Exclusive: On the heels of "Feet Match The Paint," Mitchly Slick details his relationship with Talib Kweli and his regrets over an episode of "Gangland."
Mitchy Slick is in a unique position. He’s most likely the only emcee who can say he’s both been on an episode of “Gangland” and has babysat for Talib Kweli. Naturally, he takes a lot more pride in one of those accomplishments than the other.
“That wasn’t like no business shit,” Mitchy explained. “I done babysat Kweli’s kids and shit. We on tour, and I’m on the bus with his kids while he goes and does whatever he needs to do. So that’s my bro.”
For some, Mitchy Slick’s name is always going to be associated with the Lincoln Park Bloods. While he calls the decision to take part in The History Channel’s “Gangland: Vendetta Of Blood” series a regret, he doesn’t hide from his past. And he clearly isn’t the stereotypical, generic gangbanging rapper that decided to link up with a set in his late twenties because gang life is back en vogue.
Furthermore, Mitchy is truly a student of the game. He fondly looks back on paying his dues and essentially being a roadie for Sir Jinx and Xzibit the same way star athletes recall their rookie years. Now as a veteran with specific plans in place to both unite his coast and leave a legacy behind, Mitchy Slick outlines what he hopes to accomplish with four pending projects, including the recently released Feet Match The Paint.
Mitchy Slick Cites Master P As His Influence For Rapping
HipHopDX: What inspired you to get into rapping?
Mitchy Slick: To tell you the truth, Master P got me rapping, bro. When I saw that Master P was able to make it, independently, without having to go through all the politics, and all the shit of the game—I didn’t know all the politics at the time—but it just kind of fucked me up seeing somebody being able to make it like that. And I knew why he made it. He made it because people believed Master P, and his folks vouched for him. At the time, where I was at, and the shit I was doing, I was like, “If P can get that, with all the shit I’m in the streets doing right now, my city gonna vouch for me, ‘cause I’m doing all the shit that only niggas is rapping about. Niggas don’t even be alive or free after doing all the shit I’m doing right now.” That’s what inspired me to get my own label and put out my records.
The first project I put out was just a little project to see if we can do it. I made a project with the little artists in my neighborhood. I put out the record, I produced the shit, I did the artwork on it, I did everything on it, just to show the homeboys that it wasn’t nothing to do it…that we could do the shit. I put it out, people liked the music and they bought it from the little store up in the area I was at. After that, I started seeing some things that was going on with the cats around me. My homeboy, Damu was on this record label called Bottom Up Records. All the shit I wanted to get hustling and selling dope, and all the shit I was doing, they was kind of like taking care of all that shit for the homie. The homie had Beamers; the homie had a place. I was like, “Damn, it would be cool as fuck to rap and make money doing it.”
I didn’t even have no intentions of being a rapper. But it’s a trip, because I always felt like nobody had a rhyme book. I was writing raps when I was in the sixth grade. I never planned on hopping on no stage and getting them off, because I didn’t want to be known as a rapper. When I was young, it was all about being hard, tough and shit. That’s what it was about. We was gangbangin’, actin’ a fool, selling dope and shit. I saw the homie, and I was like “Damn, they got a real label. The homie put out a record, it’s in the streets and the store?” I did a demo over there, at the same studio with the homies that was over there. Bottom Up Records, my homie Romie Rome was a part of the staff over there. Me and him put a record together. I put my first record together, that was Triggerration Station. I put that shit in the store in Southeast San Diego; before the year had went by, we went through 30,000 of them mothafuckas. That’s how it started for me.
How Sir Jinx & Xzibit Impacted Mitchy Slick’s Career
DX: When Triggeration Station dropped, is that when you knew Rap was real for you? You saw P do it, you saw your boy do it. When did you know, “This is me right here…this is my lane I’m going to be in officially, and I know that it’s working?”
