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Juelz Santana - conducted by Hugo Lunny  


Juelz Santana: Harlem Motivation 101

September 2005

Being the youngest member of The Diplomats isn't easy. You've got a reputation to uphold, a very motivated focus on what you want and constantly put out material. Juelz Santana though, manages this.

Having already debuted through Def Jam, he's gearing up to release his sophomore album "What The Game's Been Missing" in October. Evidently he has matured, going into a recording frenzy to make the album as good as he possibly can.

Our interview took place in interesting circumstances, I spoke with Juelz on his cell phone while he was in the process of buying a car...


MVRemix: Dipset as a whole appear very motivated, what inspires you to be so motivated?

Juelz Santana: I would say everything. Our whole aura. First and foremost, just being from Harlem - that's just a motivation we've always had. We've always got to have somethin', always gotta get it, always wanting something more. All of us pretty much know our position. We know what we're capable of, so we just in it to win it right now. We know we got a lot on our table. Our movement, even though we don't sell millions and millions of records - our movement is so strong. People trust what we do and what we put out. They rely on it. So we just try and keep that consistency and keep constantly going.

MVRemix: You currently have "There It Goes (The Whistle Song)" out right now and you've also got a remix of "Run It" with Chris Brown is this the direction your album is going towards?

Juelz Santana: Oh no, no, no, no. The album is the same, nah I wouldn't say it's the same - it's like level 10 music. "Mic Check" was a different type of record for me. Then you had "The Whistle" record, which was a different type of record for me. The Chris Brown was thrown at me, and I just kind of looked at it like this would be a beautiful look for me. But the album is crazy. I can't even explain the album. I wouldn't say there's no one direction. I know what you're saying because those are kinda like on a party vibe, but the album is definitely more on a hard vibe. That was the first single that came out and that was just a crazy record. So for the Chris Brown, I don't even know. They just happened to come out at the same time. I actually did that a long, long time ago so that's just a beautiful thing because it's comin' out around the time my album's comin' out.

MVRemix: Tell me about "What The Game's Been Missing."

Juelz Santana: The album, I just worked so hard on it. It's really next level music, honestly, it's everything I wanted it to be and more. I put so much work into this album, hard work, grindin'. I did over 160 songs just tellin' the people I've got what it takes. Pay attention, I'm the future. Your attention shouldn't be nowhere else. I got this and I'ma handle this. I knew what I wanted to do when I went into the album. Last time it was just like I wanted to put so much into it. This time I wanted to put so much into it but there was a balance I wanted to have. Everything was just so co-ordinated with this album and I just feel like it all came into place. I built my own studio in the process, I did over 160 songs. So the look I feel like is so much better.

MVRemix: What about guest appearances or producers - is it all based within Dipset or...

Juelz Santana: I wouldn't say it's all in Dipset. I go outside, definitely, but I really try not to fuck with someone who's super major or somethin' like that, you know? I just don't really feel like I need that. I just try to get them dudes that come with that hunger, then I come with it. I feel like it's real hungry, and these young producers, they're not chargin' ten million dollars or whatever to produce a record. So I fuck with the young, up and comin' niggas 'cause that's how I feel I am. It's good to give somebody a chance, that's how I got on and a lot of these dudes deserve that chance because what they puttin' out is hot. Why go spend $50,000 on one beat and the nigga act like I gotta take it because of who he is, whereas another nigga, he only wants $2500, he really need the $2500 - his beats is hot and he gonna give me 100 beats to choose from. You know what I'm sayin'? It makes a big difference. Shit don't even add up. It's just common sense.

MVRemix: When's your album coming out?

Juelz Santana: The album will be comin' out October 25th, that's the scheduled date for right now "What The Game's Been Missing," get used to future, 'cause I am that. And I got a couple of features on the album. I got Young Jeezy, I got Lil' Wayne, I got Game on the album. I just shot another video for the album that I paid for out of my pocket along with the whistle song and the "Shottas" - it's called "Make It Work For You." It's the song with Lil' Wayne and Young Jeezy; it's crazy.

MVRemix: You shot the video "mic check" out of your own pocket, why was that?

