CI: We don’t got nothing else. We got a EP, we had mixtapes and by the grace of God people dug em, and it was like mixtape season around them so everybody was feeling it. But a mixtape ain’t no work to us. We didn’t work on a mixtape. The mixtapes got thrown together within a week and we did the artwork the day before and put the shit out on the internet. This is like way more of a thought process. Like the amount of time we spent on these songs and like the grooves and doing stuff have been worked and reworked on for like years and months. This isn’t like some 'same ole same ole' at all. I would never ever ever in my life do 'same ole same ole.' We not known for that.
So this is like the next level basically.
CI: We tryna actually---I don’t wanna keep getting put behind the Golden Era. It’s 2011 and we still sitting here praising 1995 like this shit ain’t never gonna change. Somebody’s gotta step up and do something. We got no affiliations, no rapper put us on---we put ourselves on. Now we want our music to kinda like change shit a little bit. Not change the game, but change people’s attitudes. This ain’t no joke man. If yall not tryna get to where we’re at, it’s gonna be a long road for people. I want to raise people’s expectations of what they feel like rap should sound like. Cause right now, you could sound like one of those Jamster commercials. Those little frog joints they have singing auto-tune. Tell me what the difference is between that and what rap is now. That’s why niggas don’t get the press they want. That’s why everybody sleeps on rap the way it is because it’s kind of a joke.
But the thing is, a lot of people are trying to sell. Instead of trying to change the sound, they wanna---
CI: I want to change the sound!
MR: For the type of shit I want to do and what I want, like on a good day I can make enough money to get the type of shit that I want. So it’s not even about selling massive amounts of shit man. If I can do 100,000 or something, then that’s gonna be great for me for the type of lifestyle that I live. I’m not buying private jets.
CI: [Laughs] I would never fly private! I got homies that almost got killed on private jets.
MR: I don’t want an oil rig; I don’t want a fucking house in Dubai. For the type of stuff I want, I’m gon’ make enough money for that and be super happy.
CI: I don’t even have to go to Dubai until I retire.
MR: Now I can focus on other things like being ill and changing the sound and being a legend in this shit---make it actually matter a couple of years down the line so it ain’t just shit we threw out for 2011 and its forgotten by 2012.
CI: Being known for sales, to me, is weak. That makes you a businessman. I’m not a---I mean I run a business, but that’s not why I run a business. I run a business because I’m a musician. I wanna go down as being the illest fucking dude ever, without having to stand on a pedestal and beg people to notice my skill. I want to do it by my work. If this don’t sell----shit, Illmatic didn’t even go platinum! But what is Illmatic to people?
Probably the greatest hip-hop album of all time, for some people.
CI: So what would you rather do? And I’m not going with the stupid option. Cause money goes, dog. If any of these rappers knew or actually had it, cause they don’t---they just be talking shit, you’ll realize that money is most flaky thing you can possess. It’s in your hand one second and it’s out your hand the next second. As soon as you have it, you have governmental fucking agency that’s on your ass about everything that you make. Now, you could test them and see , like ‘Ok, whose got the bigger juice?’ But let them audit you and send your ass to jail like Ronald Isley or fucking Wesley Snipes. The money is not everything. As we get on this next wave or the future 2012, and they start putting your money on a fucking computer chip, how you gon’ toss a computer chip in the club?
You gon’ make computer chips rain soon? Like what actually matters to you? And we started something. I don’t even wanna get into all that, but if you see a nigga with a snap back cap on…where did it come from, you know what I’m saying? Look it up. Black Mags, our first song that popped, like my whole shit was about them! But I don’t want to be known for little petty---like ‘Oh we started this!’ I want to be known for ‘Damn, now I can’t just make my beats on my computer no more cause niggas don’t wanna hear that. They wanna hear the shit that’s sounding like When Fish Ride Bicycles. If you not making shit like that, then it don’t even matter.’ That will bring you money. If you smart and you ain’t tricking on these video vixens, your ass will have some money in your pocket. Our mission is to stick with what we know. Our recipe is that we don’t step outside our means, but our music can crawl and get into everybody’s ears. Our fans look like everybody. You don’t know what a Cool Kids fan looks like. Its bankers; its dudes that run banks. I walked into a bank and seen the dude that looked like the man, THE man, the man, who looks like he works for the government, sat there and rapped my shit to me.
