St. Laz Interview

DM: St. Laz, how are things? Let the people know where you’re from and how long you’ve been in the game.

Laz: Yo things are lookin good right now, nutin but progress everyday. I’m from Brownsville Brooklyn but i rep the whole NYC. I’ve been grinding since I came home in 99 but I got extra serious once i got my own studio which has been like 3 and a half years now.

DM: First up, congratulations on the new video. How did that come together and what are you looking to accomplish with it?

Laz: Thanks, the new video “starve the ghetto” is a gift to my fans. I wrote that song in like a half hour and layed it down in like 20 minutes. It was like a rushed song that I just wanted to hurry up and do for my mixtape “sweet dreams” it ended up being the fan favorite. Everyday I heard a different comment about it. “Sof Khan” the director heard the song and basically fell in love with the concept, the rest is history. This video is strictly for the people though, my goal is to reach that perfect equilibrium between street shit and conscious rap. I think “Starve” does that.

DM: I want to talk about the “New Industry” for a minute. How did this all come about? What was the driving force behind it?

Laz: Yo man the game is filled with so much trash niggas, dudes that know nothing about making great music, snake label cats, devils and frauds, djs that are nothing more than rap groupies and cock blowers. I felt I had to start a new alliance of rappers, producers, djs and hip-hop participants that are sick of the politics and bullshit in the game. We had to create our own outlets and media for our music to be heard, build up our own djs, and basically stick together instead of compete with each other. Snyp Life, Big Cas, Papi Storez, Tom Gist, Agallah, Ike Eyes, Geolani and Tega, Sin, DJ Diggz, Dub Floyd , numerous huge websites, 50 producers worldwide with the P.E.N, these are all dudes that are seriously tryna make success a reality, so like mature adults, we help each other out and just cross promote with everything. If one of us makes it big we pull each other up. No contracts just real niggas and real shit.

DM: Given your time in the music game do you view the “New Industry” blueprint as the new standard for being a success? MCs, DJs, and Producers all are supporting one another.

Laz: Exactly, like a new world order for the rap game. This shit has went to the dogs, everybody is a rapper now, everybody is a dj, everybody wit a camcorder is a dvd franchise. This shit needs some order quick. Also lets not act like the niggas who are really eating off this culture deserve to be eating at all. We created this music and culture right here in the 5 boroughs. It was a cash cow for the ghetto, a music sent by god for us to communicate the truth and to be financially rehabilitated. It was stolen, raped and pillaged and now its just a business that keeps a certain selected few in mansions and yachts. Well we want some of those yachts too and we want our creation back.

DM: Is the “New Industry” something that you’re looking to expand as far as whose down with it? Who is/are the figure heads of the movement?

Laz: Yes definitely. It’s to a point now where its rappers who i dont even know screaming “new industry”and i love it. People are starting to understand that a serious change is needed and long over do. I actually wanna start an entire new game. I know people are tired of the same artist recycled over and over. It’s a bunch of new talent out there dying to be heard. As far as the heads go. It’s like we all leaders but dudes like Whop (354/crossover ent.) and Mike Hustle (big cas manager) get shit popping on the corporate side. My nigga cracktax in VA, Grind Ent. is my new management. I been doing this without a manager for so long, I finally found a dude worthy of me fucking with. We gonna take this new industry shit worldwide.

DM: Are you looking for major label support either through a straight production deal or will it all be independent?

Laz: If its a major out there smart enough to see that I’m unstoppable and they wanna get a % of the millions I plan on taking and they have some good ideas or opportunities for me then yea I will fuck with a major powerhouse. But if a indie label with some strong ties and good financial backing is interested then I’m interested too, I just need dudes that are animals like me. I’ve gave up sleeping, my whole life is dedicated to success, I need somebody with that same drive. I much rather do business with a established artist with his or her own label than the old fashioned contract with a major name brand label. I need creative control.

DM: Give us a quick roll call of some of the other cats down with the “New Industry”.

Laz: DJ Rated R, Mad Ciphas, Lokk and Load and about 50 more producers. A lot of your favorite websites CEOs, Wordsmith, new sites like trackcrack.com, yoraps.com, stadiummusic.net, hiphoporg.com, the list goes on and on, its like the newest coalition in the game. Some members are a secret shhhh.

DM: Let’s keep it moving. As an MC what do you look for when you choose your beats? I know there are a lot of unknown producers out there, what advice can you give them as far as shopping beats to an up and coming MC such as yourself.

