ANT BANKS, Nov. 16, 1995

So the new album just hit, how's sales? How's it doin'?

"Everything's going cool right now, it's just waitin' to kick in man, for the second single."

What's that gonna be?

"'Money Don't Make a Man'."

Tell us a little bit about the situation with the Dangerous Crew, what's up with that right now?

"Dangerous Crew man,....we kinda separated and went our own ways. We had some disputes about how to market me and things that they felt I should do that I didn't really agree with them. So we kinda had our differences and we still cool, but we not together as far as a team no more, it just ain't like that no more."

You're not gonna be doin' any more production for Too Short...

"Yeah I'm still doin' production for him..."

It's just for you, for your own...

"Yeah for my ear, exactly... for my own solo project I can't be signed to them as far as an artist no more. They're not lookin' out for my best interests as an artist. As a producer, you know, everything's all good. That's my own thing you know? I do that my damn self."

You're not the first person to have problems with Dangerous...

"Every artist that's probably been under Dangerous Music had problems, except Short. I mean, that's his company, so everything's like a conflict of interest, you know what I mean? Should I go this way, or should I go that's always they gonna do what they wanna do because it's their company. You can't manage and be signed to the same company cause it's always gonna be a conflict of interest. It's not like they gonna go after their own company, you know what I mean? That's basically what it was. Just had to change management and get from up under that, it wasn't cool to be up under that."

You got Bad N-Fluenz on your album.

"Yeah, they actually wrote half the album. Them and Mr. Ill, they wrote half the album and we kinda collaborated on a lot of stuff and came out with a nice little project. Terry T. produced four songs, you know, just to get that flavor. I was trying to not so much solely rely on my talent and my production only. I had to venture out and get that flavor."

Bad N-Fluenz came out with their own album not too long ago and they kinda had a negative thing on Too Short.

"Yeah, just beacuse he didn't come through for them like he said he was and their feelings was hurt. It was the type of thing where they felt he should've kicked in. They knew they was like top dogs in the Bay area and nothing was really a priority to him, but him."

So where are you operatimg out of now, Too Short's in Atlanta...

"I'm operating out of the Bay now. Everybody takes that little Atlanta thing as a dis to Oakland. It's not no disrespect at all, it's just (he) packed up and moved out there because it was a better situation goin' on, more industry type of people out there. There wasn't really anything happenin' out here.I guess the only thing to do is to make it happen, to force them to bring it here. Like the situation E-40's doin' and a lot of independent artists like JT and people are doin'. They gettin' their own labels and makin' everything come here instead of movin' to where it's already at, basically what we shoulda did in the first place, thatıs what I'm actually doin' now. Force 'em to bring it to the Bay."

How about the Luniz? We hung out with them for a couple of days in Philadelphia this summer and they had mentioned that you were producin' a couple tracks and the way they felt was that Dangerous Music slowed it down in order to bring some stuff out for Too Short or for somebody else to kinda steal the flavor.

"The Luniz? I was supposed to do some songs for them?"

Yeah, they said that you were gonna produce some tracks for them.

"Not that I know of. That was never an issue for me. I didn't do any songs for them. Their whole little camp man....I don't know man. I ainıt really tryin. to be down with them at all man. One day they dis you and talk bad about you, see you the next day, and be all up in your face talkin' about, 'What's up, what's up, what's up? How you doin' man? I ain't seen you in a while.' Whatever. Fake sh-- man. Tryin' to dis muthaf----s for attention and all that ol' other sh--. They doin' they thing, fluked up on a hit off a little sample, you know. The same thing with Dru Down. Fluked up on some fake sh--, came up. See who the 'Pimp of the Year' gonna be next won't be him. You can print that all day long."

So when did you first start rappin'?

"Probably like '85, it's been about ten years, but I really wasn't doin' it seriously, just playin' with it you know. Kickin' it with my potnas, messin around the house doin' stuff. Me and my potnas Raymond Barber and Clement, we was in band together and we used to just sit around and play funk records and act crazy on tapes and stuff, make little tapes and it just came about, ya don't know how."

You first came up doin' tracks for MC Pooh didn't you?

"Actually it was MC Ant, it wasn't MC Pooh. Actually it wasn't even him it was Pooh Man. It was after the MC Ant thing. Kinda got a little Bay area name for myself then, back in '87, '88 and then in late '88 we put together the Pooh Man project and it probably didn't come out until '89. You know a lot of projects are done a year, maybe two before it even hits the market so it can easily get caught up in that time when rap music changes so drastically every... I'd say six to eight months. It just changes, the whole style and everything, fashion and all that. You just gotta be true to what you do and stick to it man, you can't jump on the bandwagon, what everybody else is doin'."

