Juelz Santana: Ear Hustling
After moving to the states approx. 3 years ago, Dipset were one of the first crews from NY I had the chance to follow and see develop as the movement they are today. I actually am very happy to see their progression ever since they started. And even thou Juelzs last album didnt have too much success, his new album promises to be one of the hottest albums coming out this year. After a delay of 20 minutes from my original schedules IV Time, I finally got to sit down, with him and talk about his album.
Tell us about your new album
My new album is incredible, its called What the Games Been Missing, and it comes out on Nov. 22nd. I built my own studio, which was a big plus, because I was able to do so much more music. I did like 160 songs this time around because last time around I did just like 25 records, so I got to pick out of just 25. So now, I had the chance to pick out of 160 records, the variety is different I just had the chance to go and roll with music. This is me times 10 you know? As far as my work ethic and what I put into the album, and into making an album. Its been a long time. Its not like I rushed this album, it took me like a year and a half, and in the process I learned a lot about myself, and about the way I work. I also put some mixtapes out.
I just think that a lot of things make this Album different and better in its own way.
What artists and producers can we find on the album?
I worked with a lot original producers, new and up and coming producers, for the simple fact that thats what I like. Its not that I dont wanna work with a big name producer, its just that I dont want people to buy my album just because Pharrell did a song on it or like Swizz or ten other big-name producers worked on my album. I wanna have that type of attention for my music, and I wanna make producers hot myself.
I worked with a lot of upcoming producers like I said, my man Jay Rich and a few other upcoming producers. I, of course, worked with the Heatmakerz, that's it producer-wise. I just worked with a lot of new dudes. And as far as artist goes, I worked with Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne those 2 artist Im really feelingso it wasnt a problem to put them on my album ya dig. That's actually it. You know I wasnt trying to get no big artist so people buy my record, I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, and that people buy my record for me.
How did you pick your first the first Single The Whistle Song?
I wanted to do something different this time around you know? I knew it was gonna be a big record, and everybody loved it also right away when they heard it. And females were really wanting it too. Its just something so different form what hey are use to getting from me. Everybody said that it was real hot, especially from Juelz ya dig. When it came to pick the first record, it was just like I said before, I just wanted be different, and it came out beautiful.
You also did the record Run It with Chris Brown, how did that happen, since you do very different music?
Well, yeah in the beginning I didnt wanna do the record, because it was a very young-sounding record and at that time I just didnt know in what direction it would take me. But once I met him and I saw that he was working hard, I didnt mind doing it. I liked shorty, he was cool, I mean he was tall as shit, I was a shorty to him
Who inspired you to get into this business and really try to make it?
Oh man, theres a lot of inspiration out there, because Ive been listening to Hip Hop for a long Time now. You know from Big daddy Kane, to Rakim, over to Biggie and Jay-Z, just listening to all those people and really recognizing and seeing whoever contributed to the game during all this Time.
Have you ever since you started had a moment where you wanted to quit?
Nahnothing really wanted to make me quit maybe in the very beginning, before anything popped off not because like my album didnt do well, nothing like that would make me ever wanna quit.
When I came in the game, before I even met Cam, I did have thoughts like I was never gonna get put on. Or I would really ask myself if this would really be something for me, or even if something was gonna come out of this.
Whats the biggest thing you have accomplished so far being in this business?
Coming this far I would say, you know, standing on my own, and being a Team player as well. I think Im the first one to do what I do, you know? Come in the Game and stand alone, you know, I mean Cam was my mentor, and a lot of people come underneath someone, but for me to be able to hold myself, you know, a lot of people wanna know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. But I really think that thats what your mentor wants from you when he brings you in the game. I think that's what you really want when you bring someone in the game. You want them to be able to be independent, so whether I do numbers like Cam or better, either way that will compliment him, because Im his protg you know?
Would you say that money and fame have changed you or have changed the people around you?
Nah, it hasnt changed me, (but) I think it definitely has change the people around me. I think people look at me different and people just expect more from you.
How bad is it when you go outside?
Yeahits a lot of attention, a whole lot more of attention than before you know?
Does it annoy you, or is that cool?
You know, its both, gotta take the good with the bad. Sometimes its annoying, but you gotta put yourself in their position, they like you so much that they are willing to interrupt you while youre eating just so they can take picture. I mean that's rude, but at the same time its a good thing because that person likes you so much that they cant wait for you to finish eating.
If you wouldnt be doing music, what would have been the alternative to the music?
I would be probably in the street hustling. I mean I was never a stupid person that believe that the streets was just gonna be there, and I always knew that there was something better I wanted to do. I always knew I wanted fast money, and as long as I could get fast money I was gonna get it until I found my way to make fast money legally.
Would you say rapping and what youre doing right now is fast money?
Well, in everything you do you gotta grind, you know you gotta hustle. It may be fast money, but fast money slows up, ya dig? You gotta grind your way to the top when youre on the street. Its not like you start out with 10 bricks, you might start out with maybe 10 grams, and you gotta make your way to 10 bricks. Its a grind there too, as theres a grind in rap. (You) gotta have your grind, I dont even call it grind anymore, I call it the g-rind
Are you gonna go on tour as well anytime soon?
Were setting up a tour right now, I might go on tour with Young Jeezy you knowwell see.