As confirmed last week, Sean Price is guest-editing HipHopDX this week. We asked the Brownsville, Brooklyn emcee who we should feature, and he not only suggested Scarface, he asked to do the interview himself. Last week, we got the Facemob and Boot Camp Clik delegates on the phone for a conversation that made us think, made us laugh and made us proud to have Sean on the squad this week. We hope you like it the same:
Sean Price: So what’s good with you, brother? What’s going on, man?
Scarface: Hey man, I’m chillin’. I ain’t doing nothing. You know what I did? Let me just start off by saying I went out and voted, how’s that?
Sean Price: That’s what I’m talking about, man. That’s cool, I respect that. I just… I woke up this morning. [I was] waiting for a FedEx package and come to find out that motherfuckin’ FedEx don’t deliver here. Then I gotta go to the Post Office, the Post Office bitch ain’t even notice, so I had to run up the block. I ordered this bangin’ ass Eddie Bauer shooting shirt, you know the beige shit with the safety orange on it?
Sean Price: Yeah, I bought one of them shooting shirts, it’s great. I can’t wait to put it on and shit on my friends. [Laughs]
Scarface: Hey, don’t you be shittin’ on the homies, man.
Sean Price: Nah, I live for that. I live for bragging rights. I’m older, but I still love putting on that fresh shit like, the first day of school and come out and shit on my friends, man. That’s all I got left in my life besides my daughter. [Laughs]
Scarface: I know, I shit on all my friends on the golf course.
Sean Price: Oh man, you know what? I just tried to play tennis for the first time.
Scarface: You should.
Sean Price: It was fun, but when you haven’t been working out in awhile and you start moving muscles you ain’t move in awhile; good Lord, I was in pain.
Scarface: It’ll hurt.
Sean Price: Yeah, it definitely hurt. I was in pain like a motherfucker the next day.
Scarface: Yeah, it hurts.
Sean Price: Definitely.
[My friends] gave me a bunch of questions, but these is… I don’t know.
Scarface: Fuckin’ synthetic’, huh?
Sean Price: They asked about the you and Beanie Siegel album, I’m like —
Scarface: — I would much rather us get off like you’re with your homeboys, shootin’ the shit.
Sean Price & Scarface Talk About The Craft Of Emceeing
Sean Price: Yeah man, true story.
I do wanna know, from one emcee to another…me, I listen to the beat and let the beat tell me what to do. I’m wondering what’s your method for writing rhymes? They come to you, or you got a beat first?
Scarface: You know what? First, my raps start with topics. If I’m going to write a rhyme, if I seem like, “Damn, that motherfucker that been around me looks like a God damn, evil-ass devil-man,” I’ll start researching humans and satanic shit, and I’ll jot down ideas. And this like weeks and months before I even pick a beat. When the beat come, I already read and researched my shit.
Secondly, when I know what I’m going to say, and I hear a beat, and now i’m coming up with rhyme schemes. Rhyme patterns.
Sean Price: Right, the cadence and all that.
Scarface: And then the most important part, for me, is the “come-lines.” If you listen to any of my shit, the first three or four words are the most important part of the song, to me.
I did a record for French Montana. My come-line was, “The smell of blood in the bathroom / Body laid out, stiff full of stab wounds.” That’s my come-line! [Laughs] But you know what? That’s attractive enough to get the people to- it’s attention-grabbing to the ear.
Sean Price: Yeah, I feel you on that.
Scarface: I did a real good one last night that’ll make you laugh, man. My record is like 15 minutes.
Sean Price: It takes you 15 minutes to knock them out?
Scarface: Yeah, maybe a hour now, I got a lot faster now
Sean Price: I’m a one-taker, man. I can’t lie, when I first got [signed]…when I was in my group Heltah Skeltah back in the day, Buckshot wouldn’t let us punch in. He’d be like, “If you wrote it say it. If you wrote it, say it, motherfucker.”
Scarface: My whole idea of the punch was… Bun B don’t punch [either].
Sean Price: I punch now, but in my crew you had to earn that right. Which was good training, ‘cause when I do albums now, when I do songs I one-take it, which was good training. So I actually appreciate Buck for not letting me punch [on Heltah Skeltah’s Nocturnal].
