Outtakes from XXL’s Sept 2010 editorial, which is on stands now.
In XXL‘s September 2010 editorial letter, cover subject Shyne flipped the script, played reporter and interviewed Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten. The subject matter ranged from the mag’s 13th anniversary, to the changes that hip-hop has gone through since XXL‘s inception. The overall conversation was too much to fit in the magazine’s pages, so here is part 2 of Shyne Po’s interview with V. Satten, exclusively on XXLMag.com. Now that’s gangsta!
VANESSA: The people don’t want it! The fans don’t want it, the fans change.
SHYNE: Oh my goodness, no! It don’t have nothin’ to do with it. The people don’t want it, they don’t have it to get. So they settling for less. Of course if they can’t get it, that’s human instincts. Human instincts is adaptation. If you can’t have some—just like when I was in the pen, I wasn’t gettin’ no new magazines, and I wasn’t thinking ‘bout nothin’ I couldn’t do. Fuck everything I couldn’t do. That wasn’t even part of my vernacular or my thinking process. Because I knew I couldn’t have it so I wouldn’t even do it to myself. So don’t say the fans don’t want that classic shit, that fuckin’…
VANESSA: I don’t think most hip-hop fans today want the “classic” shit, or the street shit the way that they used to. I think it’s shifted and that it’s changed to a degree….
SHYNE: Nah, they want it greater! So do you think hip-hop is better today than it was 12 years ago?
VANESSA: No, I don’t think it’s better than it was. I think it’s shifted. And I think it’s shifted with the dynamic of the fan base and the money behind it. Twelve years ago there wasn’t so much to risk as there is now. And 12 years ago, the fans were different than the voices sitting there behind the keyboards trying to dictate shit, really having a voice online that never existed before—a questionable voice.
SHYNE: My humble opinion is you can’t really blame these entities, because the Internet applies to Spider-Man, Batman, all these fuckin’ billion-dollar blockbuster movies that come out and people are overwhelmed. All the words you use, all the operative words, “anticipate,” “excited,” they’re fans. You know why? Because it’s worthy of that. So what I say to you is, in the industry, if the people ain’t got shit to be excited about and shit to be anticipating, then they ain’t. It’s not that they don’t want to…
VANESSA: I just don’t know what the fuck excites people anymore.
SHYNE: Greatness excites people and that doesn’t exist. In my humble opinion, ain’t nothin’ out there that got a muthafucka jumpin’ up and down.
VANESSA: But is it that something hasn’t come along or is it just not possible to really excite people anymore?
SHYNE: What the fuck you mean it ain’t possible? Nessa, come on, man. You insane or somethin’?
VANESSA: I’m asking you. There’s such an element of hater in the world now, there’s such an element of hater in people that comes out now, that maybe folks’ automatic response is to not celebrate.
SHYNE: Nahhhh, it’s always been like that. You crazy? It was harder back then than it is now. At least now muthafuckas get over. Someone can sell two million ringtones, or two million downloads on a single. That’s it. But at least they givin’ them that much. So I don’t think it’s the hater, it’s just muthafuckin’ times is hard, so muthafuckas ain’t spending that guap for no bullshit. But I bet you they’ll spend that guap if some shit come along that got ’em blown away.
VANESSA: True, but I think it’s harder than ever to blow people away.
SHYNE: When Wayne puts out an incredible record, a million people go buy it the first week. When fuckin’ Kanye puts out an incredible record, a million people go buy it the first week. I think economics or no economics.
VANESSA: I don’t know if a million people are gonna buy a record the first week. I’m curious to see that. I read an article the other day, and it interviewed a whole bunch of people about their opinions of whether a million people will ever buy one record in a week again, and will that happen. With Em selling 750,000, I don’t know if I agree!
SHYNE: Eminem just did 700, and that’s without a hit record. Did Eminem have a hit record? Keep it honest, did he have a hit record with that last album he just put out?
VANESSA: I heard it was a hit on pop radio, but I don’t listen to pop radio so I’m not sure.
SHYNE: I’m asking you.
VANESSA: No. Not on his level…
SHYNE: Exactly. And he always sold. Yeah, he went to pop later, but Eminem as I knew him and not Marshall Mathers, when he was fuckin’…
VANESSA: But I heard that song on radio six, seven times on Hot 97 today. Took them a while but urban radio played Eminem eventually this go around. After pop music decided it was hot.
SHYNE: They play dudes that I wouldn’t even name in our conversation on the radio six, seven times a day. That don’t mean shit. I’m saying, a hit is just a form of, “Yo, I love that record. Oh, man, that record is incredible.” Is that the general consensus you gettin’ from the records he’s puttin’ out to promote his album?
VANESSA: No, that’s not the general consensus, but I don’t think you’ll get a general consensus like that for anyone.
SHYNE: It does, it does, it does. Because there was a time when Marshall Mathers was puttin’ out records and the general consensus was… I’ll tell you what, when I heard “Stan” and “I Am,” I was like, “Wow!” When I heard 8 Mile “Lose Yourself,” I was like…
VANESSA: You wanna set me up on this Eminem conversation, don’t you?
SHYNE: No, no, no. Ma, I’m tryna make a valid point which is it can be done. ’Cause if he’s selling several-hundred-thousand without a fuckin’ undisputable monster hit…
VANESSA: Maybe, maybe, maybe it can be done with the perfect set-up, but I think there was a misstep with his last album.
SHYNE: Of course it can be done! All you gotta do is make that shit that everybody want hands down.