Termanology: Politic Ditto

Anyone paying attention to the rap game for the past decade knows the remote chances of a lanky kid from Boston resurrecting the spirit of early ‘90s Hip-Hop. Then there's the catch-22 of being hailed as the next coming of the late, great Chris “Big Pun” Rios.Despite the odds, Termanology has released five critically acclaimed installments of his Hood Politics mixtape series, collaborated with nearly every still-living legend, and managed to keep his artistic integrity by releasing his first official album, Politics As Usual, through indie label Nature Sounds.It had already been a long day of press for the prodigal Puerto Rican rhyme-spitter when AllHipHop.com caught him for his 13th and final interview of the day. The strain of answering the same old questions (“How did you hook up with Premier?”) came across in his voice as he answered the phone, but Term swore he was most excited about his conversation with The World’s Most Dangerous Site. Promising to keep the young MC on his toes, we threw him a curveball to kick off our brief but informative dialogue.AllHipHop.com: When you first hit the scene with “Watch How It Go Down,” I remember you had some long-ass hair under your Boston fitted. What made you decide to kill that look?Termanology: Yeah, I was on some Rico Suave s**t for a minute, but I had to lean back off all that (Laughs). Actually I went to this party, I think it was Premier’s 40th birthday, and I had a hat on. They made me take it off, and my hair was in the middle of the growing stages, and it just looked real wack. Everybody was looking at me like “This kid is wack.” So I was like “Alright, time to shape up.” Now I keep the King Caesar going, at least for now.Termanology “So Amazing” VideoAllHipHop.com: On the track “So Amazing,” you talked about getting turned down by a ton of labels over the course of a couple years, having people tell you “You’re the realest rapper we can’t sign.” Did it really go down like that?Termanology: Yeah man, I sat down with more than half of every big label. There was a lot of good people at those meetings, but they pretty much told me, “We’re only doing this kind of music over here. Even though we like you, if we sign you the people above us are going to block you and try to make you do wack s**t. So it’s not going down unless you want to do that.” I told them I wanted Premier, Hi-Tek, Alchemist and Pete Rock, and that’s not the game of dice they wanted to play. But you know it’s all good man, I’m happy I did the Nature Sounds thing because they believed in me, and I get to sign my own ST Records label deal, and do songs with who I want to do songs with.

“…Green Lantern told me when I went on his show, ‘You know you got a hard road in front of you, right Term? You ready for this?’ I told him yeah, somebody got to stand up for Hip-Hop…”

AllHipHop.com: Is that a trip to hear an A&R tell you they’re not interested in Premier and Pete Rock records?Termanology: Yeah, for real! They wouldn’t say it but…I go to all the Power Summits and all that, Statik Selektah is one of my best friends and he’s on four radio stations. Dan Green used to work at Koch and he’s my manager. I know what it is in the industry, and people don’t have to tell me for me to understand that I was definitely taking the hard road. That was the first thing Green Lantern told me when I went on his show, “You know you got a hard road in front of you, right Term? You ready for this?” I told him yeah, somebody got to stand up for Hip-Hop and do it.AllHipHop.com: No doubt. You mention your friendship with Statik. How much did he help you find the right place for this album?Termanology: Statik helped me a lot man, he was the key link to Premier. I met him before in ’03 with Krumbsnatcha, but it wasn’t really an impact until Statik brought me in to do “Watch How It Go Down,” and from there a lot of big things fell into place. Statik shot the video, and he showed me so much love. He brought me all over the industry for two years and introduced me to everybody he know, so I could never repay him for that.Termanology “Watch How It Go Down” VideoAllHipHop.com: I guess you’ve got to appreciate the honesty you got from those major labels, because going with Nature Sounds you won’t have to worry about the politics that keep dudes like Saigon from releasing possible classic records.Termanology: Politics As Usual baby, that’s it. One day I thought about it, and “Oh my God, that’s the best title ever.” Cause I’ve got my Hood Politics mixtape series which are like my pre-albums, and I’ve released one every year for the last five years. So that title was really inspired by the Jay-Z song, and just thinking about how the game is so political and f**ked up.

