Killah Priest conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

Killah Priest - Think Market

June 2005

As the self proclaimed "hardest working man in Hip Hop", Killah Priest has managed to stay sharp through his solo work and projects with The Black Market Militia, 4 Horsemen, Sunz Of Man, and The Maccabeez. MVRemix caught up with Priest to discuss the Black Market album, as well as his next solo LP The Offering.

MVRemix: How did the Black Market Militia crew form?

Killah Priest: Hell Razah and me hooked up with Tragedy at The Source Awards. We already knew each other, and would bump into one another every now and then. And Trag was talking about doing something together for a while, and while we were at The Source Awards one thing lead to another and it happened. So we put the initial stages together, and we knew it was going to be a big thing for the underground. I then met up with this dude who gave me studio time, but I kept it real and said, 'Lets all get up in here and knock this album out'. Then one thing lead to another, and the album was done. And Razah and Timbo have always been with me, because we were forming the new Maccabeez. Then Tragedy brought his man William Cooper. Trag was like, "This is my man, he is down". So we made the whole shit Black Market - all of us.

MVRemix: With so many members, what was the chemistry like recording this album?

Killah Priest: Its was funny, crazy funny. (Chuckles) It reminded me of some crazy old school Wu shit. Because everybody is in the studio with different stories, ideas, and things. So going in the studio was crazy, because I'm always jumping on the tracks first, setting it up. That's how I am, because I just hear the beat and run in. Then you have Trag, who comes in and knocks out a verse in one minute. He can do three songs like nothing. And Trag will come in late, because he is all over the place. Then you have Razah, who is a sharp ass dart. He is one take Razah, because he only takes one shot at it. Timbo is also a professional, and he'll come in and work hard. So the chemistry was crazy. Then with William Cooper, he was wild, because him and me used to argue a lot. Because in the beginning we really didn't know each other, but then we got real cool, because me and him basically put the whole shit together. He was always there at the studio, so me and him used to try new ideas all the time.

MVRemix: Why were you guys arguing?

Killah Priest: At first, the chemistry was all crazy because I didn't know him. Because originally, Black Market was me and Trag. Then Trag brought in Cooper, and I didn't understand why. So then I brought in Razah and Timbo. So one day Cooper said, "Yo, I don't think you are feeling me". And it was all real with us, you know how we get down. So I told him, 'Na, I'm not. I'm not feeling you, I never heard no rhymes from you". So then he just spit - boom! He blew we away real quick, so I was like, 'Aight, I can feel that'. From there, everybody just grew to like each other in the studio. The love was always there, but it was on some real Hip Hop shit. I never heard Cooper rhyme, and he was thinking I thought he was wack.

MVRemix: So this album was much more a challenge to record than your solo work?

Killah Priest: Umm, yeah I would say that. The first song we got together to record was "Think Market" and it was fun. The first day Trag and Cooper almost fought the engineer. (Laughter) But I just fell back and rolled with the punches, and we still got the album done.

MVRemix: Overall, what does The Black Market stand for and what is your message?

Killah Priest: Like Trag says on the album, "to resurrect our listeners with militance". Its pure Hip Hop, and we want to give the people awareness of what's going on. Black Market is also about saying shit that you won't hear everybody else say. Its from the Black Market. We lyrically expose the cinematic feel of what goes on behind closed doors in this world.

MVRemix: Overall, what is your main goal for this album?

Killah Priest: My main goal is to set a new plan. This album is a breath of fresh air for Hip Hop. We want to show that people can come together and make something great like this. Hopefully, this will inspire other people to do similar things. This is like Kane and G. Rap coming together. Kane was from Brooklyn, and G. Rap was from Queens, so it fits perfectly.

MVRemix: Are you happy on how Nature Sounds has been promoting the album and getting it out there?

Killah Priest: Yeah, Nature Sounds is doing a real guerrilla movement on it. I appreciate that and its good. But I'm not happy on the whole sequence of the album. Because I was there in the beginning, and I wouldn't have sequenced the album how they did it. But you can't take away from the album, because the songs are still there. But there are so many ideas and people involved, that's why I fell back with the sequencing. I let my man Dreddy handle that. But the songs are still there and we still have more that didn't make the album, and those are crazy as well.

MVRemix: What do you think about the current political state of this country?

Killah Priest: I think we need to set up our own movement, and people need to become leaders instead of followers. Voting and all of that shit, they already elected who they wanted before we even hit the booths. That's why with this album, its not all political, but we give you a state of awareness of political views. There is a verse where I say, "Fuck it, George Bush is the abomination spoken to us by the prophet Daniel". Because the man is completely illiterate, and this country is based off of that, all the lies and deception. And there wouldn't be a black market if there wasn't a country like this. So the political state of this country is going downward. They keep making decisions based on money, instead of basing it on the people. And in history, any time a wicked and selfish King is in power, the kingdom suffers. And the oppressed always rise up and speak against the leaders, and sometimes overthrow them. Either that, or the leaders overthrow themselves through their own greed and lust.

