When we were coming up, all our rapper friends were headwrap-clad Five Percenters who read The Final Call. Where did the hate go? Nowadays every rapper we interview is a stripy-shirt-wearing, smiling buffoon who reads King.
Except M-1 and stic.man of dead prez. With two classic albums under their belt, a signature New York crunk sound, and the best video ever ("Hell Yeah"), these grimys took M.O.P.'s spot as every MC's favorite MCs. More importantly, they're the only ones bringing much-needed anger and resentment to an otherwise fruity rap game.
VICE: So what particularly irks you?
M-1: If you want me to make a diss record, I'll be talking about the Michael Eisners, the five major record companies, their lawyers, and the henchmen of these capitalist policies. It's the Crips against the Bloods, the owners against the artists. Corporate is supposed to mean cooperation. But it doesn't. It means they co-opt your shit. And we have no choice but to be a part of this. It's part of the history of our people in this country. If I say "fuck corporations" and stop rapping, where am I going to get a job? Within another corporate structure. And it's not going to change until we own our own resources. That's why I'm at war. See, this is reality shit, not an analogy.
What are you at war for?
For my family and my communities, for our personal and collective health and survival. People don't give you your nature-given rights. People are always going to use their advantage over you, whether that be their money, their knowledge, their guns, or their pussy. And I'm from all of that, I'm from the heart of niggas attacking you with crack cocaine, so I come forward swinging.
Does dead prez hate white people?
Look, when we say, "Slap a white boy," it's expressing a feeling in our community. The American society is based on white power. I don't make it a racial issue—they made it a racial issue. That's how my black ass got here from Africa in the first place. And now we have no reparations, no compensation for our leaders who've been incarcerated or assassinated, for the health issues within our community, nor for the corruption we live under. That's got nothing to do with whether I like white people. "Slap a white boy" is so much bigger than if there's a white boy in a club, I'll slap him and we'll be free. Killing crackers doesn't mean we're free and everything's OK. Although it might eliminate a lot of shit.
Dead prez's stellar RBG album has been out for a minute, and a third installment in their equally dope mixtape series will be dropping soon.