Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Inspectah Deck (Wu-Tang Clan) Interview

May 2003

These are the transcripts of an interview with Inspectah Deck. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on May 30th, 2003.

For those unaware, Inspectah Deck is a member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Arguably one of the most talented members, Inspectah Deck dropped his debut solo album, 'Uncontrolled Substance' a few years back. Due to poor promotion, it didn't do as well as expected. On June 10th, the Rebel INS releases 'The Movement,' his sophmore effort on Koch Records.

MVRemix: How do you keep yourself motivated? What makes you continue to make music... What inspires your creative spirit?

Inspectah Deck: It's in my blood man! I'm a 2009 70's child. It's like corn bread - you've gotta have soul, man.

MVRemix: Do you have anything that you feel has you inspired to continue creating?

Inspectah Deck: I just witness life. I walk out the door and I see things and hear things. I've experienced a lot. So, I combine and use all of that when I sit down and write. A sunny day may inspire something, but a rainy day may also.

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on ODB joining The Roc?

Inspectah Deck: More power to him! He might be making ten mill. over there just for signing. I don't know the situation or how it went down or whatever. But I know Ol' Dirty's a grown man. The decision he made is gonna benefit him in the future, I know that much. I support him man, plus I like them "Roc" dudes. It's love, whatever the case may be.

MVRemix: Have you been in contact with him much since he hooked up with the label?

Inspectah Deck: Nah, I've been on the move and since he touched down, he's been on the tracks. Soon as we bump heads though, we're definitely gonna hook up and make something happen. That's guaranteed.

MVRemix: I heard that you recently filmed a video for for 'The Movement.' Can you tell me a little about it?

Inspectah Deck: It's hi-octane! It's just 'The Fast and The Furious' meets Hip Hop type thing. There's not a whole lot of commercialism going on, it's just a little club scene - we're in there wilding out. High energy. A lot of laser lights and things being shaken around. Just a high energy party, bringing it back to when Hip Hop was fun.

MVRemix: Can you explain to me your alias "Manny Festo"

Inspectah Deck: That's my rhyme-writer mode. When you write an important document, it's a manifesto. So I just took "Manifesto" and turned it into a code name, a mob name. "Manny Festo" - that's when I get a pen in my hand, I turn into him. The same when I get the mic in my hand on stage. I've got "Charlie Horse" too, that's the worker. That's the worker ant in me. That's for when I'm out their grindin', sellin' mixtapes on the corner or something.

MVRemix: I interviewed Killah Priest recently, and he doesn't always have the nicest things to say about The RZA. What are your thoughts on Bobby Digital and his production allocation...

Inspectah Deck: I know RZA's the greatest to me as far as beat making. He taught me how to do this shit, and I know he taught the game how to rock. I don't know what Killah Priest's personal beef is. I know I owe the dog a lot. He taught me a lot as far as how to conduct my lyrics, as far as perfecting what I do. I can differ with that. Everybody goes through stages. I mean I remember a stage where RZA didn't want to sample anymore and he wanted to play all of those instruments. I can understand that move because you grow as a person. It's all your artistic development as well. He's getting to the stage where it's "Why sample when I'm learning how to play the piano?" The violin, and all of that. To each his own.

MVRemix: Tell me about I.N.S. Productions

Inspectah Deck: That's what's next. Right now, I'm just trying to open the doorways to myself. I'm trying to get people to relax and get out of that, "Kill a nigga every five minutes" frame of mind. I'm trying to get them to just party and have fun with Hip Hop again. It's not about takin' it back to '88 or '95. It's bringing that same vibe up to now. What's next after you're killing everybody and you've bought all the diamonds and you've got the biggest Hummer truck sitting on 40-inch rims? What's after that?

So we've got to strip all of that naked, bring it back up and rebirth this shit. That's what "The Movement" is all about. It's like the rebirth of Hip Hop. It's trying to make it come through a new angle. Hip Hop went through Jazz, Gospel - about the only one that it hasn't hit yet is Country. But Hip Hop went into every chamber, I don't care what it is. Hip Hop is the driving force behind everything. You'll hear an instrumental beat behind a Cheerio's commercial.

So "The Movement" is "Lets take the control out of the corporations' hands who're programming us to be and sound, and look like this." Lets take the power and put it back in our own hands. We're the ones who dictate what's hot and what's not anyway. There's an urban market that everybody's targeting. Being that everybody's targeting us. Lets use that. Our dollar is the weapon. The urban dollar.

I'm trying to tell everyone "Support what we do!" Instead of re-boosting Gucci and Prada sales 18-20% for the year.

