Given your situation, doing “The Reunion” track with State Prop must have felt great.
It’s a good feeling because I watched all ’em grow. I was with Roc-A-Fella when it was me, Jay and Bleek. It was Freeway and the State Property, before I created the State Property name, they were young cats trying to get their deals or trying to get on. I knew they were special and there was a special thing about them. I loved that they respected my opinion and they looked up to me in a way.
Last week, Memphis Bleek was on MTV RapFix Live and he said that he tried to reach out to you. He also said that despite the fallout, that you’re still his dude.
Memphis Bleek ain’t never reach out to me or try to reach out to me. I brought Memphis Bleek to my neighborhood. Memphis Bleek been to my mother’s house. He ate from my mother’s food. So, if he wanted to reach out to me, I ain’t a hard person to find. I ain’t a hard person to find at all. But, I don’t have no gripe with Bleek. That’s like my brother. We came into the game together. We grew up together in the music business. I don’t have no gripe with him.
After you released “What You Talkin Bout? (I Ain’t Ya Average Cat)” in 2009, you said all you ever wanted from Jay-Z is a conversation. A few years removed from that now, do you still want that conversation?
[That feeling] is gone. There’s no need for that conversation anymore. There’s no need for the conversation anymore because it’s been too long. That’s all I ever wanted. Jay-Z don’t owe me a dime. What me and Jay had or what I thought we had was a brothership that was beyond music and business. A brothership that I trusted and that I’d put my life in harm’s way for ‘this thing of ours, this [Roc] La Familia.’ I thought it was bigger than music, I thought it was bigger than business, but as I got older and thought about it…that’s all it was, it was business. So, the conversation is for what? I kind of understand…Jay was growing, he’s in a different space, he was rubbing shoulders with different people and when you get around certain people and you get into a certain bracket, sometimes you got to disassociate yourselves with the hoodlums. But this is the same person who says, ‘Jigga man, take the do-rag off/What? I’m bustin’ a U, chick I’m droppin’ you back off/Thug nigga till the end, tell a friend, bitch/ Won’t change for no money, plus I been rich.’ At one point, I thought this rap shit ruined me. I got in more trouble being Beanie Sigel than when I was just Mac.
When you finish your bid, is there something else you could see yourself doing?
I could see myself doing music without the music. My lyrics without no music behind them. Spoken word. Giving the messages to the meanings behind the music. I always said, my last album, I want to decipher every album I did; the meanings. In one of my albums, I said, ‘It’s been a while since I left a stain on your brain/And gave you some game that you could gain from/I’m here to end it now and Break the Cycle of the bullshit same ol’ same that the lames run.’ It’s been a while. That’s a song…from who? The rock group what? Staind. [Singing] It’s been a while. ‘It’s Been a while’ was the first single off the album, Breaking The Cycle from Staind…but rappers don’t rap like that no more.
Best-case scenario, what do you want people to take from This Time, your new album?
How wonderful this album is and how you need to have this album in your life and how this album is one of the best albums that has been put together in such a short time. It’s a body of work that’s needed in hip-hop today because the music that’s out today has no substance and no integrity in the music. All it is, is a bunch of jibberish and a lot of people saying ‘I, I, I, I, I. I got this, I got that.’ There’s no message in the music anymore. I want my music to be me. I don’t want it to be anybody else.