I got up early and I'm just driving back to San Diego doing radio promotions
for the record.
October 17. Is everybody ready?
going to be an interesting time for me. It's been a year and some change
since I released my last album. A lot of the forces driving my last record
aren't there. I'm not on Sony anymore and I think it's going to be interesting.
There's a lot of misconceptions and some hatred.
you feel about how Full Circle came out?
I got some fresh ideas on this album. Keith Shocklee (The Bomb Squad)
executive produced this album. There's fourteen cuts on here that I'm
excited about. I feel like this is my first record because I'm driving
around doing promos and all that. I understand the ins and outs of the
business and I feel this is the best way to go about getting my goals
Keith Shocklee bring to the album?
particular way that dudes from the era before me go about creating records
and their whole process. Keith didn't produce any beats but he brought
all of the input to bring the right ideas to the table. I recorded in
his spot in New York. It was like a fucking dungeon. It was cool. There
was no phone reception so nobody could bug me. Only the weed man and the
studio engineer knew where I was for that thirty days.
ever recorded in New York?
never been out of Los Angeles recording. I never did anything like that.
We did half of it in New York and then did the rest of it in LA.
happy with how your single "Concentrate" is doing?
I wanted to warm up the streets and get the machine going. We're doing
the video for it and we're grinding it out. It's nothing new. You always
have to go out and grind it out. I'm not expecting anything from hip-hop
to be anything different. I enjoy what I'm doing and I enjoy this part
of it. I'm just anxious to get back out there in front of my colleagues
and do what I do.
has "Vato" and you have "Black and Brown." How important
is unity between blacks and Latinos?
because these kids growing up and living this out have to understand exactly
what it is. When we're kids, we don't understand half the things we do.
We're basically copying and imitating the people around us. Blacks and
Latinos are in the same boat and we hit each other the hardest. It's a
lesson to be learned that we stand to do better together than we do separate.
There are things that trickle down from the penitentiary to the streets
that we have no control over, but we can make it better.
on your album and you've been cool with Ras Kass for a long time. Where
do you stand in this situation?
is not just a good friend, he's one of my best friends. I'm not going
to be sitting here and trying to put a battery in either one of these
guys' backs. I think we do a disservice on the West Coast of not having
any unity. The whole world recognizes when we ride together and when we
don't. We put ourselves in a position that we don't really realize until
it's too late. Somebody who likes to listen to Game has ill will towards
Ras Kass. These dudes could be unifying the West and we can all be pushing
together and the world can see the movement. We can bring the movement
back and then have a platform for other artists to come out on. If there's
a problem that we need to take care of, then we should handle it internally.
If they have to duke it out, maybe that will work. I don't know. I do
know that this is not the way to go. All it's done is put our icons in
the ground. I don't see any benefit coming from this situation. I think
in this time, with the West trying to unify and come together, this is
a step in the wrong direction.
see this situation getting ugly?
man that has a conversation with another grown-ass man has the potential
to go any way. I'm not basing it off anybody's reputation. I could care
less. I'm not going to sit here and condone any of this shit. It's weak,
it's fucking unnecessary and I just did a song with Game. He's trying
to focus and get his head together and be a part of the culture. I can
only use myself and what I've been through for an example. I've had people
say stuff about me, but if they're not going to say it to my face and
back it up with some hands, then they're not really saying shit. I look
at it like, Dude, if you're not trying to come at my family or me, then
what you're saying is basically hot fucking air. When you're dealing with
pride and egos and you're trying to bring other people into what you're
going through, that's when it gets ugly.
keeping your masters on Koch. How important is that to you?
is everything. I came off Loud Records and I sold two million records
then went to Sony and we couldn't push past gold with no marketing and
no promotions. We had differences of opinions with singles and all that.
They wanted to go one way and I wanted to go another. I spent a year and
a half trying to get out of that. Then the television thing popped off.
It wasn't until I was in total control of everything that I felt better.
You're talking about the difference of a brother getting between 15 cents
to a dollar per record and a brother getting between $7.50 and $8.00 for
a record. That's a big difference to me. Even though you may sell 200,000
records on your first week, they can still tell you it's a disappointment.
I'd rather be disappointed in my sales and still have millions of dollars
Man's said that critics thought his music got soft once he acted in comedies.
Have you dealt with any of that because of Pimp My Ride?
it just shows me how closed-minded these people are. I can't be criminalized
for having a personality. I'm sorry. I get it from my family. I will sock
you in the fucking mouth if you disrespect me in the streets, but do I
have to walk around all day with my face scowled so that you know that?
What I do in film and television does not have to control what I do in
music. I like being versatile. It's easy to do what I do. I'm not acting
on Pimp My Ride. When I chill with my family, that's how I am. That's
a side of my personality that you don't get to see in the music. There
are millions of people who watch that show and appreciate that I'm doing
something positive for somebody. I could care less what the critics say
because they'll love me today, hate me tomorrow and love me again when
I do something they like. I don't really put it to that. I put it to the
fans and the people who do support me and appreciate what I'm doing. Can
I please everybody in hip-hop? No. I really can't. I really don't care
to because my path is original. Look who's names you have to pull to compare
my situation. The haters are going to be there but it's the people that
support me that I'm taking care of.
the most annoying thing to come with hosting Pimp My Ride?
asking me to pimp their ride like I got rims in my pocket and I'm just
going to slap 'em on right there.
you want to say to everybody?
the love, thanks for the support. October 17 is Full Circle. Give it a
listen because I feel good about it and I can't wait to see how you feel