caddy?
Oh, man, that’s the best question ever. You can’t keep that from happening and if you’re not a good P, you ain’t got no game and that’s exactly what she’s going to do. That’s why P’s are so celebrated, man. No bitch is out there doing it by force. It’s by choice. They have to choose to bring the money home. When a woman leaves your presence and she goes on a date and she gets the money, she can get on a plane and leave. She can go anywhere and go get an apartment and never bring that money back to you. She has to choose, mentally, to bring that money back to you. It’s like being a manager with a singer or any type of artist for that matter. All they want to focus on is making music. They don’t want to focus on being their own accountant or their own lawyer. This way you can focus on making good music but if you’re an artist and you have to focus on all those things, your music is going to suffer.
The bitch has to focus on being beautiful and being social and understanding politics so she can have a good conversation with the right client and she needs the manager to handle everything else behind it. And that’s chuuch.
What are some of the crazier stories you’ve heard from the girls?
You’ll have to tune into Shade 45 on Thursday at 7pm for the Pimp Chronicles. I tell stories exactly like that. Crazy stories, crazy fetishes that guys have…There’s even been some radio hosts that have done some weird things but it’s just funny to know that the music industry has been touched by the game.
You gotta give us something on HipHopGame.
You can to go to my Facebook, WaistheP, and download them there.
As far as the whole confidentially thing goes, have you ever seen dudes get paranoid about getting their spot blown?
The discretion is great but the pimping and hoeing game is kind of like the mafia. It exists but it doesn’t exist. It’s methodical. When they think of the game, they think of the funny suits and the 1972 Cadillacs. I don’t think people really care about being ousted because it’s something that they can probably deny or make it seem like it’s fiction but there’s enough details in my stories to know that it’s facts.
Have you ever slapped anybody with baby powder before?
It never happened! (laughs) Let me tell you something, man. When I was actively pimping, I used to tell them I don’t have to beat you to mistreat you. There’s a lot of ways to let a girl know you’re unhappy with her without putting your hands on her. You keep your hands in your pocket a lot. There’s gorilla P’s and gentleman P’s. I’m a gentleman. I never had to beat up on a bitch to let her know I’m upset with her. I can just take everybody to the Gucci store and not let her shop. Don’t touch nothing! I’ve had girls beg to be beaten so they could get something at the Gucci store.
You must be taking pretty good care of them.
I know a lot of guys like to say they don’t love no ho but a good P has love for their hoes and want them to be just as diamonded up as he is and have just as many furs as he has and just as many shoes as he has. The pimp is going to shine but at the same time the girls have to shine in order for you to look good as a gentleman. When I see some top-notch rappers and their assistants are shining, I know he’s really getting money. If you see a rapper and his assistant isn’t really shining, then you know he’s not really popping. But if you see a rapper and the assistant is shining, you know the rapper is really getting money. You want the girls to shine because then they’re going to know that you’re really coming up and you’re really popping.
Does the “Don’t get high on your own supply” principle apply to pimping?
That all depends upon different situations and different guys run their camps different ways. That’s by choice. That depends on how a guy decides to run his camp. That’s not a rule that’s set in stone. That depends on who’s running the camp and how they want to run it.
Do pimps stay in touch and network the way rappers do?
It’s a huge network. We call it the computer. If you’re a pimp and you’re getting money and you’re liked and you’re celebrated, then you’re in the computer. Guys are able to call you in other cities and people know you. If nobody knows you then you’re not a soldier.
When Jay-Z said he walks like a pimp, did you help to teach him that?
Nah! At that time I wasn’t active but Jay, from the time I spent with him, he always had some game in him. He wasn’t no slouch. I’m sure he’s been around a few P’s and he understands the game.
How does a pimp walk as opposed to a regular person?
Like a ballplayer, man. Like a professional athlete. We have that heir of confidence. I can be in a room full of people and spot who has game and who doesn’t. I can spot it because it comes off your clothes and it comes off your aura.
