Freddie Foxxx: Down With the King Part 2

AllHipHop.com: To walk around New York City on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 was a bizarre feeling. In my head all day, I had “When the Angels Sing.” Three years after you wrote it, how do you approach that song?

Freddie Foxxx: When I made “When the Angels Sing”, I was trying to paint a picture for people in Hip-Hop that this was bigger than Hip-Hop [or] rap. I knew that record would stand the test of time because that situation will stand the test of time. It always will be an import record to me, that’s why I did the song. But everybody in Hip-Hop is so caught up on who got the hottest 16 bars and all that type of s**t. This was different for me. For me, I thought about the janitor and the CEO of a company who got in the elevator together, that both went up to the top floor, that both became equal men.

I listen to that song sometimes, man, and I get caught up in it because it was a pure record from my heart. I got a few emails from some fans about the record, how much it meant to them and how much they loved it. But you know, then you got those people who got to go to work, and sit back on the computer and type all this stupid s**t about [what they don’t like on the album]. Nobody liked Industry Shakedown until Konexion came out. I mean, people bought it – but they didn’t get it. [They said], “Oh, I was disappointed ‘cause [Foxxx] wasn’t talkin’ about mothaf**kas.” What I was doing on Konexion was showing people I can make records in other ways as well – it meant a lil’ more.

AllHipHop.com: You rhymed, “I’m a five borough, thorough MC / Where I go, New York goes.” You’ve also spent a great deal of time in the South over the years, and even had a Southern-themed record on the Black Gangster soundtrack a few years back. How you feel about the Southern reign in Hip-Hop?

Freddie Foxxx: When I did the Black Gangster soundtrack, they asked me to do a song about pimpin’. I had uncles that was in that game; that was a part of my family history – dudes being players and hustlers and pimps. I reflected back on that, and what I got from the track is what I spit on the track. I felt that I’d give you the real history the same way I learned it – and I learned it from Alabama, [where] my family’s from. In my heart, I’m a country boy. I spent summers in Alabama. I can’t be mad at the Dirty South, know why, ‘cause that’s their reign – everybody gets it. California had it, New York had it, Chicago has been up and down with it – but they had their run. Everybody had their run. It don’t mean that [New York artists] have to come outside our element to do what we do. At the end of the day, when I go to other cities and other states, I do Bumpy Knuckles, I do Freddie Foxxx – I never had no huge hit records and all that, I just make music, and I still have a fanbase.

I love Rick Ross! I think Rick Ross is bomb. I listen to Rick Ross, and I hear the New York influence in his work. That’s dope to me. I think Ludacris is mad lyrical. There’s others things about him I ain’t really feelin’, but I think he’s mad lyrical; he’s one of the most lyrical MCs in the South. But that don’t mean I’ma go jump on all these dudes’ jocks ‘cause they hot. That’s dope that they hot, ‘cause they have they run. New York cats disappoint me when they start d*ck-hoppin’ like that, ‘cause that’s wack! And any n***a that don’t see that is frontin’. I understand business – I do understand business. But where do your principles come in at? What would be the best show you can see? You know what would be the best show you could see: a New York artist doing New York s**t, a Dirty South artist doing Dirty South s**t, a West Coast artist doing West Coast thing – like Daz and Kurupt and them cats, and then you see a Chi-town artist and all these other people from different places – everybody with a different platform on stage. That way, the crowd gets the best of every world. The f**k you wanna go to a show for and see e’ybody doin’ the same thing? That’s biting, that’s the biggest “don’t do” in Hip-Hop, and everybody’s on it. It’s wack to me.

AllHipHop.com: From the days of “Reverend Glock” to now “The .45 Don”, you’ve been rhyming about guns. To many, that’s a symbol that’s as American as apple pie. Some thing of “the right to bare arms” as a White man’s symbol. Going along with Amerikkkan Black Man, what does a gun mean to you?

Freddie Foxxx: The gun, to me, represents a symbol of power. The reason I say that is ‘cause a lot of times, when you look at the cover of Amerikkkan Black Man, you’ll see a picture of me hangin’ with a bunch of dead Black people from the trees – the strange fruit concept. In the back, you’ll see pictures of Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King – and the gun was used to hurt and harm these guys. The gun was used as a weapon against Black people at one point. Then, when Black people got a hold of they own guns, ie Malcolm X, and people like that – it became a different thing [where] White America was so afraid of Blacks when they became armed themselves. So anytime you see a picture of a gun in any instance, who’s ever holding it, is a figure of some sort of power. Whatever you think about ‘em – whether you think they bad people or good people, it don’t matter, that person has a symbol in his hand that represents power. If you see two people with guns, there’s some sort of equal power – but now you gotta think: who’s the quicker draw? The bottom line is, you can have a gun in your hand all day long, you can be smart or be stupid, it’s not the gun itself – it’s the trigger-finger that’s the cause of the situation. No matter how big the gun, if you ain’t got the heart to pop it, it don’t matter.

