|Label:||Band Camp Records|
|Next Project:||Cons TV|
|Twitter:||Consequence on Twitter|
On a hypothetical list of “Rap veterans who haven’t gotten the shine they clearly deserve,” Consequence would undoubtedly be one of the front-runners. With a musical career stretching back to ‘93 and countless appearances on tracks by the groundbreaking likes of A Tribe Called Quest and Kanye West under his belt, the emcee has a hella fide pedigree to go along with his formidable skills, but when he finally released his critically-acclaimed solo debut, ‘07’s Don’t Quit Your Day Job! in 2007, big sales and full-scale mainstream recognition continued to evade him. That all may, however, be about to change – fresh off the release of what’s looking like the biggest remix of ‘09, the Queens rapper’s getting ready to drop a sophomore album that will have listeners everywhere tuning into ConsTV.
Though Cons has found plenty of love in the Booth for recent tracks like Inside A Change soundtrack inclusion “Closer” and mixtape cut “The More I Get,” it was his latest feature that made by far the biggest impression. On last month’s remix of lead single “Whatever U Want,” Cons brought the whole G.O.O.D. Music family together for the first time, flipping the reader-approved lead single into something far greater. ConsTV has yet to receive a solid release date, but it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the emcee’s headed for big things in 2010.
In an exclusive interview with our own DJ “Z,” Consequence steps into the Booth to discuss his unique position as a rap vet who’s new to much of the listening public, his decision to harness his forthcoming LP to his ultra-popular YouTube channel, and the even bigger remix he still has up his sleeve.
Listen to the Interview
Consequence Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy, “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a veteran emcee who fans have been patiently waiting for the arrival of his long-overdue sophomore album. A DJBooth favorite and a man willing to do “Whatever u want, want, want, want,” please welcome Queens native Cons to the quence – how you doin’?
Consequence: Yeah, I’m good! What’s poppin’ Z? How are you?
DJ Booth: I’m pretty good, as we talked about in the pre-interview. I’m slowly starting to get ready for what is winter in Chicago, which is always miserable.
Consequence: Like we were saying before, it just builds character, man! [laughs]
DJ Booth: Last time we hooked up for an official interview was all the way back in October of 2006, so it’s been a minute.
Consequence: Yeah, definitely. Well, officially it’s been a minute but, for people who don’t know, you guys have championed a lot of the records I’ve put out, even records that haven’t reached the radio radar, such as the “Closer” record I did for Inside a Change, and supported things like “Mr. Popularity,” which was really for the viral world, and things like that. So, definitely, there’s been communication. But yeah, we back at it – we back at it, slingin’ crack to crack addicts. [laughs]
DJ Booth: [laughs] It’s definitely good to have you on the line. You know, between industry politics and all the B.S. that you have personally dealt with over the years, in order to get a new record deal that works best for you going forward, did you ever consider – and we’re going to use the title of your first album – consider quitting your day job?
Consequence: Nah. See, what you’ve gotta understand is, “industry politics” is a good way of saying “I’m not getting my way.” You know the game that you’re playin’ when you sign up for it. Now, if you’re not acquainted with all the rules of the game, that’s on you, B! Nah – when I really made my reemergence, at the top of the 2000s, 2003, 2004, regardless of whatever situation, I wasn’t makin’ no U-turns, I wasn’t going back. I came back to get what I needed and what I wanted, and I was determined to do that. As we discussed before, we’ve thrown dates out that ConsTV was gonna drop. We had to be realistic about what was goin’ on in the marketplace, and how not to become a casualty, and how to become a champion, and I think we’re playing smart ball – like, I just dropped arguably the biggest remix of 2009.
DJ Booth: Yeah, you did!
Consequence: And the funny thing is – here’s the clincher: that’s not even the biggest remix that I’ve got! The next one is gigantic!
DJ Booth: Who’s on that?
Consequence: Man, I can’t really reveal that right now…
DJ Booth: Yeah you could, come on.
Consequence: I’ll put it like this: man: I’m gonna shake this sh*t up. That’s what I do. I don’t know what nobody else does, but any time you hear Consequence, and definitely for the last 24 months, whenever I’ve done something, I’ve done it humongous.
DJ Booth: ConsTV – are we saying this project is made for network television, cable, or pay-per-view?
Consequence: I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s a little bit of what you used to get from network television, such as NBC, where it appeals to [such a wide range of viewers] that they can win a Thursday night sweeps, and it’s so Pinot Grigio, it’s so champagne, that it just calls for a pay-per-view!
DJ Booth: [laughs] OK, I like how you had fun with that question – that was good. Now obviously, the project is modeled after your popular YouTube channel, which has generated a lot of fan interest.