So it has nothing to do with canes and top hats?
Nah, it has nothing to do with it! Most P’s don’t even dress like that, man.
Do you ever get mad at the way Hollywood portrays the game?
Nah, I’m not mad at it but I want to show another side through these records and through these videos. It is about minks and gators. Everybody loves those things. Everybody wants to look fly but it’s not about top hats and canes and pink suits. It’s about being upwardly mobile and finding a way out.
I also want the kids now, man, and people coming up, they celebrate the drug dealing. They celebrate the killing and the murdering. Why not celebrate something that hurts no one. Nobody gets hurt in that practice. Nobody gets caught with two kilos in the trunk and has to go do 25 to life. Pimps live to be 55-60 years-old and drug dealers die young. While we’re out promoting that, let’s promote this other thing. It doesn’t hurt nobody.
Except for the STDs and AIDS. How do you deal with that side of the game?
Well, that’s a risk that people take daily. That’s a daily risk. And working girls are usually more protected if they have the right P with them than a square. I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I know the risks people take when they think she’s a secretary at a school or a schoolteacher. She must be clean. A working girl doesn’t care who you are, a doctor, lawyer or athlete. You’re going to put that thang on because it’s business. I would argue that working girls have less STDs than non-working girls. I would like to see the statistics on that.
What kind of response do you get from women when they hear your music?
Yo, you would be surprised, man! Look at a Too Short show or a Suga Free show! It’s all women, man! People love pimps, man! Look at the Katt Williams comedy show. It’s women! They love pimps. There’s an heir about a pimp that is non-threatening, that is likeable. I’ve had no problem with women. Am I going to encounter problems as my fanbase grows? Possibly. But pay me no mind then. You ain’t gotta worry about me. It’s almost like a Public Enemy show how they’re telling you the white man is the devil and then you go to a Public Enemy show and it’s all white people! It’s the same with how it could be a 5% show and it’s mostly white fans. I’ve had no problem and women have gravitated towards it and I feel blessed that I get to talk about it.
You mentioned Too Short and Suga Free. What other rappers do you respect with real game?
I love Suga Free. He’s one of my favorites. Too Short, definitely. Too Short is a long-time favorite. There’s a lot of rappers out of the bay that represent. And Pimp C, man. God bless the dead. Pimp C, man, I wish I would have had a chance to work with him. I ran into Bun B at the radio station and he’s a real good dude and I let him know how I felt about that. I wish I got a chance to work with him but Pimp C has to be my top favorite, man. You got people in the south and in the Bay keeping the game alive on records. New York has some of the best drug dealer and gangsta spitters. Hey, why can’t we have the best pimp spitter?
Can you tell when someone has no idea of the game and they’re rapping about it?
Immediately! (laughs) It’s like looking through a glass ceiling. Me and my pimp partners, we would sit there and listen. People seem to associate being a pimp with getting a lot of girls. No. I get a lot of pussy. No. That’s not how pimps give it up. A real pimp doesn’t even fuck a girl unless she’s paying. So if you really want to look at it, a pimp sometimes gets less sex with multiple partners than a square. That’s why it goes back to the STD thing. A pimp might stick to the two girls that he has, whereas a square or somebody that’s not in the life is trying to fuck everything that’s moving if he’s single. He might have sex with eight or nine women in a month. A P actually has less sex. If you say “I fucked this one and had a threesome with them and I’m a pimp!” No, you’re not a pimp! You’re a liar. Nah, you’re sticking your pimpin’ in, you’re not getting your pimpin’ on!
When I was just rapping before and going on tour, I was a madman. Everything moving! I’m 17, 18, 19 on tour and going crazy. Then when I got into the life, the life gave me more discipline. I don’t care if you’re a doctor or an actor or the most gorgeous thing, when I was in the life I couldn’t touch it!
How did you initially choose that field as opposed to other ways after the Rocafella situation didn’t work out?
