During the reign of Roc-A-Fella Records, Memphis Bleek stood side-by-side with Jay-Z, building an unshakable reputation for himself and going on to release four successful solo albums. Since his last studio release, 2005's 534, Bleek has taken a noticeable hiatus from the game, which he addressed during Wednesday's episode of "RapFix Live."
"I've been in the cut, raising my son, doing the family thing and leaving music on the backburner a little bit," Bleek explained during his first appearance on the show.
The 13-year rap veteran, sporting a Brooklyn Nets cap, revealed that he's also been on the road a lot, cultivating projects within groups like his Kush Gang crew. "I'm always overseas, I stay in London, Amsterdam — I'm a Netherlands fan," he said. "Kush Gang, that's my little crew I put together, a little team. We running around, and everybody's dope [at] rap."
Bleek has been slowly inching back toward the music, dropping recent mixtapes The Movement and June's Kush, Vol. 2, which he only views as a warm-up for his return, although they both pulled in approximately 200,000 and 250,000 downloads, respectively. Did he ever consider billing them as official projects?
"Not for music I'm making in the basement," Bleek said, adding some wisdom from his former Roc boss. "It's like Jay said: 'The rap game reminds you of the crack game.' I been away so long, you can't just come back selling product; you've gotta give away some testers so they know you got the raw. It's just what it is."
With those testers out of the way, Bleek is now working on getting his crew at Get Low Records back together. Bleek founded Get Low in 1998 with support from Jay-Z, releasing his debut, Coming of Age, and his later albums via the label.
"Get Low Records took a break a little bit," he said, addressing the lull in music. "My man H. Money Bags got incarcerated after we dropped the record; he's just coming home. My man Geda K, he was out there doing his thing. Livin' Proof, Calico, everybody just went their own way as grown men to do their thing. But we're all family at the end of the day. I just spoke to everybody. We're trying to put this thing back together and get Get Low where it's supposed to be."