FEATURE: Mack 10, Loose Ends

Mack 10′s never been one to take days off. First bursting onto the scene with his 1995 self-titled debut, the West Coast rapper released 10 albums— including two with Westside Connection— in 10 years.

Mack had it all: money, gold and platinum albums and one of the baddest chicks in the game wearing his chain, TLC singer Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins. But things suddenly came to halt halfway through the new millennium. Watkins filed for divorce in 2004 and Mack and his longtime partner-in-rhyme, Ice Cube, grew apart. In addition, Mack’s last solo LP, 2005′s The Hustler’s Handbook, hit stores to little fanfare.

Back after a four-year hiatus, Mack Dime is re-energized and ready to reclaim his spot with two new albums: Soft White, scheduled to hit stores September 15th and 2000-1-0, slated for a 2010 release. XXL caught up with Mack to discuss his return to rap prominence, dealing with the internet as a street artist, the West Coast generational gap and the status of his relationship with Ice Cube.

XXLMag.com: It’s been four years since your last album. What have you been doing since?

Mack 10: Just regrouping. Like, I went through a couple things on the personal side of my life to where I just had to step back away from the game and everything, and just kind of gather myself and just regroup, so that I could compete at the level that I know I’m capable of competing at. So I just stepped away for a minute to handle some things. I had a divorce and all kind of other shit I went through, so you know I just had to handle that for a minute and now all that’s behind me so I’m focused 100 percent and this is one of my best records.

XXL: You’re also coming out with an album in 2010. Coming off a four-year break what changed for you to come back with back-to-back projects?

Mack 10: Because that’s me. That’s how I am. When I’m getting down, I’m competing at the highest level. And when I walked away from the game, I didn’t walk away cause I got wack or cause I didn’t sell no records. When I walked away I was on top. So you know that’s just me. My work ethic is big. I got a good work ethic. When I’m doing it, I’m doing it.

XXL: You’ve always been more of a street artist, so what do you make of the game making a shift to the Internet in recent years?

Mack 10: It’s cool. You know I ain’t got no problem with it because it didn’t just change for me, it changed for everybody. So if that’s where the game is going, you just gotta figure out a way to make it happen cause we can only play with the cards we dealt. So shit, if the internet is big now—it used to be where you’d have to get up and go to the record store to buy the record. Now you ain’t even gotta leave home to buy it. So just make it good enough so somebody wanna buy it? You get what I’m saying? So shit, I’m good with it either way.

XXL: Minus Glasses Malone I noticed that you don’t have any West Coast artists on your album—

Mack 10: I’m just tryna make music, man. Everybody’s money look the same to me, you dig? So I’m just trying to make a good record. I ain’t caught up in that shit like y’all better make a West Coast record. I’m tryna make a good rap record.

XXL: Just sticking to the West Coast, we recently interviewed Crooked I and he said he felt the West Coast OGs didn’t preserve things for the next generation so they were like fatherless kids. What are your thoughts on that?

Mack 10: He probably right to a certain extent for some of em’, but that don’t apply to me. Glasses Malone is one of the most reputable kids that represent the New West. He damn near like a spokesperson and he signed to me. I’ll support the New West 100 percent cause I’m a real nigga. Period. In the streets and everything. That’s how you keep your hood alive. You gotta keep puttin’ the youngsters on and if you don’t the hood is gon die out. So the same way with this West Coast hip-hop, I mean it just can’t be me, Snoop, and Dr. Dre and whoever else. I mean you gotta keep putting these youngsters on to keep it going. And the young guys don’t threaten me one bit as far as my position or nothing cause I made a mark in this and I’m comfortable with what I’ve done in the game. I’m one of the only guys as far as my opinion that really reach out to the youngsters and I always got open arms for em’. Ask any of the dudes that represent the New West who they fuck with and they prolly gon tell you, me.

XXL: There’s a newer crop of MCs out West with Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock, Blu, Fashawn, Pac Div, UNI. Have you paid attention to that new movement? Like the younger kids?

Mack 10: All of them is a part of the New West. That’s who I’m speaking of, all of them. I fuck with all of em’. I wish all of them the best. I’m for that new shit. I like it like that. My records sound current. I’m a street nigga so I’m always gon be current so it don’t really matter to me what—how it change. As long as I wanna be in the game, I’ma be current. So like I’m all with it. I think the new guys should get a shot at this.

XXL: I remember there were reports that you and Cube weren’t cool anymore. What’s the status of you guys’ relationship now?