Pimpin’ saved my life. I just feel like it was a blessing from God that I managed to run into a couple of people that were in the life and they saw me around and even though I wasn’t with Rocafella at the time, the rappers would always see me with different girls. I always had a knack for getting beautiful girls and one time a partner from L.A. pulled me aside named Uncle Chuck and he asked me if I ever thought about doing this and that with it and being productive with it and it felt like once I got into the game, it felt like I was feeling around the room with the lights off and he just clicked the light on, bing, and it was a roomful of money. It was like ‘Oh, shit!’ There’s a way to do it without being destructive in any other manner without having to stick a nigga up or rob a nigga or sell crack or sell coke. There’s a way to be a gentleman and still be respected and revered. Soon I got to the point where I started this whole campaign that I’m doing because I felt like I had something to offer to hip-hop now. It was a whole other perspective. I still feel like when Jay and Biggie came in and Lost Boyz were hot and niggas wasn’t rapping about bricks of cocaine. Niggas wasn’t rapping about that. It was about “Flava in your Ear” and all that back then. Biggie and Smoothe the Hustler came out and started talking about bricks and selling crack. If you remember at the time, people hated those cats at the beginning. “All they talk about is Versace.” “All they talk about is selling bricks.” They opened up the culture and then all the hustlers came out and they found their fanbase. I feel like that! When my music reaches that pinnacle, man, there’s a lot of pimps and a lot of players that are going to say “Yeah, that’s my lifestyle.” People will play my music on their way to the club if they’re feeling fresh and want to get it in. That’s exactly how I feel and that’s what I feel I can offer to the game.
I remember being in the ‘hood and how niggas wasn’t fucking with that drug dealing shit. Redman was on fire at the time and it wasn’t about hustling. But they forced their way in and they found their niche fanbase and the rest is history. I’m just trying to find my fanbase and I know there’s a lot of people out there that can assimilate and feel the pimp movement and listen to some good music.
You’ve been working a lot with D-Dot, also known as the Mad Rapper. How did you guys decide to work together?
Deric “Quincy Jones” Angelliete! That’s my guy right there. We had crossed paths in the past working at Jimmy Henchman’s studio. Shout out to Jimmy Henchman! Back in the day I was writing for some people and he always had respect for me as a lyricist back then. He always thought I was nice and his resume is monstrous, all the hits he’s put together. We bump heads in the club one night and I told him I felt I had something to offer with the pimp music and I didn’t know how he was going to accept that and the great thing about it is that he thought it was a great idea and he thought there was a market for it and that there was some sensationalism about it and he wanted to be a part of it. That was great and he’s tough to work with because he’ll have you spit your verse over three or four times to get your verse right and as an artist that’s what you need sometimes, somebody to push you to your limit.
How did you guys develop that kind of trust in each other?
Well, I think there’s a lot of confidence in myself and what I’m doing and I know that I’m capable of making strong music. And I have confidence in him. This man did “All About the Benjamins” and “Hypnotized”! Yeah, I got confidence in that! And he used to be a rapper way back in the beginning of his days so he’ll get in and start playing with the cadence and I’ll get in and start playing with it. He’s a talent within himself and talent recognizes talent. Yeah, man, I believe in him when he says he can fix this or to do that over and once we do that, the record’s better. Once you do that once or twice, your record’s huge.
You’ve got D-Dot and DJ Premier on Pimpin’ Saved My Life. What else can we expect on the album?
Oh, man, I got joints from Tha Bizness. I got a joint with Mistah F.A.B. from the Bay. I got Kurupt. I got so many people on there. I got Devin the Dude. Once I reached out to them, it was surprising at first and once I told people that I was from Brooklyn and doing a pimp album, I thought that people would step back but they loved the concept and it’s so marketable. You got Pimp My Ride and Katt Williams, the Pimp of Comedy. Kendra from The Girl Next Door’s favorite rapper is Too Short and she went and got gold teeth and said she’s a pimp. The whole world is marketable!
