Monday, January 02, 2006

What a coincidence...
2006 Starts off with a chat with Scarface too

The following interview is one I did for the latest issue of Ozone Magazine. Go get dat, on stands now. That's right, on stands fool. Ozone blowing up the spot.

And um, Scarface/Devin the Dude Europe tour end of February/early March???? Looking that way.

By Matt Sonzala

What’s The Product?
It’s a group project I’m doing. It’s a new group, just raw fuckin’ talent in my opinion. You got Will Henn from San Francisco and you got Young Malice from Jackson, Mississippi and me. There was just a uniqueness in both of their voices that drew my attention to them in the first place. Then I had them down here working at different times and I scheduled them to come in the studio together and do a song and that was just the combination right there man.

That’s interesting because there’s always been big connections between Houston and the Bay Area and Houston and Jackson.
I don’t know what that connection was. I don’t know if it was an accidental connection but we always been connected with the Bay Area and Mississippi and we’re finally getting a chance to do music together. It’s a lot like the Face Mob group. I had five different people from five different parts of the world. I had Cleveland, I had Minnesota, Chicago and I had two people form Houston in the group. It’s just what I heard in the voices. I like unique shit. I like shit that don’t sound like everybody else shit. Even though peoples voices sound different they basically rap the same. You got a lot of people that sound like other people. In California, New York, Houston, Atlanta, everywhere. You got a select number of people from this country that come out and don’t sound like anybody. And them two cats in my opinion don’t sound like anybody I’ve ever heard. It was like that with DMG and 350 and Devin and them. They sound good man. Really, really good.

Well what is it that sets them apart? What really caught your ear?
I just think that they have the coolest fuckin’ voices and they saying some dope ass shit. I think Pimp C got a cool ass voice. I’d like to fuck with Pimp C when he gets out of jail. I want to sit down in a room and do an album with Pimp C. I want to do Devin the Dudes album again. I did Devin’s first album. I just like unique shit. I like people that don’t sound like nobody. You got a lot of local talent out here in Houston, you got great MC’s out here. You know, some MC’s suck, out of ten MC’s six of them, eight of them gonna have the same style. It’s very very rare that you meet a K-Rino. That’s a very, very rare cat and he’s a bad motherfucker. He just never got his due. I wanna fuck with K-Rino. Unfortunately our schedules clashed. I wanna sit down with him and do his album. And Bun B, rare. Bun B is very rare. It’s hard to come by just original shit, people that don’t sound like nobody and they delivering some dope ass shit. You got some corny niggas that don’t sound like nobody but they just corny than a motherfucker. But whatever floats your boat and pays your bills, I ain’t got no problem with it.

Well you mention K-Rino, and K-Rino and Scarface were the first people to put out music in Houston really.
Well I think that Raheem had a cold motherfucking cap on his album, The Vigilante. He said “I’m the first rapper out of Houston with a deal/At heart I’m still a Ghetto Boy/Trigga Happy Nigga with a love for Makin’ Trouble and a hate for a snitch/I’m the first motherfucker out of Houston with a record/Last motherfucker you should want to fuck with.” Hooooooo! Oh shit, that was the coldest fuckin’ cap of all times. That boy Raheem man, superb. That boy Raheem was superb. Lyrically he was a fucking genius. I’d love to work with Hemo…

Where is he now??
I don’t know what he doing. Damn that nigga was cold.

Well he only did two albums.
Yeah he got tired of this shit. You know what I mean? It take a strong motherfucker to keep wanting to fuck with this shit man. Look at the uniqueness in Willie D. I think Willie D is a brilliant MC. He don’t sound like nobody. I love that.