Mitchy Slick: When I first felt like that? Man, it’s so many…I’m a skeptic. There’s so many bad things that have happened to me in my life. I’ve never been one to get things the easy way. So it was a couple things; it wasn’t just one thing. My homie Big Reese, he’s a real staple in the West Coast Hip Hop scene, as far as being a personality. One of the homies, he handles business, he do a lot of things for Xzibit as far as office type shit, and just being right there with Xzibit for so many years. He came home and was looking to get some San Diego artists in the game. And the homeboy DJ Jam, Snoop Dogg’s deejay—which is all our big brother—he’s the king of San Diego, as far as the deejay tip and the party tip goes. This was like ‘98, ‘99, he hollered at Jam, and Jam was like, “What you need to do is try to get at Sir Jinx. Sir Jinx is always working with new artists.” So me and about five known San Diego artists went to LA. I ain’t gonna say no names, ‘cause they probably don’t like this story. We went to Melrose and met with Sir Jinx, who was killing it at the time. He was working on Xzibit’s 40 Days & 40 Nightz; he already had all those Ice Cube platinum records. We went and rapped for Sir Jinx in LA, and out of all the homies that went up there, Sir Jinx was like, “He’s the one.” I had only been at it for like six months at the time. I made a little demo in San Diego and went to LA with it. I met up with Sir Jinx, and the first day I went to LA, I met Xzibit, Mack 10, WC and Kam. It was crazy, ‘cause we just bouncing and hitting these spots. And being from San Diego, being in the Rap game ain’t really a reality. We ain’t ever really seen nobody make no cash. We from San Diego, so we got Nick Cannon, Mitchy Slick, Jayo Felony [as the only people] that really broke out of the town. So to see that shit, it just really blew my mind.
From there, I was with Jinx. I went and lived with Sir Jinx for like four or five years and was a student of the game. I learned everything about Hip Hop all the way from the origins of Gangster Gap. [I learned] all the way from Del the Funkee Homosapien writing Yo-Yo’s raps, me hearing them on a mini cassette, a voice recording answering machine, and him saying ‘em on a recorder. Then Jinx was getting them writing them down for Yo-Yo to say it. He took me all the way back to the Battlecat shit...how they made this little synthesizer thing. They would tweak it, gut ‘em out, to get them sounds that him and ‘Cat was using for they basslines, and all that shit. Dr. Dre and them was using.
He taught me all the shit, so it ain’t no fluke with me. I really went to the school of West Coast Hip Hop, got smacked on my head with all the shit, and learned all the politics of being in LA. I learned all the politics of the shit. I got laced in game when I was there with Sir Jinx, when Jinx was making Xzibit’s whole second album. I was right there when Xzibit was actually blowing up. I saw all the steps, from beginning to end. I saw how everything was put together. That’s when I went in to making Triggeration Station; that’s the reason why that shit sound like that. Even though it was my first record, and I did it all myself, my standards, and what I had seen was so high. I took an independent, street-level record, and was really mixing it at American Studios. I had Chris Pierem—who had just came off the Eastsidaz record a couple years prior—to come in and mix my little cheap ass, underground, gang bang, fucking Blood records and shit. I was making them in my community and for my fan base. That’s like classic shit, and that’s because of Sir Jinx, Reese and the big homie DJ Jam. Shout out to Xzibit and all them. They didn’t really know it, but I was taking notes.
DX: Jinx and Reese, that’s how you got down with X, and eventually Strong Arm Steady? How did the whole Strong Arm Steady thing come together?
Mitchy Slick: The Strong Arm Steady thing came together because at the time, there was a lot of cats around. Strong Arm Steady is just like a branch of the Likwit Crew. That’s LA Hip Hop at its finest. That’s all the Blood and Crip shit aside; that’s beats and rhymes. That’s how I got to slide in with the Likwit Crew, ‘cause with all the gang politics in Southern Cali, it’s kind of hard to just jump in as a new cat. LA is broke down like that, and that was the only crew of cats that really opened they arms to me when I hit LA. Just being around Sir Jinx, J-Ro, even meeting and fucking with King T way back then. I was young cat coming up, watching, carrying them bags. I talk about them times, of carrying them bags, ‘cause every real rapper [does]. Maybe that doesn’t happen in this era where you can just get on by sitting on a computer and shit. But in that early era, that 2000, if you ain’t carry no bags homie, you wasn’t gonna make it. You was gonna carry somebody’s bags. Ask Eminem, ask Tupac—they carried somebody’s luggage on the tour, and didn’t do shit but that. I did that with X. I did all that.
Mitchy Slick Says He’s “Repping For The Whole Cali Now”
DX: So did you feel pressure being the guy from San Diego? When people think of California, really, they think Southern California and they think Northern California. From Southern California, they look at Snoop and Dr. Dre. Northern California, they look at E-40 and Too Short. SD is Southern California, and it’s a whole different area. As far as SD goes, you’re that guy, do you feel pressure with that?
