Talib Kweli And Ras Kass Talk Nature Of A Threat, Dr. Dre, Jail Time, Royce da 5’9″ | People’s Party

Peace of love party people this is
Talib Kweli you are in tune to another episode of the people’s party with Talib
Kweli and the wonderful Jasmine Lee give it up — cheers everybody — How you doin Jasmin? —
I’m doing amazing I love when you give it up for me so thank — gotta give it
up for you, gotta give it up to you! You’re an amazing co-host — I’m amazing? — yeah
you’re pretty amazing Jasmine is a good friend of mine we have
another good friend of mine here today today’s People’s Party guest is not just
a rapper he is a lyricist he is an MC he is an actor he is an all-around swell
guy he’s a friend of mine he’s wanted a classic legendary not just west coast
but globally recognized emcees on the planet ladies and gentlemen boys and
girls give it up for Ras Kass what’s up Rassy? — Happy to be here, happy to see you — Yeah
man — People’s Party — yeah man I’ve gotten to talk to a lot of my friends doing
this — I’ve noticed — Some of the people I’ve met through social media but as
you’ve seen as a couple of people that I know right I’m saying you one of the homies that I know for real — Yea we go back, we got bowling stories — Yea let’s start with that when I first started coming out
to the west coast I would call Rass Kass and one night we went on a double date
bowling at like some Korean gangster bowling alley that he took me to. Thank you for that you show me the real Los Angeles we had a good time
um your name Rass Kass, not your real name that’s your MC name — I say it differently, Native American certain tribes they name themselves — you named yourself — It is the name that I took for myself — okay So it is my real name, it is now my birth name, it’s my name. What does it mean — Ras Kass was actually a historical figure he was an Ethiopian prince fighting with a Menelik II for
control of Shewa as I was reading it he was John the fourth I’m technically
John the fourth on my birth certificate I’m John Austin John Richard Austin the
second number two but my grandfather and my great-grandfather were John Austin
some John Austin I’m John the fourth John Austin the fourth and I felt like
at the time I was trying to figure out who I would call myself who I wanted to
be I knew I wanted to be an emcee I was already getting out of yourself and I
didn’t want to keep my slave name as we call it and so it hit me I was
just like I am John The Fourth and helped you know lay some respect to my
father you know my biological and and into my culture in my history so because
I’m not the Ras it would be pronounced Ras Kass like Rastafari and Jah
Rastafari I’m like Nah I’m a Cali dude RaZ I put a 20 on it so I called it
Ras Kass instead of Ros Koss But KRS-1 still calls me that — Ros Koss — Ros Koss do you understand the meaning of the
name Ras Kass — You gotta put your pinkie up when you say that — um you’ve told me on more than
one occasion that you did not like me when we first met — Oh! Ok, so, wow you went there too. Let’s tell the truth — I think it’s a funny story yeah uh yeah because I was a fan right
we go to London to do Tim Westwood hmm and I lose my voice and quad decides
it’s the first time to tell because I’m working this is my second albums come
out and I’ve already kind of taken some flak from like magazine writer saying
I’m some degree of like I’m trying to almost implication like I sold out
because I did a song with dr. dre and I’m like dude I’m a West Coast dude I’m
a prisoner imma you know I’m talk about homeys gangbang and I’m with Battlecat
every other day I’m being true to myself and trying to be true that you know
hip-hop and you guys are creating this one expectation that everything I do has
to be lyrical Styles lyrical styles when I’ve always done hood music too you know
mixed in there and Kwel decided to tell me that he felt like I let him down, and I couldn’t speak, so I couldn’t speak. And then you know, we went bowling I think we’ve been partying in New York a lot
yeah so Ras Kass you know I don’t Ras Kass used to be in New York a lot
you still be in New York — yeah — yeah like when when I was first coming up in the
game at Roc its like I go out to the party we go out to Lotus, Nail Skills or something
some you know somebody DJ Goldfinger be be DJing or something you know we be at all the
hottest clubs Ras Kass was in there with that fur coat — No! Sweating? — No understand what the design of a meek is for, it’s to keep it insulated in hot or cold You can wear a meek in the summer and feel great, Wise from the Rangers, he called it the Stinking Minkin — It’s so funny my Grandmother is 92 about to be 93 and she’s already told me that I
get the Mink Coat when she takes her demise so I’m excited to see — They’re beautiful things I mean you know at the time I was you know I was rebelling a little bit
from my label so that was the one treat to myself was to buy the mink — You
talked about being a West Coast MC and um one thing I noticed like you’ve
always been back and forth from New York and clearly you’re influenced by New
York um I heard you on K Slade talk you just mentioned the Rangers right yeah
kay slay was talking about you wanted their first mcs come up to his tenement
project apartment and lay down freestyles in New York City. You know I’ve seen you talk about in interviews how you used to sort of reconstruct people’s albums or fix people’s albums in your head but you talked about New
York state of mind being a perfect song that was the first perfect song I had ever heard. You know as a fan I’m a fan first and I hope I will always be a fan first because if I
wasn’t a student of this and learning and appreciating it I don’t think I
deserve to be in it you know people just want the bag you know do something else
man you kind of wasting energy and karma and you know — the platform — Yea, you
wasting space on our platform so I would study you know I heard you know you know
for one III I loved the records but I always feel like if he would have just
fixed this one line he’ll do it to myself like I listen back like ahh he shouldn’t have said that like if you just changed this one structure of this of this two
bars it would have been sicker because it’s
that whole line for line thing like lyrically how do you get better and
better and better and just raising that bar and yeah New York state of mind I
can honestly say I remember first time hearing it being completely blown away
and there was only one line I thought I would fix it then I changed my mind
— which line? — “Once they caught me off-guard the mac-10 was in the grass and I ran
like the speed of a cheetah with thoughts of an assassin pick the mac up two
brothers back up the mac split one ran I made him backflip” and I was like
thinking about if you really hit somebody with a tank, then he
ain’t gonna do no backflip alright I made his back split and that was the
only fix in the Rhyme and I was ok with it cuz I was like he just shot him so so
hard he literally did a backflip but that was the only fix in that rap it’s
the first perfect rap I feel like I think it’s the perfect, it’s visual the
storytelling is immaculate the word play the feel, the vibe the production he picked
the right record, like he bodied that record I can’t dispute that for me that record
would probably be follow leader I like that’s a perfect rap record — yes — I
felt like Rakim took me in outer space you listened that record like
wow I’m up there with the balls of clay yeah but I bring that up because — I
couldn’t understand all the rhymes because thinking about it
just to add on to that as a la person we don’t we didn’t have a big 5%
population five percenters so I just now be picking up bars from Rakim like last week. I think that was
already over that was over my head probably at the time cuz I remember the
first time he said I’m God I was like Oh that must be New York slang like Gow, G O W or something, that must mean something else — because you can’t be calling yourself God — Yea I grew up Catholic, like “you going to hell!” as you continue to listen to it you get
something more from it every time and how you said like you know you have to
grow into it sometimes there’s a lot of things that you listen to when you were
a child or whatever that you were rapping the words but you really didn’t
understand what you were talking about and as you, you know get more life
experiences you’re just like oh that’s what you were talking about —
I listen to oldies and realize just how grimy they was talking, they talking slick and perverted — they hid it a lot more back in the day though you had to like know what they were
talking about — When you watch the Fab Five documentary about marijuana and he says
that back in the days jive was slang for weed which I didn’t know and it makes a
lot a lot of Records make a lot more sense — if you see, I didn’t see the Fab Five documentary, I should go watch it I heard it was lit as a lyricist from west coast though, I’ve heard this before
from other lyricist from the west coast is that the shadow of NWA
and dr. Dre and Ice Cube and obviously what they did was very artistic and
culturally relevant and very lyrical but you know the shadow of gangsta rap which
was started by NWA was sort of very big and hard for a lot of people to escape
from is that a true thing — I would say yes I think the community or the west
coast everything else was coexisting it was
what the the market started trying to determine what was viable because you
got to remember at the same time you still had Dale you know Dale got to
come out and do mr. da ballina right you know — but he had to just he had
to market it like, this is Ice Cube’s cousin — he was and they were we still call it like you know only up until
recently did people not have to succeed based off the NWA family tree mm-hmm
really 2009 maybe you know everything’s kind of been from that tree and and and
it was there was a time when you could still you know they were they weren’t
necessarily exclusive to each other it was a time where the gangster party had
the hip hop heads and hip hop heads had the gangster party in it because they
were all from same neighborhood they all grew up together and then we got that
differentiation it was really based on record sales and then but what the
market would label started determining what’s viable and then you know
artists tend to pare it you know what they hear like oh well we this and y’all
that originally it wasn’t that there was a hard fight I mean honestly there was
there was very few of us getting signed getting major record deals because you
