In Hip-Hop, artists who remain true to themselves and their vision are a rarity. Most artists believe that you have to change with the times in order remain relevant or sustain longevity. Very few have to perseverance to weather the storm no matter how the winds change. Having the courage of your convictions isn’t easy in a medium that seems to demand not only compromise, but selling-out.
As a member of the duo Heltah Skeltah and Brooklyn’s famed Boot Camp Clik, Sean Price has fought the good fight for the last 15 years. He has stayed in his lane for the most part, bulldozing everyone and everything in his path. Through his official releases and mix tapes, Sean P is on a mission to prove that rough and rugged aesthetic of the BCC is alive and well. His latest mix tape, Kimbo Price is a tantalizing prelude to the upcoming Mic Tyson LP.
Planet Ill recently had the chance to talk with Sean P about his upcoming release, as well as the state of Hip-Hop in general. We found him to be as straight forward and no nonsense as his music would suggest. He’s also a rather humorous and engaging personality. Welcome to the world of Kimbo Price.
Planet Ill: What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done to push your music?
Sean Price: Dumbest thing? I don’t know. Probably ain’t happened yet. I feel this whole shit is dumb anyway besides me going to the studio, making the music and performing it, all this shit is dumb. After that, everything is dumb to me.
Planet Ill: Who would you say is the softest rapper of all time?
Sean Price: Aw man, you going to get me starting trouble man. I aint even going to answer it cause, you know rappers is sensitive man and I definitely know I’m Kimbo Price and my album is Mic Tyson but I don’t want to be having to beat nobody up man. It’s a fine line between dissing a rapper and stopping a black man from eating, you feel me?
Realistically I could go “Yo, the mother**ker’s corny I don’t want to hear this s**t,” and that might start something. Not even a physical fight, but, it might cause a revolt. Nobody buys it, you know. You don’t know that man situation, his family or whatever. You know what I mean? So, it’s a fine line between dissing a n***a and f**king his whole s**t up. Even the wackest rapper, he’s a black man; he got to take care of him and his. So I just keep it to myself.
Planet Ill: What can we expect from the upcoming Mic Tyson album?
Sean Price: When you see Mike Tyson what do you think?
Planet Ill: When I see Mike Tyson, I see intimidation. I see a guy who comes in the ring to get it done and go home.
Sean Price: Exactly, that’s what my album is. You know what I mean? Get it done and go home. Let me knock them out real quick and get out of here. I’m a knock y’all the f**k out lyrically and get out of here. See you at the next fight.
Planet Ill: So it’s the Boot Camp vibe we’ve come to expect.
Sean Price: Yeah no doubt. People ask me if I’m going to have guest stars on there. I don’t have guests on there. My Boot Camp aren’t guests. That’s my family. Everybody else is a guest, so I don’t never have any guests on there, you know what I mean?
Planet Ill: If you could punch one rapper in the face for whatever reason, who would it be and why?
Sean Price: It would be Rock. Because you got to see how we make these Heltah Skeltah albums, you know what I mean? He probably would punch me in the face too. You know what you should take from a Heltah Skeltah? When we going through beats. That’s the most entertaining time of the process, going through beats. Because he has a type of beat that he like, and I have a type of beat that I like so we be in there sh**ting on each other all day. “F**k out of here, you like this one you corny bastard?!” So that’s the entertaining part.
Once we find a beat we both agree on it gets boring after that. We’re in our corners writing our rhymes, you know what I mean? I might go over there and be like “yo peep this”, he might do the same. But it’s pretty boring after that. That’s when we want to choke each other out man, going through beats. You know what I mean? If you ask him he’d probably say the same thing just because of what I’m saying.
Planet Ill: So would you say that the differences in your personalities help to make better product?
Sean Price: Don’t get it twisted like we hate each other. That’s my brother man. I mean it’s just, when we going through beats? Oh my God, it’s just Hell. You know what I mean? We’ve had whole sessions of just listening to beats going “get the f**k out of here, you like that shit?!” Get out of here you f**king idiot!” You know what I mean? It’s funny, but if you not in our circle you be like “Damn these n***as is going at each other”, but you know, we ain’t no bitch boys. We ain’t sensitive, you know what I mean? We all trying to get the best song out possible. It makes for good footage and it makes for good music at the end of the day.
Planet Ill: If you weren’t rapping, what would you be doing right now?
Sean Price: I was going to college man, to take up mortuary science man. I was going to be a mortician. So I probably would be a mortician right now. Real talk. My Uncle Ronald man, he’s a wise old man, you know what I mean? He always told me “don’t go in there (college) and be a philosophy major because that shit aint in the wanted ads,” you know what I mean? He was like, “Pick something that’s going to last forever man.” Food, clothing, shelter, life and death; those are guaranteed all over the world. People die everyday all over the world. Somebody dying right now. So it would be hard for me to run out of work, you feel me? So I picked death and tried to go with it, but I got a record deal.
Planet Ill: You stay away from chasing current trends and fads. You’ve evolved, but you’ve never tried to adapt to the times or follow anybody else’s format. How have you maintained that kind of focus throughout the years?
Sean Price: It’s not a conscious effort. Like the way I rhyme, and the kind of music I like to hear, nobody does that no more. You know, probably like a select few, maybe Beanie Siegel a few other dudes. Jadakiss, Styles, you know what I mean? Not too many dudes do the kind of music I like to hear. That’s what makes me keep going. I know what I want to hear. You know what I mean?
I haven’t heard another Muddy Waters in a long time, man. It pisses me off, I listen to people albums. I don’t like nobody really, you know what I mean? Muddy Waters is one of my favorite albums ever. All time. I love Redman. Lyrically he’s off the chain. I like everything he do, but Muddy Waters is my favorite album of all time. Nobody ain’t doing nothing remotely close to that. Certain things I like to hear and I don’t hear that no more. So if it’s up to me to carry the torch, whatever, then I’ll do it. But I heard Redman doing Muddy Waters II.
Planet Ill: There’s a lot of talk right now of the rap scene in New York being dead. No new blood to carry on the torch. What’s your take on that?
Sean Price: Skyzoo, Torae and my man Sha Stimuli. They from New York, they all get busy. Run up on them and say that to them. They will out rap any nigga that’s out, period. Whoever talks that New York shit and this and that. That’s the future right there. Watch what they do. Never mind what I’m about to do. Watch what they do.
Follow Us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/planetill
Become a citizen of Planet Ill. Join our Forums
Join Us on the Planet Ill Facebook Group for more discussion
Follow us on Networked Blogs