Drag-On
That Fire

drag-on.jpgAfter almost a decade-long run with one of the most successful crews in hip-hop, Drag-On recently decided it was time to part ways with the Ruff Ryders. Frustrated with the fact that he only released two albums during his stint with the Double R, the gruff voiced lyricist is now in the process of finalizing his release from the label. Introduced to the world on “For My Dogs” off DMX’s 1998 disc, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, Drag saw his career catch fire a year later when he released “Down Bottom,” a collaboration with Juvenile that appeared on the Ruff Ryders’ Ryde or Die, Vol. 1. In 2000, the Bronx born MC released his debut album, Opposite of H2O, which earned a gold plaque due in part to hit singles like “Spit These Bars” and “Niggas Die 4 Me.” But Drag’s success would be short lived. Over the next few years, fellow Ruff Ryders like DMX, Eve and the LOX began to focus on other opportunities and the crew’s momentum dwindled considerably. As a result, Drag-On’s 2004 follow-up, Hell and Back, barely cracked the 132,000 mark. Although still contractually bound to Ruff Ryders, Drag took matters into his own hands and formed his own label, Hood Environment, in 2006. Shortly after, he released “Wallah,” a Lil Wayne diss track that claimed Weezy stole his Fireman alias. More recently, Drag dropped a new mixtape with DJ L entitled Return of the Bad Guy. XXLMag.com talks with Drag-On about his speech impediment, finally breaking free from Ruff Ryders and beefin’ with Lil Wayne.

Where are you at with getting out of your Ruff Ryders contract?
I’m not Ruff Ryders no more. I’m feeling so good about that. I been fighting them niggas for a year. They wouldn’t let me go. We’re still in transactions [but] I’m about to get my release papers in a minute. As far as contract wise, I’m out of the contract. No more Ruff Ryders. I’m not ruff ridin’. I’m not ridin’ or dyin’, or nothin’. [Laughs] But X, LOX, Eve, and everybody are still my peoples.

What made you leave the label?
It’s not really so much why I left, it’s why [haven’t] I been left. I’m the kind of dude that I spit on what I believe in. That’s why I stayed for so long. There are a lot of artists that left, too. I had a little bit of faith but everything runs out after a while. I’ve been signed to Ruff Ryders since ’97 and they only put out how many [of my] albums? Two albums? I don’t think so. That’s just crazy. My work ethic is 20, 30, 40, 50 times more than that. Even Swizz [Beatz] will tell you that.

You didn’t feel like they were pushing your projects?
They definitely weren’t pushing my projects. I didn’t go on no promo runs or radio tours. I sold my little 1.2 million with nothing—just me and my fans believing in me. I only put out two albums in 10 years. I dedicated 10 years to them and they only dedicated two years back to me. That’s not really good. It’s just business, nothing personal. They’re doing whatever they’re doing. But me, I got a lot more to show the world.

Was it a money issue?
If you ain’t droppin’ no album [and] you ain’t got no singles out, you already know the money ain’t gonna be right. I always had money because of all the albums I been on. I got a whole bunch of plaques on my wall just from me featuring on a whole bunch of albums. I’m still receiving checks. I only put out two albums, so I had to get my money elsewhere.

Last year, you released “Wallah,” a song dissing Lil Wayne for adopting, what you felt, was your “Fireman” name. Is that beef dead now?
Yeah, that’s my family. That’s why I was really buggin’ off that. I was shocked because Baby and me were kinda close. That’s my dude. I was in shock mode. If you look at that video [Lil Wayne’s “Fireman”] and then look at my video with DMX and the fire trucks [“Niggas Die 4 Me”], it’s actually the same thing. Remember the scene when I was on the bed pouring the wax on a girl? He even ripped the same thing. I’m just buggin’ because Cash Money is like my family. But it’s no beef or nothin’ like that. I was just setting the record straight. I didn’t even know how to take that. I thought niggas was coming for me. Why are niggas coming at my head? I ain’t have nothin’ hot right now. What they gonna do? Kick a nigga when he down? I’m not down ’cause of me, I’m down ’cause of them other niggas.