know labels just felt like why should I get that when I can get another another
Ice Cube and you know or you know you and you weren’t gonna get another Ice
Cube you’re gonna get a get rice cube he’s gonna get a fake version you know what I mean? But you know labels aren’t really in the business necessarily of finding talent a lot of times they’re
just looking for oh you guys got a prince we want a Prince — and that’s the
problem because you can’t keep replicating people and that’s why things
are not as genuine you have somebody doesn’t even know the other
person’s story they’re trying to rap like — Exactly — um you said that New York
had the influence of the 5% and the more cultural influence and you you joked
about just now getting things that Rakim said but some people might say they
just now getting things you said in nature of a threat or nature or Interview with the Vampire well for me I was I was getting
knowledge itself but it wasn’t 5% I was stepping into nation of Islam Moorish
the Moorish Nation, Nation of Islam so my my information base was different
although akin to and related to 5% where somebody else you know wherever you get
it Encyclopedia you know you know I didn’t know what Umi Says mean at first just not you know I don’t have that cultural background you know I grew up a Catholic
so there’s certain things that you know you get it where you getting you build
the rest of it as a foundation and so for me I was always history and Moorish science is what I was building on and so that’s why I was coming out the way it
came out and why some people couldn’t get it you know just certain songs, Nation of Threat, you
know there was some people that really felt offended — I was thinking about
interviewing you and I was watching some of your old interviews and you expressed
surprisingly to me a little bit of regret about that record — uh yeah — now to me nature of the threat I think for a lot of hip-hop heads whether you’re white
black whatever it is considered a standard bearer for lyrical hip-hop like
what people were like Oh hip-hop is dumb is not lyrical is not smart have you
ever heard Ras Kass Nature of the Threat — Right — you know me obviously I’m a pro black rapper — right — I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong
with that record — This is was my only regret I don’t regret the facts I can’t
change what the facts are thesis’ start with an opinion
and then you use facts to prove the opinion
and so at the time I was pretty fired up and I feel like I was a little meaner
there’s a way I could do tough love, or facts right and so I don’t regret the
song I don’t regret making the song. It was in my spirit, it was meant to be said it’s
like it needed to be said that it flowed out so so naturally it is what it is I
don’t regret that I just felt like sometimes you gotta put the medicine with
a little Kool Aid or something I was just strictly like shut up, eat the medicide, and to my company’s credit back then because that was on my demo So they knew what they was getting. We use to have those conversations what did you think was gonna happen I
brought eight-minute history on racism and the evolution of humanity like when
do you think I’m going to jump out a 6’4 with no hook. What do you think I was gonna
put on a jheri curl hat, and jump out a 6’4, that’s what it is, cause to me it’s like a uniform. All of a sudden everyone had braids and a khaki suit walking. Honestly, I literally remember telling the owner of my company like bro I
forgot how to crip walk before you met me. I forgot how to I been doing this shit bro, I’m cut from
this cloth and I got some information and some knowledge and some self and some
direction from older homies that want to see me do better why would I go
backwards on my homies — when you um did Soul on Ice it was very impactful back in
you know turn 20 in 2016 and now you’re doing another one why do you feel it’s
important to redo it and are you worried about you know that legendary song like
having — Oh the album — It’s a whole entire album, for me Soul on Ice 2 was not necessarily something that I was
gonna revisit and now like I’ve done a couple of projects in the past three
years cuz you know first it would have been like my 20th anniversary and just
in the past like a year and a half I just felt like I was recording these
records that subconsciously were for something
and I had to just take inventory and understand what I wanted to do and how I
felt and you know like I’m a firm believer of you know never never never
put out a rhyme before it’s time never put a Song out before its time the
blasphemy record I wrote those records in 2005 half of them I just set them to
side and they didn’t come out until 10 years later with this it was just time for me to
take some inventory it’s almost 25 years of my life I’ve
been doing this for more than half my entire life you know doing it like we’re
blessed to be able to look up and have that kind of journey whether it had all
the bubbles and the you know the 18 bentleys and all of that, that’s not what’s
valid to me the fact that I got to pursue my dream have a life have a
career doing something I love and look at you know take some inventory about
Who I am as a human being what have I learned have I ever you know I do out
you know did I get better do I get worse and then the other part was
outside of looking in the mirror for me was looking at society when I wrote
Nature of Threat how wrong was I I think it’s getting worse
— mm-hmm that record is very relevant –yeah I mean a lot of that album hold up,
it’s literally song for song relevant and I wanted to analyze that in and of
itself to look at myself like the first songs on the album is called Silver
Anniversary and I’m about 25 years later what’s different I’m like not much -Especially in Trump’s America it’s like
we’re going backwards — well I just said that some regression so I think I’m even
more right than ever and it just was you know it was just certain songs I was
never trying to do like for brand purposes number two but for me this was
the second stage of me looking in the mirror right 25 years older 25 years
later and and and trying to do some self analysis about Who I am as a person
— um you spoke about accolades and not receiving the accolades that people get
with them with their material items but I mean you and me both got Source Rhyme of the Month, that’s like a huge accolade you know what I’m saying? Remain Anonymous is the
record right yeah I got two! – you got two? I only got one so look at that but explain how that feel for people
who are not MCS what that means — You know for me that’s all
look my journey started simple and they always say be careful what you ask for
it but I’m very thankful for what I’ve gotten and so all I really wanted was a
tape or a record with my voice and my face on it
to give to my mother because she believed in me and I wanted everybody
cuz I’m a fan first I’m on my all my all the people I looked up to I wanted them
to say you’re dope I’m wanted Nas Tu Pac and Big Daddy Kane and you
know too many to mention Redman Wu tang Clan to say you know, Mos Def, Kweli a gang of people I wanted them to say you dope, Common, Twister whatever I keep on keep on going this is what I wanted to
get and then let alone getting a source dopest quotable — twice — twice the first
time just I’m like okay like I’m you know these are people that change and
affected my journey my life I’m thankful to this culture it gave everybody the
majority people I know and lots of people I don’t know this this music in
one way shape or form has given them a life a career a journey and so you know
to be appreciative of that and be regarded as really good at doing what we
do you know that’s always humbling for me you know I wish I wish we still
collectively appreciated the craft of being a lyricist because this is in 2019
and I don’t you know I don’t like to be the bitter old guy that’s not my job
like we still look like kids especially me, I’m going to be over here out here being a kid until I can’t quit — I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid — you know this is the only job where
being whack at it is the reward like you can’t be the Indy 500 driver and keep crashing the car
started they’re not gonna let you drive a car you can’t be the guitar player
like I’m nothing you can’t say I’m the fastest man alive
and you know, you moonwalking. So this is the one thing we like rap but I
don’t care about your lyrics so I don’t know when we turned into like full moron
we’re being bad at what you do is is the reward now — we were we were talking
about it like before when Angela Rye was here because it’s like a difference
between how hip-hop and rap used to be and now it’s this pop rap and this like you
know cuz when rap first came out it was about storytelling and you mentioned
that right there it’s like how many songs that are out right now are really
telling a story to where you can follow it from beginning to end it’s just
random words that rhyme and a hot beat yeah some comedian it was pretty cool
some I just saw it tagged and somebody tagged me on it a young lady comedian
and she she was doing Roxanne Roxanne mm-hmm and she was she run the first
verse of Roxanne Roxanne and then she did another successful right now group and it was really bad by comparison you know I can’t tell people what to like
but I do think that people are people are normally consumers and not
connoisseurs and stuff we were just having this conversation upstairs about
wine and some people know how to take the glass and stir it and sniff it, “Oh 1782” the little Bourbon and they know they understand all that most people aren’t connoisseurs
of music so they just if you keep showing it to enough they’ll buy it so
it’s kind of like the McDonald’s effect We all know McDonald’s is not good for you, unless its your sponsor, McDonald’s give me some many, then it’s really good Sell your soul for a chicken nugget Marketing, they have marketed things to the point where
they’ve tricked you into thinking the food that ain’t good for you because
everybody else likes it it’s got to be good and so we’ve kind of been trained
on a diet of trash I mean I always advise people to like you know go
somewhere honestly get out of this country and go
eat a piece of fish you know have a salad we keep trying to buy organic and
even our organic ain’t for real like like drink some real water it’ll
change your life eat some real meat, it’s a whole different, you don’t get the itis, you get energy off the food and water when its not all pollutants and all this other stuff they add in — money controls everything because if you have money to pay for the marketing that is
