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 didnt create, no homo.
AllHipHop.com: Youre 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 whats new. We shot videos for everything that I paid for out of my
pocket. I dont 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, Im involved in
Skull Gang. This is my squad.
My artist Starr is amazing. Her voice is beautiful. Her pen game is
astronomical. Im trying to take her over the top and break into this R&B
world. Shes 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 futures looking real
bright for her.
Ive got my man John Depp from Queens. Hes
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. Im 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
AllHipHop.com: Wow! Sounds busy. Lets
talk about the currentBad 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 aint ever do no Christmas
record but at the same time I thought it would be great exposure for my team to
get heard. Im all about promoting me and my Skull Gang
movement right now, ya dig?
AllHipHop.com: Apart from the music on Bad Santa, whats 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 OJays one! They had one. [singing] Christmas is almost here.
Its a special time of year. I Can Hardly Wait Til Christmas thats 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
AllHipHop.com: Great. Speaking of
Christmas, has Juelz Santana been naughty or nice
Juelz Santana: Ive been nice man. Man Ive just been looking out for
people. Ive been sacrificing what I got for what I believe in. Thats my new
motto man: sacrifice what you got for what you believe in. Of course, Ive been
naughty in a couple of different ways but Ive been more nice than
naughty. Aint nobody perfect, thats just being honest. I
think my good outweighs my bad.
AllHipHop.com: Since youve 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 aint 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,
youre 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, its all about having fun. Rappers should touch on
everything. Remember youre 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
everythings not always a party.
At the same time, we do party and we do have fun and we do pop
champagne. The recession didnt affect everybody. Thats what you go hard for.
For when times get bad, you have enough to hold you through them rainy
AllHipHop.com: You touched upon the fact that
we all have to be aware of whats 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 cant 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. Im 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
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 dont 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 dont 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. Theres so much to change, I wouldnt know what to
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: Im 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 didnt make
up the no homo thing. I dont know who made that one up.
AllHipHop.com: We should get that changed in
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 cant even count. The movement is just strong, we have a lot of backing. I feel its
a good thing because people are into it, theyre 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.