With Random Axe (Sean Price's supergroup along with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson) dropping their debut album on June 14 (read an album preview here)—and Price's long-awaited Mic Tyson album still on the way—we got down with Ruck of Heltah Skeltah to talk about what we feel are his 25 most essential songs. The Boot Camp Clik veteran talks about the chip he had on his shoulder while recording Jesus Price Supastar, how he used to sell drugs and hustle Motorola two-ways, and why he regrets the video for "Everything Is Heltah Skeltah." Beyond that, he also recalls growing up with a mother who was both a drug addict and a numbers runner, how he took shrooms before recording "Onion Head," and how he doesn't want to be known as the brokest rapper you know anymore. It's P!
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka
Heltah Skeltah f/ O.G.C. "Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka" (1996)
Produced by: Buckshot & Baby Paul
Sean Price: “That was fluke. Well, not a fluke, but it was an accident. We used to play this game. We were in my crib smoking. Me, Rob, and Starang were [playing] a Sega Genesis game called Coach K College Basketball where you could shatter the backboard. Starang broke the backboard on me and yelled, ‘Eshkoshka!’ We don’t know what that shit means, he just yelled it, and we started laughing at him.
“When we signed our deal [with Duck Down] and Dru Ha moved into the new offices at Priority. The first day we all went up there one of the Da Beatminerz drops some beats off. I was in there talking, he played the beat, and the shit was cool. Starang literally walked in there and said, ‘Ay, carumba/Starang, gun clappa number.’ We went to the studio the next night.
“Me and Starang wrote our verses together at my crib and we went to the studio and knocked that shit out. And I just said, ‘The name of this here is Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka.’ I just said that shit, I don’t even know what it means. There’s no meaning to it. It means absolutely nothing. We were just bugging the fuck out.
“People thought the Fab 5 was gonna be a group. It’s not really a group, it was just the introduction to the new artists that were on the label. People were like, ‘Where’s the album?’ We were like, ‘There’s no album. There’s two groups.’ But it had took a life of it’s own.”
Heltah Skeltah f/ Vinia Mojica “Therapy” (1996)
Produced by: Baby Paul of Da Beatminerz
Sean Price: “Me and Rock were in his mom’s crib bugging, drinking, and smoking. We would smoke weed everywhere, we just happened to be in his crib that day. We came up with the idea and we wrote it right there in his bedroom. We went and did it a few days later.
“Rock’s mother is mean. She stretches her M’s when she talks, so when she calls you a ‘motherfucker’ you’re gonna remember it. But I’m the only one that could really make her laugh so I was special. And my moms and his moms were friends, so I got away with more stuff than his average friend would. But at the same time, she could put hands on me and my moms wouldn’t say nothing.
“She wasn’t [cool with us smoking] at first, but once we got record deals and were responsible young men, it was like, ‘Great, smoke. It’s all good. At least I know you guys ain’t out there doing something stupid.’ And we could pay her bills. [Laughs.]
“I ain’t never had no therapy before on some talk to a brother type shit. I don’t even believe in that. Fix your own shit up. How I gotta pay somebody to tell me, ‘Well, what you need to do is...’? No. I don’t believe in that shit.
“That’s why I’m the fucked up doctor [on the song]. Like, I’ma tell you some wild shit. If you listen to the beginning of Eminem’s Relapse where he’s like, ‘Yeah, you don’t have to stop doing drugs.’ [Laughs.] It’s like that.”
Heltah Skeltah f/ Buckshot “Operation Lockdown” (1996)
Produced by: E-Swift
Sean Price: “That was the last song that we did for Nocturnal. Our first hit was gonna be ‘Understand’ off Nocturnal and ‘Understand’ to the Nation of Gods and Earths is three. We had an idea for the video of a big three, so we had a big three carved out. We got old school photographer [and former photo editor of The Source] Chi Modu, he took pictures, and we were ready to go.
“But then Starang wanted to work with E. Swift because he was a big Alkaholiks fan. Swift was in town and they did a song with O.G.C. I asked, ‘You got something for us?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna come through the next day.’
“E-Swift got to D&D Studios late and Rock made him do push-ups because we had a rule: If you’re late for anything you do push-ups. Either that or we dock your pay, so which would you rather choose? E-Swift probably did like 50 push-ups. [Laughs.] We had other rules too. Like if you wear fatigues, you gotta wear boots. No fatigues and sneakers. What kinda army you in with sneakers on? That’s why you see us with Timbs all the time.
