HipHopDx: Blaqprint’s content illustrates hopelessness and negativity. Is that a fair description?
Blaq Poet: No. Blaqprint is…streets. Hip Hop with street reality. All mixed in. Everything is not "shoot-em-up, bang-bang, kill everybody." It’s not all about the drugs. It’s all about hood tales. And bragging a lot on a lot of songs – all of that that’s part of Hip Hop; telling people I’m the best. But it’s mostly hood tales and things that go around in the hood, every hood around America. And if it sounds like I’m trying to be negative or trying to stay negative, if you’re a real dude and you from the streets, you gonna know what I’m talking about, you gonna appreciate it. If you’re not, you’re not gonna get it.
DX: You refer to women as bitches often enough in the album. Why is that?
Blaq Poet: I mean you got ladies and you got bitches. You got niggas and you got homeboys. It’s the same thing. [Laughs] If a girl acts like a bitch then she’s gonna be a bitch in my eyes. And I’m not being disrespectful, some girls want you to know, “Yeah, I’m a real bitch. Don’t fuck with me ‘cause I’m a real bitch.” [Laughs]. I’m talking to the bitches when I say “bitch.” And when I’m talking to the ladies, I let them know I’m talking to the ladies.
DX: In comparison, do you refer to the ladies as much as you refer to the bitches in your album?
Blaq Poet: Nah, ‘cause I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I’m still referring to what they show me they are. There’s still a lot of bitches in the world.
DX: I think you’re hanging around with the wrong crowd.
Blaq Poet: [Laughs].
DX: DJ Premier executive produced the album. Your involvement with him goes back to the Y2K album, with Screwball. What is it about Preem that makes you want to be a part of what he does?
Blaq Poet: He makes the beats that makes me want to rhyme. He has the funkiest beats I think in the game right now and he makes me want to rap. The beats that he makes, the hardcore beats, you never know what he’s gonna come up with but you believe it’s gonna be creative, it’s gonna be gritty.
DX: What do you think is about Blaq Poet that makes Preemo want to be a part of what he does?
Blaq Poet: Preemo got a dark side like anybody. I think I bring out his dark side. [Laughs] He likes the hardcore and he knows I come through with that hardcore, no doubt.
DX: What is it about boom-bap that makes you a continuous believer?
Blaq Poet: It’s the boom-bap, boom-boom-boom bap. [Singing] It’s the old school feel of the boom and the bap. You can even hear it in the beats that the new guys are making. They got the boom bap in their beats, every beat has the boom bap in itself. It’s all about the head nodding and the boom bap that makes you want to just start shaking your head and start coming up with lyrics and rhymes.
DX: Why do you want to preserve that?
Blaq Poet: That’s the era I come from. That’s the best years in Hip Hop. I really want the young good dudes to hear and see how we was doing it so they can improve on it, make it better, make it iller. We want them to build off it…
DX: You’ve done collaborations with a lot of OG’s like KRS-One, Marley Marl, Freddie Foxxx. Judging from that, is it fair to say that you’re attempting to conserve an art form prevalent in the '90s?
Blaq Poet: If I’m doing it, I’m doing it not knowing I’m doing it. I’m doing it just because I love it, that’s what I love. And I want people to continue to go on with that. but I also want people to get creative too. Don’t just stop at the boom bap, expand on the boom bap.
DX: What do you mean by “expand?”
Blaq Poet: Like Kanye [West], he has boom bap in his beats and all that but he also gets creative. He might sample something a little different – just different forms of sampling and different ways of making beats. It’s all boom bap, but I just want people to make the new boom bap, call it the “new bap.” [Laughs] I don’t want people to get stuck in one era; I want that era that get spread and expanded and people just take it to where it’s never been before.
DX: What would the “new bap” be composed of?
Blaq Poet: The youngsters. The youngsters doing what we did and doing what we did and building off of it. I can’t even explain it; it just has to be done. It would be the hardcore, the hard base; then live instruments mixed with sampling. Keep me interested, I’m a fan of this too. I love listening to new stuff and checking out the new dudes and all that. I just want them to keep me interested.
DX: Any new dudes you’re checking for?
Blaq Poet: I like Cory Gunz. That’s my youngsta from New York. Cory Gunz is gonna have them wylin'. Ain’t too many, man. [Laughs]
DX: You stated that availability of Internet and technology increased people’s desires to pursue Rap. Why is Hip Hop and Rap so appealing?
Blaq Poet: It’s an outlet to just let loose. Everybody got things on their mind, stresses. Even if you want to have a party, a good time, then you can just let loose, Hip Hop is the best way to let your hair down. [Laughs]
DX: Why is it appealing for a career choice?
Blaq Poet: It’s like the NBA these days and professional sports – it’s a multimillion dollar game.
DX: How is it affected by the recession?
Blaq Poet: People are always gonna want to hear good music and always wanna hear their best artist and eat good food. So I don’t think the recession really bothers music or food. [Laughs] People are always wanna eat good and people are always gonna wanna hear good music.
DX: What is the essence of Hip Hop?
Blaq Poet: Graffiti, turntables, deejaying. Beating on the wall. [Laughs] You might have your homie beat on the wall while you spit some rhymes. You feel it in your bones. It’s not a money thing, it’s not a being cool thing, it’s something you feel.
DX: The changes we see today reflected in mainstream Hip Hop – can we call it “evolution?”
Blaq Poet: No doubt.
Blaq Poet: Everything evolves. Hip Hop is no different than anything else. It’s gonna evolve and come back to the same way it was before and evolve from there. So it’s gonna stay evolving and getting different and staying current at the same time. Hip Hop is crazy.
DX: What keeps you rhyming?
Blaq Poet: I keep going ‘cause I grew up with music. When I hear a beat that makes me want to rap, I’m gonna always want to rap to it. It just gets me open. it’s something in my blood; when I hear it, I want to rhyme, I want to rap, I want to say what’s on my mind and express what’s on my mind.
DX: Anything you’d like to add?
Blaq Poet: I’ve been doing this for years, years and years. And I’m gonna keep doing it until the wheels fall off of it. And for the O.G.s out there, if ya’ll are gonna make the joints, then make the songs that youngsters want to hear or you’re gonna die off in the "Jurassic Rap Park." Or you’re gonna stay current and pop off like I plan to do. And to the youngsters, pay attention to O.G.s ‘cause the O.G.s are gonna break it down for you the right way to follow. If your Hip Hop starts at Lil Wayne, you gotta do some history and find out what’s going on. I talk to a lot of good dudes in Europe and a lot of dudes in America and the average European 17 year-old knows more about Hip Hop than the 20 year-old American kid. [Laughs] What’s going on here? There’s a problem.
DX: Good advice.
Blaq Poet: Thanks a lot. And I will try to clean it up…