Black Sheep
Change Clothes

blacksheep2.jpgWhen you say Long wasn’t “on his feet” before, what do you mean?
He wasn’t financially stable. I gave him an MP and we started to put some things together. But just an MP doesn’t equate for a good album. In the beginning, I was hearing a good foundation. But you have to understand that it’s a different time. Just having a funky loop wasn’t going to cut it. The production game is way above what it was back in the day. I was bumping some of the young guys who produced and I wanted him [Long] to come and hear these guys. I wanted him to share production credit. I mean, these were young guys who had wanted to share that credit with him. My dude didn’t want to respond to none of that. He felt that it should be him and only him. I was paying for everything during production, even splitting the show money with him. I wasn’t trying to be on any ego-type tip.

How did you react when you heard Long was working on his own solo album?
Eventually, the publicist hit me with an album. It was Long’s! He was spending money to do him and I was spending money to do us. It was then that he let me know that that’s how it was. I bit my tongue and let him go by saying, “God Bless.” I just think that he made a mistake by stepping out at this particular time. He was like the original Spinderella, or like the fourth member of Guy. He left at a pivotal moment in our career. The album is really good. But I can’t worry about that. I have to worry about the company and myself, because if I don’t do me…nobody else cares. No one reached out to help me. The same people who I helped—and I’m talking about kept the lights on and helping send their kids to school—didn’t even call to see if I was doing alright.

In a 2005 interview, you gave your opinion about the state of hip-hop. A year later, has your opinion changed?
I’d have to say yes and no. I see the people getting really tired of what hip-hop is. But I also see hip-hop growing up. To me, I view some of the cats in the game as “teenagers.” I can understand why they go out and do some of the things that they do, but I also see that hip-hop wants to be something bigger. I see hip-hop’s aspiration. We have hundreds of millionaires—the game provided us with that blessing. We have the opportunity to do things that have never been done before. We’re at a point where we can truly create our own businesses, like hospitals and day care centers. We can build something valid in our community.

Hip-hop puts a lot of pressure on regular folks to buy things that they can’t afford. You know what Stephon Marbury is doing with his new shoes? I’m going to buy them. I don’t respect a lot of cats who put a G5 in your face, while some guys are struggling to buy a train ticket. It’s not meant for people to have things overnight, but you got guys caught up in keeping up with the Joneses. But at the end of the day, you can’t be afraid to put the work in. Hip-hop is twofold; I’m seeing that people are tired, the labels are worried because people aren’t buying albums. You see Gnarls Barkley, and even me, coming up with creative [ways] to get our ideas out to people. There are different avenues that this culture can use to keep growing.

On the album, this line stood out to me: “That we/Can break a barrier without one key/Then turn around and try to imitate a mob flunky” What is it about the sensational images presented in hip-hop that appeal to a wide audience?
In my opinion, it’s just like a movie. Like Scarface and Goodfellas. Everyone can relate to not having anything. So to come from a place where you don’t have anything, people can get caught up in the fantasy of achievement. Hip-hop is just Scarface mentality on wax. But to me, it’s just so much more than that.

On the real, I have friends of mines who are never coming home. They tell me about the mob cats in jail. They’re not the respectable guys portrayed in the movies. But we go out and change our name, get tattoos, the whole nine. We shift our entire life for something that is beneath us. We’re just so much more than a group of degenerates. I’m not saying that Italians are [degenerates], I’m saying that about mob figures. We’re much bigger than that and it’s important that that energy is out there. People with a sense of self will understand that. It’s not for everybody, but it’s important for the people to know that it is out there. That’s where my head is at. I need cats to see me in those Marburys because it lessens the pressure of trying to have more when you have little. It’s not to say that I don’t like money, but at the end of the day, there are bigger things out there.

You’ve always been known for your conscious, critical thinking, ever since you were down with the Native Tongues in the early ’90s. How do you think you’ve changed since then?
One thing that has changed is definitely my maturity level. I was a little bit impressionable and I was always trying to take shortcuts. I had a lot of growing up to do. A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing was some of the first songs that I had ever wrote in life. I feel like I’ve evolved. I’m proud of everything that I’ve done, but I was also unsure about myself. I feel like I’m doing high school again and I know all the answers. I can be cool with the nerd, as opposed to kicking it with the football guy, and not be worried about the perception from other people. I don’t really care about what people say about me. The most important thing is how I view myself.

