Sean Price: Encore

Sean Price is experiencing a mild case of heart burn. After being unappreciated as a member of Heltah Skeltah and the Boot Camp Clik for more than 10 years, Price finally ventured out on his own with 2005’s Monkey Barz, a debut brimming with sharp wordplay and cohesive melodies. The album received plenty of praise, but critical acclaim can’t feed your children, which became a serious problem for the self-proclaimed Brokest Rapper You Know.

The artist formerly known as Ruck happily reports that he’s in a more comfortable financial position, but he’s still not content with his place in Hip-Hop. Frustrated with the independent grind, P says his days as a solo artist are numbered. The recently-released Jesus Price Superstar could be the next to last solo project in the Sean Price saga, which is a story of a struggle, stress and onionhead-crushing lyricism. spoke with Price about his musical aggravations and desire to prove he belongs among Hip-Hop’s elite. All it will take is for listeners to peep his words. Why did you mention “Brokest Rapper You Know” on Jesus Price Superstar?

Sean Price: I wanted to let y’all know how serious it was. I said it on Monkey Barz and only gave y’all one verse, but I made “Mess You Made” to give y’all three verses and end the chapter on this brokest rapper s**t. I’ve had a great year since Monkey Barz and I’m not broke at all. I want y’all to know that it wasn’t a gimmick. You think an A&R will tell a [rapper], “Hey, this is your gimmick: you’re broke.” That s**t’s not going to work. Broke rappers front like they got money all the time. That was some brutally honest s**t that sort of backfired. But it worked, though, because people felt my pain. Were you happy with the response to Monkey Barz?

Sean Price: No. You always expect more. But as far as the buzz around it, I’m not mad at it at all. I thought it would be more but it is what is. What was the driving force behind making the new album?

Sean Price: I wanted to solidify myself as a solo artist. I didn’t want y’all to think I was just a “one and done” type of n***a. I wanted to let people know that it wasn’t no fluke or temporary s**t until me and Rock get our thing together. I’m serious about it. Sean Price is here to stay. But I saw a video where you say this is your next to last solo album.

Sean Price: Yeah, I just…it’s hard to explain because it ain’t just cut and dry, “I don’t want to do this no more.” What’s up with this level I’m on – this independent s**t – I can’t do but one more album on this level. This s**t is crazy. However, if a major label come scoop me up or I get a major deal or something, I’ll do another. But I can’t do this penny-pinching bulls**t too long. Why would you limit yourself though? You’re musically operating at a good level.

Sean Price: Yeah, but you don’t know the behind the scenes, G. You don’t know the headaches and all the s**t behind the scene. Y’all get the finished product. Y’all don’t know about all the other stuff. I’m not mad at [Duck Down Records CEO] Dru Ha; it’s not like a “F**k Duck Down” type of thing, crazy? I’ll ride or die with them. But as a man, I can’t see myself doing another one of these independent, penny-pinching albums. F**k that, man. S**t is a headache. Tell me about the motivation for making “Director’s Cut.”

Sean Price: I don’t know. Khrysis played the beat and I just went in there on that. It wasn’t even like, “Yo, let me get at people.” I wrote what I felt; that’s how all my songs are. I hear the beat and the beat tells me what to do. I don’t even know what the “Directors Cut” is. What is that? It’s basically you pointing out there’s a lot of fake stuff going on in the industry.

Sean Price: Okay, you give it a better definition than me. Yeah, that’s what it is. [Laughter] I know it’s sounding real stupid right now, but really, I hear the beat and I go off. That’s it! If I’m talking about something, it’s just because that’s what happened. Last year, you said you were reluctantly still selling drugs. Does that affect the way you make music?

Sean Price: It doesn’t. Whatever, whatever is being done in the streets, it’s being done out of necessity and not for no rap braggadocio or studio s**t. So, uh, that’s what that is. You got a lot of n***as claiming they involved in that but, that’s whatever. I don’t even want to go back into that. In a Source article, Dru Ha said that an indie like Duck Down has to decide to put more money into production or marketing costs. Which direction did you guys take with Superstar?

Sean Price: I don’t know; you got to ask Dru Ha. He pays for everything. [Laughter] See, that’s another reason why I’m like on this level, only one more album. How do you feel about the producers that you worked with?

Sean Price: 9th Wonder and Khrysis are my peoples. If you say the wrong thing about them around me, you might get punched in the mouth. That’s real talk. I f**ks with them hard body. I went down to North Carolina to record and they showed me great Southern hospitality. That’s love; the whole Justus League is family. PF Cuttin been my dude for a long time. He helped me put the demo together for Monkey Barz. Moss was on there too. See, the last album, there wasn’t nothing wrong with it, so I just did that plus more. A lot of people have been talking about a video of you punking a music critic on YouTube. What made you do that?

Sean Price: I just don’t like music critics, even though I can’t front – they’ve been showing me love for Jesus. I don’t like the idea of reviewing an album, period. They say words don’t hurt, but words can definitely hurt sales. You don’t know what that man been through. That man probably got a family to feed and you don’t know how bad you f**ked that man’s life up or f**ked his money up because of your opinion. They showed me love, but I just don’t like reviewing albums. True, but the press generally gives you great feedback.

Sean Price: Yeah, but like I said, I been on the other side too. I don’t take reviews personally, but I remember one [critic] reviewed [Heltah Skeltah’s] Magnum Force and the guy just went too far. He said, “I think when Ruck cut his dreads off, he lost his f**king mind.” He wrote some real crazy s**t. If I ever meet the guy who wrote this review, I’m going to punch his f**king head off. All right, the album is wack to you, but he literally had a whole paragraph about me cutting my dreads off and that being the reason why I don’t get busy no more. Word, I don’t …if I ever meet this guy, I’m going to punch his f**king head off. YouTube also has a promo video for the album called “Sean Price for President.” What would your campaign be about if you ran for office?

Sean Price: I wouldn’t run for president, but if I did, I’d be promising the same s**t everybody else promises that probably won’t get out there. Talk about the poor getting money, more housing, more medical, and all the s**t they talking that probably wouldn’t go through. I don’t think presidents [get in office] and lie to us like it was all a front. Some of them really try to do the s**t that they say but it’s bigger than them. You got the House that can not vote and veto this, that and the third, you know? It’s a lot of stuff that won’t get done, so I’d be promising the same thing. While we’re on the subject of YouTube, BCC posts a lot of videos there. Ever thought about doing a Sean Price reality show?

Sean Price: Nah, cause I don’t like n***as in my business like that. I don’t even like doing interviews to a certain degree but people so f**king nosey that you got to. I don’t want nobody in my business. That’s why on Monkey Barz I got personal, on “Mess You Made” I got a little personal, but I don’t really like doing that s**t. But I know it’s part of the game though. “P-Body” is the s**t that I like doing. That’s me all day. You say “I love to rap but I hate the game” on that song. Why’s that?

Sean Price: It’s bulls**t right now. You got a lot of one and done artists out right now. There’s a lot of carbon-copy, this is what’s in and we gon’ follow the lead types. That’s why I love to rap but hate the game. So, what about the Hip-Hop is Dead debate?

Sean Price: It’s not dead; it’s alive and well. Listen to Jesus Price Superstar and that’ll tell you how well it is. If Nas would have heard Monkey Barz, he probably wouldn’t have said that. Why have you been able to avoid becoming one of those “one and done” artists?

Sean Price: Because I work on my craft, man. We used to have A&R’s for artist development but they don’t have that no more. Some of these dudes come right off the streets with their [inexperience] and they end up being one time and finished. They don’t know how to evolve. That’s not P.

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