Adhimu "Mindbender" Stewart has been one of Toronto's most passionate music journalists since 1997. He also makes hip hop and is a pornstar.
Da Incredible Rap Team aka D.I.R.T. aka HELTAH SKELTAH: CLEAN-UP HITTERS
By Adhimu "Mindbender" Stewart
When rap super heroes collide, you never know what will happen. Two of the most powerful MCs in New York City have reunited to destroy modern rap wackness, and save Gotham from all these fake clans, posses, crews and clicks. It's Sean Price (P!) and the Rockness Monster, speaking to Mindbender Supreme. Act like you know something about them.
Mindbender of HHC: So I got both Ruck and Rock on the phone?
Mindbender of HHC: First off, excellent album, guys. I been banging it for a while, I got a link directly from Duck Down.
Ruck: Aiight, that's wassup.
Rock: I'm figuring that. A lotta dudes be hitting us up to interview us all half-cocked. Pause. And they know nothing about nothing, but they'll take the interview though.
Mindbender of HHC: Naw, fuck that. My joints are 'Shmack Musik', 'So Damn Tough', and 'D.I.R.T.' I been listening to it for a while, and I can honestly say it's in the top 10 hip hop albums of 2008, so far.
Rock: See what I was saying, Ruck? I was telling you that, boy!
Ruck: You wasn't telling me shit, get the fuck outta here, ha ha ha!
Mindbender of HHC: Ya'll are jokers. So what was it like making 'Da Incredible Rap Team' again? Did y'all just pick up where you left off, or did it take a minute to get in the groove?
Rock: Nah, not really. Well, actually it kinda did if you think about it, but not really. When we officially started the album, we was in the groove. There was a little while when we was talking about doing the album, we couldn't get in the groove because of the scheduling. Son was doing his thing, I was doing my thing, and we'd do a song, and that was it. But once it was officially started, it wasn't nothing. Just us up to our old tricks again.
Mindbender of HHC: Word, I'm lovin' it. Yo, it's also good to hear a tag team combo in hip hop again, 'cause motherfuckers be all up in their own heads doing everything solo. But it's good to hear the tag-team tradition back, on some EPMD shit. Who are some of your favorite tag team groups in hip hop? Are there anybody else you are like, 'yo, we gotta be as ill as….'?
Ruck: Tek and Steele! They an ill duo right there.
Rock: Hell yeah. Tek and Steele.
Ruck: The Lox is three people, but I like Styles and Jada when they go back and forth.
Rock: Classical EPMD. Red and Meth is an ill tag team. Rae and Ghost. RUN-DMC.
Ruck: Nice and Smooth!
Mindbender of HHC: Ha ha, this guy just said Nice and Smooth. Hey, so let's reflect a bit. It's 2008. Maybe you could drop a memory from 1998, and a memory from 1988, in your hip hop lives.
Ruck: '98, we was working. Magnum Force was about to drop. It was a cool time around that time
Rock: [Life] was half rap and half hood. We was in the hood, doing things we liked doing in the hood, understand? We brought the hood on the road with us a lot more, on that run right there.
Mindbender of HHC: Getting into fights and shit?
Ruck: Everything that entails being in the street!
Rock: Not none of that, but all of that, you understand what I'm saying? And the anthem for '98 was 'I Ain't Havin That'. At least around my way. And '88? Whoo! I don't even remember '88 good.
Ruck: '88, I was 16. I was probably in Job Corps. I was in Job Corps, in and out of trouble, driving my moms crazy.
Rock: I was a mess in '88. We was adolescents. You know the saying 'C-74/ adolescents at war?' We was adolescents in '88, and everything was wild in the hood. As an adult, the hood might seem calm to me now, but if you ask a 16 year old, the shit is crazy. I'm not involved in it, but at 16, please believe NYC was crazy! On our level, understand?
Mindbender of HHC: I do. I remember when I was that age. Shit changed, but still, shit AIN'T changed. Mad kids fuckin' up they life.
Rock: Yeah, man. Little niggas be doing dumb shit. Nigga throw his life away in a half a heart beat for a bag of weed, B. All you had to do was rob a nigga for some weed. We ain't got no weed? We was like "Fuck it! Let's rob a nigga on the way to the weed spot!"
Ruck: Yeah, in the meantime, they had the 8-Ball jackets out. A friend of mine actually, he almost got killed for his 8-Ball jacket.
Rock: If you was 16, I was 15. And that means we was riding around in mad stolen cars, that was our thing. And I didn't even know how to drive. This is what I'm talking about: willing to throw your life away over nothing.