Mitchy Slick: Really, I’m at it past San Diego. I don’t feel that, ‘cause I’m gonna represent that completely all the way. For me, it’s just more representing for the whole West Coast, because the people I’m representing for now are beyond San Diego. I’m family with cats all over Cali and all over the Bay. I fuck with 40, I fuck with whoever, Keak Da Sneak, Messy Marv, Juice, Clyde Carson…I fuck with everybody. Everybody I named, these are my personal partnas, and I call ‘em. I’m really friendly with cats like the Mob Figgaz, AP9 and anybody significant you could think of.
So it’s not just LA, I’m repping for the whole Cali now. When I see somebody from the West that’s deserving and that’s dope, like Kendrick—I’m so behind that little nigga, man. I’ll go shoot a nigga about Kendrick Lamar right now, because of how he’s smashing for the whole West. The whole crew, TDE, all them cats, even all the new LA, bay cats, I’m behind it. We on the radio now. I don’t just rep for Dego, I rep for Cali. When I rep for Cali, it’s like, “Who you gonna put up to bat?” I always say to my little homies, “Who you gonna put up to bat? South and North, East versus West, on some talent shit, who we gonna throw up?” I feel I gotta step up in that category. If Florida say Rick Ross, I say I’m supposed to be the man, and I’m going against them when it comes to reppin’ for the coast. I’m just saying in making quality music, it is a friendly competition. If they record comes on too slapping, the DJ ain’t finna play yours if your shit ain’t right.
DX: I feel you. So, speaking of representing the whole coast and messing with everybody out here, I see you’ve been doing the “Mitchy Slick is everywhere” since ’09. What made you decide to do that, and for those that don’t know, it’s a video…explain to them what the “Mitchy Slick is everywhere” series is about.
Mitchy Slick: “Mitchy Slick is everywhere” is the answer to everybody that is from my town. I was reading on a blog site, and I saw somebody leave a post saying, “Whose label is this, this, that, and who’s the hottest in Dego?” It tripped me out because I’m like, “Damn, these mothafuckas must really not know what the fuck I do.” If they can’t just look at the simple shit like the statistics, the views, the sales, if they have to look at other shit and wonder…I’m like, “Y’all really got me fucked up! I don’t see ya’ll nowhere. How could ya’ll dare compare what I do to what’s going on with some of these other mothafuckas?” Not to belittle them, just respect my hustle. That’s what “Mitchy Slick is everywhere” is about. It’s to show mothafuckas to respect my hustle. When you watch that shit, you’ll fore sure say, “Damn, I never seen a blood from San Diego sit up and slap five and laugh with Pete Rock…with Murs, Talib Kweli, Kokane and the Mob Figgaz.” And ya’ll gonna try and compare ya’ll hustle to this? Ya’ll got me fucked up, and that’s where that came from.
Mitchy Slick Plans To Drop Four Solo Projects In 2013
DX: I feel that, I was watching the one the other day when you guys were in Portland, on the Smoker’s Club Tour with the Jets, and Nipsey Hussle…
Mitchy Slick: Right, and I show you everything. Strong Arm Steady, Mitchy Slick, we everywhere. Ain’t nowhere we can’t go.
DX: On this new record, Feet Match The Paint, what was the reason for going with that title?
Mitchy Slick: Feet Match The Paint was basically telling you that…it’s a hustler. It’s a fly hustler type of mentality. A lot of niggas get they car, then they go and get rims on they car. But it’s another nigga that really go in there and do the whole shit: take the guts out, take the rims that match the car. It’s just the flyer side of Mitchy or the get money side of Mitchy. It’s gangster as ever, but the sound is just flyer. I basically was using Feet Match The Paint to say we concentrating on being fly on these records.
DX: So what was it that made you go in this direction on this specific album at this time?
Mitchy Slick: Because that’s where me and DJ Fresh meet at creatively. We meet on that level.
DX: I saw on Twitter you said you’re dropping four solo projects this year?
Mitchy Slick: Yes, sir. I got Feet Match The Paint for my fans that shop at all the boutique sneaker sports and get they cars customized. That’s for them. Then I got that Won’t Stop, just to let them know Mitchy still out here with that big thang on his hip. It’s all the stuff for the homies. Go to the mom and pop store, get you a white t-shirt, and get your CD at the same time. Then jump in your box Chevy. That’s what Won’t Stop is for.
