Cormega: The Last Shall Be First Part II In the last interview you said that you wanted tto make history. So, why don’t rappers want to make history as much?

Cormega: The rap game has been an economic monster from like ’96, ’97 on. Artist are seeing their peers blowing the f*ck up. Like, if I see Jay-Z with a Maybach or a Bentley, it doesn’t affect me, because I was never a Maybach or Bentley type of person anyway. Or if I see Busta Rhymes with a Lamborghini it doesn’t affect me. I’m cool just being able to pay my bills, you know what I’m saying? But I wanna make dope music. See, other artist they’ll see Nelly doing what he do, so they think, ‘Ah I gotta do it like Nelly for me to get rich like that.’ Or they’ll try to do what Jay-Z do, or they’ll try to do what Biggie do. You can’t do what Jay do. You can’t do what Big do. That’s what makes them, them. If you just say consistent to yourself, I think you’ll be successful. It might take a longer time, but consistency in itself is a success. Like M.O.P. didn’t blow up over night. They put in their work, year after year after year. They been in the game for like 10 years and now they staring to get their recognition, you know what I’m saying? So people like M.O.P., are those the people you try to work with? Because I see you’ve been working with them, Kurupt, Jayo Felony, Big Daddy Kane, and Grand Puba. Is there something you take into consideration when you select the artists you wanna rock on the mic with?

Cormega: I don’t care how hot you are or all of that sh*t, because at the end of the day, it means nothing to me. Me doing a song with M.O.P., that’s an achievement. Me doing a record with Ghostface, that’s an achievement. Me doing records with Mobb Deep, that’s an achievement. Me doing a record doing a record with KRS-ONE, or Kane, or Grand Puba, that’s not an achievement to me. That’s an honor to me. Me working with Large Professor that was an honor to me. At the end of the day, nobody can really front on me. I’ve tried to do my part as hip-hop person, not as a rap person. I tried to show people that I have respect for the people that I view as pioneers and legends. I don’t call nobody old school, ‘cause I hate that term. So I did my job. There are artists with more prominence, more juice, and more power than me that haven’t done things that I’ve done I’ve also read in a lot of interviews where you say you hate the term “old school.” How do you feel about the term “underground?”

Cormega: I don’t mind underground, because there has always been that terminology. I view myself as underground. Lately people have been trying to change the underground. It’s like certain backpackers, it’s like some of the strange rappers or newer white rappers that are coming out, they saying that’s underground. They’re saying stuff like Cormega ain’t underground. I’m not feeling that. That’s bullshit. Because Grand Puba was underground. Grand Puba was wearing a book bag 10 years ago. Buckshot shorty was underground. EPMD was making records called straight from the underground and stuff like that. Underground is just people that are not mainstream. Like, Mobb Deep was underground, but now they doing songs with mainstream people. I don’t know if people view them as underground [anymore .] But I consider myself underground, so I don’t take any offense to that. I think people should stop trying to restructure music. I’m starting to see a little racism in rap. Like, at the Rock Steady show at S.O.B.’s (a New York nightspot), it’s like every white person that rhymes people was liking them. And they looking at me and Noyd like we ain’t supposed to be there. I wasn’t feeling that. But the other day I go to S.O.B’s for the D.I.T.C. party and it was a total different feel and total different appreciation, you know what I’m saying. I see people trying to do what they did with rock & roll to rap music. How do you think that change started? Do you think that’s because of the fans? Or because of the technology with the Internet and more fans across the country and world can get into rap? Or do you think it’s the labels?

Cormega: I don’t know what it is. I think it’s all of the above. And I think it’s a strategic maneuver by the powers that be. Because I know that a few years ago, a lot of people in the industry was aware that there was some kind of a big meeting, I don’t know if it was MTV, [but] it was with some of the more powerful people and they wanted to downplay rap and make rock & roll more prominent. Remember, at the time rock & roll sales was going down and rap was going up. And it was some kinda bullshit, I don’ know if it was a conspiracy or what, but they was on some shit like, ‘We gotta make rock & roll more stronger than what it is.’ I don’t know if that plays a part in it also. There shouldn’t be no racism in music. I think that’s what makes music beautiful, because there are no boundaries. Like, I like Guns N Roses. I respect Janis Joplin. I bought No Doubt’s album. So I don’t think people should bring that bullshit to music, you know what I’m saying?