Masta Killa (Wu-Tang Clan) conducted by Arthur Sapounas  

Masta Killa (Wu-Tang Clan) Interview

July 2003

These are the transcripts of an interview with Masta Killa. The interview was conducted by Arthur Sapounas (DJ A.R.T.) on July 25th, 2003.

Masta Killa is one of the core nine members of the Wu-Tang Clan. He burst onto the Hip Hop scene in 1993 with Wu-Tang's debut album "Enter The 36 Chambers" and since then has gained notoriety due to being the member least to step out into the limelight. While all other members have dropped solo releases, Masta Killa has yet to do so. He is scheduled to change this later in 2003 with "No Said Date.

MVRemix: First of all, is there a date set for "No Said Date"?

Masta Killa: Nah not yet. I say definitely sometime this fall but there's not one set yet

MVRemix: Was releasing independently due to label procrastinations or were there other reasons behind it?

Masta Killa: As for as the independent thing it's always good to show the industry or whoever that your serious individually first, that's how we started in the beginning anyway... before loud, we showed we were serious in the street right out the gate...that we were serious about our craft first and it's important to stick with the same formula you came in with and once we did that (showed the world we were serious) it was gravy after that...

MVRemix: You're the only clansman to stick with Wu-production - with RZA, True Master and Allah Mathematics. Are you keeping with the solid roots of the Wu bringing back the sound of '93 and '97or in 2003, how has the sound changed or evolved?

Masta Killa: Well you know with every DJ and emcee they seem to grow and separate themselves from the competition but it's important to remain with your sound and what your hardcore fans expect to hear. Like if someone comes to get a Masta Killa album they expect a Wu-sound rather than if you want Roc-A-Fella sound you pick up a Roc-A-Fella record. You gotta give people what they want!

MVRemix: How do you feel about ODB being with Roc-A-Fella? In a press release it said he's on "No Said Date." How was collaborating with him again?

Masta Killa: I haven't really sat down and talked to my brother and discussed how he's feeling. There's no question that we always family, but business is separate you have to do what you have to do. I am not against him. Roc-A-Fella is a small camp doing big things in the last couple of years, so I feel he's definitely anxious to do what he loves doing. And if he feels Roc can help him do that, then I have no problem with that

MVRemix: Why have you taken so long to drop your debut while fellow clansmen have dropped 2 or 3?

Masta Killa: To tell you the truth I never really considered being an individual artist. When I got involved it was more or less to assist and help my 8 brothers succeed in the vision that they already had. See I never even thought of it that way. Old Dirty Bastard, Masta Killa InterviewRZA and GZA, those three individuals already had known what they wanted to do; be in the industry, be a rap star, get on. See they wanted to get on since they were children. [Laughs] When we formed the clan, everyone was so talented being a part of an all-star cast like the clan. Sometimes when you're drafted they don't need you to come in and score 50 points they just need an assist, so I was basically a team player who wanted to win. Be a point guard with the assist and jumper here and there, but now I have no problem with showing the world I can score 63 points, 'cause that's where I'm at right now

MVRemix: It seems everyone these days are an emcee or a DJ and all these smaller artists are coming up through the underground, how do you feel about that - Hip-Hop being a mass media market?

Masta Killa: Well hip-hop has inspired so many people - all the cultures being brought together. Even cultures that really couldn't understand the art have now adapted the art and are so good at it now. I see it as something that can't be stopped cause it's just spilled into so many worlds, so many different cultures. I mean I love it. I'm not mad at anybody if you wanna be an emcee or DJ well there's so many people who feel that way and if you really wanna get on in this business you gotta be serious about your craft and have the uniqueness that gonna stand out in the world so that they accept you and respect you like that.

MVRemix: Where do you see Masta Killa in five years?

Masta Killa: Five years from now if I'm blessed maybe I can still make music like Quincy Jones or somebody. Just on the low making music helping other people get through the door, give them the supreme wisdom to guide them and to help them get to a level that maybe I didn't get to make it to. I could be a coach.

MVRemix: So, where do you see the Clan in five years?

Masta Killa: I see us still having an anniversary. Still together doing a show looking like the Isley Brothers or something...

MVRemix: On a more personal note - being from Canada why don't you do more shows up north?

Masta Killa: We've been to Canada done shows up there, what's your hometown...."Kitchener" Word? I've been there and I'd love to come back and rock when the album drops I wanna tour everywhere and rep it. I'm real happy with this album its like a rebirth for me and I think the fans are definitely gonna appreciate and I'm gonna come back 18 months or a year later with the same elements of sound, with the individual album it's been forever since a Wu member has dropped with all the family members on it, taking you back to the first five albums out the gate. Cuban Linx, Liquid Swords, 36 Chambers all those classics albums my solo album fits in there, it's the first rebirth of something that has been cooking for 10 or 11 years.

