Sean Price: The Price is Right

Sean Price came out of left field like Barry Bonds between innings in the ’05. His solo debut, Monkey Barz was one of the grimiest, wittiest, and most honest records of this half-decade. What’s more is Sean’s in his thirties, …

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Sean Price came out of left field like Barry Bonds between innings in the ’05. His solo debut, Monkey Barz was one of the grimiest, wittiest, and most honest records of this half-decade. What’s more is Sean’s in his thirties, finding his artistic renaissance at a time when many of his peers turned it in.

From a label remembered for packing beats that matched a stomp from Timberlands, and lyrics in the vein of an alleyway confrontation, Sean Price astonished critics, awestruck peers, and won swarms of new fans. This energy is not for nothing. The “brokest rapper alive” in ’05, is looking to get rich come ’06 – remembers a landmark year with Brooklyn’s Sean Price in tribute of our Year In Review. Get a view of Sean’s other lives – in the streets of Brownsville and in his home. Hear his story, and look into his dream in a feature that parallels the album. How does it feel to make a record that’s getting this kind of acclaim?

Sean Price: I appreciate it. I put a lot of work into the album. It feels good to know that people are listening to Monkey Barz and like it. I don’t take it for granted. [Buckshot] and Dru-Ha helped a lot. I did 14 shows in 16 days overseas. I feel great. I appreciate the love. It’s motivation to put out more material just as good if not better. It’s all love. While in the studio, did you plan for, Monkey Barz as a big comeback or was it just another album?

Sean Price: It took a lot of consideration. A lot of the material that was heard on the album was reminiscent of Magnum Force. People didn’t like Nocturnal as much. I tried to take it back to that, but update it. Yeah, it’s been almost ten years. What did you do after Priority dropped Duck Down?

Sean Price: Me and Rock, we hood dudes. We do what we gotta do to get money. So we went back to the streets, what we usually do. Caught a few gun charges, caught a few drug cases, whatever whatever – the two of us did time. You know? Never stopped writing them rhymes, though. We just did what we had to do. I’m not bragging about it; it’s kinda f**ked up. But, you know, we had to do what we had to do. During that time, did you ever see yourself doing another album?

Sean Price: Nah, I was pretty much p##### off, fed up with the whole s**t, man. Pretty much, I was like, “F**k this rap s**t.” Why?

Sean Price: It got to the point where, I never been a big time drug dealer. Never. But I made more money selling crack than I do on this rap s**t. Even now, I’m not even gonna lie. So, I’d rather sell crack. So what made you come back to it?

Sean Price: I got tired of getting arrested, man. You know it’s real hard when you rent a car, then you got two girls in the car ahead of you with drugs on ‘em. And you in the other car, making sure they get where they going. Too much s**t, man. I’m tired of that s**t. That s### was cool when I was a teenager, I got kids now. When I did it before, it wasn’t no worries. But now my kids and s**t. My wife, she calling me every f**kin’ minute, “What’s going on?” What, I’mma tell her, I’m selling crack on the phone? Come on man! She know what I’m doing, but she get so worried about me, she worry me. I’m like, “F**k, I can’t do this s**t.” It’s amazing how you maintain the street life and rap life…

Sean Price: N***as is hustling, man. Man, I wish I could be more candid. I wish y’all could just come around my block and see what I go through on a regular to make money. I’m not bragging like I’m some super hustler or some Avon Barksdale n***a, or something like that. But if you come around my way in Brownsville, you see how we get money, you gonna be like “Wow! And the n***a make records too.” That record s**t don’t mean nothing where I’m at. Nobody gives a f**k. So why do both then?

Sean Price: ‘Cause of my son. Gotta feed the babies. At the same time, don’t you worry that you’re giving him the wrong message?

Sean Price: I worry about it, but I can’t worry about it. ‘Cause at the end of the day, he gonna worry about where that food at. So that makes it easier for me to go do what I gotta do. But honestly, I don’t have the hustler’s heart no more. I lost that s**t, that ain’t really in me no more. I got caught last year in Virginia with a couple pounds of weed like a f**king jerk. Word. It really ain’t in me no more. You sound like you really kicking yourself because of that.

