Mr. Cheeks – Interview

Mr. Cheeks

Getting down with Mr. Cheeks.

What’s happen?

Just chillin’ G, what’s happen with you?

Not much. So how long did you work on the album?

About three and a half months.

When did you wrap it up?

End of the summer.

What have you been up to since then?

Just laid back. I spend the time with the family until I have to get on the road again.

Did you want to get the record out sooner or did you like the time off?

I definitely want my shit to drop. I want everyone to get their ears and see what I got to drop on them.

Bringing in Pete Rock was sweet. I was reminiscing myself when I heard the track.

(Laughs) You know it. I had to bring it back the way the rap game is now.

Where did the idea come from?

We just threw up the track and were like ‘man we need to do that’. I had some boys jump on it. I had a new cat, myself and they been way in the game. Reminiscing with them was crazy. It was how we did it back in the days. CL Smooth and Pete Rock still got their skills.

That track made me want to dig up some vinyl.

Yeah. That’s crazy right?

Did you get the vibe of being a Lost Boyz by bringing on guests for this record or can it never be the same?

I like making music. My dream came true and I’m doing what I love. When I bring an artist through I’m just feeling their flavor for the music they make. It’ll never be like the LB. No what I’m saying? I just love making this music.

When you work on the tracks do you do it all in the studio?

Yeah. I drop it all right there in the studio. I get the tracks from my producer cats, but when I get to the studio that is where write the rhyme. I like to prepare it and write a song for it. I call my boys and they come to the studio and we’ll knock it out.

Hip-hop seems to be changing and that is why I dug the cover of “Reminisce” because it brought us back to when lyrics were king, not like most artists today.

When they had skills. The rap game isn’t about who has the most skills anymore, its about ice and who has the most money. They don’t even rhyme anymore. Some cats have skills and some don’t. We just get it off.

It seems like now the hook is bigger than they rhymes. I can tell you put time in the rhymes.

I put it down. (We both laugh) You can’t just make the beats and make the record. You have to make the lyrics too.

Do you think its because fans don’t hear artists like BDP or Public Enemy and they don’t know what a good rapper is? So they don’t know what they should be getting?

Yeah, truthfully. We don’t have PE or KRS-One the Teacher anymore. I don’t know where they went, so ni**ers are lost they don’t know how to lay it down. It’s just like the NFL or NBA, they want to trade them because they say their getting to old like your Emmitt Smith type shit.

I hope that track inspires others to break out the cassettes and vinyl to go old school again.

(Laughs) Oh yeah.

I miss Eric B. and Rakim.

No doubt.

Kool G.

EPMD and Biz Markie.

I have to get them on cd I only have the cassettes.

You better get the cds kid. (Laughs)

You working on a tour?

I’m working on a tour right now with Lil’ Kim. We’ve got enough hits to bring it.

You ever get a chance to talk to fans?

Everywhere I go. I’m not the ni**er hiding in VIP, I’m the cat on the dance floor just chillin’. I like cuttin’ into your speaker. I’m a regular guy just living.

Will there be another Lost Boyz record?

We are working on a best of LB record right now. We should be dropping that sometime and take the streets back. We are in the studio with Stephen Marley in Miami bringing it.

Are you always working on new tracks?

I like working all the time. When they tell me I have to work that is when I don’t want to work. (Laughs)

I’m sure rhyming beats anything you were doing before that.

(Laughs) Hell yeah. I’ve been through some nasty shit.

For the kids who want to grow up and by a rapper, what do you say to them?

Just be original with it. Don’t try to sound like anyone else. There aren’t a lot of A likes, but there are a lot of B alikes. A bunch of ni**ers come out with their crews and they all sound just alike. They talk about how they are ill and they just talk. They just need to bring it.

It was cool back in the day when you had Public Enemy talking politics and NWA talking about the streets. Everyone had an agenda.

Yeah, yeah. Now everyone talks about the same thing. Everyone has a Rolls Royce and talking about that. What kind of message is that?

Most artists today I can’t tell the difference between their voices.

No doubt. We need the flavors.

Is there anyone you haven’t yet worked with that you’d like to work with?

A lot of people. Luther, make a hot thing with Luthy. We could go anywhere with that. Word up. Grand Puba.

Puba is nice.

Rakim would be crazy. Big Daddy Kane.

I loved Puba in Brand Nubian.

For real (sings) “Slow down”.

That was a tight record. I can still listen to that.

For real.

What do you want people to say about you in ten years?

That I was an original.

+ charlie craine






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