Complex: Ghost, did you ever work with Chris Lighty?
Ghostface Killah: I didn’t know him all the way like that. More like, “What’s up? What’s going on?” It’d be like small talk. That was it. But he wasn’t no rah-rah type of dude, he was always cool. Smooth, smooth dude. Voice was smooth, low tone.
The Father, at the end of the day, knows the true story behind all that shit. R.I.P yo. It’s sad but at the same time yo, life is real. That’s why I look at this, especially for the New York rap scene, I always felt like enough was enough of whatever.
When I went to the South and I saw how they treated each other and how they treated me? They was in there giving me bottles like piss. It’s like, “Yo, hold on b,” because I’ve never had that happen to me like that before. I’m like, “Nah, I’m good.” “Nah, take that b. Whatever you need, this is southern hospitality. This is how we do out here in the A.” - Ghostface Killah
It’s like, a lot of us be emcees that be having beef with each other and for silly shit. It’s like, “Nigga, I don’t even know you. We ain’t even broke bread together!” So what are really beefing for? Like we never sat down and ate like, “Pass me the butter, son.” We never did none of that. So what’s really the beef? And it’s not over no money.
But when I went to the South and I saw how they treated each other and how they treated me? Nigga, they was in there giving me bottles like piss. It’s like, “Yo, hold on b,” because I’ve never had that happen to me like that before. Like, “Go ahead, take that,” and I’m like, “Nah, I’m good.” “Nah, take that b. Whatever you need, this is southern hospitality. This is how we do out here in the A.”
For a nigga to get ahead of this dude, and then I’m walking through and here go Young Joc doing the same thing. It’s like yo man, you know what b? It’s crazy because I can’t even get that in my own hometown.
If I wanted 50 or Jay or Nas to come to the video shoot, these niggas won’t even budge. It feels like we’re so distant and so divided. But if they see me, Sheek, 50, Hov, Nas, Kiss, Rae and them niggas on one fucking track? Them Atlanta dudes would be like, “Yo man, that’s the bomb. Those are the Yankees right there. Those are my favorite niggas that I ever wanted to see on one track.”
But they can’t get it, but you can get that over there with them niggas. Jeezy on a track with 2 Chainz, Future, T.I. and all these niggas and it’s all they shit. But we can’t get that. We need unity.
Sheek Louch: It’s starts with everybody too man because even on the radio over there, they’re playing artists that you’ve never heard of. They don’t even have record deals, but they’re playing them. They help their artists blow the fuck up.
Complex: New York is a grimy city. They booed Outkast, they booed Jay Electronica, Scarface. Just because they’re from the South, people get booed.
Sheek Louch: So you’re saying it goes both ways?
Complex: Nah, I’m just saying, New York is filled with haters. [Laughs.]
Ghostface Killah: Yeah, it’s like The Apollo crowd.
Sheek Louch: I think everybody is stars in New York. Not necessarily you are a star, but their mentality is like, “Who the fuck is this?”
Ghostface Killah: Exactly. But that’s almost like everywhere. Because it’s like, if you was somewhere in the South, and you was kind of new, I don’t know if motherfuckers would just sit there and listen to your shit. If they don’t know one word and you a new motherfucker, it’s like come on. They’re gonna want to listen to the next motherfucker that’s coming on, that’s from their town that they can relate to.
It goes both ways. I remember they chased us out of Texas back in ‘92 or ‘93. If it wasn’t for Ol’ Dirty, we would’ve been fucked up. We were in Houston in the Fifth Ward. They had a big mural of Scarface on the wall. So I felt it, I’m a spiritual dude. I told Killah Priest, “Yo, listen man, shit don’t feel right in here. Let’s stick together.”
RZA had the Heineken bottle in his other hand and just trashed him [and hit him over the head with the bottle]. And it was on! And you can carry guns over there. So we was on stage, we ran outside that side door, and these niggas came but we was all in the van. We rushed in, all of us got in the van, but we had nowhere to go. - Ghostface Killah
So, to make a long story short, we’re on stage and RZA is talking. We got one little knucklehead nigga in the crowd. He’s like, “Get the fuck outta here with that shit. Get the fuck out! We don’t want to hear that shit.” So RZA’s like, “What? What you say?” So RZA gave him the mic. Dude took the mic and was like, “I said get the fuck out of here. We don’t want to hear that shit.”