what people are gonna going to look at so it’s like you go on the radio and
it’s all the trash songs with you know the beats that’s all you’re hearing on
the radio so if you don’t have access to any other music you’re gonna think like
that’s good because that’s what you’re listening to — Exactly — And that’s what that’s even a new thing because when Ras started and I started it wasn’t that
it was only the free radio there was no radio you could pay for internet that
you had that you can you know I’m saying it wasn’t like that and it’s
interesting that when people have more choices how they take in less
information — Well because you know now for instance you know that you happen
you have a conversation and you’re in your phone is by you, you have a
conversation about whatever tampons next thing you know is 10 billion, I just I’m
sorry I’m clearly using a tampon analogy uh you have a conversation about it and
the next thing you know that’s all that’s on your Instagram you know what I mean because the algorithms and the algorithms are set up for that like you
just give like a little hint and then they’re like just showing you those ads
so you can literally and for instance I was talking to one of
my friends and she looked at somebody’s Instagram that was like 20 we don’t see
20 year-olds instagrams because we’re not following them but their Instagram
is is in a state of shock and it’s like all they’re seeing is the cucumber
sucking and all that other stuff so they’re like oh this is cool rather than —
That’s funny because all I see is people my age talk about how wack it is If it wasn’t for the shade room we probably
would have seen it at all because it would have stayed on the little kids
stuff but you know — I just seen like spinderella talking about how wack it is
Bony love confused about what’s going on — I’m like in the middle, have the young followers and the older ones so like I see a little bit of both — Um you
were but very deliberate though about this sort of fraternity of MCS
throughout your entire career you’ve been in groups you’ve you know and I
want to ask you about Golden State Warriors too because I wanna know what’s
going on with that but you’ve been very much like what what are we doing guys
you know you like you started at your first big record was with on with the
sway and King Tech on the street fighter soundtrack and you was on with some
impressive emcees but since then like when I’m listening to Ras Kass Spotify
it’s all these records with just rappers and producers working-class bar for bar
rappers and producers like you’re like whatever I’m gonna come do a song with
you you know why you like that? Cause i’m like that too It’s the right thing to do — I’m
right there too but I find is rare it’s rare not everybody’s built like how we
built –They don’t care about the craft –Theres no, like people and I think artists are visionaries,
artists be like so when you get on your career becomes about maintaining
being on so you start being tunnel vision about what I got to do what makes
business sense and you stop thinking but everything I hear from you everything I
see from you is not as not it’s very competitive it’s like I’m competing with Ya’ll, I’m competing — Friendly competition — yeah I’m competing I’m competing but
we’re all in it together I’m a fan first again and
I enjoy networking doing creative things with creative people so I’m not you know
I’m lucky I’ve worked with dr. Dre you know DJ premier you know even Kanye you
know that but you know Willie’s mama from down the street might have a cool
beat right so I don’t really care about all that and I think you know I would
hope because we don’t know what the future holds
you know nobody you know knows you may be the most popping thing trending in a
month we don’t know you know I don’t want to because I’m dead but you
know them for some really positive and poppin and then you pay attention to the
music but I want to make music for the sake of making music When I hear
records I’m almost A&R whether I’m hearing my homeboys music we’re or it’s
my music I’m nine times out of ten I’m like you know who would sound kind of
dope just maybe on the hook on this part just for the intro so you know I always
at least try to reach out to people that I hear on things to say hey man would
you like to be a part of I wouldn’t mind if you just did this part you know like
it was really dope to for the new album man you know I mean reached out to Cee-lo I know his time is money I can’t afford all, I can’t afford to pay him, he didn’t even ask me for nothing, he was just like “Yo I got you” and he bodied it and then the dopes thing was
just like cuz I heard him on this record I’m like yo I hear you on the hook
“you want me to do a verse?” and I was like, well not really. You know, no disrespect, you know I heard the singing part but feel free, maybe you hear something I don’t hear it was just dope, that’s how I want to be let’s make the record the best record it
could be not — the record is king — right don’t be the groupie about who’s
popular, I’ve watched that many times the people just groupie on
whoever’s popular it’s not even for the sake of making a hot record or a great
record it’s about you just being wack being being being corny about who’s
popular today you know bro I’ve been popular since
middle school That’s that Libra baby! I always know the Libras I know I have a problem —
I’m a Libra too 26 — 29 — I hate to say for the culture I
love the creative aspect of making music that I think’s I think is really cool
right hopefully other people can enjoy that journey with me you know whether
they’re popular or not so that’s with MCS I’m always you know I’m always
reaching out to people based on what the music is telling me — Um and thank you for
having me on Barmageddon’ by the way well thank you brother you killed it —
um I overheard you upstairs mention that your father was a police officer —
yes sir — the first record that came on my radar from Ras Kass — Miami life — it’s Miami life — I
have never that’s my dad literally — What was
that like when he first heard that record how do he respond to it — Um, I don’t know. I’ve
said in interviews and being perfectly honest yeah I was my pops
I’m like two sides of the same coin to me and my pops he’s the you know
six-foot marine police officer you know you know rigid and I’m the one with a
bottle, like 5’1 like I remember telling my friends I ain’t 5-1 that was a joke but
the point is yeah like for example I remember knowing what time certain
shifts police police like departments like divisions like all
they they changed shifts between blah blah blah and blah blah blah so I tell
my honeys what time to go rob stuff — oh my god — I was like these cars are going in
and those guys gotta wait til the other ones comes to wait till they almost get to the middle of the station then you rob stuff so then they don’t if they gotta turn around and come back — So I have a question, since your father is a cop you
grew up you know in that dynamic so how did how do you feel about you know the
cop violence that is going on and they’re protesting against the cops and
like you know when people are disrespecting all cops because you know
they’re saying all cops are bad if they not are not speaking up on in justices
— Well III never speaking in completes, or absolutes there’s no absolute monolithic anything
for one way. With police we need to be talking about it because they killing a lot of
people my pops personally told me that at some point he
kind of got forced out of retirement because his partner planted drugs on a
Mexican dude he says, I don’t know whether his partner was black white asian
Latino I don’t know, but I remembered that time period and I’m not gonna lie I
think he’s said it’s a white guy, like I just don’t want to incriminate somebody and I don’t know for certain, the point of the
matter is they knew he was a known drug dealer but they didn’t catch him that
time so dude just planted something and then my father had to talk had to
talk to my mother and she’s like you got to do the right thing yeah and so he had
to go testify — Wow– it was like well you better
watch your back right you gotta watch you back because if they start shootin they’re not gonna protect you so my father had to retire so I mean at the
same time I was saying that the police he was going through his own journey
saying after police having to stand for what he believed in
but yeah we need to be talking about it you know when you kill them look I don’t
wish this on nobody but there’s a problem with Americans there’s a problem
with America when you think one kind of life is less than another — oh yeah — and we
have that problem in America where unfortunately white people can
rationalize what happens to a black child like well maybe he shouldn’t have thrown his hands up but if somebody did that to your mother your father your kid or your
baby you would, theres an empathy problem in America —
oh yeah right and the thing is at the end of the day they’re they’re killing
people for no reason and we’ve seen so many different cases where there is a
white person getting arrested I literally saw a video of this dude
dancing and they didn’t shoot him they didn’t they just tackled him and
arrested him — I’ve seen them slap a police officer I’ve seen a Stone Mountain where the dude got his hand on his own his on his pistol and the cop is still like hey you know what’s
going on guy um but it’s interesting what you said about you know she asked
about because that’s that’s a thing in the activist community that there is no
good cops and I have a line on um on a record I got with Jay Electronica all of
us were I say the good cops either retire or get fired you know we all know
the Serpico story so it was like it that’s what I think that people speak to
was that it’s so systemic the police are working for the system they working to
serve and protect the property so even if you a good dude you know when I was
working at Encura books there was an organization called a hundred black cops
and it was led by this one black dude who was in bed stuy I was black cops in
bed-stuy who lived in bed-stuy and which was rare cuz most of the cop lived in
Long Island and was white dudes from Long Island but these guys were in
they made it a point to live in the neighborhoods they were patrolling and
they were trying to be good upstanding cops but I could imagine that it was
very hard for them I could imagine that like you said with your father went
through when you try to do the right thing the system is so toxic that thin
