“My first impression when I was working on Whut? Thee Album is that I had to stand out. I’m coming from the [the Hit Squad camp] of EPMD, K-Solo, and then Das EFX, who did a million back then, which was incredible. So I was like, ‘Yo, what do I have to give?’ The thing with me is I wasn’t just doing it for the money. I’m contributing to the world good music because I feel like my music could help somebody in a certain way whether it’s negative or not. So how can I get this point across my way and stand out? The music that played a big part of my life was Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Parliament Funkadelic…but it was also NWA, Ice Cube, KRS-One, and Slick Rick. I had a lot of info to give out. So that’s why I was one of the first dudes on the East Coast hitting them with those skits and that real funk. I was able to adapt to the East Coast and the West Coast because I was listening to everybody.
I had that knowledge of the West Coast feel and the East Coast feel. And I brought that lyricism. But I was also bringing a new era of [weed hip-hop] to the table. It was just what I did. Even though me and Method Man are stars we don’t promote weed; we just let people know that we smoke it. But the fans have to know that we probably lost out on a lot of endorsements because we smoke weed. But even if I knew that back then, I still would have been smoking. As far as creating that whole Dr. Trevis character for the album, that was an alter ego. It was something different that I thought was funny to me. And I’m not going to lie…I was doing a lot of motherfucking drugs back then [laughs]. I was a young cat and I was wilding. I didn’t have any kids until I was 27. I remember shooting the video for ‘Time For Sum Akshen.’ It was incredible. Back then we had real guns in our videos heavy [laughs]. And it was cool to show them.
The idea back then was more on a mental level, not just a show-and-tell level like it is now where I have to show you my jewels or I have to show you my car. Back then, it was about who is the wildest? Who got the wild rap style? Who has the wild hair? Who got the bangers in the video? That’s how you knew you were straight up hood about your whole outlook. Big up to DJ Twinz. Them boys were riding with me from day one and they definitely put me on hard shit as far as New York is concerned. Because them boys were banging out [in Brooklyn]. I’m not a thug [laughs]. I let everybody know that. I ain’t no killer. I love my mama and your mama.
But I definitely ran with some wild boys. So you had to be wild back then to be going from set to set and city to city like we did. I loved it. ‘Tonight’s da Night’ featured a great sample, but I never looked at the record as a real lyrical song like some of those other tracks. I looked at it like something I was having fun on and that was different. I got some records on there that I really like and that are really lyrical. ‘Watch Yo Nuggets’…on that one me and E were going at it. He had that George Clinton ‘Atomic Dog’ in there and we really went at it. And I liked ‘I’m a Bad,’ which was also lyrical. Those are some of my favorites from that album.”