Filed under: Interviews,Killa Queens,Not Your Average,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Even though he was on a bus full of rowdy basketball fans on the way to catch the LeBron James and Dwayne Wade at the game out in Miami when I spoke to him, Imam THUG was still able to shed a little light on his history in the game and his involvement with The War Report 2 for this quick interview.
Robbie: How did you get started in the rap game?
Imam THUG: I just wanted to be more of a value to the team. We all knew each other anyway so I felt like if I could be as ill as everyone else then we could have another part of the legacy to fulfill – give the people more.
Was Tragedy someone else you knew from the block?
Yeah, I basically just came from the block. I always knew Trag was in the studio and he always used to try and get me there. When he first tried to find me I was already outta town, already locked-up in an outta state penitentiary. So he didn’t even catch me the first time around, he caught me the second time around. [laughs[ Yeah, I wish he woulda caught me the first time around - that would’ve saved me a little less drama! But he caught me the second time around and I went in. I started with the promotion, promoting the whole Capone-N-Noreaga campaign, the whole 25-Ta-Life campaign. The I just said, ‘Well, lemme start rhyming’ and when I spit something to Trag he was like, ‘Yo, you incredible!’ I didn’t know how I was incredible, it juts happened! They threw me in the song with Ma$e and Cardan and Cam’Ron and NORE. I was just in the mix and holding it down.
So The War Report was your first official appearance?
Exactly. It was my first run, like when you first get your car…’You got a nice new whip now. Here, take the keys you gotta drive, it be easy..’ Trag just made sure that I got on that and wanted me to do my thing.
After that you did the Iron Sheiks record?
The Iron Sheiks was more a 3rd World visual…more governmental, mixed in with conspiracy –theory kinda deal. It was a mixture of a lot, man. Me and Trag, we go in heavy though on that Iron Sheiks stuff. We goin’ to be doin’ more when he comes home – him and I.
Wasn’t ‘Illuminati’ originally a Noreaga track?
What happened was Noreraga really didn’t take to that track right away – so he kinda-like bypassed it a little bit. It had more of an Iron Sheik kinda feel to it.
What’s the science behind your name?
I’m glad you asked that, because a lotta people misinterpret the meaning of my name ‘cos they don’t know the science behind it. The ‘T.H.U.G.’ is abbreviated for Truth, Hunger, Understanding and Growth – which is the struggle – and Imam is the faith, like a leader in faith, so I kinda struggle with the faith. That’s my life. That’s a lotta people’s lives when they’re young, caught-up in the streets. You’ve gotta have faith, but to have faith is not easy – so it’s a struggle. Survivalist.
You recorded ‘The Bridge ‘08’ with Killa Sha, who sadly passed last week. Did you know him well?
Absolutely, I knew him very well. I’ve known Killa Sha for years, man – countless years. We from the same block, man. We basically grew-up together – 41st & Vernon Boulevard in QB. That’s why I called him to the studio to do the song with me, ‘cos I though that he’d be a good look for the record. It was good for the streets to hear that combination of me, him and Hostyle – something like you’ve never heard before.
What do you remember about him in particular?
He always had a passion for music and he always went hard in the studio. Even when he was just making beats. Blessings to him…I know his moms and everything, so condolences to his moms. I remember when he started all of that stuff [as DJ Prince A.D.], we all grew-up around each other. I just got really into music around The War Report time, ‘cos I was just running the streets. Everybody knew each other, we knew what everybody was doing as far as music. That’s why Nas was such a surprise to me, ‘cos no one really knew that he could MC, or he was even that nice for that matter!
So he just came out of nowhere? Like ‘Oh, shit!’
Yup, that’s how I took it. It was shocking!
Is Tragedy involved with The War Report 2?
Oh yeah, absolutely. He’s incarcerated right now, but he’ll be out pretty soon. We do have some vocals of him that are real hot – vintage Tragedy Khadafi music that people would expect to hear from him – and it’s positive too, so it’s hot. And plus we’re gonna get him on the skits and stuff like that. We’re gonna work it out. We got some nice dedication records that Capone-N Noreaga did for him that’s real explosive. It’s gonna be hot, man. People gonna be real surprised when they hear how CNN is working it out, man. How they sounding is incredible, man. When Trag come home we gonna have him in the studio – it’s gonna be a lotta work, man. A lotta music. I’m real proud with The War Report 2 and how everybody’s sounding right now. It’s just amazing, man.
ED209 feat. Imam THUG - ‘Karma 360′
Capone-N-Noreaga feat. Imam THUG - ‘Driver’s Seat’
Imam THUG feat. Killa Sha & Hostyle - Bridge ’08′
Iron Sheiks - ‘Allumanatti’
Iron Sheiks - ‘Tony Touch Freestyle’
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