Throughout Wu-Week, both GZA and Masta Killa cosigned that Inspectah Deck has long been a cypha show-stealer for the Wu-Tang Clan. Whether he was comparing himself to Spiderman on Protect Ya Neck or impersonating a masked Peter Parker in the Triumph video, Deck has always been a musical marvel.
Unfortunately, the Staten Island MC has never matched the public appeal of his Wu brethren. Since his certified-gold debut, Uncontrolled Substance in 1999, Deck has passed from the majors to indies, to now his latest release on his fledging Urban Icon Records. Originally, Unsung Hero, the album now known as Resident Alien speaks to his core fans, in the States and abroad, that Deck now exclusively considers in making his music. Though the labels and fanfare may have changed, Inspectah Decks name still carries like Mariah.
AllHipHop.com: Everybody talks about your verse on Triumph. Looking at all your material, whats your favorite verse?
Inspectah Deck: I got a lot of s**t that yall aint heard. But if I had to choose one thats out there that yall know, I dont know Triumph gotta be definitely in my top five but I got a lot in there like the [For Heavens Sake] way back on Wu-Tang Forever. Know what Im saying, true messages. [Rhyming] Oh heaven sake, a vast that swing like Willie Mayes
Inspectah Deck: And different dogs give you different things. I got them serious thoughts like Cold World, you know what I mean. And in the C.R.E.A.M., also you know you cant take away from the assassination thing, you know. Some of them stickers, if I got to pick a favorite I would have to say Triumph though that was one of the four oclock in the morning songs, that joint.
AllHipHop.com: So I mean I think this is a stupid question but why are you calling your album Unsung Hero?
Inspectah Deck: Unsung Hero is just like story of my career. And Im not, Im on damn near every Wu-Tang Clan song and Im setting, Im building a place for it me to come in but you know I still aint really reached that plateau of my career where its like my name is mentioned along side of the greats and s**t. And I can go toe-to-toe with anybody. There aint no battleship or disrespect. Its just when you say you can match wits with them then they decide yeah, so I can dance with you man. I wouldnt back down from nobody in the game. But I do respect a lot of cats. Unsung Hero is like, Hey man, If you dont know me by now you aint never gonna know me. In the process, Im gonna make you know me.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, I see.
Inspectah Deck: F**k all this s**t right here, man. All this HOT97 and hot this and know what I mean. Lets bring it to 2009. I always use 2009, cause thats my little slogan know what Im saying. Its like whats next man? If you look at rap the way s**ts going now man, whats next? We gonna be shooting laser beams at each other, taking rocketships to the moon.
Inspectah Deck: Its like whats up with Platinum, god? Whats happening to your mansion? Whats happening to you in the Hamptons with your motherf**king whatever, know what Im saying. Like, if your kids and his kids they just cant have that same life it aint really worth celebrating like that.
AllHipHop.com: Can you tell everybody an update on the status of Wu-Tang, like right now?
Inspectah Deck: Wu-Tang, man its like you know I aint gonna f**king sit there and front, man. I be wanting dudes to just sit down, lets do this album, smash the gang, open up the doors for the next set of young cats to come back through, man – and continue the cycle. Whichever way it goes, and however it goes – if it goes R&B or if it goes Techno, its all the way the people take it, man. Thats the other side of the fence though, man, is gonna say it is, not because of the rappers anymore. Its the people, man. I blame fans now. You gotta aim your dollars. You gotta go in the record store and just demand better, man. Know what Im saying. Some of them still, you get a chance to throw the headphones on and hear it first, so know what I mean. Howd you get bamboozled on that note? Im just like certain joints are selling five, six, seven million, its like how is that possible with all the same dudes screaming out s**t? Im gonna make it global cause Wu-Tang is loved in more places than New York, man. You may never play my s**t in New York but I may have 50,000 [spins] in Paris.
AllHipHop.com: Do you go overseas a lot?
Inspectah Deck: I went [to Spain] my last time overseas was with [Capadonna], Bizarre Street, Masta Killa. We just all came from Spain man, tore that joint up. I mean, I like I say, we go overseas people got love like I aint know there was love like that. We sell out, we actually go there, and [fans] tore my clothes off. Dudes, know what Im saying? Its like you know females going crazy.
AllHipHop.com: Some say that theyre still in the 90s overseas right now, like still in the 80s and the 90s as far as their appreciation
Inspectah Deck: Yeah, them n***as is us when Hip-Hop meant something to us. Thats so true man. I seen from the steps of Budapest know what Im saying to the sands of San Juan. Like you name it, I was there. Germany, did it. [Some] places, Im the only Black person there, man. Im still mixing it up on the motherf**kers, thrilling em. They got a genuine love for s**t, man. All the autographs mean something to em, a picture of me, like they treasure that s**t. This dude that came five, six, seven years later with s**t taking pictures of me like, Yo you took this the last time in Russia. And in Moscow, they is f**king [crazy], like Im from Staten Island, man. Im from Park Hill. You seen my hood, its like I made it to Budapest. Im smoking Budapest weed like its Budapest birds, yeah. Im a Park Hill n***a, Im loving this s**t, though. When you say Wu-Tang Worldwide, man, that s**t is worldwide, bro. I even went to Hawaii for that Its Yours video where you see [Ol’] Dirty going up the escalator.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about that the fanatics that you still have here, in America?
Inspectah Deck: I feel like right now, man, like the state of Hip-Hop has got dudes so f**ked up they dont know what they want til they hear it. Like, you went from the East and then went to the West and then went to the Midwest, and then it went to the South. You know but, if you really want to look at it again, its like everybody had their time. [Its] gotta come back to the East again.
AllHipHop.com: Can you speak on the early days of Wu-Tang? It seemed all about power
Inspectah Deck: Right. I mean it still is power, man. Its like a lot of s**t we talking about just flying past people because they was so caught up in you know what was already laid down. Like, you know, once Triumph came with the million dollar video and all that s**t, rap game stepped up, you know. Average cats had to have a million dollars to get in the game and compete. You had, you know Bad Boy was right there, neck-in-neck with us and Cash Money and No Limit, you know what Im saying we had a powerhouse. Them was the only n***as really running the s**t at the time. You had a lot of miscellaneous dudes who was making they way on their own, but it was only a few powerhouse but they get to the point now, you know a lot of dudes got filtered out, even us. The strength of the numbers aint there. So what happens is you know a lot of people looking up to that s**t, man.
I think when the W album sit in stores like, you know the Gravel Pit and all that crazy s**t I mean, that was a wild last song. I still sing that s**t. I tell you I never liked that song. Know what Im saying. But you know, we decided we got to be for the cause and Im gonna ride with n***as. They love it, so thats what it was. You know a lot of that s**t they didnt grasp the audience, man. So it was like they was like, Oh, Wu-Tang all Hollywood and all that s**t. But a lot of fans have that misconception and ran with it and s**t, so you know people was like, Oh, this album is nothing like [Enter the] 36 [Chambers]. Its not supposed to be like 36 even though you look at anybody who made a classic album, from the Biz Markie to the Big Daddy Kane, nobody ever duplicated that first form, know what Im saying? I dont care who it was, Dr. Dre, nobody. So expecting another 36 Chambers eight years later, its like expecting your daughter to turn eight when she already 12.