Few MCs and producers can actually say that they came up Hip-Hop. Were talking the true definition of the word. On the contrary, Agallah The Don Bishop assures AllHipHop.com that his roots run deep. By the age of 21, he was already considered a veteran in the game, having worked with such names as, DJ Premier, Alchemist, Sadat X, and EPMD to name a few. While having seen and lived through what few could possibly stomach, the Brownsville, Brooklyn native has been considered a force to be reckoned with, living in the dual life of MC and producer for the past 15 years.
Always grinding the rails like an iron horse, Agallah never ceases to stop making moves. His most recent collaboration with Shiest Bub and Un Kasa to form Purple City, have reincarnated the classic ride or die gangsta sound. The trio has been dubbed as, the next generation of Dipset solders.
While making street records for many, Agallah has yet gain a sense of self-fulfillment by dropping one of his own, until now. You Already Know, was masterminded, written, and produced [also assisting from DJ Premier and Alchemist] by the man himself. With the goals of creating a classic record and bringing the raw side of Hip-Hop back to New York, is there nothing that he cant do?
AllHipHop.com: Whats the difference between this album and the Propane Piff mixtape?
Agallah: More or less, this is a more direct version of me, of who I am. Its more personal. Its definitely another way and form to communicate everything. This is an album that I want to make a classic record that people can play. I think that I did just that amongst with what Babygrande presented me. It wasnt really too big of a budget, but I took that and did what I do, so this record will pop off.
AllHipHop.com: It feels more self-fulfilling. Its your baby. Youve seen it grow from an idea or concept and develop into the final product.
Agallah: Definitely! I feel vindicated on this project. I did most of the production myself. Shiest Bub and Un Kasa are on this album. This album is basically for my vindication as an artist. Ive been in the game for 15 years and this is what Agallah the Assassin stands on, and who I am. This is more or less a Purple City record.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of newer fans dont know that you got your start when you were young.
Agallah: Yeah, I got my start young in the game. My roots run deep in Hip-Hop. For a long time, Ive been basically keeping it 100. Ya know, Ive been through a lot coming to where I am now. Ive seen a lot. These rappers cant even go through what I went through and still survive nowadays and thrive in this game.
AllHipHop.com: When youre 18 or 20 getting a lot of money and fame, youre thinking differently than you would now. Being that young and having mad bank rolls, thats some shit.
Agallah: Its crazy when you get a deal, but it aint what it seems. Back then, they wasnt really giving us money. They wasnt giving big budgets back then. It was just starting to open up. The opportunity that I was coming across, definitely on a level of becoming a superstar was in a slow step form. Im very well conditioned for what Im doing right now. The youth feel Im whats poppin, and Hip-Hop heads feel Im whats poppin [too]. Thats what it is. People are recognizing. I was at Rock Steady and saw Big Daddy Kane rip a crowd in half. Its something that other artists out now fail to do.
AllHipHop.com: Thats the goal, to bring that feeling to a show.
Agallah: Right. I feel that anything is possible. I put a lot on the table. Ive come full circle with a lot of my friends that I came up with. I just wanted to bring back a raw feeling of hip-hop back to New York again. At the same time, I wanted to have everybody respectably pay attention to it. Thats what my mission still is.
AllHipHop.com: Youve made beats for a lot of people, but what makes people want an Agallah beat? What make people come to you? Is it the sound, the overall energy that you produce?
Agallah: Its the experience. Its my relationships on top of my experiences, on top of what I do. When I produce, I basically know how to make beats. Ask any artist; Im a designer that makes terror-based outfits for people. They want to be dressed up in a certain way. My music does that for artists. When I did, The Foundation, for Big Pun on the Tony Touch, The Piece Maker, I knew that I had to do something that was going to be really big [laughing]. I knew that he was going with it. With Busta, I knew what he wanted. He likes awkward, from left field beats. I know what to bring him. I know what he likes. If Im around Jim Jones, I know that he wants some straight up, Gd out heavy bounce. He wants gangsta fast keys. His sound is gangsta. Its tailor made for who he is, so when you look at him, its got to fit him. As you can see, Im a man that makes many beautiful outfits.
AllHipHop.com: You can definitely size people up, but whats the process that you go through in making a beat? Do you listen to a lot of old records to get ideas?
Agallah: Well, I get many influences from other forms of music; Rock & Roll, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Ska, many things. Theres a lot that I draw from that makes my music what it is. On my album, it differentiates the versatility of sound that flows on all the records; on every flow that I spit, so you know my album fits perfect.
Mastermind-designing things are going all right. I had to put that out there to show my colors. I look at it from an artist's perspective and a detailed perspective. Im showing and showcasing different energies, different platforms in the music. Hip-Hop definitely has done that and definitely needs to be respected as a platform for that.
AllHipHop.com: If youre doing everything, how do you balance it all and stay true to yourself?
Agallah: I feel like being an artist, you have to understand change. In order to become a true artist, you cant be afraid to experiment and do something different. I put a twist on things to make people think, Where did he get it from? Always leave that suspense every time. When ever I do a joint or make a beat, I try to leave people in suspense, in order to want to hear me more.
Im getting ready to record my next album in November. Im going back into the studio because I feel like I have to keep hitting them consistently with this propane. I feel that the world has yet to see. This is only the beginning. I feel like I aint even got a deal. To be honest, I feel like Im not even signed or have a deal because I havent sold any records yet. Ive helped other people sell records, but I havent sold my own yet. When it comes out, were gonna see whats good. This is where the message gets out to the fans and other people to come and support me. Holla at ya boy, Im here!
AllHipHop.com: Since youre always working, do you get any free time?
Agallah: Music is my life. People catch me in clubs, but Im there working too. Everywhere Im working. Anywhere you see me Im working. I have to in order for me to benefit off of this. If Im in a club, best believe Im there talking to the DJs, getting my music played. If he aint got it, Im in his grill like, Yo, play my joint! I aint just out partying and popping bottles. Im out there getting in with the big wigs and trying to make big moves happen. Thats what I do in my spare time. Women are not a focus to me right now. Im just doing my music. If anything comes in the meantime, then it happens. I take advantage of the little time that I have. Most of my time is spent grinding, hustling, and getting that money. Im trying to make this bread for real.
AllHipHop.com: In the end, what do you want to achieve from you music career?
Agallah: Seven-to-ten years from now, I want to be retired from the game, owning my own business and stocks. Just managing my money correctly and living like the boss. Thats what the American dream is about, but I might not get to see that American dream with todays craziness. Im gonna stay focused and keep putting out albums as long as I can. Ill do it until people say, Ag, you aint got it no more. Then Im done, but I doubt thatll happen. Im just Im doing this. This is what I was built to do.