Then I got an album, and I’m still trying to decide if I’m gonna sell this. It might be for free, but it’s called Lost In The Yay, and it’s a record with all Bay Area production and features. It’s killer. I got Traxamillion Rob Lo of the Mob Figaz and a lot of cats from the Bay producing on there. That right there was like my introduction to the Bay...when I first got there, and I sat out there for a while. Then the last album after that, it’s called Gang Intervention. Basically, it’s my answer to all the shit that’s going on today…all the industry shit. Everybody that ever knew Mitchy Slick, all my hits, all my anthems, it’s that shit right there. That shit is crazy. I got mostly production from the Futuristiks. They’re some of my new cats, young cats, but they ain’t new. They doing a lot of the new shit, the sound that’s coming out of LA and the whole West—from Casey Veggies, to Dom Kennedy and Nipsey.
Dom Kennedy and Nipsey, they right there with me every day right now in our studio. We got a studio together, me and the Futuristiks. And these boys are making the sound for the West Coast right now. So basically my record, it’s not just a bunch of raps and beats. It’s a well put together and well strategized album. It’s killers on there, and it ain’t got a whole lot of features. But I got my boys on there—Trae Tha Truth and Alley Boy are on there.
I’m venturing out right now. That’s what it’s about with me, conquering new zones. I got another single with Talib Kweli called “Spread My Wings,” produced by The Business. I got another one by my new cat, his name is J-Nice. Him and his boy, Shape Shifta, they’re a crew. Cats know them for that shit they did with Bun B and E-40, “That Candy Paint.” It’s a producer-driven album, and it’s all the shit. If Mitchy Slick was ever gonna step out of this underground level, this album, Gang Intervention would be the one.
DX: You said you have the joint with Talib Kweli. Is the situation with Kweli and Strong Arm Steady straight? We’ve heard different stories as to what exactly happened.
Mitchy Slick: Me, Kweli and Phil the Agony and all of us…man, Kweli is like our bro. That wasn’t like no business shit. I done babysat Kweli’s kids and shit. We on tour, and I’m on the bus with his kids while he goes and does whatever he needs to do. So that’s my bro. It ain’t never gonna be no situation. He ain’t never try to beat me, or play me or nothing like that. The way I feel about business, if two people don’t get along…you got business, and you got personal. I was taught this long ago, actually Sir Jinx taught me that you got business and personal. If you don’t get along with somebody business-wise, that’s not an obligation. That’s not nothing you have to do; you don’t have to do business with people. Y’all can still be homies and friends if y’all don’t get along on business. Kweli never did nothing but show me love, so that’s how we gonna look at that.
Krondon is the quarterback of Strong Arm Steady. He had the vision from day one. I like it. It gives me a whole ‘nother opportunity to be me. It’s a plus to give somebody creative, maybe not control, but say-so, or influence over the shit. Because I get to reach out and do shit that I maybe wouldn’t have done. Dealing with Strong Arm Steady, Kron and Kweli got whatever they got going on. But we brothers at the end of the day, and it is what it is.
DX: You’re clearly respected in the streets, but you also get love in the underground, backpacker crowd. I saw on Twitter, you and Blu talking on working on something together, what’s going on with that?
Mitchy Slick: We already burned that down. We already did that, it’s a dope ass cut. We got a cut, I don’t know what Blu is gonna name it, but it’s me, Blu, and Prodigy from Mobb Deep. We go in on that. I don’t know if ya’ll know, but my pen got a little bit crazier in the last year. Maybe it’s the maturity, but a lot of cats have been reaching out. I got songs with Planet Asia; a lot of Hip Hop cats have been reaching out that’s dope. So ya’ll finna hear way more shit from Slick. I’m still having fun doing this shit. You get a call from a cat like Blu, or even when we did the Black Hippy shit, Me, Kron, and Phil got that cut with Ab-Soul, SchoolBoy Q and Jay Rock. That shit is hard as shit off our Stereotype album.
Mitchy Slick’s Regret Over His 2010 “Gangland” Appearance
DX: So of course, I have to bring it up, you played a major role in that episode of “Gangland” where they talked about you and the Lincoln Park Bloods. A lot of rappers talk about a street life, and they have “Gangland” in their punch lines. But with you actually being on there, and your people being covered, do rappers come up to you like, “Man, I seen that episode with you on it?”
Mitchy Slick: All the time. On the West Coast, it’s like everyday shit. Not like it ain’t gangsta everywhere, but just that life. And for them to understand our politics, it’s strange to other people from other parts of the country. They always be tripping off that. Me getting on that “Gangland” and talking to those individuals to make that happen, that was me trying to have a voice to speak on why we wasn’t able to be heard from my city and shit. Them dudes, they’re fucking fake over there with that “Gangland” shit. If you watch the shit closely, all they did is take little excerpts from me saying shit and place them around all sorts of shooting and killing and shit like that. It’s crazy, because I stepped up. And the way I started feeling at the time, if you listen to my music now, I speak a lot more about injustices and politics and shit that go against me particularly.
