8 Ball & MJG: Get In Where You Fit In
Two classic rap dudes from the south set out to make another classic southern rap album. Theres only one problem: nobodys making classic southern rap albums anymore. Anyone thirteen years deep deserves respect, but 8Ball & MJG arent your average industry vets. If its hard out here for a pimp, than its impossible out here for the original hustlers. From Memphis, Tenn and back again 8Ball and MJG grant hiphopdx a rare joint-interview where they speak their mind on Bad Boy Records, snap music, 3-6 Mafias success, and their new album Ridin High.
HHDX: Its been 13 years since Ridin High, tell me whats changed with 8Ball & MJG?
8Ball: Umm, well about uh, weve definitely gotten older, other than that, I mean the music comes out as the same thing, we just tried to get better at how we do 8Ball and MJG, other than that we tried to stick to the format as much as possible: MJG: Yeah I think we still the same Ball and G, just different times.
HHDX: Its been a minute since you got with Bad Boy, hows the business relationship with Diddy these days?
MJG: Its cool man. (Long pause). Its cool man (sarcastically).
HHDX: Ha ha, ok. Where does 8Ball and MJG fit into the overall Bad Boy legacy?
MJG: I dont think we fit. I think this was just something, cause its really Bad Boy South, Bad Boy South was created when 8Ball and MJG came along, so I guess that kinda speaks for itself that we really not part of the Bad Boy legacy.
8Ball: Yeah I dont think we fit, because I done read a lot of interviews and uh, they never mention us as part of the roster, you know, we never get mentioned as a part of Bad Boy, you know, unless we mention it. So, I dont think we fit.
HHDX: Was it tough to sit back and watch 3-6 Mafia blow and put Memphis on the map?
MJG: Naw, it wasnt nothing hard about that that was beautiful man. We respect them cats to the utmost man, we love everything that they do and that was a big milestone for the Memphis rap community and for the rap community as a whole.
8Ball: And for black people because still out of all this time we work hard a lot, and most artists, and most black people can only get rewarded on awards shows that we made up for ourselves. You know? Thats the mostmost things like the academy awards its still just only a handful of black people and minorities that win those awards, we normally have to wind up making up our own awards and presenting them to ourselves.
HHDX: Obviously both of you have done solo projects, Is there a different approach when youre working together versus doing the solo thing?
8Ball: Yeah um, I think that yeah because were a group but were two different people at the same time. At the end of the day its still the same format. Its the same format, whether its solo or as a group thing. Its always gonna be some Ball and G shit.
HHDX: Ridin High is supposed to be the ultimate 8Ball and MJG album
8Ball: Its like everything we did over the years all rolled into one. You will not be highly disappointed. It will put you in the mood of some of the older stuff- so its new stuff so itll definitely be fresh, but it has all the 8Ball and MJG format, we kept it gritty and gutter and its reminiscent of our older stuff.
MJG: We got 3-6 Mafia of course, we got them and Slim from 112 on a song together, we got Project Pat on the first single, Juve, Jazzy Phae, Killer Mike, Pimp C and Yung Joc. And thats about it man, its really an 8Ball and MJG on this album.
HHDX: How do you really feel about snap music? Do you embrace it?
8Ball: I mean, snap music is an Atlanta style of music. Its an Atlanta style of music that blew up, and started off underground and it blew up like almost pop like, and I mean its just an Atlanta style of music. My fans wouldnt expect me to rap over nothing like that. But I mean its all music.
MJG: Its just another version, I can respect that.