Frank Lucas on what he hopes his legacy will be:Im very remorseful. Sorry I did what I did. I did it. Wouldnt do it again if it was laying out on the table for me. My name is Frank Lucas and please respect me as such.Frank Lucas has been highly respected for a number of things he has been: father, husband, businessman, and one of the leading drug lords in the 60s and 70s. These days, the 77-year-old North Carolina transplant is regarded as the American Gangster and his life is now an acclaimed film starring Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe and rappers like Common and T.I. A sizable segment of the population loathes Lucas for his drug dealing days, where he went so far as to transport near-pure heroin in the caskets of dead Viet Nam vets though the U.S. military. These days, he rejects the American Gangster moniker and is now seeks to do some good for all of the negative hes contributed to the world, especially his drug haven of Harlem, New York. With all his illegal millions gone, he now denounces his gangster ways, but Frank Lucas is what he is and when you hear his gruff, abrasive voice recall the old days, you know hes the genuine article. In this AllHipHop interview, he examines how he became the infamous Frank Lucas. He trounces commonly held street notions about rival Nicky Barnes and The Council. He discusses his sons rap career. Finally, hes also got a few barbed words for rap magistrate Jay-Z and that infamous line from No Hook from his hit album American Gangster.AllHipHop.com: At one point, I heard you were charging for interviews so I didnt think wed ever get to talk.Frank Lucas: I dont never do too much for free, but hey why the hell not? You dont pay for your interviews? AllHipHop.com: No. I dont get any money for interviews that I do. Frank Lucas: Why not? I hear youre a super star.AllHipHop.com: [laughs] Im somebody, but I dont know about a super star. Thats you.Frank Lucas: Thats the word out there super star.AllHipHop.com: [joking] Well maybe I should charge then.Frank Lucas: Lets talk.AllHipHop.com: So, how do you feel you were represented in the movie American Gangster, which is based on your lifes and times in Harlem?Frank Lucas: Well, I said it once and Ill say it again, I dont have anything to say but good when you have Mr. Denzel Washington doing your part.AllHipHop.com: Its a great movie, from my perspective. Frank Lucas: You saw the movie so there aint much I can tell you.AllHipHop.com: Who is the real Frank Lucas? Obviously, weve seen the movie, but its just that a movie. How accurate is the movie?Frank Lucas: Through that whole movie, and the parts that Mr. Washington does, is 85-95% accurate. You cant get much better than that.AllHipHop.com: The opening scene of the movie is a shocker to me. I know youve said on the record that you havent killed anybody, but how were they able to represent you that way?Frank Lucas: I told you it was a movie. Theyre gonna make their money regardless. You gotta look at it that way also, you know?AllHipHop.com: I get it. It stated in the movie that there is an experience you had before coming to Harlem where you experienced a lot of racism and hardships. Can you speak on that and how it affected you into what you eventually became.Frank Lucas: When you are a kid and you see something like that, you cant help but affect your life. You cant help but think that the whole world is trying to tear you down and rip you off. When you are six years old and you see something like a Ku Klux Klan knock your cousins teeth out with handle of a shotgun and turn around and put it in his mouth and pull the trigger I mean, his face looked good, but you could put a cantaloupe in the back of his head [because the hole was so big]. That cant help but affect you. Im speaking to you now, but a little while ago I was feeling sick. Brains brains bone blood teeth was all over the yard.AllHipHop.com: Wow.Frank Lucas: Did you read about why he got that?AllHipHop.com: Yeah, for looking at a White woman reckless eyeballing.Frank Lucas: Yeah, you got it. Reckless eyeballing. I dont even think that was in the movie, but thats what it was. All that was for reckless eyeballing and thats a damn shame.AllHipHop.com: That was crazy and that was in North Carolina, correct?Frank Lucas: Absolutely.AllHipHop.com: A lot of your family is from North Carolina Frank Lucas: All my family is from North Carolina we all come from down there.AllHipHop.com: Do you stay in touch with your family at all?Frank Lucas: Heck yeah. Ive always been a family man, always will be. Im about family more than anything else in the world. Without family, youve got nothing.AllHipHop.com: Youre right. Im close to my family too. How did you maintain the life in the drug game with a family? Its not a lifestyle conducive to having loved ones. In the period of the movie you supposedly had a daughter that wasnt depicted.Frank Lucas: It might be hard for some people, but it wasnt hard for me. You mean, back in the money days, the glory days thats what youre talking about?AllHipHop.com: Yeah.Frank Lucas: I did both. I matched them up real well. It wasnt hard for me, not at all. They had everything they could dream about. They had everything. On the other hand, I wasnt a happy camper, because