ockness Monstah can be a hard man to keep tabs on. You would probably have an easier time locating your long lost Yo! MTV Raps trading cards or those exclusive Dunks youve been lusting over on eBay. Since the release of Heltah Skeltahs sophomore effort, Magnum Force, Rock has been linked with DJ Lethal, Scott Storch, and a host of other people, except his fellow Boot Camp Clik brethren. Fans of Rocks independent singles Lets Rock and Like a G, whove been clamoring for his return to the BCC will undoubtedly want to circle July 18th on their calendars, as it marks the first new collaborative effort from all eight members since 1997s For The People.
Fickle listeners may have been quick to throw Rock on the back of a milk carton, but his time away from the limelight has apparently been well spent. Rocks contributions have critics calling The Last Stand some of the BCCs best work yet. Its been ten years since he dropped verses on Nocturnal, but the center for the Fab Five still maintains his mix of humor and raw honesty, whether hes airing out his former grievances with crew members or admitting to being the one who hit your b*tch in his mans van.
AllHipHop.com: The last time we profiled you, you mentioned that things were kind of tense between Duck Down, Dru Ha, and yourself. What changed in order to make this project happen?
Rockness Monstah: Things werent good with me and Duck Down at the time. The long and short of it is that Priority Records played us against each other. I was trapped in a bad situation and I didnt agree with the way it was handled, so I jetted. That was all a bunch of sucka, paperwork s**t and Priority. I was in a position where I had to make a move, Im a man, everybodys a man, n****s gotta make moves that are good for their lives. But, with Duck Down, understand that Dru Ha is also Boot Camp, and never on any record or any mixtape did I ever say, F**k Boot Camp. I probably said some things that I shouldnt have said because I was angry, but I could never play myself and say, F**k Boot Camp, Im one of the fathers of Boot Camp. I never got down with Boot Camp, Im one of the n****s who started this s**t. That would be like me saying, F**k my kid.
AllHipHop.com: How much does your personal direction differ from the material that you release as a member of Heltah Skeltah or BCC?
Rockness Monstah: On my own personal stuff, its just me. If you ask Ruck what its like doing an album without me, hell tell you that it was fun; he didnt have to worry about hearing my mouth. You dont have to worry about the approval of anyone else because its your s**t. Me and Ruck always took a little longer to make albums because were different. We complement each other perfect, but its hilariousone day we need to catch it on tape. We need to catch it on film just to show the people the hilarity of us picking through beats. We go through so many beats, one will come on that hell like and Ill be like, Get that bulls**t outta here! One will come on that Ill like and hell be like, Son, what the f**k is that, and then take the whole CD out and throw it across the room.
AllHipHop.com: Some people like both albums, but your fan base is usually divided between Nocturnal and Magnum Force
Rockness Monstah: We do have two different fan bases, but the funny s**t is weve always said that we were understream or mainderground. We were always on the borderline. We were underground because we wasnt flossy with our raps, our s**t was hardcore. The sales will always have you labeled underground, especially when you couple that with the kind of music we make. But we just got that charisma, were a whole lot of fun to watch and we do have that mainstream appeal.
For whatever reason we didnt go all the way over, but all of the mainstream rappers-were theyre favorite rappers, a lot of them n****s dont admit it. Thats why I dont talk about other rappers. N****s ask me, Whos your favorite rapper? If it comes up in conversation, Ill answer it – but not when no n***a asks me. F**k that, cause I know I inspired a bunch of these motherf**kers running around here, and thats all good. Them n****s dont mention me, but its cool because I hear myself in there. When them n****s start to respectognize then I start showing a little bit of respectognization.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of Sean Price, rumor has it that you two were down in Virginia working on another Heltah Skeltah album.
Rockness Monstah: Actually thats not true. We went down to North Carolina and we were finishing up his new project, its called Jesus Price: Hip-Hop Savior.
AllHipHop.com: I noticed that on The Last Stand you guys reworked classic lines from tracks like Here We Come and Operation Lockdown.
