Planet Asia: It's His World

posted August 28, 2007 12:00:00 AM CDT | 15 comments

Known for being one of the dopest MCs in the hip-hop underground, Planet Asia is back again to fuck your head up with his very critically acclaimed lyrics. With the recently released Jewelry Box Sessions making its rounds, Planet Asia explains why he is here to bring back that Golden era of hip-hop. Besides the music, Planet Asia possesses some unique character behind the music. With this being one of the rawest interviews to go down on HipHopDX, Planet Asia tells everything from him being part of The Nation of Gods and Earth, his opinion on the current state of hip-hop, and why some of the most brilliant people come from the hood.

HHDX: Whats been good with Planet Asia lately?
: I got the new album Jewelry Box Sessions. I got my own label Gold Chain Music through RBC Records/Koch so we doing some good things man.

HHDX: How did the whole deal with Koch go down?
PA: Through RBC Records, we was really going through Narvarre, but Koch bought Narvarre. You know, the whole political thing, but we keeping it rolling man and its looking real good. I got the video Havin Things out there on Youtube killing them (and) getting thousands of hits.

HHDX: Why you decide to call your label Gold Chain Music, explain that?
PA: Because we representing from the Golden Era and the mindset of things. Im from the Golden Era of hip-hop - meaning that the first era of hip-hop I came through was like stadium hip-hop meaning that it wasnt in the club like it is now. Cats was doing 20,000 audiences, nothing less. That whole Golden Era was like the best time for hip-hop when hip-hop was new on the scene and everybody wasnt a part if it. Its certain codes that we live by that people from that era know whats up. It aint even something that you can write down in a book or put on a piece of paper as ingredients. Its just something that you got to be born with and know whats up. Some people werent even born in that era to witness a lot of those things. Some probably had an older brother or sister to let them know how it was so thats what I represent. Instead of talking about it, Im just being about it.

HHDX: So with that being said, how you feel about hip-hop right now?
: I mean, its great. In my world you got different worlds of hip-hop. I dont think it has ever had a wack stage I mean its always gonna be music I dont listen too. I never liked Kurtis Blow, but doesnt mean somebody else doesnt like Kurtis Blow, ya feel me.

HHDX: So why didnt you like Kurtis Blow?
PA: I never listened to Kurtis Blow records like that. I never was a big fan of Kurtis Blow or Kool Moe Dee. Thats not my era. That was more of in the 70s type shit - Im more like 84. All that to the beat rapping I dont know nothing about that. Not that its wack or nothing, it just aint my era, ya feel me? I come from the era of Def Jam and Rakim when all them cats hit the era. When Sugar Hill Gang was making records I wasnt into hip-hop like that. I was still listening to fuckin Michael Jackson and just music period. When LL Cool J hit thats when it was like Okay I listen to hip-hop [laughs]. We just representing the Golden Era of things and you notice in that time it was the dookie rope era. It aint about jewelry. Thats what I want people to understand. This aint about blingin or whatever thats a mindset that we in the Golden Age. We're not taking it back either, we're taking it forward.

HHDX: Well like they say "If the shoe fits, wear it".
PA: Exactly, man thats the best answer.

HHDX: Your known in the game for being a dope lyricists and everything so why you decide to kick a lot of knowledge in your music?
: Because thats the Golden Era wave. It doesnt matter what you was dealing with if you was a pimp, gangsta rapper, whatever you always dropped knowledge in the lines. If you from the streets thats where knowledge comes from and thats the funny thing about it. All these brothers talk about they from the hood, the ghetto, and all that. But to keep it real with you - Im from the streets and it aint too many dumb niggas in the street.

HHDX: [Laughs], Im from the hood too and I know about that.
PA: Yeah, motherfuckers aint dumb how people portray us to be. You got motherfuckers with some ill mentalities straight-up scientists and motherfuckin brain-surgeons and shit in the hood, but they dont represent that. The thing that people on the outside that dont live in the hood dont realize is that to be a dumb motherfucker is not cool in the hood. To be a smart motherfucker is cool in the hood and thats the big misconception of everything. Niggas dont like dumb niggas we like smart niggas ya feel me. Who wants to kick it with a nigga that dont know shit? What kind of girl wants a nigga that dont know shit?