That’s one thing I always noticed about the Geto Boys. Every big group has had people come after them biting their whole style. Take the Screw sound here in Houston, everybody has got that sound. But nobody was really ever to just capture and bite the Geto Boys.
Well we made some great records. I don’t think it’s hard to be like anybody. I think it’s easier to be like somebody else. To sound like somebody else, but I don’t think it’s hard to be anybody. It’s not hard to be like nobody, but it’s easy as fuck to bite somebodys shit. I guess the more simple the rhyme scheme, the easier it is to rap. Me? I try to do complicated rhyme schemes. Especially on this Product album, I tried some different rhyme schemes. Instead of making every four words rhyme, I might make every eight words rhyme. I’m just trying shit. I got a dope ass group backing me so I can fuck around a little bit. Now, when the Scarface album comes out, the name of it is Made, I’m finna break some fuckin’ backs. I don’t bullshit with it. On the Product album man, I had fun. I let the artists I wanted to shine be serious about it. That’s the most important part in this project. I want them to shine man.

What label is Made gonna come out on?
Um, you never know.

Are you still Rap-A-Lot?
Um, you never know.

I heard Sony signed you.
Well, you never know. Right now I got offers on the table from a few record companies, but I will say it ain’t no place like home and I hope that we can work it to where I can stay home. I’d much rather deal with somebody that I can deal with than deal with someone I can’t see. Not saying that I can’t see them at Sony, but it’s everday with J. Prince. I can go to his ranch or I can go to his house.

So right now you are shopping this deal? You’re free to do that?
Yeah I’m free. I’m a free agent. I mean it’s slimming down though. I’ll have a deal real soon. But for the most part I just want to be somewhere where the let me exercise the freedom of having my own shit. I’m not a control freak, but I do want control over my own project. I don’t want to be covered up by somebody elses imprint anymore. If you notice on the album I’m doing with The Product it’s strictly the Underground Label, that’s my label. I don’t want to be shadowed in my career anymore. I feel like I’m a fucking boss, and that’s why I’m naming my new album Made. Cuz I am Made now. I think that after all of this fuckin’ time and being consistent and being able to pop one of my CD’s in and play it all the way through. I’m Made. After repeating that shit six, seven, eight times, not counting the Balls and My Word album. That was just a whole lot of shit that never came out, but it was still up to date. I never released it, it was more or less an album of rough takes. But it still did fairly well and I look forward to doing even better on an independent level. My biggest fear when stepping out on my own was failing. But shit, I think that a man fails when he don’t try. So at least I could say that I stepped out on my own and gave it the old college try. I mean, everybody love me dog, everybody wanna fuck with me. So I gotta do this for myself. I gotta do this for my own personal satisfaction. To say you know what man, I came out on my own shit and I broke some cold blooded niggas. You can bet, remember when you used to be able to go in the record store and see anything with that Boogie Down Productions label on it? Or with that Cold Chillin’ logo on it? You bought it because you already knew it was gonna be fire. That’s how I want my shit to be. This Underground Railroad shit, everything that’s governed by the Southern Union Act, there’s gonna be some bad ass shit. I’m working with this other cat out of Louisiana named Vicious, he was in a group called the X-Mob, I’m fucking with him now. He’s signed with the Underground Railroad and I’m gonna start on his shit. He’s got a lot of shit to talk about.

It was just about this time last year when you were talking about giving up music completely.
Yeah. But shit, I can’t stop now. It ain’t a money thing cuz I don’t give a fuck if I don’t ever get no more money. It’s more of a damn, I can do it thing now know what I mean? It ain’t about money. Cuz I’m cutting ludicrous deals. Niggas is like “Man you’d be a damn fool to give them this deal.” That’s the kind of deals I’m cutting with my artists. We’re doing one album deals, I’ll blow their shit up, if they still wanna do business with me, lets do it. We split the ownership of the masters, take your own fucking publishing and we bust the paper down. I’m not tripping off the money.

Do you own any of your masters or your publishing?
Yeah. Well, I own half of my publishing and I own half of my masters.

I assume these deals come from what you learned over time in your own career.
Shit. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. That’s how that shit went with me. You learn a lot of shit just being fooled. And then fooling is not always someone fooling you, it’s you not knowing. Just because some shit reads a certain way doesn’t mean that it means that in the English language. You got contractual language and you also got the English language. And contract language is like you reading a bible from King James edition. The Old Testament. Thou and Thee and Ye, you know?