Off one of the mixtapes?
CI: Off of Bake Sale! Some of our fans, most of our fans don’t know we have mixtapes. In Middle America they only buy albums, and I fuck with that. The mixtape fans are people who are technologically savvy.
I know we're running out of time but that is the truth. People really go dig for Cool Kids music.
MR: My own mom, brother and sister don’t know how to get to the mixtapes .[Laughs]
CI: Even my mom! If I didn’t give her the mixtape---and there’s even people she knows. Like she works with kids, and they be like ‘Oh I love the Cool Kids. When are they coming out with a new album? Oh they got a mixtape…’ They don’t even wanna hear that shit. Our fans range from so many people that some don’t even know what a mixtape means. Those mixtapes were released to kinda---we’re smart. Ain’t nobody gonna know what we do if we don’t let you know where we’re going. And the mixtape’s were jabs. If you thought that’s what we sounded like, then good. Cause when you hear this shit, it is going to hit you in your jaw and fuck your shit up. I think that with our attitude towards that, we can’t lose. It’s our stuff first. There’s no way you’re gonna tell me that somebody worked harder on their record than me. Like, it didn’t happen! You didn’t go through as much shit, tweak as much shit. I’ve mixed a song for 12 hours straight by myself before I even gave it to the engineer. Niggas is on Ustream; I’m not. I’m not riding around doing nothing. I’m not even at the club. If you see me at the club, great. I was DJ’ing! I wasn’t there chillin. I’m not done yet.
Like how you catch Michael Jordan in the club, he’s done! I caught Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley in the club in Vegas. They were done. Michael Jordan wasn’t in the club before he was done. I’m not tryna celebrate before I got something to celebrate for. Right now I want to do something that no one else is doing, which is trying to progress our generation past fucking Twitter. The only thing were known for is being on the Internet. Shit is not cool anymore. That’s not what my goal was. To me, the internet is a really bad place to get knowledge and media. There’s no spell check, there’s no editing. iTunes doesn’t care if your album sucks. You can just put that shit on iTunes. It’s not their job to ‘Their album sucks, we’re not stocking it.’ We live in an age where you go to a concert now and 9 out of every 10 nigga raps and has their CD on them right now. They ain’t there to chill. You can’t get a ‘I fuck with you’ without a ‘I rap. Check my shit out.’ It’s like, I rap cuz! I put work into this! I do this! Another thing is, we made it seem so easy. Shit got so dumbed down that it seems like, why wouldn’t you think you can rap? Why would you do this instead of rap? Because it don’t take nothing to be a rapper. These rhymes niggas is writing are Dr. Seuss raps. I’ve never wrote a Dr. Seuss rap. People can go through my shit, and definitely check every fucking rap I wrote
MR: Yeah, anything I ever wrote on paper.
CI: This is well thought of. I remember we did Rap City and we had a freestyle, and we did the little freestyle on the mic. I sat through my shit and I knew that I didn’t write it. I sat there and put it in my head and rapped for hours and hours and hours just so I could spit. And now you got freestyles where niggas is reading they raps. How you reading your raps? That shit was on video, and nobody said nothing. This is a sport to us. This is not a joke. This is life. We live rap. We been talking about rap, every argument you get in with your homies is about rap, and every barbershop haircut is about rap. I don’t have moments where I wanna tell you I want to be sippin wine in a really nice ass spot. I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to go to your swanky ass party. I make my music for the people that feel like me.