During the ‘80s and early ‘90s in Brooklyn, one of the names
ringing in the streets was Calvin
“Klein” Bacote. Not to be
confused with the fashion designer. This is the man that most would recognize
the name from Jay-Z’s Allure, “I never felt more alive/ than ridin’ shotgun in Klein’s green five.”
Recently released from prison, after spending his last 13
years locked up on drug charges; Bacote
is determined to hit the streets hard. From working with DJ Clark Kent on a new mixtape series Streets is Talking; starting his own label, Shut Em Down Entertainment
(currently with acts such as Natural
and St. Laz); to being Akon's tour manager.
recently on Kay Slay’s Shade45 radio show and discussed some
interesting issues about fellow Brooklynite, Jay-Z.
You were afilliated with,
you were partners with Jay-Z early in his career?
“Don’t go partners.
That’s a little too much for dude. To give him that in the 80’s that’s like way
too much … I mean back then, he was in line. He was a soldier” Klein responded. “In the 80’s … Jay was not trying to be a drug dealer, he was trying to
be a rapper. In order for him to transcend himself into this hell of a dude, he
had to take characters of guys from the 80’s; one being myself.”
So this is one of
those stories of rappers not speaking about real life and they’re speaking
about someone else’s life?
“I mean I give him 10%
of his life he talked about … He’s from Brooklyn. He lived in Marcy Projects.
His name was Shawn Carter. He got that right”
“You see James Brown
getting royalties for people sampling him right? I want royalties from you
sampling me now,” Klein said
then proceeded to repeat Jay’s line
from Allue. “He was humble about it. He
gotta realize you can’t just live the next person’s life without acknowledging
‘em when they come home.” [So he did pay homage?] “Yea he had to.”
I know you did a
little bid. How long you been down?
“I did 13 years, a little over 13 years. I caught a case
with Jay in ’89. We caught attempt murder case in 89’. I took the weight of the
case. If that wasn’t the case you probably wouldn’t have heard of Jay before. I
mean then after that he testified on my behalf. The case went to 40 years down
to 4 years. I got out on appeal bail. Then after that I was on federal
“Jay pretty much told me to fall back
like ‘Yo, I got you’. Words like that coming from a person of that
caliber, you really are gonna fall back and by doing that I blocked my
blessings and didn’t allow any other gifts to come in … I made the mistake of
coming back too humble because of all the trials that were going on like the Irv Gotti situation and Supreme’s. People weren’t used
to seeing me so humble. Maybe if I came home and put my foots on Jay’s neck, maybe I would have been
cutting the check to him.”
[Jay] has built this image of being a hustler, which a lot of people respect
that. How can you negate that?
me Jay‘s a white boy on the
inside, no offense to any white boys. But to me he’s a white boy on the inside
and I’m only waiting for time to tell what he’s gonna do with the outside of
himself … I’m surprised he should have done himself a favor by pulling me
into his his team. How you gon let Akon pull me in, official Konvict
… Akon provided the chance and an opportunity for guys like myself, to
be in the position I’m in. Jay
could have done that out the gate but he didn’t.”
you feel any animosity towards him [Jay]?
is no animosity, because if I came up here with animosity, it wouldn’t look
right. If I had animosity it would only be ‘cause I’m broke and that’s not the
case ... I approached him at the set of the Young Jeezy and Akon
‘Soul Survivor’ video, went to Jeezy’s
trailer to go talk to him and 30 seconds after the conversation he left … I
don’t wanna give Jay or anybody
the impression that Jay is scared … let’s just put it like this, I don’t think
he’s gonna respond. He better not.”
Would you be open to negotiating
During the Jay-Z and Nas beef, Klein did an interview with Don Diva Magazine,
where he shouts Jay’s name and giving him his credibility. What hSappened?
“My case was up under appeal at the time and
I took a chance when I did the interview in Don Diva for Jay, Nas ruined
him and his credibility was shot, he had none … He was startled himself by
Nas exposing himself the way he did. Jay’s confidence level was zero; his
confidence level was a wrap … He had to realize how strong I was even from the
inside and you can’t be serious enough to not realize how strong I am
they came to you…
I spoke to Clark Kent. I heard the song while I was locked up. I was like wow,
the song holds so much truth to it. It was ridiculous. I was like how Nas could get so much information on
him like that. I made the phone call to DJ
Clark Kent in New York and he said, ‘Yo, if he never needed you
before he needs you now.’ I reached out to Kevin Childs and Don Diva and did the interview. I said a few
words that gave Jay a little
credibility, but once he got that back … he got worse! How can you ignore Jaz-O? Jaz-O is the originator of your heart. He opened up every door that
you can think off; he provided every opportunity you can imagine.”
just want the audience to know what from the situation?
the story. Take his part and you take mine. He told his story already in rhyme;
so if he say anything now it’s just gonna contradict himself and make himself
look stupid. That’s why I told you, he can’t respond. His press people are
gonna say ‘no comment.’”
To listen to the full interview check out our audio section!