Three Years. A hiatus of such length is considered career suicide for most rappers, but not Roc-A-Fella’s first signee Memphis Bleek. Bleek was taking care of some real business – the business of family. He witnessed the birth of his firstborn son and almost saw his older brother return to the essence. Now, he is back as a veteran amid The Roc’s blossoming roster, he's equipped with a new album, M.A.D.E... Respect the true understanding.
AllHipHop.com: Can you speak on your new project?
Memphis Bleek: This the veteran of the ROC, Memphis Bleek right here. “Get Low is the future, violate and I’ll shoot ya” we for real about it. The album Money Attitude Direction Education (M.A.D.E) will be in stores June 24th and they know everything is a go right now.
AllHipHop: So it’s called The Education?
M: It’s called M.A.D.E (Money Attitude Direction Education) Made means a lot of things Made moves, Made mistakes, Made money, Made a place to live.
AllHipHop: You said you was the veteran of the ROC, what do you mean by that?
M: I was the first signed artist on Roc-A-Fella if my album didn’t go gold who knows where Roc-A-Fella would be. I’m still a young dude running around. I’m still an Indian I’m not a chief yet.
AllHipHop: The title of the album has a lot of meanings behind it can you talk about some of those changes?
M: MADE, I don’t want people to think I’m Mafia or Mob, I aint none of that suit, lobster and shrimp I’m a hustler straight out of Brooklyn Marcy all day. This album is different from my other two because it’s just more personal. In the interviews you can see I talk about my brother’s accident and how he got brain injury. That set me back for a couple years ‘cause I’m close to losing a brother and I never lost nobody that close to me before. So when that happened it helped me find myself, find out what I’m really about and what I’m here for I’m here for my family they need me. In the album I’m just talking about that and then in the process of that I had a son. It’s my first born my first soldier so I’m talking about that I never had a pops I got to keep it real with mine.
AllHipHop: Can you speak on being a father, how it was having a child and what does being a father mean to you?
M: Having a child changed my life, I was there to see my son born it makes you appreciate your mom more ‘cause you’re like damn she went through that for me. It’s like the instant you see him and you hear that cry it changes your life. I told you I aint never have no pops. if I seen my pops on the street I wouldn’t know who he is.
AllHipHop: What is your brother’s condition like now?
M: He’s cool, when it first happened doctors said he was going to be paralyzed on one side but he’s cool now other than the scars on his head, he just got a slur in his talk but he’s on point trust me.
AllHipHop: It’s interesting to hear you stress the education part of M.A.D.E ‘cause a lot of rappers don’t even bring that word up.
M: You got to be educated, a lot of people left school and hustled I followed the same path but I made sure I got my GED. Even though when I did leave school I learned the fundamentals of school, how to read, write, add, subtract, multiply and divide. I’m not an idiot you got to know that dealing with people in meetings all day with you and if your not smart enough somebody will get over on you all the time. I never seen a dumb person win.
AllHipHop: What are people going to see and hear on this album?
M: Their going to still see the young, the fire, and the attitude I fell back for a minute but I didn’t fall off. I got Trick Daddy on a monster down south joint called “Down Here” I got Donnell Jones on a joint, we did the Michael Jackson joint “PYT 2” for my album, I got Lil’ Cease on a joint, I got Beans and Jay, I got Geda K my artist Calico and Proof from the Get Low family, Rell all over this album too.
AllHipHop: What’s the name of the label?
M: Get Low, the first group I had was the Co D’s which were Geda K and H Money Bags. H Money Bags locked up he got to do 5 but we still got him. Now the Co D’s expanded I got Calico from Howard ave. in Bed Stuy, I got Proof from Cooper in Bed Stuy, I got a chick named Krissy from D.C. I’m independent, I’m not signed to nobody, I’m not looking for hand downs or nobody to help me. Jay’s my man they signing people labels all day but I don’t look for the hand downs I want to work and earn mines.
AllHipHop: So you might be looking at other options outside of Roc-A-Fella?
M: Definitely this is a business we’re family but I got to get that money.
