With your upcoming album, Street King Immortal, what are some collaborations that might throw people for a loop?
I can’t offer what collaborations I’ll be actually having, but I want to say is the actual project itself was the longest body of work I had an opportunity to work on besides Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It feels like the first step is working real well as far as “New Day” is concerned. As far as what’s next, they’re gonna see what I have next. I’m not gonna wait a long time. You’re gonna hear new stuff from me.
Can you shed light on what that next single’s gonna be or can you not let that out the bag?
[Laughs] I can’t let that out the bag.
Just last month you were very critical of Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo, saying they need to “Get themselves together.” Since that time they each dropped a mixtape, Banks with V6 and Yayo with Sex, Drugs & Hip-Hop. Have y’all talked?
I actually haven’t spoke to ‘em very much. I’m to fault for that, though. I think I disabled them.
What do you mean by that?
I did so much for them that they don’t have a continuous work ethic. They got both of those tapes out there, but did you see any visuals? Anything? There’s certain things that the new guy is doing to create momentum or energy. They just sit there and wait. When someone works for you, you have the habit of dealing with things by not dealing with them. You may get in the regimen of coming over and doing it for them.
By them not dropping videos to accompany their mixtape tracks, what does it tell you?
Dropping mixtapes…that was my ’02 strategy. That’s 2002 marketing. That’s old. You did nothing if you did that. Look what I’ve done with The Lost Tape or The Big 10. There’s videos for everything that was on the tapes. If you’re going to just wing it and drop a mixtape…pick the highlights that people like most and shoot ‘em. Go shoot the video.
On Monday (August 6), Young Buck turned himself in to begin his 18-month prison sentence on weapon charges. In an interview with XXL, he said he’s still up for a conversation with you. What are your thoughts on his sentence and possible conversation?
I think it’s unfortunate. I don’t wish that on nobody, having to sit in the joint. But I don’t know how to respond in a nice way to blatant disrespect that was offered. I’m the kind of person that I don’t let go of things easy, I’ll be honest with you. If I’m the driving force behind why the situation is what it is, I’ll accept it. But when I can’t see what I’ve done to offer it, then I think that was just a plan that didn’t go right. If it went the way they wanted it to, there would still be no white flag. That goes across the board…even with my personal relationships with women. It’s always people looking for what they want out of it.
How do you feel about newer MCs throwing around the phrase “classic,” when talking about their album? Back in the day, that was something that the public would decide.
Well, what rules are we following by? There was a period, where how many mics you got in The Source meant something or if you got the extra, extra large in XXL. The Top MCs for MTV and them doing that…these different things kinda make people lose interest in where they’re being placed publicly. If the person judging you doesn’t even write music, that’s pretty odd for them to place where you are. The person they’re saying is “he’s cool, but…” is selling records, while the person that they’re saying is “lyrical” ain’t selling shit. When you say classic, it’s music that’s going to mark time. Those hit records, you can’t deny them. They’re going to be back. Things trend in hip-hop and there’s cycles. Before 50 Cent, there was DMX that had that kind of aggressive energy. Then, you had Ja [Rule] and Nelly and a lot of the lighthearted music became big. They had big songs, but they didn’t have the same aggression you’d face in the environments that we come out of. That hipster vibe, like the black hippies, where everyone wanna get high and have fun…it will turn around. I don’t follow the trend of what they’re doing. Get Rich or Die Tryin’ stood apart and it was that thing they gravitated to and it worked with intensity. I feel like this album I’m getting ready to launch can do the same thing.