With few passing the test of time, rappers are here today and unfortunately gone today. As a teenager, Silkk The Shocker was playing with millions. He entered the rap game through his older brother Master P’s No Limit Records. The label exploded on to a scene dominated by New York and California at the time, helping put the South on the map. Ten years have passed and it seems that the No Limit tank’s fuel is running on e. Now a little older and a little bit wiser, Silkk is fighting his way back.
AllHipHop checked in with Silkk on the status of C-Murder’s sentence, reasons for No Limit’s decline, and we even checked up on the status of some of those old No Limit artists that some of y’all front like you don’t still bump. We still keep it Ghetto D, and so does Silkk, check it.
AllHipHop.com: Where have you been and what have you been up to?
Silkk: Well basically I was going on like on my tenth year as far as rapping. So I decided to take a small break because I went on ten consecutive years with out really stopping. I was still doing features on a lot of people’s stuff, so I just needed to chill in a sense of getting myself together and learn the other side of the game. Just taking time out for myself and spend time with my family. Just enjoying life and having fun with it.
AllHipHop.com: At one time No Limit Records was the number one Hip-Hop label, can you give the Allhiphop community some insight on how it was to be down with the tank at the time?
Silkk: I’ve been down with No Limit since day one, when we were selling tapes out of our trunks, one record at a time. And I’ve been here when we sold 75 million records. Actually, I had more just fun just coming up before we really made it. Definitely when we signed Snoop and some other artists, we had a lot of fun touring. I’m still having fun after all that, because how many records you sell doesn’t make a difference on your happiness. At one time I had…well I still have crazy cars and crazy houses, but I wasn’t as really happy as I am now. When I was selling records, I wasn’t really at my happiest, so I kinda enjoy it more now having control of stuff. Back then, I was 17 years old with 5 million in my bank account. What else can I do with that kind of money at 17 but just spend heavy and live reckless? Now we have to use our brain and actually do the business side of it; venturing off to jewelry, clothes, shoes and stuff like that. Even back then it was fun because we had Snoop and Mystikal with the tours and stuff like that. But other than that, it’s the same. We haven’t changed. I think we just have to redefine ourselves so that won’t happen again. But right now, I appreciate the downtime too.
AllHipHop.com: What led you to the point where you humbled yourself?
Silkk: Humbling wouldn’t be a good word to use, but I would just say reality hit me. People died in the business, my brother got locked up. A whole bunch of stuff happened that just made me say, “Damn.” It wasn’t humbling, but more of a wake up call. So I got to enjoy this a little more. You don’t know what really is going to happen so you live life.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think were the factors that lead to No Limit’s fall from grace?
Silkk: I don’t think anything caused it. I just think it’s the same thing with any other label. Nobody can reign on top forever. So what you got to do, is take what ever you made and do something else with it. It wasn’t that we declined in popularity, is that everyone has his or her turn. You got to redefine yourself.
AllHipHop.com: Have you ever doubted your brother business wise?
Silkk: Never. I have been with him a long time. I’ve watched him do stuff that would nobody else would understand. He moves when you wouldn’t expect someone to move, because of that we survived as long as we have. He’s just a good businessman. No one is perfect. He did what he did, but he did his thing. I learn from his bad decisions and good decisions. He was never into being a superstar; he was more about his money.
AllHipHop.com: Have you spoke to your brother C-Murder? How is he holding up?
Silkk: I spoke to him last week. He’s doing pretty well. The worst part that hurts him the most is, that he didn’t really do it and I know he didn’t do it. Imagine someone taking three years of your life for something you didn’t do, and your kids having to grow up without you. That’s the part that bothers him the most.
AllHipHop.com: Have you spoken to Mystical recently?
Silkk: I haven’t spoken to Mystikal in a long time, even before he went into jail. So I can’t really speak on him. We didn’t chop it up often. But before he went in, we were cool.
AllHipHop.com: Did you have a personal relationship with Soulja Slim?
Silkk: Just like Mystikal, we were cool. We didn’t talk often but we were cool. I don’t have any problems with any rappers. I don’t talk to Mia X often [either], but it’s still love.
AllHipHop.com: What’s up with your new album?
Silkk: This album right here, is one of my albums so far because of my maturity level. I’ve grown up. Lyrically, I understand what I’m doing more. I think people will like it.
I kept it in the family because I have been gone for a minute. I definitely wanted to give the world me for a change. For the next album I’ll go heavier with the features. I kept it just me and Master P and in house producers Mike Diesel, Serious, Exhale.
The first single I chose called “We Like Dem’ Girls,” is blowing up. It’s a fun single. We just debuted the video on 106th and Park. It’s the first time ever, I got so many spins on a single.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the recording process like for you?
Silkk: It’s pretty easy, man. I wasn’t really stressed to come back in the game. But I got into it like let me express myself a little bit. Things started coming out good so I just kept it going.
AllHipHop.com: Lyrically, how do you think you have evolved?
Silkk: I think I really evolved real good. I am mad because there was one song that really displayed my lyrically side that didn’t make [the album] due to a sample.
AllHipHop.com: You have been in the rap game for almost 10 years. Do you think your music would still be relevant today?
Silkk: It’s easy man. We can say that life changes, but it doesn’t. In actuality the times change. You grow up but you still deal with the same stuff. The ghetto still has teen pregnancy, murders, peer pressure, drugs, whatever. We are still dealing with it. With the next generation, it will be the same thing. As long as you can adapt to that and learn from your mistakes you’ll be ok.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think of the current state of hip-hop?
Silkk: I think its aight. I just think it’s overcrowded sometimes. As long as you got an opinion I think you can sell. But the selling rate won’t be as much. When RUN-DMC dropped, everyone went out and got it. Now you got ten albums coming out a week and you can’t get all of them. And they die down so quickly. The only problem I got that it’s a little crowded, but everyone can still make their money.
AllHipHop.com: Excluding you, who do you think is the nastiest on the mic from the N.O.?
Silkk: I like the Hot Boys. I think all of them are pretty talented.
AllHipHop.com: Have you been following the political race?
Silkk: Not really, (Laughs) Ima leave that alone.
AllHipHop.com: Any reason why?
Silkk: I think it’s a no win situation. I think both have positives and both have negatives. It will take about fifteen days to get my full analysis on the government. It would just get ugly.
AllHipHop.com: Did having an over achiever as a brother ever pressure to pursue any of your own personal business ventures?
Silkk: Everybody is everybody. My brother is my brother, so he’s definitely been helpful. My definition of what I want to be is a lot of different. I’ma be the best me I can be. I ain’t trying to be the next Master P., the next Puff, the next Jay-Z. I want to be the first Silkk The Shocker. Like I said, now I am happier, because I know got to do with my money. If you’re sixteen years old and someone gave you a million dollars you are going to waste it on ice and cars. Now I’m all into doing my own movies, putting out my own jewelry and my own tennis shoes and stuff. Now I know what I want to do.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of which, what exactly do you have lined up?
Silkk: I have a sitcom I am working on a show with Ricky Smiley called the “Landlord,” we shoot the pilot in a couple of weeks. Also we shooting another movie in January called “Family Reunion.” It’s with me, Ricky Smiley, Patti Labelle, Lil’ Romeo and Ashanti. We start casting in December. I have my own movie that I shot, directed and produced called “All In The Game.” Straight to DVD movie that will be in stores September 20th.
AllHipHop.com: In closing is there anything you want to say to the people before we wrap this up?
Silkk: I just want to say get that album; it’s going to be hot. It drops September 7th.