Have you spoken to Wayne or anybody at Cash Money since then?
Nah, I’m just now finding out they wanted to do a deal with me a couple years ago. I ain’t even get back at them. I didn’t know what was going on. It’s all love. Real recognize real. I don’t think that was a shocker to them. They should have known that was gonna happen.

A lot of people don’t realize you have a speech impediment. Was that something that you’ve struggled with throughout your career?
When I’m rappin’ or shootin’ a movie, you can’t probably tell I got a real bad speech impediment. I got that on both sides of my family, that’s why my [speech impediment] is a little bit up there. It don’t show when I’m rhymin’. As long as a beat is on, I’m good. I’ll roll some nigga all day. But my stuttering flared up not too long ago, so I can’t really do that on an acapella note.

You seem like you’re really focused and content with your position right now.
I’m just so focused right now. I’m realizing that this game is so grimy; you don’t even have a choice but to be focused. This game is made for people’s downfall. I’m aware of that. I been through a lot, I’ve actually been held back from doing what I do. Now I’m just going full fledge—no disrespect to nobody. I’m just happy to be here.

  • Real ISH

    1st bitches
    i was wonderin what happened to that nigga but hopefully his new shit is hot

  • ga slim

    1st he’s a decent rapper and actor, but he should go after the acting gigs. rap is not serving niggas much money now and he doesn’t have the swag to sell millions

  • public domain

    Interesting…..Drag was nice back in the day….But bitin’ The Coast won’t get you that far….

  • Caine

    G-G-G-oo-d-d-d arti-c-c-c-c-a-l…

  • crown royal

    drag-on is the real fireman. FUCC WAYNE

  • GfromdaBean

    am I the only one who finds the speech impediment question funny? way to call him out on that sh*t.

  • 11kap

    If you did not know before, now you know now. Drag-on schooled ya. “This game is made for people’s downfall”.

  • Ziggy

    Man i still listen to the ruff ryders vol 1 an 2..

  • Christian Prz.

    Vol. 2 was the shit, lot of new people on those tracks.

  • http://jarredr_904yahoo.com J-Reese

    Dang 10 years of getting f*cked??? Man what took him so long to get out of that? Man hes been gone so long he might not even get shine even if he comes wit that hotness. People might think his style is played because its been so long ago since we heard that dude.

  • http://xxlmag.com SouthEast DC

    this nigga has alwayz been 1 of my favorite rappers but damn i think G-UNIT should git at this nigga n sign em…I HOPE 50 READ THIS…

  • Kyser Soze

    R U guys high? lol Drag-On is straight TRASH son! Word up! He dont have no 1.2 million fans. What is he doing, adding both his albums sales together? lol funny ass Nigga!

  • j*r*a*b*b*

    Drag-on is hard. He aint dancin and singin and high profile like shiny suit man and 50 and them. He keep it down to earth.

    D-block!

  • bbeyo

    This nigga was my favorite rapper when I was little. Swiss stayed givin him them crazy beats for the compilations. But how the fuck is RR a succesful company? Do they make a killing in the dog food game or sum shit?

    And yeah, I think he is adding together the sales of his 2 albums. That was his point dickhead, to show that RR didn’t do a lot for his career. Who the fuck is your favorite rapper? Pharell? Faggot.

  • when i b on the mic

    The kid was legit on cameos and hes a decent actor but the climate has changed in the game hip hop has add forget about ya real fast i bet in 2000 if you asked people if x would still be a beast in 2007 they wouldve said hell yeah dude went diamond with then there was x now hes the tyson of rap great artist to many personal demons

  • Philly

    Drag is back. His new mixtape Say Hello To The Bad Guys is Fire. Why is xxl talkin about this now. This is old news that happened 6 months ago. They didn’t talk about his new label either. I don’t now if Drag is going to be able to make a strong comeback now, but I hope he can.