Consequence: Yeah, definitely. It’s just smart branding, really – when you have a vehicle such as ConsTV, that people take interest in to the extent that it garners millions of views, it just makes absolute sense, first and foremost. And then, number two, I think it speaks to where we are as a culture and as a society, where everything is intertwined. There was a time when music was just music and television was television, and the two worlds never collided, and now you have music/television/reality/[socializing] and they all fuse into one, and that’s the Internet. It’s just a no-brainer that you incorporate ‘em all, when you’re branding yourself and you’re sellin’ music at this point. You have to give something to people that they’re willing to invest in, or already have invested in, and a lot of people have invested in ConsTV; they love the content, it’s introduced those who weren’t familiar with what I was doin’ on the music level to the music, and I think in honor of that, with this bein’ the ultimate celebration of my career, so to speak, was bringin’ everything from the past to the present to the future full circle, with having Kanye and Q-Tip involved, “This is where I’m at as an emcee and a songwriter.” It just made perfect sense.
DJ Booth: Now in the videos, all of which you direct, you have a very in-your-face approach, which I think fans can really connect with. Did you take the same approach conceptually when you created this album?
Consequence: Well, here’s the thing: when I first started working on ConsTV, initially the project was gonna be titled You Win Some, You Lose Some, which would be a follow-up to Day Job, which I thought at first was the route that I needed to go, ‘cause I felt like I had gained a lot of momentum with Day Job, after the release, and I think people got into the record afterwards. But [after] I started, I made about nine records, I began to help ‘Ye with some of the writing on 808s [& Heartbreak], and then I pulled Q-Tip into the equation with this album. When we started workin’ on the record and the soundscape of it, it was like, “This is something different than what Day Job was.” I don’t know how I’m gonna throw somebody’s mama in the middle of all this, you know what I’m sayin’? And Kanye was the one who first suggested ConsTV; he was like, “Man, it’s too many people who identify with that. You would just be wastin’ it, not to use it.”
DJ Booth: I couldn’t agree more with you. And, of course, as we’ve alluded to several times throughout this interview, the lead single off this project, “Whatever U Want,” is kinda the catapult to this movement. As you and I both can agree, [it’s a] damn catchy song, but I need to know: do you actually follow that motto in your relationships?
Consequence: Oh, yeah. My girl has a few designer bags! [laughs] Yes, I am a consumer.
DJ Booth: OK, but how much is too much? That’s my question.
Consequence: It’s never too much for the one that you love.
DJ Booth: Never?
Consequence: I’m lyin’. I’m flyin’. [laughs]
DJ Booth: I mean, come on! [laughs]
Consequence: You know, you can’t tell your partner that. Yeah, I’ll stand [by] that. Hey, it is what it is. I enjoy shoppin’, so I want whoever’s with me to partake in what I partake in.
DJ Booth: It’s a lot different, though, when you’re shopping for yourself than when you’re shopping for someone else.
Consequence: Yeah, but I’m a great gift-giver. I give great gifts – I like to see the energy that I give the person.
DJ Booth: I’ll tell you what, I’ll put you to the test; you can send me a gift for the holidays this year, and I can let you know if you’re good.
Consequence: Well, man, with you havin’ an Adam’s apple… [laughs] I don’t know what it’s gonna look like!
DJ Booth: You can get me a pen or something…
Consequence: All right, fair enough, fair enough.
DJ Booth: Yeah, I’m not askin’ for a car or anything – don’t worry about it!
Consequence: All right, fair enough, fair enough. [laughs]
DJ Booth: Now, as we both agreed already, the remix to “Whatever U Want,” which includes Cudi, Common and Big Sean, definitely the biggest remix of this year. You say that there’s a bigger remix coming but, in terms of the G.O.O.D. Music family, [it’s] the first time you guys have all been on one track together. How did you get that opportunity. Did you guys draw straws? How did it come about?
Consequence: A lot of people don’t know that I’m probably one of the best behind-the-scenes guys in the music industry. I definitely am very diligent when it comes to getting what I need and what I want. I don’t know if I could do it for anybody else, but I can do it for myself.
DJ Booth: [laughs] That’s all that matters!
Consequence: Yeah. And the music business right now is really lacking events. And I come from that school of thought where you don’t do it unless you’re gonna do it big, you don’t do it unless gonna be an event. I wanna get it shakin’. We did an event in Chicago, actually, in September, Sprite Green, I remember Common coming up to me and he was like, “Yo Joe, that joint is cold!” When I thought about it, I was like, “Well, let’s see how cold it is when I holla at him!”
DJ Booth: And it happened.
Consequence: And it happened. It was crazy – Common did his verse in L.A., I was in the studio with Cudi when he did his verse, and Kanye had already did it for me, and then Big Sean recorded his in Detroit, so it was like a four time-zone remix. Shout-out to all the fellas. I told them we were gonna make history – at least I didn’t lie to ‘em.
DJ Booth: Well, you used the word “history,” and that’s interesting, ‘cause some of the words our members used to describe the remix include “epic,” “perfect” and “classic.” So, Cons, what does it mean to hear those adjectives?
Consequence: The most important one is “classic.” “Epic” is an opinion, “historic” is an opinion… what was the last one?