blue line you know what I’m saying, that’s really the problem — They gotta clean
it out — with police accountability I mean you have to, the system is already designed for someone to lose right? So I would say this, it’s a saying and it was, the first they came
for the Communists and I did nothing — Right that’s from the the priest from
Nazi Germany — from Nazi Germany and then they finall came for the jews, so you have a responsibility to all
humanity to do what’s right because if you only care when it
happened to you then it’s too late because it will happen to you too and that’s what I used to tell my Mexican my Latino homies like
you keep doing politics even in prison and hanging out with skinheads people
gonna kill your mama and now they want to build a wall around you and guess
who’s gonna stand up with you to say you don’t build a wall nowhere we will
— That’s right black and brown unity — we black and brown we to stay together, same thing with white people get it together bro of either you either
you part of the human race or you the enemy and that’s what I’m
about but we gonna call a spade a spade if you’re on some fuck
shit I gotta call you out — Can you speak on that a little bit because right now
there’s our country is moving more fascists and more nativist and even in
the black community their black community their people in our community
who hate immigrants and who blame some of the problems that we have some is
systemic problems we have on black people on immigrants and in LA in
particular you have a history of tension between black and brown communities I
feel like the whole black and brown unity in LA is more prevalent in two ways one
because you let definitely have more of a history of detention but
because there’s more of a history of detention there’s more of a need to show
the black of brown unity — Right — um what are your thoughts on that — I think um Kaleem Mohammed, “if a man don’t treat you right what makes you think he would teach you right? as Americans period still celebrating
false holidays and fake this and whatever they won’t teach you niggas
they still teach you that something like some white guy discovered something you can’t discover places with people on it you know so we are miss educated people and
then you know everybody we live in a country that says this is the hierarchy
let’s not play with it white man white woman, Asian man Asian woman, then it’s black woman black man — It’s black man black woman for sure black women are the least protected out of everybody — We can agree to disagree because during
slavery they broke us they raped you guys and made us watch under penalty of
death even my mother and father had to go go to war my mother just had to get
educated she had a different story at struggle and I’m not saying those
struggles or I don’t compare pain some I don’t compare like the Holocaust with
the blah blah blah I say it’s all shit but this caste system was designed to to
cut what castrate black men we were castrating this purposely that’s why you
saw all the shows even in the TV shows it was a strong black woman it was the
lazy slouch ass man they’ve always created that dynamic for us to be
beneath and we got to recognize our power and protect our women I’m not
saying — I think what you’re saying is as accurate I think what she’s saying is
accurate as well because the numbers support the point that jasmine is saying
I think the numbers support that you know when you talk about privilege we’re
talking about who has privilege like we as black men everything you’re saying is
true the system is designed especially we talk about castration because white
supremacy is based on fetish fetishizing us and making sure that we
can’t have children and make sure we don’t take they women and racism the
system of racism is built on that but I think the result of it is because as
women will face the violence more and you know and then when we start talking
about you know LGBT and trans issues like when those communities are dealing
with like the double oppression but I don’t think I don’t think I think
stating those numbers is saying that the numbers back then doesn’t take away from
your point at all about the caste system I say that I say that the black woman is
the least protected because at the end of the day we we are we fight for
feminists that’s for white women we fight for black people, black men and
then it’s like every time when it’s like black women are like furnaces the Chris
Brown situation when Chris Brown was talking about women and good hair
whatever I didn’t see anybody come to the
support of black women but black women but whenever there is an issue with black men black
women are the first — no I think I think obviously at the same way that I think that you’re
correct when you when you talk them out when you talk about the data of who’s
really getting the brunt of it yeah I mean I would have to say like you know
just because I think that black I do think that black women are often
oppressed at the hands of black men so they deal with that just but with
that that’s this is where those conversations break down I think because
while you’re right about that I think to say I didn’t see anybody that’s
perception then and it’s like I think it’s depends on on where you’re looking
it becomes confirmation bias because I think there’s plenty of black men who
disagreed with those Chris Brown lyrics and and I saw that do we need to
step up more absolutely but if what if the conversation starts
what I didn’t see then it’s like it starts to cut off — okay I can I can
understand that — You have had a very unique experience in the industries
because you’ve been around a lot of like you said to dr. Dre’s to Kanye West did
the people like that do you you know the Coolio’s like you’ve been
very very you’ve had major label deals big budget records this and that but
I’ve also heard you speak about just how difficult that was for you to be
yourself in some of those situations um I’ve heard you talk about advice that dr.
Dre gave you could you share some of that with us —
the one thing Dre said to me was uh, I think it was on my second album, no my third album and he was mixing something
you know the kind of thing he is a lover of just good hip-hop like he just likes
music he’s he’s a fan right and so I just remember yeah it was the van Gogh
record and he was like so how you feeling I was like I’m doing okay I think it’s dope he’s like “aw
you ain’t confident” bro I used to watch bro and them got budget they
kicked out Michael Jackson right from the studio paid a million dollars right
beat it right pun intended right so so I was like I don’t have the
resources you have doc I can’t just fly in mary j blige and see if i want her on
the record what I got we got busy you know and I started playing him the records
and he uh, time went on long story short he’s mixing Eminem show and we were in
a Hollywood at a bar he had just finished mastering the sequencing and
master an album so he’s playing me Eminem Show and it’s just me and him and
he’s like “when the album coming out” I was like the company merged and blah blah
blah he’s like “Ras, if you stay on that label”
oh and he had got on MTV and gave me his top five
Rakim Eminem nas jay-z me — Excellent company — Oh yeah great company to be in
and he was like yo you know I gave you top five, and I’m like uh I heard because we had two-way pagers back then and the yeah I’m like my two way went off fool I’ve know you did he’s
like “you know I didn’t have to do that of course dude dr. Dre you don’t have to
give me your top five he’s like “but I said it because it’s true” and I was like
Thank You doc and he said you know I did and he said I didn’t even like you at
the time I remeber that too cuz I pissed people off and I get it but he said you know if you he said “You’re a star Ras” you know he’s “like your star like he’s like “no, personality look
whatever bro like you a star you’ve got the tower you got the skills” he’s like “I
just don’t think at that label if you stay there you’ll never be the star you are”
and I and it stuck in the back of my head and it just seemed like they kept
you know there’s a clause in our contracts that say if your company’s
either unable or unwilling to perform then their in breach of contract and my
company was unable and or unwilling — Yeah I’ve been there before — and so that was just a rough you know it was what I try to tell artists is you guys running around here
shucking and jiving to get signed it’s not that easy because now you playing
the politcs game you know my my head of A&R deaded my dr. dre record swore
everybody beneath to secrecy secrecy except one person told me that
day and after his execs left his bosses that he was like dead that record and
I’d never done anything but everything he you know “do a song with my artist”
yeah of course bro, he the dude I spit on at the source Awards
but the own sans make it was crazy like you got people hating you got legal
department got all these departments that I’m not giving nobody no hand jobs —
Right — so that ain’t gonna work out for me right so — you got to be real upset
to spit on a nigga — Oh I thought when you said spit you just meant rapped on. I forgot about that story until you just said — I spit on my hand and put it in the nigga’s face? — And mushed him? — I’m not no sucker bro, I’m a Watts baby, we don’t play that shit imagine trying to get signed and you
playing you know all these politics with things that have nothing to do with you
or somebody that has a weird agenda or a might like you I don’t know what it’s
about but you trying to keep the ship afloat meanwhile your mama and all your
homies think you’re rich and your girlfriend everybody think you rich, I’m like bro I’m not rich — Right you on TV — Right — You rollin’ with Dr. Dre — I got a couple of checks but dude it ain’t like that with that being said is after it’s run
its course and everything is soured bro it took me nine years to get fired
they spent more money suing me to keep me
then they put an investment in my career they didn’t pay Dr Dre they couldn’t
afford him Dr. Dre is $500,000 for one beat you think they was gonna pay that for me? You get yourself to a certain point hardest thing is is is like you said
that hardest thing where you’re trying to do what can keep you you get tunnel
vision you trying to keep the ship floating and then it’s crazy because
it’s people standing on your on your boat
popping it out putting holes in you like clogging holes — that’s right —
and trying to paddle — Now what that experience would lead you to be early on