  • That Dude

    Yo where has this guy been? I always thought he had one of the dopest flows man.

  • Mpho

    “ya’ll don’t want beef wit x or drag to da dash, or u’ll gt drag’d to trasha, dumpster amongst tha, rest of them fags” – Drag-On.. he aight

  • Crumbs

    Drag-On is one of the best that ever did it. The production on “Hell and Back” was a bit sloppy. This nigga can bring the heat like no-one else. Word to MPHO. “I spit the opposite of H2O, now u know. Fix your wrinkled face, my iron press more than clothes”. We ryde for you here in SA Drag!

  • http://www.wildstylefm.nl J To The AAP

    “Drag-On is one of the best that ever did it.” No disrespect meant to Drag but that’s some straight up BS. Nowadays evryone who spits a decent verse is ‘one of the best that ever did it’. F*ck that, you ain’t one of the best ’till you got a couple classics under your belt.

  • http://www.unkut.com Robbie

    You showed a lot of restraint not asking what it feels like to be a weed carrier for life.

  • Pingback: illRoots » Blog Archive » Track The Movement [5/23/07]

  • Beav

    man, what movie was drag in? lol where the fuck was i? and i thin the unit got WAY to many people now, should just be fif buck banks, hot rod. mabey mobb deep on a good day XD

  • http://myspace.com/grasssquadrecords AZB(in ny) a.k.a. NY(in toronto)

    ok wat up xxl and shit i been doin my thing as an undaground artist fo years im currently 21 years of age… drag iz the most slept on rappa B.. its krazy i don’t believe ruff ryderz would do sumthin like that… then they gonna sign other new artists without takin kare of drag first? damn thats deep… ok we all gotta lean from this..if i eva do git in this industry then im already gonna b ten steps ahead of them crackers and white washed blacks..sorry fo the harsh wurds but this how grimy life iz .. u gotta b strong to keep the food constantly on the table… wow how devastatin it would b if sum nigga try to end or sabotage my career? wow thats sumthin i take seriously..cuz i ain’t kiss no ass or dick to git where i am any where i eva reach matta of fact .. take the hard road.. we real niggaz are built fo that shit…thers a couple of issues wit a few artists i wanna voice my opinon about…if thers beef then they gonna b v\beefin wit me i ain’t gonna b beefin wit them ..no im not really interested in wurds exchange.. its when u place the hands on me or my peeps then its a problem..anyways ima start wit flue life and his masked up ppl/ nigga need to stop runnin his mouth cuz he’s not destroyin dipset there fan base iz too strong fo that..he’s jus diggin himself in a deepa hole then then he iz in.. i hav no komment about J cuz he’s been holdin this rap game down a couple years back..fo the luv of rap hes truly a veteran idk about personally.. same wit 50 he’s an talented artist musik wise.. but he may b an asshole in person idk… all im sayin iz i’ll luv to hear ideas and wurk wit him on certain levels..im watchin theses dvds niggaz gittin jumped by junior mafia ..maino snuffin lil cease in the eye beatin him up..im like yo this whole situation wit munny iz gittin brazy.. and that bitch nigga green latern betta shut the fuck up.. he’s big snake in the grass that probably y he green.. but yo he had sum smart komments to say to me on myspace when i addressed him on the issue wut he did to 50… niggaz was tryin to sell his drum sequencer on the bulletin.. nigga u suckin J’z dick full force!.. nigga ya kan tell him i said it.. i think the game iz goin hard @ 50 and yayo… especially about that kid who got smacked…much props to J amn he got alot niggaz suckin his dick.. anyways banks’ vocals got played out.. if only banks kould swich that flow? thats his solution..and buck? idk no komment..oh yea i wanted to ask 50 y u gonna go sign a bunch of niggaz who don’t kno how to reinvent themslves? mayb they hav a bad teacher if u supposed to b they teacher? its was kinda selfish u signin them jus fo the purpose fo gunit and yoself..but did u kno ur mistake befo u made it? idk.. too bad drag ain’t stay wit double R and i hope he still kool wit them and shit despite the mistakes they made…phat shouts to dipset when ya gonna make killa season 2? phat shouts to clue, jerzey devil, the game, kamakaze, drag, dmx, eve, lox, will smith.. t-i-p need to chill wit flip// flip tryin to his thing.. r-i-p to dracz and bajiin and myrickle and coley..free smack.. and im currently on an assault charge.. cuz of a snitch that wasn’t at the incident.. wat up to teph.. ..rod P. ..rob..vicious fron\m the bury 51Bix wats hood/ killa , the whole point blank menace set,, W35T5ID3