Mack 10: I haven’t spoke with him. That’s all I can really say. I talk to anybody, but shit I ain’t—we haven’t communicated or nothing so that’s been about four or five years, so shit, I don’t really know what’s happening. I’m just doing me. I got a album dropping September 29. I got the hottest artists in the game on my record and I got a great album and that’s all I’ve really been focused on.—Carl Chery

  • abdulnasir

    FIRST!

  • BeerGangsta

    Mack 10 is the wackest Rapper to come out of the West Coast! Cube smart stay away from these sorry Bastard. Cube have made shit loads of money since 5 years ago. Mack 10 step your money game up.

  • Grimey G

    Yea he’s one of these guys who was lucky enough to get in a group with a superstar and get famous off that asociation as opposed to making it on talent. He was never “at the top of the game” as he claimed. Also, every fuckin rapper in America claims to be a “street nigga.” They can’t all be street niggas. What qualifies him as a street nigga? What has he done that proves that he is a street nigga or do we have to just take his word for it?

  • Chadsworth Mcbillingsly

    Nobody likes a wife beater.

    • 619

      Hatin’ ass mafuckers. How you know he’s a wife beater, were you there? On here judgin’ somebodies marriage is some feminine shit. Listen to Mack’s new joint ‘Mirror Mirror’, then maybe you’ll understand the situation you’re tryin’ to comment on better. Mack says on the song that he never laid hands, he said T-Boz made claims and the media ran with it and made him into some kinda monster. Females come up with all kinda slick lies to get what they want. She probably split, made him look bad in court, and took of with half his cash and custody of the kid.

  • abdulnasir

    Hate to hear when people “grow apart”, but shit happens…

    It took 2 months/
    But 50 got it done/
    Signed Game to G-Unit/
    But what was the outcome?/
    Game got booted out/
    Money was looted out/
    Supposedly from Chingy by DTP/
    But don’t look at me/
    I’m just telling u what I know/
    And if u dnt know, u’r moving slow mo/

  • Technique

    I’m glad to see older cats that been in the game talkin about puttin on the younger generation. Good shit Mack

    On the subject of his new music…..not too excited…I really can’t think of any solo shit i really bumped hard from the dude.

    Put the connection back together.

  • cat

    Rather see mack dime in a WSC reunion than a new connection with Gayme. Show the love Cube!

  • REAL TALK

    FUCKING LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!! You cant even read shit no more because it’s always somebody HATING.

    SHIT’S SAD NOW EVERY TOPIC SOMEBODY TALKING DOWN

  • Jon Dog

    His last good album was “Based On A True Story”.

  • NAPTOWN NUISANCE

    i loved mack 10′s shit when he first came out.i was all about the west coast movement of rap back then.i was bumpin the shit out of macks first two cd’s and cube and wc before they all got together to do wsc.i saw the wsc cd about to happen before it did.it was enevitable.three hot mcs at the time doin guest appearances on eachothers shit was easy to see comin.my point is this he was ill as fuck back then but to me he hasnt gotten better with age.plus my biggest knock i had against him is he sounded alot like cube in ways.

  • dus_37@yahoo.com

    I was fucking with the WSC shit and Im a Cube fan since day 1. But almost 15 years later, nobody wants to hear that gangsta shit thats been done to death. Especially from a dude who has got to be pushing 40. Mack dime hasnt shown any growth since Foe Life!

  • niggafrommemphis

    atleast he’s still living.

  • 11KAP

    I remember backyard boogie. that was the shit!! I’m glad he’s finally gonna make some more songs. It’s been a long time.

  • http://XXLMAG.COM IAMHIPHOP

    MACK 10 IS ONE OF THOSE RAPPERS THAT GOT LUCKY.(MEANING HE WAS A SO-SO RAPPER THAT ICE CUBE PUT ON)UNFORUNATELY;HIS TIME HAS PASSED.KNOW ONE CARES IF HE MAKES A ALBUM.I DONT MEAN KNOW DISRESPECT.HOPE HE SAVED SOME OF THE MONEY HE MADE IN THE GAME.IF NOT MAYBE HE CAN TRY TO WORK THINGS OUT WITH ICE CUBE AND WC.DO SOME SHOWS OR SOMETHING.MACK 10 RAP CAREER IS OVER.

  • Quan

    . . im west coast period. im not too big on Mack 10 but just to see another west coast artist come out is good news in my eyes. the “new west” as people are calling it has some hot artist coming out. when it starts poppin watch how many people hop on the bandwagon. .

  • CALHOUN

    I’m from the dirty,”PAT ” To be exact, and MACK 10 has alway been one of the top rappers to me anyway. Man, everybody has a prefernce , I think he’s the next Bun B.

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