“So Swift did the push-ups and then played the beat. He had a drum and a fucking beeper noise. I’m getting confused. I ain’t saying nothing, but in my mind I’m like, ‘Is this guy playing me? A fucking drum and a beeper noise?’ I’m getting kinda like, ‘This nigga trying to play us yo.’ But we still did the song. I was so pissed off that I heard a drum and a beeper noise for five hours that when I did the song I was like, ‘Lemme get the fuck outta here. Duke played us.’
“Dru called me like, ‘Buck called me and said that’s your first single.’ I hung up on him. Bong! Like, ‘Get the fuck outta here.’ Dru called again like, ‘Yo, this your first single.’ I’m like, ‘Get the...’ Bong! I hung up. I called Rock like, ‘Did you hear from Dru?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, I was like, Bong! I hung up on him too. Fuck is he talking about?’
“Then we went up there on a Monday and he was like, ‘Listen, this is really the single right here. Listen to your verse, you're telling the dope story. Once he started talking it was really like, ‘True. Yeah, it makes sense. Let’s do it.’ So I love it now, but it was just the process of going through it that day, I was pissed. But big up to E. Swift. I love E. Swift.”
Headz Ain’t Redee
Black Moon f/ Heltah Skeltah, O.G.C., & Smiff-n-Wessun “Headz Ain’t Redee” (1996)
”Headz Ain’t Redee (Original)”
Produced by: Da Beatminerz
Sean Price: “The original version was for our demo. We did it at Special Ed’s studio, we worked on our whole demo there. That was one of the joints Dru and them got on the soundtrack to New Jersey Drive and we got a plaque for that. We sent it to them and they said they loved the song, but we couldn’t use that beat because Total’s ‘Can’t You See’ was on the soundtrack and it had the same beat. We had to go back and that’s where we got that version. The original beat had James Brown’s ‘Payback,’ but we couldn't use it because of Total. So we had to remix it, but I like the original better.
Heltah Skeltah, Ras Kass, & Canibus “Uni-4-orm” (1997)
Produced by: Fabian Hamilton
Sean Price: “That was for the Rhyme or Reason soundtrack and Priority payed us so I had to do it at Sony Studios. So we went over there and Ras Kass was there. It was him, Xzibit, and he had a kid with him. He like, ‘Yo, this is Canibus. We just got a deal on Universal. Canibus is my man so can you put him on the record?’
"Me and Rock were like, ‘Get the fuck outta here.’ He was like, ‘Yo my man can rhyme!’ So he started rhyming right there. The first rhyme he spit, it was cool, but I thought he was being a fake Keith Murray. I’m a keep it 100. Like, get the fuck outta here with that big word shit. You know Murray my nigga so I’m like, ‘Get the fuck out of here with that fake ass Keith Murray.’
“But then by he spit another verse and another verse I couldn’t deny it. I’m like, ‘This motherfucker is the truth. Let’s do it.’ Canibus has been been my boy ever since. That’s how that went down. I didn’t know Canibus was a super rapper. I knew about Ras, but then he brought his mans in there and I’m like, ‘Money nice man.’ I mean his verse is ill on there, but I didn’t know he was gonna be a rap God. Some kids, you hold in high esteem when it comes to them bars and I can’t be mad at him. That kid got bars, but I didn’t know he was gonna be that back then.”
I Aint Having That
Heltah Skeltah f/ Starang Wondah & Doc Holiday “I Ain’t Having That” (1998)
Produced by: Cuzin Bawb, Starang Wondah
Sean Price: “My man Doc Holiday—he’s on the record—and his cousin Bawb, we went to his crib. Really, cousin Bawb and Starang produced that record, Starang had the idea. I think it was supposed to be a Starang song. It was his whole idea and we just invaded on his idea and it turned out the way it turned out.
“I know [A Tribe Called Quest’s] ‘Hot Sex on a Platter’ so that’s why I was like, ‘Where you at’—just to show some respect and let you know where it came from. I got tons of useless information that don’t even make sense. So when I write rhymes, I download them on paper. It was real simple to write that shit and let it go.
“My man Doc Holiday went to jail before the video so we had Illa Noyz replace him in the video. [Laughs.] When you see the video, you see the black guy sitting in the chair. That’s Illa Noyz, but that’s supposed to be my man Doc. He didn’t lip sync, he just stood there for him. Big up my man Doc, he just came home not too long ago. He’s part of the functioning society, it’s great.”