  • http://myspace.com/grasssquadrecords AZB(in ny) a.k.a. NY(in toronto)

    AIYO 1 MO THING.. i thought drag was seriously dead or locked up cuz i bought X album and i didn’t see his name in the special thanx section.. on myspace itryed to ask kashmir about it and i git no response..so its gud thing i went to xxl.com i don’t usually go on this site..this the first time..wow wut ka wink da dink?

  • Funk

    1st snitches!

  • Young NY

    Drag is a drag. When ya’ll gonna give my dude Soul Food some light. I heard his song Hip Hop on K-Slay, Shit was fire.

  • Yo

    Drag has always been good. But this article should have been written over 6 months ago. They didn’t talk about his new record label. -Hood Environment. I don’t know if Drag will be able to make his comeback with the way that music is right now, but I hope he does. Dude is Fire.

  • Octane

    Dude is nice and Ppl need to know that if you are on a BS lable then they will treat you like BS…As a matter of fact all lables treat yu like BS.. But anyway, Drag will be back soon and we will have a chance to see what he can bring to the table…

  • john cochran

    I think he got an uphill battle tryin to be relevent agian. I mean, besides eve and D block ( whos time is fading as well) nobody checkin for none of them anymore. His flow is crazy though. He better try to sign with some one who is still relevent. Maybe fif would take em, he signs just about anybody.

  • Broadway Joe 88

    SMH @ Negros saying he’s one of the best ever.

  • Banton

    Man just keep your shit straight and focus. We love you

  • Murda Murda

    Drag-On u still a ill nigga. Ruff Ryders or not. “Opposite of H2O” is a fuckin classic. If niggas start hatin, U know what 2 do.

  • marlon

    WELCOME BACK DRAG-ON MAN I AM WAITING FOR YOU TO COME BACK AND SPIT THAT FIRE. GLAD YOU BACK HOLLA.

  • http://www.myspace.com/0zgur Özgür – www.myspace.com/0zgur

    He must b brave..He must have Self-confidence..

    HEY DRAG-ON ! U R SO TALENTED MAN

    U WAS THA MOST TALENTED RAPPER ON RUFF RYDERZ AFTER X

    U STILL HAVE FANS…

    PEACE!

  • SHA DA HITMAN

    OKAY DRAG TIME TO SHOW NIGGAZ THE OPPOSITE OF H2O SPIT FIRE MY NIGGA CAN’T WAIT FOR YO NEW SHIT CAUSE I KNOW IT’S GONE BE HOT!

  • ken

    ok drag make a song or a cd whit dmx

  • Tu$hay

    Drag-On iz back his label HOOD ENVIRONMENT iz crazy movement iz believing…hope he can do it look him up on myspace…people appreciate you more when they dont here from you alot….Drag-On you done it your back

  • hood environment

    Drag-On the most slept on rapper….we need you kid…ya style iz crazy

  • http://xxlmag.com ELGIN

    E’yo drag you are areal nigga man and you did a right thang by living Double R ’cause they are kiliing your carier dawg, so where you going I wish you the best