Elephant Man: Walk The Line

It’s a blazing 90 degrees in New York City, but reggae/dancehall sensation Elephant Man isn’t at all affected. “I love it when it’s hot,” he says, sitting in the Bad Boy offices with a fresh new multi-colored haircut and a new album anticipating a late summer release. The man who delivers more “wine” than a vineyard is enjoying his current status as Bad Boy’s first ever reggae artist, while at the same time positively experiencing Diddy as a boss. Elephant Man’s brought out the freak in us for years, and this time around Let’s Get Physical will be no break from that. However, like his single “Five 0” with Diddy and Wyclef suggests, he has some serious issues to tackle as well. In speaking about his new project, Elephant Man discusses his philosophy on not looking back on past incidences regarding his musical subject matter. He’s moving forward, aimed to take the new King of Dancehall title…but he’ll never call himself that. Besides, he has fans doing that already, on top of standing naked onstage offering themselves to the Elephant god. What?! Keep reading… AllHipHop.com Alternatives: So with all of this hot weather, it must be good for you now that you cut your hair… Elephant Man: Yo, trust me man…it’s good! AHHA: What made you decide to cut your hair? Elephant Man: Well ya know…I got tired of the tall length; sometimes it got too tall. Sometime I gotta be washin’ it every minute and whenever I perform on stage, I get that sweaty and all of that so sometime man ya know I’m tired of washin’ it every minute. I needed a new look. Everyday I get up, I look at the glass, I look the same way. I’m tired of that; get bored with that look. I had to take it down a little man. Explore my face and expressions. AHHA: Well your hairstyle isn’t the only thing that’s changed for you. Your style has changed up quite a bit. How would you describe your change from the old Elephant Man to the new? Elephant Man: Well ya know the old Elephant Man he done give you a lot of dancin’ tunes. Still do dancin’ tunes, but kind of cut back a little. I gotta take it to a more listenin’ space now ya know ya know? Crazy crazy but like more different topics like with “Five 0.” Normally, you can’t just make it like people have you [think] you are only speaking on one topic. Ya gotta talk about different stuff. So ya know I give you a lot of dancing songs, but I’m gonna also talk about some topics down the line that I haven’t talked about. AHHA: Your single “Five 0” discusses situations with the police. Who would you say is tougher, American police or the Jamaican police? Elephant Man: Yo I would say the two of them. Every police. In England, America, Jamaica, the cops…it ain’t gettin’ no better. It’s getting worse. Ya got good cops and bad cops. The way of the world right now, the cops are clamping down. They ain’t pardoning nobody right now. Everybody got issues with the cops. Paris Hilton, they wanna imprison her ‘cause cops caught her with a suspended license. Normally they would let her go, but ya see they don’t care who ya are right now. Lindsay Lohan, all of them, so ya just gotta know what ya doin’ with the cops right now though. Trust me. AHHA: Have you ever had any bad situations in dealing with the cops? Elephant Man: Yeah I got a bad situation riding my bike without a license, and they call the wrecker and took [my bike] away and that’s embarrassing. Sometimes they know you, but they just wanna make you suffer. It’s not too bad; they’re doing their work, but they could just say, “Ok I’m giving you the run,” but they ain’t gonna do that. They just gonna make it like ok they are the evilest person on earth and they do got no heart. And you don’t want them to hold you with a spliff. Trust me. Prison. AHHA: I don’t have any experiences like that, thank goodness. Elephant Man: Well one day they’re gonna pull ya and tell ya, “Walk the line, girl,” and you better walk it! No leaning! No falling! [laughs] AHHA: Well the cops do that all the time when you’re trying to come back from a club. Elephant Man: See that’s what I’m talking about! AHHA: Yeah but for girls, they don’t wanna make sure we’re not drunk. They just wanna watch us. Elephant Man: Yeah they gonna tell you to walk the line, but they just wanna watch. And you’re gonna have some evil ones who don’t care. They don’t wanna watch, they want you to walk and do something bad and you’re like, “Why you being so mean tonight?” You run into one that you didn’t want to run into. AHHA: They tell me to walk the line, I tell them to stand in front of me…not behind me. [laughs] Actually, stand to the side of me. Elephant Man: [laughing hysterically] Oh ya know what’s goin’ on. Okay! [laughs] Yeah stand to the side, ‘cause they still gonna see somethin’ shakin’ up on there. [laughs] AHHA: [laughs] Ok well let’s talk about some happy shaking. Dancing. Your shows, they’re so packed with energy. Elephant Man: Well ya know my shows are crazy man. People, if you wanna lose weight, come to an Elephant Man show. Trust me, it’s crazy. When it comes to my shows, everyone enjoys themselves, skinny ladies, big ladies, young kids, old folks, at my shows