The Jigga Opinion

On first week album sales predictions:
The only thing I think about the first week is… I got a string right, and I’m in a tie with the Beatles or something. I think the Beatles are number one and the Rolling Stones. It’s either, Elvis, the Beatles and the ‘Stones. They’re all in the running. It’s me and them. I’m in the company of those four. So the next number one album puts me over another one of them. That’s what I think about the first week. Other than that, I really think about making a great album. Because that part of it is over for me. It’s really just a challenge of making music and have everybody love it. The more people love it, the better for me. That’s it, because, I’m not going to make no money off the album. What am I going to do, recoup? [Laughs] That ain’t never going to happen.

On Curtis, Marshall and Andre:
50 and I… We’re competitors but we’re cool. It’s a line of respect. You might—you just never know. Tomorrow, he might go crazy and throw a shot. But we still compete at a high level, so it’s cool. Like, it’s a respectful thing. We see each other, we laugh. We do more laughing than anything. It’s weird. I think I set the tone early, you know what I’m saying, after his first record [“How To Rob”]. I seen him when I was going on stage [at Hot 97 Summer Jam]. And I was like, “You know, I’m a get you.” I think he respected that a lot. You know, I’m more friendly with Em. I don’t really have a rivalry with him at all. Like, we talk on the phone. We talk on the phone. It’s all hip-hop at the end of the day. We all fighting for our space but if everybody fail—it’s no good. You need for other people to keep the genre alive and keep it healthy. Strong. So you’re standing on something that’s worth something. Like we still need Detox. But Dre is a perfectionist. The thing about him is you’re never going to be mad at the end result. If you ever get it, you won’t be mad.

On the best MC’s today (present company excluded):
I think Andre 3000 is amazing. I think he’s—I’d put Em and Andre… 50… 50’s more of the total package. He has the total package. Fantastic melodies and an incredible hook writer and he’s a good rapper. He’s a really good rapper. But lyrically, I would put those two guys, you know what I’m saying up there. When Andre does rap, shit. It’s like, okay. It’s inspiring. When we see each other, we talk in detail. We don’t say, “What’s up, I’ll see you later,” we talk and we’ll have words. It’s a respect thing.

On Ann Jones' baby boy:
That [battle] thing is so over, man. That thing is so over. Like I told you, he came to the studio that day, listened to the record [“Success”], like, “Yeah!” He was excited, ready to get on it and that’s it. That whole thing—we’re adults. We went through a thing that was a little more than rap because it was personal situations involved. But at the end of the day, we was just people competing at the top. We competed, two big blows, and then two heavy joints landed, boom-boom, and we shook hands and like, “Yo, I respect you because somebody would’ve crumbled under that pressure.” “I respect you cause your still standing nigga.” [Laughs] “A nigga would’ve fell out from that joint.” “Nigga, you still standing too, but we still got that thing.” But it’s good. The fact that people still fascinated by it is great, but we’re so far past that. So far past that.

On Foxy Brown:
At this point—you can only help somebody to a certain point then you gotta let them help themselves and hopefully you’ll meet back up. That’s where it is for me. It’s like, if you see somebody just keep banging their head on the wall, and you keep fixing it and they still banging their head and they keep doing things… You gotta at some point say—alright, you—gotta stop touching that, you’re going to get burnt. Stop touching that—you’re going to get burnt. At some point, you gotta let them touch it and get burnt. And then hopefully, they’ll come back around some day. You just got to let somebody walk his or her path.

On the rocks thrown at his Presidential throne:
It’s sad. You rather a guy—and I’m not being racist—you rather a white guy who’s never went in a booth tell you that [your record’s not good]? People are cool with that. They accept that more so than from somebody’s who done it. I mean, young artists they don’t have a problem… It doesn’t benefit me if you don’t sell records. Like, what happens to me?! It fucks me up as well. There’s a red dot on my shit like there’s a red dot on your shit. But the only thing I will say, I’ve done as much or more than anybody in my three years at this time of the music business. More than any person in the business. Broke new artists, maintained careers, brought back careers more than any other person. But just because of who I am, I’m on a higher level of critique. People don’t know, who’s the guy at Jive—Barry Weiss… Mark Pitts. No one is saying nothing about Mark Pitts! He’s putting out records! But me, every single release, it’s like, scrutinized. But once again, that’s the high level people hold me to. I love it. It makes me deliver and pushes me to deliver more. But it’s the gift and the curse as well.

On failing to acquire the rights to rename the NJ Nets arena:
We wanted that. They turned us down. We’re on to the next one. John [Meneilly] called up me, like, “Yo, Izod got the thing.” I was like “Shit!” He was like, “On to the next one.” I was like, “Let’s go,” and that was it. That was big. We took a big swing. It was close—to the warning track. But that’s what happens. That’s part of it. Take your lumps, you know. Izod gave us a punch in the face.

On the real Frank Lucas:
I don’t think many people knew who he was. You know, but he did it [hustled] correctly. He did it all the way correctly. The only thing he didn’t do was leave. Cause when you get that much money there’s no hiding it. When the guy selling you the stuff is like, “Yo chill out, you gotta leave.” You gotta leave man. You gotta break out. C’mon man, now you’re being bad. That’s gluttony. God is going to punish you at this point. Right? 50 million in 1970? That’s great. 100 million in ‘70? That a little over doing it. $250 million? That’s like $2 billion or something back then. What’s wrong with him? What was he trying to do? What was the goal? What was the cut off point for him? He’s at 250! I would love to ask him that question. I’m going to ask him at the premiere.