I was thinking back and forth in my head, Whats gonna happen when this is over. AllHipHop.com: A lot of people ask, Why didnt you stop? Can you answer that question now?Frank Lucas: I can answer it now, but I dont know if its the answer you looking for. I didnt stop, because my wife gotta get me to stop. Some of my family gotta get me to stop. Them laws [cant make me stop]. They aint even know what I was I went like 10 years before they even knew what I was doing. The law [police] is a lie. Always something. But anyway, my wife caught onto it like any wife would. She kept on digging and digging and digging and she caught on to it. And I kept telling her, One more time, just one more time, one more trip, one more trip. Im getting $3,000 for this one, just leave me alone. Three thousand was a big load back then. I guess it still might be. Im not in it no more so I wouldnt know. I told [his wife], Leave me alone. Ima do this. When you do that, youre gonna lose big time. AllHipHop.com: How low did you get?Frank Lucas: What do you mean?AllHipHop.com: In the movie, it shows basically you losing everything. Was that the case? Typically there is a stash somewhere.Frank Lucas: I was down to zero; living like I was when I was six years old. I didnt have no money, man. When I come out the joint, I could buy a pack of cigarettes and a cup off coffee maybe.AllHipHop.com: At the end of the movie, when you get out, there is rap music playing. Was there a point, they were trying to make?Frank Lucas: You gotta remember when I went into the penitentiary, there wasnt a such thing as rap music. There was James Brown, Aretha Franklin they were popular then. Bop, bop, bop [rap music] that wasnt around then. The world was a different place when I come out.AllHipHop.com: What do you think about this? In real life, you were considered a gangster, but Frank Lucas: I hope not.AllHipHop.com: What? You dont want to be considered a gangster?Frank Lucas: No sir.AllHipHop.com: Why not?Frank Lucas: I went that route and it didnt get me nothing. It got me a whole lot of clout and I hurt a lot of people. I dont want to hurt people no more. Im very remorseful for what I did. I dont want to go through that road I dont want to do that again. AllHipHop.com: Thats a good message to send. I recently spoke to some people and they were asking me if American Gangster would be adopted like Scarface has been embraced by Hip-Hop. I told them no the stories end differently. Secondly, you have expressed a certain amount of remorse. Frank Lucas: I have all the remorse in the world. I didnt do it right. That was a terrible thing I did. Also, you gotta understand. Me and “Scarface” were in two different worlds. He was in the cocaine world and I was in the other world – the real dirty world. AllHipHop.com: Why do you say the real dirty world?Frank Lucas: Heroin is a real dirty business. Thats a horrible business to be in. People get up, get into that and they dont come back. Im not speaking on this [from personal knowledge], because I wasnt on the s**t. But a cocaine user can do without it, they dont have to have it. Heroin, you know you have to have that. I dont know if thats true or not, but thats what I hear.AllHipHop.com: I know a few people in the music game that casually use it on the weekends and then they go to work on Monday. Frank Lucas: You cant do that with heroin. You do that with heroin, you get hooked. You gotta have that every day. Every day is Sunday, Monday to you.AllHipHop.com: Your son is rapping now. Frank Lucas: Thats my son. For real, thats my son.AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about him using your name to jump start his career in that manner?Frank Lucas: Hey, you know what? More power to him. If I could help him, I would, but aint much I can do, because Im not out there like that no more, you know? I just hope he goes out there and has a great career, you know, and do the right thing. I know he is. He aint into drugs so I know he aint going to get into drugs. Hes old now so I dont believe hes going to get into it now.AllHipHop.com: They say Hip-Hop is the new dope game. Like all the street dudes are getting into the rap game to keep it legit, but still talk about their experience in the street. Frank Lucas: That could be true, but Im not into rapping and all that kind of thing. I really wouldnt know.AllHipHop.com: OK, no problem. This might be a rumor, but I heard that Nicky Barnes didnt like his portrayal in the American Gangster movie. Frank Lucas: I dont know. Let me tell you, I have no idea. I havent spoken to him since the movie came out. AllHipHop.com: Have you seen his movie, Mr. Untouchable?Frank Lucas: No, have you seen it?AllHipHop.com: No, but Im trying to. I really want to see it, you know. A lot of us in the Hip-Hop Generation are fascinated by those times. Also, with all the rappers dropping names, we hear it but we dont always get the story, whether its a movie, book or documentary. Now, we are getting some of the real stories. Frank Lucas: I heard its pretty good, Mr. Untouchable. Did you hear about it?AllHipHop.com: Im reading the book, but I heard its pretty goodFrank Lucas: You know, when Nicky was out there, I know he did a lot of bad things, they treated him like a dog when he