You and Necro both have a fascination for raw, street rap with gangsta allures, so this collabo was bound to happen right? How did things come together?
Necro got in contact with me through one of my peoples. B asically he connected me and Necro together and that was pretty much that. Necro made it clear he wanted to do a project with me. It started off as an EP, but as we got in the motion of doing things, when we started out knocking a number of songs, the idea kinda changed to doing a full project, ‘The Godfathers’ project.
What can we expect?
A lot of people can only imagine. But since both of us are like similar in what we do, we’re both like raw, underground spitters, they will have an idea already. We’re both rappers with a sophisticated flow, multisyllabic. It’s that hardcore rugged attack, that griminess. For instance, if I was to name some records that you can compare this project to, you can expect to hear a Necro - G Rap ‘Men At Work’ or ‘Wanted: Dead Or Alive’, or ‘Poison’. This project is right along the lines of that, but very much 2011-ish
I’m impressed by the material we’re working on right now. I’m amped up and charged. I know the people that are waiting and anticipating the project are gonna be completely satisifed. This is gonna be that raw, lyrical, spitting, hardcore, street. I mean all these different things wrapped up into one. The fans out there that are familiar with Necro’s work and my own work, I know their imagination can just put it together on what us two, Necro and G Rap, are gonna do. What we could possible be capable of doing on our own, what we could be doing together, they can only imagine, but they will have some kind of idea
Will there be a remake of 'Break A Bitch Neck' on it? In a way you can compare Necro to Akinyele...
(laughs) That was something that was not discussed between me and Necro, but now you mention it, that sounds like an ill idea (laughs). A record like that would be right up the alley of what Necro does and of course of what G Rap has done. It hasn’t been discussed but it’s possible.
You were a ghost writer for Salt N Peppa. What do you remember of those days?
I wrote the song ‘Chick On The Side’ on the B-side of ‘Push It’. It was before G Rap ever had a record. Before I was with Juice Crew, before all of that. It was when I was working with Hurby ‘Luv Bug’ Azer. When he just started to work with Salt N Peppa, I believe. The reason why I assume that -it was a long time ago- is because immediately after, Salt N Peppa and Hurby recorded that record answering ‘The Show’ by Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh. I believe that was their first single, I don’t remember the name of the single right on top of the head though.
Are you still a ghost writer?
I’m not actively a ghost writer for anybody. I wouldn’t rule that possibility out though in the future. But as of right now, no, I’m not.
One of your most remarkable features was on the UNKLE album. How did that
happen, through Shadow?
That was me still kinda early in my career. I only had put out two albums at that time, so it was like still in the early stages of my career. I was still riding that wave, you know, that first wave you ride, when you’re first getting in the business. When you start earning recognition. It was a good thing. Working on a lot of project is good. A lot of people came to me for features at that time. It was one of the first features besides doing features with Juice Crew. At the beginning I pretty much arranged features myself, there wasn’t any people calling me. I got them on my projects. Now with the UNKLE project, that was the first time somebody else came out to me and reached out so that was a good thing. I loved the feature, but it was so long ago, almost a decade, I don’t remember a lot of it.
One of your upcoming features is with Adil Omar. He's from Pakistan. He reached out to you, we suppose?
Yeah, through one of the social networks, I believe it was Facebook. He simply e-mailed me, saying he wanted to do a collab, I contacted him back and we put it in motion. Simple as that.
You rap about the streets of NY, but you're also open to foreign collabo's, it sounds like a contradiction but you do it...are you trying to tell the world what NY is about?
Now, you may say that sounds like a contradiction, but really, I don’t see what the contradiction is. Just because I did a record called ‘Streets of New York’, I don’t see how I could contradict that by doing a record with someone form Paris, London,… anywhere on the globe. That’s no contradiction. ‘Streets of New York’ is a record about me, rappin about the things I see around me growing up. My experiences, and all the things I see around me in my environment, growin up,...
What are some rap albums that you have in your iPod right now?
