Like many fans, you probably saw Consequence’s May 4 appearance on MTV’s “RapFixLive” and didn’t quite know what to make of it. Cons announced that he had no affiliation with either his cousin Q-Tip or Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint. Until then, ‘Ye and Tip didn’t speak on the subject, and Cons was popping up alongside them on tracks like “Chain Heavy,” even though tracks like “Man Purses” hinted at some kind of internal rift.
The fact that Cons got his first major look on A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes And Life album as well as a subsequent reintroduction to the public courtesy of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label complicates the issue for us outsiders. The current professional wrestling climate of mainstream Hip Hop—with manufactured beefs and fake personas—makes this even more complicated because people feel as if they should choose sides. But to hear Consequence tell it, it has nothing to do with music and everything to do with his beliefs as a man. How can the two seemingly linked issues be viewed separately? Well, some things that seemed linked end up apart. Just ask Consequence.
HipHopDX: You’re obviously ramping up for this release of Movies On Demand 3. Do you think your appearance on MTV overshadowed that or compromised your vision in any way?
Consequence: Nah, it was always my vision to begin with. It gives me more of an opportunity with the recent events that have happened. It definitely puts 100% of the focus on me with no shading because of a certain affiliation. It’s actually a wonderful thing that I feel great about. When I put out the “Public Eye” joint over Brand Nubian’s [“One For All”], people were like, “Whoa!” I’m putting that focus back on me for a reason. It’s going down. It’s going to continue, and I want that chain reaction when we get to the main event. It’s gonna be some shit…believe that.
DX: Speaking of the main event, is there a date for Movies On Demand 3 yet?
Consequence: Presumably I would say that we’re releasing it June 14.
DX: With this now being a trilogy, are you looking to keep the M.O.D. series going like you dead with It’s The Cons?
Consequence: I’m not sure yet. I kinda like to base it off energy. With It’s The Cons, it kind of ran it’s course. I thought about doing a Take ‘Em To The Cleaners pt. 2 as a point of reference. For a lot of people, that’s their favorite work from me. But I think some things are like moments in time. With Take ‘Em To The Cleaners, that body of work was specifically for that time.
DX: You were one of the first people from your era to really embrace the Internet. Do you view the online space differently now that it’s more crowded?
Consequence: A lot of times there’s a disconnect between older and newer artists is because Hip Hop in itself is a representation of the people. It’s defined by growth and evolution. So to have a set way of thinking about it limits the artform. As someone who’s been around for some time now, I look at Odd Future and I see remnants of Gravediggaz. But I see them doing it their own way.
If I was to go out and say, “Ah that shit ain’t nothing but Gravediggaz!” that discredits what they’re doing. What they’re into is their experience to touch on. That would be like people saying my work with Tribe is Rakim or Masta Ace-esque. I would’ve felt some kind of way because that was my experience and my time to have my voice heard. With all the platforms, it just gives more people with artistic expressions somewhere to voice it.
DX: Despite collecting royalty checks since 1996, you’ve really only got one official retail album. Do you think people have the wrong perception of you because of that?
Consequence: A lot of that is red tape. If you look at the Movies On Demand series and even Take Em To The Cleaners, they’re really unsanctioned albums. When I do my mixtapes, I make it a point to make a majority of them original records. I love to freestyle, and I love jumping on other people’s beats. But there’s no joy that I get like the kind from my own records. Without having to deal with the red tape, you get collaborations like “Childish Games” with me and Asher Roth. You get “V.I.P.” with me, Mac [Miller] and Diggy [Simmons].
Sometimes, that’s where fans get duped by the business and judge a book by its cover. Just because it’s coming to you in a paperback form instead of a hardcover doesn’t mean it isn’t an excellent read. The whole point of picking up a mixtape or an album is to get to the music. Of course, everything is presentation, and I don’t try to downplay that in any way. But whatever form I put the music out in, my number one priority is to make sure it’s quality no matter the outlet of the format. No matter if you get my music at a store, from you guys’ singles section or a blog download, the goal is always to make the best shit possible at all times.