Mindbender of HHC: But that's the life journey. Some people learn, some people don't. Y'all made it. God bless the dead, cause some people don't make it this far.
Rock: Yeah man. We made it 'cause we were smart, not cause we were "gully". I'm just as gully as the next man, but that shit did NOT get me this far. I dunno, I just felt like having my moment of message just now. Niggas only glorify that, niggas never admit how stupid that shit was, you understand what I'm saying? Little niggas be runnin' around trying to do the shit, cause you never said how stupid it was, you only say how gully it was. People confess all day on tracks that this shit is ignorance. Now if you want to be ignorant, then this is what you do. Understand what I'm saying? This shit is fucking ignorance, it's stupid, it's disrespectful, you understand what I'm saying? But there's consequences and repercussions, you little stupid niggas!
Mindbender of HHC: No shit. Learn from a rap song, or learn from prison.
Mindbender of HHC: I like what you did with 'The Art of Disrespekanization'. 'Cause I come from a time where the word 'hater' didn't exist. In '92, if you didn't like it, it was just "yo, I ain't feelin that". It wasn't a big deal, but now, cats don't know how to respect something they don't like nowadays.
Rock: Yeah, exactly.
Mindbender of HHC: I wanted to ask you guys, especially Sean P: what's something that somebody's done to you to disrespect you intentionally or unintentionally, and how did you handle the situation?
Ruck: you mean in the rap game, or just period?
Mindbender of HHC: Just in life!
Ruck: Well, I don't like being disrespected, but in this day and age of computer, anybody can disrespect you, and you never see them. So you, know… fuck it, man. I don't play that shit no more. I read it and just let it go. Fuck it, man. If you physically disrespect me to my face, you gonna have a problem.
Mindbender of HHC: Yeah, you got some big fists, I seen you, ha ha.
Ruck: Yeah, I do. I hit hard. Like I said, in this day and age of computer world, a motherfucker will type anything about you and you will never see him. What you gonna do, yell at your hard drive? You know what I mean? Fuck it, ha ha! The computer has allowed pussy-ass niggas and bitch-ass niggas to get they thug on, without being seen.
Rock: They will say anything they want, and give you a block to meet them on and all that. But it's not a real block though. Them two streets don't even meet!
Mindbender of HHC: Yeah, a lotta computer thuggery.
Ruck: I put songs on certain websites, and they leave comments. I don't even trip off that. You know the comments I trip off? When they call me a cocksucker and shit like that. As a man, I don't play that 'suck my dick' shit. They got a tendency to do that on the internet but if I ever catch the nigga who invited me to they cock, I'ma punch they dick off, word to mutha!
Rock: A nigga ain't never gonna tell you that to your face, that's why he online saying that. I was online on my own website, I used to have a little chatroom on www.rockness.net . I was in the chatroom, on my website, and there was some fuckin' disrespectful bastard in there talking some shit, talking greezy. Whatever he was saying, I don't even remember. But I was cracking jokes on him because of that. And then I found out that my homeboy was there. My homeboy knew this dude, they was both at work, they worked in the same building. He was like 'Yo, Rock! This nigga right here, this foolio works downstairs! This old bitch ass nigga!' I start typing 'What?! You mean to tell me this nigga is in the same building as you RIGHT NOW?! Hold on a second!!' All of a sudden duke puts the car in reverse like 'Nah, uh Rock, I was just, um, nah, not really, I was just playing, it's just jokes, we online, I don't want no problems'. So that was my first and last lesson with that. I was like 'these niggas is bitches.' I aint trippin'.
Mindbender of HHC: Word. When I go online, I use my real name and my hip hop name and I have a reason behind all my criticism. As well, I won't call someone a cocksucker unless they actually suck cock, which I suspect a few of these rappers are guilty of!
Rock: Ha ha ha!
Mindbender of HHC: Motherfuckers is not real in this rap shit no more.
Rock: Yeah, they not. Everybody is too busy being politically correct, whatever that is today. What's politically correct today may change tomorrow, and everybody is going to ride that wave. But NOT ME. FUCK THAT. I'ma do what the fuck I do, and not what the fuck y'all do. Cause what y'all do ain't what I want to do! Understand that?
Mindbender of HHC: Yeah, what they do ain't even necessary for hip hop. You guys are personalities. You bring original energy to the game. You ain't biting nobody's beats or rhymes. Motherfuckers shit these days is not even necessary to be in hip hop, on so many levels, like take your bullshit outta here. It's the perfect lead in to the next question, because I like that song 'Insane'. The world is going insane, it's crazy. What's the last craziest thing you seen? Like, headlines from the newspapers in New York, or something?
