[Editor’s Note: With the new year around the corner, XXLmag.com looks back at some of our greatest stories and video features of 2008.]


XXLMag.com: When was the last time you spoke to Lil’ Kim?

Lil Cease: Me and Kim ain't spoke in six years. And that’s not on me. We went through our little bullshit, but I’m a whole different person today. I don’t hold no regrets for nothing, I don’t hold any grudges. What happened to me in the past, is in the past for me. This whole B.I.G. thing [with the movie], even before that, I’ve gotten to a different zone to where I made my decisions now to put my past in my past and I'm moving onto the future. I’d love to see me and Kim sit down by the time this movie drops. I think it needs to be done. I ain’t holding no grudges with anyone. I hope she’s not holding any against me. The love don’t change no matter what you go through. I look it as beefing with a sister. I think experience is the best teacher. You go through things and it’s good to go through them so you can see it and feel it yourself. So going through that made me sit back and realize, you know what, we were all together and we all went the wrong way. And this movie assured me, we was a family. And I want to see it like that again. And I think that’s something that should be done. I just hope she’s on the same page.

XXL: Prior to consulting for this film, you were off the radar. What have you been doing? And is music in your future?

Cease: I’m still doing the music. I was caught up for a minute, I had some legal situations. I got arrested a few times where I didn’t know where my freedom was going to lie. So I fell back from the music thing for a minute. My head wasn’t clear. After all the Kim shit, I kind of got sidetracked. I was going through a lot; I gained a lot of weight. And one day I sat there and said I’m going to change my life. From that day I decided to put everything in the past. I worked out, shaved 30 pounds. I took care of my legal situation. It’s about to be all the way taken care of. And it’s all happening at the right time. I’m getting my life together and now this movie thing is coming around. So to put me back in the atmosphere it’s been great. I’m probably going to put it out around the movie to catch that wave. I been working on that and consulting for the movie. So once we wrap up the movie, I’m going to get back in the studio and knock that album out. Other than that I been laying low, taking care of myself. Trying to stay out of trouble.

XXL: JM has had its fair share of ups and downs, with Kim’s trial, etc. Is there ever a possibility for a JM reunion, or does it stay as history?

Cease: Well, Junior M.A.F.I.A. is always gonna be Junior M.A.F.I.A. People don’t understand, Junior M.A.F.I.A. was just a name. A lot of people in Junior M.A.F.I.A. didn’t rap. When everybody goes Junior M.A.F.I.A., they only know me and Kim, but there was nine of us. B.I.G. put them in there, because they were his homies, his friends. He told them they didn’t have to rap or nothing. Sign that contract and you’ll get paid. The people he did that for are the people he genuinely loved and cared about. Those nine people are who they were gonna be for life. So I’ma set them up for life. You didn’t have to rap, just show up for every photo shoot and every show and you get paid. We all got paid together. So without the music, M.A.F.I.A. is going to be M.A.F.I.A.. No one broke up. The only one that separated from the others is Kim. Go to the block and you’ll see some of the original members. One of my homeboys, Trife, got married and went back to school and did him. Bugsy moved to Virginia years ago, got married and had kids. Banger still does music, I still do music, Nino is still around. So whether I’m doing it, or the M.A.F.I.A. is doing it, we always going to be together. We might not ever do another movie, but even if I do a solo album, it’s a M.A.F.I.A. album. We definitely looking to put together another M.A.F.I.A. album after the movie comes out, that’s in the works. But I’m focusing on me at the moment. I want to drop my solo album and then see what happens. If the light shines bright I wanna keep it moving.

XXL: How is your relationship with D-Roc? You two had some problems before he went away, right?

Cease: He comes home [soon]. So he’ll be home sometime in May. We been talking and shit, writing each other letters. The vibe is good. He wants to come and and catch the wave of this movie. Everything is good and it just seems like everything is coming back. We all getting along and united for one cause. If anyone has any bullshit on their chest, they don’t need to bring it around. We had our little situations, but we talked and settled ours.

XXL: In the past year, hip-hop fans have seen Dipset and G-Unit have family problems between members. In a lot of ways, your crew was the first to reveal friction for people to see.

Cease: It took a situation for us to do that. We had a nice little run for a while, where you could never break us up. But it was just that a lot of things got stirred up. After B.I.G. died, that’s what happened. We went through the depth of emotions. Not everyone knew what they wanted to do. Not every one knew how to do it. ‘Cause you took away everything we stood for. B.I.G, was so powerful, we didn’t know how much we didn’t do until he passed. Some people were just ignorant. Drop an album? Who is gonna write it? Once you start looking around it was like, What are you going to do? All of us were going to hang it up. But then we stepped up the motivation. You can’t quit like that, that’s not what B.I.G. wanted. Are you gonna go back to the streets? So we all had to turn into men. We had emotions and angers based off of what was happening. We were all mixed up and boggled over it. To the point where everybody then got fed up over things. We bottled up emotions and things just didn’t work out right. Love is always gonna be there, though. You may get it on with your brother one day and might not speak to him for a while. But at the end of the day, if there’s an emergency and something happens, you gonna be there for your brother. And that situation could open things up again. I felt like we didn’t push hard enough to try to reach each other again, as far as me and Kim. But I’m a different person today and I’d love to reach out to Kim. I been trying to for a while now, I just am trying to find the people to put the connect together. ‘Cause as far as everybody else, everybody is cool. We getting along, we rocking, we rolling. The only one that seems out the loop is Kim. But anybody in the M.A.F.I.A., anybody around the M.A.F.I.A. will welcome her back with open arms. I think Kim will come around. She don’t want to miss the celebration, I’m sure. I’m sure she has her reasons, but this situation only comes around once so take advantage of it. -Jayson Rodriguez

Click here to read My Life Is A Movie, Pt.1