I kind of expected to hear more from the band this year, what’s up with that?
Well, I was taking a break to learn classical guitar first before I brought my band back out. I got some great fuckin’ guitars too. Check that Les Paul out. At my house I got a boat load of guitars. I got a 1965 Fender Stratocaster that I just took up to Rockin’ Robin. I think I paid about $3,000 for it and I got an offer for $20,000 for it. It’s rare, it’s a left handed 1965 and all original too. It’s in great shape. The band is working, they doing they thing somewhere. We gonna start working again soon. I want to do some shows for charity with them. Do something for the victims of Katrina or something. That’s all I care about. How the fuck did FEMA fuck off $500 billion dollars? Fuckin’ asses. $500 billion is gone? There’s not 500 billion people in America.

There’s not 500 billion people in China.
O.k.? How many people are out there in New Orleans? They blaming everything that happens in Houston now on New Orleans people. I think the mentality was “We ain’t got nothing so we gonna get something.” But I think shit’s gonna settle down and niggas gonna find they niche out here. I can’t be mad and be like “Fuck that or fuck this.” Cuz it could have easily been niggas from Houston, so I feel their pain. I’m down with them. And nigga shit go on all across the country. You know what I mean? That shit, I hate that they try to put the blame on New Orleans like it’s them that’s out here trippin’. We been out here trippin’. They been out there trippin’. They trippin’ in Philly, in New York, Cleveland, they trippin’ in Mississippi. Nigga is trippin’ period. You can’t just say it’s the people from New Orleans and it’s they fault shit fucked up. Shit been fucked up. I think when we stop aiming, and myself too, when we stop aiming our anger at each other and aim our anger at the oppressor, and I’m not talking about the white man period, I’m talking about the motherfucker that’s in the higher position that control all this shit, then we’ll be straight.

What’s that going to take? A lot of people don’t even know who it is in the higher positions. They don’t pay any attention, and the people trying to tell them don’t really get heard too well.
Yeah. Well, rumor has it that the best way to hide something from a nigga is to put it in a book because niggas don’t read. But I guarantee you that if niggas started reading the history of slaving and the slave shit movement you’ll understand it and you’ll know exactly who to blame. Cuz, believe it or not it’s all in the books. Them motherfuckers not ashamed of what they did, at all.

Well, you have to find the right books.
Shit, you can go on the internet and just start typing in shit. Or you can go to the library and just start looking at shit from the 1800’s. All our so-called heroes like George Washington’s slave driving ass, Andrew Johnson’s slave driving ass.