Rock: 'Everything is Heltah Skeltah' and 'Insane', they one and the same on a lot of levels. They saying a lot of same things. But shit like… Suge getting knocked out. That shit is INSANE!
Mindbender of HHC: Yeah, no shit!
Rock: Like Everything is heltah skeltah! How the fuck did that happen?! I thought I would never hear no shit like that happening! ...Muhfuckin' fat chicks is in style now! Everything is heltah skeltah and insane, B! I don't get it.
Mindbender of HHC: Word up. Yo, did you see that kid Latarian Milton, the 7-year-old who stole the SUV from his grandmother and went on a joyride? Kid was crazy!
Rock: Niggas don't get they ass beat enough no more. Pause. Everybody's so quick to go to the mattress.
Ruck: Yeah, I saw that. He said he liked doing hoodrat stuff with his homies. Yo, kids don't get ass-whippings like they used to!
Ruck: Grown-ups, neither!!
Rock: Ha ha! Yeah, grown-ups don't get they ass whipped like they should, neither!
Ruck: Niggas need they fuckin' ass whooped!!!
Mindbender of HHC: Ha ha! So, let's take it there. When's the last time you got into a fight at a show?
Rock: I don't be fighting at shows. Niggas know! Whether niggas love us that much or just respect us, one way or the other, niggas know to respect us.
Ruck: Me neither. But I ain't gonna lie, I've had a few fights at a show, but I'm not even gonna talk about it cause it was so slick that the promoters and the bouncers didn't know. So for me to blow it up now would be a disservice. Just appreciate my slickness, that's all.
Mindbender of HHC: It's interesting to see a new time in hip hop where artists like KRS-One and B-Real are signed to Duck Down, when 10 years ago, it was a totally other situation. What do you think of the new label moves Duck Down is making?
Ruck: It's all good. For years, Duck Down has been basically just Boot Camp. But if you want to be a real label, it can't just be us. You have to go out there and find other talent. That's part of being a real label. Signing Kids In The Hall, Special Teamz, DJ Revolution, KRS-One, B-Real, and all these acts that just bring more flavor to the label.
Rock: By doing that, you open a lot of doors for all parties involved. You might find people that way, we might be able to go through kids in the hall avenues where we usually might not be.
Ruck: We could piggy back off whatever they doing, nah'mean?
Rock: Our fanbase may not fuck with Kids In The Hall. But they will if we say so! 'Cause our fans is loyal to us. It is what it is. KRS-One, DJ Revolution, B-Real? Come on. That's a lotta doors right there.
Mindbender of HHC: Word. Well, I also love the marketing of this album, with the crazy album cover and the superhero theme. Who inspired that?
Ruck: Well, the album cover is all Dru Ha.
Rock: Just being creative with it. It wasn't inspired by no superheroes and shit.
Ruck: Yeah, the album is called "DIRT: d-i-r-t". And we coulda went with the dirt theme… I was outta ideas, truthfully. Cause Redman had 'Dare Is A Darkside', his head was stickin' out the dirt. That was great. Then he had 'Muddy Waters', he was covered in mud, that was great. How could we top that? What could we do? So we went with 'Da Incredible Rap Team' and, we're like supervillians.
Rock: We went with the acronym.
Ruck: 'Cause Redman bodied the whole 'dirt' thing, nahmean?
Mindbender of HHC: What's up with the Loudmouth Choir album? Is that still coming?
Ruck: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!
Rock: I'm trying to figure out what my name that starts with a 'L' gonna be, and then I'm getting on the album. Everybody in Loudmouth Choir name start with an L, including this nigga here.
Ruck: Yeah. I'm the 'Loudmouth Luger Lifter'! We got some craaazy songs on there. But look out for that. Whoo! That's kinda berserk.
Mindbender of HHC: What else is coming?
Ruck: Rock got a solo CD out right now called 'Shellshock'. And I know he's gonna start working on monster music, that's the real LP.
Rock. Yup, that's the full length.
Ruck: He's also doing a DVD for his mixtape shellshock. Then he got his rock brothers. He got a lotta things on his plate, so look out for that, fo sho.
Ruck: And Sean P, he workin' on the motherfuckin' random acts project, he should be just about finished with that.
Ruck: 'Bout 2, 3 more songs…
Rock: yeah. And 'Mic Tyson' is kinda on hold now, he got the random acts coming soon, he's gonna do another mixtape, 'Kimbo Slice' the prequel.
Ruck: 'Kimbo Price'!
Mindbender of HHC: Ha ha ha! Oh shit. I love it. That shit is genius.