Scarface: Man, I love Buckshot. I wish he would… well, I have to punch, man.
Sean Price: Oh yeah, I punch in too now. I just want the song to sound great, but that training in the beginning was good training.
Scarface: Yeah, you gotta earn that right.
Sean Price. Yeah, you had to earn the right to punch in, you couldn’t just punch. Nah. Plus, back in the day we had the two-inch wheels and dude had to rewind and [spinning sounds], find the spot and all that shit. Now [it’s] just a click of a mouse now.
Scarface: Yeah, it made it a lot easier. But you know what? Believe it or not, we was on Pro Tools and Screen Sound way back in the early ‘90s.
Sean Price: Ah, not I. Not at D&D Studios. [Laughs]
Scarface: Yeah, we was at digital studios man. Digital Services.
Sean Price: Oh, okay. We had two-inch reels wheels, so all that rewinding and [spinning sounds], I’m like, “You know what? Let me just knock it out.” But now, everything is a click of a mouse, it’s so easy now.
Scarface: I got this one engineer, well him, Steve-O, and I can’t do no verse without him.
Sean Price: When you got a good engineer, that helps so much, ‘cause when they kind of know you–
Scarface: — Yeah, I can just say, “Hey man, take me back to ‘Enjoy your day…’” and he’ll be right there [at] “Enjoy your day…” you know what I’m saying? It don’t take him no two-three hours to find the fuckin’ spot and then go from there. We good.
Sean Price: Yeah, actually my deejay is my engineer, he has a studio. So I actually got my deejay, DJ PF Cuttin, he used to be in the group Blahzay Blahzay. They made that record [“Danger” raps the chorus] “When the East is in the house / Oh my god…” [singing].
Scarface: Yeah. [Laughs]
Sean Price: That’s my deejay.
Scarface: That was a big record! [Rapping] “When the East is in the house / Oh my god.” Yeah!
Sean Price: Yeah, so that was DJ PF Cuttin, he actually produced that song. He has a great ear, he’s great behind the boards, and I actually take him on tour with me, on the road as my deejay. I’m the godfather of his kids, so that’s my man hunny-grand. So we rock together real good.
Scarface & Sean Price Talk About Beanie Sigel, Why Mac N Brad May Be On Hold
Scarface: That is so dope.
But the Beanie Sigel [Mac N Brad] project, we ain’t even get a chance to fuck with it like we wanted to, ‘cause me and Beans got jammed. And I don’t know if they told you about it, but the shit that’s fucked up with the Feds is, the Feds don’t run [Concurrent charges]. They stack shit.
Sean Price: They don’t do concurrent?
Scarface: Nah, they don’t run C.C., they stack their shit. So if he had to go do two years for this, then that new fucking case- well you know what?
Sean Price: Not if he had a fucking pistol in the car, right?
Scarface: They might run it concurrent.
Sean Price: It’s eight [years] with a concurrent, ‘cause it’s two different charges.
Scarface: Yeah, so I hope I’m wrong. I pray I’m wrong, but from the looks of it, he gotta give them that two and a half or three [years] is what he gotta do. And then he gotta give them that five.
Sean Price: Yeah, I think Federal Guidelines is 60 months for a gun?
Scarface: Yup. Ain’t no way around it.
Sean Price: I just wish him the best. Hold his head, him and his family.
I don’t know if it’s true, but it says you collect comics…
Scarface: Comics? Hell nah, I used to collect comics when I was a little boy.
Sean Price: Oh, you don’t? Man, I still read comic books, man. I love comic books.
Sean Price: [Laughs] Yeah.
Scarface: Comic books is dope, but I mean —
Sean Price: — It helps me with my vocabulary when I’m writing rhymes sometimes, I ain’t gonna lie.
Scarface: What would be your #1, ideal “Rap Batman and Robin”? Or a trio.
Sean Price: Let me see, my ideal would be, not me…
Scarface: Who would you want to hear if you blended voices together?
Sean Price: I would like to hear- can I pick dead or alive?
Scarface: Nah nigga, they gotta be alive.
Scarface: That’s dope, man.
