Queens-born MC Consequence is getting ready to unleash Make Up For Lost Time, his first solo album since 2016’s A Good Comeback Story.
Ahead of its release, the A Tribe Called Quest affiliate (and cousin of Q-Tip) has shared a snippet of the project in the form of “Complex Con” featuring Conway The Machine. Crafted by Cons himself, the track effortlessly displays his newfound comfortability as both a producer and an MC, a fresh venture for the seasoned artist.
Cons’ career stretches back to 1996 when he popped up on Tribe’s Beats, Rhymes & Life album. From there, he linked up with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music and Columbia Records to deliver his inaugural solo album, 2007’s Don’t Quit Your Day Job. Although he left the label in 2011 under questionable terms, he and ‘Ye ultimately reconvened and have been solid ever since.
The 42-year-old was also heavily involved in Tribe’s 2016 effort We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service. He contributed vocals to “Whateva Will Be,” “Mobius” and “Black Spasmodic,” among others and toured with the group the following year.
In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Cons opens up about the meaning behind the album’s title, his recent meeting with Kanye, how it feels to have both ‘Ye and Tip’s seal of approval and working on Danny Brown’s uknowhatimsayin¿ album.
HipHopDX: What made you land on the title Make Up For Lost Time?
Consequence: I was driving to the airport in Los Angeles recently and headed back to New York. I was listening to music and listening to the navigation at the same time, and I said to myself, “I’ve got to go this way to make up for lost time.” I’m like that’s it. That’s everything that this record embodies. Don’t Quit Your Day Job — that title embodied what the first album was and what it was about, what I was about at the time, and I think for the people who listen to Consequence music are accustomed to substance. It’s for the people.
I think that paraphrase means a lot for a lot of people. You get to a point in life and that’s what life becomes. You try to make up for lost time. You try to mend relationships, everything. You may want to still want to fulfill unfulfilled desires, you may want to circle back to something that you may have left uncompleted in your life and you just have that chance, just to make up for lost times and use what you know now to apply to a previous dream. That’s why I have decided on that title and all the records fit under that umbrella.
HipHopDX: Yeah, since my mother passed away, it made me feel like all of the sudden I was out of time. It’s like, “Damn, we have things to do.”
Consequence: With the title applied to your situation — and this is just outside looking in and just with positive energy — I feel like the best way for you to process and mourn at the same time, it is to really take time and do the things that you and your mom discussed. That’s what she would want you to do.
HipHopDX: That’s why that title was intriguing to me. I’ve only heard the single “Complex Con” but when I was listening to it, I got inspired. Is that the message you hope to get out there?
HipHopDX: Tell me a little about that song and how you put that together with Conway.
Consequence: So, I actually produced it. The music is a process, but I knew the initial beginning of the beat, the drums and getting the groove together, I knew it something. I have always been a rapper and part of the silent struggle of a lot of rapper, especially those that come from the MC era, it’s getting the production that you know in your heart that you really want to rock with. I think it’s a lot easier in this era ’cause you could buy a beat for $300.
But years ago, to get the producer with the namesake, it was a lot different. It was a lot more political. It was a lot more expensive and more of a financial commitment. One of the things that I took the initiative to do over the last five years was just really learn how to make what I would like out of necessity. I engage in situations with some of the best producers and I took a lot of notes obviously along the way. So I know what I like versus what I don’t like. With this one, the beat was special and I wanted to make sure I get it done. I got the chorus and once I rapped to it, it just started coming together. Then I reached out to Conway. I met him through Statik Selektah. We talked and he immediately started rocking with the vibe. It didn’t take long at all. Special records never take long.
HipHopDX: Right, it’s smooth. When does the new album come out?
Consequence: Realistically, I don’t have the date yet, but I want get it out before the end of the year. I want to make sure it’s right. We got videos to shoot, but definitely before the end of the year, I’m looking to get it out. I think I said October on my Instagram Live when I was talking about it and so I’m still aiming for that, but I want to make sure it’s right. I want everybody to straight on and that just takes a little bit of time. I’ll announce the date once the videos and everybody is fully engage on what’s going on. October is literally in two weeks. But I will say this — the majority of it is done. It’s just the matter of really getting it together, so things like this are crucial to keep moving in the right direction.
HipHopDX: Growing up as Q-Tip’s cousin, did he influence you to rap?
Consequence: It’s funny that you ask that because literally I just put a screenshot of him texting me about “Complex Con.” It’s on my Instagram page. Our last conversation was something family oriented. It hasn’t really been about my music. The last time I was with him, I actually did a chorus for the Danny Brown project, so me and him have a joint on Danny Brown’s record. That’s the last thing we did together.
HipHopDX: Wait, you and Q-Tip rapped on Danny’s record?
Consequence: We rapped on Danny Brown’s, yeah. We did a joint chorus. I want to say it’s called “Combat Zone.” So me and Q did the chorus on there. It’s fire. But I have been keeping what I’m doing quiet. The only two people who have heard my album in its entirety are Kanye West and Caiden [Mills].
