ostaboys battle to enter the rap game began a long time ago, when people were still calling him Sharard Dixon, a time when he was still managed by Kamal Blake - a former member of the rap group, Zhigge.
Anyone who saw Postaboy rip through seven consecutive weeks as the champion on 106 & Parks Freestyle Fridays would be quick to label him a battle rapper. After not hearing from him for over two years, most people assumed he fell like some many battle greats off. What most people did not see was how Postaboy successfully battled back from a botched deal, the loss of his brother in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and cancer.
Fresh off of the release of two mixtapes, Real Recognize Real and State of Emergency, both hosted by DJ E-Nyce, Postaboy is poised to drop his album Live From The Emergency Room. Postaboy doesnt need your sympathy, but if youre a record label executive, he is out for your check.
AllHipHop.com: Your run on 106 & Park is like an urban legend now. Some people say seven straight weeks and Ive also heard ten, exactly how long were you winning?
Postaboy: Seven weeks in a row, eight weeks total.
AllHipHop.com: And then after that you were on DJ KaySlays Street Renegades mixtape, still without a deal?
Postaboy: KaySlay was the first big mixtape I got on, so shouts out to him for showing me unconditional love. He always held me down from day one, even before 106 & Park, he threw one of my freestyles on a mixtape. This was before he even met me, we just talked a couple times through the two-way.
AllHipHop.com: So whats going on after you start getting all of this exposure through BET and the mixtape circuit, was there a deal already waiting for you?
Postaboy: It took some time, to be honest with you, because it was kind of a bidding war to sign me. 11 different companies wanted to sign me, and I was doing a lot of traveling and going to meetings. I had a lot of hype and buzz, but I had to get my lawyer game up and all that because there were a lot of figures involved.
AllHipHop.com: So, then you decided to sign with Universal/Fo Reel off of the strength of your relationship with Cudda Love, and what he did with Nelly?
AllHipHop.com: Obviously youre not with them now, what went down?
Postaboy: I dont really have no problems with Universal or with Cudda Love. I just expected more when I went through my situation. As far as the business part goes, I just dont feel that Cudda went hard enough, because Universal is following Cuddas lead. So, if hes not telling them, We need to get Posta out right after Nelly, then they wont do it because they have like 50 artists, or so, that are under the whole Universal umbrella. So, its nothing personal, I just feel that Cudda wasnt pushing their buttons letting them know, This kid has to come right out. Everybody knows him, hes doing shows and hes got a record with Nelly, and the kid is fire.
AllHipHop.com: So youre involved in the Universal situation and then do you start to notice your health deteriorating later?
Postaboy: Well, the Universal situation was what it was, but, then in 04 is when I started going through all of this. In 04 there was really no communication from them, and I know they didnt expect me to initiate any communication, because I was literally on my deathbed. I dropped to 130 pounds and they put 42 staples in my chest, 21 staples in my hip, 14 staples under those 21, and like 11 stitches under the 42 staples! Im talking bald-head, no eyebrows, no mustache, and two complexions darker due to the five months of chemotherapy. I was just trying to get better. During that time, everything was about praying and wondering how Im going to beat this situation because my girl was pregnant with my son at the time. I was going through a lot.
AllHipHop.com: So this kind of popped up out of the blue?
Postaboy: Before this disease affects the outside, its killing your insides. It could be spreading before you know it. Now that I rewind, I used to do a lot of shows and touring and I would be getting sleepy early and my appetite was funny, and thats what it was. I was thinking, Damn P, youre doing too much. But the reality was that while I was looking good on the outside, I had cancer.
I had some swelling in my testicle area, so I went to the doctor. They ran some tests and when I got to the hospital theyre telling me that I may only have six months to live. On top of that, I found out my girl was pregnant. Now she was only two months pregnant, so the math on that is only eight months. At that point Im like, Damn, I may not even get to see my son or daughter born.
AllHipHop.com: They were able to remove all of the cancer after two surgeries?
Postaboy: Yeah, the first surgery was literally two or three days after that first doctors visit on Fathers Day. So that emergency surgery was to remove one of my testicles, and I had to heal up and recuperate from that. Then I underwent five months of chemotherapy; going home and having to stick needles in my thigh and stomach, all to try to shrink this mass of cancer which had spread to my kidney area. After all of that, we shrunk it down enough to be able to do surgery. That surgery ended up lasting 11-and-a-half hours because the cancer had wrapped around my liver and other vital organs. I literally almost died during the seventh hour of that surgery, but they were able to successfully remove that kidney, so Im just happy to be here. Its definitely a blessing - anything I go through after that is peanuts. Cancer is the number one killer, its neck-and-neck with AIDS.
