24K conducted by Hugo Lunny  

24K Interview

May 2003

24K is a female emcee, originally from Montreal now residing in New York. Her new album "Quotable" on Madd Records features production from Just Blaze, Swizz Beatz, Ayatollah and more with guest appearances from Sadat X, Buckshot, Mashonda and Tragedy.

MVRemix: Tell me a little about your history...

24K: I started writing poetry and reggae around the age of ten. That evolved into performing reggae and Hip Hop in around '92 (this was all in Montreal). What helped me out was being in this city, New York. I didn't think this is what was going to come out of when I 24K Interviewfirst started. I didn't think I'd be on a song with Sadat X, ten years after I was bumping "Punks Jump Up," that was crazy for me. Montreal served as a definite training ground for me, being in school all the time. I went to school straight, and to most of the top schools. A lot of loans go over your head, you can't make the demo. You can't really do anything. I had a lot of people in the city giving me free studio time and free demo beats.

Once I did make it to New York, it was so different. It was such a larger level and a larger scale that I didn't realize I wasn't challenging myself as much as I could have been, if I did grow up in New York let's say.

I look at it as a training ground, but definitely as being important for where I am today. If I didn't have that (people helping me out) then I wouldn't be here right now. It would have been impossible.

MVRemix: With regards to your degree in psychology, do you feel you have or are going to bring what you know of the human psyche into your music? Or, do you feel it's just something which would be beneficial if this falls through?

24K: I always tended to be very logical, and I remember going into my course in psychology thinking and saying that I wanted to go into law school. But, I didn't want to go into law school directly so I wanted to get a BA in something that would interest me. What I found about the course was that it didn't teach me too much more about what I'd already figured out about the world. Because, I've been through way too much. So, I'd kind of figured a lot of things on my own, growing up. I'm talking from elementary [school] and having a really bad childhood in terms of my dad; hiding under principle's desks so that I'm not kidnapped and all kinds of crazy stuff like that to being tormented in high school for being so light skinned. Struggle teaches you something and I don't remember too many good times.

What psychology taught me was a lot more technical stuff. Finding about the various components of the brain, what senses do to a new born's brain. Abnormal psychology... a lot of things that you only really learn in a book unless you work in a hospital.

In terms of my music, I don't find so. I had already matured a lot and lived through my struggles which helped with my music. I definitely don't regret the learning of psychology, it was interesting.

MVRemix: How did you hook up with Just Blaze, Swizz Beatz, Ayatollah etc.?

24K: Ayatollah... that was through a beat CD that I'd got from Black Shawn (his manager). I heard it, went crazy and found out it was Ayatollah afterwards. Pretty much the A&R on the project brought Ayatollah in to lay it down, it was real cool to meet him. That came out as a track called "Clak" which was a track dedicated to my boys. I mostly grew up around guys, with them having my back and always being there for support.

In terms of Swizz Beatz and Just Blaze. That was when the project became bigger. It was supposed to come out in October (the album). It was brought to me that some people hadn't done their job at the label and so we weren't gonna meet certain deadlines. So it had to be pushed. They lessened the blow about it being pushed because they were willing to put in a bigger budget. The budget increased and the buzz increased. The video director (who did the video for the Just Blaze single) said that he was long time friends with Swizz. Swizz heard my sampler that was distributed out on the street a lot, he thought it was dope. He called my manager at about 1AM and said "Yo, I wanna work with your girl 2-4." That was a huge honour, and I was actually with him. My manager is Tha Madd Scientist, he's also my DJ and my partner in the other company.

He looked at me and was like "It's Swizz Beatz on the phone, he wants to work with you." That was unbelievable to me, especially coming from Montreal. My dream's coming true to me. That went from working with Swizz and really hitting it off, which also led to me meeting his wife Mashonda who's also on the album. She's now on J Records and is responsible for a lot of hooks like "Gotta Man" (Eve) and "Girls Best Friend" by Jay-Z. We just got a long. They're "real" people which are really hard to find in the industry. From there I'd mentioned I wanted to work with Just Blaze and I think having worked with Swizz helped me out with the Just Blaze thing. Because Swizz hit him on the 2-way and told him I wanted to work with him. Management called Just Blaze and we're here now. He agreed to do it, I went in the studio with him and he made a beat for me. He was mad cool too.

So it was kind of a snowball effect. I'm just blessed man, it was all word of mouth. And, of course an increase in the budget and the label believing in me that extra notch.

MVRemix: What is it about the word "Quotable" that makes you want it for not just the title of your album, but the clothing line you're bringing out?

24K: The thing about "Quotable" - clothing line and album are the expressions of 2-4. It's what I have to say. It's important for me to voice my opinion, regardless of what others have to say about it. Everybody has an opinion. It's my time to say what I've got to say and you'll always find something to quote me on.

In terms of the clothing line, the reason that I called it "The Quotable" is because I'm putting a lot of my punch lines or a verse. Depending on which line of the clothing line (there's a b-girl line, a DJ line etc.), depending on the specific line there'll be a certain quote from my album. I'm hoping to expand to doing things for other artists. I'm probably going to expand to doing something for Swizz. Put something from his album or something somebody said about him, and design something specifically for him.

