When you say traps, I’ve read different things that there were hundreds of agents in Houston trying to infiltrate your business. How bad did it get?

Well when I say trap, I mean this—this is what I believe. They put a hit man on me. And I done got to believe this is true. The records will reflect this to be true, as far as the amount of people that he killed. This guy killed eight or nine people, which is highly unusual for an officer to have to use his gun and kill that many people. He’s probably one out of three. You do your research and you may not find one officer that killed that many people. So this is the guy they put on me.

And you know this because you saw him?

 

They put a hit man on me. And I done got to believe this is true. The records will reflect this to be true, as far as the amount of people that he killed. This guy killed eight or nine people, which is highly unusual for an officer to have to use his gun and kill that many people. He’s probably one out of three. You do your research and you may not find one officer that killed that many people.

 

Oh it’s no doubt about it. He not only let me know, he let everybody know that he was on me. The world probably knew that, all the way up until they had a hearing almost at the White House or somewhere where they had this hearing on me and everything.

But anyway, this is who they put on me that stopped me about 4 o’clock in the morning and asked me to pull over in the dark at a service station. And when I pulled over, they had a DPS officer that stopped me on the freeway. It wasn’t him, but he was under the authority of him. He stopped me on the freeway, told me where to exit, and told me where to go.

They had it all well planned.

Oh it was laid out. When i got to the corner, and the McDonald’s that used to be kinda lit up, was black dark over there. I see two or three cars parked over there. So I come to a stop, I said No.

“Pull fuckin’ over!” is what he tells me. “Pull fuckin over.” And I point this way, so I go across the red light and pull into a Shell service station, which was lit up.

And the officer get out and say “Where are your guns?” Now he ain’t even supposed to know I got a gun. I got a gun license, right? But shit, before I can give him my drivers’ license, he’s asking me about guns and this and that. And I said, “Man, why are you asking me about my gun? What are you stopping me for?”

He said “Oh, you were swerving.” This is the lie they tell when they want to stop you and do something to you. All they got to say “Oh, he was swerving. He was drunk.” The world know I don’t drink or smoke. If they don’t, then write it. Okay, so at that point I got out of my car, I said my guns is under the floor mat. I had two guns. That’s why they call me Jesse James. I keep two of ’em with me.

I didn’t know they called you that.

 

I said my guns is under the floor  mat. I had two guns. That’s why they call me Jesse James. I keep two of ’em with me. And I can shoot well, so let the highjackers know that.

 

Yeah I can shoot well. So let the highjackers know that. I shoot well. So he passes the floormat up and go over to the passenger side. By this time I’m in the back of my car. So I scared him. I walked up on him and scared him. I said, “Man, why you searching my car?” And he jumped. “Why are you violating my rights man? He said, “I’m looking for the guns.” I said, “Man, I told you where the guns were.”

So anyway, to make a long story short, he got back out and came back where I was, and asked me how much money I got in my pocket. I said, “Man you need to borrow some money? Why you asking me about my money?” I’m watching his eye contact. He’s looking over there at the other two officers. By that time, one of them from across the street came over in army fatigues.

Not in a police uniform?

No. In army fatigues and in a Cutlass—unmarked car. And I recognized who the officers was. He whispered something in his ear, and then he took off.

By that time I got about 10 or 15 people swarming around the thing too. Cause I had somebody following me anyway—because they had sent me all kinds of threats. So I got my soldiers riding with me 24/7. So by that time they’re making these circles, and the police decided to leave, and the officer said, “Well I’m gonna give you a warning and I'm gonna let you go."

 

I was under attack from a lot of people in high places. They went as far as attacking me in church and when Al Gore, the Vice President, showed up to the church, they wanted to make a connection. Because they had wrote where I had gave him $400,000—all this crazy money.

 

When I got home I noticed that they took one of my bullets with them. Cause I counted. And I was thinking, “Why was they trying to pull me in that car?” Because this was before I done the investigation on this man and found out he had killed all those people and stuff. This was what prompted me to do that move. I said, “Man, they took my bullet. What the hell?”

And I couldn’t figure it out so I just came up with, Whatever it was, it wasn’t good. So that led to me doing a lot of things as far as protecting myself, you know what I’m saying? And shining the spotlight on them to let people know, here’s what’s trying to happen, and I’m in a position where I have to protect myself.