Rising To the Top
Agallah f/ Sean Price & Bazaar Royale “Rising To the Top” (2001)
Produced by: Agallah
Sean Price: “That actually was for my demo. Agallah was working on my demo. We would go up to Game Records get fucked up, and knock songs out all the time. We knocked that song out and I had my little son Eli with me, he’s like sixteen now. But he was there at the time and I was like, ‘Talk.’ And he was like, ‘Sean P! Yeaaah!’ And me and Agallah went in and did the thing. I thought it was just another song on my demo that I was working on. But then Ag had the relationship with Game Records.
“Rock Star Games asked John Scheter for some music for Grand Theft Auto and he gave him that song along with a few others. That was one of the stand out tracks off that. And that was one of the first songs that was [part of] the Sean P comeback. That song to this day is still talked about. And my son got bragging rights on there. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad I had my son on there. He gets his little stardom, little shine off that too.”
Boot Camp Clik “And So” (2002)
Produced by: Curt Cazal
Sean Price: “We got a little bit of spin on the radio off that bullshit ass song ‘Think Back,’ but I didn’t even like that song. Not at all. But I had fell off after Magnum Force so I was like, ‘Alright, whatever. As long as it’s being heard.’ I was desperate and beggars can’t be choosers. But I didn’t like that song, I liked ‘And So’ better because I got deep man.
“I said, ‘Royalty checks equal to crack in the street/Niggas like fuck rap, Ruck rap to the beat/I said alright I’ll be back in a week.’ It was just real. I was living off the land, hustling man. [Laughs.] Hustling and using the same thing I was hustling man. [Laughs.] I was out there struggling.
“The words I said in the song were, ‘From day one I had a bad start/To eat moms stole meat out of Pathmark.’ It was real sick because my moms was a crackhead. She would go shopping in the big Pathmark out in Red Hook. She would go all the way there and put the meat under the shopping cart. We had food in the house, but if she stole $100 worth of meat—that was $100 for her to go smoke. She wouldn’t deprive the house. House stayed clean, food was in the house, but that was her way of getting high. Like, ‘Fuck that, I’m gonna steal the meat. With the change I got, I’mma get high with that.’
“All of them lines is real man. I went to jail and I came home October something. October 24, I went back to jail. I beat a gun charge and then got caught with an AP-9 like a week later—an AP-9 looks like a Tech-9, but it’s a little different. I went back to jail and I actually saw the same judge. My sister told me not to go outside that day, but I did anyway. So that’s a true verse right there, that’s why it means so much to me.”
Sean Price f/ Tek “Onion Head” (2005)
Produced by: Khrysis
Sean Price: “Me, Tek, Steele, and Buckshot were in North Carolina working. I had did a song called ‘Bye Bye’ earlier and then my friend came by and brought me some shrooms, but he had them in chocolate fishes. I take Shrooms like every leap year. [Laughs.] That’s how often I do it. I just sit back and enjoyed my movie. That’s what I call it, the movie. So I ate like three of the chocolate fishes and this beat was on. He said, ‘Nah, that’s Scudda’s beat.’ I said, ‘Scudda, can I get the beat please?’ He goes, ‘Alright.’
“I just started writing. I wrote the two verses quick because I was feeling the shit. Now, I’m waiting for Steele, but I can feel the shrooms kicking in. I’m like, ‘Once these shrooms kick in all the way, I’m not gonna be able to do this song.’ So I stopped Steele in the middle of his session and I’m like, ‘Yo son, let me please do this song.’ He said, ‘Alright, go ahead,’ and I did the whole song in one take.
“It was so funny because on the second verse I was talking about Steele. Steele was just sitting in the corner with a whole big gallon bottle of knotty head, Seagrams, and he was just drinking. [Laughs.] He had a big bottle of Seagrams just tearing that shit down, guzzling it. I looked at him and I was like, ‘‘Grabbing the Gin/Drunk rappers need to grab on the pen/Write some ill shit bitch, let the madness begin.’ I admitted to him that I was rapping about him and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m grinding. This fire.’ [Laughs.]”
The Brokest Rapper You Know
Sean Price “The Brokest Rapper You Know” (2005)
Produced by: Ty Deals
Sean Price: “That’s a true story. I was living off the land like John Rambo. I was a pretty bad father, pretty bad person all-around. I was fucked up in the game, no money. Rock had a solo deal, I had nothing. The plan was for Rock to go solo, jump on a few hit songs, and help Heltah Skeltah get a new deal. That was the plan, but it didn’t work out that way for whatever reason. I was forced to go solo. [Laughs.]