crowdsourcing yeah I think in the hip hop space. Posdnuos called me once I was very very sort of anti crowdsourcing and I
have to admit at the time I was anti crowdsourcing I wasn’t aware of your
history with it but Posdnuos called me said we’re gonna release this De La
record I think with Indy Go-Go I was I remember being like
I’ll support it bro but I don’t think it’s a good look
he’s like why I’m like cuz ya’ll De La Soul man like I don’t want to be an
executive producer on a De La Soul album I want De La I want as a fan for De La
to be, I don’t want to have to help De La right but then they got five hundred
thousand dollars and then my tune changed a little bit like now when I spoke to mace
about it he was like don’t think that that five hundred thousand went in our
pocket like we used that to make the record um but then listening to you talk
about it my tune changed even more because you put it in such a clear
business sense and one interview I was watching you was like why am I going to
press up all these records and have them sitting there you ain’t even ordered one — Right the steak
dinner concept. Like if I own a restaurant why should I cook up a thousand steak
dinners and hope a thousand people come by — Right — at least with that it’s the, you
know pre-order theory as long as I know what I’m doing I can make these many shirts I
can do this many you know it’s a direct relationship with your market we’re in a
time where if things are still developing we don’t look one minute it
was myspace then the next minute Facebook, then the next minute it’s the Gram — Remember second life? —
second life okay now you’re showing your age, what is that – -I remember when my label I was on that time was like you have to
do second life and I got this whole second life page that I saw the other day
that I was like oh yeah they was wrong about that shit — we that’s what we don’t know and we constantly evolving — No it wasn’t you Jarret it was after you — Wait wait was that before or after myspace — That was around
the MySpace era I think — Before or after BlackPlanet? —
I’m sure it was after BlackPlanet — Yeah right before BlackPlanet, I wasn’t really on BlackPlanet — I wasn’t either I just remember the homie — That was our era, 87 babies era I just think there’s so there’s no set model
because this is still constantly evolving the technology with the Trend
maybe with whatever platform is gonna keep changing somebody’s gonna invent
something else that we all gotta have you know so I don’t knock anything and
I’ve kind of let my nerd techie friends because it wasn’t my idea to do Indie Go-Go it was my techie nerd homie that was like — You got a good team — Yeah! you know I’m not great at everything so
you know it’s part of having that team and that infrastructure that’s suggests
some things that might be out your comfort zone yeah and utilize all
platforms and because the other part is I mean think about this we’re almost
right back to where we started Spotify YouTube Facebook Instagram most of them something like pay us money for this many ads so from independent Willy I got
a hundred bucks on it for a week what do you think you know Capitol Records got
on it, right so now you’re still doing the same marketing upside
down backwards period so it’s– I always tell people when they talk about what we
do I’m like listen I’m not Adele or jay-z and Beyonce you’re not gonna see
my face on the side of a bus right like where I’m not Taylor where I could be
like I’m cool without Spotify — Right I like need it all — Yeah right yeah and you
know it’s hard to it’s always gonna be money at the end of the day they’re
gonna outspend us and that means they’re gonna get more promotion my job is to
not I can’t be the most visible burger I just got to make a really good burger and promote the hell out of it — And keep them coming back to eat — I’m a mom-and-pop burger spot I’m you know I mean you know what my biggest
thing is and this is not a critique or maybe it is but it’s in love and it
ain’t no hater stuff a lot of times I look at you know Jay and Ye and bro y’all got like
too big where y’all talking about Picasso’s and niggas is trying to get
they record played so what when’d you make an outlet for us
and so I’m really thinking everything went wrong when Bob Johnson sold BET
— You know he’s a conservative he wasn’t thinking like how he’s supposed
to be thinking that’s the problem with having billionaires we only got 12
billionaires out of sixteen hundred sixteen hundred billion there is twelve that are
black right and out of those ones is like Chris Rock said they had to be the
top of the game in entertainment to even you know he said we got to we got
to fly to where the white can walk to right but when you think about it that’s
the whole game right that’s the whole problem is that you have people who get
billions of dollars and millions of dollars
don’t keep it and they have no knowledge of self and so even if we were to get
like say we were to get reparations forget billionaires for a second say
what if there was a give us reparations right now what are we politically
educated enough to be able to invest in our communities or we now go out there — You know everybody gonna have a fat gold chain — It’s not everybody though, it’s not everybody My generation or whatever it’s a lot of I
hate to say what cuz now everybody says that whatever but it’s a lot of people
in my generation that want the black people the black community to be better
and know that investing is what’s going to do that like I have friends that are
owning houses and then renting those houses to their other black friends
to keep that money in the community so that’s not what’s gonna happen to
everybody it’s like you know a large few but the people that are actually gonna
be able to invest the money they’re gonna be right do some yeah and I would
never speak about the community like it’s a monolith right but I do think
that when the problem is that what is that the reason why we have so much our
dollar is worth so much the black dollar is worth so much but not for us — Well I
mean first of all we’re 99 percent consumer black people and I forgot how
much we make per year but it’s insane and it’s a shame but I don’t know a
store I don’t know a family I don’t know being that could sustain being 99%
consumer if you only know a country no government and a restaurant that’s your
business model you’re a whore your upside-down your prostitute you’re a
slave and so we’ve enslaved ourselves to honestly to wanting things that may
not necessarily be in our best interest right and that’s an individual thing who am I to tell people not to buy that kind of shirt– You can’t judge people —
No you can’t judge it but it needs to be untaught and it’s like that’s why we
need to have in our communities where we’re having classes that are showing
you how to invest your money or telling you things that you should buy
instead of the name-brand thing cause — right and it’s us that is doing that
it’s not in the schools not in the public because we just have to be cool and it’s
like we wear a stylish ethnic group but we can wear we don’t need to wear Gucci
we don’t need to wear any of that stuff when we can design our own stuff and
like even with going to the BET, like it sucks that he sold it cause it’s like
all these black people are working but they’re not working for us that money’s
not coming back to us now yeah I mean we’re talking financial literacy
literacy mixed with political education right that’s really — fundamentally that’s what it is — Awhile ago I was doing a mixtape and I asked you for a record and you said I got this
record it’s called catch me if you can catch me if you can is name of the
record is because you were on the run you were a fugitive — I would like to say I walked away — We talked about
this a little bit what why were you arrested — Okay so there is a narrative
that we create because I can never tell the truth because I incriminate
people other than myself, soI don’t do tell-alls and all that, so the narrative was I
drink and drive it’s not quite that’s part of it but that’s not exactly what
the story is and so until I decide that I want to bring the other people’s names
into the story which it’s totally the factual truth I just owned it I blew it
don’t drink and drive it’s not smart it’s not a good thing
but that’s not really the big part of it at the same time my company decided that
because that happened like a year before mm-hmm then you know you get a good
lawyer and you know you drag it out and then I was probably gonna have house
arrest I was also dating like the boss’s niece
and that probably wasn’t a good idea and we had a bad breakup and everything
really went to shit so this other extremist factors but basically when
they found out that the dr. Dre record they couldn’t make it the single they
said we’re not gonna put your album out and shut up and go to jail
we’ll catch you later and then I said no it’s not gonna work out that way I got
kids so I went in there with a hommie and I may or may not have put a gun on the table
and say give me my scuzzy driver and I took my scuzzy I flew to New York — And
that’s when I ran it to you — Yeah and then I bought the Stinkin’ Minkin I bought an apartment he got the apartment in Astoria I was gonna
make this money I want I want it to be a hundred thousand you know Rise of Taj
you know you know you know teaching moment or whatever some other thing goes get some
money because I know I’m not to sit down probably two or three years and these
people just waited a whole year purposely to kind of wait out the clock
because they mad at me because I can’t tell dr. Dre I won’t tell dr. Dre to put
out a single like that that real that arrogance of like you you do what we
tell you to do right you know what I’m talking about the shit that some people
do is that you do what I tell you or are you gonna suffer consequences like
whatever bro so I took my stuff made a project in the meantime and then I was
gonna turn myself in so I always say I’d never went on the run I just was not
going reward somebody that disrespected me this is my career my life you knew I
caught the case but we had a year we could have shot our videos done what we
needed to do and I could have sat down and being gone for long
I was gonna be gone and I thought I wasn’t even gonna be gone I would have
had house arrest but as you probably shouldn’t let your label get your lawyer
too so I learned a lot. I bought me a black mink from the fur district — How long did you end up — I did, I was sentenced to three with half so I ended up doing about
