“HE BEAT THE SH*T OUT OF ME!”
By Percy Crawford (@MrLouis1ana)
(AllHipHop Features) When it comes to the streets, no one holds it down like, Chattanooga, Tennessee rapper, Interstate Tax. A major figure on the southern music scene, Tax, was the first artist signed to Spice One and Q Bosilini’s “Thug World Music Group.” After completing his one album deal to the label he flooded the market with back to back to back albums, “Before the Deal, “After the Deal,” and “Tax Time.” Priding himself off of rapping about his experiences, Interstate took to the studio to record a track titled, “Rodney King,” which highlighted an incident he had in December 2018 when a civilian recorded Interstate Tax being severely beaten by the cops while being handcuffed. The incident left the rapper with major injuries and forced the state to drop several charges against him, but definitely didn’t prevent him from penning the experience.
I recently caught up with, Interstate Tax, the rapper talks about the incident with the cops, why he was targeted as well as why a move out of, Tennessee is imminent.
AllHipHop: You had a crazy 2018. Your year ended with a viral video of you being handcuffed, and as you were handcuffed, you were beaten viciously by the police. From what I understand, they are dropping so charges against you, but I’m sure that’s no consolation for you at all at this point.
Interstate Tax: Right right. Nah it didn’t serve me any good at all.
AllHipHop: Talk us through it.
Interstate Tax: Basically, they were picking me up on a warrant. They basically was trying to label me as a kingpin. They thought they had something on me. It was a bunch of cd’s. But shit… he beat the shit out of me! This shit goes on everyday it just was a blessing that somebody caught that on camera.
AllHipHop: These camera phones have definitely been a blessing in many cases. Did you know the person that recorded the video?
Interstate Tax: Yeah, I know her. It’s still ongoing. It’s a lot. I can basically talk about what everybody seen. I can’t talk about… like they were saying I spit on him and shit like that, I can’t really discuss that.
AllHipHop: Yeah, we not touching on anything that you can’t discuss for sure. When he started to beat on you, you were handcuffed though, correct.
Interstate Tax: Yeah, I was handcuffed when they started beating me. I was cooperating when they first pulled up. He came on some bullshit.
AllHipHop: Your name is heavy out there. Do you feel you were profiled?
Interstate Tax: He definitely came on some bullshit. They already know me. They saw me driving a Bentley and shit like that, so they were already on to me. My music speaks for what they did to me, so I can definitely say that.
AllHipHop: Definitely! On your album, “After the Deal,” you actually used the post-beating picture for your album cover and the song, “Rodney King,” off of the album was inspired by what happened to you.
Interstate Tax: Right it was. Anytime I do music I’m just in a zone. I go with what’s in my heart. And when I did that song, shit, I’m in a cast and I still got a collapsed lung and all that shit, so I was just in my feelings, I guess.
AllHipHop: You have been staying busy with the music though.
Interstate Tax: Yessir. I got, “Before the Deal,” “After the Deal” and I just dropped, “Tax Time” about a month ago. They [the cops] inspired me to do that. It’s like I’m going to show you how to do it after the deal because they had already been listening to “Before the Deal.” They really inspired that record. The producer that I work with in town is named, “T-Rollin, so we did, “Tax Rollin” using his name and my name together. We were doing that at first and then I got signed to, Spice One and Q Bosilini and that’s when I came out with, “Before the Deal.”
AllHipHop: How do you feel about the Tennessee music scene right now?
Interstate Tax: As far as Tennessee, we have been having a music scene. I feel like the music in the south comes from us; 36 Mafia paved the way. As far as Tennessee I feel like we been on the map, but as far as where I’m from, Chattanooga, we not really on the map. It’s a lot of talent here, but we are like crabs in a bucket. We hate on each other and we can’t get nowhere. I can say that, but then I can go an hour away from my hometown in Atlanta and you got niggas showing love. They understand the value of the dollar. They don’t worry about how much money the next man got as long as they eating. Down here… it’s like, I dropped 3-albums in no time. I got a small fan base here, but I feel like it could be way bigger if I didn’t have a whole bunch of motherfuckers actually hating on the fact that I’m actually out here working my ass off. I’m out here living and shit. Motherfuckers done told me they wish they were in my position. Like, got beat by the cops and shit like that. Yeah, I get crazy ass shit. I go through some crazy as shit.
AllHipHop: Do you feel like eventually you’re going to have to move out of Tennessee?
Interstate Tax: Ah for sure. Hell yeah-hell yeah! I was big in my city before motherfuckers even knew me with this music shit. I been getting money. I been on some other shit. I owned a moving company. I’m not just a rapper, I’m an entrepreneur. The rap shit just in me. I fuck with my community a lot. I got my own ways of doing shit. A lot of motherfuckers don’t like that, man.
AllHipHop: You are putting a lot of music out in a short period of time, are you living in the studio or is it motivated by these events, so the material is basically creating itself?
Interstate Tax: The shit just pops up in my head. Once bro getting to making the beats or he puts on a certain beat, it’s just the vibes of where we at with the shit. It’s all about the people you got around you also. If you got some fucked up people around you, the vibes and the energy going to be fucked up. I go off energy. I don’t even go off the way a person move, I go off of the energy of a person. That’s how I really know if I could move with the person or not.
AllHipHop: Is there anybody you want to work with soon or get a collab from? Or are you just doing you right now?
Interstate Tax: I just been doing me right now. My manager asked me the same shit though, “Who I want to work with?” Right now, I’m building me and my catalog. Me going to go dip into somebody else situation might not benefit me. I might be… like I said, I’m from the streets, so I take my street game with the rap game. I would feel the same way if I worked at, McDonald’s or whatever. It’s just certain shit that you got to do for yourself for a certain amount of time before you just start collabing with motherfuckers.
AllHipHop: I know Pimp C is a huge inspiration for you. Who else inspired you?
Interstate Tax: I look up to [Lil] Boosie, he made me wanna rap. I like Pimp C for his game. He a real one. Master P… I looked up to, P.
AllHipHop: A lot of Louisiana inspirations I like that.
Interstate Tax: Oh yeah, I fuck with “The Boot” tough. Before Kevin Gates had popped off I was already on Gates. I fuck with “The Boot,” real tough. Them my people.
AllHipHop: I want to ask you this before I let you go, many times when the cops wrong a rapper they point to that rappers lyrics in terms of the harassment or a means of why they had to use excessive force. Do you see yourself changing it up a little bit or you just gotta be you at the end of the day?
Interstate Tax: I mean… I got a question for you. You rather have an artist out here that’s authentic with everything he doing, or you rather have a motherfucker that will do and say anything for the fame or a couple dollars?
AllHipHop: I definitely want authenticity.
Interstate Tax: I’m gonna keep that shit real. I’m going to talk about the problems. My mother still stays in the projects and I’m living in a $2,500 a month condo. That’s just me being real. I’m going to still speak about the poverty. I done did everything I can to try to get her up outta there, but she set in her ways. I ain’t too much feeling it, but it is what it is. It’s the realest shit out here. I can only live for me at the moment. Whenever you need me just tap in with me and we can do that. I’m on Instagram @interstate_tax.