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22 January, 2007@12:00 am

When we last heard from Sean Price, he was gearing up for his first solo project.  It was nearly 7 years since Magnum Force dropped and many were wondering if Sean P can hold his own on the mic.  Now one year since silencing his critics with one of the best lyrical albums of 2005, Sean is ready to take it to the next level.  Driven to establish himself amongst the best in the business, he sets to release his sophomore effort, Jesus Price Superstar.  In this candid interview, find out which rapper made him re-write his verse, how it feels not to be on the radio and if we’ll ever hear another Heltah Skeltah album.

HipHopSite: Before Monkey Bars dropped, you talked a lot about your struggles – driving cabs and hustling just to make ends meet.  What are Sean Price’s days looking like now?

Sean Price: Hip-Hop.  Hip-Hop all day in the studio.  I’m doing features for bread and working with my own artists.  I’m working hard man.

HHS:  You were in the news a month ago where the police used You Tube footage from one of your shows to catch a murder suspect?  How crazy was that?

Sean Price:  I did a show in Hamilton (Canada) and some people got stabbed after the show.  The two that got stabbed actually got kicked out of the club, one of them died and the other is still alive.  And the guy caught them on You Tube, it was crazy.  The police came to my hotel room and spoke to me and Rusty [Juxx] but we ain’t have nothing to tell them cuz we were on stage.  But my condolences go out to them and their family.  I don’t wish death on nobody, even though they were acting up at the show, I don’t wish death on nobody.

HHS:  Your new album, Jesus Price Superstar is set to drop on January 30th.  With Monkey Bars getting such critical acclaim, what are you expecting out of this one?

SP:  Hopefully better than the first one.  You always expect it to be better than the first one.  But that’s for the people to decide.  I know I enjoyed making it.  I felt confident putting it out and I had good material and hopefully y’all feel the same.

HHS:  What many people liked about the first album was how personal your lyrics are.  While many rappers refuse to put themselves out there because they are afraid to be criticized, you don’t really care.  You show us the real Sean.

SP:  Yeah I don’t care man. I’m comfortable in my own skin, I am what I am.  I don’t feel like I gotta lie to people.  People say you wait your whole life to do your first album.  So what I was going through at the time was a reflection on what’s on Monkey Bars.  The finances weren’t right, I wasn’t the best father in the world and I wasn’t the best man.  I improved as a man so you not gonna hear too many sad tales on this album.

I’m just here to let y’all know that the first one [album] wasn’t a fluke.  I’m a real solo artist.  I’m not a temporary artist until me Rock get our s**t together.  I’m solo forever whether there’s another Heltah Skeltah album or not.  So that’s what I wanna do with this album – solidify myself.  No sophomore jinx here B.

HHS:  You tend to keep all of your features in-house.  Who can we expect to hear this time around?

SP:  Same thing. Kept it in-house.  Except I got my man Phonte and Chaundon from the Justice League.  But they family too so I kept it within the family.

HHS:  Okay, Phonte from Little Brother.  Wouldn’t have seen that coming.

SP: Yeah he’s an incredible lyricist.  That was the only song that had me under pressure man.  I had to go back in the hotel that night and re-write my rhymes and bring it back in the morning.  He wasn’t playing man.  If you really listen to his rhymes, I mean really listen… he’s going in.  I was under pressure. [laughs]  Phonte definitely brought his A game.  I was like, “Oh s**t, I’m not saying this.”  I just went back and wrote line for line.

HHS:  Who’s handling the production?

SP:  This time I got 9th Wonder and Krysis doing the bulk of the album.  I went down south first and worked with them.  Then I came back to New York and grabbed PF Cuttin’, Moss, and Ill Mind.

HHS:  You are definitely a rapper that pride’s himself on his lyrics.  What is your thought process when you write your rhymes?

SP:  I don’t know.  I know that might sound crazy but I don’t know.  The beat tells me what to do.  I hear the beat and I’m like, “okay, okay”.   I don’t know what I’m gonna say, I just start writing.  I don’t write just for the hell of it but my s**t isn’t full of messages either.  My s**t just be hard body, nah mean.  I want people to be like, “Oh my God, did you hear what he said?  He is not playing around.”  That’s what I write my rhymes for – for n***as to turn they face up like they just sucked on a lemon.

