Finally, it’s time. He’s had deals with other labels, he’s dealt with industry bullshit, he’s been around the world with Tribe, with Kanye, with John Legend and finally on March 6th his debut drops. “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” is exactly what you would expect from an emcee that came up with Tip on the right and Phife on the left. It’s hip-hop you can sink your teeth into on a major stage. I chatted with Consequence about the meaning of this album, the past, present and future. If you are going to do something do it to the death and that’s exactly what Consequence has been doing over the last 15 years. All you young cats pay attention, because school is in session.
What’s up man?
Everything is good, nice and busy. Just finished shooting the video for “Callin Me” which is the first single off of “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” and it should be to TV real soon.
Before we get into the album, you worked with one of the dopest hip-hop crews of all time A Tribe Called Quest. Let’s say “Midnight Marauders” or “Beats Rhymes and Life” would have dropped in 2007, would they have been successful?
I think it would have been more successful honestly. That kind of hip-hop is a rarity now and it’s not the norm. As far as soundscapes and an approach of making the record I really do think it would have been more successful.
We all know you have ties with Kanye, but how did the relationship develop?
We met in the beginning of 2002 when he had moved to Newark, New Jersey. He knew a producer by the name of 88 Keys who was my man and all. I gave 88 Keys his first professional front end when I had the deal with Elektra. We always stayed cool. He and 88 met at Baseline Studios where Roc-a-fella lays down all their tracks. At that time Kanye wasn’t signed as a rapper, he was still trying to prove to everybody he was a rapper as well as a producer. He was up there demoing up joints that would eventually end up on “College Dropout”. Him and 88 where working on a record that had a verse and a hook and they started brainstorming on who they should put on the record. Keys was like “what you think about Consequence” and Kanye was like bugging like you know Consequence and Keys was like that’s my man. Kanye is a huge Tribe fan and they called me and reached out and there we go. We sat down and started kicking it and he started quizzing me on where I had been and what had happened. So we got really tight and he opened up his own for me.
You have gone the independent route for “Take Em to the Cleaners”, do you consider G.O.O.D. Music an independent label or a lump them in with the Universal’s and BMG’s of the world?
Actually I’m signed to Sony, so it’s definitely on a major. That’s my approach totally; it’s about putting this music out by any means necessary so that the fans get to hear it and judge it. Going through industry channels at times can be difficult, they feel you have to have that right single and what not. With hip-hop and the background that I have, sure it’s about one record but it’s about a whole album as well. I think it’s important for people to understand the movement and recognizing Consequence has a brand. With “Take Em to the Cleaners” it was about growth and I had done the mixtapes and wanted to get out through distribution, and I think we did that with that project.
What is the mentality of the label as a whole?
It’s been up and down, but right now it’s up. There was a point when they were looking at it like aaahâ€¦we don’t know what to do with this shit. I made them fall with who I am and my work ethic. It’s hard, the industry is changing, it’s not like you can just submit records and people will automatically fuck with you because you are signed. They have so many artists and so many choices. The whole thing with the game now is making them feel a part of it and giving them ownership in what you are doing. They aren’t hustlers they work a 9 to 5 job. For them to get into it and get involved you have to really catch their attention. I had to learn to do that and ran through managers and different people. I have a new manager with Sha Money XL and I had to turn the label upside down. I had to show them I was for real. I have had record deals and this is it, this is going to pop off. Fortunately now they are behind me and the album is a priority now.
“Don’t Quit Your Day Job” is the name of the upcoming album. When can we expect that album to hit shelves?
March 6th is the official release date.
The title is interesting; do you feel that hip-hop should now be a hobby as opposed to something you dedicate your life to?
I came up with the title because I had to actually go to work. For so long I have been able to hustle and live off the land living off my music. If you get side tracked with all the temptations things won’t look so sweet. The title is about being mindful that have been given another chance to do what it is that I enjoy the must as far as work, and that is hip-hop. You always have to have the love for recording and doing hip-hop. It is the passion of a hobby but you have to the responsibility of a job to be successful at it. There are certain realities you have to come to in life and realize that you aren’t going back to school or going back to working some retail job. This is my profession; you have to carry it like that. The message isn’t just to the people but it’s a message to me. If this is what you are going to do, you have to do it to death.
The first single “Callin Me” is produced by Younglord, who produced Diddy’s “Come to Me” who else makes an appearance on the boards?
Of course Kanye, 2 G.O.O.D. music producers one is Devo Springstein who is Kanye’s cousin and Keezo Kain. We got Darin and Keith out of Philly and Kani who produced 2 joints on Lloyd Banks album. We also have Kareem Riggins who was real close to J Dilla who produced the record “Uncle Raheim” that is off the chain. I co-produced a record with John Legend and Lowdown on the boards called “Feel This Way” where I wrote the whole record. Koolaide from Croatia produced 2 joints on the album.
The joint he did with Masta Ace was ridiculous.
He’s got 2 retardeds on my album too. He did the opening track to the album called the “Job Song”
We heard a lot of the album in D.R. at Mixshow Power Summit and everything I heard I loved. Finally someone is putting together some hip-hop.
That and more. I appreciate the kind words for real.
Why did you choose to go with a solo record from a relatively unknown producer as your first single as opposed to something produced by say Kanye?
We had just put out the “Grammy Family” out which was a great look, but the game is about being your own artist. You can fall into the shadow of the superstar of the label or you can be your own man and stand on your own two feet. I believe in the record, the record is sick, the beat is crazy. Its hip-hop and I love it. I’m a gambling man
I like to shake it up, I ain’t scared. I have raps for days; it’s not a problem (Laughs)
What is the one thing you want people to know about Consequence, the person and the emcee?
That I’m from Queens, New York. A lot of people get it mixed up since I’m so close with Kanye. I love Chicago but I’m from Queens.
What’s next for Consequence, are you going to tour and who with do you have an up and comer you have been grooming?
A bunch of everything. Where do we start? The next mixtape will be coming out “Cons Volume 5 â€“ Revise To Die” with 2 special guest DJs will be hosting that and that should be out by superbowl weekend. “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” drops March 6th, we have a DVD and Bonus CD called “Don’t Matter What the Consequence Is” with videos, footage of back in the day with Tribe, John Legend and I in the studio, Me and Kanye on the Touch the Sky Tour. 50 Cent, Chris Rock and the list goes on and on. We have a book still in the works and should drop some time this year. We are starting to put the little bits and pieces together for the next album which is called “You Win Some You Lose Some”. I’m really busting it out, I’m having fun and I’m finally getting a debut which is wonderful. God is great and everything is everything.
“Don’t Quit Your Day Job” in stores March 6th, don’t play yourself stay yourself go out and cop that. Nahmean!
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