And there were hearings about Rap-A-Lot but you finally prevailed.

Right, I was under attack from a lot of people in high places. They went as far as attacking me in church and when Al Gore, the Vice President, showed up to the church, they wanted to make a connection. Because they had wrote where I had gave him $400,000—all this crazy money.

Is that true or not true?

Nah, not true at all. I’m just trying to start to vote. So ain’t nothing real with that. But this is the lie that they told. And they tried to get a picture with that lie. But I just left because I didn’t feel like all those people with black glasses on was there for Al Gore. My intuition had me feeling kinda funny that day.

So you didn’t go to church that day?

I went to church, but I left immediately after. I normally hang around. I just bounced. And a few days later I found out that that whole situation was being monitored—by video tapes everything. From when I pulled up until I pulled out. [Laughs.]

 

So you say nobody came to your aid when you were under investigation.

Well I can’t say no one came because the world know Maxine Waters took a stand where I was concerned. And I wish she would run for president tomorrow. I would do everything I could. Every dime I’ve got I would put it behind her. Because I know when the pressure is really on, and your back is against the wall, she’s gonna take a stand. And I call her the soldierette for the hip-hop culture. Yeah, that’s what I named her. The soldierette. Cause she’s gonna represent when it’s time to represent.

She was the only one in congress to speak out against that whole CIA crack connection.

 

Well I can’t say no one came because the world know Maxine Waters took a stand where I was concerned. And I wish she would run for president tomorrow. I would do everything I could. Every dime I’ve got I would put it behind her. Because I know when the pressure is really on, and your back is against the wall, she’s gonna take a stand. 

 

A lot of them other people talk about what they gonna do, but this one I done saw in action. You know what I’m saying? I done saw her in action, so that proves it. As long as you right. You know what I’m saying? She ain’t gonna stand up for no wrong. But if you right, she gon’ ride.

We’re coming up on [15] years since Tupac was killed. Did you make an effort to stop that East/West beef? Cause I heard you were making moves behind the scenes to broker a peace.

[Laughs.] Yeah, now you heard that—right? Tell me what you heard.

Okay I’ll tell you exactly. I heard that there was an attempt to get Big and Pac to sit down and talk man to man, instead of talking in the press or talking about each other on records. And that you were the neutral party who could make that happen.

Well let me say this, because I think I read something that wasn’t that accurate about that situation. As far as me making the move to bring them together, that never happened. That never happened. I think if I would have, it could have happened. But that never happened, because when I met with one side of the program, you know, two plus two equals four all over the world. Right? It didn’t equals four.

Not that time.

No. It didn’t add up to equal four. So with it not adding up, I had to put brakes on it. See I’m like this, when I speak, I got to be in the right. It have to make sense. I have to feel real genuine when I speak. And I can’t speak—if you wrong, then I got to tell the person that you wrong. I can’t do it.

So when that picture was presented to me, I had to go back into neutal. And it’s hard for me to be able to say to any man, “Don’t feel this way,” or “this and that” or “go and explain your story,” and it ain’t no validity there... I know I’m speaking real vaguely right now. [Laughs.]

Well maybe there’s a reason you are. But it’s important to understand what you are saying.

Yeah, you know what I’m saying? But see I couldn’t speak on it cause I woulda handled things differently. I woulda handled things differently when that happened to Pac. When he got shot I woulda handled it totally differently.

Are you talking about New York or Vegas?

New York. I woulda handled it differently in Vegas too. You know what I’m saying? I would’ve handled it different in both areas. So right now I won’t speak down on neither one of them, because everybody got their own style. But I will tell you I woulda handled it differently. But I couldn’t speak on it, because it had gotten to a state... I couldn’t say what they wanted me to say. [Laughs.] You know what I’m saying? My credibility is too strong for me to go on record with this shit that they’ve tried to do.

So what are your plans for the future?

 

Both times 2Pac got shot, I would have handled it differently. But I couldn’t speak on it, because it had gotten to a state... I couldn’t say what they wanted me to say. [Laughs.] You know what I’m saying? 

 

I’m gonna still keep trying to keep building up my empire. And who knows what that will turn into?

