Mic Drop is a recurring series featuring the thoughts and opinions of some of the biggest voices in classic Hip-Hop. Raw, uncut — and in their own words — these are the gems you've always wanted.
The Detroit Hip-Hop scene doesn't have a point to prove.
Proving a point to people means you're responding to the takes of others. We're more into doing it for ourselves, for the culture. Detroit is Motown. Why would we be bombarded by all southern music or all West Coast music or all East Coast music or wherever the fuck else they make music and not have a culture of our own? We created R&B! I don't have a point to prove to anybody. Fuck 'em all, either you riding or you ain't. That's where I'm at with it.
Some people want to make their point known—make 'em feel us. But we're a self-contained unit. We've got it all and we've been had it all. We've been doing it for a long time. Before Dr. Dre 'nem was playing on the microphone, talking about gangsta shit, we were doing that shit they was talking about—and they weren't. We just realized, after they came out, "Oh shit, we can talk about this shit, nigga? Let's do it!" We already living it! Might as well jump in.
The unity has dwindled somewhat. That sense of unity in the city, I mean. In the beginning, we made it our business to make sure our culture was based on unity. It was a factor that I as an artist and a big homie—because I've always been a leader—I always wanted to make sure we stayed in tune with each other peacefully. It's something stupid when a nigga from Detroit beefs with a nigga from Detroit on a record. It sounds completely fucking dumb. Whoever initiated an issue, they're the fucking idiots. Because you sound dumb beefing with another muthafucka from your own town.
When they created that "Detroit Vs. Everybody" shit, it was a play on "No Fly Zone." Because a muthafucka ain't got the balls to say you vs. a goddam thing if it wasn't for Goon Sqwad and "No Fly Zone." We already got our chest stuck out. We already got the border up and the barrier up. We are already a self-contained unit. We are already fucking with the producers and the artists in our own town instead of going around and chasing these others. Granted, if you have a relationship with a Snoop Dogg or a E-40—hell yeah, you'll work with 'em. But we worked with the producers around the corner. We worked with the artists around the corner, first and foremost. More than others. Because that sense of unity was everything. Now, it's like, a couple of these youngsters, they're into their own little thing. To each his own. But I'd say the sense of unity has dwindled down. Not to nothing, but it has dwindled overall.
The way you get that back is to eliminate the suckas. That's the bottom line. You gotta get the suckas outta the way. But you've really just got to let the suckas eliminate themselves. That's not a problem. A fool will always fall in their own shit.
A sucka is gonna be a sucka. So you don't hold too much against a sucka because you already know what a sucka is. And where the sucka at and who the sucka is. You've gotta let a ho be a ho.
It's not a fight against a regime of any sort. At one point, I had my gun pointed at the record labels for overlooking Detroit and the talent in Detroit as they came here and profited in Detroit. My issue was like "Yo, there's a lot of talented people around here." You can probably fuck with some of these cats if you're going to keep doing your thing in our market and keep bringing your artists here. It would make more sense if you come and pick up one of these niggas when you come here. That way, it's a celebration for all of us.
It is what it is. You're gonna stand up on the principles you believe in and you're gonna ride with them. To each his own; everybody is going to go in the direction that they think is right for them.
But there will always be bitch niggas. They're gonna always exist. As players, we have to understand our piece and how to maneuver around them. Avoid dealing with suckas, and suckas come in all shapes, sizes and colors. When that muthafucka pull up, you gotta recognize it. He's trying to get you to believe that whatever it is he's got going on is your next goddam move, and the whole time he's trying to infiltrate what you've got going on.
I move on my feelings. And when I'm feeling something, I've got to activate. When you hear a good business plan, it's like "Hell yeah, let's do that." When I'm encouraged to work with younger artists is whenever I see talent. Rapping no longer consists of talent, to me. Anybody can put rhyming words together, but can you put them together in a way that's something we've never heard before? When I hear it and recognize it, I support it and I applaud it.
I have a Sirius/XM show on Shady 45. It comes on Thursdays—the "Fly Zone Radio Show." The show is based on playing independent artists only and supporting the independent movement. The growth of the independent movement is very encouraging and motivational for me. You see and can get into the youngsters—even though they have more resources now than we had, and it's easier for artists to do what they need to do as far as communicating with DJs and putting together a product. The digital age studio is a machine and a laptop and a microphone. You don't even have to leave your house to run a fucking record label. But seeing them motivates me to say "You know what? Imma do it again. I'll do another project." I don't do projects based on a label or no shit like that. I'm 100% independent. So I'm always motivated by the artists I see actually putting in that work and actually standing on what they believe in. When an artist hits me up like 'Yo, OG—how can I get on 'Fly Zone Radio?'" that motivates me.
I'll always be encouraged to stand up for artists that have that drive and those principals and those morals. When I see that, I'm activated to step in and assist and help that artist to create a platform. So that he can lend an assist to others, as I have tried to do over the years.