Interview: Consequence Talks Squashing the Beef With Pusha T and Kanye West, Working on 'So Help Me God,' and More

The former G.O.O.D. Music veteran also shared the premiere of his song "Tuck Your Release."

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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Consequence, the former G.O.O.D. Music veteran, has made headlines these past few years for controversial incidents—a feud with Joe Budden and Q-Tip, as well as other heated beefs with members of G.O.O.D. including Pusha T and Kanye West. All of those fall-outs have hindered growth in his two-decade-long career, and he’s finally had enough. This year, the 37-year-old Queens rapper is focusing on mending relationships and building new ones, which is why fans were so excited to see him and Pusha set aside their differences back in January. He’s even reconciled any issues with ’Ye, getting invited the last few months for in-home sessions to work on So Help Me God.

But Consequence is still focusing on his solo career and is constantly cooking up some new music. “Tuck Your Release,” premiered by Complex today, is just a small dose of an abundance of songs we’ll be hearing from him. He’s been working closely with his production team—Cris Guevara, Jenso Plymouth, Mike Brian, Young Trip, Sean Minor, John Sparkz, David DoSoo—who he says are his form of the Hitmen. On this song, produced by Consequence and Mike Cash of Company of Greatness, he’s noticeably brash and confident, while putting his competition on notice. “So unless your chain heavy with a custom piece/You better do yourself a favor, and tuck your release,” he raps.

We spoke to Cons last weekend to talk about his new single, “Tuck Your Release,” getting back together with Kanye West and Pusha T, the ongoing studio sessions for So Help Me God, and why rap fans need to start paying attention again.

Eric Diep is a writer living in New York. Follow him @E_Diep.

I gotta start with the title. Are you warning other rappers to tuck their release dates away?

I would say that. You know, rappers are just competitive by nature. So it’s not like specifically appealed to anybody. It’s more like an energy state that I’m in. Pretty much putting all my previous discrepancies aside [and] now I’m in a space where I can just focus on my talent as a rapper. For me, rap has always been a collection of things, but one mainly being competitive. I think especially like now, with me and Kanye re-connecting. He’s always shared that same focus.

You've reconnected with him recently.

Yeah, the crazy thing is that I actually produced a record for Kanye. You know, we had a couple trips where I came out over the last couple of months and vibed with him. I was working on…I don’t what I was writing, I was writing something. But then, I had finished that. It might have been “All Day.” I think I was just cooking up. I think I just wrote a verse for “All Day” or whatever. Maybe I throw it on there—whatever.

And then after that, I was like, “Yo.” I told the engineer, “Yo, I got something that I want to chop up.” I started chopping and shit and ’Ye had walked in. I was kind of like, “Yo, this is some bullshit that I was putting together for myself!” [Laughs.] He listened to the shit and it was just like, “Yo, this shit is crazy.” He just did like a whole record to it. It’s not finished on the spot. But literally on the spot, he just came over and did the references and the first [verse]. The chorus reference and all that shit. Everybody who was in the studio at the time came over. 

The thing with my beats, they feel like a time capsule of where I am. They have a little bit of everything to them. They got boom bap to them. They got a little bit of soul to them. You know, I’m not dinosaur-ized by boom bap though to the point where I don’t get what modern sound is. I don’t look at myself as if I’m trying to compete with whomever—if you want to say AraabMuzik or Premier. For me, it’s so light with it, it’s just about what works. It’s not to the point where I wouldn’t be disgruntled if someone didn’t like something. 

What’s your situation with G.O.O.D. Music? Are you with them again?

More importantly than anything, me and Kanye were best friends for over a decade. Well over a decade. Having that much equity in a catalog I think I can speak for him as well in this instance. That kind of relationship is something that’s not easily disposable. Over the last few years, I’ve been independent. I have Band Camp Records. I have Company of Greatness now. Obviously, because the picture that circulated around the Internet. We are reconnecting. We are just in that space, there’s no “Yo, you gotta do this.” Or I have to do it because he has to do it so to speak. I mean, the bottom line is with that much equity in a brand, whether I like it or not, whether he likes it or not, we always are gonna share a connection.

the bottom line is with that much equity in a brand, whether I like it or not, whether [kanye] likes it or not, we always are gonna share a connection.

You’re never going to lose that.

When we first clicked up or whatever the case may be—however you want to phrase it—as we grew, social media grew. Now that you have social media basically in the state where it is at, it’s pretty much is the pulse of what matters to people. When people are still tweeting about records and Instagram-ing covers. Not too long ago, there was the 10-year mark of The College Dropout. Even this past January, there was a picture that circulated with me, Kanye, and Kim. We were at John Legend’s 10th anniversary for “Let’s Get Lifted.” And we were all there. Like I said, when you have this much history and now you factor in social media and people still look at the work that you’ve done. 

Plus, fans get really excited when they see you and Kanye together. It’s cool to see you two leave everything behind and reunite.