When did you first start learning about this stuff?
I mean, I always been on top of my history. But when I finally sat down and started reading it in writing, it was a couple of years ago I’d say. Long story short man, now that I know what’s really going on and now that I see the conspiracies against niggas and how the plans against the ghetto is real evident, it’s just out there man. You see it when you hit these different neighborhoods. You live here and go down the block you got Starbucks, good restaurants. You go to the hood you got the unhealthy shit. Fried chicken, hamburgers, McDonalds, everything that run a nigga blood pressure up and shoot a nigga sugar levels sky high. On top of the stress level of just being out there with doubt, shit that kill your ass like that. Your ass is dead. And then you gotta look at, in the 1970’s is when I saw my first real Chinese and Vietnamese people. They were all stacked up in a one bedroom apartment, but them people came out here with a plan. And now if you go out there in Bellaire, they own all that shit. Look at the Mexicans. They used to live in these apartments where I lived off of Stella Link and there was a fuckin’ shit load of them. There was thousands of them in one area. They’d get off of work, they’d turn that music up and they’d drink beer. Then you look around, ten, fifteen years later, you got Telemundo and TV stations in Spanish, Hispanic people owning all this shit and then you gotta turn around and look at yourself and ask “Goddamn nigga where you been?” Like “Goddamn cuz, they beating yo’ ass.” Look at the Iranians. They get over here and they own all this shit too. Then you gotta look at niggas and say “Goddamn nigga where the fuck you been?” Then you always hear about how they travel back home at least twice a year. Whether it be China or Brasil or wherever they from. They travel back a couple times a year. Then you be like, fuck, if a nigga travel back home then he might not be able to make it back. Cuz a nigga home is in captivity. The penitentiary, doing that free labor shit. That slave shit. Everybody else got someplace to go. The Mexicans can go back to Mexico, the Chinese can go back to China, the Vietnamese can go back to Vietnam, you know? Niggas, if niggas go home they going to the penitentiary. Them Africans don’t want yo ass over there nigga. The Africans don’t feel niggas like that. The American Negro is weak as fuck. Them over there in Africa they ridin’, they don’t give a fuck. They ride. R-I-D-E ride. Them motherfuckers got guns, riding through the neighborhood shooting up, if you get a fuckin’ problem out there, them motherfuckers not finna come with no signs and shit. Them motherfuckers gonna come with guns just like everybody else. Niggas is the only coward motherfuckers that’ll walk around with a sign and talk shit. I’m not trying to discredit the Million Man March or whatever that shit is at all, but man if you really wanna see a change, crank that shit up. I’m down. But I’m not gonna be down by myself. Fuck that. I don’t need Jesse Jackson speaking on my behalf. I need Jesse Jackson to come pick up one of these rifles. All that old shit talkin’? Al Sharpton, that’s my nigga. I love Al Sharpton, Marion Berry, I love them niggas, Martin Luther King, I love that shit, but fuck that shit. I’m not trying to do no motherfucking singing no more. The revolution will not be televised? You ain’t never lie, that motherfucker ain’t gonna never happen. Niggas too busy going for self. They talking all that bullshit, we gonna do this, we gonna do that, we ain’t been did it. Shit, you in it for self motherfucker! “Make sure you leave your donation in the receptacle out front.” Man fuck that shit man. Put me down, lets go get our own shit. So when a motherfucker saying he going home he can take his ass back to Nigga.

But America as a whole, we’re a pretty pathetic country when it comes to paying attention to what’s going on and everybody gets walked on. No one is paying attention.
Well, America dug their own grave and they’re digging it deeper, but I will assure you that America will make it. White America will make it. The black America that’s trying to blend in? You never stop being a nigga. You get educated you’re just an educated nigga. You get rich you just a rich nigga. But you never stop being a nigga. Quote, unquote. YOU never stop, ever, being a nigga man. They go over there fucking with them people in Iraq. They not having that shit. They not gonna let nobody come over in they shit like the Africans did and take the Africans away and break they ass and turn them into niggas. We can’t go back to Africa. You wouldn’t know how to survive in Africa. You don’t have a chance in Africa. You from fuckin’ Sunnyside nigga take yo ass back to jail.

Yeah but you can talk about them bringing the guns and all that shit, but in Africa I think the people there have more respect for the earth and for genuine humanity and from where we genuinely came from. Their instincts are still in tact and they can still survive out there…
Well I can’t see past the picture frame. I just see the picture that’s painted in that situation. All I see is niggas is together out there. All I can see is Nelson Mandela…

They’re not together over there! You got tribes living 20 yards away from each other that are at war.
Yeah but I bet can’t nobody go over there fucking with them. I bet all them motherfuckers come together when somebody start fucking with them over there. Shit, when a nigga get in trouble over here with them people? Shit. Every successful black individual or business has to deal with this government scrutiny man. That’s hit ain’t right. You ain’t fuckin’ with Bill Gates. He may have monopolized and you sued him for monopolizing the market but he gone, he out of the media now. You not following him around. You not following Mark Cuban around. Why they fucking with these niggas? Why they mad at a nigga trying? What other way is there to better our situation? Our education is limited. We not zoned to the right area to teach a nigga something. We got shit that my mama was taught in school in the 40’s and 50’s. We got them fuckin’ text books. No child left behind? Man, fuck you. Fuck you man. I don’t need no help from them people. All I need form them is for them to leave me alone. And if some of the niggas out there feel the same way I do then lets do something about it. But I ain’t talking about it and I’m not doing no marching and I ain’t holding no picket sign neither. I know it ain’t the white boy next door that’s calling all these shots or just hating a nigga like this. Not hate like playa hate, I’m talking about HATRED. The government hate niggas. The reason they let niggas work in the government is so they won’t look so suspicious.

