In a previous post about Shaqueen a.k.a. Ma Barker, I quoted an interview I did with Shabazz the Disciple, most of which has been lost. Basically, I have the first four of nineteen pages. It's pretty dang disappointing (not to mention the other interviews I did and lost over the years), but what I do have here is still kinda interesting. So I'm posting this fraction of what was actually a really good interview to preserve what I can. By the way, this interview was done a full decade ago: 1998. Shaqueen was present, too; but she doesn't say anything in the first four pages.
Ok, the first thing I've gotta ask you about is your departure from the Sunz of Man...
Ok, well, the whole science behind that is: me and Killah Priest was partners. We had a little demo via Atlantic Records. We went in the studio, recorded five songs. Hell Razah was my little cousin, and Prodigal Sun... we always hung together. So we featured them two on two songs, and that was the birth of Sunz of Man right there. Now, it's not like artistic differences; it's political differences. When you got some people who are in control and they have diferent views. Instead of you sitting in limbo, you believe in yourself and you know what you wanna do. You already came with a vision. You just move on, do what you gotta do. I mean, it's always love regardless.
So you might still work with them in the future?
Yeah. Right now, me and Killah Priest and Population Clique - two members of that: Tahir and Jamal - we are a four man group. So that's gonna be something new to look for.
And you've also got Celestial Souljahz, right, with Freestyle?
Yeah, Freestyle of The Arsonists. And then you got Shabazz the Disciple. Altogether, you got the Macabees Family, which is Killah Priest, his whole little set-up of his peoples, and then you put the whole thing together...
Is there actually a collective joint in the works right now?
Yeah, right now the album gonna come out on MCA. The next Killah Priest project gonna have the whole family album. But at the same time, we're doing a side album. A four-man group; we're thinking about The Four Horsemen. We're on some next shit. And with Shaqueen and Omen, the illest unknown, upcoming.
(To Shaqueen) Are you gonna be on that next project?
Well, she's gonna be involved... I mean, we're all involved. I just started working with them... I met them through, like, Gravediggaz, 'cause I represent... I go on tour with them. And on the new album, Omen is featured on the same song I'm featured on. So, we're touring together, we got tight. We networked. And then, you know, my man Baby J's album is coming out. You know, I asked him to be on that and bring Shaqueen, 'cause I always loved her stuff. The family's just getting tighter. The links... It's just all links in a chain.
So, when is all this stuff coming out? The Shabazz album, Celestial Souljahz, Baby J...
I'm a tell you... I-ight. You know how the music business goes, right? I'm looking for November, but let's say January to be safe. The Shabazz album. 'Cause, you know December's a bad time. Labels are hiring and firing, and I don't wanna get caught; so you know, let's say January. And Celestial Souljahz - second quarter. Like, right after that. But I'm gonna introduce the Celestial Souljahz on my album. Matter of fact, the next single I might make the Celestial Souljahz. Smack 'em in the head, 'cause a lot of peoples is waitin' for it.
Ok, tell us about the new 12" you've got coming out, "Ghetto Apostles."
That right there is just basically four soldiers who fight alongside each other in the same war. We hold down the same common cause. We in hip-hop... We're breathing the breath of life back into the nostrils of hip-hop. Hip-hop has no spirituality, so it's dead. So we're just comin' to bring the spirit back to hip-hop and show other fresh ideas, and bring it back to the real natural essence that it evolved from. And, you know... you got me, you got Freestyle, you got Bless who is a new artist, and you got Poetic from Gravediggaz. We've been working together for years, so we were just like, "let's just do something together." Baby J came in from London and made the beats. We recorded it. We went with it. Good responses. Did a tour. Doin' my thing. Everybody's lovin' it, so we just gonna keep it movin'.
Having heard The Arsonists... and hearing Shabazz, it sounds like two really different kinds of styles...
It's not a combination you'd really expect to fit together.
Exactly! That's versatility. Real hip-hop, it doesn't matter. As long as it's real, good music. Put two of the most opposite artists together, but the track... if they're real on the track... it's ok. It's on.
So let's talk about what kind of production you've got on your album coming out...
The fuckin' illest beats in the world. It might be scary to some people, some of it, you know. But I've got a full, complete album. I try to touch everybody, basically. I don't make music for, like, just kids... or just older people. Our music is for everybody, bottom line. Period. We gonna deal with it. 'Cause there's the situation, which I'm sure you faced, or you know somebody who faced, who you've dealt with, who just won't feel my energy. As far as production, we got Carlos Bess who's one of the most incredible, uinderground... underrated producers in our time, right now.
He did the remix for the latest single, right?
Yeah. On some surprise. I just gave him the reel, told him to mix it down for me, 'cause we had to go on tour. He just threw that on there on some love like yo, you know? ...Just did it on his own. Nobody asked him. He produced "Crime Saga," which was on my old single on Penalty. And he produced a lot of songs on my album that people love right now. You know, we did it in like '96. We did some of the songs in '96, like "yo, that's still ahead of its time!" Then, you know, you've got Premiere. He's dedicated to do it. You got Beatminerz. You got Nasheem Rider... the Fourth Disciple. He did my first single. Freestyle: one of the illest upcoming producers. You got Baby J. I got a lot of talented producers. I like to work with everybody who's got that energy.
And I think you said you were putting a lot of the old singles on the album, too?
Maybe they'll be bonus tracks. 'Cause right now I got a seventeen song album. It'll be seventeen songs plus the six singles. So it's twenty-three songs.
And, as much as I hate to pull the plug, that's where the portion I've got ends. Some of the projects he talked about came out, some didn't. But he's stayed busy, putting a lot of stuff out, including his new collaborative album with Killah Priest, T.H.U.G. Angels; and he's still doing it. Check his myspace page for his latest.