So RZA, he passed the mic back and shit, so RZA up there still doing his shit. So money just took his shit and threw his cup on RZA. But RZA had the Heineken bottle in his other hand and just trashed him [and hit him over the head with the bottle]. And it was on!
And you can carry guns over there. So we was on stage, we ran outside that side door, and these niggas came but we was all in the van. We rushed in, all of us got in the van, but we had nowhere to go.
All of a sudden Dirt was like, “Yo, make a left this way, go through here.” Word is bond. Out of nowhere, it was freedom, freedom. Free at last! And we just made it right to the highway nigga. And we got beat. Because that’s when we was getting $100 a show and we’d have to split it $10 a piece. We had the money and it was a fake hundred dollar bill.
These new niggas that Sheek talking about, these new niggas never went through that.
Complex: Sheek you ever went through a crazy tour story like that?
Sheek Louch: We done did it with everybody man. We was in Boston and they was looking for DMX for something and we couldn’t find him. So to make a long story short, they said they were fucking up everybody. We got into it all crazy with the whole team. With The LOX it seemed like that was our shit. Niggas thought we was coming to fight at everything.
We was young and wilding. We was on beautiful yachts parties and Puff would be like, “Everybody, The LOX is on here. They gonna fuck something up.” Bless my swag up but that’s how we was, but we thought that was the way to move. But it’s cool now, now we about that money.
Complex: I wanted to follow up on one thing Ghostface mentioned too, the lack of record labels. This record for you guys is being released independently, through E1. Does that work for you now in your career?
Sheek Louch: Yeah, I did couple of albums with E1. But my solo album is on Def Jam. I think Ghost wanted to do the whole E1 thing because how the independents let us move with that freedom. Not even necessarily, we’re gonna see this amount off each record. Nah, it’s more like, we can put this shit out the way we want and have that creative control and we gonna hit this road and tour and go big time. Labels like E1 are very important man for guys like us, it gives us an outlet.
Complex: You mentioned you have your solo record on Def Jam. When is that slated for?
Sheek Louch: I’ve probably got like eight joints done on my solo, I know Ghost is almost done with his solo. Since we got off tour, I’ve mainly been working on this LOX album, with Kiss and Styles.
Complex: Yeah, it’s about time.
Sheek Louch: Man look, I ain’t even want to spill the beans on that but we’ve probably got 15 joints done. Probably take it to like 30, then pick it out, and then present it. But every night [I’m working on it.] After doing my interview here, I’ve got to meet with them in the studio and go finish up a Swizz joint.
Since we got off tour, I’ve mainly been working on this LOX album, with Kiss and Styles. I ain’t even want to spill the beans on that but we’ve probably got 15 joints done. Probably take it to like 30, then pick it out, and then present it. But every night [I’m working on it.] - Sheek Louch
Complex: I never understood why you guys didn't make an album because you guys constantly made songs together. Every time Jada would drop an album, you would be on it, Styles would be on it. So you guys have basically made a LOX album.
Sheek Louch: Definitely. But they want that original one and y’all gonna get it. We got [DJ Khaled and Swizz Beatz] executive producing it right now.
Complex: Are you slating that for this year or next year?
Sheek Louch: Realistically, I would say next year.
Complex: What’s up with you Ghostface? Seems like your done with the Blue & Cream album.
Ghostface Killah: Yeah. The Blue & Cream joint, I’m like 80-85% done with that. I didn’t put the features on yet. I’m just still looking to see whatever beats I could get that might knock something else off. Then, I’ll put the skits on it and everything is a wrap. I’ve been sitting on it for like two years. I was doing it when I was on my last shit on Def Jam, but I gave them a mixtape.
Complex: Apollo Kids?
Ghostface Killah: Yeah, but that was a mixtape. That wasn’t no album. They wanted Supreme, I’m gassing for them to do Supreme. But I caught them niggas real quick for their bread and then gave them Apollo Kids. That was gonna be called The Warm Up, but they was like, “Nah, I know what you’re trying to do.” They caught on.
So I just called it Apollo Kids. But I still kept Supreme on the side though and I’ve been holding it. I’ve been holding it, holding it, holding it and I still got it. That’s why I try to be like, “Yo, hold on man.”
But then we came and we just say, we’re gonna do the Wu-Block. So I pushed it to the side. It’s a good idea because I could follow up from that. But then what’s coming now is we’ve got the 20th anniversary of Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) next November.
So, it’s a lot of shit that’s in the mix right now but I gotta get that. I don’t wanna be sitting on this fucking record man. I don’t wanna fuck around and put it out and rush it. I want everything to be right. I’m not comfortable with coming out in the summertime. The summer is not my season, I go through a lot of shit in the summer.
Sheek Louch: You make a lot of dope records in the summer though.
Ghostface Killah: Yeah, but I’ve never released a record in the summer.
Sheek Louch: No, but you make summertime records though.
Ghostface Killah: Oh, I can make records like that, but as far as my luck, it’s finished.
Complex: Your luck is bad in the summer?
Ghostface Killah: Yeah. Shit just don’t go right. You know yourself, you gotta know your seasons. There be certain seasons, it’s telepathy. Those are my February-March months. Once April-May hit, I’m finished up until like September. In June-July, I’m fucked up. I don’t give a fuck where I’m at. I could be in Europe nigga, the tour won’t even go right.
I’m a spiritual dude, so I’ve experienced these things and I do a lot of reading. And it tells you, you have to know your seasons. We all got it. You gotta know when it’s your time. You might wake up one day like, “Damn, I just feel good,” but you’ve been feeling like that for a whole month. That’s your season.
Remember when it comes back around the next year and look for it. So that’s why I say those months like May, June, July, it’s too much for me. It starts clearing up for me in August.
Complex: You were saying about with Def Jam you were putting out Apollo Kids and kind of pulled the okey-doke on them. Are you still signed to Def Jam?
Ghostface Killah: Nah. Def Jam just made deals with me. They wouldn’t let me go because they didn’t really have that much street cred. So they kept me around. I’m like, “Okay you gotta give me this and I’ll give you this” type shit. I did an R&B album for them niggas and they still couldn’t take me nowhere. It is what it is though. I ain’t gonna shit on them, but my career really didn’t go nowhere on Def Jam.
Complex: You put out FishScale on Def Jam though.
Ghostface Killah: But that didn’t really go nowhere. It was just there. I could do the same shit I’m doing on my own or wherever else.
Def Jam wouldn’t let me go because they didn’t really have that much street cred. So they kept me around. I did an R&B album for them niggas and they still couldn’t take me nowhere. I ain’t gonna sh*t on them, but my career really didn’t go nowhere on Def Jam. - Ghostface Killah
Complex: You feel like the independent route is the way for you?
Ghostface Killah: It’s whatever works. Sometimes you need your label to go ahead and get you out there. You might do a 50-50 with somebody.
Complex: Both of you guys seem to have a full plan for the next few years.
Ghostface Killah: Basically right now, I don’t care where I’m at. It don’t make a difference with me. I’m Ghostface, b.
Sheek Louch: Once your status is where it’s at, you’ll be fine.
Ghostface Killah: It don’t make a difference because we still gonna do the same music. The companies ain’t behind you like that no more. They making you do all the work. What they used to be doing 300 person staff, it’s no more.
Sheek Louch: Yeah. It’s more computerized right now.
Ghostface Killah: I was talking to Redman, he said they only got like 10 cubicles up in [the Def Jam office] and that’s it. Ain’t no more this floor, that floor, that floor. They crushed all that shit down to like 10 fucking desks. What you gonna do for me man when you got like 60 artists you gotta look after, b?
Complex: It is the Internet era but I feel like the Internet has helped you guys.
Sheek Louch: It’s a gift and a curse to me. It’s definitely a double-edged sword, and I don’t mean that on no Wu-Tang shit.