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Prodigal Sunn - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Prodigal Sunn Returns To His Hip-Hop Home

August 2005

MVRemix: How different is the industry in L.A.?

Prodigal Sunn: Yeah, you can be doing 20 different things here. In New York, itís hard to get 1 or 2 things going on. Itís like a concrete jungle versus a desert.Ē

MVRemix: Where were you on September 11th, 2001? How did you deal with it? How do you think it has affected or will affect hip-hop?Ē

Prodigal Sunn: On September 11th, I was right here in L.A. Thatís crazy, right? I left here and there were like 5 earthquakes over here. The whole place was a zoo, man.

MVRemix: What was the last incident of racism you experienced?

Prodigal Sunn: T-Mobile. Them bastards! T-Mobile stole my phone and my money. I have this company, Godz Incorporated. Iím a Black man. I mailed in my certificate of incorporation. They tell me that there is a discrepancy on my account. I never had an account with them! They told me that I had to wait 60 days to get my money back. She took my number in August. I had many connections on it. They took it and shut it down. They gave me no explanation. Iíve been hearing stories from 15 or 20 people about T-Mobile. Somebody has to stop those cats and all of those phone companies out there. Once they see how many phone calls you are making and how much business you are doing, they think you rely on their number. They think that they control you. Itís a form of slavery. F*ck T-Mobile!

MVRemix: Word association time. Iím going to say a name of a group or person. Then, you say the first word that pops in your head. So, if I say ĎChuck Dí, you may say ĎRevolutioní. If I said ĎFlavor Flaví, you may say ĎClockí, ĎCrackí, or ĎThe Surreal Lifeí. Okay?

Prodigal Sunn: Yeah, man.

MVRemix: Rza.

Prodigal Sunn: Genius.

MVRemix: 50 Cent.

Prodigal Sunn: Classic.

MVRemix: Eminem.

Prodigal Sunn: Surprising.

MVRemix: O.D.B.

Prodigal Sunn: Legend.

MVRemix: Killah Priest.

Prodigal Sunn: Word chemist.

MVRemix: Jay-Z.

Prodigal Sunn: Classic.

MVRemix: Marley Marl.

Prodigal Sunn: Classic.

MVRemix: The Game.

Prodigal Sunn: Surprising.

MVRemix: Busta Rhymes.

Prodigal Sunn: Flava.

MVRemix: Curtis Mayfield.

Prodigal Sunn: Classical legend.

MVRemix: Smokey Robinson.

Prodigal Sunn: Classical legend.

MVRemix: George Bush.

Prodigal Sunn: *sshole.

MVRemix: What is your favorite part of your live show or your set?

Prodigal Sunn: When I talk to the people. I explain that Iím there. Itís really me. What Iím saying, is really real.

MVRemix: When you performed live with Sunz Of Man, you shared the stage with other emcees. As a solo artist, how do you handle the live show?

Prodigal Sunn: Itís cool. As far as me being solo now? Even when Iím solo, I still have cats on the stage with me. Killarmy is with me. My boys coming out are with me. Shacronz and Free Murder are with me. They are on my single ĎBrutalityí. It just got added to 26 radios across the country.

MVRemix: You have some television projects in the works. Tell us about them.

Prodigal Sunn: I have a couple of joints in the works. First, I have a T.V. show on Showtime. My man, Omar Sharif and I worked on it. Itís called ĎAmerican Rap Starsí. Itís actually going down in history as one of the mostly aired rap documentaries on cable. The concept is hip-hop after 9-11. Many heads are in there like Russell Simmons, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, me, Rza, Masta Killa, Jadakiss, Hell Razah from Sunz Of Mann, Sticky Fingaz and the whole Onyx crew, Jamie Foxx, and The Outlawz. Jam Master Jay gets his star on The Walk of Fame. Itís the last footage of him.

MVRemix: What is ĎThe Shelterí?

Prodigal Sunn: ĎThe Shelterí is a drama I created as a 2 picture deal with cats in Hollywood. Itís in development. Itís about 3 kids and 4 social workers, a dysfunctional family. Itís about a shelter. It goes into the kids and the counselors. We went to Showtime and HBO. Showtime is feeling it. Iím partners with Troy Garrity, Jane Fondaís son. Baltimore Spring Creek Productions, run by Paula Wienstein. It takes 5 years really to get off. HBO wanted it but they are producing that new show called ĎRomeí. It took Ray Romano 5 years. No one knew him but look at him now. He wrote his own show. Itís a nice little statement.

