I’ve got a good family, good people around me. I got a lot of mottos I live by, man. “Don’t get mad, get money.” “Persistence outweighs resistance.” I just try to stay focused throughout all the bullshit and keep pushing. As long as I’ve been in this business it’s been a struggle. Ain’t nothing been easy. Even when we were doing 3, 4 million, it wasn’t easy. It was a fight to the finish, and this is going to be the same thing. Right now it’s no different.
Have you had a chance to speak with Wayne since he’s been at Riker's?
Nah, I haven’t spoken to him. But I figure that I will before he come home and holla at him. Gotta tell him he did that and I’m hoping that I ain’t gotta do it next. But shit…
It looks as if Waka Flocka Flame is going through some crash course collisions with the industry. When you see artists go through that what do you think?
I laugh because everybody wants to be a star and wants to be famous. I don’t think people know exactly what they are getting into when they get into this business. It’s a crazy, cut-throat business. It could be overwhelming to a person if they’re not ready. I think a lot of these new artists get into it for the wrong reasons. My era didn’t get into hip-hop to really make money. Money wasn’t….niggas was going gold [Laughs]. You had a few chains and all that but if you weren’t Run-DMC or something like that, hip-hop wasn’t the thing that people was getting into to make money. We wanted to be Def; we wanted to be the dopest niggas out there and show our skills. I think niggas now get into it for the money. Because there is a lot of money [out here] and it’s a big corporate thing now. New artists get in for the money and get a rude awakening and it’s not like that. They see it’s not that easy or the tabloids and everything is killing them.
On the money side, most people would think that you’d have to sustain yourself with album sales and touring, but what have you been able to sustain on? Has it been the songwriting? Is it the other type of business endeavors?
[Laughs] I got my hands in a lot of things!
When you think about the Feds situation with Irv Gotti and his brother Chris, there wasn’t a lot of money being made as far as the records are concerned and the freezing of the assets. I don’t know how you were able to survive financially.
It was a tough time, but like I said, I keep my hands in a lot of things. I don’t like to talk about it. I keep pushing it, stay in the background and make my money off it. Sometimes when you have a dark cloud over your head you stay inside. You don’t come out and get wet. That’s kind of what I’ve been going through the last couple of years. Now when the sun come out, I come out, smile and everybody is like, “Wow.” [Laughs] The touring has been great for me, overseas running around killing it for the last four, five years. Having a great time. Also looking deep into the markets and getting them ready for my new releases, my new artists and stuff like that.
I’m sure you’ve seen some of the newer MCs coming up. Who are you feeling right now?