The Darkside Vol. 1 (2010)
I’m re-charged on this album. I’m reading the blogs and hearing people talking about how I’m over…this nigga is washed up. Then you had the people saying, “Yo, I can’t believe he’s from the Diggin’ In The Crates crew. How can he make music like this?” The fans who have been following me for 15 years, I see them at all the shows and they are like, “Yo Joe…we love you, we support you, but we want that old Fat Gangsta back.” I’m used to fighting. I went to junior high school on the wrong side of town. They didn’t like people from my side of town. I had to come outside everyday and get jumped and fight 20 guys. And every time I got jumped, I swung back. Some people want me to throw in the towel. I could have said, “Yo, I make money on tours.” But that’s not how I’m going out.
I spent six months on this album everyday to 8 in the morning…no hanging out or going out. I wanted to make sure that this album was incredible. I think I proved it on this one. I just did an interview with a radio station in Boston and dude was telling me what I’ve been hearing all week: “My man, this album sounds like you are really trying to prove something.” Preemo gave me the track “I’m Gone” the day Guru died. So I’m thinking I’m going to get a shoot ‘em up, bang-bang beat. But he gave me a melodic yet somber beat. And I understand where Premier was coming from. That’s why I rhymed, “Preemo on the beat/Yeah, I know it sounds different/But his man’s just passed, his souls just risen.” I always felt like Gang Starr was the purest group in hip-hop…just so uncompromising.
When Guru died I just felt really terrible that people were talking all these rumors and bullshit about him. I wanted to celebrate him as an artist, so that’s how the outro of the album came together. I just started talking at the end of the song and just kept going, explaining to people my life story. I feel like some people are trying to erase my contribution to the game. No shots taken, but I heard another artist break down hip-hop timelines and talking about who was hot and did not mention me or Pun knowing that we had this fucking city paralyzed. I’m just like, “Yo, these niggas are trying to erase me from hip-hop history. But you can’t ignore what I’ve done throughout my career. How many artists have put out 10 albums or had multiple top 10 records? That’s what the Darkside is all about. They are trying to throw me in the fucking dark and leave me to die [laughs]. But I’m like, “Nah, you fucking crazy. This is what I do. I make history.
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