I'm born and raised in Manhattan. I'm now 32 years old; I've seen a lot, done a lot. Made a lot, lost a lot; I've watched people in the streets and also music rise and fall; I find it hard to sum up my biography because it's still growing as we speak.
You've done so much already, but your rap career is far from over. What will be your next releases?
Honestly Sacha No ONE in the United States knows me and can't name anything I've created; So it feels like I've done nothing !! But I do thank you for acknowledging my work; Radio don't play me, mix tapes, or magazines don't cover me I'm not interesting to the majority of the music industry in the United States. It's my fault maybe I should've took it more serious and left the Streets alone; maybe then I would be taken serious by the United States; I'm not rhyming about what America wants to hear; you can't dance to it. You can't make love to it; all you can do is listen to it. Not too many people care about listening anymore; we are releasing my older material that's called The Lost Files; then in 2003 we will release E-mail from Purgatory : Canto I. I have one more after E-mail but I will not speak about that one; but I truly feel that will be my last album. That's only the way I feel right now !! When the time is right I will reveal the name of Canto 2.
You're well known as an MC but you're also the creator of Day by Day Entertainment. What's the label's next move? Have you signed new artists?
Our main focus is distribution, that's where our minds are at; we plan on distributing many artists and labels, I'm looking for a rock band, if you know one that's looking for a new label please contact us. I know there's talent in France that's ready to work together with us, let's make it happen. We're also interested in a female signer, Day By Day is not a one-dimentional label, we deal with Jazz, Country, Reggae, Dance, Latin, get it to us and let's make it happen !! There is one hip hop artist I want to work with, her name is Rayna Shine (rain or shine). She's on Count Bass D's album (Dwight Spitz on Day By Day Ent). I think she's dope.
Violence and death seem to have always been present in your life and in your music.Are they themes you particularly want to talk about?
Actually no ; I'd rather talk about more positive things in life; but due to my wrong choices in life; that's what I left myself exposed to and in return "radiate" when I record. I like to focus on more positive artists in the camp like Count Bass D; his album Dwight Spitz is incredible; but I personally feel people focus on negative emcees more; I wish I had a fraction of Count Bass D's musical gift, I would be a rich man.
Let's talk about your recently released album. Did you have any concept in mind when you recorded it? Why is it a "ghetto opera"? And can you explain the meaning of The Downfall of Iblis?
It's called ghetto opera because the whole album combines like a broadway musical, it's a lot of singing and it's ghetto as hell; the story is ghetto, the vocal quality, the location is ghetto. I love opera, Johann Sebastian Bach is my favorite classical artist, I feel he's underrated in his craft and I'm underrated in mine; so my biggest compliment to Bach as one underrated artist to another is to create my own opera the way I feel he would if he could be me in this day and age. The beats that I selected were very important, that's what brought the "words" out of me; As for the Downfall of Iblis, Iblis was and angel, and when Allah created Adam, Iblis refused to bow to Adam like Allah asked him to, he felt he was better than man and his arrogance was his downfall which caused him to be cast from Paradise and he fell to Earth. Like Iblis, I was arrogant and I felt I was better than men and I fell, "The Downfall" of Iblis was my absract way of saying "The Downfall of Percy Carey".
You used a KMD beat on your album. Do you, like a lot of hip hop heads, feel nostalgia toward those years? Or did you just like the beat?
That beat was created by Doom and Sub Roc (rest in peace). Sub ripped it, it's a very special beat to me; Sub Roc was on it !! I'm addicted to the Beat and I was fiending ; That was a great time in our lives when that dropped, and it was an honor to rhyme on it and represent for Sub & KMD. On my album that song I mentionned other people and movies, please let me know what you think of it Sacha. "Life or Death" talks about me getting shot but it's double standard.
As I understood, you've assimilated Ibliss to yourself. Do you consider this to be your downfall ? Do you have regrets as to how you've lead your life?
Yes I have regrets, Life is Beautiful, enjoy it!
Why have you been incarcerated?
It started as attempted Murder, but ended up Conspiracy of distribution of Narcotics.
You've been incarcerated for some time now. How does the incarceration relates to your way of making music ? Does it gives you more time to reflect and discover new ideas? Are you still albe to make or write music ? Does music helps you get through all this?
Actually it pains me more because I can't record, so I don't write. I listen to Jazz and Opera, I don't listen to hip hop. Quincy Jones is someone I would like to work with, I read his autobiography and I have even more respect for him now that I've read about his struggle, and I love his music (all of it). It hurts to write. I try sometime.
I guess you're keeping yourself up to date on new hiphop releases. What've been your favorite albums or artists lately?
No ! ! Miles Davis Kind of Blue, John Coltrane The Anthology, Charlie Parker's Greatest Hits. I don't like listening to lyrics, I write my own so I block others out. Sometimes I just find a station with poor frequency and listen to "static", I hear beats and music in radio and television station static (yeah static, find some and listen to it). I'll write to static (if I write).
You've done a lot of featurings and songs with MF Doom, but are you planning on doing a whole album with him some day?
I don't know ; like I said earlier my last album I feel is Canto II which I choose not to reveal the name yet!!
You've been around rapping and being a player in the hip hop scene for a long time now. Can you tell us about how it all started? What are some of your favorite artists from hip hop's "golden age"?
King Sun, Kool G Rap, Kurious, KMD. They helped me get started in the game ; but the thing people don't know is the Large Professor is a very good friend of mine and he asked me to be on Live at the Barbeque and on my way to the Studio, I got into a physical altercation which led me to get arrested and in return I missed the studio session. That song went down in history and I was supposed to be on it ; IF I WAS ON IT I WOULD OF DESTROYED THE TRACK ; AT that time NOBODY could fuck WITH ME ; I was coming to the studio to spit venom, so I took my verse and added two more and I pressed it up myself and I called it 'So Watcha Want Nigga ?'. The rest is history. So whoever knows about "So Watcha Want ?" knows that it was the "Original" Live at the Barbeque. I missed the Barbeque and they didn't even "save me a plate of food"; my favorite artist is Chuck D and I would kill to work with The Bomb Squad.
Any plans on coming to France? Have you ever heard french hip hop? If so, what did you think of it?
I would love to come to France ! ! All my friends who've been there say I MUST go, and also France has the most beautiful women in the world. So please send me pictures of France and your beautiful women !! No I haven't had the opportunity to hear french hip hop but I would love to, and also colaborate with artists (if they ever needed me to) , we're all in the same struggle.