twenty twenty-one months you know Oh damn, I did seventeen hours and I don’t know how I survived everybody’s not built for it a lot of
people you know for me unfortunately I’m cut from that cloth
like I’m a watch baby the ironic part is my friends saw me and they’re like, “Ras you’re smart what are you doing here? Ah, but you’re dumb you should be here”
like you know I got homies and you know I I let my mother down I let my kids
down I let myself down but I’m not you know you got to learn from your mistakes
I didn’t even learn from my mistakes that time I still did some more stuff
and got myself put back in prison but I mean I’ve kind of been doing jail I like
I said I didn’t like my pops he was a police officer so what do you think I
was doing I was going to you know I was I was rebelling against my father so
I’ve been going to juvenile hall and cya since whenever myself so I’m cut from
that cloth I’m okay with it like honestly I always tell people you know
if you want to do nothing with your life put some on roof over your head just go
to prison — What happened that you decided okay I’m done with going to prison? Money, I like money and women do you understand what first of all
prison is prison is like sensory deprivation that’s purposely what
they’re doing it — Yeah solitary in
her autobiography about that being the worst part of prison not having access
to human touch — Yeah because we’re dudes in there so unless you want to be
touched by a dude that wasn’t my issue
yeah man like when you just like I bro but you ain’t touched a human being in
four months so you just waiting for a visit so you
could hug your mom smell a woman it’s about you know smell touch a hand that’s
soft and get a hug you know you start being much more rigid and and some
people never come back from that mm-hmm I mean even I was uh you know it’s gonna
affect you no matter what and I didn’t have any traumatic per se
experience I had the normal experience but it just it sucks it sucks to not be
it sucks to everybody in prison well I wouldn’t say everybody should talking
you know whatever but there’s so many people in there that made a mistake and
probably got sentence harsher than they should have been sentenced that actually
aren’t even bad people a lot of people had drug problems a lot of people have
money problems — Poverty — Mental Health was so much cheaper. — People are penalized for poverty Literally homeless people go to they take them to
jail because they’re homeless and call it loitering right like where are they
gonna go — It’s crazy because I think I said this on another episode it’s like
we can definitely limit the amount of people that are in jail if you make it
make it easier for people to live you’re giving people minimum wage that they can
live off of because sometimes a lot of times people are committing crimes just
to survive like they don’t want to be criminal — Well the other part is remember somebody’s got to lose
this is all for profit these prisons are for profit
same thing they right now they’re locking up little brown babies
and taking them stealing them from their parents for profit it costs it
costs but right now we are all paying in our taxes I believe the number was $400
a day for them to not give the kid nothing to eat to give them a not giving
a baby a shower so like we live in an evil
country right now and we should own it We got to — And hate — and we
all responsible for it too — We are all responsible for an evil
evil country and what we have whatever we get collectively we earned it right
now because if it happened to any of our family members our little
babies you would be ready to kill something now with that being said it
cost $40 to put to feed the kid and keep the families together blah blah blah
blah blah we’re paying 400 for them to abuse the baby and that’s
what prison is it costs ten thousand a year incarcerate and one thousand
dollars a year to give a kid a education book and da da da, right
so we know what we’re doing our country knows what it’s doing this is not by
accident it’s by design somebody wants to lose they’re like who’s the father
for the kid I’m sorry cuz I was talking about something very serious but I just thought about some really funny South Park when he had operation darkies
in front — Right right, that’s the South Park Movie — He was like, what about the the Emancipation Proclamation? I don’t
listen to hip-hop — But that’s what prison is, we’re living in that, it’s always fodder, and that’s what prison is about somebody’s got to lose so they can
make some bread if you got everybody back right what will you can’t make
money that way by being an evil person but some people wired that way if some
people that think I was just reading about the crazy the the pedophile dude His whole thing was he was just going to inseminate so the future people — Which dude, there’s so many of them? — Epstein! Epstein was on some Eugenics That’s why he was raping young you know upstate New York
you know girls but he wanted to breed everybody after him and don’t feed the
homeless let them die you know — Billionaire talk, you know what’s crazy about that there’s a I did a Comedy Central show called uh this
is not happening and I told a story about going to this
billionaires house and he was having this extravagant party where it was just him and bunch of girls and me and Lionel Ritchie
was only only dudes there just me and Lionel Ritchie — Wow — right and I told the
story on comedy central and the end of the story is I stayed where I was
supposed to stay for three nights and stayed one night and after the first
night I was like this is not my scene I got to get up out of here like I felt
like the evil spirit mm you know and I tell the story you know I called my
father that night and I was like I don’t Somethings not right I gotta leave the girls
I was with was the wrong type of girls I shouldn’t have been hanging out
with you know they was of age but they was the wrong type — A disclaimer — But that disclaimer is important
because his name comes up in the Epstein report Da Bois that’s who he was
hanging out with so I never understood exactly what made me want to leave until
this year I’m like that’s whatever you think whatever he was going on whatever
was going on I didn’t need to be around that yeah rap life brings us to some I
remember the guy who picked me up he lived on some island in the Bahamas
and the guy who picked me up was like his personal driver some shit and he was like oh so you’re a rapper huh I was the rapper you knows he ever been in a party and your
you’re the rap guy it’s like that movie the boots boots Riley movie when they’re
like rap rap yes sorry to bother ya um blue DaVinci’s your cousin from BMF
now when you say that did y’all grow up together — Well there’s two in BMF, so S Class who’s the
producer he’s from Inglewood that’s Stefan bad T’s and then there’s blue so
I have a big family out here my family’s first generation well I’m first
generation LA dude my mother came out here when she was 17 with my grandmother
so my grandmother’s family came from Louisiana let’s see eight sisters
four brothers — Wow — and then we sprinkle out the watts
basically and so I have a big family out here we
don’t all hang and then they’ll you know intra politics
of families my grandmother some people didn’t like her husband
because my grandfather was dark-skinned was a dark-skinned dude
from Louisiana you know politics of family just that color — Colorism is real — we do it to ourselves first so not all
of us were close and then there’s different age brackets I’m saying so
when I’m 15 they like 12 I don’t wanna hang with them, I wanna hang with the 17 year olds, right so we we got
cooler through the music when I first started working on music cuz Steph is a
producer blue was the rapper and after the first album my whole thing was I
can’t you know about you know my cousin was kind of upset Steph S class he
was like yo I’m sending you beats why don’t you use
no beats?” I’m like look I’m not in the power position I’m not Tu-pac and they are
really fighting me on what beats to use I was like I’ll tell you what the logic is I’ll just take blue with me they can’t
they can they can kind of fight with me about the beats If it ain’t diamond D or
someone so whatever but they can’t fight with me on who my hype man could be so
that’s what happened I’m pulled Blue man with me on that level also our big, blue’s, my cousin Annie’s also from the gang of the neighborhood that we live in right
so who I know my big homie is his big homie on some straight G shit right and so
it was just easier it was an easier fit yeah to have him travel with us y know
is the first person that introduced us to — Shout out to DJ pool — DJ pool
he puts he just takes a liking to Blue because blue just had a big mouth and was like funny he had jokes he a gunner, a street dude but he’s
also hilariously funny so blue was funny Pool who wrote him into a movie three strikes
and let him be blue in the movie then from their pool and Wino met
reaching them because they had came out here specifically to work with pool
and then blue got pulled in and then honestly the true for that story is
I was supposed to be the the president so it’s gonna be me as a
president kind of like some think it’s something like like a Dame Dash Jay Z type thing. I
would have been the president blue would be the artist because I’m the one that
had the experience of a major deal I opted out blue went in as the artist and
the CEO would meet and then they were out here in LA but it wasn’t it wasn’t
really making sense mm-hmm I was just a weird time in LA and
I you know my logic was that I know my home and I was like you know cuz you know they was really good dudes man, and I’ve been around a lot of money, football money basketball money music industry money
I never seen money like that — Me neither — I was like bro you’re like the
Benetton of cocaine bro — Yeah I was at a couple of parties and BMF parties in
Atlanta in Miami back in the day — This before they got to Atlanta — so that
was why patchworks is also foundationally made from my journey
In Atlanta so my whole thing was take this to the wodies that’s what I
called Atlanta dudes at the time like yo take this to the wodies because if
you stay in LA they gonna start sending trick chicks out you torpedo cuz y’all
got way too much money and don’t nobody really know y’all you know they know
blue but blue ain’t never had Maseratis and blah blah blah and I remember one time it was these
dudes in like, Night at the Roxbury suits Yeah came in like —
