April Maiya - conducted by Angus Crawford  

April Maiya

July 2007

MVRemix: What did you learn about Biggie that you didn't know since this project started?

April Maiya: That everything he rapped about, he is.

MVRemix: Is he really the illest? [laughs]

April Maiya: Absolutely [laughs].

MVRemix: I agree he is definitely the most talented ever and if he didn't do what he did...

April Maiya: He definitely didn't make up anything he did. A lot of rappers don't really do that or have the opportunity to do that. You know, everything he rapped about he did, that was crazy. And it also carried on through to this project, everything that Kim rapped they did. You see it in the footage, you know what I mean?

MVRemix: Are you talking about Hot 97?

April Maiya: Yeah Hot 97, or just the way that she lived her life, places they went to, cars they drove, things they did with groupies. None of that was made up, you see it in the footage.

MVRemix: For good or bad I guess.

April Maiya: [laughs] yeah.

MVRemix: [laughs]...Is this the first time the Hot 97 footage is out?

April Maiya: Yeah, obviously it wasn't supposed to be out until everyone got sentenced and the discovery was made available. The important part, I think in all seriousness, I know there is a lot of happy footage in there, obviously they didn't shoot any footage of them being mad at each other, so all the footage is just really showing their character, how they lived together, how they worked together and really how much they loved each other, you know, that is what the footage showed. And then the second half of the movie breaks into the reality of the case and basically the downfall and why they are estranged from each other now...After Kim's trial Cease was going around saying the Feds had all the evidence, he didn't tell them anything they didn't know. I think when people see the footage of the shooting; they will realize you can not tell who is in the damn tape. You know, it's a black and white surveillance tape, I think a lot of people don't realize Federal Court is different than State Court [because] in State Court you have to have physical evidence. D-Roc and Gutta are in jail right now off of a shooting [where] no guns were ever found, the only evidence was the security tape that was being filmed and they needed two or more people to identify who was on the tape.

MVRemix: Wait, Kim was in jail for perjury and they are in prison for the shooting?

April Maiya: Yeah.

MVRemix: I didn't know that. I just thought they were in prison for perjury also.

April Maiya: No, they're in jail. She was basically...they were lying to try to keep the code. They allegedly did the shooting, Kim was like "I don't know who did it" and the other two identified them on the surveillance tape.

MVRemix: Oh wow...I watched the trailer and I have to say it's really good. At the beginning of the trailer it says there are three sides to every story "Your side, my side, and the truth", and your choice to only use footage is your way of showing that, you're going to let everything speak for itself.

April Maiya: Exactly. D-Roc is not one to really speak, he's always been the Invisible Bully and that's what Big referred to him in all of his songs...He doesn't really like to talk and stuff and so when he decided to help with this project he didn't want it to be "Lil Cease said this" and "I said that". Everyone has a story but here's the truth, the footage can't lie.

MVRemix: Is there a lot of music in the background?

April Maiya: The only music we used was Biggie music. I tried to cut his lyrics to show that everything he rapped about or Kim rapped about they did.

MVRemix: Whose decision was it to get Jamie Hector?

April Maiya: Mine. Basically, when I told you I wanted to go the non-documentary route...most documentaries have a narrator and I didn't want to have a narrator at all. I was just so in love with the events telling the story, you know what I mean? I just that it was really unique type of documentary, I was in love with that and I didn't anybody to sleep on it all. Then we tried to have Damion speak on it through a prison phone, but it didn't work because the quality of that was not great and then we run into the issue of, if he is going to narrate it then its going to slant the story too much in his favor, you know what I mean. So what I ended up doing in the end was pulling tapes in a chronological order, you have Life After Death [the album] so I'm pulling stuff from 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, I'm pulling chronological order and brought Jamie in to basically tie each story you hear together. He was really excited to do it because he is a big fan of Biggie, a big fan of Brooklyn, he was totally in support of the concept of the project. He also felt that D-Roc kind of needed to speak up and set the record straight because a lot of people were really confused, you know. Kim was coming out of the whole perjury trial looking crazy like, "why would you lie?" if these dudes are going to go up and testify against you, you know what I mean. She was looking dumb and people were thinking that D-Roc and Gutta were talking to the police this and that, everyone was looking bad except for Cease.

MVRemix: So how are things with Cease now?

April Maiya: I think Kim has moved on. I think a lot of people until this project comes out assume that D-Roc is supporting Cease, you know. D-Roc has always been a really honorable, loyal person to those guys, just for the sake of Biggie, you know what I mean. They're like his little brothers, so I think the general public and the industry feel that he is still supporting Cease but the fact he has moved on as well. So I think right now its everyone for themselves and if anyone is going to work together again its only going to be D-Roc and Kim.

MVRemix: Biggie kind of made Lil' Cease's whole career.

April Maiya: Yeah, we all feel he should be a little more appreciative. He blames everybody. He blames Kim for his career. Do you know what is really alarming? Cease basically said to the D-Roc, after he was done blaming Kim for his career failure, he said that D-Roc left him for dead when he went to jail. Is that crazy to you?

MVRemix: When D-Roc went to jail?

April Maiya: He left Cease for dead.

MVRemix: [laughs]

April Maiya: [laughs] He didn't go to Club Med. He didn't go and start a new label and left you for dead. He went to jail.

MVRemix: I guess we don't know 100% what goes on between those two but that does sound ridiculous from the outside.

April Maiya: It's hurtful. The whole time he has been in jail, no one has asked D-Roc how he is doing in jail. The whole thing is just really absurd to me. D-Roc is really a stand up dude and I'm surprised that he's been able to handle the situation with the grace that he has, you know, the normal person would probably be upset, you know what I mean. Pissed off, let's put it that way. [D-Roc] was the main inspiration for the project. To tell you the truth, as a fan, I wanted to spin the project a lot more uglier than I did, you know what I mean?

MVRemix: As a fan of who?

April Maiya: A fan of Biggie, a fan of Kim, as a fan of just Biggie, Junior Mafia. I'm a little younger than Biggie and D-Roc and I grew up loving hip hop when New York was in a golden age, Puff and Bad Boy was on top, you know what I mean. To see it go down like this was just so wrong to me. When I came into the project, I was really going to air Cease out. Damion, trying to be the classy dude, was just like "you just need to give people the facts, people are smart enough to figure it out".

MVRemix: Sounds good. So this comes out July 3rd?

April Maiya: Yeah July 3rd.

MVRemix: Anything else before we have to go?

April Maiya: I want to say that Dave Watkins has been instrumental in helping with the project and lack of marketing is beyond his control.

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"[D-Roc] was the main inspiration for the project. To tell you the truth, as a fan, I wanted to spin the project a lot more uglier than I did, you know what I mean?"