Filed under: BK All Day,Interviews,Not Your Average,Print Work,Steady Bootleggin',Where Are They Now?
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Name: F.T. (Fuc That aka Full Time) from Street Smartz.
Affiliations: Lead MC in Street Smartz, which consisted of F.T., Maoz and Syx. Part of the Tru Criminal Records family, which included AK Skills, 151 and God Sunz.
Claim To Fame: Contributed tracks for a number of movie soundtracks, including Bones (‘F-It-Less’), Rush Hour 2 (‘Brolic’), Friday After Next (‘Sex, Drugs, Alcohol & Lies’), Final Destination 2 (‘John F. Hennessey’) and All About The Benjamins (‘Money All The Time’ feat. Junior MAFIA). Opened for Eminem on the Anger Management 2 tour.
Current Status: Recently completed a track with Black Milk, and is currently recording a new album with his Stand Out Music crew – Musicman (who’s worked with Akon), Blaqmatter and A-King.
In The Trenches:
“I had a real foul mouth as a child, I had a wild childhood, and a friend of mine used to always say, ‘Damn, all you say is ‘Fuck this! Fuck that!’’ And I thought about it and I said, ‘Damn! That sound like an ill name!’ I just ran with it ever since. What people don’t know is I actually changed the name to Full Time, ‘cos a lotta people complain about Fuc That – they say it’s not marketable. So I changed to F.T. – Fuc That aka Full Time. That’s the clean-up version!
“I actually started rapping at twelve, but I got serious about it at fifteen. I ‘m from Brooklyn, but I grew-up in Southside, Queens; I grew up around Onyx and Lost Boys and my man 8-Off, which is Agallah now, they all had deals and they were real hot in the hood. I looked up to some of them guys, and from there it inspired me to get more serious. I used to study a lot of Lord Finesse, Nas and Rakim. When I used to sit down and write back then, I just wanted to make people laugh of have some kind of reaction. If they didn’t, it would hurt my feelings! You feel me? I really wanted to impress them with my lyrics.
“Two years later I met this guy named Lee ‘Skills’ Resnick – he was the owner of Tru Criminal – I met him through this guy X-1, R.I.P. X-1 was a part of Onyx at one time. Street Smartz was actually two other guys, too – Maoz and Syx. A few days before we did the record, Six got locked-up, and Maoz was on other cuts on the album, but I was the one that rocked the single – I was prepared and I was ready to go. After everything popped-off with Street Smartz, the guys wasn’t feeling Tru Criminal, they didn’t want to sign on, so I just took that risk. I felt like the world just needed to hear me. ‘Ain’t No Burna’ was like the hood version to Jay’s record. It was actually a freestyle, but Tru Criminal just threw it out there. I feel like that record was ahead of it’s time, ‘cos you notice I took Jay-Z’s record [‘Ain’t No Nigga’] and made my version of it, and you know there’s a lot of artists that’s doin’ the mixtapes now – they take people instrumentals and make they versions to it. Independently, I sold a lot of records! I sold 100,000 at least.
“Tru Criminal, I was with them for a good six, seven years or more. We had a deal with Sony at one time too, with Stretch Armstrong. It lasted about six months, I did a few records and it fell through. Then we got with this company named New Line Cinema, they had a label distributed by Warner Bros. I started working on an album with them, but that also fell through in the end. The labels and the people I had in my corner wasn’t doin’ good business, so I started my own thing. I had to regroup.
“I did them records when I was real young…17, 18. I’m only 28 right now. A lot of people always told me, ‘Yo man, you’re one of the best. You’re supposed to out there’. So I’m takin’ mine right now. What set me back was a lotta let-downs and a lotta broken promises in the industry. It’s a lot of people in the industry that don’t like me or hate me for nothin’. Just for bein’ me! I’m so talented, they don’t like it. They feel like I’mma take they spot or they feel like they won’t be able to make it in this game if I make it. A lot of rappers wanna beef and they wanna use violence and beef for publicity to gain sales or gain a reputation off the next man. Me? I’m not focused on that. I’m just focused on becoming a super star – that’s the only thing I’m really focused on right now.
“In Brooklyn, our style is more gritty. We taking ours, we gonna shine regardless of what go down. People say, ‘If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere’, but if you can make it in Brooklyn, New York, you can really make it anywhere! Queens kinda inspired me to rap too. It’s more of a click thing, more of a family vibe. In Queens, if you get into a fight and your mans is with you, it’s no one on one – you gettin’ jumped in Queens! In Brooklyn, we’ll shoot the fair one…or we’ll shoot you. One or the other.”
Five Essential F.T. Tracks:
‘Ain’t No Burna’
The greatest ode to firearms since M.O.P told you to ‘Stick To Your Gunz’.
‘John F. Hennessey’
Alchemist serves up a piano-laced heater for F.T. to get loose over.
Superior brag-rap demonstration over a brooding Domingo track.
‘Metal Thangz’ feat. O.C. and Pharoahe Monch
Buckwild DJ OGee on the beat and these two Southside greats on deck, you can’t go wrong.
‘Don’t Trust Anyone’
A quality slice of bleak paranoia.
Originally published in Hip-Hop Connection #232.
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