Cipha Sounds - conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Cipha Sounds - More Laid-Back Than Sirius

November 2005

MVRemix: We briefly spoke on your shyness, but because of the size of your audience, do you ever feel the pressures overwhelming you with your show on Sirius?

Cipha Sounds: Nah. I'ma tell you something yo, I started off in The Tunnel. That was the grimiest, ghettoest most thugged out place I've ever been to in my life. Not only that, but it's somewhere where I go back every week. I'm talkin' 'bout there were murderers in there... Police would come in there on a regular basis and just gather up wanted suspects for shit and fuckin'... In there it was intense. Like if you played a record they didn't like, they would throw drinks at you, throw ice at you. After I've done The Tunnel, nothing like that has even come to that pressure. I've travelled the world and everywhere I've gone, I attacked it like it's the Tunnel and it never is that hard. Sirius is easier because it's uncensored, I can talk how I talk in the street. I can curse, talk shit. I can play a hour of Tribe Called Quest records if I want to.

MVRemix: So it's very flexible with what you can actually play?

Cipha Sounds: Yeah!

MVRemix: Do you find it odd being interviewed?

Cipha Sounds: Yeah, sometimes. I've never strived to be a celebrity or anybody that's worth an interview. I just live in my dream, I play music for a living and I get paid for it. In the process I got some form of popularity translated. People ask me questions like, "How did you make it?" "Uh... I didn't make it yet." You know what I'm sayin'? I didn't make it. I guess at a certain point I did but I don't feel like I'm on top yet.

MVRemix: What is it that you're trying to achieve? What is your goal? Because you say you don't feel like you've made it...

Cipha Sounds: I just want the normal stuff. I want my own label, I produce, but I never have time - I'm always so busy with this radio stuff. I wanna produce, have a label like Aftermath, Star Trak - boutique labels, nothin' like a major label. Stuff where I wanna put out stuff that I like that's good music. I just love travellin'. I really wanna own a label, produce music, DJ when I want to, not 'cause I need the money. If I feel like DJ'ing a party, I wanna do it and I wanna act. If my career stopped right now and I just stayed at this level, I'd be pretty happy. As long as I don't have to work a 9-5...

MVRemix: Tell me about Jack Move Inc.

Cipha Sounds: Jack Move's a mess! [chuckles] My partner Jamal, I met him eight or nine years ago. He used to work for my manager which was Jessica Rosenbloom at the time. I met him on his first day - he was in charge of booking all the DJ's down with the crew. I walk into his ofice and say, "I'm willing to do anything and everything that other DJ's won't do." I was the newest guy, I was at the bottom of the pile so I'd do anything and everything that these guys wanted me to do. "If you ever need anything, just call me." From there, he was like, "Yo, this kid's a hard worker." It turns out we had the same birthday and we're like brothers, me and Jamal. We fight like brothers too sometimes. From there we used to work at Tommy Boy together as A&R's. Tommy Boy was foldin', so we started our own production company which is Jack Move. JAC - "Jamal and Cipha" - it's basically a production company, also a management company. It's basically like what Puff was early on with Bad Boy Entertainment with stuff like that. Just trying to to the regular generic music business stuff.

MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"

Cipha Sounds: [ponders] That's a rough one. [ponders further] I would have to say Flex. I would like to fight Funkmaster Flex, even though he's my boy. He put me through some shit comin' out. The reason why he did it is because Chuck Chillout put him through some shit. But he put me through some fuckin' grindin' yo. I'm always down with him, I'll be down with him forever. But that shit stays in my mind. He used to talk to me real crazy.

MVRemix: Would you win?

Cipha Sounds: Would I win against Flex? I don't know... I don't think so. I heard he pulled a knife on a couple cats.

MVRemix: what do you do to relax? what are your vices?

Cipha Sounds: That's one of my problems, I don't ever relax. I do so many jobs and I have so many bosses that as soon as one's done I run to another one. So now I A&R for Roc La Familia, the new Roc-A-Fella label, I got my own production company-label thing, I DJ on two radio stations and one of 'em is a morning show. So no matter what happens at night, I could go to bed at 6 o'clock in the morning, I have to wake up at 8AM. So that shit is really rough. The last two or three years I haven't had any relaxing stuff, only thing I can think of is if I have a gig out of town, I try to drive. In my car I watch TV or play a DVD or I listen to music. Not music because I'm tryin' to put it out or see if it's gonna be a hit, just old Hip Hop music or old reggae music - just driving.

MVRemix: Which do you prefer - your role as a DJ or your role as a show host?

Cipha Sounds: I mean if you asked me that a year ago I would say DJ'ing. I DJ'ed on Hot 97 off and on for Flex for about six years and it was good, it was cool. Then as a personality for the past year and a half I've gotten way more popular as a personality than I was as a DJ. So I'd probably have to say personality now, I hate to say it, but I have to say personality.

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