Laz: Yo I look for that shit that makes me stop whatever I’m doing and write. I look for dudes that got sample free fire. Like my dude Agallah says, “its a big difference between a dude who make beats and a “musician”. My dude Venum from the polo grounds is a damn musician. He has mastered the art of sampling and he plays like 4 instruments. I also do the knowledge to a dudes output. I need to see that everyday your in the lab tryna make the next “ether”. I dont want no part time producers. As for advice to up and coming producers; dont be scared to toss beats at niggas. Scared money dont make none. Let those beats go to hungry artist for free, money will come later after you prove yourself a hundred times.

DM: I’ve listened to a lot of your music and lyric wise you can get deep with it. What’s your writting process? Do you write pen and pad style up in lab while the beats playing, straight off the dome when you’re smoked out. How’s it all come together?

Laz: Yo I got tired of losing my rhymes so now I type all my shit in the sidekick. When I hear a crazy beat and light that weed, the song comes together in no time. I write a 16 in 20 minutes most of the time. Sometimes I jump in the shower and make myself write a 16 in my head, then I hurry up and lay it down before I forget it. Diggz will send me 3 tracks wit a open verse on it and I’ll knock all those out in one night sometimes. I used to write four verses a day but now I do so much its like a barely got time to write. I’m always rushin to get something done. I make a “shit to do” list on my computer and I go down the line.

DM: In regards to the Hip Hop game, who do you actually listen too? What CDs do you cop? Who are you checking for?

Laz: I’m a funny nigga man. I listen to very few niggas. I have become obsessed with the underground and mixtape world only. I listen to snyp and Big Cas a lot. I like dudes that are slept on like Nashawn, AZ, I like that kid Hell Rahzah, AG got that heat. I fuck wit Styles P, I’m a classic Mobb Deep fan. I like Lake and Cormega, It’s a few other cats I check for but not many. Plus I record, write and promote so much it’s hard to have time to listen to alot of music.

DM: We all have so called “industry” war stories. What’s been your worst experience in the game?

Laz: I mean honestly, I’ve had problems with a few big name rap dudes but I cant consider shit beef when a nigga got armed security with him all the time. I hate to be sounding like one of these rappers always talking ignorant street shit but its like me and my team are good niggas but we thugs for real. We got real beef in these streets. Come to my building in my projects and you will see bullet holes in our lobby door from the last people who tried to retaliate. I don’t mean to glorify shit but it’s real life shit. My P.F niggas are humble but if niggas disrespect the team, we bang machines off. Simple as that. I’m tryna get on in this rap game to get away from that type of shit. It seems niggas come in the game lookin for beef. A wise man once said to me “a nigga who always lookin for beef, never really had none”. Cuz when you really have had beef you know the extent that shit can go to and you try your best to avoid shit. My nigga NY-Sidd just got clapped and grazed in the head real bad. If niggas woulda killed my son I woulda said fuck rap, I’m going back to jail.

DM: Outside of Hip Hop and the music industry are there any people that have influenced you or had an impact in you life and helped make you who you are today?

Laz: Jail just made me realize that life is short as hell. I was locked up with dudes that were 16 and had 40 years to do. I woke up and said “damn” I gotta do something that will never have me in this hell hole again. I’m god body and been god body since ’95. My enlightner/uncle “Wise Kaseem” who gave me knowledge of self, did 7 years and came home and got stabbed in his heart after 2 days in the street. He died and my feelings died right with him. I’m still mad at the world for that. I want revege on the world for being such a fucked up place.

DM: St. Laz thanks for your time today. We wish you continued success. Any last words for the people?

Laz: Yea man first I gotta thank Rapmullet for being real niggas. I wanna thank Sof Khan for shooting my new video. The whole new industry, the whole P.E.N ,Diggz for being the next Clue, Cracktax and Dj Skee. Get ready for that Dj Skee and Laz tape. Me and Snyp got a crazy joint to a Nu Jersey Devil beat on there!!! Whoever else is out there showing love to St.Laz and Pottersfield. Check for the 3 Pottersfield album/mixtapes I’m bout to drop that I executive produced. Opium “Salute”, the boy Bucka “Doing Thangs” and the Wooden Souljah “self titled” mixtape. Finally about to show niggas that all the artist in PF have extreme solo potential. I’m hater free this year so im happy and focused. Destined to do big things!!!!! Oh and check for the modeling network I just started called PF Quarters at myspace.com/pfquarters. We doing the damn thing. Much love and respect.
Peep the video here: www.blkinkflm.com/starving.html