“I was definitely the brokest rapper. [Laughs.] I was selling drugs and two-way Motorolas. Word to mother—ask Dru—no bullshit. I can’t even get into it. I don’t wanna because the guy is in jail right now. So, I can’t really talk too much, but we had a scam going on. [Laughs.]
“Actually, after ‘The Brokest Rapper You Know’ I had some successful years. I’ve been pretty good with my money so far, I haven’t been completely assed out. I know a couple of rappers that are broker than me and they walk up on me like, ‘Yo son, I’m the brokest rapper you know.’ I’m like, ‘Great.’ I don’t want that title. That’s not something I’m proud of bro.
“It’s like, damn I kinda made it cool for people to say they broke now, I made it cool to keep it real. Like, ‘Yo son, I’m the brokest rapper!’ I’m like, ‘Yes you are! Great, you can keep that shit.’ That wasn’t a gimme, that was the truth. So if you wanna run with that, you got that. I christened you the new brokest rapper motherfucker. Please, I don’t wanna to do part two. Please. It was a tough time but I made it work for me.”
Sean Price “Heartburn” (2005)
Produced by: 9th Wonder
Sean Price: “I went down to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina with 9th Wonder and Khrysis [to record both Monkey Barz and Jesus Price Supastar]. Either 9th or Khrysis would pick me up from the hotel and we would drive [to the studio]. It’s so funny, his studio was connected to a church so I couldn’t smoke in there. I had to go up in the trees, the mountains in that wilderness to smoke.
“It was The Justice League’s studio, I think it was like a group thing where no one person owned it. Skyzoo was down there at the time, that’s how I met Skyzoo. Sean Don, Legacy, Joe Scudda, all of them were down there. We just vibed out and knocked joints out bang, bang, bang.”
“I met 9th at a show. What’s so funny is when I met him he was like, ‘Ya need to come on down here man.’ And he played ‘Heartburn’ in his truck. I’m like, ‘Yo, hold me that beat man. I’m coming back for that.’ And after Dru set up the trip, I got down there, and I was like, ‘Yo, you remember that beat?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, this.’ He already knew, he really held it for me. I don’t know if nobody bought it, but he really held it for me. I was like, ‘Where that beat at?’ and he said, ‘You mean this?’ And he pressed play and he was ready to shoot like, ‘Go on right there.’ I was like, ‘Wow.’ Then we knocked it up.”
Sean Price “Like You” (2007)
Produced by: 10 for the Triad
Sean Price: “Big up my man Ill Will. That was my man Will’s rhyme. I asked him, ‘Can I use that for a chorus?' I just liked it. He was like, ‘Yeah.’ Will ain’t even in Boot Camp, that’s just one of my friends from the Langston Hughes projects. But, if we in the studio, Rock might say something and I might be like, ‘Yo, say it that way.’ I wouldn’t necessarily give him a line. Even with 'Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka' like the, ‘Why oh why, did I need cappuccino strong,’ that was my line. But, he was like, ‘Yo son, let me say it.’ ‘Aight, say it.’
“It’s like a group effort man to make the best song. I would never go in an interview like, ‘I wrote your shit nigga.’ Nah, it ain’t that serious. I give you a line, you give me a line. We’ve done that working with me, Slim, and Agallah. Me and Agallah do that all the time, but we don’t necessarily write your whole verse. We might find two lines for you like, ‘Nah, say it this way.’ If it makes sense, do it but I ain’t gonna take no credit for it. It’s not like that.
“I’m the worse with hooks so I’ll do a bunch of songs and then I’ll call in my guys like, ‘Yo, I need some choruses man.’ And literally, I’ll call Tek, Steele, Buck, Rock. [Laughs.] In the middle of the session I’ll be like, ‘Yo, I need a hook man.’ I’m the worst when it comes to hooks, so sometimes I’ll say them, sometimes they’ll say them.”
Sean Price f/ Rock “P-Body” (2007)
Produced by: 9th Wonder
Sean Price: “I was just in the fucking zone when I went down South for that album. I was doing two songs a night, the last night I did three. I was like a machine and that’s why it’s kind of a blur. I was just like, ‘That’s the beat? Alright.’ I’d pull out my Sidekick [pretends to write rhymes]. It wouldn’t even seem like I was writing. I would write a little, crack some jokes, crack some jokes like ‘Hahaha’ and be like, ‘Ready.’ They'd be like, ‘Word?’ And I just knocked them out.