Rockness Monstah: That s**t all comes natural, it wasnt even so much of a reworking. I heard that beat and it just gave me the vibe. We were working on one song and I was like, What, we cant use that beat? Cut this s**t off and put that beat on right there. I asked Ruck if he was feeling it and once he told me yeah I said, Lets go. Im like, Yo you got eight? Good cause I got 16, and from there we started the Here We Come s**t. It just sounded like it was supposed to be intro-ish.
AllHipHop.com: It makes sense to reintroduce yourselves- a lot of people were literally little kids when those original songs dropped.
Rockness Monstah: Yeah, no doubt, we know our fans. I know what a good memory does for a person. If I could give you a good memory-I always call it the flashback technique. Thats when a n***a be rhyming and hell just sneak in a bar from back in the days, n****s like that kind of s**t.
AllHipHop.com: You are the self-proclaimed A.W.O.L. soldier, what happened to all of the side projects you were involved in such as collaborating with DJ Lethal?
Rockness Monstah: That was a good situation at first, but in my opinion, that n***a Lethal is a DJ and not a CEO. He had a label because he could have a label, he was like, Fred [Durst] had one, f**k it, I want one too. He got one and it was a beautiful thing, they gave me a lot of money, and I made a couple of records. First I was on Priority and I took the Priority album with me, so it wasnt like I had to make a whole album when I got there. I made a couple new songs and once the album was done nothing happened. Lethals label was small and I remember Lethal saying to me, We need somebody to take control of this project, and Im like, N***a thats what Im trying to do! The problem was that the label didnt believe in me, I didnt sell a million records so they didnt believe I knew how to sell a million records.
Then there was the stalemate of [the singles] Lets Rock and Like A G. Interscope was on Nate [Doggs] nuts, they had a mouth full of Nate nuts. They wanted to put that song out first cause theyre a West Coast label and it had Nate on it and all of this, that and the third. The song was mad west coast and theyre like, Listen were trying to open you up to a bunch of new fans, and Im like, Look, lets go with Lets Rock, its a Rockwilder beat, its me, and the beat goes rock, rock. Everything fits, its a perfect song and itll work. For what ever reason I guess its like I said they was just on Nates nuts too bad and it was a Scott Storch beat. What they didnt understand is that if you put that out first my fans are going to go, Aww cmon, Rock had to go get Nate? Meanwhile, if you put Lets Rock out first then when Like A G comes out theyll think, That n***a is really blowin up, hes f**kin with Nate Dogg and all that! You cant go from point A to point C without going to point B first, in the fans eyes; they dont believe that, theyre not that ignorant.
You cant just go try to jump from world to world, youve got to solidify your own world and then everybody else will come to you. If everybody knows you for being a certain way you cant just come back with a P. Diddy beat and expect the fans to think thats just whats poppin. Nah, it dont work like that, and I knew that, but I guess the f**kers at the label didnt know that. Theyre just trying to go off of Nate and Scott, and Scott wasnt even that hot yet, [Dr.] Dre was still taking credit for his beats. He was still under Dre at the time, but Dres name wasnt on my s**t. They were hoping they could get Dres name on my s**t, that was why. I just had that feeling, I knew. Now if you go on my myspace page [www.myspace.com/alvinkatraz] and you look, Ive got both of the songs sitting on the page, you see which one gets the most hits.
AllHipHop.com: Any last words?
Rockness Monstah: Get that album, The Last Stand. Were here to make a difference you motherf**kers; long before were done were gonna bridge the gap. Understream is going to be for real-mainderground. Were gonna bridge the gap because weve got every kind of n***a in our crew, every kind of n***a you can find in the hood, one of us in Boot Camp represents that. Weve got something for everybody, so that by the time were done the Black Panther n****s will be chilling at the same party with the Armani Exchange n****s and the n****s who sell crack and rob. One of us is talking to each and every one of yall. Lets get it to poppin and lets get it to rockin!