Artist: Katt Williams
Independent Album: It's Pimpin', Pimpin'
411: Bobby Shaw, Money Mike and A Pimp Named Slickback — Katt Williams is the ultimate character. He's made us laugh onscreen and onstage during his three straight years of touring. His latest outing has a title to mirror his debut rap album, It's Pimpin', Pimpin'. Yes, a rap album. We've heard him talk about it for years, and quite frankly, some people thought he was joking. But nah, the homie from Ohio was dead serious. Cam'ron even inducted him into the Dipset.
While Katt's LP is coming out on his own label, he still sports the Dip chain and insists he and Killa are doing business ventures outside of music. So does Katt have as many powerful punch lines as a rapper as he does as a standup king? He says he has swagger and lyrics.
"They should look for all of those things," he promised. "And please feel free to tell me if they find it. I was in a wonderful position [when recording], just 'cause I didn't have anything that I had to live up to. I didn't already have a preconceived thing that I had to go for or a way that I had to present myself. You know most artists have to be in a very narrow field coming in. And I was able to do whatever that I wanted to do. I did a Prince cover, I did a heavy-metal song, I did rap ... I had fun. At a certain point, all music can't be about everybody getting shot. There'd have to be something else. So, you know, we brought a little of the something else."
Joints to Check For
"Mind Right" (featuring Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne). "For me, I'm a little more invested in it than him," Williams said of his close relationship with Snoop. "I bought his first album, and then I bought every album after that. It's not a Snoop verse that I haven't heard. So before I even met him, I was already quoting everything he had ever said. So for me to be able to go from that point and then meet Snoop and then find out this dude, not only is he one of the great rappers, like, he's funny [too]. ... Anytime real people get together, generally real things happen, and that's exactly how it was with Snoop."
"That's What Girls Are Made For" (featuring E-40 and MC Lyte). "40 is so cool that it's not even like an act; it's not a put-on," Williams said about E-40's larger-than-life demeanor. "Like, this dude — this dude is the coolest dude ever. ... He told me I could [rap]. All I had to do was just be me, and the rest of it would work out. So to be able to then come back and work with him was amazing. Nothing feels like the Bay Area, I don't care where you go."
"It's Pimpin', Pimpin'." "Well that's just the answer; because you don't know, you don't even know how to answer the question anymore," Katt said. "The question [people always ask me is], 'How are you doing this and doing that?' And the only answer you can really give is 'It's pimpin', pimpin'.' You understand once you're on the pimp grind: It never stops, it never ends, and it's constantly about you getting in a better position. So that was just the answer for the questions."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» DJ E-V, DJ Flaco and Rick Ross - Legendary
» DJ Keyz and Young Jeezy - Snow Trap Pt. 3 (Ice Age)
» DJ Whoo Kid, Dre Boogs and DJ Woogie - The Aftermath
» DJ Wreck - King of Kings Part 4: The Mix CD
» Papa Smirf, Rick Ross and Triple C's - The Victory Lap (Hosted by DJ Kronik)
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» Jadakiss - "From Now Until Then"
» Lil Mama - "Swim"
» Lyfe Jennings (featuring Snoop Dogg) - "Old School"
» Mariah Carey (featuring Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri) - "Bye Bye" remix
» Usher (featuring Beyoncé and Lil Wayne) - "Love in This Club 2"
Our official monthlong celebration for the 20th anniversary of "Yo! MTV Raps" is almost over, but we all know the show and what it represented is timeless. "Yo!" was so fly it attracted everyone — even Gator himself, Samuel L. Jackson. He says his first memory of watching the show was in Kansas City with his young daughters. His favorite MC from the "Yo!" era was straight-up out the "Wild Wild West."
"I guess [Kool] Moe Dee would jump into that place [as my favorite]," he said. "I was kinda [living in] Uptown [New York], and I used to want to kill people that were playin' Sugarhill Gang. That's the music I woke up to every day. I wanted to kill people. It was almost like I was on 144th Street and that was like the sound of that.
"['Yo!'] was an opportunity for me to see artists perform that I didn't normally get out of the house and go see perform," he continued. "It gave me access to their music. It gave me immediate identification with who they were, so that I could visualize them. ... It gave me an opportunity to interact with my friends intelligently about what was actually out there, being put out in the world, in terms of rap and hip-hop."
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
Don't worry: Busta Rhymes will return to his B.S. mode down the line. Although his upcoming album will be called Blessed, he hasn't abandoned the title Back on My Bullsh--; that will be the next album. He recently shot videos for the songs "We Made It," which features Linkin Park, and the Mixtape Monday favorite "Don't Touch Me (Throw Da Water on 'Em)."