HHS:  What rappers out there inspired you and are there any rappers today that keep you on your toes?

SP:  [Kool] G Rap all day.  Big Pun for sure – Pun definitely left too soon man.  Jay-Z – sometimes he’ll say some s**t that makes you say “wow, this dude is slick.”  I always liked n***as with the slick lines with the word play and hard body n***as.  Beanie Sigel, he brings it hard body.  Then again, I like Ludacris cuz he slick, he hard body and he funny.  That’s the whole package, nah mean?  That’s what I’m trying to master right there.  Cuz that’s me in a nutshell.  I’m a cool n***a but you don’t wanna see the ugly side of the god.  I don’t walk around with a frown all the time, I crack jokes all day.  So that’s what I feel about Ludacris.  Ask anybody, that’s one of my favorite emcees right there.

HHS:  Creatively, the game seems to be kind of lacking. Rappers are switching up their styles trying to go multi-platinum and they end up making bad music.  It seems that you don’t care and you never compromised your craft.  What made you turn your back on trying to sell a bunch of records and just make your kind of music?

SP:  You know what?  I don’t care, but I do care.  I want to make a record that’s all over the radio all day.  If somebody tell you they don’t, they lying to you.  But this is how I rhyme, I am what I am.  And I know that the s**t that I do, isn’t the s**t that be on the radio all day.  It is what it is and I accept it.  I got one song called, “The Mess You Made” and it’s actually getting on the radio.  But I didn’t make it for the radio; I made it cuz that’s how I was feeling at the time.  It wasn’t a conscious effort.

HHS:  Back in the day, your music was on the radio.  But today, even though your music hasn’t changed, the airplay isn’t the same.  How does this change make you feel?

SP:  I ain’t discouraged.  I’m gonna stick to my guns and y’all are gonna catch on again.  You gotta remember there was a time gap between Magnum Force and Monkey Bars so I gotta catch up too.  I’m not mad.  I just got my first ever feature in The Source and I got one in XXL.  All of the websites, I’m just trying to get my name out there from the biggest to the smallest.  So I’m just tellin’ people to spread the word, spread the gospel.  “Tell a phone, Tell a friend, Telemundo.” [laughing]

HHS:  Talk a little bit about the resurgence that Boot Camp Click has had going the independent route.

SP:  Yeah we independent but we got a good backing.  Dru [Ha] said this is the plan and got everyone on board.  We seeing money and we’re putting out good music.  This is what we do, rappers rap.  I like where I’m at but if a major offered me a good deal, I’d take it.  I’m just keepin’ it real.  I feel no one in the majors is doing what I’m doing.  So it’ll be good, they need a Sean Price on a major.  That’ll give hope to the game.

HHS:  You briefly mentioned it earlier, and I couldn’t let you leave without asking you about Heltah Skeltah.  When are you and Rock going to give us another album?

SP:  We working on it right now.  We’re trying to get it right.  It’ll be out when it’s done.  I’m not gonna give you any date; it’ll be out when it’s done right.  I don’t want to tell people it’ll be out in the spring and then it gets pushed back because it ain’t right.  Trust me, it’ll be out when it’s done right.  There’s probably more pressure doing a new Heltah Skeltah album than my own joint.

HHS: Why do you feel that there is more pressure doing this one than your solo album?

SP:  Number one, people miss us rhyming together.  Number two, the last Heltah Skeltah album wasn’t that bangin’.  It’s a lot of pressure.  But doing a new Sean Price album is nothing cuz it’s just me.

HHS:  Are you doing anything outside of music?

SP:  You know what?  I tried to do the movie thing.  I guess I’m just a bad actor man. [laughs]  I auditioned for OZ (HBO series about life in prison) three times.  They said I wasn’t right.  I was offended cuz I been in jail before I had a record deal.  So you saying I can’t act like a jailbird?  Maybe I was too real for them.  They wasn’t feelin’ the kid.  It’s all good.  Every rapper shouldn’t act and maybe I’m one of them.  But I’ll give it another shot with the movies.

HHS:  Leave one.

SP:  You know, Jesus Price Superstar, January 30th.  The new Heltah Skeltah coming out.  Smif N Wessun working on they new album.  Buck[shot] and 9th [Wonder] are back in the studio.  A new BCC album, a lot of stuff.  Get ready.

  Mixtape D.L.
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