According to his MySpace caption, those are not Street Life’s boots.
Method Man‘s loyal right-hand man and road dawg Street Life talked about growing up in Staten Island, makes it clear that he wasn’t feeling the last Wu-Tang album and hints that this might be the second last solo album from Tical. The Meth Lab is out 21 August.
Robbie: Did you grow up in Staten Island?
Street Life: Yeah I grew up in Staten Island, Park Hill and Stapleton.
How would you describe Stapleton when you were a kid?
There wasn’t that many guns out, it was just more fights and maybe a couple of stabbings. That was better than gunshots though. I was around twelve years old when I was in Stapleton, it was cool. Stapleton was my introduction into Staten Island, then I moved to Park Hill. I got most of my experience by growing-up in Park Hill versus Stapleton – Park Hill’s where all the drama unfolded at. That’s where the legend was born! (more…)
This came out a while back but it’s worth grabbing regardless, especially since I just interviewed J.Force this week. Until I transcribe that, for those unfamiliar, he dropped a couple of singles in the 90’s and worked with Marley Marl in the studio and was part of the Future Flavas radio show crew. This is a collection of ‘revisits’ he did for the show and stuff that’s never been released, pieced together with some choice movie samples and interludes. Strictly SP-1200 status.
Around the time of Stark’s R&B album and Chef’s Cuban sequel, I interviewed the two of them for Hip-Hop Connection Digital. Here are some of the parts that I didn’t feature in the original piece that mainly cover some of the old days of Staten Island rap.
Robbie: What were the early days like on Staten Island?
Ghostface: It was all good, with my peoples, just doin’ what thugs do. We was out there, whylin’, doin’ whatever we had to do to get that money. We did the Wu-Tang thing later on in ’93. Came out with that – a few guys are from Staten, few guys are from Brooklyn – came together and we rocked the world, man! We dropped a bunch of classics…and I’m here where we are right now.
Staten and Long Island seem to have a lot more creativity since you guys had to work harder to get that shine. Would you agree?
Raekwon: Absolutely. That’s true, because a lot of people, they only knew of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. Them was like the majority of people’s whereabouts, but then when you go to Staten Island it’s like weird combination of all them boroughs. When you go to Yonkers it’s a weird combination of all them boroughs. The more that people don’t know about your town is the more that you feel that you have to represent your town! We really just appreciated the fact that people didn’t know us, because we knew when they did find out who were, they was gonna be even more open to what we had to offer. So in a way it was it was a gift and a curse to really be from a forgotten borough though. (more…)
At the Raekwon show the other night, I witnessed the next generation of weed holding. Several members Ice Water were helping out The Chef on stage as you might expect, but it wasn’t long before one of the co-stars tired of vocal back-ups and abandoned his mic in favor of taking care of the drinks for everyone on stage. Every time Lex Diamonds required a top-up of his vodka and cranberry, this loyal side-kick made it happen. When a bag of local weed was handed to Shallah, he quickly passed it to the same dude so he could roll it a fatty, and when some skeezer’s/jump-off’s started hanging out on stage behind the crew, homeboy started the ever-important ‘selection process’. Salute for a job well done! Meanwhile, Rae did his thing as you might expect, peppering his performance with words of encouragement for folk with self-confidence issues and urging the crackers in the crowd to try and bag some black chicks when they get the chance. Much like other Wu shows, Rae spent a lot of time performing his crew’s rhymes for some reason, but when did shit from the original Cuban Linx all was forgiven. That reminds me, I still haven’t ordered that Linx 2 vinyl….
Let’s connect, politic, ditto…I’ve got to be honest here and say that this is the best news since Ced Gee announced he was working with Grandmaster Caz. How about getting Alchemist to produce the whole album?
Who you think scanned this from their Icewater CD? I don’t need a watermark, look at the angle…
You can’t own no loops in the rap game, but the fact that I was already more than familiar with the basis of six tracks from the Cuban Linx II album is seriously detracting from the listening experience. One or two I could have dealt with…but six? Really?
Robbie: Can you tell me about this R & B album? Are there a lot of collaborations?
Ghostface: Like when I did ‘Ice Cream’ and all the stuff like that. Remember ‘Ice Cream’? An album like that. A mixture of things, like you know how I did that Ne-Yo joint and ‘All That I Got Is You’ and stuff like that. It’s my last album [for Def Jam] so I wanted to do the album I always wanted to do, man. You gotta tell the fans that you not gettin’ no younger here – we gettin’ older! And everybody don’t sell crack no more, man. I don’t sell crack, yo. I ain’t movin’ no bricks or none of that other shit. I ain’t shoot nobody in like…since the early 90’s, man. How long you gonna be 40 years old and actin’ like you still sellin’ cracks and you on the block and you doin’ this and you doin’ that when times is more serious, man. We in a fuckin’ recession, B! Ain’t nobody gettin’ no money, man! We gotta stop lyin’ to ourselves and lyin’ to the fans. And the fans gotta stop bein’ so dumb and ignorant, and know it’s time to talk about grown-man situations. Shit that happen in the real life, inside your household, your love life, your personal life, that’s just like, ‘Damn, it’s hard for a nigga to get some money!’ It might be so hard to get some money that your girl might wanna leave you someday because you ain’t get no money like you like you used to be getting’ money! Those are real situations, so I think it should start goin’ back to songs that mean shit. All that other shit outside is just gonna keep us dumb, deaf and blind, yo, and we ain’t never gonna get nowhere.
What record best describes you?
Soul music describes me, before hip-hop and everything. If you go back to the early 70’s and late 60’s, that music is the essence of me. After that it’s breakbeats, then it comes all that rap music and other stuff like that.
In case you missed it, the full interview is here.
Five Fantastic Romantic Pretty Toney Cuts: (more…)