I was part of the reason Hip-Hop became [associated with guns]. I brought them twin glocks to the table; I told people about that in ’94. Now everybody follows suit. It don’t make you a badder guy, it’s a symbol of power though.

AllHipHop.com: What about the motorcycle?

Freddie Foxxx: The motorcycle is somethin’ I did after my brother passed away. I rode bikes back in the days, but the motorcycle represents, to me, a symbol of freedom. You’ve got to have balls to get on one. It ain’t no doors to protect you on that joker. It’s a mixture of coordination. You gotta know how to maneuver your bike in a situation – you got a split second while you on that bike. I ride a high-booster 1300, and believe me, every time I get on it, I’m more aware than driving. To me, I get to think when I put a helmet on, I get to really reflect on a lot of my thoughts. I thought of a lot of my hooks and verses when I was ridin’ my motorcyle.

AllHipHop.com: What is the Krupt Mob?

Freddie Foxxx: Krupt Mob is originally a crew that was put together by my brother, Taheem. What I did was I gave them the insight on how to make it noticeable by turning the K around backwards [in the logo]. People will say, “What the f**k is a backwards K for?” It made them look. It represents my brother’s whole idea. When he passed away, I decided that instead of me going through all these changes to keep his memory alive, the best way for me to do it was to do it with somethin’ I knew was dear to him, and would carry over into somethin’ that could go on forever. Krupt Mob, I hand-picked everybody that’s in the club. I know my brother was personally involved in the Krupt Mob’s design, and when he passed, I took that, and I made it to what I thought would be helpful to me. So when I started ridin’, I said to my man Lil’ Rocky, “Krupt Mob is a dope name, let’s make it into a club.”

AllHipHop.com: Being in the studio, seeing the first album [Freddie Foxxx is Here] on the wall, it got me to thinking. Your stage show is highly talked about by fans and artists alike. If people were to ask you to perform something from that 1989 album, could you?

Freddie Foxxx: Yeah, once I hear the music, it kicks in. I got a lot of records. I made a lot of songs that came out and that didn’t come out. I never stopped recording, I’m always recording. I’m one of those guys that if I wake up in the morning and I’m dealin’ with an issue, I come to the studio, and I spit it on a record. I got 21,000 songs in my catalog. People look at me and go, “21,000? Word?” I got piles of DATs that I can just dump out on the floor, and you’ll see. [Moments later, he pours over 100 DAT tapes on the floor – including unreleased full albums with Pete Rock.]

When I do a set, I’m always ready for anything – whether it’s somebody heckling in the crowd, or whateva. That’s the way I was trained, along with De La Soul, and other guys that come from Long Island. I was trained for these things. Back in the days, we was gettin’ into battles and stuff like that – you had to be ready. I got a buddy who’s like a hype-man and a rapper for me, his name is Cap. He’s a human computer of all my songs. He knows every word. If I say, “Cap, I can’t remember how the second verse starts,” he’ll know it off the bat. It ain’t because of my lack of [memory] or anything, it’s ‘cause I got so many songs. I may be focused on my newer start, but I can go back. I can go as far back as “The Master” which is my first single.

AllHipHop.com: On “Give it to the A&R” you said, “If a man got a dream, and his goal is to follow it, leave him alone.” How would you apply that to your life?

Freddie Foxxx: A lot of times, when I try to do things, the preconceived notion is that I’m a hard guy to deal with, I’m a tough guy, I’m a bad guy, I’m very hot-tempered. Most of the people that say that, never met me before. My dream has always been, like anybody else’s, is to succeed at what I do. You get bumps in the road. I apply that statement to my life. [Quotes verse] The reason I say that is ‘cause I’m sick of people always behind my back, makin’ secret phone calls either, “Don’t play this record,” or “Don’t sign Foxxx, ‘cause if you f**k up his record, he’ll shoot up your office,” – all that s**t is bulls**t. I also said in “Real Nigga”, “To the major labels, please don’t fear me / I just want them to know that I ain’t no b*tch that slaves to be popular while y’all get rich.” I’m a real n***a, don’t cut my balls behind my back and then give me the story. I’d rather you say to me, “Foxxx, right now, this is what it is,” and I can deal with that. But don’t let me find out later that you doin’ it ‘cause some coward-ass mothaf**ka told you not to f**k with me, that’s b*tch s**t! That’s what I meant when I said that statement. If I got a dream, why you wanna cut my dream?

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