Category Archives: 5 Questions With…..
1) I’ve always said there’s a difference between R & B and Soul, could you tell us your interpretation of both?
I always felt the difference comes with the feeling behind the song- R&B has a specific twist to it that makes you wanna move and what not, but soul, in my book is the ultimate form of song- no restrictions no boundaries no slick metaphors, just pure passion and heart. That’s where I see the difference. Soul is timeless and R&B is very changeable.
2) You have an interesting story where you say you grew up in the streets AND the church. How were you able to do both and what effect did that have on your talent and vision?
Well I was able to do both because I had no choice…I had a mother who prayed and a strict dad from the south, so we had to go to church or we had to grab the ping pong paddle dad used to keep in the dresser to tear our butts up!!! And then being in the hood anyway, it wasn’t like we could just leave- my dad works hard just to say he’s broke so it was about being able to do both because I had to do both. That’s where I was.
But it actually gave my songs love and respect, seeing how at the time that’s the only place I could free myself -behind the sounds of my soul and the words from my heart
3) What can we expect from you that would make us listen to your songs and eventually buy your album?
The biggest thing you can ever expect from me is a strong visual…I’m such a handsome, funny and talented guy that you have no choice but to love me!!! LMAO!! But no seriously, the character I display is somewhat like a movie character- I’m always someone to watch and wait to see what I do next. My songs carry a sense of freedom and realness that I think everyone can relate to…
4) Now being on the Polo Grounds roster and getting your start with Murder Inc., it’s safe to say that you have reputable people backing and believing in you, does that put more pressure on you to succeed?
Truthfully it does. It’s one thing to have you and your family to take care of but it’s another thing to have people who are into you and pushing you, and everyday you fight not to lose their interest. Some people don’t care, but I do- that’s just me. I have to get it done. I’m always in a situation where I have to prove myself, so yeah it’s a whole lot of pressure honestly speaking.
5) Does the current condition in the industry (sales are going down yearly, the quality of music isn’t the same anymore, etc.) scare you as far as trying to sell music?
Hell yeah!! LOL!! Scares me everyday because I didn’t get a deal off of the type of music that’s winning now, so its like I’m just praying and hoping the lovers of my music are still out there…The world is changing and so is our music- we’re not listening to the temptations no more- they were then, T-Pain is now, and Boxie is the future. But that’s just my personal thoughts…
HNIC 2 (In stores now!)
Queensbridge, NY (Originally)
1. How are you holding up and what would you like to say to the people who support you?
Doing good, making the best out of everyday reading and writing. They got me moving around right now, haven’t gotten a chance to settle in yet. Once they put in a jail where I’ll be staying at, I’ll start working out and everything. My workout plan, you know so when I come home, I can be in top physical shape everything will be straight. You know what I mean, right now they got me in Gouverneur Correctional Facility up by Canada. They had Slick Rick; Slick Rick did his 2 years when he got locked up. All C.O’s talk about is how I’m the 2nd rapper to pass through here. So, that’s what is it. To the fans and supporters, who’ve always supported Mobb Deep throughout the years. You know we always gonna hold you down and make good music—that’s what it is. Thank Yall!!
2. You filmed a video for every song from your latest CD, H.N.I.C. Part 2, tell us your mindset when you were filming.
Uhhhh, well the album is out now. DVD will be dropping real soon. I shot twenty-something videos. Definitely is a video for every song. You know what I mean, cuz the songs are so strong on the album—I felt that they needed visuals for each one so the fans can really get into it. I got a song called “Dirty New Yorker,” on Grand Theft Auto IV. And uhm, my album cd, if you put cd into the computer the video icon will pop up and you can watch the “Dirty New Yorker,” video. Other than that, we got a whole video’s dvd that’s about to drop. It has bonus footage on there (the reality show,) I shot with my family, dealings with my case, my sickle cell, you know–making the album, and my home life n’ all that. So, definitely ill, check that out when the dvd drop!
3. You’ve been blogging for Vibe.com and people are really reading your posts, was this something that was planned and how long do you anticipate doing it?
The Vibe.com blogs came about because they read the blogs on my site, HNIC2.com, and they wanted me to write for them. You know, they were feeling what I was doing with my website HNIC2.com. And, you know I take writing professionally—I’m a professional writer, I’m not playing. I’m serious about my song writing and I write books. I’m an author and you know what I mean and with the blog thing that just gives people a chance to, like-like see what I’m doing everyday. That’s like my diary on the internet, you know what I mean. So, I’m a real controversial writer, my topics really shake things up. And, uhm get people heated. That’s what it’s all about, you know what I’m saying–wake people up! That’s what it is…Vibe.com it’s gonna last my whole bid, I’ma be doing that basically and that’s that…. And also my blogs on HNIC2.com too…
4. With the recent sentencing of Remy Ma, Foxy Brown and Lil Kim being jailed, T.I. copping a plea and DMX’ home being raided, why do you feel that the stigma of rappers being arrested is so common nowadays and if rappers are being targeted, then why are so many still getting caught up?
