While Boston native Krumbsnatcha is mainly considered a seasoned veteran in the underground scene, he sees himself as much more than that. Riding shotgun with Gang Starr since the release of the group’s Moment of Truth back in 1998, Krumbsnatcha has already issued three widely-appreciated indy records, including Respect All, Fear None for D&D Records. With his fourth effort, Let The Truth Be Told, hitting shelves in November, however, Krumbsnatcha is focused on displaying skills that he feels transcend subterranean borders.
Let The Truth Be Told boasts guest shots from heavyweights Styles P. and Ghostface, as well as instrumentals from Nottz, Scram Jones, and Emile. Having briefly been exposed to the major label world in the past, Krumbsnatcha hopes that this new album will jump start his resurfacing in the industry. Enduring through jail time, endless dues and letdowns, his time seems to be approaching.
AllHipHop.com: After listening to the new album, a couple of tracks really stood out for me. The first one is “Suffering,” with Dina Rae on the hook. You talk about serious issues on it. What was your thought process while writing that song?
Krumbsnatcha: Basically, man, I was noticing a lot of things going on in my community of Boston. Things that are also going on worldwide, too. There is a lot of suffering going on, and people have it hard across the globe. So, I just wanted to elaborate on a couple of things that I see people suffering from.
AllHipHop.com: Many times, people talk about how rappers rarely keep in touch with their original neighborhoods, and move away once a little fame comes their way. How in touch are you with the things you see going on in Boston?
Krumbsnatcha: Yeah, that’s all day, everyday if you are still staying in the same area. I have stayed in the same area. My wife and my daughter have relocated to Florida, cause of the situation. I’ve been going through a lot of s**t recently, man, just cause I try to stay in Boston and go through the real stuff. I’m trying to make sure we get on properly. It’s hard though, man, cause right now the death toll is sick out there, and there is a lot of drama between crews. You got to think; I’m pretty much the only rapper that’s really out there from Boston, on a bigger scale than the backpack shit. Of course, you’re gonna have haters, and we have to handle it accordingly.
AllHipHop.com: The second track that stood out also deals with real-life things, and it’s “My Life.” What made you write a personal song like that?
Krumbsnatcha: I had certain people in my circle who weren’t acting right. When you’re broke, everybody loves you. Maybe if you don’t even have a lot of money, but they think you do cause they see you in magazines or on the radio, motherf***ers get misconceptions. A lot of people in and outside of my circle had a lot of opinions, of how I should do my thing. Basically, that song is saying that I’d rather run dolo than run with some clowns.
AllHipHop.com: On “My Life,” you talk about how you’ve had to hustle hard to get where you at now. What would you say has been the toughest thing to overcome in your career so far?
Krumbsnatcha: I would say just getting the proper recognition. I’ve put out some decent albums, you know; I’m not saying they have been classics. I’ve heard way worse s**t out there that’s going double, triple, quadruple platinum. Cats are on the radio all day with weak music, and I know I’m not that bad. I just want to get the proper recognition.
AllHipHop.com: Why do you think you haven’t been given the proper respect yet? Is it a lack of promotion, being independent, or just that people are sleeping?
Krumbsnatcha: I’d say it’s all three of those, as well as that there is a stigma with Boston artists. I’m pretty much one of the closest artists from out of that area that will cross the threshold. A lot of people have misconceptions about cats that come from Boston. Another thing is that I was signed to Interscope, and I lost that deal, so a lot of labels aren’t willing to take a chance on a dude and put that type of money into him if they aren’t secure with the fact that he will get the job done. Basically, with this album, I’m reintroducing myself to the game, and getting affiliated again with a lot of things.
AllHipHop.com: When exactly were you signed to Interscope?
Krumbsnatcha: In 1998.
AllHipHop.com: What went down with Interscope that made that deal go wrong?