ya have everybody. They’re gonna see the ladies move. It’s just awesome. AHHA: What is the craziest thing a lady has done at one of your shows? Elephant Man: Craziest thing? You don’t want me to tell you. Trust me. AHHA: Yes I do. Elephant Man: A lady ran onto the stage and stripped naked right down… AHHA: [gasps] Elephant Man: …and said, “Elephant, it’s all yours.” AHHA: No… Elephant Man: Ya see? I told you! [laughs] [She] take off everything. Everything, sayin’ “do me right here!” AHHA: [gasps] Elephant Man: [laughs] AHHA: Did the guards come and take her away? Elephant Man: They were too far. They were busy trying to hold back the other rest of the ladies. When it comes to Elephant Man, the ladies get crazy. Ya know, ‘cause everybody wanna touch the anaconda… AHHA: [laughs] Did you tell her to walk the line? Elephant Man: [laughs] Well I told her, “Walk the line, but I gotta stay behind.” [laughs] AHHA: [laughs] How does it feel to be Bad Boy’s first reggae artist? Elephant Man: It feels great. The opportunity is great. Remember the album is coming out August 14th and right now we’re doing Summer Jam [in NJ] on Sunday and doing a lot of interviews. The vibe is good though. AHHA: Do you feel any pressure being the first reggae artist? Elephant Man: Well I gotta do is make sure you all enjoy the album, and trust me you’re gonna because it’s got a lot of great music. So you’re gonna enjoy it a lot. We’ve been recording for two years; it’s got some crazy tracks. AHHA: What’s it like working with Diddy as opposed to other label heads in the past? Elephant Man: It’s very crazy because Diddy got a lot of vibes and Elephant Man got a lot of vibes. Diddy’s got a link to all the producers he wants so you get every producer you wanna get to make great music. So it’s nice, and I enjoy working with Diddy. AHHA: You’re proclaimed “The New Dancehall King.” Elephant Man: Well you the fans. It’s up to you to give it. Anything you all say…I’m not gonna get up and say it, but if you say that, that’s how it is. AHHA: Well I was going to ask you, being called “The New Dancehall King,” do you think that’s going to piss off other artists that are out? Elephant Man: I don’t care. Let them get pissed off. Tell them they need to go and do the work. The more you work, the more you gain and earn the respect and success. You can’t just sit down on your big ass lazy bum and say, “Yo all this talkin’ about Elephant as the dancehall king.” Elephant Man’s doing the work. You need to go do some work then too man. AHHA: I know in the past your lyrics have caused some controversy. On this project, you’re tackling some different issues. For you was it following a natural progression, or did you also want to change your reputation from the past? Elephant Man: Well…the past. We don’t wanna go into the past. The past is the past. We just wanna do music for the fans who are buying the music [to] enjoy it. We don’t want to be causing no controversy or pissing off nobody, so we just do music for everybody to be happy because Elephant Man makes music to make everybody happy. If there’s an issue and everybody solved the issue, then there’s not gonna be no more issue. Just gonna do music and make everybody happy and sell some records. Some good music. AHHA: When I think of your album title, Let’s Get Physical, I think of the Olivia Newton-John song. Elephant Man: Alright! I’ve got a song like that. We sing back the original Olivia Newton-John vocal. A girl sing it back, and then Elephant Man DJ’ing on it, and you got Zsa Zsa from Dipset so it’s crazy. The album is so moving. When you hear the CD, it’s so moving. That’s why I named the CD Let’s Get Physical because it’s so active and energetic that you can’t sit down. It’s crazy and sexy. AHHA: How did you go about working with Kat DeLuna on her remix for “Whine Up”? Elephant Man: I was in Jamaica and her company Epic flew down and said that they wanted me or Sean Paul. So they come to me and said they want to use me, so I went in there and they were excited when I finished because the song was so, ya know, pleasing them. And then they want to shoot the video. So we’re shooting it. AHHA: What was it like working with a brand new artist like that? Elephant Man: It’s a pleasure working with brand new artists. Same like Rihanna when she first came out and I did the “Pon De Replay” remix with her. It’s good working with brand new artists. AHHA: Out of all of the artists you’ve worked with, who was your favorite? Elephant Man: Likkle [Lil’] Jon man. That’s my friend. That’s my brethren right there. AHHA: Well you both have so much energy. For you, is there any music that you listen to when you want to calm down? Elephant Man: Yeah like some ‘70s and ‘80s R&B, some Gladys Knight, some ‘80s and ‘90s love songs. Anita Baker, Tracy Chapman, Kenny Rogers, Pati LaBelle. AHHA: What’s your favorite action movie? Elephant Man: I have a lot, like Knock Off with Jean-Claude Van Damme or [movies] with Jet Li. Lots of movies. AHHA: Would you ever want to star in an action movie? Elephant Man: Of course! If it comes, I’m ready. No problem!

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