blacksheep3.jpgDo you think hip-hop can make the same change that you’ve made personally?
In my heart, without question. I see it happening in a real roundabout way. People are becoming more grown. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the bullshit still exists, but I definitely see the difference. I hear people talking about different things. Some of the nonsense that cats were into two, three years ago…they wouldn’t touch now. We’re at a time where hip-hop is continuing to grow and take over, which is such a blessing. We have to start looking at each other as competition for originality. You have to understand that people have to do knowledge about the culture. Check it…Grand Master Caz is one of the dopest emcees now! He could get on the stage now, next to any emcee, and he could get busy better than them. Not even on no old school shit, he’s just dumb nice. Just Ice, too! There are a lot of things that we’re shunning because of “age,” but we have to have that respect because those are the ones who’ve paved the way.

I’m not trying to point a finger at no one. I’m just saying that people need to look at what has come before them. You wouldn’t hear New Kids on the Block being disrespectful or not acknowledging the Rolling Stones. We need to embrace this culture. If you’re 25 and have lived in the inner city…you’ve been through some shit! I have love for the older cats, they’re the reason why we have the things that we have. You need to find Caz and just build with him. He could tell these MCs about themselves more than they could vice versa. This didn’t start for some materialistic stuff. A man who pulls out an AK-47 on a DVD is a gimmick! ‘Cause, you see…all I need is one mic. [Laughs.] Can you talk about life? If I told you to take all that otherness out, could you spit? At the end of the day, I look at it like this: who are we? We’re the children of kings, the songbirds of the struggle. Why limit ourselves mentally, physically, the whole nine? Do you think that a slave who was finally made free would talk about his chains?

  • kenny

    WHO REALLY GOING TO GET THIS?

  • the one

    Free Chi Ali.

  • http://www.grandgood.com cv

    the truth =

    “Grand Master Caz is one of the dopest emcees now! He could get on the stage now, next to any emcee, and he could get busy better than them. Not even on no old school shit, he’s just dumb nice.”

  • 11kap

    Unfortunately, most of Hip Hop has been overtaken and mass-produced by the wrong people, so many but not all the positive brothers who paved the way are not getting their message across anymore like the old days and many have been forgotten as pioneers of this great talent. It’s all about divide and conquer now, but it is still and will always remain one of millions of black ideas that corporate america wears out over and over again. They make more money off our stuff than we do, and that’s messed up. Just keep in mind before you become a star, YOU will be exploited and eventually forgotten about too.

  • Ghost of 2Pac

    Engine,engine number nine.lol Those was the good old dayz.

  • Pingback: Dres Interview Praising Grandmaster Caz at GRANDGOOD

  • SEAN P

    THE NIGGAZ NICE BUT SERIOUSLY WHOS GONNA COP THIS SHIT

  • tomA

    There are many people out there, so the matter is not who is gonna cop that shit. The matter is that he has words to express, and he took an opportunity to try and get it out to the mass public. He may not have the attention of the flash of the pan fan, but he still has something to say, and somebody will listen.

  • My Big Balls

    I’ma buy that shit just because I’m 37!

  • http://www.xxlmag.com L.A.’s Finest

    Good interview, these fools were bad back in the day. Good Luck homie!!

  • Heart

    If that album is out there, I’ll get that! I haven’t bought anything since Slum Village’s last album, Hip Hop is wack right now, I don’t even listen to radio, theres only a couple artists I like in mainstream the rest are underground or not getting the attention they deserve. Companies like promoting bullshit, get it out like fast food, seeing how much the people will take, “look how gangsta I am, how many rent-a-bitches in my video, how much money I got”, I’m happy you got all that money, now do something constructive with it.

  • Big Chops

    Dres definetly has made a lot of points. Hip Hoppers under 28 should really read & take heed!!!!!!!!!

  • Knowledge Speaks

    Pure unmaterialistic Hip Hop.Thats how it should be, but it’s good to breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this music hasn’t completely faded out. No doubt I’m copin’ this shit.

  • mr. rock

    Real talk man real talk!!!! New york needs to support there old school vets the way the south does it shit would be ok. 8 ball,UGK,scarface all these guys get love from the current south emcees. Cl smooth,Kane,G Rap,Dres, N.Y. don’t give a fuck about their elders thats the problem. N.Y. don’t love they own UGK came out in 1991 and they are still here cause of southern support CASE CLOSED!

