Royal Flush is casually-cool, laid-up lounging in a recording studio/apartment in his native Flushing, Queens. His cell-phone interrupts the conversation every few minutes, as his smoke clouds the room. The small, square box apartment is half living room and half recording space. It is here that Royal Flush plans his attacking return to Hip-Hop.
In 1997, Royal Flush dropped his debut-full-length album Ghetto Millionaire on the defunct, Blunt Records. Though the sales were not impressive, Royal Flush has carried a cult following that many of his late 90s peers never had. Nine years absent from stores, Flush is ready to address his Latin following, his die-hard fans, and the all-too-comfortable status-quo in Rap.
As he adds the finishing touches to his return-opus, All Cards onm the Table,AllHipHop.com lounged with Royal Flush in his home, and listened in on his vision for takeover, beginning with his just dropped mixtape, Street Boss.
AllHipHop.com: Howd you get into the business?
Royal Flush: I started rapping with Mic Geronimo. You know when he had came out with S**ts Real. At the time I was a big street guy, you know? At night, we used to sit in my lobby and smoke s**t and we used to bang on the glass window. I used to be able to rhyme about anything that happened. If a crackhead came to the door, I would be able to rhyme about it. If somebody got shot, I could put everything into a story. But I never really took it serious, I just know I knew how to put the words together. So one day we were at a Mic Geronimo show, and at the time he didnt have a hype man. I just got on stage or whatever and the crowd loved me. Somebody from the label was there and when I went to the label with him the next day and they were ready to sign me.
AllHipHop.com: He came out first, right?
Royal Flush: Yeah, thats right. They had signed him. Irv Gotti already had signed him to Blunt.
AllHipHop.com: What was it like for you in Queens when you first began to buzz-big?
Royal Flush: At that time, I guess, I really had a love for this Hip-Hop s**t. It was a passion, it wasnt about money. [Because of my time in the] streets, when I came out I had like a little paper so I went and just bought a real big chain you know Iced Down Medallions you know? Being that I was half Cuban I came out with a single with Noreaga, hes Latin too. When I came out, a lot of these rappers was wearing little chains, little bracelets. I had big jewelry, I showed people how to get a lot of diamonds, spend 30,000,50,000 on your piece. 60 [thousand] on a chain, like I started that.
AllHipHop.com: Lets talk about Iced Out Medallions for a minute. Why do you think you and Noreaga worked so well together?
Royal Flush: You know like, me and Capone, we family. He had just gotten locked back up for a shooting in Queensbridge. So, me and Nore, we stayed tight. We always had a relationship, he was from Lefrak, I was from Flushing and his projects had beef with my neighborhood. But for some reason we always been tight, you know we battled back in the day and all that.
AllHipHop.com: How old were you when Blunt Recordings dropped Ghetto Millionaire?
Royal Flush: I was young thats why Im still young now. I was like 17, that was like 1997, do the math
AllHipHop.com: What does it feel like to have worked with Big L and O.D.B at such a young age?
Royal Flush: ODB was the greatest. I mean, I worked with ODB, Freaky Tah, Pun, Big L, B.G. and Juvy, Twista, Capone and Nore, Mobb Deep. You know, Im from the era of [Large Professor] so you know me and Nas is cool.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think you got your fair shot in the late 90s?
Royal Flush: Hell no, hell no, hell no! Some people say the world aint ready, but at the time Hip-Hop was ready for me. I dont understand why it didnt go that way. Everyone who came to a Royal Flush show knows that my show is unbelievable. Blunt was something that they tried at that time, and for TVT [Records], I was a tax write-off.
AllHipHop.com: You also mentioned your Cuban heritage. Do you realize how big you are with the Latin audience?
Royal Flush: I do, I swear I do. The funny part is to this day I still go to the supermarket and sign autographs. And I be like for real? And theyre like Yeah, Im a big fan. Then some people go in they car and they still have my album in their rotation. The love is spectacular. I go a lot of places and get a lot of love. Like I said, when I came out, Hip-Hop was about Hip-Hop. Hip-hop wasnt about how much money you got or how many women you had in your video. Even though I was about that street s**t, I explained it, I put it in a lyrical form. You know what Im saying, I didnt just say Oh my gun bust. I told you why my gun bust, I just broke it down a little better.
AllHipHop.com: Do you still listen to Ghetto Millionaire?