Finally it’s happening to me, and it was Meech and Blue, I’m like what is that you got on? And they’re like “it’s shark skin” I’m like but that don’t work here bro, that’s not a good outfit for LA but they just had money and my logic was and I’m sure blue and they all realized that there was
some other things that happened I was like bro these dudes is jackers they’re
gonna be haters they can be mad at y’all cos you’re out here you’re doing it way big big big
so then you know I know I’m you know I know I threw that idea out at some point
they decided to use the favor and go to Atlanta go to patchworks and the rest is
history next thing you know Crawdad when I’m in
prison Crawdad, I’m calling collect and Craw get on the phone like ‘your cousin blue is crazy’ — Wait is that
your Crawdad Impression? — Exhibit like, Blue going to Jail cuz. Now you talk to Blue and he’s like, ‘man I don’t care” they created making it rain — Yeah man
I’ve seen I see some things like I was I was partying really not so much Atlanta
you know but the Miami scene when they was in Miami it was like — so when they
throwing up one I know which is our neighborhood period is designed the
whole Oh hand signal everything so this the streets is blue and all our homies
and then meech and them had money money money money money it — Wasn’t there an issue with Rick Ross where he said, ‘They call me big meech” Uh I don’t know I won’t say much I
don’t know he said I think I’m big Meech but he never met big Meech, he never met Meech, blue will tell you that, but when you get popular everybody think they know
you — But it was a reference I mean like like we were just talking
about it was a huge thing in Miami Ross was in Miami like he’s in them clubs with
all of that opium at that time seeing how they doing it so it was more like a you
know so they was like back of the days they were saying I’m going to the club
I’m gonna make a movie right you’ve been in it maybe as
many movies as albums, like you’re a full-fledged actor like act-or, you’ve
I’ve been in the hood classics my nigga He’s a method actor actually — I got the hook-up,
tell us about how that happen just cuz P was a cool dude you know
honestly you know shouts out once again you know free big meech too P was always a
nice dude to me he’s my label mate Priority Records and he actually just called me, he put
me in foolish too I believe there’s a part where I’m walking up with Eddy Griffin and I just get to say “Hey I’m Ras Kass”
— Connections get you more things than anything — I think relationships — That’s networking and that’s what it’s like because it’s not just about
talent because you can have the same talent as someone else it was like okay
who do I want to spend all day on set with — Yeah true — for LA though its kind of ill
because it’s like y’all or have this proximity to Hollywood and you know III
don’t be in LA as much now but I spent 10 good 10 years living in LA and coming
from the East Coast what I notice is you know when you come from the East Coast
and you’re here to work in the entertainment industry
you’re not you’re not spending no time in the hoods in LA you don’t really get
to the hood until you start to know people you start visiting people like oh this is not
west Hollywood or right wherever it is was having me, yeah wherever you
are be at you know — I live in the jungle street cred baby — She came out here to grind. what I noticed is I
feel like la is the type of town where it could be seductive if you’re not on a
billboard you’re not really doing it well if you’re not in some sort of TV
thing or some sorta and everyone like you just said blue da Vinci was in the
pool movie pool was writing movies but these are streets doing you in the
movies like it’s it’s adjacent to to like watch, Hollywood is
on the horizon I think what the interesting dynamic to me is is that we
have a natural what we had I don’t know about younger you know the 20 year old
we got a natural abhorrence to Hollywood we coined the term your acting Hollywood
so we’re very specific it’s just like a New York dude nine times out
of ten especially in the city and probably wouldn’t say I’m from New York
he’d be like I’m from Brooklyn Bronx Queens, what does that got to do with which block I live on, So I think lot of us had a natural like we want
this is before downtown even got popular yeah we all partied and met in Hollywood
and that’s where everybody from Long Beach Inglewood
West Covina you know Venice Beach whatever that was that was our point of meeting, the valley whoever came in that’s where we all met hung out at and
that’s kind of where you would get those opportunities to do movie stuff and then
that’s when people like oh I want to be an actor or I want to be a dancer I want
to be you know and then we had to start we’ve worked in played and in Hollywood
but then we went back home to our places in LA and so we have we’re spread out
whereas New York has built up so you were forced to deal with people we don’t
really have to mm-hmm we have a different mentality so we’re very
cliquey I always feel like I feel like I feel like LA’s a very cliquey place like it was
like oh I hang with these guys so and literally there was a time when the
young black actors only hung out with the young black rappers they didn’t hang
out with the black R&B guys and then the young white actor kids really did that
like it would be Kenan and Kel throwing you know what I’m saying little house parties
and only certain people can you know hang out yeah — It’s crazy cause like I
realized that cuz you know I’ve lived in a bunch of places now in New York like
it takes you the most an hour to get anywhere unless you’re going upstate but
here like California is very spread out la is very spread
it is very cliquish — Very cliquish and then it’s gonna be hard to get through
those doors unless you know something establish that people are so you know
the social and networking who you know so that’s people start going to specific
clubs because they want to be there with those actor kids or they want to be down
with those rapper dudes or you know or they want to be directors it’s like it’s
kind of crazy cos we really have like those bars right it’s like oh that’s the
director people’s bar it’s crazy — As somebody Ras Kass as somebody who has been
listed on pitchfork and about and all these you know not so much knowing about
the culture but you also in Dr. Dre’s list You’re listed on all these top 10 lists in people’s top 5 I’m not going to ask you who your top 5
is — Thank you — I’m going to ask you who are the MCS
that influence your style like for me I can say my style is like a amalgamation
of KRS 1 q-tip early Ice Cube you put that in a pot you got what I’m doing — You
got what you was cooking with alright, I’m going to have to go with KRS-1 — For me that’s the standard bearer– I don’t know if it’s it’s Ice Cube or Ren its one of them so — that’s that’s our
overlap right there, our overlap is KRS and ice cube
— ice cube — that’s why we get along q-tip for me because one the Native
Tongues I felt comfortable when I saw that De La Soul video and jungle brother
I’m like I’m not a tough guy like that I’m like that I look like them I’ll
relate to them and then q Tip had a soft voice and I always had a soft voice so
just for him being so good at his craft but naming himself something often
quirky have a soft voice not really being hard and gangster that was my lane but
I was also like Pro black and I thought I was ice cube and q-tip at the same
time because I want to be fiery but I was like also like
native tongue ish too — With the easy listening voice yeah yeah I don’t know who
my third is that it would be somewhere between A Pun or an L and a Pharaoh just a real, no intonation just bars — I notice that about
your tracks though like your most compelling tracks are that to me that’s
what I know I’m gonna get Ras Kass this is rap shit for other rappers
to impress other rappers — I’m talking to my I’m talking to my peers
yeah yeah I just did one Grammy speech I wrote this record called Grammys speech
because you know at the rate I’m going I may not win one so I just wrote what I’d Say — I’m still from that Chuck D school who gives a fuck about a goddamn
Grammy — I just wanted to I was thinking about ODB when I wrote it so I was just
thinking like — Wu-Tang for the children? right and what would I say in that moment? — He said Puffy’s good but Wu-tang for the children
that’s the part people forget yeah he said puffy is good — so it was just you
know it was inspired by ODB you know just keeping the one and keeping it and so I just wrote that scenario it’s on the new album man so yeah but
those are the ones where I feel like only my MCS would imagine cuz I’ve just
you know I know you’ve been to an awards show and just like — Had to spit on
a nigga yeah I know what you mean but with that said is there anybody new
who are the newer dudes dead and I’m talking strictly lyricist I’m not
talking popular — You know I never do that because I feel I’m such a fan of so many
people and I’m not gonna remember everybody I just feel like you do a
disservice and then people do a lot of plugging the same names
I just love hip-hop I will say this I feel like 2017-18
and we’ll see about 19 I’m still waiting to see but I felt like last two years
amazing years in hip-hop people make fire albums like I just I’ve
just really been impressed with the quality of people going and doing their
craft you know Book of Ryan — That’s the one that was on my mind when you said
people been making incredible albums the first thing that popped in my head was
Book of Ryan that’s the one over the last couple of years that one made me
just goddamn — J Cole is my — J Cole is super dope — like I said I just didn’t want to name one but I agree with you that Book of Ryan
deserves a special place — yes yes in the past three years but Royce did that
that’s crazy but shouts out to all the dope people people in groups they’ve been
really making amazing music man it’s just as a fan I’ve been you know it’s
battery in my back and nobody signs up and if you well if you did that’s your
mental issue , I didn’t sign up a second place so I didn’t sign up to be you know
Riding nobody else I don’t you know no you know sorry there’s no seat belts on cocks, I’m not riding on none of that — There’s no seat belts on cocks — So my thing is I’m gonna be first and I’m trying to make
the best I can make to be number one but just because I’m striving to be the best doesn’t mean I can’t give everybody they props I think
everybody that’s making the music deserves their props — Well number one in the
hearts and the minds of the people Ras Kass