“Some magazine was gonna give me the perfect score for Monkey Barz and it was just one person that was like, ‘I don’t get it. No fucking way can we give this guy [a perfect score.]’ So I was like, ‘Alright bitch, I’m gonna get you this time.’ I was mad. I didn’t want them to think I was a one-album wonder. Like, ‘Ahh, he’s good, but we can’t wait for Heltah Skeltah to come back.’ But I wasn’t even thinking about a Heltah Skeltah album.
“I said to myself, ‘I gotta do two albums before I do a Heltah Skeltah album.’ So I did Monkey Bars and I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh, he’s doing a solo album until they get their shit together.’ No, I’m solo. And it was like, ‘Fuck you. Even if Heltah Skeltah ain’t never coming back, I want you to remember Sean Price.’
“That’s why Jesus Price Supastar wasn’t as comical as Monkey Bars. I wasn’t playing around, I didn’t want people to think I was bullshitting, this wasn’t no fluke—that’s why I went a little bit harder. That was the chip on my shoulder, I had a whole attitude. Even my friend was like, ‘Damn son, who you mad at?’ I was like, ‘Every fucking body son. Everything. Fuck it.’ That’s really what it was right there. I felt like I needed to solidify my position as a solo artist and I think it did that.”
Sean Price f/ Rock “King Kong” (2007)
Produced by: Khrysis
Sean Price: “That could’ve been on Monkey Barz. Khrysis played the beat and I was like, ‘Fuck outta here.’ [I heard the beat later and] I called him when I was working on the next album. He was like, ‘Motherfucker I gave that to you last time!’
“I had some success off of Monkey Barz and in the middle of it I just decided [to do another album.] Like, Dru didn’t say, ‘Yo, album two.’ Nobody did. I was just like, ‘Yo, send me down South to Raleigh-Durham. I wanna go down South and start working on the new shit.’ He was like, ‘Aight.’ I went down there for a week and came back with twelve songs. Simple as that. And the first song I did on the album was ‘Stop’ and the second one was that one right there. I just wanted to get busy.”
Mess You Made
Sean Price f/ Block McCloud “Mess You Made” (2007)
Produced by: Masse
Sean Price: “That was the last song for Jesus Price Supastar. I did the whole album and I was just sitting on it. We did a whole Boot Camp album and I still had my album done. I was just waiting to let it go. I had did a song with Block McCloud, it was really for him. We did the song and I wrote the first verse, he did the second verse. I’m not gonna diss my man, but his verse had nothing to do with singing about what he was talking about. He was just doing a Big Pun impersonation. It kinda fucked the song up so I took it back and made it what it was.
“I ain’t trying to shit on him because he’s a dope MC and without him, I wouldn’t even have the song. But he was totally disrespecting the whole order of the song. I’m looking at the chorus looking at the mess he made like, ‘Ah this might be in the realm of a ‘Brokest Rapper You Know’—type song.’ That kinda was like a part two to ‘Brokest Rapper You Know.’
“So I laid the first verse down and later on, when he let me hear it I was like, ‘Nigga, you ain’t saying anything that got to do with the my verse or your chorus. You’re just doing a Big Pun impersonation.’ He was mad tumbling with the words, doing lyrical gymnastics. Like, ‘You getting busy, but fuck is you doing? Gimme that shit B.’ I made it about what it’s really about. I put him in the video too. He was like, ‘Okay, I’m still on the chorus.’ I just took his verse out. But it really was his song and I had to thank him for giving it back to the God and letting me do what I do. That’s my G. Word.”
Black Milk f/ Pharaohe Monch, Sean Price, & DJ Premier “The Matrix” (2008)
Produced by: Black Milk, scratches by DJ Premier
Sean Price: “One time there was a song that Hex Murda, Black Milk, and Guilty Simpson’s manager wanted me to get on. It was supposed to be Ras Kass, Royce Da 5’9", Elzhi, and Black Milk. I’m like, ‘I’m not getting on that fucking record B.’ I shut that down because those ain’t MC’s, they’re super rappers. I was like, ‘Them super rapping ass niggas, they not killing me on a record, you can forget about it. I’m on a roll right now, I don’t wanna win the bronze metal. No way I’m doing a song with all these fucking guys.’
“The next song was was me, Black, and Pharoahe Monch. Like, I’ll do a song with each of those guys, but it’s gonna be just me and them. You’re not gonna jump me with Elzhi and Ras Kass. Like, Elzhi is the best rapper in the world and there’s no fucking way I’m doing records with all of y’all at just one time. I feel that way about Pharoahe too, but if it’s just me and Pharoahe and Black, I’m like, ‘Aight, I can do this. That one is cool.’
