OFF TOPIC, ON TOPIC: Juelz Santana

Juelz Santana has been busy this year. From scorching

collaborations with Lil’ Wayne and Ron Browz to

emerging as the boss of his own Skull Gang movement, the Harlem lieutenant

continues to make moves and crank out music at a breakneck pace.

 

Sitting down for our inaugural Off Topic, On Topic column with

AllHipHop.com, Mr. Santana discusses Christmas songs (sings them too),

politics, and that pesky term he swears he didn’t create, “no homo.”

 

AllHipHop.com: You’re a man doing so many

different things. Speak a little about the Skull

Gang Takeover mixtape and your new album.

 

Juelz Santana: The Skull Gang mixtape we put out

about a month ago. It was a beautiful look. I felt that I needed to come out

with what’s new. We shot videos for everything that I paid for out of my

pocket. I don’t wait for labels to do nothing. I just grinded

it out. My solo mixtape The Reagan Era is coming out next. Then the Skull Gang Takeover Continues mixtape. Then the Koch album/mixtape. Finally my Born to Lose, Built to Win album.  At the end of the day, I’m involved in

Skull Gang. This is my squad.

 

My artist Starr is amazing. Her voice is beautiful. Her pen game is

astronomical. I’m trying to take her over the top and break into this R&B

world. She’s featured on my album and the Skull Gang mixtape.

We are going to do a mixtape slash album with Koch in

the near future. A lot of people are interested in her. We are going to have a

meeting with L.A. Reid. The future’s looking real

bright for her.

 

I’ve got my man John Depp from Queens. He’s

hard and has a unique sound. He is real musically inclined. I look for that

when I sign artists. People who cannot only rap, but people

who know music. People who know what it means to go to

the studio and produce good music. I’m trying to do new school Bad Boy

s**t when you have eight artists on the label that are hot.   

 

Juelz Santana f/ Starr “Jingle Bellz”

Video

 

 

AllHipHop.com: Wow! Sounds busy. Let’s

talk about the current Bad Santa album. What was the inspiration?

 

Juelz Santana: Actually Jim. You know he had done a Christmas album a

couple years ago. RIP to Stacks, when Stacks was alive. So I guess he decided

to put out another Christmas album. He contacted me and I was like, “Why not?”

I ain’t ever do no Christmas

record but at the same time I thought it would be great exposure for my team to

get heard. I’m all about promoting me and my Skull Gang

movement right now, ya dig?

 

AllHipHop.com: Apart from the music on Bad Santa, what’s your favorite

Christmas or holiday song growing up?

 

Juelz Santana: I think it was, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” [Ed.

Note: “The Christmas Song”]

 

AllHipHop.com: Classic. The

Nat King Cole version?

 

Juelz Santana: Yeah! Nat King Cole. [singing] “Chestnuts roasting on an

open fire.” I

like the O’Jays one! They had one. [singing] “Christmas is almost here.

It’s a special time of year.” “I Can Hardly Wait Til Christmas” that’s what it was! My mother definitely

made sure there was some Christmas music playing around the holidays so I got

to hear it all from the Jackson 5 “ I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and all

that.

 

AllHipHop.com: Great. Speaking of

Christmas, has Juelz Santana been naughty or nice

this year?

 

Juelz Santana: I’ve been nice man. Man I’ve just been looking out for

people. I’ve been sacrificing what I got for what I believe in. That’s my new

motto man: sacrifice what you got for what you believe in. Of course, I’ve been

naughty in a couple of different ways but I’ve been more nice than

naughty.  Ain’t nobody perfect, that’s just being honest. I

think my good outweighs my bad.

 

AllHipHop.com: Since you’ve been so good,

what are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?

 

Juelz Santana: Just a lot more blessings man. I hope Santa come with blessings from

God. He ain’t gotta come with nothing else but that. For doors to open in

2009 for me and everything I got going on.

 

Ron Browz & Jim Jones f/ Juelz Santana “Pop Champagne” Video

 

AllHipHop.com: Moving subjects a bit,

you’re featured on the hottest song in the country “Pop Champagne” right now.

Given the recession and economic bad times, do you think rappers should scale

back and promote more fiscal responsibility or is it just about having fun?

 

Juelz Santana: I mean, it’s all about having fun. Rappers should touch on

everything. Remember you’re a voice and people listen to you. I was always a

dude that pretty much touched on everything from when 9/11 happened to Katrina

to whatever. I try to let people know everything going on in life because

everything’s not always a party. 

At the same time, we do party and we do have fun and we do pop

champagne. The recession didn’t affect everybody. That’s what you go hard for.

For when times get bad, you have enough to hold you through them rainy

days. 

 

AllHipHop.com: You touched upon the fact that

we all have to be aware of what’s going on. Do you think Barack Obama will be

able to steer the country in a better direction in 2009?

 

Juelz Santana: I definitely think he can’t do no worse than what this guy

Bush did. Bush put us in a real bad situation. [Barack]’s throwing a rope down

to pull us out. Change is going to come. I know change comes with time. Bush

had eight years to flip us upside down so we have to give [Obama] some time to

turn things around but he has good intentions, I think. I hope. I’m just glad I

got to witness history. Now people know that anything can happen. More Black

people can go to school and want to become Black presidents when they get

older.

“Sarah Palin is a slut. Hillary Clinton had the best chance but we had Bill Clinton already. Hillary Clinton would just do what Bill says to do anyways.”  

AllHipHop.com: Why do you think Barack

Obama was able to bring together so many different people across cultures?

 

Juelz Santana: It was the time for change, for something different. I felt

like Bush made it more possible for Barack to get elected. I honestly felt that

if Bush had got out of there in four years and the

other guy [Kerry] would have to elected, then I don’t think Obama would have

won by so much. Bush had eight years and f**ked up and McCain just looked like

he was stupid.

 

AllHipHop.com: And don’t forget Sarah Palin.

 

Juelz Santana: Sarah Palin is a slut. Hillary

Clinton had the best chance but we had Bill Clinton already. Hillary Clinton

would just do what Bill says to do anyways.  So f**k it, why not have a Black man?

 

AllHipHop.com: So hypothetically, if you

were a part of the Obama administration, what is the first thing you would

change in 2009 to help our country?

 

Juelz Santana: Aw man. There’s so much to change, I wouldn’t know what to

pick.

 

AllHipHop.com: Moving onto a really random

question, according to Wikipedia you coined the term “no homo.” Is this true?

How did you come up with such a phrase?

 

Juelz Santana: I’m actually not going to take credit. Cam and them were

saying that “no homo” s**t before I came around. I just fell into saying it. We

were a crew so anything anybody said we took it as the new slang. I didn’t make

up the “no homo” thing. I don’t know who made that one up.

 

AllHipHop.com: We should get that changed in

Wikipedia.

 

Juelz Santana: Yeah yeah yeah.

 

AllHipHop.com: In every part of your

life, you have always been a part of large movements from Dipset

to now Skull Gang. Every time I see you perform, you bring the crowd with you.

At any given time, how big is your entourage?

 

Juelz Santana: Aw man. Especially now I have artists from all walks of life

and they have their people. I can’t even count. The movement is just strong, we have a lot of backing. I feel it’s

a good thing because people are into it, they’re with

it. We have all the boroughs, Harlem all day.

 

AllHipHop.com: We are quickly approaching

2009. Give me your predictions for the year. What are you looking forward to?

 

Juelz Santana: Everything. Big things. A lot of

success. Achieving a lot and breaking new ground.

Setting the record straight.

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