HHDX: Yo you funny man [laughs]!
: But think about that, its a big misconception that being hardcore is being stupid. Like I dont read books, I dont know none of that African shit well youre a fuckin idiot (and) you're not a real nigga. Im a nigga, how Im not gonna know about Black culture and my history. Your not a real nigga if you dont have no knowledge of self. Even on some street shit though. A lot of niggas that I looked up to back in the day had shit to say. They wasnt dumb idiots they encourage me to go to school and these was drug dealers and pimps. I dont know why the concept is you gotta be stupid to be street. 50 Cent made 400 million not too long ago he didnt do that by being a dumb-ass nigga, you know what Im saying?

HHDX: I feel you Asia!
PA: It take brains to do that type of shit. Jigga (Jay-Z) aint no dumb nigga, trust me man. He knows the same shit Kweli, Mos Def, and all the rest of the them niggas know. It aint no difference, its a big misconception about brothers who are supposedly Kicking knowledge. I dont even consider myself as kicking that much knowledge, but its so much dumb rap out there that I seem like Mahatma Gandhi in this motherfucker [laughs]. Its so much illiterate rap out there my shit sound like Gandhi, but back in the day my shit wouldve been considered ignorant. The shit I be kicking probably be considered gangsta rap back in the day.

HHDX: [Laughs] you do have a point, because Im from the hood too and you do have some smart cats in the hood.
: Oh yeah, for sure! The smartest people I ever known was from the hood. They wasnt no college graduates or nothing like that. College graduates, what people dont understand, is (that they are) programmed a lot of times. Well let me not say that, because I dont want to give a bad taste in everybodys mouth. Let me just say it aint always (what it's) cracked up to be. I meet a lot of dumb air-headed people with degrees and only knew what they was specialized in college and what they specifically went to school for. They didnt know nothing outside the box. I meet a dude older than me that had two Black parents and Elijah Muhammads exwife was sitting in back of me. I told him thats Elijah Muhammads wife and he didnt know who Elijah Muhammad was. Im like What fuckin dead age are you living in? and his parents had money he wasnt even from the hood.

HHDX: Speaking on the knowledge and everything what made you become part of the Five Percenters?
PA: I dont even like to put it in that context as me being a part of the Five Percent, because people that deal with the knowledge they dont refer to themselves as the Five Percent they refer to themselves as The Nation of Gods and Earths. How long Ive been receptive to the teachings Ive been receptive to the teachings of that ever since I been in hip-hop. Thats what attracted me more to hip-hop. The science of the Gods has all been spread through-out the world now it aint as hard to get to as it used to be. I dont really deal with that too much to the public, because you cant get it all in one interview. Somebody might take certain things the wrong way, but as far as me dealing with The Gods and Earths - Ive been dealing with them since I first probably heard Rakim. Matter of fact, I had a t-shirt that had a picture of Farrakhan on it and I didnt know who Farrakhan was. I knew who everybody else was on my t-shirt, but I was like Yo who is this dude? and my cousin was like Thats Farrakhan. Once I learned about Farrakhan I got into the Nation of Islam thing and my brother Supreme started dealing with the science and mathematics with the Gods going to these rallies and next thing you know I was more attracted to that. That spoke to me like hip-hop did and it made more sense than anything else to me. Even if you not a member of The Nation of Gods and Earths - if you was into hip-hop during the late 80s to the mid 90s you got a prospective of who they are. Its just the era I was born in it aint like I tried to get into that. Thats the era of time I came up in everybody was on some knowledge shit. Even if you not dealing with the knowledge and shit it aint like you come to my house where Im fuckin burning incense and walking on Persian rugs bare-footed and shit. What you consider Jewels in my songs are from the early ages of how I grew up.