“Pharoahe did what I expected him to do so I just started dragging my knuckles on the floor, punch, shoot, stab, kill, smoke, sniff, pass the pills. [Laughs.] I kept it real simple and it worked, but it was a good song though. I used to pop a lot of e-pills, but I’m on new drugs now. You’ll see when you listen to the album.”
Everything is Heltah Skeltah
Heltah Skeltah f/ The Loudmouf Choir “Everything is Heltah Skeltah” (2008)
Produced by: Illmind
Sean Price: “That album was great but Rock and I, we’re the worst. He has certain beats he likes and I have certain beats I like. A record takes four sessions of just finding beats. Once we find a beat, it’s really corny in the studio, like, ‘Oh, that’s the beat? That’s the one?’
“Everybody’s quiet. He goes to his corner, I go to my corner. I’m in the corner with a spliff, he’s doing his thing writing a rhyme. You might here one of us giggle like, ‘Ohhh.' [Laughs.] 'I got you.’ [Laughs.] We do that a lot. And then we just come back like, ‘What you got?’ It was one of those.
“The video...I don’t know man. If I could take it back, I would do the video over. The video was basically saying that Charles Manson fought these dudes wearing tight clothes. It was kinda stupid. I fell for it at the time.
“It wasn’t our idea, it was Rik Cordero’s. We were just like, ‘Fuck it, let’s go man.’ Rik Cordero is a cool dude. I just wanted to work with Rik, period, because he’s dope. The video came out dope, but it was just a stupid idea. Like, how is Charles Manson responsible for people wearing tight clothes? It’s so fucking dumb but it’s all good though.”
The Art of Disrespeckinazation
Heltah Skeltah “The Art of Disrespeckinazation” (2008)
Produced by: Khrysis
Sean Price: “I think me and son wilded out on that record. That was my beat, I was gonna use it for Mic Tyson. We were going through so many beats that I finally let it go and Rock was like, ‘You been had this shit?’ I was like, ‘Yeah.’ He looked like he wanted to choke the life outta me. So I had them bars and ideas already.
“We were going back and forth cause on Nocturnal and Magnum Force, Rock and I had verses, but we didn’t have a lot of back and forth. So I wanted to do a lot of that on that album. We did that and it turned out wild. We were talking about fucking Rihanna, about Lil Mama and how her lip gloss is gonna end up on my dick, and all that shit. We were just saying a bunch of crazy shit, but it was fun.
But then shit came back to haunt me because I was like, ‘Yo, you had that nasty ass Ed Hardy sweater on.’ Then I got some painted Ed Hardy jeans for Christmas and somebody gave my daughter an Ed Hardy pajama set. Like, this is so fucked up right now. [Laughs.] And it was my wife who got me the jeans, what up Bernadette. And real Ed Hardy jeans are very expensive too, I’m not gonna lie.”
DJ Babu f/ MF Doom & Sean Price “The Unexpected” (2008)
Produced by: DJ Babu
Sean Price: “Doom kicked some crazy shit on there and I was just trying to figure out how to hang out with him. So I figured the best form of flattery is impersonation. So, I did my MF Doom question like, ‘Have you ever heard of Sean? Hell yeah, but I prefer my Uncle Murda songs/I’m sorta wack like Hancock movie/Shorty drops to her knees saying hand cocks to me/Box of chop suey, flowing through outer space/Ring the alarm, this nigga tried to mock-fu me.’ I don’t know if people remember the video, but Fu Schnickens had this video called ‘Ring the Alarm’ and there’s this Chinese food box going across space.
“People liked it, but then some people come up to me like, ‘Why’d you make fun of Doom?’ I wasn’t making fun of him, I was just trying to hang out. I knew my normal bullshit wouldn’t work. I had to pull something out the hat. I still ain’t meet Doom. It was through DJ Babu, but I heard Doom liked the record and put out a version with all the guest spots and put me on there. I would love to have Doom on Mic Tyson.”
Sean Price “Ruckdown” (2009)
Produced by: The Tuneheads
Sean Price: “I just was a fan of that Uncle Murda beat ‘Running The City.’ So, I was working on the tape and I’m like, ‘Fuck that, I’m running the label now.’ I started feeling like the franchise and you know every superhero needs his theme music, so that was it. I just found the beat and what Uncle Murda did I flipped.
“Murda was like, ‘Tell the radio dudes I’m running the city now.’ So I was like, ‘Tell Dru, I’m running the label now.’ Big up to Uncle Murda, ‘Running the City’ was hard. I’m surprised it didn’t do more than what it did. He had that and another record out called ‘Bullet’ and I guess ‘Bullet’ worked for him and ‘Running the City’ didn’t. But I liked ‘Running the City’ better.
