MVRemix: What's goin' on?
Smoke: What it do, what's going on? What's the deal pickle?
MVRemix: So where ya callin' from right now?
Smoke: I'm callin from Atlanta Georgia, the big peach, they call New York the big apple, so hell, we're the big peach.
MVRemix: You just make that up?
Smoke: Yeah, I made that up, I got a real clever mind.
MVRemix: Tell me about this latest project you been workin' on.
Smoke: Well we got an album called "Light Poles and Pine Trees," a.k.a. "no bootlegs." We got the first album with an alias. We on the no bootleg movement because the bootleggers ate all my food on my last two albums. You need to go get it. I hope you bought it, I know they give ya'll DJ's a little promo copy, because I hope you still went to the record store and bought it. It's a hot album, its got Ludacris on there, Bobby V[alentino] on there, Ciara on there. Beats by Polo beats by Kenjo, and it's a hot album. All the girls should go get it too, it's a very clitorious album. For all the Girls! Go get it! We love ya.
MVRemix: Is it true that Ciara is your cousin?
Smoke: Yes, Ciara is my first cousin - it is not a rumor. That's my gradma's granddaughter, I'm my grandma's grandson, that's my daddy sister's daughter, and I'm her momma brother, and so on... Her mother my auntie, her daddy my uncle. If you can't see the relationship, the family in that right there, right there.
MVRemix: When exactly did you hook up with Ludacris, and how did that all come about?
Smoke: We've been knowin' Chris Bridges for a long time, he used to be "Chris lova lova" at the radio station. You know what's a co-inky dink?
MVRemix: What's that?
Smoke: We we're the last rappers on his radio show when he was workin at '97 in Atlanta, so I think this is just destiny for us to be here today. Representing with him, getting' that gwap, know what I mean? I mean with Luda I got love, I got a deal with DTP, because I'm free with my creativity, my last album, my last label, MCA Records a.k.a. Rapin' you records, takin' all my money. I never knew my CEO, I never knew Jay Boberg, he was like Charlie Brown teacher "wap, wap." Never seen him, never knew what he looked like. But with Ludacris, I sip cris[tal] with Chris, I smoke buddha with Luda. Luda's a friend of mine, I can call him at 6 in the morning, he will answer, ya figure deal me?
MVRemix: You think that's helped you make better music?
Smoke: Yeah, I like to say we're friends more then business men, he helps me. I'm country as you can hear, I got a hundred thick drawl ya figure deal me? Some people don't understand me. When I was in LA with MCA, they told me I had to clean up my words because my drawl was so heavy. Luda was like, "Say what you wanna say, if you wanna call your baka bike, then say it."
MVRemix: What are some collaborations that you would like to do with people you haven't worked with yet?
Smoke: Really I don't like rappers, so I wanna do a song with Prince, I wanna do a song with Prince. The only rapper I like is Andre 3000, but yeah, I wanna do a song with Prince.
MVRemix: A lot of people have been saying you sound a lot like Outkast in a lot of the stuff your doing, how do you feel about that?
Smoke: I think that is a compliment, and I take it as a complement, because outkast is the greatest rap group in the world right now, so I thank ya'll for comparin' us to the greatest, that means ya'll think we're great. Ya feel me? Don't you think I'm great?
MVRemix: I think you’re great.
Smoke: Don't you think I'm a great guy?
MVRemix: I think you're great, man. But yo, what bothers you most about you most about the rap game right now?
Smoke: What I don't like most about the rap game is other coasts saying that the south is killing hip-hop, and I think that's an African Lie. We are keepin' hip-hop alive just like all the other movements in country. I'm mad at Oprah Winfrey, I'm gonna say it, yep. Sophia, Sophia, Sophia. I'm mad because she don't like rappers, and you know, and rap is a negro, afro-American created thing. And she is afro-American, I think she should up us. Besides basketball, and football, we got something else black folk can get rich off of, ya feel me? I think rap is ingenious, to put words together like that, wordplay, to put poetry in motion like that; I think that it's ingenious. And I don't think she should do us like that as black people. And yeah, I'm sayin' it, Oprah, because I already know she ain't never gonna have my black ass on her show, and I'm just sayin' she shouldn't do us like that. Hip-Hop got black people paid. Baby don't do us like that, baby don't shut us down. And all I can say about the other coasts, they dissin' the south, when they say, "We gonna bring New York back" or "We gonna bring the west coast back." I think they dissin' subliminally, dissin' the south, sneak dissin' by the way.
MVRemix: Because the south's on top right now?
Smoke: Uh, huh - see you got quiet right there, I said too much.
MVRemix: So then what's up with this "Who New York?" controversy?
Smoke: Well that's a lie, I would never diss New York, and shoot myself in the foot like that, we we're just havin' fun like me and Shawn always do. I feel like if the south wasn't on top the situation wouldn't be as bad as it is, they wouldn't be sweatin' it so much. We was just playin' son, word up b. They got mad at us, the rap game is dumb crazy, word up son, word up b.
MVRemix: So your makin' fun of New York slang right there?
Smoke: It's not makin' fun, it's havin' fun, they say mang and all that, we don't say that. My manager is from the heart of Harlem, he don't care about it. Jay-Z love Field Mob, 50 [Cent] love Field Mob, Cam['ron] love Field Mob, they heard it, they ain't got nothin' to say about it so why should everyone else be mad about it. It's like I say, it's only the broke ones who's pissed off, cause the rich ones, they don't care man. How L.A. people talk, I just have a good time man.
MVRemix: Yeah? How do L.A. people talk?
Smoke: "Mark." They say the word "mark." "Get in the car, it ain't hard. That ain't hard", "I'm gonna put this is the car" [pronouncing everything with a hard "K" sound]
MVRemix: What's one collaboration you want to do with someone who isn't around anymore?
Smoke: 2pac. I'm a Gemini like 2pac, I got a bald head like him, I grew up listening to him, he's the reason I am who I am today. Pac changed his name to "Makaveli", that was hot. My name is Smoke and I changed my name to Chevy Pendergrass, ya figure deal me? Pac is my number influence, I got all his albums. Ya know what? I've got a real melodic flow if you go buy my albums, and Pac created that, he said one time in an interview "I'm not a rapper, I'm a rap singer." That's what I say, I'm a rap singer, blame it on the greats!
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles