One minute you’re flying high, sitting on top of the world. Spending more money that you ever thought you’d have, getting any girl you want and living famous. In a heartbeat, it’s all over and you find yourself behind bars because of decisions you made while you were high and feeling invincible. That’s where former Hot Boy Turk found himself after getting himself in some serious legal trouble over the murder of a policeman had him looking at time in Club Fed.
Just recently released, nine years wiser and with momentum and purpose on his side, Turk sat down with Planet Ill to talk mistakes made, lessons learned and what the future holds. Here is part 1.
Planet Ill: Take us back to that night. A lot of people don’t really know the story and how you actually ended up behind bars. What was the real story behind that?
Turk: As far as with that case situation, that’s behind me. A lot of people have been asking me about that story and that story will be told but it’s told in my book, at a perfect time when I’ll put that book out. So for me to just give it to you, I’d be taking money out of my pocket. It’s all in the book, straight raw and uncut. My heroin, cocaine addiction my days with Cash Money, the situation that happened with my case, my jail time, just all of that is in my book.
What I got going right now is this YNT empire; this Young N Thuggin thing and me just recreating myself as a man and as an artist.
Planet Ill: We’ll get to that in a second. While you’re in there [prison] and you see the world moving, you see time going by, you see Weezy go from being a kid rapper to being thought of as one of the best. How does that feel when you’re looking at the world moving and you’re stuck in time?
Turk: It’s love and it’s motivation to see somebody that you came in the game with still holding it down. The whole time I’ve been gone it’s been more spiritual than anything I think. I felt like he was still in a position that he in to make it and open up them doors for me; what you’re about to see and hear from me. I wasn’t hating , I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t bitter; it was all love, that’s my little brother.
Planet Ill: Wayne is still on Cash Money. BG unfortunately is behind bars. I don’t know about the odds of a Hot Boys reunion for real. What happened to Mannie Fresh? Why is he the odd man out?
Turk: It’s crazy because not 5-10 minutes ago, Mannie Fresh just called me. We bout to get in the studio and do some things but you know Manny fresh he doing his thing; he’s out there grinding He’s on his tour right now doing a few shows. He’s about to make a stop in Memphis; we’re about to hit the studio and put this shit down.
Planet Ill: How would you deal with that? Let’s say Baby called you tomorrow…
Turk: Baby called me too…
Planet Ill: Let’s say Baby said, “Let’s get back on that Hot Boys train.” Where does that leave you and Fresh? Would you work with Fresh?
Turk: It’s business and nothing personal. When you talk to a man, you look him in his eyes and you make sure he has an overstanding of what you’re saying. Before I do any business with anybody I’mma let it be known, ‘This is what it is and what it ain’t.” If a person sees where you stand on something they have a choice to either stay or go. If he was to tell me, “Let’s do this, let’s do that,” I’d sit back and I’d analyze it before I’d make a move and see where it’s going to benefit me; where it’s going to benefit my family. Not just where it’s going to benefit him. Now I wouldn’t have no problem with it because as I say, it’s all love. I’m not bitter about nothing.
Planet Ill: So none of that blind loyalty is there, either it works for you or it doesn’t?
Turk: That’s how we gone get it. It’s about the business, man. I’ve grown and matured to a level where that’s what it is. I understand the game, I understand the business; I understand the partnership. The people make it out to be something that it ain’t. Everything that happened to our situation when we were coming up.
We all was young. We all made decisions that wasn’t the best for us. As a far as with me I take full responsibility for everything that happened in my life, in my career with Cash money because I was doing drugs. I didn’t listen to my momma when she told me to get managers and she told me to get outside managers; when she told me to get outside attorneys because I thought I knew everything then. Being a youngster having money and doing it, no body couldn’t tell me nothing. But as the time went by, I seen it for what it was. It’s business. If you aint’ about your business, you slip up, that is what it is. But it’s a new day now.
Planet Ill: You guys got Bling Bling in the dictionary. That’s an impressive thing. Where do you go from there? Do you try to recreate that or do you go in another direction?
Turk: I’mma keep it thuggin’ at the same time I’mma take hardship use God’s gifts in spite of negativity, that’s that acronym for thuggin.’ I’m just going to give it my life and show’em what to do and what not to do and how to overcome this. You just let them know that it can happen. If you believe; if you stay determined you will find a way. I’m just going to keep it young and thuggin’ ten times a hunnit. I don’t know no other way.
Planet Ill: When you say young and thuggin, and I know you have your own acronym for thuggin, you know that when people hear it, they will think you’re wilding out again. How do you separate that mentality from the kind of behavioral activity that got you caught up?
Turk: Because I tell them don’t just listen to what I say and just judge me by that, judge me by what I do. Because just like Denzel Washington in Training Day, he played a bad cop; does that make him a bad person? Nah, that’s just his job. So it’s about the fruits that I do that determine the type of person that I am. Sometimes, people just say things out of their emotions. They really don’t mean it or they really not that person. Just watch what I do; don’t just pay attention to what I say.
Planet Ill: While you were away you have the floods in New Orleans, you got Soulja Slim dying, you have probably a lot of tragedies that are going on in your life. How does that fortify you behind the walls?
Turk: I mean it made me stronger, especially when I got the news from my fiancé that my little brother had gotten killed. Then I got news that my manager got killed. Then my cousin got killed. There was so many people getting killed it was really just waking me up to, “Okay, it’s time for you to all the way focus. You gotta man up, you gotta make sure that when you get out of this situation. You don’t come back to a situation. You don’t go back to the drugs, you don’t go back to the block. You don’t do this, you don’t do that.” Know what to do and when to do it. I just know that everything that was happening and knowing that it can happen to me because it was happening so close to home.
Planet Ill: Rick Ross just dropped a video in New Orleans. There are a lot of people who try to pimp New Orleans both for the Mardi Gras side and the hood side. How do you feel about people who are not from New Orleans taking advantage of the images and the kind of hood aesthetic that goes on there?
Turk: It’s all love. It’s hoods all over. It’s a Martin Luther King in every city, every state you go to. You cross Martin Luther King, you know that’s the hood so I aint just trippin about it. I got much respect for Rick Ross, I fuck with the whole Maybach Music. I just got off the phone with Stalley the other day. They talented over there; they do what they do. They keeping it thuggin.
Planet Ill: A lot of artists in New Orleans are connected that people don’t necessarily know. Aside from the Hot Boys, which other artists did you come up with?
Turk: Fucking with C-Murder, Curren$y, Magnolia Slim before he was Soulja Slim; all the bounce music in New Orleans, Choppa, Magnolia Shawty before she got killed.Just that whole New Orleans movement. DJ Jubilee back in the days, UNLV. All that PMW, you know Cash Money was our soundtrack back in the day and I wound up signing with Cash Money and as they broke up we came with the fresh meat with the Hot Boys.
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