AHH: Is that were the title " The Awakening
" comes from?
PMD: Yea because I was supposed to have got
caught up in all of this. But God was like come on, yall seen " Strictly
Business," yall seen "It’s My Thing," yall seen "Gold Digga."
Red Man still runnin around here. It was never wack, something happened in my
real life that had me questioning and when the Lord tells you to step up to
do a job, you know you have to step up and do it, or pay the consequences. Now
I see evidence ( Points to his poster on the wall, and his self promoting T-Shirt)
I see evidence. People don’t get it, God is in you, every day you wake up you
have a opportunity for what direction you want to take your life. There are
3 voices, yours Gods and the Devil’s.
AHH: EPMD is in the top few greatest rap groups
of all time. The chemistry was crazy. But as far as a solo act, you haven’t
had the same success. What will be different on this album?
PMD: The first two, "Shady Business"
and "Business iz Business", I wasn’t even there. I did so much work
in my first lifetime with the first 4 albums, Das Efx, Redman, there was no
competition. There was no Bad Boy, there was no Terror Squad, there was no Flip
mode, it was just me. It wasn’t Russell, it was nobody. So now, I’m thinking,
the fans don’t want to see me by myself and they don’t want to see Eric by himself,
so I beat myself before I even got started.
AHH: What’s your relationship like now with
PMD: Me and Eric’s relationship is dope because
when EPMD was broken up the first 5 years, we didn’t really see each other because
he move to Atlanta. Then in 97 when we did "Back In Business," he
moved back to New York. So we was pollying and you know we were naturally out
of sync because before we was like one. When we got back it wasn’t like we could
just record the album because there was so many politics in the business and
so many politics in the crew. But the beats and the tracks was hot, but me and
Eric we say it til today , we just rapped on those albums. So then "Out
of Business" came and that wasn’t even supposed to be the title, it was
supposed to be "Major Business." So to our fans it was like, how can
we be gone for 5 years, come "Back In Business" and be "Out Of
Business" on some marketing scam? I never used any type of scam to market
us. We just came through and let our music speak.
AHH: So you guys are cool now?
PMD: Yea we got 7 songs done on the album, We
got hits. We got hits sittin there. But we also know from the 5 years we took
off, that we seen a lot of guys just rush up and not do it right. And once you
play yourself, That’s it in the game you can’t come back. So that’s why I’m
doing my homework, you know were not on J Records no more, I got distribution.
And Clive hooked us up and helped us. And Russell hooked us up and helped us.
When we come through, we have to know how to put our own poster together, and
put our own t-shirt together and not have to call this person or that person
to hook that up.
Ahh: Will the next EPMD Album be an independent
PMD: Well, whever the chips may fall, that’s
the beauty of it. We have something just sittin there waiting to do whatever
we want to do with it.
AHH: When you and Eric did have problems was
it politics, money, or ego?
PMD: With me, I was lucky because I was handling
the business. The only thing that I didn’t do on EPMD’s first 3 albums was write
Eric’s rhymes. Eric wrote his own rhymes. 90% of the production, PMD did. So
when your wrapped up in the production, the management, the business, and the
touring, I was in a zone. I had options, but the problems started in 1991 and
it all came to a head in 92. I was like let me finish this business and then
I’ll get back and see what’s going on. Luckily I did that because that was what
made the legendary status. So If I would have gotten caught up in all that stuff
, you would have never even heard of Redman or Das Efx. All the problems that
we were having started in 1991 not 92. And I had to make decisions because Russell
had millions in this and Sylvia had millions in this so I did what I had to
do. I took the tour out there to see what was up. When I came back home it got
crazy. It was mass confusion.
AHH: With you doing most of the production, was
the money split causing the riff?
PMD: That’s the crazy part, because with all
the work I was doing, it was still a 50/50 split. So everything was split half.
That’s what I’m saying, it wasn’t a direct hit. It was heat coming from the
outside. And I was still cool with it even to this day. EPMD is 50/50. Redman,
I don’t even want any part of that, take it. Das Efx, there was a 10 % differential
for the simple fact that I knew how to do the deal, I took care of the image,
and I had an existing relationship with Sylvia Rhone through my production deal
with K-Solo. Shuma management already existed in 1990 before the Hit Squad.
So with all that, it was only a 10 percent difference with the Das Efx deal.
Eric had Redman, I had K-solo, and Das Efx was split. That’s why it bugged me
out when it was turned into a money issue. People broke in my home with 4 guns.
two AK 47 assault rifles and two 9 millimeters.
AHH: The Hit Squad was the first big rap group.
I thought it would never die. What happened to the Hit Squad?
PMD: Well the Hit Squad blew up in 92, but they
broke in my house in 91. Before all these records where sold in 92, Somebody
broke in my house December 12, 1991, the due date of my son, and tied two of
my friends up looking for me. Then they put my partners name on a statement
saying that Eric paid them $5,000 dollars to break in my house. At the time,
I thought it was crazy because everyone knew how I felt about EPMD and how I
felt about Eric. But, I wanted to take care of my business and I did the 40
cities and got back and tried to figure it out.
AHH: So the break in occurred before the Hit
PMD: December, break in, I moved out of my home
in January 1992, I moved in my new home. March 92 Das Efx dropped, "They
want EFX". We moved forward, we doing everything. But then the cops caught
the guys who broke in my house. We are 8 months into the set, they call and
ask "is the group breakin up?" I’m like what are you talking about?
They said they caught the three guys and showed me the statement saying Eric
paid them. So I’m like if this happened 8 or 9 months ago and they just caught
the guys, my whole crew knew. I was the only one who didn’t know. All the artists
knew, all the people in the circle knew.
AHH: Did the Jam Master Jay murder hit home for
you? Your situation could have been similar if you had been home during the
PMD: There would have definitely been a homicide.
If I would have walked up in there, somebody had to go. And I felt on top of
my game so I wasn’t going. I felt like this is my house and I know. So, these
weren’t regular dudes. They knew where I kept my strap and all my stuff so I
was basically supposed to be disarmed on top of coming in. But, I came too far
to bug on that. I knew that if I would have let that affect me, the Hit Squad
would have never gotten off. So, I disassociated myself. The problem was re-associating
myself. To see somebody like Jason (Jam Master J), it’s like JMJ aint dead because
I know hip hop. J had that type of presence. So that’s why with Jam Master Jay,
whatever the situation was, he was there trying to help someone. Run DMC had
already solidified themselves. Run DMC was already down with Arista and touring
with Aerosmith. And the same with me, because I was already established. But
when you try to reach back and help this and that person, and you got a kook
in the camp, askin "why P is doing all this?" Because it’s working.
Don’t knock a brother, help a brother. And now were in 2003 and you either sink
or swim and I’m a swimmer.
AHH: Do you think your roadblocks are gone?
PMD: No, there’s always some there. In the event
something happens, it’s like whatever. Now I’m balanced. I’ve done the cribs,
the cars, the girls. But, I’m not gonna get so amped up and cross the line and
have a whole bunch of people lose faith in me who have faith in me.