Yeah, we had separate professional conversations before we took any pictures or whatever. We both retain a level of dignity. Oftentimes, regardless of what our situation is, when we looked at it for what it was, no pun intended, but the good outweighs the bad. 

You also posted a picture with Pusha T and captioned it, “Pusha and I deaded everything and we creatively vibed with Kanye for this new LP.” How did you patch things up with him?

I came out to work with Kanye and I didn’t know Pusha was gonna be there. When I spoke to Kanye, obviously it was like, “Yo, I’ma come out. I wanna work on some shit.” Ours are usually one-on-one too. When I get to the studio, I walk in and I hear, “Oh, shit!” Big Sean is sitting on the couch. I walk in and I’m standing up, so he sits down. I hear “Oh shit!” and I look down and see Big Sean. I’m like whatever. I didn’t know they was gonna be there, but at the end of the day, they’re his artists. They have all the right to be there. But they didn’t know I was gonna be there either. There was a degree of agreement that everybody kind of had to cut through. Until I felt comfortable, I just posted up. 

Me and Sean obviously have more of a rapport than me and Pusha. More of a personal rapport because I helped Sean. When Sean came to G.O.O.D. Music and got signed, I was definitely a big brother to him. I put him on “Whatever You Want.” We did the remix. And we did a couple other things. G.O.O.D. Music takes over the Knitting Factory showcase. Me and Kanye brought him and Cudi out when they first signed. 

[That session], we were actually doing Dark Sky Paradise. We were working on his new album, and like I said I was just posted. Pusha was in there. Vic Mensa was in there. A couple of other heads in there or whatever. Primarily everybody is, you know, I haven’t been around any of them in years. This is obviously an opp to build. It was cool. Everybody was respectful ’cause I think when you look at the equity of what’s been done, you put whatever to the side. It’s hard not to shake my hand. 

What happened with me and Pusha was the ice breaker. I think we were talking about marketing. I think the conversation in the room was marketing. And I brought up a point that he agreed with, “Yeah, you right ’Quence.” A little bit later, me and Kanye spoke. And it was like obviously I have to have a word with him. Me and Pusha spoke. We were like man to man. It was nothing. I definitely made it an attempt to tell him you’re your own man. I’m my own man. I don’t want to sit here and pretend like we didn’t do everything that we did just because of Kanye. You know what I am saying? 

And I think even with Kanye, he wasn’t really in-tune with how hard Pusha and me was going at each other. I think he kind of realized once everybody was in the room, it was like, “Oh.” [Laughs.] “Y’all two…yo.” I was like, “OK.” At the end of the day, Pusha was really respectful in the situation. He could have gone left with it, but he didn’t. We spoke even before we took the picture. And it was his idea to put “we all good.” You know, because he respected history. With everything that happened, it happened the way it happened. In 2015, like how I said in the start of the conversation, with all the discrepancies aside, now I can just focus on being a rapper.

Do you think you’ll be contributing to his new album, So Help Me God?

You know, I’ve already been in sessions and worked. We just gotta see what the final product ends up being. Obviously, I’m a veteran so I’m not that guy who is gonna sit here and be like, “Yo!” Sometimes, people get excited and they shoot their load. Number one, they out of place when they doing it because it is still Kanye’s album. So it’s for him to do. We do anything with regards to my record, with anything that I’m doing, and then I have no problem talking to press about my record. As far as Kanye’s record So Help Me God is concerned, it’s for him and what he puts in the credit and what he determines to be the final product is cool. I did contribute; I was in a couple sessions. I’m never in the session and not do what I do. There are verses, there are other things. We all know that I write. At the end of the day, he’s the executive producer of his album and he’s the artist. That’s for him to go into detail about whom and so forth and so on.

Why do you think he likes to work in the studio all together like that?

Honestly, I can’t even answer that. That’s a Kanye question. I don’t know. Everybody has their own method to their madness. I’m the guy who prefers to work by himself.

Are you working on Movies on Demand 5?

Among other things. I’ll probably put it out sooner than later. Obviously, there’s Movies on Demand 5. There’s a retail release. This year is about output for me. You’ll get MOD5. Hopefully, there will be an album this year. I got a lot of records. The great songs that I have over the last two years, I’ve just been able to cook. 

What will come first: album or mixtape?

I don’t really want to give nothing away. I just really wanna rock. I don’t want to make false promises to those who fuck with me. But you will get music in abundance. I have a lot of records, and I’ve been working with a lot of people. I’ve been in the studio with a lot of people. If it’s not me rapping on a single that’s my own, it’ll be a collab. It’s being me producing. There will be a lot of music out from Consequence in a couple dates of this year. That can I assure you of.

You’re focusing on being a rapper now. What do you want your fans to take away from “Tuck Your Release?”

This motherfucker raps his ass off. Still. That’s what the “Tuck Your Release” exercise is. And in addition to that, that beat is like at that level. Really, the raps are at a level. The beats are at a level. There’s a lot more of that to come. It’s just putting people on notice. I’m coming for this beat money, and I’m coming for this rap money.

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