MVRemix: You were also in ĎSex And The Cityí. How did you get that role? What was the filming process like?

Prodigal Sunn: ĎSex And The Cityí was cool. I played in the episode, ĎNo Ifs Ands Or Buttsí. I played a rapper who was fed up with my manager, who was dating Kim Cattrallís character. It was a lovely thing. I got mad love on the set. It was actually the first episode that had some brothers on there, some Black people. I think HBO was getting heat about it. Black people watch the show too. The guy from ĎOzí, J.D. Williams, was my co-partner on that.

MVRemix: For those who do not know, what are the meanings behind Sunz Of Man and Prodigal Sunn?

Prodigal Sunn: The sun is the largest source of known energy. The sun is also the life source and the symbol of truth. Intelligence! We just came with the title meaning ĎIntelligent mení. The word Ďprodigalí is Ďextravagantí and also Ďwastefulí. My life? I have wasted time. You have to go back and see what is really going on. At the end of that, ĎSunní is the light out of the darkness. You got light and day, extravagant light. Thatís what Iím bringing to cats.

MVRemix: What was the biggest mistake you have made in your career?

Prodigal Sunn: Biggest mistake? I canít really say. The situation I am in now is great. If I made a mistake, I wouldnít be in this situation. I would say that one of my errors was not coming in with a lawyer and not having my own business team. These were probably my biggest mistakes.

MVRemix: Many independent hip-hop artists are more popular in Europe. Some artists, like Grand Agent and Maylay Sparks, actually moved to Europe. How is the reception from European audiences different from American audiences?

Prodigal Sunn: Overseas, Iím a rock star. Overseas, people actually take time to listen. In America, only a few listen. Everyone is caught up in the American way of material things. Money, drugs, glamour, and fame. Out there, they are already rich. Iím about to get out of here too. I got a Grammy in France. I got an award in Germany. I did this song called ĎIch Lebeí. I love hip-hop. I live for hip-hop. I did another song called ĎThe Sagaí in France. Out there, we have like 10 or 15 gold records. The day we dropped our record out there, 2 of the other records went gold. It went gold in one day.

MVRemix: What is hip-hop lacking?

Prodigal Sunn: It is lacking knowledge. Itís lacking the substance of where it really came from, from the gate. Itís lacking the foundation. Thatís what knowledge is. People donít know where it came from. They donít pay respect for those who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into it. You have hip-hop and then, you have the program. 85% is the program. 10% is programming the 85%.

MVRemix: What are some major misconceptions that you think people have of you?

Prodigal Sunn: I donít really know, man. I donít get caught up in what people think. I guess some think that Iím too nice.

MVRemix: What is the current status of Wu-Tang Clan?

Prodigal Sunn: Everybody is on their own rock. They are all doing their own thing. We did that for about a year or so. Now, we are putting things back together. We have a plan. We will put the new Wu-Tang album together. Thatís what it is. Wu-Tang is forever. Right now, we are congregating. We have plenty of tracks already recorded, but which ones do we use? Which ones will me make new? We are doing our homework. I did my own homework and put my album out. Itís new stuff. Not the same old sh*t. Itís time for brothers to catch up, baby! I did Shady radio. Itís rare when an artist comes to the set and they are feeling the record. A couple different fans called. There were 20 positive ones and maybe like 4 negative ones. The positive ones destroyed the negative ones. ĎDonít listen to them! Iím from Tennesseeí, said one. I was like, ĎWord? Iím from Brooklyn!í They were saying, ĎThat sh*t is real! Thatís some new stuff. I ainít never heard stuff like that beforeí. Even the fans were saying that people are programmed and they do not want to hear anything new. The programmed people want to hear the same thing. Hip-hop is a culture. It never had to be just one way. Itís a growth. Thatís why Iím here. Here comes the Mack truck.

MVRemix: What was your childhood like? What kind of kid was Prodigal Sunn?

Prodigal Sunn: Childhood was crazy, man. Iíve been shot, locked up, and stuff. I donít want to glorify that. Some cats make their career off that. All the same things that those cats who are selling 10 millions of records went through, I went through that same sh*t.

MVRemix: What 3 words would you use to describe Brooklyn?