Sean Price: I think that would be a dope album if they can settle whatever’s going on. I don’t know the ins-and-outs of that, it ain’t none of my business. But I think the would make a dope album together, they’re into that same hustla talk, know what I mean? I think it’d be a dope listen, man.
Sean Price: Whoa. That sounds crazy.
Scarface: Or Andre 3000 and Kanye [West].
Sean Price: Oh yeah, that probably would sound very crazy.
You know what? You and Styles P, man. I could hear you with Styles P on a few joints, I think that’d be crazy too. I’m a huge Styles P fan, I’m a diehard hardcore rapper; that’s my shit. I listen to everything else, but that Hardcore Rap is my shit. You and Styles P would make some tight music together, I think that shit would be tight like crawdads, fo sho.
Scarface: Like crawdads…
Sean Price: [Laughs] That shit gotta be tight, it’s in the water all day. Waterproof that shit. Gotta be tight. [Laughs]
Sean Price & Scarface Talk About Houston & New York Hip Hop, A$AP Rocky
Scarface: Man, you know what? When I look at what New York is to Hip Hop… and this is totally out of left field… but when I look at what New York is to Hip Hop, and then… I’ve been coming to New York for 25 years. Well, I’ve been coming to New York my whole life, ‘cause my aunt been living in Harlem since the ‘50s. So I kinda been cheating a little bit, I been rapping my ass off.
When you go to New York you get a certain state of mind, right? But now when you go to New York- shit, this is New York radio that put you in that state of mind too, right? Well now look at what New York radio been doing to you.
Sean Price: You know I think, homie? I think that’s the times now. Remember, I’m 40 years old.
Scarface: [I’m] 41.
Sean Price: Exactly, so we in the same demographic. So you remember, if I lived in New York… by the time we got a Geto Boys album in Brownsville, that probably was [the group’s third studio album We Can’t Be Stopped]. They [didn’t] have like- you’re not going to see Too Short. They’re not gonna have a Too Short record, they’re not gonna have a Geto Boys record unless I travel somewhere and I find it, back then. Now you can have the whole world in front of you by computer. So I think it’s easier to- a lot of my friends be like, “Yo, A$AP Rocky, he sound like he from Houston.” I’m like, “Yo, he can see Houston online, and pick up the culture online!”
Scarface: Well I told them motherfuckers that question, that any doubt in their minds about what A$AP Rocky was doing.
Sean Price: Oh, I love it. I’m just saying…that question, “You don’t sound New York,” or “You don’t sound like you from here,” we got the whole world at our fingertips right now, so it’s easy to be adept to some other shit.
Scarface: Yeah, I mean, A$AP Rocky is from New York. Don’t get it fucked up.
Sean Price: Oh, he’s from Harlem, no question about it. I love A$AP I’m a big fan. I bet them dudes is some great guys, but for the people who just be like, “You don’t sound New York,” what is sounding New York when you got the whole world at your fingertips?
Scarface: My thing is: the man [is] from New York, and if you in New York you’ve got to be a motherfuckin’ emcee, homie. You ain’t got no choice. Niggas is standing on the side of the corner bustin’ rhymes, homie. You feel me?
Sean Price: So that’s the whole thing. Back in the day, I remember I went to some convention when I was younger and somebody gave me a Too Short record, and that’s how I was introduced to him. It wasn’t like, “My region plays my region, your region plays your region.”
Scarface: We had y’all’s shit. We had everybody, we had ya’ll down here. My cousin live in New York, man. My cousin [is] my age, feel me? So all that New York shit, I got. So that’s why I thought it was kind of cheap, ‘cause all that New York shit, I got.
Sean Price: Yeah I know that shit work too. I got a cousin in Florida and I used to send him shit all the time. I used to tape Mr. Magic and mail him a tape and shit.
Scarface: Yeah, you needed that. It was bangin’ like a motherfucker up there.
Sean Price: Yeah. I just went to Houston for the first time a couple months ago, man. It was fucking 110 [degrees] when I got out that motherfucker, B. How do you deal with that heat, brotha? Hot as fuck! I could tell you about New York heat, but that shit- when I was just standing in one spot, felt like I was burning.
Scarface: Hey, you gotta stay in the house and shit. Cool off.