MVRemix: You were talking about being a leader instead of a follower, and do you think that applies to that Vote Or Die campaign? Because they were encouraging the youth to vote, but they aren't teaching them about the system.

Killah Priest: Yeah, exactly! Nothing against Puffy, but I'm gonna keep it gully, because all that dancing around, vote or die shit is not real. But I can see the struggle, because this government rules out of fear and are completely gluttonous . Its like candy, they let you eat all up, its all sweat, until the end when you get sugar diabetes.

MVRemix: What do you think about America's involvement in the Middle East right now?

Killah Priest: I think its simple, and everybody sees it, but nobody is doing anything about it. I think America has their hands all over the world, and they are playing that game Twister. The world is a map of Twister, and America has all of their hands and feet in every spot. But going over there is that last limb that is going to make you fall.

MVRemix: Lets talk about Black August. Overall, are you happy on how the album came out and how it was received?

Killah Priest: Na, I wasn't happy about any of it. I had fun doing Black August, but they didn't want to pay for certain songs, and Recon Records took over the project and ripped it apart. They just listened to a little bit of the things I said, and that's why I ended up putting out Black August Revisited. Those were songs that were never put on the original one. So the original album didn't come out how I wanted it to. But the album was dope and I got a lot of good review for it.

MVRemix: You have a very loyal fan base who continuously check for every one of your albums, and you are respected as one of the games best lyricists. But are you striving for more exposure in Hip Hop? Or are you satisfied with your position?

Killah Priest interviewKillah Priest: Nah, I'm not satisfied! I'm after it until I get my spot. You have Nas with his joint, Jay-z with his joint, and they are great lyricist. But I kind of look at myself as a Kool G. Rap. He was one of the illest cats in the world, but the world has to recognized that. I don't think I can stop until I get that recognition and credit I deserve. But my next album is going to be some shit! Its going to be the greatest album in Hip Hop for a minute - word! Its going to be called The Offering, and I'm not even playing any games with it. I'm not going to even attempt a commercial song, nothing but raw dog Hip Hop. You are going to have to step your rap game up after listening to my next album.

MVRemix: When should the album come out?

Killah Priest: In a little bit, we are mixing it right now. I actually have to head to the studio after this conversation and finish mixing down this joint. The album is already done, so once we get it mastered we will set a date. It should be coming later this year.

MVRemix: What label is this going to be on?

Killah Priest: I don't know, we are thinking about going through the same label, but we are pushing toward Koch.

MVRemix: What types of songs and concepts are you going to have on this album?

Killah Priest: Oh, forget about it! I got this song called "Ghetto Jesus", where I do the Lords prayer in another form. Every song on the album is going to be different! I'm just taking it deeper and deeper on this album. I got songs like "Heavy Mental" on there, but its not really "Heavy Mental", if you know what I mean. It's just going to be a treat, and right now I can't even reveal the secrets. (Priest starts rapping) "My brain is a replica of Mecca, my mind holds the secrets to Egypt, but however, I stay on the street shit".

MVRemix: Who is doing the production on the album?

Killah Priest: Godz Wrath, Ben Grim, everybody with bangin' ass beats. Also, 4th Disciple, I got him back. So it's going to be something crazy.

MVRemix: I know you get this question every interview, but let me ask you, what is the current status of Sunz of Man?

Killah Priest: We are forming up. We are going to put that flag back up in the air in the future. I'm the hardest working man in the industry right now. I'm in so many groups - 4 Horsemen, Sunz Of Man, Maccabeez, and Black Market.

MVRemix: So are we going to see that Horsemen album?

Killah Priest: Yeah, I spoke to Ras Kass and Kurupt recently. So we plan on giving y'all the official 4 Horsemen joint. It's going to be a crazy album on some straight emcee shit.

MVRemix: What was your reaction when you heard ODB passed?

Killah Priest: It was fucked up man! Gza told me, and I was at the movies at the time. I took my son to the movies, and Gza called me like 300 times. I eventually picked up and he told me. At first, I didn't even know how to take it, because it came so strong. That was my brother right there, so it fucked me up. It was a bad thing, and I took it real bad.

MVRemix: What is your fondest memory of Dirty?

Killah Priest: He is just the craziest nigga ever! One time, he put his hands over the pilots eyes on the plane. (Laughter)

MVRemix: What do you think about the media's coverage of his passing? Because it seems like nobody cared, not even in the Hip Hop media.

Killah Priest: Na, man, that shit was foul. I don't respect what they did. It was bullshit, "the dead dirty bastard", I saw that shit in the newspaper.

MVRemix: Are you and Gza ever going to hook back up and do a track together?

Killah Priest: Yeah, we are talking about getting on a track together now.

MVRemix: What else do you have going on in the future?

Killah Priest: Just The Offering, plus I'm writing some books, and trying to get into movies - all types of shit. I got a lot of stuff that I am working on, but The Offering is going to be the shit! Just watch! Watch what I tell you, cats are going to have to step their game way up, because I'm not holding back.

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