And it’s not an Enron empire that can just vanish overnight. It’s built brick by brick.

Brick by brick. Twenty-five years of bricks. So I’ll continue to add em on, piece by piece and make sure they’re strong.

From the Fifth Ward to the lake house, you’ve come a long way.

I’m in the Texas Hamptons now. You know I have to do this man. I love land, I love water. This is how I keep myself balanced. I got to come out the hood every so often and keep my scale balanced.

Do you still have a ranch?

Yeah, yeah. I have a ranch. And that's a business that deals with black angus cattle. More so than the business for me, I like because of serenity purposes. I'm big on serenity places. Actually I'm just closing on an island in Belize. So I have another serenity spot outside the US to go and be creative.

You said the whole island?

Yeah, it's an island. It's called the Prince Island.

Wow. I guess if you own the island you call it whatever you want.

M-hm. I got to have access to a lot of different things. It elevates my mind, man. I think God speak to me when I come out here.

What’s the last thing He told you?

[Laughs.] Let me think of the last thing. Well—I thought about saying something, but... Here it is: A lot of people say they love money, right? I tell people I don’t love money. But I like it so much till it’s hard to tell the difference. [Laughs.]

 

Well you would always do more for love...

Yeah, most definitely. And here’s something else that He put on my heart—and that’s to give back to your community. I can’t understand these brothers that make it, and they know they can run like they can run, they can shoot like they can shoot, they can play like they can play because of all these guys they played with in the hood. You know what I’m saying?

That competitiveness that they had in the hood is what shape and mold them and make them what they are. They know where they come from but through selfishness they disown the hood. And for them to disown where they come from to me is a major slap in the face. So that’s a message from God.

What are some of the things you can point to that you’ve done to give back?

Man...

I know you built a boxing gym.

Yeah but it’s deeper than that. I built a lot of things in the community. I contribute to a lot of things in the community. But what’s more important that that to me is the wisdom that I share in the commmunity. Because at the end of the day that’s more imporant than money and gold and silver and rubies and all of that. You can feed a man a fish or you can teach him how to fish. When I give wisdom I feel like I’m teaching them to fish.

That comes back to your artists, like Trae, who’s running his own business.

Trae gonna get there too, cause he’s got a work ethic that’s out of this world. In the hood they say “game recognize game” and I’m saying entrepreneurs recognize entrepreneurs.

That’s what made America great, right? It worked for the Bush family.

What about the Kennedys? Before the Bushes. Joe Kennedy was a hustler. I can’t knock it. He figured out a way to diversify his portfolio. And boy I love it. Working together works.

Speaking of diversifying, I’ve been seeing posters for Strapped condoms. What can you tell me about that?

First of all, Strapped is two things that I like to do. I like making money and I like giving back to my community. Of course you know we’re not condoning sex before marriage and all of that. But the reality is people gonna do things.

And with our race being the number one victimes of AIDS and HIV, I came up with this vision to stay strapped. I think I was looking at a condom and my pistol when I came up with the name. Stay strapped. Because the gun used to be the number-one killer. But now we gottta look out for the AIDS, the HIV, the teenage pregnancy and all of that. So I think it’s an excellent tool to contribute to the safe sex thing and to the hip-hop generatino. I wanna put it right in their face where they can relate to it. I hope that every artist athlete and everybody will come and contribute to this movement where Strapped is concerened, because we can make a major difference and save a lot of people’s lives.

And the life you save could be your own.

That’s heavy brother. That’s heavy right there.

What do you listen to when you’re relaxing at the ranch or just chilling on Prince Island?

[Laughs.] I do more talking and brainstorming than I do sitting listening to music these days. I don't really have to hear music, you know. Like when I'm at the ranch and places like that, I'd rather listen to the crickets and the frogs and the birds [Laughs.] and things like that. You know what I mean? Sounds of serenity. But I jam sometimes, I jam and tap into everything that's hot today to keep balanced. So I'm not out of sync, but it's not all day every day like it used to be.

Did you hear Watch the Throne?

Yeah. I definitely heard that album. I liked that album a lot.

How about Tha Carter IV ?

Yeah, I hadn't heard Wayne’s complete album but Wayne always hold his own, so I know he jamming.

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