MVRemix: So speaking of corporations etc. taking over everything, in 'Vendetta' you talk about being held down and ignored but coming back. Can you elaborate on what your feelings are with regards to that given the delaying of "Uncontrolled Substance" and its poor promotion.

Inspectah Deck: I got postponed four times. Didn't get promoted right. I got bootlegged to death. I got caught in a label merger. I got caught when Loud got dropped from BMG distribution. And, I still almost pulled out a [certified] Gold album. With no promotion, no video support, no nothin'!

So what does that say? There's still love out there for what I do. Eventually, I'll break through. It all just takes the proper promotion, guidance and things like that. I'll come through with a lot more of that this time. This time it's a lot more of my thoughts and not ten people collectively telling me what to do and this, that and the third. It's more of I.N.S. Productions. I.N.S. is Inspectah Deck and he's off on his own two feet right now trying to build his legacy, before he goes out as a legend.

MVRemix: Now I've heard you've already started on your next album; 'Ghetto Child' can you tell me any details about that one?

Inspectah Deck: That's gonna be, once I get you open to the new sound, then I can bring the "Ghetto Child" which really brings the essence of what I want the people to see, hear and know about Inspectah Deck. I'm a ghetto child. I was born in the seventies. I grew up with the fire hoses being sprayed and dogs sicked upon us. I learned about abortion politics and all that as a child. I was interested in just learning about life. I had a fun childhood. I rolled bikes, I built shit from scratch as well as going through the pain of being poor and not having much. All of that is what makes me. That's why I'm the "Ghetto Child," and "ghetto" is not a bad thing. We turned the bad situations we were faced with and made some type of good. Or, if we couldn't make good. We saw some sign of good and tried to take advantage of that.

That's what makes me the man I am today. I rap, but I'm not a rapper. I'm more of a Langston Hughes. I'm more of a Gil Scott Heron. I'm more of a Marvin Gaye type. This is my vehicle to help get people to understand. I always compare it to Marvin Gaye vs. Smokey on the same label. Smokey was the ladies man, Marvin was telling you to stop the war.

We're happy with ourselves to just have made it this far. In a mix where close friends around me done got knocked off, shot up, locked up or whatever the case may be. I'm still here grindin', living and breathing every day. I'm grateful, but that's the "ghetto child." That sums it up. I have songs of joy and pain. I'm not ballin' on every song, I'm not a player on every song. I'm also going through shit and that's what this album('The Movement') is all about. It's showing "He's not afraid to stand on the front line and be himself."

MVRemix: With regards to "Standing on the front line," supposedly the next Wu album is the last, do you have any details on it? Or whether you can confirm or de-confirm that rumour?

Inspectah Deck: Right now we are trying to put a Wu album together. We've got to get everybody under one roof. We're Voltron, but we've broken down into the lion stages now. Everybody's out their on their own on a manhunt right now. But, when we get everybody under one roof and discuss the terms and everything, we gon' pop that off. Hopefully it could be like a back to school joint.

MVRemix: Is there actually any talk of it being "the last"?

Inspectah Deck: It might be and it might not be, but I know the next Wu album is going to be stronger than any other album we ever gave to ya'll. A lot of album's we've done were ahead of their time. We could put 'The Iron Flag' out right now and it symbolizes what's going on. We were on the front cover lookin' like the marines' first brigade out there in Iraq. We were there, and people didn't understand that because they wanted to party and shake their ass all the time. But we were already there. We talked about man-made diseases being spread. Look at SARS. People have got to start understanding man, Wu-Tang was before its time. It's still before its time and I know, when we drop that next one. It's gonna stop time. There's gonna be so much information and knowledge that whoever's willing to sit down and stomach it, and know that that's the real world. They're gonna benefit from it. If you're lookin for the shake ya ass, party all day songs. This ain't the place to come for that.

I mean, I may have one or two. Haha. I have some shit that makes you vibe, party and dance but we don't live in the clubs. We live in the fucked up assed neighbourhoods.

MVRemix: Is there anything else, aside from the DJ 4-5 mix CD and 'The Movement' that has yet to come out? In terms of guest appearances, b-sides, collaborations or anything...

Inspectah Deck: Right now I'm working on some little freestyle joints that I'm about to spread out there. I've got a song I'm doing for Japan right now, one I'm doing for Sweden. I'm filming a DVD for the album, it's called "A Day In The Life." We filming it as I'm speaking to you right now.

Also, I started a new label. It's called "Urban Icon Records," and I'm dropping off the Street Life album.

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