Gang laws in California is fucked up; they ain’t right. So, here I am, at the time, I’m like, “This is my chance to really do my thing.” It’s fucked up ‘cause everything I did, to make somebody pay attention to us, they exed the shit out. I was going to other neighborhoods, picking up little cats, doing auditions and shit like that, showing a lot of good shit. I went to the mosque in my neighborhood and brought about five different neighborhoods that had war over the last 20 years. We chopped it with up with a couple members, and said that the neighborhood in my area right by the mosque is a safe zone, and allow the area to be where kids can come without having to get in any shit. We dedicated it to a lady who had got killed right across the street from the location at a liquor store that is the number one liquor store in my neighborhood. She got killed being an innocent bystander in the middle of a shooting.
I took them people from “Gangland” there and filmed it. They saw all that shit, and they cut all that shit out. They showed their plot and what their intention really is. I guess that wasn’t interesting. I got a song on that Won’t Stop album, talking about all shit. I even got a conversation between me and that fool on the phone. I was communicating so we can get this shit done, and the shit he was saying back was crazy. He was like “Well, I know that you did this, Mitch. But that wasn’t interesting enough.” It’s crazy how they’ll just look at our lifestyle as a way to make money off the shit. It’s crazy, and it opened my eyes to a lot of shit—just seeing how they did me with that “Gangland” shit.
I was supposed to be the big homie, who talked about the neighborhood and what goes on. Instead I turned into the idiot, savage, police murdering, gangbanging, set-tripping whatever the fuck… That was one of the worst decisions I ever made in my career. It fucked it up for me and my town as far as the police go. It fucked it up to where I can’t be a rapper in San Diego. I’m not a rapper to the politicians and the fucking police. To them, I’m just a gang banger. No matter how many plaques I got on my wall, or how many artists I work with, no matter what I’m doing—they’re gonna view anything I do as gang activity, because I bring those people out. Even though I bring them out to do something other than gangbanging, even though they’re coming out, want to be about their business, make music, and rap with me and shit, it don’t matter. That show fucked it up, and I regret that shit.
DX: It’s crazy, because I watched it again last night, and you speak on the gang injunctions, and how you had the number one song in the city. But you guys were having issues because of everything else. But the show was geared more towards the violence…
Mitchy Slick: On my daughter’s life, at the time, I didn’t even know the difference between “Gangland” and “Gang Wars.” There’s an episode of “Gang Wars,” that came right out before “Gangland” of my homeboy Philthy Rich in Oakland. It was actually a good look. They didn’t try to exploit my dude. They basically showed, what he gave ‘em. When I went on “Gangland”—and after I saw all the episodes of “Gangland”—I was like, “Goddamn! They make this shit look like one of those fake reality shows.” It was just a bad move, but it probably saved my life. It made it to where I gotta stay out the town. I don’t want to get pulled over on no dark streets after they blasted out that I’m from the neighborhood that condones murdering police, and that’s all we about. That’s scary to me.
DX: Speaking of that lifestyle, let’s go back to a quote from Urban Survival Syndrome. You said, “If I talked about that shit I really did, I’d probably sell more records than that nigga 50 Cent.” Do you feel you’re at a disadvantage because you can’t speak on specific things without them being used against you?
Mitchy Slick: That’s the realist shit about being a reality rapper. That’s why always give the little homies game on how to be artists, that’s supposed to be about the real shit. Whether the rest of the world care or not, just like there’s a group of listeners that ain’t really tripping off the beats. They’re just listening to the rhymes; it’s a group of listeners that’s not fucking with you if you not 100. If you ain’t saying what you mean and meaning what you say, that’s the group I rap for. That’s what I tell my artists. It’s about finding the middle ground between keeping it real, being authentic, and not going overboard and fucking up shit. You don’t want to be having gang feuds and getting mothafuckas in trouble for the shit you say. It’s hard to do that, and riding that line is hard, especially when you in the situation I’m in.