Is The Product talking about anything like this?
No, we kept this real street. It’s super street.

So how does that help the cause?
Just that right there is my own personal issue with America. The Product don’t really touch on that shit. But this Made album will. But I’m not finna jump Public Enemy on y’all.

But you always talked politics.
Yeah I did a song on the Katrina issue man. I said if that shit was of government interest that shit would have already been rebuilt. Them levees would have never broke. But with this Product shit, you can’t force feed politics. You don’t want to put them into one side of the business. It’s hard as fuck for me to make the transition from who I am to being a more aware nigga on what’s really going on, the political part of what being black mean. You a nigga, you strong than a motherfucker and you’d make good for picking this fucking cotton. Strong nigga, you can get 40 years of work off this nigga. I’ll offer $400 for him.

But in a sense, you are coming out with a record when pretty much every rap song being played for the public is about being rich or getting rich, you’re talking in this interview about a whole nother thing. You’re talking about a whole nother level of awareness. There’s a lot of other things that can be said.
I agree. We need to do something, shit.

Do you feel like you may need to avoid some of the politics in your music in this day and age?
Um, I don’t know. I’m not going to avoid a motherfucking thing. I don’t give a fuck. I’m not gonna bite my tongue neither. It is what it is and a squab will go with it. I ain’t gonna hide shit, I don’t give a fuck.

Who’d you work with on production?
Me, Tone Capone, Bido and Big Time played a big part in this too. Big Time that was with the Swishahouse. I just thank him for sharing his ideas with me. He’s a very good dude. Very savvy on Protools, very savvy on the drum machine. I owe a lot of praise to Big Time on this shit. Cuz he really showed me some tricks.

The early Swishahouse stuff he produced was really radical sounding.
It really was. Big Time. That shit I did on the intro for his album was dope.


Anonymous LeanSippa said...

Dope!!...Real Shit!!...Tight Interview!!...

See y'all soon...smoke sessions...ha...

7:30 PM  
Blogger EMVEE1 said...

Quality interview, hopefully Scarface and K Rino hook up and release something down the track!

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MATT!!! you are the realest! damn, im ready for scarface to take it to the next level.Hella, reppin frisco, tell scarface to bring that political shit cause in the bay we've been cocked and ready to see change. feel me? peace.
-brown mon

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great interview Matt! You stepped it up for sure.

Brad- Fucking call me damnit!!!


2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait.. is "Made" different from "My Homies II"

5:31 PM  
Blogger Pushermania said...

Yes Made is different from MY Homies 2.

6:24 AM  
Blogger TexasHeater said...

Wow!!! I am very impressesed. I would very much like to see Scarface live with some of his new shit!!!

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitley great interview. Ready for that Made shit.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Larger_Than_Life said...

Scarface IS the best rap artist period.Anyone say diffrent fuckem.I was bumpin face when i was 8,9 years old. Everytime i look up some new face, willie D bushwick shit i find it on this site i think its great.every article is in depth and REAL.I cant wait to hear all the new face shit i got every album put out no need to stop buyin em now all these years and i still like face and the geto boys no matter what comes out it never beats the oldschool fellas like face,D,& Wick. These guys are livin legends and im lookin forward to earnin em all agian because alot of these new guys on "MTV" & "BET" juss aint got it. KNOW WHAT I MEAN???Im sayin talent is out there it juss isnt reconized.

***any way great job on article you picked the right man to*** interview

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

scarface sound just like saigon in this interview.saigon said the same things but went more in detail. maybe scarface will do like ras kass and and make a nature of the threat type song.
also i would love a k-rion scarface collab i hope they make that happen
Larger_Than_Life is not gonna like me because as much as i love scarface i think k-rino is slightly better

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was a joke right?

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Sneak said...

Kind of disappointed the interviewer didn't ask about the possibility of more Geto Boys music. Will there be another album or are they finished as a group? That's the burning question Geto Boys fans would like the answer to.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good interview, matt. i really like how you broke down the political issue.

4:03 PM  
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9:38 PM  

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