  • MK

    You niggas need to bury that “old man Rapper” bullshit. Hip Hop has grown, so why wouldn’t the emcee grow with it? You know what’s really ignorant? You niggas is saying that when you turn 30 and up you shouldn’t be rapping. But check this. Who is more ignorant, the nigga that is 30 and up who listens to 19 year old rappers or the nigga thats 30 and up who listens to real shit from motherfuckers in they’re age group? You niggas in here is like 19 – 37 and the majority of you talk about listening to some kid shit. Fucking stupid.

  • http://XXL Jay Arrington

    Ayo Sean P, I’ll tell u exactly who’s going 2 cop it: REAL HIP HOP HEADS. U see, it’s cats like u that Dres was talking about exactly. U don’t respect the ones that came before u. Who gives a damn how old he may be. He can probably rip any artist that u may like nowadays. Just like he said Grandmaster Caz and any other pioneer around that time can still hang with the best of them. And u missed the point of the whole interview. Hip hop didn’t start off of some materialistic stuff IT WAS TALENT, TRUE EMCEES. DO YOUR RESEARCH SEAN P!!!!

  • http://XXL Jay Arrington

    Ayo Sean P, I’ll tell u who is going 2 cop his album: REAL HIP HOP HEADS. U see, it’s cats like u that Dres was talking about exactly. U don’t respect the ones that came before you. Who gives a damn how old he may be. Just like he said, Grandmaster Caz and any other pioneer that came out around that time can still rock with the best of them. And u missed the whole point of the interview. Hip Hop didn’t start off of materialistic stuff, it was TALENT AND TRUE EMCEEING. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!!!!

  • 11KAP

    TO ME, HIP HOP IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE AND OTHERS LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER, BECAUSE NO MATTER THE AGE, WE HAVE A LOT IN COMMON. MOST OF US GREW UP THE SAME WAY. RAP USED TO BE ABOUT OUR COMMON STRUGGLE MAINLY, BUT NOW IT IS ABOUT SOME DUDE TELLING YOU HOW MUCH BETTER HE IS THAN YOU, AND THAT IS NOT REVOLUTIONARY. A LOT OF THE OLD HIP HOP HAD CONTENT WAYY BETTER THAN THE TIRED STUFF OVERSATURATING THE MARKET NOW.

  • bongolock

    good interview. and the album is quite good. i was somewhat surprised. maybe i’ll buy it to support homie but i’m pumpin the d/l for now.
    good luck

  • http://www.Myspace.com/ShackyGspace Shacky G

    I hope Dres do his thing

    but aye, i got dat gully shit

    FREE DOWNLOADS http://www.Soundclick.com/ShackyG

  • lisadoesdetroit

    this nigga sucked then and he sucks now .. why on earth would he drop another whack ass album ? don’t come to the D with that bullshit homey

  • Halona

    The Mr. Long CD is hot.

  • Candy4sale

    You know what’s funny to me is I can tell who the haters are and who the realists are up here. It reminds me of an interview Diddy had with a journalist where he said he was being booed by a man @ the Source awards, yet dude was wearing Sean John…the irony of how disorganized we are as a people because we just didn’t have what these dudes had to make it is disgusting.

    So while you’re hating, you realize that the joke’s on you, because you cared enough to listen and write something up here…so who’s really wack?

    Long live real MCs like Dres…you won’t find another realist who isn’t fazed by the next man’s goods.

  • Pingback: Dres Interview (xxl) at GRANDGOOD

  • BS FAN

    w0w glad to see a new black sheep cd is out! I JUST BOUGHT IT (digitally) i have been waiting for it since you toured with Z-Trip. BUT since you & Lawnge are no longer a group (again) I really think that it should be another DRES cd & to feed off the fans that this is in fact a “Black Sheep” album is totally false. hey i know it is a great cd but come on THIS IS NOT A BLACK SHEEP CD it is in fact another DRES solo album & yes better than his first. Thanks & cop this cd it is worth it.

  • G

    Ayo Sean P, I’ll tell u exactly who’s going 2 cop it: REAL HIP HOP HEADS. U see, it’s cats like u that Dres was talking about exactly. U don’t respect the ones that came before u. Who gives a damn how old he may be. He can probably rip any artist that u may like nowadays. Just like he said Grandmaster Caz and any other pioneer around that time can still hang with the best of them. And u missed the point of the whole interview. Hip hop didn’t start off of some materialistic stuff IT WAS TALENT, TRUE EMCEES. DO YOUR RESEARCH SEAN P!!!!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    NIGGA U MISSED MY WHOLE POINT I FUCKS WITH THIS SHIT WHAT I MEANT WAS NIGGAZ DONT SUPPORT! IF NIGGAZ DONT SUPPORT MY MANS GHOSTFACE,THE ROOTS,GZA/DJ MUGGZ AND THE NEW MASTA KILLA THEN WHO THE FUCK IS GONE COP THIS SHIT? AND BY THE WAY IM 31 FOR ALL YOU PEEPS STUCK ON AGE