100 thoughts on “Talib Kweli And Ras Kass Talk Nature Of A Threat, Dr. Dre, Jail Time, Royce da 5’9″ | People’s Party

  1. If you're driving, be sure to download the audio podcast. Review and recommend while you're at it!







  6. I am boycotting every artist that appears on Talib Kweli Show. He does not want the American Descendants of the Killing Fields of the American South to get our Reparations so he should not be allowed to eat. If you rock with Agent Kweli you don't eat.

  7. Rasa kass so underrated ,I remember seeing him live in London back in 2001 when he was touring with Xzibit ,awesome show ✌️

  8. Saw Ras Kas and pressed play…then realized this is Talib's podcast. QUICKLY SCROLL to another channel.

    Talib a hoe ass nigga.

  9. 38:04 I definitely disagree with the point Ras makes here. He's saying it's worse for black men to have watched their wives get raped during slavery than to actually be the women being raped? Yes, the current system is geared towards the socioeconomic destruction of black men (they're targeted and incarcerated at much higher rates, etc.), but it also targets black women, and the latter doesn't have the benefit of male privilege, which is ever-present among every ethnic group.

  10. Ras is top 3 in the GOAT lyricists discussion. I finally got around to listening to his post-2010 material (which I never knew existed) and Ras is still nice with the pen and on the mic unlike many of his contemporaries from the late 90s golden era whose pen game has taken a sharp decline. 20th Anni SOI, SOI2:IP, Blasphemy, etc are all dope. Great artist, great interview.

  11. One of the most underated lyricist of all times – Salute – Rasy Kassy – Would have loved to see him replace Joe in Slaughterhouse

  12. Soul on Ice remix ( Diamond D version) is one of the greatest " Illuminati" songs ever. Bar for Bar…Ras Kass was lyrically ahead of his time in 1995.

  13. No more taxation without rep. Check out how they thieving us all (if you pay that fed income tax : https://youtu.be/uNNeVu8wUak

  14. “Soul On Ice” is definitely 1 of the top 5 Hip-Hop albums to ever come out of the West Coast, imo; probably my favorite.

  15. Next should be John Forte. Just imagine if John Forte and Yasiin Bey could do an album both from Brooklyn..both rap to the illest and both can sing

  16. Ras Kass aka The Waterproof MC ! The Nature Of The Threat is a masterpiece and Soul On Ice is a classic album.

  17. Ras Kass is top ten dead or alive. Nature of the Threat by itself is a milestone in Hip Hop. I can't believe how underrated Ras is. Ras is a swell guy too, met him at Magic Jonson's TGI years back celebrating his birthday. That gangsta Korean bowling alley is most likely Shatto 39 Lanes on Vermont. That place was gutter before gentrification.

  18. I got to meet & hangout with Ras Kass in Columbus Ohio in 2013. I was kinda surreal. Been a Ras Kass fan since the 90s & really forgot about him through the 2000s. About 2007 or 08 I rediscovered Ras Kass & started listening to his old stuff and stuff I missed. 2013 I was at this Gaming store called Vgmx I frequented alot because I'm a gamer & it was right across the street from my apartment. I happened to stop in there and 1 of the guys who worked there said yea some rapper named Ras Kass I supposed to be here…Im like Ras Kass??? He said yea you know him?? I was like are you lying lol. Long story short Ras was mad cool. I think he had Ray Cash with him.

  19. I learned more from Ras Kass Nature of tha Threat & Jack Frost than I ever did in all my years of high school indoctrination✊🏾 I know this song killd hiz career but I thank U for it. Tha Godz gone bless U BIGTYME for spittin tha REAL

  20. 🤣🤣 that's what fkt me up about Wu Tang, how them nighaz waz callin theyself Godz… Blew my mind. I had to know more about tha 5%ers… I'm from Northern Cali, grew up on NWA & 2Short but to me, Kool G Rap iz tha original Ganksta rapper🤷🏾‍♂️

  21. He said “i aint givin out no hand jobs”. That might a been literal to the black ball situation he was speaking on.

  22. Johnny J was a black hispanic who produce beats for Tupac shakur. There can be black and brown pride if hispanics identify with the black struggle. The ted cruz white supremacy type hispanics are the problem.

  23. Here she goes with this black women are the least protected b/s narrative. Yet if there’s a problem black women can run to their white daddy’s police force,court system,and white Jesus. She sounds like a parrot regurgitating this propaganda

  24. Funny story. Rass Kass was on his ADIDAS tour to South Africa around 2010, I went to the Johannesburg show. It got crazy wild during his set and the crowd was very close to the stage, and in the commotion somebody snatched his watch. He stopped the show dead and addressed the crowd, said he gonna fuck the dude up who stole it when he finds him, everybody was so quiet LOL! Yeah, Rass Kass a real one

  25. He ain't wrong about Royce; he has been the best rapper in HipHop in the last decade and second place isn't even close.

    Success is certain; Layers; Book Of Ryan; AND Prhyme 1&2.

    That doesn't even include the features he has made.


  26. "There's an empathy problem in America." "We live in an evil country right now."
    –Ras Kass

    Understatement of the century…
    "Either you part of the human race, or you're the enemy."

    "Well, ya know he's a conservative; he's not thinkin the way he's s'posed to be thinkin…" Lol Real shit!

    HipHop these last two, three years has been amazing.

  27. You should have asked him about what he thought about that Ellay Khule rifleman diss to you because he psychologically annihilated you… Kapowww 🥊🥊🥊 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cx70r9NfmFk

  28. Nature of the Threat is by far the best Hip-Hop Edutainment song EVER WRITTEN! Got it on HEAVY ROTATION 4EVER! Peace

  29. How ironic, I was just bumpin the Soul on Ice album yesterday omw home from the gym. I'm honored to have graced the stage with Ras not once, but twice. #salute

  30. That female host tried to use some outdated Malcolm X quote to disprove the fact of black American men being on the bottom of the totem pole. Sad part is, there’s a whole generation of women like here, ready to pounce on any black American male for staring the facts.

  31. That's sad. Ras Kass was getting fucked by his label. Meanwhile Dre working on the biggest album in music. THE EMINEM SHOW!!!!!!!

  32. How do the numbers support black men oppress black women if black women have a higher college graduation rate? Nigga, you’re an agent.

  33. Rass Kass is one of the MOST underrated in the game. An intelligent brilliant man and that Soul on Ice album is one of my best top 5 albums. Hands down. And I'm an East coast nigga but Rass is simply amazing….That Soul on Ice is a masterpiece

  34. This is a really dope show!!!! I saw the Evidence one first!!! Dope! I love ya brother! Keep doing ya thing! I cop all ya albums Kweli!!! Love Ev, and Ras Kass!!!

  35. I love Ras Kass's depth. He knows his history and educated me. He's the GOAT from Watts. There's something in the water in Cali. #NatureofTheThreat Changed my life!

  36. Nature of a Threat changed my life. It molded my love for hip hop and set the bar so high. Thank God mc's like Ras Kass exist

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