In the Bad Boy heyday, how crazy was it?
That was so crazy. You had to like be poppin’ E, drinking red bull, drinking Hennessy in order to stay up and work with these people. You’re talking about 25 hour days. We get on stage at 1AM then we are going to party and then the studio. You can imagine four or five years of that.
Can you believe that it’s been 11 years since “Woah” came out?
When you play it ’til this day it’s a banger. When I first heard “Woah” in 1998 or 1999 I didn’t think it was going to be such a smash. I’m from the era like the ’80s when people flowed to the beat and let it go. When I heard this beat I knew I had to switch it up.
Do you hope to recreate “Woah”again?
You gottta move on in your life. If you keep eating steak everyday you won’t want it. Put some Sazon on it, put some mayonnaise on it. But we have some feel good records on here too. I’m telling you people are going through the same shit I’m going through. I got people in Alaska telling me that on “Quiet Storm” my mother did the same shit to me. I guarantee you the records we making people are going to understand.
In ’09 you did an interview with XXLMag.com where you said this would be your last time going to jail.
I’ve been out here for a year. I don’t even report anymore. I’m off of parole. I’m a free man. I gave them cocksuckers five years of my life. They not getting no more. I don’t care, you’re not catching me dirty. Never. It’s just a beautiful day. My kids are good. The females are good. Different females from back in the “Woah” days but still all good.
While you did your stint in jail what did you do to stay productive?
A lot of reading and working out and keeping my focus to the task at hand. In order for a brother to keep his sanity you have to be on some positive shit. The shit that I seen up there… or that people say. Asking me about Puffy. What the fuck you asking me about that for in jail? I’m game-tested.
What does “Game Tested” mean?
It means a lot to me. There were only about 10 MCs back then that really made it in the streets, too. They game-tested it and the streets approved it. I was everywhere out here except a coffin.
How’s it been being on an independent label like Duck Down so far?
We are probably going back to the majors more than likely. If not I’ll put my own shit out. Shout to my man G. Dep. People be counting him out but all jokes aside, if my man come it’s a problem. A lot of dudes are in trouble.
I know you’re both from uptown. Do you talk to G. Dep?
BR: I can’t visit him cause I have felonies. I mean G. Dep is a strong individual, the strongest individual I know. I respect the man. He calls me everyday and spits something for me. If he gets another chance, I know he’s not going to fuck it up. If he gets a second change… they gonna let him go. They can’t prove that. Back in the days, I think it was around 1999 0r 2000 when my album came out, Busta Rhymes said to me, “You have a horseshoe in your ass,” cause no matter what I did I always came back. I’m going to show them this time that I have a horseshoe again. Before you count a brother out, give him a fair chance. Especially if he has heart.
Do you have any guest appearances, other than the Bad Boy fam, on Game Tested, Street Approved?
I’m gonna throw one name in the air. Joell Ortiz. He’s official tissue. I respect him. But really, I went in there and vibed out by myself. I really didn’t look for a lot of features.
It was a different time period now vs. when “Woah” came out. With the impact of the internet and overnight hits, are you prepared for that?
I dib and dab in the internet, but I’m not trying to get too crazy on that. I hit it and quit it. I don’t really do that. Maybe in the future I will. Right now, all I’m doing is making music.