HipHopDX: Dang! Of course, you got to let the little man hear it. He’s got special privileges [laughs].
Consequence: Right, right, right, I knew I was good ’cause I flew out to meet with Kanye and we just had a meeting in the Lamborghini [laughs].
HipHopDX: Not a bad place to have a meeting.
Consequence: Right, right.
HipHopDX: I’m glad you bought that up because once I heard you were flying to Wyoming, I figured you and Kanye were getting together.
Consequence: Yeah, we had a meeting in the Lambo and I played him my whole album, and he was like, “It’s incredible.” It’s great to have him react and be down with it, it just hit different. From where we met to where we were that day in the Lamborghini, it was just a testament of my evolution.
HipHopDX: Oh, to see the growth on both your sides?
Consequence: Right, right, right. He has enough Lambos to have a dealership and I make great beats now. This is really life [laughs].
HipHopDX: And you’re going to Wyoming of all places to talk about it [laughs].
Consequence: Hey, I mean, why not?
HipHopDX: Where are you now?
Consequence: Well, actually on the move. I ran over to Wyoming, then I’m coming back to New York and then I have something I have to lay back with ‘Ye, so I’m just on the move right now.
HipHopDX: So are you guys working on Kanye’s new record [Jesus Is King]?
Consequence: With Kanye, it always runs down to the wire but yeah, we’ve been vibing for a minute now. With Kanye and myself, music is always a thing. Always. We always have to see what the final product winds up being, but it’s always a thing. It’s a compartment of our relationship. It’s the common thread and obviously we have had a long standing relationship, friendship, brotherhood; that friendship that started out as friendship then lost into a brotherhood then into this family dynamic with our children, so it’s great. It’s going to be, “What do you think of this?” and “What should we do with this?” So, we will see what the final product winds up being, but that’s always a thing. And so even with that and the Q-Tip thing, it’s great.
HipHopDX: Well having Q-Tip’s approval must feels really good ’cause not only is he a revered MC, but he’s also your cousin.
Consequence: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and he’s a fucking tough critic. They both are fucking tough, tough critics. They be like, “Bruh, are you sure you want to keep doing this?”
HipHopDX: They’d be like, “This shit is wack. What are you thinking?” They wouldn’t be afraid to tell you.
Consequence: And they’re both creative, so they can’t really fake it. So it really has to hit the nerve or it just doesn’t with them, you know what I am saying? So that’s great validation and I’m thankful. It’s a blessing. I’m humbled by it.
HipHopDX: Yeah, that’s beautiful. I’m looking at the text right now. He was really serious. He’s got exclamation points in there and extra flames. So you’ve got the Kanye West stuff, you’ve got your solo album, you’ve got your son that you’re working with, you’re on Danny Brown’s record, what else do you have cooking?
Consequence: You know I definitely plan on getting into more production, but the focus right now is definitely Make Up For Lost Time as far as finishing that and Caiden’s album is called Just Being A Kid. His first single is called “All The Drip.” It’s incredible.
HipHopDX: What’s it like seeing your own child follow in your footsteps?
Consequence: It’s enough to make a grown man cry. You know I keep saying in my head there’s a first time that’s coming soon and God willing, it’s the day him and I get to perform together on stage in front of a rap crowd and people get to see what I see at home.
HipHopDX: You got to help groom the next the next generation and I think that’s something the elders have to do.
Consequence: Yeah I think a lot of people embrace that concept, but then some people don’t. My thing is you can’t hold a torch that isn’t there. You just can’t. My son is the first artist, but I’m not opposed to doing other endeavors of that nature. Obviously, I want to make sure my son’s album is right. That’s why I’m not taking on anything else on. I don’t ever want to stand in front of anybody’s destiny. If anything, I want to help move that along.
HipHopDX: If you don’t teach them, how will they learn? I think it’s important. What do you think about a new Gang Starr record?
Consequence: I think it’s dope. It’s funny ’cause a lot of people like Caiden’s #SoStaten video. Raekwon and Ghostface [Killah] both posted him so it was so major. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine Ghostface would be co-signing my son. It’s just so amazing. It’s so, so amazing. That’s the epitome of real rap to me. But it’s crazy, a lot of people have been saying Caiden sounds like a young Guru.
HipHopDX: How old is Caiden now?
Consequence: He’s 8. He works really hard.
HipHopDX: Do you ever worry that it’s too much for him as a young kid?
Consequence: Yeah, definitely. I make sure that I police myself wit it. When I see his fatigued, I change directions. I never want it to feel like it’s a burden for him. It’s not like he’s the meal ticket. The meal is already paid for. It’s not like if Caiden doesn’t hit a benchmark as far as getting a deal … that may happen in some situations, but that’s not my situation.
But I do encourage him to work hard ’cause if you’re good at something, you should develop it. If you take it for granted, there are people that are going to take to you because of nepotism. You should still outwork everybody, if you have the skills to do it. You don’t want to have a lazy energy level to what you commit with. You want to go full throttle.