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FEATURE: Sean Price, Real As It Gets

What a difference a decade makes. Back in 1996, Sean Price (then known as Ruck) was merely one-half of Boot Camp Clik’s dynamic duo Heltah Skeltah. He and partner Rock, made their mark on the game with gritty bars, hardcore beats and an unmatched chemistry. The duo was a (magnum) force together, but Sean P eventually became a movement by himself when Rock went on to a pursue a solo career outside of their label home Duck Down Records.

Sometimes overshadowed by Rock’s heavy baritone, Sean was now able to have his voice heard loud and clear. The Brooklyn MC quickly earned critical acclaim for his string of successful solo albums (2005’s Monkey Barz and 2007’s Jesus Price Supastar) and mixtapes (2004’s Donkey Sean, Jr. and 2007’s Master P). Thanks to his consistency and continued growth as a lyricist, Sean positioned himself as the anchor artist on the Duck Down roster.

Despite his accolades and a trio of releases on the horizon—including his Kimbo Price mixtape and Mic Tyson LP, as well as a group project with Detroit’s Guilty Simpson and Black Milk—Sean is not happy. The lyrical pugilist talks to about rap retirement, how come there’ll never be a Fab 5 reunion and why a Costco job application might be in his future. You’re known for real unique titles for your projects. Where do the ideas come from?

Sean Price: Just how I be feelin’ at the moment, man. I’ma ape, man—not on no monkey, Black racist shit—but I’m out there in the streets hard body. I’m more than a rapper, man. I’m out there in trenches, I’ma gorilla, so that was the whole thing behind the Donkey Sean Jr. mixtape and the Monkey Barz album. For the second go round I just felt like people thought it was a fluke so I hit them with Jesus Price Supastar because I’m the god of this hardcore shit. Then I dropped the Master P mixtape ’cause I’m the master. Now I feel like the fuckin’ game is bunoodles and I don’t really want nothin’ to do with this shit no more, but before I go out I’m going out with a bang, hence the name Kimbo Price.

XXL: What should fans expect from the Kimbo Price mixtape?

Sean Price: I can’t even describe it, man. I’m just rhymin’ and havin’ fun, B. I really have fun in this hip-hop shit, so you know… Actually, I don’t have fun in this hip-hop shit at all besides me going in the studio and putting these words together. So I had fun makin’ it, but after that the fun is over.

XXL: What do you mean by that? You getting ready to retire on us?

Sean Price: No, I’m not retiring—don’t get it twisted like I’m retiring or quitting—it’s just that, me and [Duck Down CEO] Dru Ha have talks and I’ll be like, “What can I do with this, that, and that?” Everything he told me I need to do to improve the Sean Price brand I don’t wanna do, so guess what? That means it’s time to leave.

XXL: What exactly was he telling you to do that you weren’t feeling?

Sean Price: I don’t even want to get into detail and expose my homie like that ’cause besides being my manager and my boss, Dru Ha’s my friend. He didn’t say nothin’ wrong to me I just don’t wanna do [industry] shit. If someone hire me to give them a verse, I’m with it and I’ma still do music but I just don’t wanna play the game. All I wanna do is rap, do a show, come home, smoke my weed, play with my kids, and fuck with my wiz—that’s it, man. I don’t wanna front like I’m somebody’s friend and I don’t wanna hang out at your fuckin’ party. I’ve been in the game too long for that.

XXL: What’s the status of the Mic Tyson album and the Random Axe project with Guilty Simpson and Black Milk?

Sean Price: The Random Axe project got delayed because Black made his little boo-boo and erased all my vocals. I’m not trying to throw him under the bus ’cause I didn’t even discuss it until he said it in another interview first, but he erased my vocals. I had my lyrics on my Sidekick and then I upgraded to the G1 so I’m actually rewriting all my verses. While I was reworking on Random Axe, Alchemist and Evidence started sending me some [beats] and I started working on Mic Tyson. It’s about 14 songs on that album, ’cause a fight is 12 rounds, plus the intro and outro so that’s what it’s gonna be.

XXL: How’d you even link up with Guilty and Black in the first place?

Sean Price: I was on tour and some dude called my man Dan Green and asked me did I want to do a song with Guilty Simpson. Me being the rap whore that I am I was like, Sure. Then, I hung up and was like, “Who the fuck is Guilty Simpson?” [Laughs]. My man had a whole bunch a Guilty Simpson shit so I listened to it on the ride to the show and was like, “Damn, this nigga’s nice.” Then we met up and it just went from that. We real good friends now.

XXL: After a 10-year hiatus, you and Rock reunited last year for a Heltah Skeltah album. Will we hear more from y’all in the future?

Sean Price: I don’t know. If Rock wanna do it, I’ll do it. I’ll be in the studio, I’ll rap, I’ll do my part, and then whatever happen happen.

XXL: Does the same apply for a Fab 5 reunion with you, Rock and O.G.C.?

Sean Price: You can forget about that Fab 5 shit, that ain’t happenin’, bruh.

XXL: Word? Why not?

Sean Price: ’Cause it ain’t, just straight like that. I ain’t mad at none of them—Top Dog my nigga, Louieville my nigga, Starang my brotha from another mother, but that ain’t happenin’. I can’t even get into why, but trust me, it’s not like I’m just sayin’ no and shuttin’ it down ’cause them dudes don’t wanna do it neither. We was never a group anyway. We was on Priority Records and Dru wanted to announce the new acts on the label so we did an A and B single together and it took a life of its own.

XXL: Since you’re growing tired of the politics of the rap game what’s on the horizon for you after these releases?

Sean Price: Next year you might find me workin’ in Costco or some shit. I’m dead ass serious, ’cause I don’t got money like that to retire and fall back on a yacht. People might say, “Yo, man, you supposed to be here and blah blah.” Yeah, I’m supposed to be but guess where I’m at? Costco. Now don’t get it twisted, I’m not starvin’ and I’m good, but I don’t give a fuck about pride. My kids can’t eat pride so as long as I take care of my family I don’t give a fuck. —Anslem Samuel

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