AllHipHop: What’s the situation with the ROC, it’s a lot of speculation of people beefing. There’s some Internet rumor about Beans dissin’ Cam on a Cosmic Kev mix tape, Do you know anything about that?
M: Nah, Beans been doing his thing with State Property, State Property is clothes right now he’s been busy, I have been doing my thing with Get Low I’ve been busy so we don’t see each other all the time like we used to. As far as drama on the ROC, it’s no beef on the ROC - it’ll be some heads bussed. Everybody get along, what people out in the world got to understand is that Roc-A-Fella is Jay’s link and I’m Jay man from the hood so I got a whole different love for him then just this rap game. We all under him anyone who wants to be above him has to distance yourself, hold that down. Me, I’m a soldier I’m on the front line 24/7 so if it’s some kind of drama on the ROC or if a nigga get at Jay then you might as well say he got at Bleek ‘cause it’s on.
AllHipHop: Juelz said something about Cam taking over the ROC but that seemed to raise some tension as far as that’s concerned. Does that bother you considering that you been around?
M: The only way you going to take over the Roc is if you’re CEO/ something, now what you take over you got another advance for another album, I got 3 advances already and I’ll probably get another one. I don’t pay attention to that, its just statements you got to look deeper than that. I could actually say right now that me and Jay so cool that I’m VP of everything, S. Carter sneakers, clothes and everybody will believe it ‘cause I just said it. That’s bullsh*t I’m not going to feed them that, I’m about business either I do it for real or it aint going to be said.
AllHipHop: Are you and Jay still as close as y’all ever been?
M: Jay that’s my older brother, he flips on me everyday. He tells me to get out of the studio I make to many records. I got like 50 joints on my machine and I’ve been recording 2 years.
AllHipHop: I did a story about you Beans and Ja a while ago for this magazine called “BeatDown” I don’t know if you remember that. It seemed like everybody was on the same page back then as far as coming up. Now everybody has gone separate ways and a lot of beef has been going on.
M: I knew you were going to get to that. Ja was my man on the come up when he did his thing I was happy for him but I don’t know what happened, now he got problems he’s a man he’s got to handle it. When we had our problems aint nobody help us, hold us down or nothing we men we had to handle it.
AllHipHop: So he’s not somebody you talk to anymore?
M: I didn’t talk to Ja since the Hard Knock Life movie. I haven’t seen him or nothing, it’s cool though I got my team right hear.
AllHipHop: This is kind of old, but what about Jaz-O..ya’ll went way back too.
M: Jaz was a good guy. I don’t know what’s up with him and I don’t even want to comment on him ‘cause he was a good dude and that’s poison going on in the game. For that to even go down I was mad at it but like I told you I’m a soldier, you get at Jay it’s on, I don’t care.
AllHipHop: You’ve gone gold,but often people expected a lot more from Bleek. Do you ever feel like you feel short of expectations?
M: I’m cool with where I’m at you can always work harder for more, but I’m happy with everything I got. It’s like people always expect me to do something crazy ‘cause I’m with Jay. I could of easily let Jay write a hit for me and do that, I could easily put Jay on the whole album and be a Bleek and Jay album and do that. Like I told you I’m not hear for the hand downs I want to work and earn it.
AllHipHop: You’ve done a lot as far as being in the game so long.
M: I ‘ve been doing this since Krush Groove. I wrote so much in my life that I don’t even write rhymes no more I can just think about it and say it.
AllHipHop: So you don’t write rhymes anymore?
M: I don’t write.
AllHipHop: So you just go write off the memory?
M: Straight up since <I>The Understanding</I> I didn’t write a rhyme. Everything on <I>The Understanding</I> to this album I didn’t write on no piece of paper. That’s a gem I learned from Jay, being around him.
AllHipHop: What made you start doing that I know sometimes thoughts got to come in your head and leave?
M: I lost albums on the mind but what made me do it, you get the real person when you do it. If I think of something that happened to me, say I go to hood I had a bang out with this dude he shot at me if I write that on paper I’m going to think of the best way to cover it. When you just say it comes out like it happened so people can understand you better.