I’m not gonna point no artists out, ‘cause I’m talking about all these mothafuckas. If I said some of the shit some of these artists say, especially the down South artists, the fucking police would indict me and all my homies. I got particular cases in my neighborhood with my close friends involved, to where I gotta watch what I say on record. It’s not like it’s really connected to the events. They even tried to use that “Gangland” shit on one of my homies’ cases. I had to go to court. Luckily, I recorded the conversation where the motherfucker was saying how he just added shit on. I had them actually saying, “It wasn’t just about you Mitchy, it was about the life. You guys are about guns and shooting.” The most fuckin’ Klan shit you’ve heard in yo’ life, this mothafucka actually with no regard said on the phone. If it wasn’t for that being said, ain’t no telling what would have happened. I actually had to go sit down with a lawyer and give them that shit, so they couldn’t use that in court against my homie. No way in hell I can just say whatever. ‘Cause ain’t too many cats that’s rapping that’s all the way in. I didn’t say they have done no criminal shit, I said have been in. Mitch has been in. Most of the cats that have been in like I’ve been in, they either in jail, or they don’t rap that good. They probably been through the shit, but niggas don’t rap that good.
DX: That’s something I had to ask, ‘cause it’s always said, “Real Gangsters don’t rap.” So it’s like, how can he actually speak, because it could lead to issues since there’s actually stuff in the past?
Mitchy Slick: That’s why I’m a genius. I get to say that. Say for instance, significant shit the average mothafucka don’t care about, but in our world, they care about. That first record I got, where everybody says, “That shit was bangin’; that shit was hella banged out.” That’s when Mitchy was all the way gangster…that whole record. But there’s not one time on that whole record where you hear the word “Blood.” On the whole record. Not one time. Not me, not nobody. I made it like that. I made it like that, because I don’t like hearing mothafuckas say that shit, to me. That’s disrespectful. At the time it was, but now I don’t look at it as disrespectful. I look at it as ignorant as fuck if a mothafucka is a Crip, and he’s sitting around Bloods, saying, “Cuzz” and vice versa. I think it’s more than disrespectful. If a mothafucka is just doing It, it’s ignorant. I didn’t want anybody to take my record out when they bumpin’ it, no matter where they was at. If you at a Crip picnic and you want to put Mitchy Slick in, you can put it in, without offending nobody. Bump that shit. That’s how that record moved like that in the beginning.
DX: Staying on that, and the industry in general, you said you didn’t say “Blood” on the first album. Now it’s become a trend. How do you feel about that, being from the environment, and having situations where you have friends who are no longer here?
Mitchy Slick: I’m gonna keep it 100. Shit done changed so much from the beginning. The majority of the homies from my neighborhood that’s dead, was killed by other Bloods. So, just looking at it from a point like that. If a mothafucka is a Blood from Kansas, he’s a blood from Kansas. If he’s a Blood from the Bronx, he’s a blood from the Bronx. I can’t dictate it. All I can say is what’s up in my hood. I can’t say what another man can be from another place. In all actuality, unless we moving together, we breaking bread together, we coming and catching each other’s fades, we having each other’s back and all that, we not the same. Not for real, for real. If you from Oklahoma, and you’re a Blood, I’m gonna fuck with you. But I’m gonna fuck with a Oklahoma Crip. A lot of cats be real militant about that, and yeah, I’ve had homies die. But in actuality it’s only a few mothafuckas that died because they were a Blood, or a Crip, or they had on red, or blue. That’s rare.
DX: How do you feel about the Rap game overall? Things have changed a lot since you came in, even with the Internet and the blogs, how do you feel about it overall?
Mitchy Slick: I feel it’s a great day, because you can be independent and crack. It’s also kind of fucked up, because it’s a competition as far as shelf space. Your record gonna be right next to a Jay-Z record. No matter how big you are or how small you are. It’s just kinda fucked up. My core fan base, the people that I back up, believe me, they’re not as prone to buy a digital download as a Kweli fan. It’s my particular demographic, because my niggas still buy CDs. If you start to notice though, the world is getting a little bit flyer. So we crossing over to not just staying in the gangster zone, fucking with Strong Arm, but being on some fresh shit. I picked up new fans. We making different music now and not changing the old music. But along with the music we’ve been making, we adding some different music that’s being able to make it to where we can survive.
We still being exactly who we are, but it’s just the tone and the quality of production. That shit is undeniable on any level with what we’re doing right now. It’s just a cold game, ‘cause I come from an era where it was about getting in the streets. If you couldn’t come out side and push, you wasn’t gonna have no Rap career. And that’s not it no more. That happens to go against my favor, but I happen to be a little bit different than the average gangster rapper. I can make a little change. Or if it ain’t my music, I can snatch up a little cat that appeals to that new crowd and add it to what I got going on. It’s about making money all the way around with me, and my label being successful, not just me. It’s about me having a legacy to where my kids can have this down the line. I got new little cats taking this shit to the next level, and they making noise too.