When are you looking to drop the album?
I don’t have a release date as of yet but this Premier record is doing real well. It should be soon but the fans are going to determine how soon that comes out.
Are you working on a remix for “You See It”?
It’s already in the works. We’re already making some calls and there’s going to be some special guests on it. I know a lot of people got videos but my shit is going to be different. You’re going to see spoofs on commercials to make my videos different because everybody’s in front of a camera doing videos now and that’s getting monotonous. Most of my videos are going to be based on commercials. You can check that out. I got a video called “It Ain’t a Problem” and it’s based on a Taco Bell commercial. You’re going to see spoofs of a lot of funny commercials that we liked. We’re going to release the video in December and the remix should follow at the top of the year.
Are you still in touch with your Ranjahz partner H.A.P.H?
Would you guys ever make a Ranjahz album happen?
Definitely. Definitely. He’s working on his solo project and I’m doing this solo project because we’ve been together as a unit for so long, since we were kids. As you grow into being men, sometimes your lives go in different directions and you have different things to talk about and different things to say. I can’t rap about being on the corner and drinking 40s with a brown paper bag with crack in it because I don’t do that no more and the fans can tell when you’re lying, man. Sometimes people will put albums out and they won’t understand why they didn’t sell or why this guy isn’t popular when the music is good and that’s because the fans can tell when it’s authentic. I really believe that. My life went in a different direction and his life went in a different direction. He’s a really great musician and he learned how to play the guitar. I went out and did pimping and he’s making a real lyrical album and we’re going to come back together as soon as we put these out and do a Ranjahz album with both perspectives.
What are you best memories from the Rocafella days?
Best memories? Man! There’s so many good memories. There’s so many good memories from when it first started. I really feel like we had the illest team. If we could have kept it together in that way with Bleek, Sauce Money, Da Ranjahz, Beanie Sigel and Jay…I just feel like that was an unstoppable force right there if we could have kept it together. Those days are nostalgic for me, man. I got problems with nobody and I never made any diss records. That’s another way pimpin’ saved my life. I feel like dudes do diss records when they’re financially not doing well so they’re sitting in their mama’s house or their man’s house stewing. I was never financially in a position to have to worry about what the next nigga was doing and to be anything but happy for him. I got a lot of love for all those cats like Jaz-O. Man, my happy days was D&D studios and Jay working on the joint with Primo and playing cee-lo and Smif-N-Wesson were in the other room. Shit like that, that’s the great memories, man, the days of the grind and the chitlin circuit and eating White Castle on the way and us driving our own cars to the show with no tour bus but just driving down to support Hov and to be a part of his movement. Those were some of the best days of Rocafella and all the tours and all of that, that was great but those days right there, man.
Do you think you could have done anything differently back then to have a better outcome?
Of course. Responsibilities for why things didn’t go a different way landed on both sides of the table and as a man, I look back on it and what I would have done different was I would have already been pimping because then I would have been able to make decisions not from a financial aspect because you’re young, you’re fancy and you want a fly ride and jewels and you want it now. Had I been in a different situation and had I already had other things going on, maybe I could have been in a position to start my own label and finance it and have Jay back me. There are certain things I could have did. When he put us on “If I Should Die” we could have done more as artists and flooded the mixtape scene more. The mixtapes were big back then but you usually only had one or two songs on the mixtapes. I would have done that differently and there are a couple of things that happened behind the scenes that could have been dealt with different too.
Do you feel like fans are always going to have questions about your Rocafella days or do you think you can get past that?
I think real, real, real, real, real grassroots hip-hop heads are always going to connect me to that but I feel like there’s a genre of fans that don’t care about that right now. If you have a record that’s spinning 4,000 times a week, all they’re going to care about is what the next move is from the pimp. And it’s just a great story. Who’s got a story like this to tell?