“That shit was hard to me so I had to get the instrumental from him. He rocked in the same studio that I rocked in so I was like, ‘Murda, let me get that instrumental, please!’ And he got it to me and I flipped it over.
“The song was my idea, but the video was just like, ‘Fuck it, let’s do this.’ We just did it on a whim. It wasn’t really a big deal. I had a bullshit camera in there and everybody acted the way they normally act, but I was the boss. I fired what’s his name because his sneakers was wrong. I promoted Dirty out the mail room. I said tell the girl to give me another straw so I could sniff coke. Pretty much what I would do if I ran the label. [Laughs.]”
Random Axe “Monster Babies” (2009)
Produced by: Black Milk
Sean Price: “I was in Boston with Special Teams—a group we had signed to Duck Down—and some dude called and was like, ‘Does Sean want to do a song with Guilty Simpson?’ You know me, I’m a savage for money, I’m a whore. So I’m like, ‘Hell yeah I’ll do something. You got money? Then fuck it, let’s do it.’ When he hung up the phone I was like, ‘Who the fuck is Guilty Simpson?’
“My dude was like, ‘You don’t know who the fuck Guilty Simpson is bro? Stones Throw?’ I was like, ‘Nah.’ And dude was actually a Guilty fan and had a bunch of his shit. So it went from me being greedy and wanting money to, ‘This motherfucker is nice. Maybe we should do more than that.’ So I threw out the idea and that’s how we did ‘Run.’ ‘Run’ came out so good it was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ So after that, we was down.
“Then, Hex Murda just wanted to push it out to let niggas know that we weren’t bullshitting around with the group so he sent me that. There was a movie—I forget what movie—but the guy said, ‘It’s such and such caliber. It shoots through school buses.’ So that’s why I said, ‘Niggas said you a fool Ruckus/Sniff coke and punch niggas through school buses.’ I just got that from a movie. I got tons of useless information that only makes sense when it’s time to write a rhyme. So I wrote that and I sent it back like two days later and it was all over the Internet to good reviews.”
Sean Price “Figure Four” (2010)
Produced by: Blick Street
Sean Price: “My man Blick Street from the Bronx made the beat. Well, he didn’t really make the record, he just looped it. What happened was, we were in the crib smoking and he’s just playing old records and the shit came on. I’m like, ‘Yo son I wanna rhyme to that.’ He’s like, ‘Alright. I’m a take it and I’m a throw some sprinkles on it, change it up, and add drums.’ I’m like, ‘Nah, no sprinkles Blick. Just loop it. Bring the shit back, that’s it. That’s all you gotta do.’
“I called him like, ‘Yo, I’m about to lay this shit down.’ He’s like, ‘Alright.’ By the time he got down to the studio, I already leaked it on NahRight. My man Dan gave it a quick mix and we sent it to Nahright.com because I mentioned their website on there. It was strategic and it worked. I don’t know any of them personally, but they show me a lot of support so I love them guys.
“On that song I said, ‘I don’t parley with a crew nigga/I don’t Wale with the new niggas.’ That wasn’t even a shot at Wale. I just don’t do what none of these new niggas do, which is the truth. I ain’t mad at them, I just don’t do what y’all do. And the only reason I put him is because ‘parlay’ and ‘Wale’ rhymes, that’s why his name is there. [Laughs.] It’s not like I’m a Wale hater like, ‘I don’t like Wale, fuck outta here.' I read in an interview where he said some slick shit back at me, but I don’t care though. I ain’t with all that. I don’t want no beef. I just let it slide.
“What’s so funny, Dru didn’t like it because I say I’m leaving Duck Down. But I always fuck with Dru on records. If you listen to ‘I Love You Bitch’ I’m saying his name wrong. I’m calling him Dru Down, I’m calling him Dru Hill. I got a song with MF Doom where I go, ‘I argue with Dru about seeking management.’ I never have none of those. I just like to fuck with him and it keeps him on his toes too, like stay on your job.
“For the most part I just like poking fun. That’s my very good friend to me and besides being my manager, he’s like family. I crack jokes on him, but you know I’m Duck Down for life. He didn’t like it though. He was like, ‘Come on man, you’re throwing me under the bus.’ But DJ Enuff, he went on Twitter and was like, ‘Yo, somebody get me this fucking ‘Figure Four’ record.’ Then all of a sudden it was Dru’s favorite song. [Laughs.] He loves that shit now so it all works out.