DX: At the same time, you’re a businessman too. Aren’t you basically giving away some high-quality music for free?
Consequence: Well, I get mines. [Laughs] I gotta get mines no matter what the consequence is. If you want to equate it to anything else, there’s a certain amount of product every corporation gives away to maintain the integrity of the brand so to speak. Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Adidas…all these companies do it for select clientele. So you gotta give a little to get a little.
DX: I don’t want to dwell on the MTV stuff, but it’s obviously a talking point. Is this going to make people go into M.O.D. 3 with a negative perception?
Consequence: I don’t think it was a negative; I felt like it was necessary because I put out Movies On Demand 2 this year. To go on Twitter and see the G.O.O.D. Music hashtag was insulting to me to depths that people will never be able to understand. Even with “RapFixLive,” everything wasn’t said. Every issue wasn’t addressed because there wasn’t enough time for that. You can’t condense a 10-year relationship or lifetime relationship into what was basically a half-an-hour U-Stream. When it ended up on MTV Jams, it was like, “Word? We’re going on TV with this? Okay, no doubt. Shout out to the clearance forms.” But, I really did think it was necessary.
Consequence: There’s a track that’s in the can that I really hold dear. I stumbled upon it recently, and it says, “A guess is no substitute for the truth.” In that instance, it applies to this because a lot of people were going, “What is this? What’s going on?” It was a punch to the chest to people who didn’t know anything was going on. Before we aired, Sway said, “I didn’t know nothing. What happened?” So it was like, “Man, turn the camera on. I’ll tell you what happened.”
Because I choose to handle something in a certain manner, it should not change the validity of my artwork. I’m adamant about that. I believe there are similar situations where people have taken certain stances on things, but their art is their art. And I feel the same way. I will continue to make music for the fans, myself, and those who are connoisseurs of Rap.
DX: Have you, Q-Tip or Kanye had a chance to talk about the situation since then?
Consequence: I can’t really talk about that. However I answer, I’ll be vilified for it, and that’s not fair. They’re not going to say, “La di, da di.” They’re not going to do it. I don’t want to discredit what I said. So, let them do what they do. Since this is a press thing, I can’t get into that with you. But both gentlemen know what it is. If they want to say something about it, cool. I’m smooth on the situation. However I feel about it moving forward, I’m not pulling no punches on M.O.D. 3.
DX: What about fan feedback?
Consequence: That’s a situation that involves family, friends and fans on Twitter. So there was a lot of spears being thrown at everybody, and the natives were getting restless. I never had to deal with that, because I’ve always been an artist with a considerable amount of respect and love. Even if people didn’t like me specifically, they were really respectful about saying it. All that shit came to a screeching halt. People were like, “Motherfucker, how the fuck you gonna be dissing Kanye?” and “You bit the hand that fed you!” Mind you, I have a mortal mind like every other man, but I also have a very strong will. That’s what has kept me so diligent over the years.
DX: How does this change who you work with? There were a lot of collaborations with people based on your relationship with ‘Ye and Tip.
Consequence: Umm…that’s a good question. I haven’t worked with anybody since the said situation. This is a difficult one to answer [laughs]. That’s a real political question for me to address right now.
DX: Last question on this, and we can move on. Since it was live and unrehearsed, did you go back and watch it and want to rethink any part of that situation?
Consequence: Last weekend, I sat back and watched it as an outsider. I had a talk with one of my engineers. Unfortunately there’s parts I can’t talk about with you, but people who I have explained the situation to are saying, “Okay, I can really understand why you did it.” When I watched it as a man, I really understand why I did it. When I looked at it, I got clarity. Sway asked me point blank what I hoped to get out of it, and that’s what I said…clarity. I wasn’t out to make anybody not like anybody, but that’s what the situation was. I needed a public platform for clarity, and I took it.