Krumbsnatcha: My mind frame wasn’t correct. With the deal, Steve Stoute had signed me, and DJ Premier was going to be the executive producer. Back then, Steve Stoute was a big dog, managing Nas and all that. So, I was right there. My mind frame was more on celebrating before the job was accomplished. I was in the streets, already popping bottles with my n*ggas, before I even got to the album part of the game. So, one thing led to another, and I ended up violating my parole. I did six months back up state, and even when I came out, they gave me my deal back. But, with the formalities and politics, everybody just threw their hands up and walked away from the deal.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any kind of relationship with Steve Stoute currently?
Krumbsnatcha: No, but my eyes and ears are still open for Interscope, man. I really think that’s the home for me. You know, Interscope, or any of these majors. I know the independent avenue is good, and I have put out four independent albums. I just feel that I need to be on a more major scale with these other artists that are out there.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of major label artists, on this album you have guest appearances from Ghostface, Styles P., and FamLay. What made you go for bigger cameos this time around?
Krumbsnatcha: I just wanted people who were already solidified with their positions in the industry, as well as newcomers like DMP that are going to solidify their positions. You know, just do songs with people and see how we contrast with each other. This is to show the fans that I can rhyme with people like Styles P. and pretty much anybody. I can even get on a backpack track and rap with Mr. Lif and Akrobatik, you feel me? I don’t want to be pigeonholed into any one area. I can do anything.
AllHipHop.com: You could see yourself doing a radio single, like a song that gets heavy rotation on popular radio and MTV?
Krumbsnatcha: Oh yeah, definitely. Actually, on the promo copy of the album, we didn’t release those songs out. I got two radio joints on the album, like a ladies joint. It isn’t no bubble gum soft shit. I’m actually working on a new album right now called The Experiment, which will be more towards the commercial genre. We’re still shopping it around, and getting it together. My partner Styx is doing a lot of the production. We actually just did the theme music for the Orlando Magic, like their warm-up track. So, we got some things popping off.
AllHipHop.com: Congrats on that. That’s a great look for you. Now, for this album, you worked very closely with Nottz, while for the last album you worked mainly with Guru. What were some differences in working with each person?
Krumbsnatcha: Well, I started with Nottz, so it’s been throughout the years with us. Before anybody even knew who Nottz was, I was working with him. I feel comfortable with going to Virginia and sitting in the studio with him. We still have the same chemistry. Like Guru has Premier, I look at Nottz as that producer who can bring the right sound out of me.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of Guru, it’s obvious that a lot of your fans also have followed Gang Starr. There have been rumors of Guru and Premier hanging it up, or even breaking up. Can you clarify what their current status is?
Krumbsnatcha: I don’t think they are ending it. I think that they have been together for so many years, and each one wants to explore now and do their own thing. I don’t think Gang Starr is ever going to end. That’s monumental and classic. Actually, I just saw Guru two days ago. I was kicking it with him when I was at the CMJ Conference. He’s working on a new project now, and Premier has his Year Round Records, with NYG’z and Poet. Everybody is doing their thing, and I’m pretty sure at the end of the day it will all come back into the Gang Starr fold.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think hip-hop will come full circle eventually and acts like Gang Starr, Black Moon, and others from that era will be the prolific artists of the day? Or do you feel that the game is too commercial and money-driven these days for the flashier artists to ever fall back?
Krumbsnatcha: I’m glad you asked that, man. I see myself as someone who is trying to cross those boundaries. I’m trying to keep my integrity as an underground artist, and at the same time, make joints that the fans of Lloyd Banks might like. Through my experience of being around Guru and Premier, I’m paying my dues and going through the ranks with those brothers. At the same time, I’m a fan of the Lloyd Banks’, the 50s, and the Eminems. I’m trying to mix all of that and bring that into the industry. Pretty soon, it’s going to make a full circle, cause labels are going to hop on what’s hot. We just need more artists to experiment. Keep making the radio joints, but also bring it back to where it came from: straight, real Hip-Hop.