Prodigal Sunn: Hard times, baby! Itís hard times bound with love. You gotta eat. Thatís what makes you strong when youíre coming out of Brooklyn. Itís a family thing. You got cats moving in Brooklyn right now who are all colors, all flavors. The crime still goes on but n*ggas have respect. Thatís what itís all about. Itís different out here in California. In Brooklyn, if you did something real bad, youíre gonna get it. Jersey too! Anywhere in the tri-state area. That goes from the Black households to the white households to the Chinese households.

MVRemix: How did Sunz Of Mann start?

Prodigal Sunn: We came together about 12 or 13 years ago. We all had the same formula. First of all, we were all seekers of knowledge. When the first Wu-Tang album was being done, everybody was in. 60, Razah, Priest, and me all had that same style that was ahead of itís time. We all coincided. Shabazz The Disciple was there from the gate too. Priest and Shabazz became The Disciples. Me and Razah became Sunz Of Man. Before that, my name was The Sun Of Man. Before the group Sunz Of Man, that was my name. Killah Priest was like, ĎWord, man. Prodigal Sunn is an ill name for you!í I started looking into the meaning behind the name. Priest must have been analyzing me. He gave me that name like he knew I was on that sh*t like that. 60 Second gave Killah Priest his name.

MVRemix: Did The Sunz Of Man have any animosity, anger, or problems when Killah Priest left to pursue a solo career?

Prodigal Sunn: Nah, there was no animosity. It was just like, ĎWhen are you coming back? Donít forget where you came from, homey.í There is a whole science to me. I trained in Martial Arts ever since I was real young. I learned to balance all that energy and emotion. I keep moving. Iím about growth. Iím letting nothing stop my growth. Regardless of anything, I move through the valley of life.

MVRemix: Out of all of the Wu-Tang members, which member is the easiest to work with?

Prodigal Sunn: All of them. I never had complications. When I go in, cats are like, ĎThatís Prodigal Sunn. Thatís his style. Donít tell him nothing about it.í Itís easy to work with everybody. Rza? We have a good time in the studio. We work for hours. We work like there ainít no rush. Heíd throw 20 or 30 beats on back to back, like a mega mix. Next thing you know, weíre all writing to it.

MVRemix: Whatís going on with Cappadonna?

Prodigal Sunn: I spoke to Cap about 2 months ago. He was in Florida, recording and doing shows. Yeah, heís a little angry. I donít get angry. Donít get mad, get even. Get more!

MVRemix: You were Executive Producer for the ĎSaviorz Dayí LP. Tell us about your role.

Prodigal Sunn: That was my first project that came out on Godz Incorporated. That came out on D3. They went through some situations and put my record out with skips. I told them 30 days in advance! Thatís what allowed me to get the masters. I told them the album had skips. It wasnít skipping when I left L.A. As soon as I left, it was skipping.

MVRemix: What are some collaborations or remixes fans can expect from Prodigal Sunn?

Prodigal Sunn: I got a couple of collaborations. I have this DVD coming out called, ĎOff The Chainí. Itís about the pit bull and the underground world of fighting. Itís a project with Troy Garrity, the man from ĎBarbershopí. Thatís Jane Fondaís son. I did the music, the soundtrack for that. I have the title song called ĎOff The Chainí. Cats can look for that DVD. I have a special video in there for the song. The song is basically saving dogs. ĎIf you train a pit to bite, then he bites. If you train a pit to fight, then he fights. Strategic rules and regulations, a show on ice. A dog has a right in the lightí. The documentary is about the pit bull being banned in many states in countries. Itís not the dog, itís the ownerí. The movie has every humane society you can think of. PETA. Troy did his thing, no doubt. It shows how these motherf*ckers are evil and how the dogs have no rights. Iím gonna get a lot of death threats for that sh*t.

MVRemix: Any final words?

Prodigal Sunn: Just want them to know to pick that record up. Thatís my heart and soul in there. I put my whole ass in there. My hipbone, neck bone, everything. Itís enjoyable music. Appreciate it. Respect it. Peace, Todd. We have to keep in touch. Everybody, I got love for everybody! Live your life the best you can. Pick up that album. Itís food for thought. Itís definitely needed right now. I want to send a shout out to my son, I love him! Ramel!

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"Hard times, baby! Itís hard times bound with love. You gotta eat. Thatís what makes you strong when youíre coming out of Brooklyn. Itís a family thing. You got cats moving in Brooklyn right now who are all colors, all flavors. The crime still goes on..."