“One of the best.” These were Sean Price’s exact words when my friend asked him how he would want to be remembered. Looking back at the 2007 interview, now, almost brings tears to my eyes. As two fresh faced interns at The Source Magazine, myself and Marcos, managed to convince Sean to let us come check him during a studio session for his most “in-depth interview to date.”
In reality, we had only interviewed C-List rappers at that point, and barely cracked our one month mark at the magazine. It just so happened that Marcos was also interning at Duck Down, and made friends with the infamous Shucky Ducky. Anyone who claims to be down with the label knows Shuck has been with the Boot Camp Clik since day one, and can make anything happen when it comes to the crew.
After some convincing and pushing, the man known as Ruck aka Sean Price aka 1/2 of Heltah Skeltah was open to letting us crash his session for some facetime. This was before DSLRS and rap journalists and bloggers filmed interviews with huge 10-person camera crews. We had a bunch of loose leaf with random Sean Price facts and a hand held digital camera to get the job done. Oh, and I had a couple grams of weed and one Vanilla Dutch Master cigar on me. Back then, I always brought trees to interviews in hopes of using the herb as a bargaining chip to get what I wanted.
Little did I know, Sean was actually frustrated when we showed up because his weed delivery man was running late and was not answering his phone. He wasn’t actually that pissed off but just a little aggy that he couldn’t light one up before the session. And, he definitely wasn’t focused on getting the interview started without a smoke. However, I solved the issue within two minutes — and luckily my college friend had a cousin who used to hustle up on Dyckman, so the weed was A-1. I would have honestly felt very ashamed if P started to rag on my quality of bud.
Now, the blunt was rolled, Sean’s mood changed and I pressed “record” on the archaic camera while Marcos fired away with the questions. They ranged from super rap nerdy — about his lyrics — to wild ones like trying to get Mr. Price to name the ugliest chick he ever took home for the evening. There were also warm moments when Sean talked about missing his children dearly while touring.
“After the fifth night I can’t sleep,” stated Ruck about being away from his daughter. He credited his Sidekick and Yahoo Messenger as vital tools he used to stay in touch with his kin while on the road. He also revealed that he was studying to be mortician before his hip-hop career took off.
To this day, the hour long interview remains as one of my most memorable experiences in journalism. I was barely 21 at the time, but Sean made us feel like we were seasoned veterans at our craft. Even after the interview ended, and I wanted to get a few drops from him for some MC friends of mine — Ruck obliged. But he wouldn’t cosign a thing before hearing the music first. Right there, we had an impromptu listening session from some random rapper he never heard of. Here is one of the most respected rappers by other rappers taking his time to critique a friend of a Source magazine intern. I think we stayed at the studio for another two hours after that while P told rap stories and made us feel like old friends. This is the Sean Price I will never forget.
Rest in peace, King.