A lot of people looked at me like that relationship was so close, but they’re not in the know. That’s why I said, “A guess is no substitute for the truth.” People were guessing that we were good. I’m telling you. I don’t know about the other two guys, but I’m man enough to tell you, “Oh, we’re not good, fam.” The reason I have to tell you is because, for one, obviously we’re not good. And second, people still think we are. I’m making music that has absolutely nothing to do with these people, and fans are thinking I’m still under that umbrella when there’s no relationship there. We weren’t even speaking. That’s wack to make people believe that, and I’m not wack. I’m not that dude. If you look at my track record and take me away from those two passive dudes, I’m not like that. I get down to it, and I get done with it and move on. Maybe that’s the mistake you need to make as an artist, but that’s not the type of mistake I want to make as a person.
Consequence: I know that war is divisive; everybody’s not gonna be on your side about a situation. If you don’t understand or like it, I don’t want you to be on my side about that. Now with my artistry, I want you to be on my side regardless. I want my artistry to be appreciated by any and all. I just ask that people separate the two. I appreciate those who can, and for those who can’t, I understand. But, I’m a grown man. I feel like the merit of my artistry is strong enough to be the person I want to be.
DX: Earlier, you talked about your will and staying diligent. To go through what you’ve already been through and now this, how important is it to have a platform and be heard by the fans?
Consequence: That’s the essence of why you do it. If I did it just to hear myself that would be crazy. You do it because of the appreciation. All artists have egos, and we want to be the best at what we do. This is our outlet to facilitate that part of us. I want it. And in my viewpoint, I don’t want to say they were in my way, but we weren’t working towards me doing it. So, I’m out, fam. I’m not dealing with this no more. It’s been over, and now people aren’t gonna be asking, “What’s up, why aren’t they cosigning you?” Nah, dog. I’m doing it. Y’all got it twisted, and they didn’t have a problem with y’all having it twisted, but I do.
DX: How much of that has to do with your origins? A lot of us outside of New York just kind of saw you pop up on Beats, Rhymes And Life, but you had a pretty thorough track record on you own before that, right?
Consequence: Absolutely. My history is real, and I have no reason to lie. It’s all documented. I feel like I was never adequately introduced. When I think about it out loud, for me having to say that means I wasn’t adequately introduced. I was introduced as, “Yo, this is my cousin,” which is great. But it also can lead people to think I got on because I was your cousin, which wasn’t the case.
That was an important part of the “RapFix” situation too. People actually thought because Kanye blew up that he found me. That’s not the case. Anyone who knows Hip Hop knows that’s not the truth. If I debuted with Tribe, are you gonna tell me that Kanye found me? So basically, what I did with Tribe ain’t mean shit even though I was on David Letterman, Rosie O’Donnell, with a number one Billboard record?
That shit doesn’t get wiped away because I met Kanye when he was doing Jay-Z’s record. He wasn’t even doing his own records. He was working on The Blueprint, and Jay-Z didn’t even wanna sign him until he proved himself. I was one of the people that helped him prove himself. And you gonna try to tell me that what I did didn’t count? If what I did didn’t count, then why did [Kanye] come looking for me? So, like I said, there was an inadequate introduction of what the relationship was and what my value in the relationship was.
DX: After all that, let’s end it on a lighter note note. You had some crazy lines about Rajon Rondo and D-Rose on “Public Eye,” so who do you have in Game three, the Bulls or Heat?
Consequence: LeBron better stop dropping fucking 170 in Vegas! He fucked around last year, partied like a rock star and got eliminated. They better not start celebrating before that trophy comes out. That Celtics shit was real, but the Bulls spanked them in game one. And that dunk on D-Wade was unacceptable. I was like, “Who the fuck is Taj Gibson?” I’ve been watching them—I know Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, of course D-Rose and even Korver who busts the threes. But Dwyane Wade got caught with both of his hands up like, “Take a picture…click, click. My life is a movie [laughs].”