Sean Price: [Laughs] Yeah, I went to that- what was that seafood spot? Papas…?
Sean Price: Yeah, Pappadeaux I had some great soft shell [crab], y’all got some great eating spots over there, but Pappadeaux was bangin’ I had some great seafood out there. But that heat! I’m like, “I’m not smoking weed ‘till the sun go down. Feel like I’m drained, man.”
Scarface: Feel like a punch in the face out there.
Sean Price: [Laughs] And I was out there, I did a little, small show. And I was introduced… I don’t know if y’all are cool or what, his name is Killa Kyleon, did I say his name right? Oh man, that was my first time hearing his music, that motherfucker’s the truth.
Scarface: I love that kid. Man, this whole city is the truth.
Sean Price: Yeah, but that was the first time I heard his music. He got a great stage show, he was killin’ it on stage.
Scarface: You need to hear… there’s a lot of other shit out here.
Sean Price: Yeah, it was so funny when I was out there right: I had a shirt that said “Brownsville,” ‘cause you know I’m from Brownsville in Brookyln. So the Mexican guy, he looked at me, he said, “You know we got a Brownsville, Texas?” I said, “I heard of it.” He said, “Yeah,” and then the Black guy [was] like, “Yeah niggas don’t go out there, they get left out there.” I’m like, “Damn, sound like my neighborhood!” [Laughs] He was dead serious.
Scarface: [Laughs] Yeah that’s real talk. That’s where all them racists be at.
Sean Price: Yeah, he told me that. He said, “Niggas don’t go up there, they get left. They leave them niggas there.”
Scarface: Yep, that’s how it go
[Talking to his child] What’re you doing? What’re you doing?
Sean Price: Yo, I got a two-year old daughter, I named her after me. Her name is Sean Price, she’s a mess.
Scarface: I bet she is, at two.
Sean Price: [Laughs] Yeah, and Salaam Alaikum. They told me you was a Muslim.
Scarface: Oh Salaam Alaikum. Yeah I took the Shahada in ‘06
Sean Price: I took my Shahada three years ago in Amsterdam of all places.
Scarface: Wow. You must of had a [revelation].
Sean Price: You know when I did time in prison, I never took my Shahada because some people would use Islam as protection, so I wouldn’t do it in prison. And when I was in Amsterdam, the guy was like “You ready?” I was like, “Nah, man. I gotta do this, I gotta do that.” He said, “You waiting to get perfect, huh? You’ll never do it then.” He just broke it down to me, I told him my flaws, he said, “Well then work on it, man.”
But I took my Shahada and I must say I’ve become a better- even my wife say, “Bad boyfriend, great husband.” I’m a better father, better provider. It was a great move for me.
Scarface: Man, me too. Am I perfect? No. I’m not, but I’m coming.
Sean Price: Yeah, we working on it. We all strive for perfection, but nobody’s perfect. But being a Muslim has made me a better person overall. Like my wife said, “Bad boyfriend, great husband” [Laughs].
Scarface: Yeah, man. Thank God. My homeboys say- let me tell you something about religion, homie. Religion is only as good as the person who believes in it, okay? Remember that.
Sean Price: Right. My son actually goes to church, and he’ll be like, “Dad, you don’t mind if I go to church?” And I’m like, “Look, if you believe in the-” I remember in an episode of What’s Happening!! when Rerun was worshiping a head of lettuce. I’m like, “If you want to worship a head of lettuce and that shit uplift you, make you feel better, then go for it.” A lot of times religion bring separatism; I’m not with that.
Scarface: It’s happening right now. Look at the Catholic Church, and then look at the Mormons and the Muslims and the Jews. Look at that.
Sean Price: Yeah, so I don’t push myself on anybody. Whatever uplifts you and get’s you right with yourself, then I’m all for it. That’s for you. Not for me, that’s for you. What’s for me works for me, what’s for you works for you. As long as we can agree to disagree on certain shit, we be cool.
Like I said, my son, he go to church, my wife does none of that shit, but hey, to each his own, man.
Scarface: It’s only as good as the person who believes in it.
Stay Tuned For More Interviews Conducted By Sean Price, HipHopDX’s Guest-Editor.