It’s just really gonna take money. Money is what’s missing in the inner city. You gotta look at the billions of dollars lost on after-school programs and education. All these different programs had money and government funding prior to the war. These niggas just got another hundred-something million dollars for the war. The shit is getting bananas. In California they’re saying Schwartzenegger is getting ready to cut like 10 percent on education, 15 percent from health. That’s why muthafuckas is dying. That’s why old people are dying. They borrowing against social security; that’s why ain’t nobody gonna have nothing. So it’s more important than ever that people start learning about financial responsibility. That same social security check that your grandmother got, it’s a wrap for that. Unless you’re 55, ain’t finna be nothing for you. People gotta start thinking differently. If they don’t wanna live differently that’s them, but I feel like I gotta tell niggas what little I know. It’s not for me to preach to niggas or tell ‘em what to do. I’m just telling niggas, “Look, this is the way it’s finna be. If you don’t wanna change you, that’s you but you gotta think about your lil man and lil girl.” Is it frustrating for you, being as intelligent as you are, that the media doesn’t pay attention to the things you’re talking about and nobody cares that you’re mentoring kids at your church? Yeah, it is. It’s fucked up. Do you feel like if you make a record about it nobody’s gonna play it? They don’t wanna play it ‘cause first of all, they don’t wanna hear it from me ‘cause they’ve already made up their mind about who I am and what I represent. They don’t wanna hear anything good from me at all. And if they hear something good from the good people, they don’t wanna promote that. It’s like a catch 22. They only wanna talk about certain shit, only around election time. That’s really the only reason we’re having a lot of the conversations that we’re having right now. They’re only talking about the money and different shit because everybody’s programs are getting hit. It used to be only the inner city programs getting hit, now it’s everybody’s after school programs and education. Now you can’t just send your kids to a good neighborhood to a public school ‘cause they fucked; they losing money. Everybody’s trying to send their kids to private schools. It’s crazy. Speaking of elections, who are you going for? I don’t know, man. It’s still kinda early. I don’t wanna say If I say, “I’m going for this person” and they don’t even get the nomination, then I’m looking like an asshole. I’ma sit back and wait to see what happens. I lean a little bit more towards Barack because he was the only person that didn’t wanna just go to war. He was like, “Hold up, let’s really see what it is.” I can respect that mentality, but when it is time to go to war I don’t need a nigga hesitating either. Like I said, I think it’s a little bit too early. I still believe it’s the lesser of two evils. It’s basically still the powers that be dictating who they feel is the best candidate. At the end of the day, it may be a representative of change as far as visually, but as far as following the status quo, they’re all party members. So it really don’t matter who wins, their personal agenda really doesn’t come into play. They gotta carry along the agenda of their party. Until maybe an independent has a good chance of winning an election, we’re never gonna see a true representation of the people if you ask me. But that’s just me; I’m from P.A., what the fuck do I know?
Was it hard for you to get back in the studio after Pimp’s passing? Oh yeah. Absolutely. It was real hard. The first time I went, I never even got to pick the pen up. Just looking around the room at different pictures on the wall brought up a lot of memories and we just ended up talking about a lot of stuff more than [recording]. The first time I picked up the pen it was kinda hard to write the rhyme. I actually say that in the rhyme, that it was hard to pick up the pen. The first rhyme I wrote was for a song on TIP’s album. It’s about Pimp; it’s about dealing with loss. It wasn’t easy. I’ve probably done three verses total since Pimp passed away. I used to do four or five verses a day; it was nothing. It’s just a different process. I’ve never been more nervous about what I’m saying in my life because now more than ever I can’t have my intentions misunderstood. Most niggas know me for coming in [the studio], writing my rhyme and I’m done and out in fifteen or twenty minutes. That’s why I’m on everybody’s album. I’m kinda like a rap doctor – they call me when they need me to fix a song real quick. I’m real easy to clear; I do quality work and get it back in time. It’s not like they send it to me and I’ma get to it when I can. I’m usually not doing shit but chilling at the house or whatever. I ride over to Corey’s house, knock it out, and go home. I try to be home before the news comes on. Now it’s just a real different process. Then you gotta be careful ‘cause you don’t wanna over-think shit; you don’t wanna under-think shit. It’s just a very careful line that I’m walking right now. I don’t wanna seem too selfish or seem too much about me. I don’t wanna seem too preachy. I wanna make sure I do my dude [Pimp C] justice. It’s a lot of different things that goes into sixteen bars of a rhyme that usually didn’t go into that shit. It’s like, this song is about bitches or hustling so