Now that you see how stuff was goin' on at Dangerous Music, do you regret some of the things you said about Pooh Man?

"Nah, nah, nah. That was all fun and disses man. When we see each other we speak. It's all good. Me and dude ain't got no problems like that, like you really think."

Do you still talk to Bad N-Fluenz every once in a while?

"Yeah, we all good."

They had that song "Buster Free" and then AZ comes out with "Sugar Hill." How do they feel about him using the same sample and blowing up?

"That's just all a part of being on a label that's got your back. He was just on label that had his back. They did their thing. They did what they were supposed to do, that's all that was. They was independent, man. They was just tryin' to come out and make a name for themselves and shop a deal. Short kinda dissed 'em and didn't show 'em no love. They knew what they was capable of and just came with it."

I saw somethin' in The Source that said you wanted to do some production for Rakim, what's up with that?

"That was a gay-ass article they wrote on me, man. I was kinda mad about that. It's like he had a conversation on the personal tip, then we did the interview. Everything from the personal conversation is what he put in the interview. That be the grounds for gettin' your ass socked up in public when your ass be somewhere. Printin' that ol' fake ass sh--. Talkin' about Short and Rakim came to my house and recorded some sh--. I ain't never said no sh-- like that. I ain't even produced that song. I know I wouldn't say nothin' stupid like that. They said somethin' stupid about me and my daddy had just died or some stupid sh--. My daddy died in '91. I had said some sh-- like, 'Yeah, my father died and he never got a chance to see me come up and make my first album.' I'm on my third album, how the hell I'm funkin' with my daddy and he died on me. Motherf---ers pissed me off, man. Source be on some other sh--. Plus, they ain't bothered to want to mention me in they magazine for probably the last two years, and then when they finally do, they print some bullsh--?"

So what are your favorite tracks on the album?

"Gotta be "Money Don't Make a Man" and "Keep 'Em Guessin'" Breed came and did his thing. Bad N-Fluenz helped me get "Keep 'Em Guessin'" off the ground."

What's it like to work with Breed?

"Breed is an amazing lyricist, man. I think the man actually sings a lot better than he raps. He needs to pursue a singin' career. And he can act. Dude is like all good ... well-rounded talented person. It was cool workin' with him."

Are you up into all that East Coast versus West Coast thing like Cube and Mack 10?

"Aw, no. I ain't into all that man. Let's make some money and kick it. That's all I'm tryin' to do is make some money and kick it. We all know it started in the East, don't have to keep bringin' to a mutherf---er's attention. It started in the East, but the West Coast makin' the most money now, so I guess that's where it all came from. All the hype, all the madness, all the everything. I guess once we put the guns and the violence and all that up in the raps on the West Coast, it kinda took the attention away from them with they gift of gab, just the flow and make words rhyme. People really get tired of just hearin' words rhyme, they want to hear some true, actual fact material. What's goin' on? Spit it to me. That's what the West Coast do. So now you got alot of artists like Biggie Smalls tryin' to put that West Coast style down on some East Coast sh--."

So what are some of the groups you're listenin' to now?

"Dogg Pound. It's mainly all I really listen to. A lot of Death Row sh--. 2Pac. Spice-1, even though I'm producin' him, I just like to hear what the man's talkin' about. He be on some other sh--. He comes with some different sh-- every time. Scarface. I donıt know. I listen to a little bit of everybody, for real. I listen to a lot of jazz, really, just to calm my nerves and get away from all the bullsh--. Cause there's a lot of rappers comin' with the same ol' sh--. They come with the same samples, the same loops, and talk about the same sh--. I get tired of that man. I listen to some jazz. That's where it's at. I like Jay Spencer, man. Me and him kinda came up together, but I really like his style. Ithink he's really gonna go far, as far as his career is concerned."

So what about your career? Where are you lookin' to take it?

"I'm lookin' into really gettin' this production company goin'. I mean, the industry is so cluttered right now. It is so hard for somebody to really just come out and just shine and do their thing, man. Cause there's so many rappers doin' the same sh--. It's like the only way somebody is really gonna blow up is to come with a whole different flow, a whole different style of production, a whole different look, image, everything. You just got to come with it. People think they just make a record and it's all good. There's way more to it than that. Plus even if you come with all that -- the style, the look, and everything ­- you still have to have a record company that's got your back. A lot of record companies are just throwin' sh-- out there, scared to really get behind some sh--. I don't know what the reason is behind it, but there's a lot of people that should've blew up, that never blew up, and there's a lot of people who blew up, that should've never blew up. The industry is shady, man."

-- B.J. Maniac, The W and Mason Storm, The 411

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