The track was produced by LV and Sean C., a.k.a. production duo Grind Music. After a session to hear beats one night, Sean C. actually played Busta an unfinished track. Even in its embryonic stage, the instrumental was so crazy that Rhymes was extremely inspired.
"I was saying, 'This sh-- is so hot that if you touch it, you might burn yourself,' " Bust recalled with his stadium-wide grin. "So it was just saying that to myself. I thought that was a dope hook. Then the first single on my last album was 'Touch It.' So I thought it would be funny and ironic if people heard me come out with a record called 'Don't Touch Me.' ... 'Throw Da Water on 'Em' is just to cool them off, 'cause we so sizzling. When they burn themselves, they gonna need some water thrown on them. It's just Busta Rhymes giving people what they been definitely asking me to give them."
Blessed is due in the summer. ...
Lloyd Banks is no team-jumper. The former "Boy Wonder" turned "Punch Line King" (hey, he's 25 years old now — it was time to switch it up) is adamant that he'll never leave 50 Cent and Tony Yayo.
"I'mma ride the wave when [the fans] are yelling, 'G-Unit,' and I'mma ride the wave when they saying, 'G-Unot,' " he said recently in Brooklyn on the set of the videos for "I Like The Way She Do It" and "Rider Pt. 2." "That's it. It's like being a hard-core Knick fan. I'mma be a Knick fan, and they lose every year. But I'm not gonna be the one to just come at the [championship] parade and be like, 'Yeah!' I wouldn't feel right in here. When they doing my 'E! True Hollywood Story,' its not gonna [say that] I changed."
Banks was on the subject of loyalty because of Young Buck's ouster from G-Unit.
"If you don't like , I don't like you: plain and simple. I don't understand why it's so hard for people to get that," Banks said. "I don't hate Buck or nothing like that. He just made decisions that were premature. A lot of them were affecting 50. And at the end of the day, it affects us too, because I hear people say things like, 'Banks is next [to leave].' It's frustrating, because it takes away from everything I put into the brand. This [G-Unit logo] is my first tattoo. Co-founder! We play just as important a part as 50 does.
"When you say, 'He's next,' " Banks continued, "it discredits everything I put into this. I wasn't riding the wave to go with my own wave. I was riding the wave 'cause this is what I wanted to do with the people I grew up with."
Although he doesn't want to leave his crew, Banks does have aspirations outside of rap, just like 50 and Tony Yayo do (the Talk of New York would like to open a franchise of 7-Eleven-style stores called "Tony's").
"Acting is in the near future. I would love to do that," Banks revealed. "I'm an artist too. A lot of people don't know that. I design everything you see. My jewelry? I drew it. The G-Unit spinner? I drew that. I can airbrush and things of that nature. Anything I can see, I can draw. Instead of buying Picassos, buy Banks.
"I used to do it a lot," he added of his art. "To be honest with you, I don't have time to get into it. It's one or the other. I'd be stuck with doing that and can't create music. I'm 25 years old, so I'm taking my time with it."
Banks said that when he starts selling his art, he'll be charging $100,000 to start with. ...
If you didn't get the hint from records like "Ocean's Seven" and "Live in Effect," State Property have officially reunited. Young Chris of the Young Gunz told us all it took was for everybody to sit down together and air out their differences like grown men.
"We had good conversations," said Chris, who just released a duet with Beanie Sigel called "Rush." "It's all good. I always kept my same relationship with everybody. I never had no problem with nobody. We been together for a little minute now. Dropping records, releasing records on the streets, getting the streets back, letting 'em know we still here. Shout-out to Beans. Everybody is good, though. Everybody is doing their thing."
While Beanie is serving out a small bid for parole violations (he should be home this summer), the rest of the Prop are continuing to work in his absence. Chris is on schedule to drop his long-talked-about solo LP, Now or Never, this year. The youngster maintained that it wasn't difficult making the transition from group member to soloist.
"I been working on the album since the end of '05," he said. "Jay-Z came to me and said, 'Next, your solo album.' So ever since then, I been working on it. Every time I go in the studio, it's three verses and a hook. This has been three years now. I got it down pat now. I feel good. I'm going into it this year. I won't say it was hard. If you look at the timing, it took a little time, but it wasn't hard."
Chris has been working with producers Dre & Vidal, Lil Wayne ("our song is called 'Welcome to Paradise' — welcome to our life behind the rap") and has a song with The-Dream that might be the first single.
There's also a mixtape with DJ Omega and Ahmir called Campaign for Change. That project is the follow-up to previous solo releases The New Crack, Politically Incorrect and Young Chris-Mas.