Purple City: Independent from Camíron
Along with producer Agallah and Dip affiliate Un Kasa, Purple City is dropping a best-of mixtape, The Road To The Riches on March 22. HHDX sat down with The Emperor Shiest Bub to find out how Cam stole his style, when his novelty shop is opening and whats so special about Harlem.
What is Purple City?
Purple City started off with myself being part of the Diplomat movement. That was a way for me to identify myself. I started doing mixtapes. I met Un Kasa. He was with the Diplomats. Purple City started off as a training camp for artists in the streets, in the hood that wasnt getting their chance to come out. I used it as an outlet for artists that didnt have industry ties to come out. Because since the industry is based where its like if you dont have an industry backing, its almost impossible to get on. My contribution to the Diplomats was I would start working with new artists helping them get their stuff together and breaking them on mixtapes along with Diplomat artists. And then once I got to around my third mixtape I had used some of Agallahs beats. He was a friend of mine. I didnt know he was into the music serious like that. When I did my homework, I said, why dont you work with us? Thats how we pressed on. I got a studio for us to work out of and we made seven mixtapes.
Hows the chemistry with you three working together?
Basically, we all have the same goal. My whole being in the industry was brand new. Due to my fashion, Me wearing purple. Having a purple chinchilla. It was extra with me. People gravitated to that. We all had the same idea for being successful. Were not a group. Were a crew. Were from New York, Thats how we move in New York. Its way larger than the three of us. Agallah does the production. I organize it. Un Kasa puts his young generation on it. Thats how we keep it moving.
How did you hook up with Baby Grande?
Chuck Wilson read about us in Fader. People have the misconception that Purple City is Camron. But in reality, Sheist Bub owns Purple City. I am the Purple Master. Thats what I do. Its not to say anything about stealing or jacking. Im grateful to Cam for adapting to the purple and poppin off with it because it helped my transition into the industry. Its been documented through our mixtapes that we started the Purple Movement. Cam and the Diplomats supported us from day one. They got the money. Thats what Harlem is about. Hustling whatever the product is. They hustled and now Im hustling it. He got it from me.
Talk about your Baby Grande debut release, The Road To The Riches.
The first mixtape were putting out shows the transition from the streets to the industry. Thats what so many artists that are trapped up in the hood have difficulty doing. Without having a name artist to carry them. We have features from Jim Jones and Juelz. Thats it. Its not like theyre carrying the whole album. They have a 16 each.
What do you rap about in your songs?
Regular shit that everyone goes through. Im not even trying to rap like that. Im more like a Master P, Baby, even Puff Daddy rapping. When you compare me you have to compare me to those dudes. Im not talking on a money level. Im just talking about the position I play in Purple City. Im probably going to have a lot of fans because the shit I do talk about is real. Its hard for me to lie. Whatever you put out there comes back to you. Im just going to put out what it is, keep my reputation what it is. Im a hustler, not a gangster.
How do you pick the producers you work with?
Scram Jones is a friend of the family. Thats automatic. Hes in the same situation as us. A new producer, new artist. But hes been doing this for years. I know him personally for 10 years. With the other producers, its a sound Im looking for. Im looking for the real old school sound.
Did you work with the Heatmakerz?
Theyre all in the family. Theyre already established. Im trying to help other producers also.
Were Cam and Jim Jones mentors to you?
I watched and learned. And I also was a part of that. That whole purple thing. Thats what I brought. Thats what Cam saw in me. He tried to show me, Sheist you have to maximize. People say, Cam stole your style. I tell them, Cam, he is the representative for Harlem as far as the industry is concerned. Hes just emulating whats popping in the streets. It just so happens that Purple City is whats popping in the streets. Now were making the transition.
Do you have any other business ventures in the works?
You couldnt be a member of Purple City unless you were able to branch out. I have a fashion line. I dont want to reveal the name yet. Its going to be hot. Im planning on opening at shop, Purple City Novelty Store. Thats going to be all the gimmicks I have. Fashion and gimmicks mostly. Were hustlers also. We have to stay on top of the hustle, have new ideas.
With Mase, Cam and the Diplomats, do you think Harlem is hot again?
My whole thing with Harlem is that it seems like the industry has broken the boroughs down into stereotypes. Brooklyn are these hard killer dudes. Bronx niggas is some gangsta niggas. Queens niggas is lady lovers. Harlem is some fly gimmicky The only thing I can respect about New York is that its the fashion mecca. So of course, I have to represent that because Harlem is one of the biggest hoods in Manhattan.
You seem to be very aware that this is the music BUSINESS.
Ive heard about people who got robbed and jerked. But it always seemed like they had their hands out. Like you come from nothing and so you get a lil something and then once you spend it all you feel jerked. You need to invest your money into yourself. So no matter what happens at the end of the day you know you got yourself. Thats why I put out 10 mixtapes already. Regardless if you dont give me a deal, Im going to keep putting out my shit and sell units. Because thats what it is. Its about procedure. And I know procedure.
How do you feel about hip-hop music today?
I feel like its missing Purple City. Once these people hear what were doing, theyre going to say, thats what I want to do. Why dont they have the balls to do that Half of these people are looking for hand outs. Theyre so quick to sell out. Purple City did far from sell out. The trials and tribulations that we went through. No one even expected us to last this long. Were still here.