“I let it run without the video for a while and then when it was dying down, I threw the video out. That’s when Miss Info caught wind of it and that’s when DJ Enuff caught wind of it from Miss Info. Then he played it on the radio and it grew legs from there. Big up Miss Info and Enuff for that, for real. Good looking out.”
Shut The Fuck Up
Sean Price “Shut The Fuck Up” (2010)
Produced by: Diddy & Mario Winans/The Alchemist
Sean Price: “After Enuff was feeling ‘Figure Four’ I was just like, ‘Wow, they like this shit?’ And I knew the ‘Angels (Remix)’ was playing a lot. I didn’t even like the song at first until I heard the Rick Ross version. I was like, ‘Rick kinda got busy on that.’ So it made me wanna touch it. Then I know my man Illa Ghee had a freestyle on that too. So between the Rick Ross and Illa Ghee version I said, ‘I need to make a Sean Price version of this.’ They inspired me to do it.
“But then the second part of ‘Shut The Fuck Up’ was the old Barry White shit. I just threw that on there and I sent it to Dru. He said, ‘This is banging now give me a clean version.’ I sent it to my DJ PF Cuttin’ and he made a clean version and sent it. I swear to God, the next day it was on Hot 97. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy.’ I just did it to do it because I kept feeding the people shit every week, but they loved it though. Once again, big up Hot 97 and DJ Enuff.”
Sean Price “Angel Dust” (2010)
Produced by: Malcolm Cecil
Sean Price: “I never did a full song of that. One day, I was just in a Gil Scott-Heron mood. I was listening to some records and ‘Angel Dust’ came on and I wrote a verse to it. I wrote it and laid it down. There wasn’t nothing to it. It don’t really got no meaning to it. I threw on that New Jack City part because he was talking about angel dust, they coincide so it just made sense to do that.
“That line is true when I said, ‘I always do the math, I was raised by number runners.’ My mother and grandmother were number runners. That’s how I grew up in my life, with a house full of number runners. There’s a movie with James Earl Jones called Claudine. I had a fake Claudine life. Like, we were on welfare but if you’re over at my crib my mom and grandmother got number spots. Our house was extra decked out and niggas used to come over like, ‘Yo, you rich?’ And I would be like, ‘I ain’t rich, I live in the projects.’
“We had two cars at one time, furnished floor rugs, and mirrors. You know, that ‘70s look, plastic covers on the couch. I was always decked out clean, fresh. No money worries like that. Probably big money worries like if I wanted to go to college, we didn’t have that. But if I needed a car, I could get that. Or if I needed the latest IRs I could get that. So I grew up pretty nice.”
Let Me Tell You
Sean Price “Let Me Tell You” (2010)
Produced by: Beat Butch
Sean Price: “‘Let Me Tell You’ is on Mic Tyson. People were like, ‘What’s up with Mic Tyson?’ So I had to let them hear something and I let that go. It’s made by my man Beat Butch, he’s from London. That beat was crazy. Like, fuck it, I was high and the beat was crazy. I just went in. I wrote the rhyme quick. I laid it down even quicker.
“That day I did three songs. I got a song on Mic Tyson called ‘The Hardest Nigga Out, No Bruno.’ [Laughs.] And I did another song called ‘Smooth P.’ I did all three of those in one session. On Mic Tyson, I got all kinds of shit on there, but it’s all hard body fuck everybody music. I’m fucking you up music. Ain’t no sucker shit on there.
“I’m taking my time with the album. It’s not like I’m taking my time with it and y’all are not hearing nothing. I’m dropping a lot of shit and staying relevant. It’s not like it’s a four-year disappearing act. I’m dropping mixtapes, features, videos, so you’ll get it when I fucking feel like dropping it. [Laughs.]
“Now that Random Axe is done I’m about to take a trip down South and fuck with 9th Wonder and them for like a week. Then I’m gonna take a trip out West to Cali to fuck with Alchemist and then I’m gonna wrap the album up. Alchemist already did like six joints. I got about like 16 songs done, but I wanna do like another ten and then wrap it up.
“This time I think people know I get busy. I just want to say some shocking shit. I just wanna fuck the game up for good or bad. Like, you don’t know what you’re getting with a Mike Tyson fight. Is he gonna be straight? Is he gonna knock somebody out? Is he gonna bite somebody? I don’t know, but it’s still exciting. Even his losses are exciting. So this might be an exciting loss. Let’s wait and see.”