“My next album is going to be just me and Lil Fame...like on some Gang Starr s**t. He’s going to do all the beats, I’m gonna rhyme.”

AllHipHop.com: The Hood Politics tapes already have some of the best producers on them and great guest spots as well. Guys like Premier and Buckwild don’t just sell beats to anybody, so how did you decide what material to keep for the official album and what to drop beforehand?Termanology: What’s crazy man is that I got a lot of beats for free from a lot of the huge producers, really dope cats just reaching out and wanting to work with me. Like me and Lil Fame from M.O.P. My next album is going to be just me and Lil Fame, we’ve already started working on it. Politics As Usual drops September 30, and then me and Fame are going to do our s**t like on some Gang Starr s**t. He’s going to do all the beats, I’m gonna rhyme.AllHipHop.com: He’s done a few dope beats for you already like “Squeeze Ya Ratchet.” Fame’s always done production but nobody’s ever really checking for him like that.Termanology: Yeah definitely, his beats are diamonds in the rough. He did “Cold As Ice,” and a lot of beats that people know, but don’t know that he did. I just think me and him make a crazy combo, and we’ve already got some f**king crazy records together dog, some bananas s**t. We redid Eric B. & Rakim’s “In the Ghetto,” and it’s just me spazzin’. It’s crazy.AllHipHop.com: So is Fame going to rhyme at all on the album with you?Termanology: Yeah he’s going to rhyme on the album too. We just did the “How We Rock” video with Bun B, and Fame was starring in it with us. He was there the whole time and I was talking with him about it, and he was like “I want to rhyme more, I’m ready to rock.” I know he’s in the zone right now and he’s trying to get s**t cracking, so we’re going to do it together cause I’m ready to rock too. I’ve spent many nights in the studio with Fame, every single week just getting bent, just destroyed. He’s making the beats, I’m writing, we’re tossing ideas around and s**t. It’s all fam.Termanology f/ “How We Rock” VideoAllHipHop.com: Does it bug you out to get calls from Nottz and Alchemist like “Term, I made a beat for you.”Termanology: The s**t is crazy. Like Easy Mo Bee was at my crib, just chillin’ at my house. He’s telling me stories about working with Pac, and how Biggie would do this or that. It’s ill dog! All these cats, it’s just a dream to work with all the producers who worked on Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt and Ready To Die. They’re telling me their stories and passing them on is such an inspiration. I was able to take this dream that I had in my head and make it into something…it’s indescribable.AllHipHop.com: You’re known for spitting hard, and I can imagine how hard an album with you and Lil Fame will be. But you also address a lot of personal topics on tracks like “Circle of Life and “Talking To God.”Termanology: Yeah, “Talking To God” was just a freestyle I put out addressing the state of Hip-Hop. I did a Part 2, but I didn’t want to put it out cause I [got a] little too crazy on it. I don’t mind name dropping, cause it’s all about metaphors and s**t and it dates back to the first MCs, but I went a little overboard with it and decided not to put that one out.AllHipHop.com: You went hard on some people?Termanology: Yeah, I went in (Laughs). I seen a few people wanted it, but I was like, “Nah, I’ma lean back.”AllHipHop.com: Did you catch any flack for the first one?Termanology: Naw, everybody liked it. Premier called me and told me he liked it and that he’d be playing it. I also spoke with Tony Touch and he liked it too. It’s so weird dog, you never know what people are going to like. You really have no clue. You make some random freestyle and people live for it, and you try so hard on some other songs and nobody gives a f**k about them.For the album I wanted to get real serious and deep on a couple of tracks. I did a track with Pete Rock called “We Killin Ourselves,” and it’s just talking about AIDS and things of that nature, letting the kids know that we are killin ourselves. I wanted to touch on that, and I also did a song with Large Pro called “Sorry I Lied To You,” talking to the fans, my family and people in general about some situations that had occurred because of me. It’s ill man. I know “Watch How It Go Down” is what people know me for, that content, but I can’t wait for people to hear me spitting that real s**t over these beats.