It did when I was first working on it. ‘Cause when I was working on it, I was working on three records at the same time. CRAC (Knuckles), Johnson(&Jonson) and the Exile (Below The Heavens). At the time, people were really into the Blu & Exile stuff and I was emotionally tied into all three. So I was like “Yo, bro! I got some other shit” and they’ll be like “we want some Blu & Exile.” So I’d be like “Dude! Take this fucking record!” But it doesn’t really bother me anymore, I never got mad from any love.
So I read you’re father was a hip-hop head and was heavy in the streets. You mentioned in your lyrics that your parents spilt and your mother remarried a pastor. How did the different ideologies mold you into who you are now?
It made me spiritual and street. Which is a good survival perspective in the society that I grew up in. It kept your morals straight and it also gained you respect. So you won’t be walking around like a nerd or something. If you need to bust somebody’s face, it’s just is what it is, god forgives you.
Do you ever come into conflict with yourself about your lyrics? Hip Hop is a narrative and some fans are living another life through the music, do you ever feel like you should exaggerate the narrative you’re painting just a little bit?
I think I am the biggest hypocrite since 2Pac. It’s not a personal characteristic to be a hypocrite, it’s just I am guilty of certain circumstances like growth. Once you grow up, you look at things differently. So maturity made me kind of a hypocrite. I was rhyming so young, thinking I was knowing what I was talking about then 10 years later, you touch on the same subject and, err, you twist it a little bit. A lot of times, fans are like “you said you don’t like hoes and you said you got like 30 songs about hoes since you said that.” Then I’m like “well man, I was trying to elevate the hoes at the time” then you realize, hoes just like being hoes. So you gotta let them elevate their own title.
You said earlier, you were working on Johnson&Jonson and Below The Heavens at the same time.
Exact same time.
So was it like one night you were on the spiritual tip and the next night you’re on…
Brews, bitches and blunts. The next night you’re in some Hotep books, doing the sciences and math with your other brethren.
You probably went to church one morning.
The diversity of the two societies that were making those records. The Johnson&Jonson fan club and the Blu & Exile fan club could conglomerate.
Do you ever feel like they go at it sometimes?
Hell yeah. Exile hated Johnson&Jonson. I would come to him with some of those raw ass lyrics and he was like “Dude. Nah dude.” Then I’d go to Mainframe with those verses and he’d be like “that’s the illest shit I’ve ever heard!” [Laughs]
Mainframe is pretty out there musically. I remember his ringtone used to be “Lemonade” by Gucci Mane when I first met him.
Hell yeah man. Me and Mainframe go back on some raw shit. He be on that twist though. He got some crazy eclectic records coming. He always has though. He’s that guy.