wasnt out there [jail]. I heard after three months, he couldnt buy a pack of cigarettes. They took all their money and dogged him.AllHipHop.com: Are you talking about The Council? [Nicky Barnes organized and strengthened his power base by uniting other powerful drug dealers called The Council.]Frank Lucas: I didnt know nothing about no Council when I was out there. I wouldnt play that. If somebody wants to be a Don or a Gambino, the other guy wants to be Al Capone. The other guy wants to be Frank Nitti. Hey, you turn around [and] you got a mess. There wasnt no damn Council. I can tell you that right now. Thats not true. Anybody [contradicts] that, they lying.AllHipHop.com: What do you mean?Frank Lucas: I wouldnt have stood for it, ok?AllHipHop.com: Say that again?Frank Lucas: If I say [there] aint no damn Council, aint gonna be no got damn Council. Believe me.AllHipHop.com: Well, why do you say that? There was this whole thing, this organizational chart and all that. Frank Lucas: I dont care what they say. They can say anything that they want.AllHipHop.com: Are you saying that they made it seem like Nicky and The Council were more organized than they actually were?Frank Lucas: Of course they were. You know got damn well they gonna make it appear like they were all organized and that. Im telling you there wasnt no such thing. It was bulls**t is what Im telling you.AllHipHop.com: Ok, ok. Well, thats a popular notion that there was the Council. There is a whole organizational chart right in the front of Mr. Untouchable. Frank Lucas: Nicky is lying. Hes making it up. Hes lying. Im telling you, if I said there wasnt going to be no Council, there wasnt gonna be none. And I said there wasnt no Council and there wasnt no Council. They wasnt no Gambinos, no Al Capones or no Bumpy Johnsons no I wasnt having that. AllHipHop.com: Now, you say you werent going to have that, but were you and Nicky rivals? With Blue Magic, you had a better drug product, but he covered more ground in New York than you. Am I correct in saying that?Frank Lucas: Hell, no you not correct. He aint cover more than nothing I did. It wasnt good as mine, it wasnt better than mine it wasnt nothing. Im not bragging. Im not bragging. Im telling you how it was. If I was out there, I would have bought it [his own drugs].AllHipHop.com: A lot of you were considered businessmen. Frank Lucas: Yes, I had businesses and stuff, from North Carolina to New York. New York, I had a supermarket. North Carolina, I had 6,000 acres of land [for] farming. Hey, I was a businessman.AllHipHop.com: How did you maintain all your business and even your drug game? Did you have a tight grip on these other businesses as well?Frank Lucas: Yes, sir. In Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, [inaudible city], North Carolina, I had a lot of property and the government took every damn bit of it. They took everything I had, every dime I had. Put it like this, I wasnt that smart of a businessman, because if I was, I would have put it somewhere they could [not] have took it. And I could have, but hell, I didnt think they could take all those properties. My lawyer, Jeff Harper, told me they could not take nothing off shore [out of the United States], those bank accounts off shore. I believed what he told me and it cost me a whole lot of money.AllHipHop.com: I thought they couldnt take anything outside of the U.S. Frank Lucas: Dont you ever believe that, you hear? They want something, they go and get it. They went and got mine. I dont care what they say. They went and got mine. I wish to the world [that they couldnt] Id be super rich if I could get my money back. And Id be super rich all over again.AllHipHop.com: Speaking of rich, can you tell me how much you took home from American Gangster for them using Frank Lucas: Naw, naw, naw that aint none of your business. Im not gonna tell you that.AllHipHop.com: Alright, I wouldnt expect you to.Frank Lucas: You didnt expect me to, but you did ask.AllHipHop.com: You can say no. I dont mind you saying no.Frank Lucas: [laughs] I like you man. You alright. You OK. Im gonna say what I gotta say my way and you do what you gotta do.AllHipHop.com: Hey, I respect, No more than a bullcrap answer.Frank Lucas: Im not gonna give you no bullcrap answer. AllHipHop.com: Jay-Z recently recorded an album inspired by the movie. He had a line on his song “No Hook” that was talking about you. Im sure you heard it. Frank Lucas: No, I havent. I dont listen to Mr. Jay-Zs music, but please tell me what it is.AllHipHop.com: He says, Im more Frank Lucas than Ludacris and Ludacris is a rapper. Then he says, Frank Lucas is cool, but I aint trying to snitch. Now, I know that you on record have addressed that situation, but Frank Lucas: Tell that young man to watch his mouth. Please watch his mouth. Tell that young man to please watch his mouth. Mr. Jay-Z, tell him to please watch his mouth. You saw the movie?AllHipHop.com: I sure did. [In the movie, Frank provides information that leads to the conviction of crooked cops and Italian drug dealers. Critics say he offered information on others, a charge he denies.]Frank Lucas: Then you know what I did. You know exactly what I did. It was all in there. And if thats what you call a snitch, then so be it.