Nobodysmiling Masta Killa interview

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News Stories - MastaKilla : The first thing I’d like to know-what do people call you for short? You and I know there’s a rapper who holds down the “Killah” moniker. Do people call you “Killah” for short?

Masta Killa : Um some people (laughs). : Most people just refer to you as “Masta Killa?”

Masta Killa : Nah. Most people refer to me as Jemel Ari; so it’s either “Jemel” or it’s “Jemel Ari” ya-nah-mean? Some people say “Killah” ya-nah-mean? : OK. I can dig it. Why’d you choose to do business with Nature Sounds for this album?

Masta Killa : Well we chose to do business with each other. It was a situation whereas you have somebody who’s respecting your talent and ya business thoughts and how you conduct business. And we both respect each other on how we conduct business and talent and, you know, it’s a good feeling. It’s like when you come to work and feel good about the people that’s around you and you love what you love to do, it’s like ‘Shit. That’s a good marriage right there. : Word up. You have MF Doom on production for ‘Made in Brooklyn.’ Did you guys go in for actual sessions or did he just shoot you the beats and you did your thing?

Masta Killa : Exactly. That’s the way it happened. I respect the brother for what he does. Ya know, he got some crazy ass shit. : Word up.

Masta Killa : So it was a pleasure to-an honor-to have some of his music to be able to do some work to it and um…that was a great thing. Ya know, ‘Made in Brooklyn,’ seventy five percent of the album was recorded in Brooklyn. It also gave me an opportunity to work with certain producers from my hood-and emcees-so that was a great thing also. It’s dudes that um, you might not know they names but they up on there reppin hard too. : I got you. Most artists, when they’re asked about the change from album to another, talk about growth and going through a lot of things, but you say ‘Made in Brooklyn’ is the same formula as No Said Date with more “Brooklyn swag.”

Masta Killa : Pretty much so. This is-like I said, I got to add more formula from brothers that was around me like my man Wyse; he made this beat; he made “The Iron God Chamber.” And that’s one of the hardest tracks on the album to me. That’s a banger. It’s like I knew him for years, but
just to have the opportunity to be able to incorporate the talent from my hood-people that’s around me-and incorporate it to the foundation because, ya know, it wouldn’t be what it is without the supporting cast of my family. That’s number one also. : True that.

Masta Killa : That’s what makes it what it is. It’s my album but at the same time it’s a Wu-Tang Clan album because my family is supporting me. : Speaking of the Wu, this is the second time you’ve been able to get the whole Wu on your album?

Masta Killa : That’s right. : Right. How does that go down? Did schedules just happen to fit when it came time to do your album or is there something about a Masta Killa album that makes your Wu homies make it a priority to make those tracks happen?

Masta Killa : No. It’s like I’m blessed to be-my situation is not demanding of me because of the independent situation. It’s not demanding of me that I have to have a album in at a certain date. And with the commanding schedules of my family-we all being pulled in so many different directions with our careers-I’m blessed to say that I’m fortunate enough to wait two months for my brother to get off tour, if I have to, to make that happen; whereas if you had to get this album in for whoever you have a situation with, you basically gotta make deadlines because this is business also. : Of course.

Masta Killa : You might didn’t have the time to wait those two months whereas I did, you know what I’m mean? It’s not anything special, but I can say I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be patient enough to get what I need from my family before I put my album out. : Word up. So you pretty much look at it as a positive? It’s been two years since your last album?

Masta Killa : Yes sir. : You pretty much look at that down time as a positive? A lot of cats would say ‘If I don’t have a record in, how am I eating? What am I doing with myself?’ Feel me?

Masta Killa : Right-right. Well, you know, rabbits jump for carrots ya-nah-mean? I feel, to be patient, as the lion that I am, and wait for a real meal (laughs). You know what I’m saying? : Word up.

Masta Killa : You can really eat for real. So I say, rather than put out something every six months that you might not appreciate, I’mma take my time and concentrate on a project and give you something that you can appreciate maybe for the next ten years. It might have took me two years to put it together, but at the same time, like I said, I had to- those two years probably didn’t catch up to me waiting on myself. You know what I’m saying? Those two years could have been a process of me just waiting on the commanding schedules of my brothers. : Word.

Masta Killa : It’s like I said: I’m in a blessed situation that I had the opportunity to do that twice and, like I said, it’s just a blessing. But it wouldn’t be what it is without those brothers because that’s where it all came from. : Of course. You figure if you take your time with it it’ll have more longevity.

Masta Killa : Indeed. Indeed. Indeed. That’s how I see it. : I got you. Now other people from BK might have different perspectives, so from where you stand, what makes the BK swagger, if you will, different from the way other cats get down in different regions?

Masta Killa : Yeah I’m saying um…I mean...I’m from BK! : (laughs).

Masta Killa : That’s the uniqueness of it. You not me. And how I’ve survived my thirty seven years in BK might not be how you survived yours. So my experience is different from your experience, but hey, this all may be the same experience ya know? But we all saying the same shit-with different words at different times. I respect everything. I’m fortunate enough to say I’ve been around the world. I’ve been many different hoods-many different places, and everybody is basically saying the same shit-different words- so I respect everywhere. But this is just a opportunity to get people a chance to hear-get a feel of a little part of me and certain experiences of me-where I come from; not saying my shit is better; not saying I’m the king; not saying anything. I’m me. And this is where I come from. : OK. I got you. Do you have a most memorable experience from a place you’ve been over seas?

Masta Killa : Man... I love a lot of places man. I love Chicago, shit. LA- it’s like, ya know, Japan; I been so many places I’m fortunate enough to say. Everywhere was an experience. Hawaii. A lot of places was beautiful experiences. : I got you. What was the last joint you recorded for ‘Made in Brooklyn?’

Masta Killa : The last joint I recorded for Made in Brooklyn…I believe was ah…damn. You know, like I said, seventy five percent of my work was basically done over a year ago. : Really?

Masta Killa : Yeah. I never stop working, really. I’m constantly doing something you know what I mean? Even if it’s writing something down or laying something down or just looking for music, you know? I’m always in search to grow and develop. So a lot of my work was basically done. I was-like I said-I was basically waiting on-like ‘Damn. OK I did this. If I had fuckin Deck voice on this shit! But damn, I haven’t seen this ni**a in two fuckin months!’ : Gotta go grab em!

Masta Killa : ‘This muthafucka been over seas for a month. He been here-damn!’ I call; we talk. OK, ‘but ni**a I dont even want you to just come and see me and jump on a fuckin track! I aint seen you in two months. Whats good ni**a?! : What’s good? Right.

Masta Killa : First of all we gots to bump; we gots to hang out. So that might take another two months! : (laughs).

Masta Killa : You understand what Im saying? So now its four months, you understand what Im saying? So, ya know, all these different chambers are going through that. Its like, I dont wanna just go see you [and say] Yo come jump on this shit -, no. Its like, I will never forget-I love my brothers. So the opportunity to get to see you and hang out with you, smoke a bean with you, you know; bullshit, we kicking it about the fam-all that shit-means more to me even than this fuckin track. : -than the record, of course.

Masta Killa : You know what Im saying?

Part 2 coming soon.
props to chambermusik

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