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Stagga Lee: Testaments

Stagga Lee knows he is getting a raw deal, but he can’t seem to convince minions of rap fans of this. Nevertheless the Bronx-born, Yonkers-reared rapper assures himself and his detractors that his time is now, like it or not. A fan of the greats [Kool G Rap, Rakim, KRS-One], Stagga could, quite possibly be one of the most misunderstood rappers out today. Seriously

AllHipHop.com: What can people expect from you?

Stagga: Just, you know, something new. Cuz I know there isn’t a lot of new shit out right now. They’re play the same nine songs on the radio and everybody’s basically sayin’ the same thing. If Ja Rule does a love song and its successful, Everyone wants to come out and do a love song. 50’s out so now everyone wants to be thug. So I just wanted to totally go left from where everyone was and come out this new mood.

AllHipHop.com: So how did you get into actually doing albums? What drew you to hip-hop?

Stagga: I had an older brother, he’s about thirty-four, and basically we grew up in what I call the ‘Subway Car Era.’ You know, graffiti, break-dancin, stuff like that. I tried the dancin’ thing. It didn’t work out. I just was so much in the culture from a young age and I wanted to be more apart of it. So I looked for those creative outlets. I couldn’t dance, I couldn’t DJ, I couldn’t write graffiti and so I just started gettin’ into rhymes. Talent develops over time the next thing I know; I’m just one of the nastiest kids out!

AllHipHop.com: What do you think about the comparisons to Eminem?

Stagga: There are none. I’m white. He’s white. That’s it but its two different things.

AllHipHop.com: Do get tried of hearing that?

Stagga: You know, its an honor to be compared to someone like him. I strive for the day when they’ll be asking him about me. So right now, I’m doin’ my thing, not worried about nothin’.

AllHipHop.com: What about the color issue? That seems to be poppin’ up a lot lately as far as you’re concerned.

Stagga: What? Should I be wearing something else other than gray [referring to gray jumpsuit]?

AllHipHop.com: Yeah, because there is a significant amount of hate on the internet message boards on you.

Stagga: I’m not sweatin’ yo, even though there is a significant amount of hate. In fact, there’s no love if you search on the internet. Except for once in a while you’ll find me in there trying to defend myself. But now I find myself at the point where is like ‘Yo, eat a d**k. Buy my album. I know you’re girl loves my sh*t.’ But they say the stupidest fu**ing sh*t on those things about me. They be like ‘Oh, he’s a one hit wonder. I guarantee we’ll never hear from him again.’ How are you gonna make that assumption? Such a follower that you can’t even have your own mind to be like wait let me just hear what this kid’s got. He’s got an album, he’s got the video out, maybe he’s doing something right. I mean I ain’t got a deal and I’m still here talking about this muthafucker on a website. It just gets me aggravated that nobody takes the time to listen. I think its just this video that gives a different perception of me. You see these cats or these kids, whatever color they may be, they live on the block and they’re ryhmin’ and they feel like they’re nice and they think they know about sh*t. ‘Oh, I should have a deal. Why does this fucking white kid have a deal?’ But they go on those fu**ing websites and that’s their life.

AllHipHop.com: But also the website culture is different than off the net.

Stagga: Oh, I think website culture is backpackers all the way. The thing is, it is mostly white kids with names like ‘BlackSuperman’ or ‘50CentGangsta.” It’s like come on man, you don’t know nothin’ about making records but they’re dissing me. But I guess as long as they are talking about me, that’s cool. Cuz they could sweep me under the rug and not say anything. Right now I’m like the only white kid on BET and that’s causing a lot of mixed emotions.

AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I can imagine. I’m not saying its like a reverse racism situation but then again you do have to look at it from some kids’ point of view. If you’re a black kid you might be like, ‘Yo, this white dude is on BET but I’m here and I can spit…’

Stagga: I was there. That’s the thing. They don’t know I was that kid. And I was a white kid thinking I’m never gonna get in. I am at the back of the bus right now and people don’t realize. Tiger Woods and Serena Williams, nobody really had anything to say when they came in and took over white sports. A white kid comes in and wants to get a little bit of action from hip-hop and everybody wants to fuc** flip out. Come on man, call me Tiger Woods and buy my album. I’m really not concerned with all of that. Anyone who is going to hate isn’t really listening anyway. So I just make music for people that are going to listen.

AllHipHop.com: You said you did a little battle rap, right? Do you still do that?

Stagga: Nah, man. What could I gain from that? That cats who respect you for that ain’t gonna buy my sh*t anyway. If someone comes up and battles me and then they bash me, they get to walk away and be all, ‘hey, I just killed Stagga Lee.’ But if I scrap them and walk away, I’m supposed to scrap them. Everybody wants to challenge me now. Its only gonna be so much more time before people realize ‘lets just leave that kid alone.’

AllHipHop.com: So, what’s your relationship with Benzino?

Stagga: Well, he’s my man. We’re cool. That’s it.

AllHipHop.com: Well, do you ever feel like you’re getting caught in the cross fire of the on going beef?

Stagga: Nope.

AllHiphop.com: Have you been asked this a lot?

Stagga: No, you’re the first one to ask me that. People don’t even really know about my relationship with Benzino. They automatically just say, ‘Benzino, Eminem, where do you stand on that?’

AllHiphop.com: So you’re friends with him?

Stagga: Yeah, I’m cool.

AllHipHop.com: So you don’t have worries about maybe one day wanting do a joint with Em?

Stagga: I mean that would be great to one day work with Eminem, of course. If it wasn’t for a cat like Eminem certain people might not even open their ears to me from the get go. There’s definitely respect right there.

AllHiphop.com: What was your life like before you really got exposure?

Stagga: It was hard, man. I grew up dead broke. My parents are divorced. I grew up where there was a bit of gang problem. There was definitely a drug problem. That’s it. I don’t think I’m any different or special from any other rapper in the sense of where I came from before here. This is why I worked so hard at this, so that I could change that life.

AllHiphop.com: Well, if didn’t rhyme what would you do?

Stagga: I definitely wouldn’t go into sellin’ some drugs, no sh*t like that. But I would do whatever I had to do to survive, whatever that may mean.

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