  • SEAN P

    Ayo Sean P, I’ll tell u exactly who’s going 2 cop it: REAL HIP HOP HEADS. U see, it’s cats like u that Dres was talking about exactly. U don’t respect the ones that came before u. Who gives a damn how old he may be. He can probably rip any artist that u may like nowadays. Just like he said Grandmaster Caz and any other pioneer around that time can still hang with the best of them. And u missed the point of the whole interview. Hip hop didn’t start off of some materialistic stuff IT WAS TALENT, TRUE EMCEES. DO YOUR RESEARCH SEAN P!!!!

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    NIGGA U MISSED MY WHOLE POINT WHAT I MEAN IS NIGGAS DONT SUPPORT SO WHO’S GONNA COP THIS SHIT NOBODY FUCK’S WITH THE REAL IF THATS THE CASE NIGGAS LIKE GHOSTFACE,LUPE,BUSTA,DANGERDOOM,GZA/DJMUGGZ AND THE NEW MASTA KILLA WOULD BE PLAT EVERYBODY SUPPOSED TO BE A REAL HIP HOP HEAD AND COPPING THESE ALBUMS WOULDNT BE NO TIME FOR THE DICKSET,G UNIT AND ALL THIS OTHER RAP AND BULLSHIT(R&B) THE QUESTION IS HOW MANY HIP HOP HEADS ARE LEFT? FOR EVERYONE THAT CLAIMS TO BE THE GAME WOULDNT BE IN THIS STATE IM 31 AND I DONT LISTEN 2 SHIT PAST 98 UNLESS ITS GHOSTFACE,NAS,JAY,KOOL G RAP,GANGSTARR,GZA,MF DOOM OLD BIG PUN &BIG L OTHER THAN THAT FUCK HIP HOP

  • SEAN P

    OH FORGOT AZ

  • The Chancellor

    I am a hip-hop head and im only 22. This interview was some of the realest shit i ever heard in my life from a prominent MC. Hip-Hop is so much more than bitches, diamonds and guns. These kids want to emulate what we do and no one really cares until it’s out kids that want to do it. I remember when all we had was the music, and while its cool that hip-hop has progressed over the years since its inception, i think that people and not just the artists forget that without the music there would be no clothing lines, no sports franchises and no rappers sure would be going to africa trying to make changes. Its not that everyone thats out now doesnt have anything to say cause it cant be all one person or group, but i think we just get confused sometimes and lose sight. Also another point i want to address, is the age factor. Im so sick of artists abusing their power to try and knock older mc’s who are legends and get ridiculed because of their age. It is the most ignorant shit i ever heard. Dres was right when he said Caz can still rock the mic no matter how old he gets. The truth is its not like these rappers wont get old they just dont have that sense of self to embrace and live with it so they knock it. You all know who im talking about

  • MM

    Damn…. some folks, yo… can’t u jus be happy that sum1 who made some of the best hip hop & music period and has been away for over 10 yrs is back n sayin somethin other than what u hear on the daily? U know who u r, non-progressive, ignant non-entity… u non-believas r the reason that sum shit is in the charts rite now that has no credit to upliftin the human race – fuck the color shit – cut any 1 n I defy u to see any other color but red…. bitch.

    Bring on the Black Sheep Lp to show these new age zombies what the antidote sound like.

    one

  • grumpyk

    The new album is nice…period. It is not a comeback album, it is just a natural progression of Black Sheep.

  • Pingback: “NY State of Mind” « Real Recognize Real

  • brooklyn 4 eva

    Now that was real talk. Sun is NOT old school jimmy spicer is. You know him? you cats under 25 will be lucky if you live to see a grey hair. Dude grew up nothing is wroung with that? It’s bigger then hiphop my niggas.

  • whyteboi

    Sean P, you’re a walking contradiction…you say you don’t listen to anything pass 98 and rhymes off like ten artist. I dig hip hop when it’s pure…what happened to “I’m the best MC and I’m going to show you.”? This bling shit is wrong, but it really is a phase…the same happened in the 80′s for rock: Glam hair bands, dudes that looked liked chicks. what I’m trying to say is that hip hop is going through its hair band stage…the dust will settle and people will see the big picture..true hip hop doesn’t need to sell to give it credibility…what needs to stop is those damn wannabe white gangstaz…they are killing hip hop and keeping the bling hip hop alive…but in the end, THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

  • whyteboi

    …Black Sheep is the ish!! Support Dres and any MC that speaks the truth…

  • E-DOT

    Hip-hop aint about an age, thats why our music is timeless! Poverty doesnt have an age, police brutality doest have an age thats why hip-hop will always live! It will always be a voice for the voiceless, so no matter 8 to 80 this aint POP this is HIP-HOP!
    when we age rejoice black people and keep supporting your favorite EMCEE’s as long as they spit heat burn Billboard we never realy neede the industry!

  • http://www.myspasce.com/16kingz ALLMIGHTYMUDDUCK!!

    ALL THESE OLD NIGGAS TRYNA ADVANCE!!!
    beat it grandpa!! ain’t nobody coppin’ this shit doggy you goin’ strait triple oak man!!

    Old School:SHABANG!!! anotha old nigga kufi smacked in the name of thugs!!!

    STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARvvvvvvvvviinnnnnn!

  • HarlemHustla140th

    On some real, all you people that’s hating old emcees that’s trying to drop jewels need to wake up. It’s sad to hear responses that’s saying these guys are done or they had their time, which some of which is probably valid. But when these guys are trying to drop jewels on what’s important, y’all need to listen. It seems like anything ignorant that’s glorifying violence, women, and bling y’all soak right up. That shit right there isn’t important. Yeah, at the end of the day it’s important to gain financial wealth and all of that, but there’s other things that are more important than that. Please reread this article and take notes.

  • PADDY RANTING

    EASY, GOOD LOOK DRES,THE UK MASSIVE GOT YOUR BACK!IN THIS FICKLE WORLD OF HIP HOP IT’S GOOD TO SEE PEOPLE STILL MAKING THIS MUSIC FOR THE LOVE AND NOT THE MONEY.ALSO NUFF LOVE FOR BRINGING THROUGH NEW YOUNG TALENT ON YOUR LABEL,UNITY IS STRENGTH.AND FOR ALL THE HATERS OUT THERE STAY OF HIS BOZACK,BLACK SHEEP ALONG WITH DE LA SOUL,JUNGLE BROTHERS,CHI ALI,MONIE LUV,QUEEN LATIFAH,AND EVEN UK ACTS LIKE THE STEREO MC’S,CHANGED THE FACE OF HIP HOP FOR EVER AND WERE AT THE FORE FRONT OF THE AFROCENTRIC MOVEMENT-SO IF YOU DONT KNOW,NOW YOU KNOW………….
    ONE LOVE FROM ALL THE GHETTO BLASTA MASSIVE IN THE UK AND IRELAND……..LS6 YA LARGE……..

  • http://none killa black

    First i must say FREE CHI ALI my bronx brother, yo chi, stay up, love is love my nigger, i ask pretty tone about you all the time. Now dres i feel you on how hip hop will change it goes thur a change every 10 years and it will happen. But i feel it will have to happen with someone new, not to say you cant do it again, cause i feel you will, but it was always new blood to bring it back, the last time was BIG,AND WUTANG to do it, not old school cats. I feel its the crabs in the bucket factor, no one wants to see some one else eat cause for some reason they feel that GOD gives out one blessing every ten years, like if he blesses you,he wont bless me. And thats a shame, so if your not a hater, and you can help change the game, then check out,(BLU-BLACK)at myspace.com/blublack. stay up.

  • http://none killa black

    First i must say FREE CHI ALI my bronx brother, yo chi, stay up, love is love my nigger, i ask pretty tone about you all the time. Now dres i feel you on how hip hop will change it goes thur a change every 10 years and it will happen. But i feel it will have to happen with someone new, not to say you cant do it again, cause i feel you will, but it was always new blood to bring it back, the last time was BIG,AND WUTANG to do it, not old school cats. I feel its the crabs in the bucket factor, no one wants to see some one else eat cause for some reason they feel that GOD gives out one blessing every ten years, like if he blesses you,he wont bless me. And thats a shame, so if your not a hater, and you can help change the game, then check out,(BLU-BLACK)at myspace.com/blublack. stay up.

  • http://kingtime.ru/ KingTime

    Какая прелесть!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  • http://ukrproekt.com.ua/ Александр

    Так зачитался, что пропустил бы футбол :D