Rock of Boot Camp Clik: Hellraiser

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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 you’ve been lusting over on eBay. Since the release of Heltah Skeltah’s 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 Rock’s independent singles “Let’s Rock” and “Like a G,” who’ve 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 1997’s 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. Rock’s contributions have critics calling The Last Stand some of the BCC’s best work yet. It’s 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 he’s airing out his former grievances with crew members or admitting to being the one who “hit your b*tch” in his man’s 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 weren’t 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 didn’t 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, I’m a man, everybody’s 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 shouldn’t have said because I was angry, but I could never play myself and say, “F**k Boot Camp,” I’m one of the fathers of Boot Camp. I never got down with Boot Camp, I’m 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, it’s just me. If you ask Ruck what it’s like doing an album without me, he’ll tell you that it was fun; he didn’t have to worry about hearing my mouth. You don’t have to worry about the approval of anyone else because it’s your s**t. Me and Ruck always took a little longer to make albums because we’re different. We complement each other perfect, but it’s hilarious—one 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 he’ll like and I’ll be like, “Get that bulls**t outta here!” One will come on that I’ll like and he’ll 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 we’ve always said that we were “understream” or “mainderground.” We were always on the borderline. We were underground because we wasn’t 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, we’re a whole lot of fun to watch and we do have that mainstream appeal.

For whatever reason we didn’t go all the way over, but all of the mainstream rappers-we’re they’re favorite rappers, a lot of them n****s don’t admit it. That’s why I don’t talk about other rappers. N****s ask me, “Who’s your favorite rapper?” If it comes up in conversation, I’ll 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 that’s all good. Them n****s don’t mention me, but it’s 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 that’s not true. We went down to North Carolina and we were finishing up his new project, it’s 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 wasn’t 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 can’t 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, “Let’s go.” I’m 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. That’s when a n***a be rhyming and he’ll 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 wasn’t 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. Lethal’s label was small and I remember Lethal saying to me, “We need somebody to take control of this project,” and I’m like, “N***a that’s what I’m trying to do!” The problem was that the label didn’t believe in me, I didn’t sell a million records so they didn’t believe I knew how to sell a million records.

Then there was the stalemate of [the singles] “Let’s Rock” and “Like A G.” Interscope was on Nate [Dogg’s] nuts, they had a mouth full of Nate nuts. They wanted to put that song out first ‘cause they’re 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 they’re like, “Listen we’re trying to open you up to a bunch of new fans,” and I’m like, “Look, let’s go with ‘Let’s Rock,’ it’s a Rockwilder beat, it’s me, and the beat goes rock, rock. Everything fits, it’s a perfect song and it’ll work.” For what ever reason…I guess it’s like I said they was just on Nate’s nuts too bad and it was a Scott Storch beat. What they didn’t understand is that if you put that out first my fans are going to go, “Aww c’mon, Rock had to go get Nate?” Meanwhile, if you put “Let’s Rock” out first then when “Like A G” comes out they’ll think, “That n***a is really blowin’ up, he’s f**kin’ with Nate Dogg and all that!” You can’t go from point A to point C without going to point B first, in the fans eyes; they don’t believe that, they’re not that ignorant.

You can’t just go try to jump from world to world, you’ve got to solidify your own world and then everybody else will come to you. If everybody knows you for being a certain way you can’t just come back with a P. Diddy beat and expect the fans to think that’s just what’s poppin’. Nah, it don’t work like that, and I knew that, but I guess the f**kers at the label didn’t know that. They’re just trying to go off of Nate and Scott, and Scott wasn’t even that hot yet, [Dr.] Dre was still taking credit for his beats. He was still under Dre at the time, but Dre’s name wasn’t on my s**t. They were hoping they could get Dre’s 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, I’ve 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. We’re here to make a difference you motherf**kers; long before we’re done we’re gonna bridge the gap. Understream is going to be for real-mainderground. We’re gonna bridge the gap because we’ve 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. We’ve got something for everybody, so that by the time we’re 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 y’all. Let’s get it to poppin’ and let’s get it to rockin’!

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