Juelz Santana: My own pocket. I directed the video and everything else, you know what I mean?

[Juelz talks to the Car dealers "Is this mine?"

"Yeah, you put that in that truck. You're that guy"

"You just put it in five boxes in there"]

Hello? Yeah, I just felt like it was time to bring that out. It was time to get my attention, my real attention on and I just feel like I had a bunch of music I had been workin' on, now it was time to get back in action. Get back in the game. I've been practicin', practicin', pracitin'. I know my jump shot is ready, I know my handle is ready. Now I've just gotta get back in the game. I shoved everybody... It's kind of like I had to shut the game out before I subbed; now I'm back in the game.

MVRemix: Tell me about the videos you recently shot for "There It Go" and "Shottas."

Juelz Santana: See then that's another thing. Once you see the acting and directing on that, I don't know, you probably never heard that song, nobody heard that song "Shottas" like that song is just to let them know, on the end of whistle. That's like "Gangsta Music"/"Dipset Anthem" times ten, times ten, times ten. That was crazy, that was really crazy.

MVRemix: How do you feel about the current standing at Def Jam with Cam having recently left Roc-A-Fella?

Juelz Santana: Like I said, there wasn't no problem. I feel like Def Jam had a priority up there. I had to make myself a priority now and I'm doing everything in my power. I'm a priority right now; they definitely have the machine and the power to make it happen.

MVRemix: What are Dipset's feelings on Ma$e signing to G-Unit?

Juelz Santana: That doesn't even concern me, I don't care about it. It doesn't bother me, he's not even on my page. He has a beef... That dude has bigger problems than me. That dude is playing with God and all types of other stuff, you know what I'm sayin'? It's bigger than me. I ain't gotta do nothin' to that man. I feel like my work is done. I washed my hands with him. That's in God's hands with that dude right there, for real.

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the way Hurricane Katrina has been handled thus far?

Juelz Santana: I think it was a tragedy. I'm doing everything in my power, but I'm not a billionaire or nothin' like that though, but whatever I can donate, I'm trying to donate - as far as money, clothes. I'm trying to bring a couple of families over to New York to live over here for like a year if possible. So if I can do that, I'm definitely trying to get that done. It's just a whole thing I'm really, really trying to get done. I really don't think that right there was... I don't... I don't even believe it man. It's hard to believe to this day, like, "Damn, that shit's really going on. There's people going through this." That's crazy.

MVRemix: What's the situation with the mixtape you're rumoured to be doing with Young Jeezy?

Juelz Santana: Me and Young Jeezy putting out a mixtape together called "The Best Of Both Hoods," it's pretty much like two real niggas getting together and doing what we do best - showing people how it's supposed to be done. I feel like he's bringing something to the game different, and I'm bringing something to the game different and when we come together it's gonna put a lot of things into perspective that need to be in perspective.

MVRemix: What about the mixtape "Fiend Out"?

Juelz Santana: My mixtape will be out before the album too.

MVRemix: What will be on there?

Juelz Santana: A bunch of exclusives. I'ma have a piece of the "Shottas" record on there, a sample of that. Look forward to the "Shottas" video exclusive world premiere on the Smack DVD. I'ma have the "Make It Work For You" song with me, Jeezy and Lil' Wayne. Those gonna be the only two songs off my album that's gonna be on the mixtape and the single. So I'ma have three songs from off my album on there and a couple freestyles, just like the way my other mixtapes are. I got so many songs I did that didn't get to make the album this time around. So there's gonna be a lot of songs on my mixtapes.

MVRemix: Aside from the album and mixtapes, what else have you been working on?

Juelz Santana: Right now... I mean I just did a movie, "Killing Season" - I got a bunch of stuff I'm working on. But really I'm just working on taking my music to the level where it needs to be. I got my own store, I got my own clothing line comin' out, definitely. It's hot! It's being backed by Johnny Hanson. It's crazy. I've just been working on that. I just left the magic show... I really think that's gonna be something big, somethin' real nice to look forward to for the people.





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"I did over 160 songs just tellin' the people I've got what it takes. Pay attention, I'm the future. Your attention shouldn't be nowhere else."