DJ Booth: “Perfect” and “classic.”
Consequence: “Perfect,” you know, you strive for that. I think it is, almost – I’ve heard “perfect” from my friends. I’ve heard “no flaws.” I don’t know if it’s perfect, but no flaws. I would say it’s as close to a no-flawed joint as you’re damn near gonna get. ‘Cause there’s no dead air, there’s no person that you didn’t wanna hear. And the straight, “Yo girl, you comin’ out to the club with me” line is, “Ladies, this is in your best interest like a feminist, but goin’ out with him don’t come with benefits/ So why would you even wanna reminisce, when you can apply in time for a membership?” Like, that’s the “I get p*ssy” line! [laughs]
DJ Booth: Well, you can definitely tell that you guys had plenty of experience and respect for one another, working together.
Consequence: You know, it’s great to win as an individual, but when you win as a team it’s that much better. Just give me the MVP trophy for that one, that’s all.
DJ Booth: Cons, let’s transition into some reader questions. The first one is from Emilie of Indianapolis, Indiana, and she wrote, “Your debut dropped two years ago, but it seems to me like you’ve been around forever. Do you feel like you’re still new to the game, or that you’ve been around the block, so to speak?”
Consequence: I feel chaste, I don’t feel like I’ve been hoed out. I feel like there’s still a lot of things that I wanna accomplish, definitely, as an artist and as a businessman, but I don’t feel hoed out, you know what I’m sayin’?
DJ Booth: Yeah – it’s all about how you feel, anyways. [Perception doesn’t matter].
Consequence: Perception is important, though, perception is important. Perception is not to be understated.
DJ Booth: Well, I’ll flip it for you. What if someone was to recognize Consequence as a new artist? I’m sure you’ve heard it before: someone hears your new song, and they’re like, “Oh, I just heard this new artist.” But you know you’re not new; you’ve been doing this, you’re experienced, you started in the ‘90s, you’ve had five, six mixtapes drop to critical acclaim over the last decade, and you’re already going into your second album – that doesn’t classify what really is a “new artist,” quote unquote.
Consequence: No, but hip-hop has always been ‘of the new.’ Each day, each year, there is a new audience, experiencing it for the first time. And for a lot of people, ConsTV is gonna be my first album, ‘cause they didn’t know about Day Job; they may know about ConsTV from the Internet. They may know about “Whatever U Want” and know about the remix, and then they’re like, “All right, I wanna hear what he’s got.” To be honest, I feel like “Whatever U Want,” the original version, just reset me – it put me back to square one. I felt like I was in the red as an artist, ‘cause every [time] you heard my name you heard, “Oh, Day Job didn’t do well, Day Job didn’t do well.” Nothing about Day Job as an art piece, you understand what I’m sayin’?
DJ Booth: Let’s stay on this for a second, ‘cause the next question I have is from a guy named Eric from Miami Beach, and he wrote, “After the release of Don’t Quit Your Day Job, you told your MySpace community that you’d offer a refund to anybody who was disappointed with the album. What type of response did you get from that, and how did you use that moving forward, Cons?”
Consequence: It was feel-good. I was really upset, ‘cause I was like, “Man, this record is retarded – if you don’t believe me, I’ll pay you out of my pocket.” Like, don’t think ‘cause I did whatever I did I ain’t got no paper – I’ve got paper! I was getting a lot of mail like, “Yo, B, I really feel like I should pay you for this sh*t; this sh*t is dope, dog!”
DJ Booth: How did that feel?
Consequence: That felt great! Motherf*ckers is getting paid to service records to the online community, and I could just service my own sh*t because I’m Consequence. They aren’t gonna tell me no!
DJ Booth: [laughs] It’s like a hot girl at a party knowing that she’s the sh*t.
Consequence: Yeah! So, if a hot girl’s at the party, whatever negativity you might have heard about her, like, “Oh, that b*tch is a ho!” or, “Oh, that b*tch’s p*ssy stink!” or “Oh, man, that b*tch’s underarms and her breath stink!” Guess what? When that b*tch got her ass on you, you ain’t gonna give a f*ck about none of that.
DJ Booth: Yeah, it’s gone from the memory bank.
Consequence: It’s gone. “And guess what? I just found out that her p*ssy don’t stink, and I f*cked her!”
DJ Booth: [laughs] And it was good!
Consequence: So whatever you were sayin’, obviously it ain’t all the way one-hundred. Maybe her p*ssy stunk on you, but she had her sh*t right when she came to see me!
DJ Booth: [laughs] And that’s all that matters…
Consequence: And that’s all that matters! And that’s why I got another record deal, ‘cause that’s all that really matters.
DJ Booth: Cons, give everybody a website, a MySpace page, a Twitter account, a YouTube account, something, anything.
DJ Booth: I couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you, as always, for taking the time to join me inside the DJ Booth, and nothing but the best of luck. I’m looking forward to big things in 2010 from yourself.
Consequence: For sure! No problem, Z. Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.