HHDX: A lot of cats want to know whatever happened to the deal with Interscope you had?
: Basically they took too long and I didnt feel like waiting so I left. Jimmy Iovine was president of Interscope and I was already in the process of making my album. Jimmy came through with his own ideas and it wasnt working so I had to bounce. My whole career was never based off a record deal. People only know Planet Asia because of my independent records first of all. I didnt want to slow down the process of what I already had going on as an artist, because I know how this game is. If you fuckin think you can just sit back and chill niggas would lose focus on you. I was like Fuck that I rather not be tied and be able to record freely and do songs with who ever I the fuck I want to and put shit out. At the end of the day, you gonna die homey so its like I rather have music out. I rather have the music out man Fuck being signed unless that shit is gonna be beneficial. Now dont get me wrong, it aint like I wont sign a major label record deal. Any fuckin rapper talking about he wont take a major record deal is a fuckin liar unless he already got big bread and a good fuckin situation going on. Dont let them lie to you, because all it does is put you in a bigger playing field. Now I wouldnt want to stay major forever I just want to come out with a major album at least once in my career. Gold Chain Music is forever independent thats my label, but as an artist I want to come out with at least one major album. Everybody can get it at the same time, everybody knows its coming, Im not gonna even lie, even if I only sell 200,000 or 300,000 which is better than most rappers right now. Right now as far as rap goes, Im over-qualified for my job, so if you put me next to any fuckin rapper thats considered a major label artist Im gonna smother the shit out of them because they dont have the tools it takes to be a superstar. These dudes are forcing their super stardom on people, you cant force a superstar. You just gotta be a superstar. It aint no shit you can just dress up and do. It aint no Oh yeah this gonna make me look like a superstar. When you got crust on the side of your lips and sweat pants on with no socks and you just woke up in the morning you still gotta be a superstar.

HHDX: So Asia would you say you go through a lot of bullshit with the major labels?
: I wouldnt say I went through a lot of bullshit, because my shit wasnt structured like most artists. Most artists that you know really depend on record labels like niggas dont know what to do without a record label. They need to be pacified with bullshit and they still come home with nothing. I would rather have a fan base to be able to come home to than wasting all my time fuckin with the machine and my fan base is fuckin with some other slow-jo. Thats what basically happened. It wasnt that I went through a lot of bullshit, it was just I was tied of being around people that didnt really know shit. I just left silently without all the hostile and the He couldnt execute talk. I was too ahead of my time, they didnt know what was up. I didnt feel like waiting so I was like Yo let me go on with my career and look where Im at now. If it wasnt for that I probably be on some fuckin milk-box in the XXL or something Where is this guy at now.

HHDX: Do you feel a lot of rappers in the game are not fuckin with you?
: I dont think so, not really and it aint that Im being arrogant or nothing. I give a lot of props out to people though I think Im the only rapper that still acts like a fan. I give more rappers respect in my interviews than any other rapper ever does. I give more shout-outs and credits, but at the end of the day if you really cut down to it yeah I think Im the best because of that. If you ask me why I think Im the best is because I analyze everybodys shit and I take notice to everybody. I dont let nothing slip past me and I think to be a master in this you have to do a lot of that. Not necessarily be a part of every fuckin thing, but just know that it exists. You cant name some hip-hop shit that I dont know about right now. Underground, over-ground, middle-ground, whatever it is.

HHDX: Tell me about this album.
: Jewelry Box Sessions - this shit right here, trust me, every rhyme on there is crazy. Just the intro itself, nothing is fuckin with that. The only reason I probably dont listen to my shit as much as I should is cause I dont like listening to myself like that. I just think thats corny. A nigga that drives around listening to himself all day. I cant lie, when Im listening to that first verse, that first intro, Im listening to it as if I didnt know myself. Thats the first time I ever felt like that like Oooh this nigga is spazzing, but Im talking about myself. Have you ever heard a rhyme so ill you was like Oh he said that in a circle somewhere he hit everybody with that one. Thats how I write my rhymes. I write my rhymes to specifically fuck your head-up... period. Nothing more, nothing less. Im not trying to spread no messages or none of that shit. Im only trying to fuck your head-up period. I want you to be like Did you hear what this nigga just said?" or How he said that? I want you to be tripping off how I be saying shit thats my whole giddy-up.

HHDX: How you come up with title for the album?
: Its like when you listen to that album its like running into room full of gold and diamonds shit, because it aint nothing but jewels on that shit man. Im shining all through that whole fuckin album. Its crazy man. I got a song with Bun B thats off the fuckin hinges. It dont make no sense what Im doing to the game. Im running circles around these dudes. Its so crazy that I gotta get signed. Im ready to play with the big boys, because these niggas cant fuck with me. The big boys Im a just slaughter these niggas when I get in commercially and lyrically.

HHDX: Why fans should go out and cop this album and anything to say to the fans of out there?
: Before you make an opinion on anything find out what it is yourself. Like niggas out here might not even listen to Planet Asia, because of the name on some shit like I got a dumb name. Get into some shit before you try to judge it or whatever. Read, thats my message man and fuck with HIPHOPDX.COM!

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