Royal Flush: Honestly, I never really listened to it when I did it. Word! I guess I was like my own worst critic. And, I dont know; I guess I was kinda mad that I didnt blow, but then I got so much respect from it, I had to just look at it like it was the labels fault and that they werent ready to promote me at that time. But, I do love the album. When I go to certain peoples houses to smoke, they always throw it on.
AllHipHop.com: And what do you think when you hear it?
Royal Flush: I think its a classic to me. It damn sure is a classic. Its up there with the [Only Built For Cuban Linx] and Illmatics, the Wu-Tang First album. Its up there with those, Im happy with what I did, but my on my new album, Im in my zone!
AllHipHop.com: You mention smoking a lot. Plus, you were on Blunt Records. Being a flashy dude, whats the big stuff right now?
Royal Flush: I smoke a lot of sour diesel, I smoke a lot of haze, purple kush, white rhino. If somebody come at me with some Arizona, Id say Whats that, a steak? I only smoke exotic s**t, good s**t and any rapper that smoke with me know that.
AllHipHop.com: Phillies or Dutchmasters?
Royal Flush: Both, you know Both, Both. If I do a Dutch, its only a Vanilla Dutch and its only a regular Philly. I dont want my weed smelling banana so I dont buy a Banana Philly and I dont like my weed smelling like coconuts. I dont get all that mixed s**t.
AllHipHop.com: Snoop Dogg seems to be favoring those Magnum Blunt Wraps, how about you?
Royal Flush: Nah, chill, too thick! I dont like blunt wraps and I dont like Backwoods. I dont like all that . I do like the bong though! A big bong hit man! I got me a nice big bong, for four people. Its tall, stand-up!
AllHipHop.com: How long have you been smoking?
Royal Flush: Ive been smoking for a few years, maybe since I was ten or something. My mom used to leave the clips and s**t. I would take advantage and hide on the stairwell and puff and s**t. I got caught, so, what my mother did was rolled up a whole dime and said, Here, smoke it! Like that was going to hurt me. My mother did that twice, she caught me smoking a cigarette and made me smoke the whole pack.
AllHipHop.com: Ego Trips Big Book of Rap Lists lists you among 33 rappers who share their names with other MCs. What do you know about the other Royal Flush?
Royal Flush: I heard about it when I first came out, I went to check my publishing and they said another Rap group came out [with that name]. But they were a whole group, and I dont think they had their name registered or something so I got OKd for that. I never really heard their music, from what I heard it was a little off my page of music. [Laughing] From what I heard!
AllHipHop.com: With all the artists retiring and/or flipping up their styles, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Royal Flush: I see myself still putting it down for the streets. All I do is dedicated to the streets, if the streets get worse, Im going to mention that.
AllHipHop.com: You produced the Heart Beat joint on your mixtape. How much production have you done over the course of your career?
Royal Flush: A lot, even the first album, I did War, me and my brother did that together. Hanging around a bunch of producers, its always easy. My man, Sam [from Thoro Tracks] takes care a lot of my business. A lot of business which I cant handle, he does take care of that part, as well as he produce. I do give him some of my women sometimes you know? If he needs a hoe or two; I throw some at him. He did half the album really. Between he and Hill, out of thirteen tracks they split it up half and half. So, I mean its wonderful, Im in my zone. Like I said, I needed this zone. When I did it before, I did it because people said I was nice, now I believe that Im nice. So now is the time. Ive got Large Professor and Pete Rock. I got a couple of things going on. We did over 100 tracks and were going with 13, so you can imagine how the 13 sound. September 20, I got a mixtape coming out with a lot of new material. Its called Street Boss.
AllHipHop.com: What is up with you N.A.B imprint?
Royal Flush: N.A.B is something that Im starting and it stands for Negotiate All Business. Like everyone has their own group, you got G-Unit or Dip set, they doing they thing for their hood. But what Im doing is something for everyone to understand. My movement is for everyone to understand. It means whether you have a lawyer, agent or manager; if there is a contract dont let you lawyer handle it all, be there with him and have you hand in business. Take care of whats yours.
AllHipHop.com: As you approach 30 years old, do you think that age is a big deal, right now?
Royal Flush: Even Eminem was kinda old when he came out. A lot of people get famous when they hit 30 – even Jay.
AllHipHop.com: Tell people why they need the All Cards on the Table
Royal Flush: Like I said, Im in the zone and I want the top spot. Aint nobody filled a Biggie shoes or a Nas shoes, Jay-Z shoes that came out to me as far as really putting it down. Thats what Im here for. Royal Flush this time around, Im in it man, cant nobody stop me. If you wanna battle for a $1,000,000 lets do it! You cant beat me.