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There was a lot more discussed, but I’m gonna end it with this one. In this segment I asked him about Behind Bars and The Rulers Back. For the most part his answer was what I expected, but then he took it to a whole other level. I always knew Russell was a crooked business dude, but when it came to Rick I just assumed everything was good considering he recorded The Art Of Storytelling a decade after first singing with Def Jam. Wrong assumption.
I want to talk about Behind Bars, and The Rulers Back. I’m curious how you view those albums. I feel like cats don’t talk about them, but they had their moments of greatness.
Well, those albums were rushed. There was a lot of pressure. I’m on this label where I’m not getting no money, doing all this work and not getting no doe. Def Jam at that time, under those dudes, they were very crooked. When I was with Doug, I would at least walk away with something. Now when I get with Def Jam, and I’m forced to make a whole album…and the Doug E Fresh record went Gold and I at least eventually got $40,000. But when it came to Def Jam, my record went Platinum and I didn’t get shit. It became hard to…it starts to frustrate you, you start feeling like you’re a slave in bondage and shit. Then not to mention the case I was going through. So now it’s not fun anymore, and it becomes a job. You gotta stay current, and you’re feeling pressure from other styles. Those two albums, I wasn’t in a relaxed element. The raps was too fast, and plus half of it was made without me being there. There were a lot of bad things. I’d say those two albums were another learning experience when you look back as an adult. Pressure from other artists or trying to compete with other styles instead of sticking with your own. And then like I said about the record label, how can you make a platinum album, a classic, and you have a lawyer, an accountant and all these things in place so nobody can treat you like you’re stupid, and then they still rob you! They took everything, and left me to pay the taxes on the money they took. Isn’t that crazy? I mean imagine if you made a platinum album back then for peanuts, you just made somebody like $15 million. If you made somebody $15 million, how do you end up getting nothing and the next thing you know you’re un-recouped $2 million, and God knows how much they said I owed the IRS. So that, with the case…you know. Crooks will be crooks, next thing they’re consider prestigious, but that’s life.
So when you’re filming The Show, that was all bullshit? I mean knowing he’s taking you like that, you gotta be looking at Russell like, “damn, really!?!”
Well, you know that speaks for itself too. If you’re an artist on somebody’s label, no matter if you’re going through ups and downs, that’s stuff that you should probably keep private especially cause that’s your artist. But you can’t rob your artist and then want to make a movie and discredit them like they’re some loose cannon, LSD taking crazy person. The bottom line is when they came to me with that movie…they always got a thing with these charities and fundraisers nonsense. When they came to me about the movie, while I’m in jail mind you, they say we’re gonna make this movie to enlighten people about this culture and whatever, but we’re not gonna pay you nothing! It’s a charity, all this nonsense like nobody is getting paid and duhduhduhduhduh. But next thing you know, this is in the movie theaters and everyone gotta pay $10 to go see it. Everyone is making all of this money, and the people who were in the movie didn’t receive anything. They got bamboozled by these wealthy prestigious people, but in real life they’re like parasites. Bums, pretending to be prestigious, I don’ know what else to call that shit. Then they want to insult you in the movie! And then to add salt to the wound, they say I want the camera to be on so that it’s kept real. The people who know the true story, Lyor and all these prestigious bums and whatever, what are you gonna do? They got the power and you don’t. A prestigious bum is always going to be prestigious bum.
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