When I’m working on projects I don’t really marinate with outside projects too often. So I really couldn’t tell you anything. Maybe other than my latest album I just dropped - which is ‘Riches, Royalty, Respect’ and the EP before that. I might be listening to my own work, you know what I’m saying. When I’m indulged in another project, whether it’s a solo album, or a collaboration like I’m doin now with Necro, I’m not gonna absorb myself with too many artists. I don’t want anything to rub off subconsciously. I’m trying to reduce that as much as possible.
Let's say we have to introduce your work to a kid who just recently started listening to hip-hop and we can only do this by giving him three out of all of your records, which ones should we give him?
(thinks) If I would give him three projects, that would best define who Kool G Rap is… (thinks harder) One of the three projects would be… uhm…it would have to be the first thing I ever came out with, which is ‘Road to the Riches’. I believe you got to give them the foundation first. I don’t believe I could skip that. I got to give him that first as a backdrop. It’s like proppin the stage, or whatever.
Then I would maybe, rather than goin’ right to the second album, give him ‘4-5-6’. Other than that, ‘Roots of Evil’. That way you’ll give them the foundation, you could give them a project where I worked with another legend, a legend in the making at that time, Nas. Very much a legend right now because of his body of work. It wasn’t just business with me and Nas, we also had a personal relationship. We knew each other already on a personal level, as well as a artist-to-artist-relationship.
The reason why I would give him ‘Roots of Evil’ is because they would get an overall raw picture. That would just complete the whole picture for someone who didn’t have a clue at first. Because now you get at that, you get the storytelling side. And there’s no other albums that display my storytelling abilities better than ‘Roots of Evil’.
What's the difference between Kool G Rap from the eighties and Kool G Rap twenty years later?
It would definitely be maturity. I’m more of a polished artist now. It’s like, as far as my recording, as opposed to the 80’s, I was just spitting… I wasn’t thinking about the different techniques of recording then. You know, you do your adlibs, your choruses, your hooks… it’s evident. When I first came out, I really didn’t do songs with hooks and choruses. So the difference is, I’m more well-rounded, 20 years later, than I was in the 80’s. Without taking anything away from the G Rap in the 80’s, because that raw fire is what made up for no choruses, no hooks, no doubling your tracks. It was just that raw, highly energetic fire that made up for not being as polished.
Did you know or could you have thought in1989 that you would still be releasing -rap- records in 2011?
I really wasn’t thinking about it in 1989. I really don’t think I really thought about it before. It might‘ve not been anything I planned to do, but I’m grateful… that I’m here doin’ it. And it really looks like it’s even going beyond 2011 now.
I really appreciate the people out there that continuously wanna hear Kool G Rap. Whether it’s a feature, or dropping a solo project. I appreciate the people that appreciate my craft, my body of work. Appreciate everything I do. As far as talent wise. And that’s what keeps me going. That’s what made it possible to make a record in 2011, and lookin like we goin into 2012.
What makes you going every time again? What’s your secret?
My passion, my love for the art. My competitiveness. The fact that I grew up with hip-hop. And because I ain’t ready to throw the towel yet. Who knows when that’ll be. Maybe soon, maybe not. (laughs)
As far as my secret. If you mean what’s my secret of my longevity? It’s my competitive spirit. And, that’s not really a secret, when you’re an artist of my calibre. Or when you’re an artist of a lot of cats’ calibre, that I consider legends. Cause I don’t believe a legend could fall off. I believe people get to different points of life, and maybe lose the ambition, or lose the desire. But I think anybody, that earned that status of being called a legend, always has the ability to come back, and amaze people. The gift never goes away. The only thing that goes away is the desire.
Now finally: what does the 'G' stand for now. Genius or Giancanna?
The G in Kool G Rap stands for ‘Genius’. ‘Giancana’ was a name I took on later in my career. But the G stands for ‘Genius’. It will always stand for ‘Genius’.
Thanks for having me, and peace.