we gonna talk about this or that and I’m out. Now it’s a little bit different. Even if it doesn’t feel like this in a while, right now it is different. It’s important that the shit niggas hear from me is what it is. Niggas know I’m fucked up but they wanna see me still be able to carry on [the UGK legacy]. Fans in the street tell me I gotta keep it going. It’s definitely that obligation to them. And of course there’s an obligation to my family with this shit being my career, having to feed my family. It’s a lot of shit that goes into this that I guess a nigga might have never really paid attention to. I’m just dealing with it. It’s not gonna be easy for a while. I understand that, though, and everybody around me understands. I just grabbed the mic for the first time when Rick Ross came here last weekend. We did “Down in The Dirty” and then they played “High Life” afterwards and that shit was kinda emotional. I hadn’t heard “High Life” in about two or three years. That’s a real ass song. I know when it comes to performing some of this shit, it’s not gonna be easy. That’s why I want [my first performance] to be here in Houston with the fans. If I get emotional, they’re probably gonna get emotional too. I’m gonna have all his artists there with me with all this love and positivity in the building with me. I feel like that’s something I need to really get me back out there ‘cause I want to get out there. We’re taking it a day at a time. It’s still emotional; a nigga get choked up. I went and watched Cloverfield this weekend. Not to give too much away but there’s a scene where somebody has to call somebody and tell them that somebody is dead. I had to do that. [The character in the movie] pretty much broke down the exact way I remember breaking down. That shit kinda fucked me up. I watch people talk about death in a movie all the time and I don’t cry. Shit’s a little
different now. This shit is heavy. How often am I gonna see and hear shit that’s gonna hit me like that? You gotta be very in touch with your emotions right now. You gotta be very smart and real about shit. This shit is gonna affect me for a little while. You gotta understand that and give yourself time to breathe. Today’s gonna be what it is. You can’t say today’s gonna be easier but you can’t be afraid to say things. Initially that was my problem; I couldn’t say shit. I couldn’t say, “Chad is dead.” Last month I couldn’t say that without breaking the fuck down. Certain things get easier. You gotta be willing to deal with that shit too. It’d be real easy for me to go lock myself up in the crib, lay in bed, pop me some Xanax, smoke kill all day. People would grant me that kind of freedom but that’s selfish. I’m not really doing myself no good. I’m not really honoring my homeboy or keeping the movement going like that. So you suck it up; you have moments where you feel weak; you give yourself a moment and you get back to it. Shit, I got a momma, a wife, kids; there’s still other people I may potentially lose in my life. For me to act like this is it, like Chad is dead and I’m not gonna happen…I’m definitely not going through as much as his mother is right now. He was an only child. I’m definitely not going through what his children and his wife are going through. That was their only dad, and her only husband. These people are fucked up emotionally. I’m emotional but I know these people are bent up. So at the end of the day I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself. I’m happy to know a real nigga and if I don’t get up and rep for him, I don’t believe anyone’s gonna rep for him. I kinda got to and if I don’t, that’s it; the nigga just kinda goes away. I felt like that [when he went to] prison and it’s even moreso now that he’s dead. When Pimp passed a lot of people started making Tupac comparisons. Do you feel like that’s accurate? Yeah, I feel like that’s a safe assumption to say that what Biggie was to the East Coast and what ‘Pac was to the West Coast, Pimp C was to the South. You gotta keep in mind that Pac and Biggie were just rappers; Pimp C was a rapper and a producer, and not just a producer for our group but he made great records and helped jump off a lot of other people’s careers. Hell, there’s an argument that he may have been more impactful. He never had the media notoriety that a lot of these other artists may have had. Do you think he’s going to get that media notoriety now that he’s passed? He’s definitely gonna get his play. It’s definitely gonna be people like yourself and others acknowledging him, which you always did, but even moreso now. People are gonna wanna make sure people understand what he was, not just a rapper, a producer, and an artist, but a father and a leader. People wanna show everything that Pimp was. This UGK movement is still gonna be going forward. We got another album to put out. All through the year people are gonna wanna honor him. We’re gonna have anniversaries and things coming up. We’re trying to make his birthday a holiday in Port Arthur. We’re talking about giving him a street. We gotta hurry up and get that done before the election is over ‘cause we’re not even sure the mayor is gonna be there next year in Port Arthur. Did you feel like the Feds being out so heavy at the funeral was disrespectful? Initially, yeah, but if you really think about who they are and what they do, you can’t feel disrespected. Federal agents been popping up at peoOZONE MAG // 73
Ozone Mag #65 - Mar 2008