In terms of the album, like I said, "You'll always have something to quote me on." What I mean by that is not necessarily only a "Hip Hop Quotable" as The Source would put it, in terms of the lyricism. I'm not only talking about that because although I do have that, I'm also talking about me just throwing out witty lines. The Redman lines, the "Oh wow, she thought of that? That was mad witty!" But not too deep where mainstream society can't understand. So I've got the "Deep," the "Witty" lines and also I've got the "Okay, I can't believe she has the ghaul to say that." On all levels, "Quotable" represents who I am and what my opinions are about everything. From serious issues to the club tracks. I haven't made a track on the album, saying "nothing."

MVRemix: Kind of along those lines, with regards to maybe controversial quotes. What are your thoughts on the likes of Lil' Kim and Trina?

24K: Lil' Kim, I have a lot of thoughts about her. Trina is from the South; things are a little different there. I didn't totally go after her but you know, I think she's a follower. She's doing "Ho Rap," its been done before and I think Lil' Kim set the standard of taking it to the next level of "Ho Rap." There's always sexuality in Hip Hop with women, I mean Salt N' Pepa etc. but they did it tastefully. I love Salt N' Pepa, they did it in a tasteful manner where it wasn't just "Ho Rap." It wasn't scandalous like that. I think the reason why I go after Lil' Kim, and not that much - she has a couple of lines here and there on the album (and I do call her "Porno Kimmy" because I find it suitable) - I think that she started a trend. Not only on other artists, but on labels to pressure other artists. It's a big vicious circle and I think it's time to end all that. I think it's absolutely ridiculous. I don't feel that there are any extremely positive Hip Hop artists, I mean not many. A young girl coming up in high school can't really purchase an album and say "Wow, I love this album. This girl says really nice things and she has skills." Not "Wow, her titties are hanging out! Isn't that cool?" That's not cool. This is the problem with society... kids don't have anything to look up to. It goes very deep. I think she's not representing for women. I think she's not representing for the black race. My issues with that are really deep. I don't want beef with her. Swizz and I are great friends and he is too with her. A lot of people say she's mad cool, but I don't like what she represents. I'm not gonna go out and shoot her. I'll put it on a record, this is what Hip Hop is all about and people are forgetting. Write your own rhymes and keep the battles on records.

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the likes of Ms. Jade, Ms. Dynamite and ironically enough Missy?

24K: All of the above, I like. I love Ms. Dynamite for what she's doing. She came out doing R&B, but not the standard, status quo R&B. The little girl groups, the little Barbie groups. The video I saw was absolutely unbelievable with the blood dripping from the rocks... because of the issues with the diamonds. That's insane, I respect her. I think she's great.

Ms. Jade I think sounds like Eve. I think what kind of ruined the record sales for Ms. Jade were Timbaland's comments saying that she's the "Female Biggie." Not too many took likeness to that and expected more. I think she has got skills though.

In terms of Missy, I love her. I'm always bangin' Missy. The thing with Missy is that she has so much flavour that you can't help but love her. As much as there are people sitting around saying she's not an emcee because she's not extremely lyrical and this and that. She's mad witty and she's got mad flavour. Anybody who says they don't own a Missy album, I don't believe them. They're hating. People go on and on about how she's not an emcee. She's got mad flavour and beats. I think there are different levels of emcees. I'm no one to say "This is the definition of an emcee and this is not." As long as you write your own rhymes and you get crowds open, I think that's cool. Don't get me started on Ja Rule and everything because I'll have comments, but I'm feeling Missy.

MVRemix: What can you tell me about your album "Quotable" - describe the album for me...

24K: In one word; balanced. The reason I say that is with the club tracks (not clubby to the extent where I'm talking about nothing) you'll hear the emcee in me. Then you'll have my grimy, super lyrical stuff like "Superhereoet" and you'll hear that thing that a lot of people have been missing for years in terms of Hip Hop. You have the grimy stuff, and the top-notch names so I think it brings a good balance. Overall, in terms of featured emcees, singers or producers, it's just very well rounded and balanced I feel.

MVRemix: Aside from your album, is there anything else you're working on? In terms of are there guest appearances that you've done which are soon to emerge or things along those lines?

24K: We just completed a mixtape, hosted by Tony Touch. On there, there's the single, a remix for the single. A lot of exclusive Ruff Ryders tracks for me and Roc-A-Fella. Stuff like that. Also featured are a lot of promo tracks I did. There's a lot on there which I recorded over a few months. I'm excited about that. That's about 30,000 copies that are going to be distributed across the United States and I'm talking just street teams. We're giving it out for free which is crazy for the label to even put so much money into that. I'm real excited about the mixtape. Look out for that, it's called "The Jungle."

MVRemix: Are there any last comments you'd like to put to your fans or potential fans that are going to be reading this?

24K: I'm hoping to finally give everybody what they've been waiting for. A female emcee who can spit with the dudes, hang with the dudes, battle with the dudes and still entertain you. Still at the same time have something important to say and be well rounded as a person. I'm giving 200% When I recorded the album, every song I wanted to make "single potential." That was a problem. We have so many "single potential" songs on the album, we didn't know what to put out. So many things got cut off, and there are five or six singles the label wants to put out. When does that happen on a Hip Hop album?

I'm giving 200% - I hope everybody can appreciate that, eat it up and make it taste real good.

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