Rock: Yeah, we gonna go from 'Kimbo Price' to 'Mic Tyson'. Then we got Rustee Juxx album ready to drop.
Ruck: Yeah, we got 'Sean Price Presents: Rustee Juxx - Indestructible', droppin October 28th. I'm going on tour with Ill Bill in a few days, and me and Ill Bill's working on an album too called 'The Pill'. We just working man. I just got off the phone yesterday with my boy Oh No from the West Coast and he want to collab on a few things, so you know… I got a lotta stuff I'm workin' on.
Rock: Yeah. I was just hollerin' at my boy Method Man yesterday and shit, we definitely going to put that thing together. We know niggas been definitely waiting for it. Niggas always been talkin' bout Red and Meth, Rock and Ruck, or Rock and Meth, or Ruck and Red… we gonna do that. We workin' on some things, baby.
Ruck: Tell him about the movie.
Rock: Oh yeah, the movie is called 'Gotta Get Mine'. It's written by my man Ali and my man Dallas. It's off the chain, I'm playing a supervillain in that, but not with no costume, you know what I'm sayin'? Ha ha ha. It's a good movie. I been in a few punk ass little movies, but this is the only one worth mentioning right now.
Mindbender of HHC: So you got Marco Polo on the album, he's dope. Plus, he's from Toronto. What do you think when you come across the border and you check Canadian hip hop culture and what's going around here?
Ruck: Ain't no different than what's going on where we at, man! Especially Toronto. That's right across from New York.
Rock: Except they don't let me up there!
Ruck: I'm working on it.
Mindbender of HHC: Is the trial next year? Do you have a date?
Rock: nah, I don't have a date. I just came from court today. Oh shit, and it's my mama's birthday. Happy birthday, mama. She won't read this 'til way after, but still… I gotta go get my mom something for her birthday. Damn, I just had this other shit on my mind. But it's all good, we got this shit under control. Rock filthy but not guilty.
Mindbender of HHC: Word. Just keep doing the right thing. God willing, truth will come out and you will get this shit behind you.
Rock: Yeah, I got this guy coming out, fabricating stories, like I'm supposed to be thugged out on some gangbanger ass nigga, just slandering my name… I hope his homeboys know he's a snitch. Or he work with the police, 'cause I don't think they safe around him neither. I mean, I don't even know what you call him. I don't even know if you officially snitching if you fabricating, but I know that shit is unhealthy.
Mindbender of HHC: Well, I believe in karma. All the best to you. Anyways, in the 'Everything is HeltahSkeltah' video, are you clowning on hipster culture with the dudes in the funny lookin' clothes you punk off?
Rock: You know what? That be more the director's vision, you know what I mean? When we say 'Everything is Heltah Skeltah', we talk about a whole bunch of things on that chorus, and a director from time to time will get a vision and run with it. But that shit… I mean, you'll never see me with a pair of tight pants on or nothing. If you like rocking nutcrackers, then that's what you do. But just, do that over there. But it's more than just that on my mind. And yeah it made the video lighthearted, cause Heltah Skeltah, we spit bodies, you know what I'm sayin'? We get a light hearted video and that will offset all that other hard body stuff, so it makes it digestible to the people.
Mindbender of HHC: So, since you are doing a big tour, and making mixtapes, and doing DVDs and still in business, what kind of advice would you have for up and coming rappers in hip hop in 2008 in this era?
Ruck: Uhhh, my advice is; DON'T EVEN RAP, man. Find something else to do, 'cause I got it on smash. This is my house. You are not welcome. Get out of here. I got this whole thing on lock.
Rock: Ha ha ha. I'm done. I ain't got nothing else to say. That's it right there…. Yo, we need lawyers, and stuff! The Knicks need a new guard or something!
Ruck: Yeah! The Knicks need a new guard, we need a real true center, you know what I mean?! Work on your inside game, your basketball game. Work on your free throws and all that, man!
Rock: You big dumb motherfucker, do something!
Ruck: How the fuck you 7 feet and you can't hit a free throw and the rim is 10 feet?
Rock: But you trying to bust a rap?!
Rock: Work on your free throws, nigga.
Ruck: Yeah, work on your free throws!
Rock: Go be a Knick! Ha ha ha!
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on October 23, 2019:
"Ruck: Yeah, I saw that. He said he liked doing hoodrat stuff with his homies. Yo, kids don't get ass-whippings like they used to!
Ruck: Grown-ups, neither!!" - Haha!! That's funny and true.
Cool interview - thanks for sharing. Sean P!!! RIP.