AllHipHop.com: So is this a genetic type of thing, is it more prevalent among one group?
Postaboy: Before I got this disease, I always heard about it. Having it makes you do the studies, and you find out that its really a young mans disease. The average age is 14-27. I never smoked cigarettes, nobody that we know of in the family tree has ever had this disease, so its like Im the black sheep. Since it only hit me, my biggest fear is that it might hit my son, or will this go into the generations that I start. But 24/7 my faith is in Allah, so I dont even let that worry me man. I just go with the flow, Im happy to be here.
AllHipHop.com: Those ages are the average age of the Hip-Hop crowd, and some males arent too eager to let the doctor poke around in their pubic area, what advice would you recommend?
Postaboy: Put your pride in your back pocket, homie. You dont want to go through what I did. Thats what doctors get paid to do. When you take physicals and go to check-ups, they have to check down there. So unless youre insecure, or have some funny business about yourself that you dont want anybody to know about, you need to go to the doctor and let them check that out. It definitely needs to be checked out down there, whether youve got to request a female doctor or whatever.
AllHipHop.com: Harlems got Bill Clinton on the block and a Starbucks on 125th, how are you feeling about the new makeover?
Postaboy: Harlem needed a makeover, it was about time, so it just feels good, because thats where Im from. We always had the attention because Harlems the Mecca, youve got the Apollo, Lennox Lounge, The Cotton Club, the infamous Harlem World Club that used to be on 116th. My father Beno-thats what they used to call him back then, was the DJ of that joint. Doug E. Fresh used to carry my fathers records back then, thats how far he went back with it, so shouts out to Doug.
It feels good now that the government is paying us some attention and reinvesting some of that paper that theyve been smuggling. Its good that you dont have to go way to 96th to hit the Starbucks or a bank with an ATM, you can just go right to 125th. I think its good that theyre providing a better environment for the next generation, because even though my crowd is in their early 20s, its really about the youngies man. Its about the little Dsanis [Postaboys son] and the other little boys and girls that are coming up. All those little boys and girls coming up about to hit kindergarten, first, second and third grade, its all about them.
AllHipHop.com: Considering the lukewarm response you received when you first tried to get signed, and the experience at Fo Reel would you prefer to sign to a major label or go independent?
Postaboy: Im not really trying to go the independent route, I want those majors behind me. Im not just going to say, Yo Im trying to get seven dollars per record. Thats a good look, but I want those majors behind me with that official backing so I could really get right.
AllHipHop.com: You just released another mixtape with DJ E-Nynce called Real Recognize Real with some heavy guest spots on it; everyone from Nelly and Talib Kweli to Da Band and Prodigy from Mobb Deep.
Postaboy: These are relationships that Ive already got. They f**k with me and I f**k with them. They came out, no money involved, I had them in Harlem, blowing the trees, doing the things that we do, and they showed more love. And Ill be there for them when they call me and need something too.
AllHipHop.com: Did it surprise you that so many people showed love, all with no money down?
Postaboy: No, that really didnt surprise me. Thats not being cocky or arrogant, its just that Im a big dreamer and I know how I give it up. Anybody who really knows me, knows that Im a pure dude and Im down to earth, and thats what attracts people. For somebody in my position who was on the magnitude that I was on, its easy to start riding yourself and I did the opposite. Even though I was in the same clubs and doing the same things that the six-figure boys do, I still would come through and show love to the middle-class and the bottom class and even help a few people in that predicament.
When you do good things thats what comes back in return. I think the love I showed and the things that I did in my life factored into me beating cancer, because I believe in Karma.
AllHipHop.com: Did BET always have it set up for you to come back and show your video for God By My Side on 106, or did that get worked out separately?
Postaboy: I set that up on my own. I shot the video on my own, with my own money less that 60 days out of the hospital. I had my own contacts with the producers, it was a 24 hour video shoot, we got guest appearances from Raekwon, KaySlay, and Dsani-hes in the video getting his cameo on. Its been done for like a year, the reason I havent put it out is because I wanted to have my bullets and everything loaded. I know when I put this video out, the [labels] are going to start biting. When they start biting, I want to have something to offer them, as opposed to just asking them to sign me to a recording contract.
AllHipHop.com: Youre currently looking to find a home for your label and put your name back out there, so how can people get at you?
Postaboy: The myspace is being built as we speak. But all of the label people can hit me up at email@example.com. As far as anybody wanting to hit me up on the label tip, Live From The Emergency Room is already finished and mixed, but if you want to get [Ken] Duro or one of the big boys to mix it again, thats all good. To all my fans, I did my part now yall have to do your part and request my video and let these A&Rs and industry people know that you want to hear your boy and see me in a situation.