Where The Hell Have You Been?: Amil
Thousands of fans stood in the stance while chanting Jigga what, Jigga who, while hundreds tried to prepare for Jaz-Os quick flow over the hypnotic beat provided by Timberland. Without a doubt the crowd loved Jay-Zs 1999 smash hit, laced with the support of a distinct face with long jet-black hair and a voice that reminded us of a newborn baby. The crowd would sweat with excitement and adrenaline would keep the crowd moving, as the caramel colored femcee would keep the men watching and the girls wishing to ride the hook like she did. She is Amil.
Roc-A-Fella records had the game sowed with the support of other Def Jam artists and 2000s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, put the stamp of approval on Roc-A-Fella as being one of the most dangerous teams in the Hip Hop world.
Years pasted and many started to wonder where the baby voice that laced so many unforgettable hooks went off to. After working with Ja Rule, Beyonce and other major acts, the Native American, part African American and Caucasian mixture, was dropped from the label and the rest is history.
HipHopDX caught up with Amil, while at home in North Carolina and talked to her about her current pursuits and her unforgettable days at Roc-A-Fella.
This is for the fam-including Beans, Bleek and Jay.
HHDX: How do you feel about your first project and how much of your last album is a reflection of who you are today?
AMIL: I feel I have accomplished a dream and a goal. I feel good about the album regardless of the record sales and stuff like that. It reflected what was going on at that time and this album is reflecting what is going on now.
HHDX: Whats good with the other two women from Major Coins?
AMIL: I dont know. They arent part of Major Coins and I dont speak to them.
HHDX: All right, well I was listening to some of your music and it sounds as if you developed-lyrically. Whats changed over the last couple of years?
AMIL: I guess its writing and recording. I think people get better over time and I just naturally finessed it. I dont consider myself to be wack or anything like that. I still write all my stuff-just like I did back then. When I do personal songs, the songs are things that Ive experienced or go through. Those songs always seem to come off strong.
HHDX: Roc-A-Fella was a prestigious label and Jay-Z is now an icon. Most people think that the opportunity to work with that team is ideal. Where do you see yourself going, after already working with some of best and then having it taken away?
AMIL: Thats peoples opinion. Thats not my opinion. You know what I mean? As far as working with the best- whatever. Im me. You know what Im sayin? Im not trying to be number one. Im not trying to do that other stuff. I do my music and thats that. They do them and I do me. Im in a whole notha league. Im not trying to be on the top 10 billboard and do things like that.
HHDX: Right, thats cool. Let us know something about the industry that we wouldnt know if were looking at it from the outside in.
AMIL: People in the industry have to do whatever they have to do to stay on top and thats not me. Im completely different. I dont strive to be in the industry (like that). I try to be low key and take care of my family. My family comes first. Thats all I care about. Ill never put anything before my children. But then, theres artist that dont have children or dont have family. Some people, who make music, make it their life and thats their career.
HHDX: Do you think thats something you learned after gaining experience from being in the industry or have you always felt like that?
AMIL: Nah, after I got in the industry I discovered nothing was more important than my son (at that time I only had one son). People couldnt respect that my son comes first then it wasnt goin down. Nothing comes before my sons and when youre on the road thats ya life 24/7 and thatll never be my life. Never.
HHDX: Are you still Down 4 the fam and everything that Roc-A-Fella stood for? Take away the people and are you still down for the concept?
AMIL: Im not down for nothin except for the Creator and my family. You know what Im sayin'? Business is business and reality is reality.
HHDX: Word. It seems as if youve done a great deal of maturing; do you still think, All Money is Legal?
AMIL: I mean, hopefully. Thats the only way to get it.
HHDX: Your second single off your first album was a track done with Beyonce, called I Got That. How was it working with her and would you be willing to work with her again?
AMIL: I mean we were never in the same studio or anything like that. As far as working with her or doing a feature with her, I dont know what the future holds. Im not trying to get Beyonce or anything like that. Who knows whats going to happen? I didnt know that was going to happen. So, I dont know.
HHDX: What made you want to stay in the game or to keep spittin?
AMIL: I dont want to stay in the game. I didnt want to stay in game. I was doing songs before Roc-A-Fella and Im doing songs after Roc-A-Fella. I put out songs for my fan base. Who ever wants to f*ck with it can fuck with it.
HHDX: How did you feel when you saw when you seen the Roc-A-Fella dynasty fall apart (a couple years back)? Did it come as a surprise?
AMIL: No. It wasnt a surprise. Because, you know? It just wasnt a surprise.
HHDX: If Jay called you right now would you talk to him? If so, what would you say?
AMIL: Of course I would talk. Me and Jay never had bad blood. There was never any beef between me and Jay.
HHDX: What would you say or you just gone leave it like that?
AMIL: Yeah, Ill just leave it like that.
HHDX: So, how do you compare yourself to female emcees like Kim, Remi Ma or even Rah Digga?
AMIL: Im not the one to talk about other female rappers. Truth be told, I think were all in the same boat. Its hard for a female rapper to even blow like that. Ive never gone around claiming I was the best emcee and blah, blah blah. I record how I feel at the time and whatever situation is going on at the time. I just record whats going on in my life. Theres no comparison to another female when in regards to writing because I write my life. Nobody can compare ones life to another. Everybody has their own situation and whatever. Im not a battle female emcee just talking about nuthin.
HHDX: So do you think the streets are ready for Amil and what you got coming? Do you think theyre excited about it?
AMIL: I dont know. I know I have a fan base and with my fan base, yes. Its a well-anticipated album. If there are some haters disliking then theyll still be hating. (Laughs), So I dont know. It is what it is.
HHDX: (Laughs) Yeah, so do you ever find yourself reminiscing or rockin out to The Dynasty album or Hard Knock Life Vol.2?
HHDX: I heard three of your tracks, one is called Bitches Tears of a teenage mother and some freestyle stuff. What can we expect this time around? Whats different?
AMIL: More or less that, its not so much glam. Im not really talking about what I have. Last album, I was talking about what I was doin then. I mean, I was fresh off the streets and seen a little bit of money and at the time it was big money to somebody who aint ever had money. I was doin what everybody was doin at that time-especially Roc-A-Fella, bragging about this that and the third. This time Im around Im being real. Ive been through shit in the last few of years. Now, Im just doin my music.
HHDX: Whats your inspiration behind what you do?
AMIL: My children. They keep me going. Thats it.
HHDX: Well anything you want to say to the people or mention anything you think I left out? This is the opportunity.
AMIL: I want people to understand that everybody is just human. I dont want say Im coming back to the game because Im not. I dont choose to be in the game (like that). Im an artist and music is a part of my life. Im not a character that is made up. These are real issues and I hope that it sends out a positive message. I know that there are a million people going through what Im going through. I want people to know that theyre not alone.
For more information on Amil go to: www.myspace.com/officialAmil
Special thanks to: DOE's eCharee and Baby Paul