Sean Price: Yeah. That’s why I talk about it so much. It’s a lot of rappers who say they hustle still – I actually do it for real, for real. And it’s not cool. ‘Cause if you a hustler, then you probably be like, “If you still hustle, why is you talking about it on magazines?” Because I don’t wanna hustle. I want this s**t to stop. I wish I can be fully rewarded for my art so I don’t have to go out there and do that other s**t. But until then, this is what it is. Straight up, I bulls**t you not. Somebody send me a lifeline or something. People don’t even think it’s still like that in New York. How is it that that reality continues to exist and it doesn’t get out there.

Sean Price: I have no idea. All I know is, I just pray, man. I pray that one day this s**t will do what it do, so I can leave that s**t alone. It’s not cool. I got a real organized machine, my team is official. But even my team know, I was never no drug dealer, yo. I was an aggressive, take money, choke-you-out type n***a. So this smooth, laid-back drug dealing bulls**t I’m doing right now? This s**t is corny, yo. Whateva. Then n***as watch The Wire all day, they think everybody Avon. It’s crazy out there. I just wish I could find something else to do. Do you ever see yourself leaving New York?

Sean Price: I’m moving to Arizona. It’s good for my asthma. Scottsdale, I’mma build my house out there. Take me, my son, my wife, and just get outta here. I’m tired of all this New York, Hip-Hop, crazy bulls**t. So when you make that move, that’s it? You’re retiring from Hip-Hop?

Sean Price: I’mma always make music, I’m never gonna retire, man. I’m not gonna get on a interview and be like, “Yeah, I’mma quit after this album.” What if you feel like making another album? Like Jay, I think Jay kinda regret saying he’s done. I love Jay-Z, his music, everything. I love his whole movement. I know he meant it when he said it. But that don’t stop your mind from creating rhymes. So you gonna be a rapper regardless, whether you a CEO, the President of the United States, you always gonna think of a rhyme. I don’t care though, it’s not like he contradicting himself. He can make a hundred albums, I’mma cop! Son is the best. If you had to make a Voltron of rappers, who would you pick?

Sean Price: Wow. Definitely Jay-Z. Who else? Me, of course. Devin The Dude. Beanie Sigel, love Beanie Sigel. Jadakiss, one of the Lox. You guys are force, the whole Duck Down team. You never go away, but you’re never all the way there either. How does that feel from the inside looking out?

Sean Price: It’s kinda frustrating, real frustrating. We almost accepted, that’s crazy, right? But that’s how it is. I just have to keep putting in work. You see, the problem with us too is, as a machine, we’ll put out an album and then you won’t hear from us for another two years, or three years. No more of that, as far as Sean Price concerned. Is there a difference between Ruck and Sean Price?

Sean Price: Yeah, it’s a difference. Ruck was a wild dude, find ‘em, f**k ‘em and flee. Ain’t give two s**ts about nothing, my kids, my responsibility, anything. And Sean Price got a plan, growth and development. Take care of mine, trying to get up and get out of here. I got my head together, nah mean? What’s the Sean Price plan?

Sean Price: I plan on getting married officially, one day. I got a good woman, man, I can’t front. We get on each other nerves a lot, but she’s a good woman. I been on the road for two-three years? Ya boy been good on the road, man. I couldn’t believe myself at first. But now, it’s not even a thought no more. So, that’s the first step. I’m definitely gonna get married. I’m settled down, but I’mma officialise it. If you ask me, I’m married already, but if you ask her, she like “F**k that!” [Laughs] What can heads expect from Sean Price in 2006?

Sean Price: I’m almost done with the new album, Jesus Price. It was produced by Khrysis. 9th Wonder also did some work on the album. It’s coming together nicely. It should be out by May. Do you think that you’ll continue to be “The brokest rapper that you know” in the New Year?

Sean Price: Well, I hope that I won’t be; if I was what would that say about my management? [Laughs] I’m better off than I was financially. Actually, the “brokest rapper,” thing was just some slick s**t that I was saying. In reality, no one wants to be the brokest cat. Who do you think will be the person to look out for in the New Year?

Sean Price: No cocky s**t, but look out for me. I don’t really like too many cats out there. It ain’t because they talk about drugs or guns, because we all do. Papoose and Young Jeezy are nice. There’s a lot of people in your position who would love to do what you just did. What advice would you have?

Sean Price: I’m 33, but I’m in my prime. Besides Jay-Z and Ghostface, a lot of cats my age rap old s**t. In the game today, if you’re that old and still rock’n the mic, you have to step it up or just stop. I may be old by rap status, but I’m young mentally. I can do it.

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