Well, a lota rappers keep getting knocked. Number one, you know what I mean. You know things happen, number 1, people make mistakes. Know what I mean, when we living this life, that we live out here. Uhmm, at least like 95% I would say. I’m saying I don’t know the exact number, but I’d say at least about 95% of rappers—we not actors. We really live what we write about, you know what I’m saying. We from the streets, like and we living that life. And, you know, you gone get caught up sometimes if you not careful. And uhmm, it’s also—you know, you got crooked cops out there. And, you just got a lot crooked shit in this system..and, they out for us. They got it out for rappers, they don’t like us, our music and don’t like our style. They just don’t like what we represent. We represent everything that we fear and that they tryna sweep under the rug. So, shit definitely gonna happen like illegal search. In my case for instance, my was an illegal search—I was minding my own business with me and Alchemist. Just hanging out with me and Alchemist, was about to go back to his crib and they ran up on me, illegal search. So, things happen and you just gotta be careful. Know that they’re out for us and be prepared for that…
5. Where is Hip-Hop going, in your opinion, since you’ve been around for a long time and have witnessed changes and you are still relevant?
Well, to me—Hip Hop has no worries. As long as we, as long as you have good artist combined with a strong machine to market and promote the albums. We good no matter what the weather is. You know, you got corporate America, they want our style of music dead. Mobb Deep/Prodigy style of music is really saying something. They don’t want that around, they want that dead. So, they start rumors like: Hip Hop is dead and like our Kingdom is Come, but it’s all ploys just to make the masters have that perception –that Hip Hip is dead. But, it’s not true tho, you know what I’m saying. And, when you put that out there in people’s head, it causes companies to spend less money on the projects or use excuses like sales are down. Or whatever have you, but it’s really not true. It’s all just, a façade, it’s a front to kill Hip Hop. You know what I mean, cause if you got a good album and put money behind it then it’s gonna work. Just like anything else, when they see sales are down and all that—that’s just means CD sales are down. It’s new technology, like when you had A-tracks. A-tracks were popular until records came out and then A-tracks sells were down. And when cd’s came out, then record sales went down. You know, so now we got digital and so CD sales are down. And, people looking at Soundscan—you just can’t look or base the sales on Soundscan. Soundscan’s are just CD sales, you not counting digital sales, oversees/everything. Basically that’s what is it, they just tryna destroy our music. They fear our music and they want it dead. They want buffoonery on the radio and videos. They don’t want real shit banging. So, they say Hip Hop is dead or our Kingdom is Come, nah that’s dead. You can ask any seasoned veteran this is a business—it’s never gonna stop. Like I said, as long as you got good artist making good music then it’ll never stop. If you don’t a machine behind projects, putting money into the projects then it’s not gonna sell. How do you think Eminem and 50 sell 10 million records? That’s because they got companies pumping millions of dollars promoting them. Like when Akon first dropped, he only sold like 50,000 copies his first two or three weeks. Because, the label he was on didn’t believe in his project and didn’t put any money into it. So, Steve Rifkin went into his own pocket and put up about 2 million for the project. Then all of a sudden, it was a complete turn around in Akon’s sales. And, now he up-to like 5 million if not more. But when he first dropped, he didn’t have any money behind him and his label didn’t even believe in him. The reason why he only sold about 50,000 in his first weeks.. You can do the research on that. It’s just like anything, just like a restaurant. If you have a small restaurant and only a few people know about it, but if you have or get investors to invest then it’ll turn into a franchise and now the whole world knows of them. Causing them to make millions and everybody can enjoy their food. It’s goes for any business, such as Hip Hop. If you a good artist, with a good album and no money behind it, the world is not going to know about it. Until, you got somebody to believe in your project and invests, then the whole world will be aware that this album is good, period…..
Basically, I wanna thank Voxonic for stepping up to the plate and putting this Prodigy/HNIC2 album out. You know, we uhm, we don’t plan on stopping promotions. This album is gonna last for years—when I get home, Ima still be out on tour promoting. This is an album where you gotta sit down and enjoy the meal. It’s not something that come and go real quick.. My album(s) last forever. I make music that lasts forever!!! I don’t make fast food music. So, you betta believe this whole time while I’m locked up we gonna be promoting the album. And when I get home, I’m taking it even further, I’m going on tour and all that. So, it’s nothing—I does what I do for a living. I’m a professional at what I do. I sell music—do the rap and this is it!!! You know what I’m saying…Go get the album—online, in stores. However you gotta get it—go get it, HNIC2!!!!! Peace to the fans, radio, video and ALL the supporters……..