So 'artist development,' as it pertains to
Hip-Hop, is a thing of the past in today's single driven market. What
is Nuk Fam doing to bring back actual artists with longevity?
Kray: Right now we trying to get on in the first
place. We'll worry about not falling off once we have somewhere to fall
Tone: I'm an artist and a member of Nuk Fam and
I plan on making art for a long time.
Kray: Right now, I think people like us as human
beings more than they like any single piece of music we have created.
So I guess us not having a "hit single" will help us maintain
a long career of "non-success."
Iller Than Theirs you seem to have grudge against wackness. There
was a time when dudes would get booed of the stage if they didn't come
correct, but now subpar talent gets major label deals. What do you think
about the 'dumbing down' of Hip-Hop?
Tone: I'm still a big fan of booing.
Kray: We do have a grudge against wackness. I'm
glad that came across.
Tone: Also though psuedo-intellectuals are infiltrating
the game and sometimes you gotta meet them with psuedo-ignorance. But
that dumbing down business is for all those ring tone ass rappers.
Similarly, we're in the midst of the 'entitlement'
generation. In your opinion, how much has laziness, on the artist's part,
affected Hip-Hop culture?
Kray: I think the laziness is more on the listener's
side. People are fat and bloated and accepting of whatever bullshit gets
force-fed down their pie holes. They deserve their wack culture.
Tone: Exactly... If a billion people were buying
better artists records, like us for instance, and not Young this and Lil'
that, then we wouldn't even know who those dudes were to even hate on
them. That's why I hate on the masses.
On the track "The Same" from your
latest LP, you address the issue of gentrification, something that's going
down in every major city in the U.S. What are some of your personal thoughts
on the rich getting richer?
Kray: Since the dawn of time greedy men have
tried to hoard all the wealth. It's a constant struggle. There is also,
throughout history, examples of the people becoming fed up and realizing
their collective power and overthrowing the tyrants.
Tone: Again, the masses. I think people have
to stand up against this much more evil form of "wackness" and
set a new standard of living for themselves. They try to sell you the
old idea where you get rich from hard work. No you don't. I got plenty
of family that worked away the best years of their lives and hardly got
shit besides maybe a bad back and a house next to some nosy neighbors.
Hard work does pay off... if you have your own business. It sounds corny
but do what it is you want to do, don't be scared of money. Fear is the
best way to control the masses and in this day and age people fear money
more than they do God. Also stop buying so much stuff, you don't need
to keep up with the Jones', fuck the Jones', they're corny anyway.
Kray: Just because a man has the power to grab
billions of dollars doesn't mean has the right to. No man needs a billion
dollars. We need to institute a salary cap on these CEO's. A salary cap
or "off with their heads."
This question is for Tone. You suffered a
series of life-altering events prior to moving back to BK, your house
burning down being one of those events. How did the obstacles fuel your
Tone: Those were just a few of the many roadsigns
that told me to go back to new york and make music.
Last question: Iller Than and Better Than,
what's the difference?
Kray: Being ILLER is just being fresh and putting
your own twist on it. Being BETTER is being snobby or thinking you're
fly. Acting like you're better than regular people for whatever reason.
Fuck art/fashion snobs - and being rich doesn't make you cooler. It actually
makes it more unlikey that you are going to be cool.
Tone: Like O.D.B. was one of the illest
rappers out. He wasn't the best but he was by far one of the illest.