MVRemix: Do you think fans can look forward to another Wu-Tang album soon? Has there been talk within the clan about the recently or is everyone still focused upon solo efforts?

Masta Killa: Everybody is focused on they solo level always, but I know we definitely gonna get together for another clan album. I love them and like I said I've never really focused on my solo career, if we could stay together and just bang out clan albums I'd be happy. I like doing my thing individually but I love working with the family.

MVRemix: The Wu is known to smoke a ton of weed...what's your stance on drugs and being in Canada and the marijuana laws changing are you for legalization of marijuana and/or in NY the repel of Rockefeller drug laws?

Masta Killa: I really can't say as far as the legalization goes cause that's another whole level of politics and in '92-'94 that was Wu. I don't really think drugs are really good for anyone, but to each his own for whoever chooses to use that for stimulation for whatever reason. As far as legalization or keeping it illegal...that's a whole other level beyond my range.

MVRemix: There are rumors of RZA, yourself and others performing at Rocksteady this year...Will you be performing?

Masta Killa: Oh yeah I'm definitely looking forward to rocking that. Rocksteady is a crew of break dancers that's been around since as long as I've known hip-hop and the single I dropped "Digi Warfare" with "No Said Date" as the B-Side. It's a single I dedicate to the DJ's and break dancers and now I have to incorporate the rollerbladers, skateboarders and the bikers cause hip-hop has spread and spilled over into so many worlds, it's grown universally. Everything is hip-hop from McDonalds commercials everything! So "Digi Warfare" is dedicated to the DJ's 'cause making beats is all good but it's nothing like having a DJ there cuttin' and you grab the mic on the block party straight rockin', cause if they feeling you then you gonna know. I love crowd hype and rockin' shows. You could be blocks away intrigued cause the sound you hearing, the DJ cutting the record to death. That's why I love the DJ's cause there's no emcee without the DJ.

MVRemix: What do you think of the Capadonna situation with him driving cabs and the allegations he never got paid by RZA?

Masta Killa: I really can't say cause I heard he was on the radio saying about driving cabs. I am not sure what the politics of his business with RZA was but for the last 10 or 11 years I know my business with RZA has always been righteous. Everything doesn't always go your way in business you have to keep striving' to reach that plateau that you can peak at. You know (Michael) Jordan played ball for years before he won the championship but it's something he chose (to stay on that road). You gotta stay on the road, keep playin' the game. Cap is keeping it real with a job cause every man is responsible for paying the bills and feeding the family, even if you working at the supermarket or driving cabs it's respectable. Until you can do what you love when you on that level. Don't point a finger when your individual success is not where it's supposed to be.

MVRemix: Who else did you work with on the upcoming album "No Said Date"?

Masta Killa: I really wanted to give the fans an original Wu-Tang album, like the ones first out the gate. If you check "Cuban Linx" which is one of the hottest out of the camp, that was a Raekwon album but he only had 3 solo songs on there, it's really a Wu-Tang album with Rae's name on it. I'm keeping it family oriented, how the fans want it. I want to stamp my name on that first then I would love to work with tons of artists out there, R&B, Rap if you hot, I respect it and want to work with everybody.

MVRemix: If there was anyone, past or present, that you could work with on a track, who would it be?

Masta Killa: Man I don't want to limit myself. If there is someone I'm feeling and they feelin' me, then let's work. Gotta get it done, make history on Quincy Jones album or something. You can't go back but I would have loved to work with Pac or B.I.G. they were both incredible artists. Anybody, Rakim... Whoever's hot... like Roc-A-Fella!

MVRemix: Is there anything else you've got cooking, like collaborations on other Wu-family records, videos, freestyles?

Masta Killa: These days just givin' the people the album is not enough. I know the music is enough, but times are hard and I'm definitely coming with the DVD for the visual aspect. Things I've done home and abroad, footage from the concerts and the studio that fans gonna appreciate. I'm also droppin' a book called Masta Killa's poetry cause a lot of things I've written never really made wax. Cause a lot of things (rhymes) have to be conformed to match the beat or album on the song but to put it on paper, it's free (verse). So "The Best of Masta Killa's Poetry" allows me to speak to the readers, cause on paper you get a different feel from it, maybe diggin' deeper than on a song. In this game a lot of people aren't saying anything worth reading but I feel I am. I also got a couple movie scripts I've written and I'm just waiting to get the ball rollin'. Just wait for the album!

MVRemix: Any last words for your fans/potential fans out there?

Masta Killa: For the fans thank you for the support. I look forward to giving you beautiful music, something nourishing that you've been waiting for.

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