|Next Project:||Crazee & Confuzed|
|Twitter:||Stack$ on Twitter|
What do you want to be when you grow up? A Doctor, maybe. A Lawyer, sure. But a Rapper, never. Born Yannique Barker, a native of D.C. and suburban Maryland, Stack$ had his fair share of choices when it came to a career path. In an effort to showcase his budding skills in cinematography, Stack$ traveled across the country and enrolled in film school at USC. Shortly thereafter he met A-list producer Scott Storch. Stack$ thought long and hard about his future, but ultimately, decided to drop out of school and move back across the country to Miami. With Storch serving as Executive Producer on a debut album, Stack$‘s family label, Sobe Entertainment, backed their own son’s project and from there the ball began to metaphorically roll. In an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJ “Z,” Stack$ talks about being taken seriously as a rap artist, what promise he made to his parents that he intends to fulfill, and why he doesn’t think there are any artists in Dade County who could touch him.
Listen to the Stack$ Interview
Stack$ Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s good ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z” doin’ it real big on DJBooth.net. On the phone with me, reppin’ The 305, a man never short on that cash flow—Stacks. How ya doin’?
Stack$: Hey, what’s up man? What’s happenin’ with you Z?
DJ Booth: The last time we spoke, in September of 05, you were pluggin’ and promoting the release of your debut album “Crazy and Confused,” which at the time was set for a January 2006 drop. I don’t want people to think it’s not comin’…
Stack$: Oh yeah man, it’s comin’—it’s comin’. I’m a perfectionist, and I wasn’t 100% satisfied when we spoke. I wasn’t satisfied, with the album or the situation—but the way it looks now, I think people are sleeping’ on it. I think when it gets out there, this will be the most anticipated album of the year.
DJ Booth: We’re lookin’ at a tentative drop date of Summer 07?
DJ Booth: Okay, so Scott Storch is the Executive Producer of the album, correct?
Stack$: Uh-huh. Yup!
DJ Booth: Scott publicly took some time off from the game. Now be honest, was he really just in the studio with you, knockin’ out this masterpiece?
Stack$: Yeah, definitely, I mean we just started knockin’ out track after track. That’s when I quit school. My decision to quit school was based on Scott Storch becoming Executive Producer. A week later [after I quit school] I was already in the studio with Twista. I also worked a lot with Swizz Beats, as well as various other feature artists. I don’t know if you can remember, since the last time we spoke about the project, but we [decided] to strip a lot of those features out and put more of an emphasis on me. It’s a different kind of ‘Crazee & Confuzed’ coming out, but a classic I guarantee.
DJ Booth: You mentioned briefly that you dropped out of USC Film School, to go back to Miami, and do this Hip-Hop thing. Do you ever see yourself returning to school and grabbing your diploma?
Stack$: Oh yes, definitely. That’s a promise I made to my parents, when I took time off to do the music thing. Just in Hip-Hop Music right now, there’s a lack of seriousness and creativity. My story, to me at least, is both unique and one that hasn’t been told. Whether people accept it or reject it, or some people think I really have talent or not, that’s up to all of you. I really believe that my story needs to be told, because my story is different. I put 3 to 4 years into this to make sure my story is told right.
DJ Booth: You have mentioned that your experience[s] have been quite different from fellow Dade County artists. Rick Ross covers the cocaine angle. Trick Daddy is all over the streets. You had a different upbringing though, so discuss your credibility as an MC out of Miami.
Stack$: When I first came to Miami about 4 or 5 years ago, most people don’t realize I was with Poe Boy, who was actually aligned with Sobe Entertainment. My credibility is really there. I’ve been in the hood man. It’s just a different environment. It just gives me more perspective about my experiences as a rapper. I don’t really talk about the “cocaine angle,” I don’t really talk about drugs as being ideal. The subject of drugs has come up in my verses, but I don’t really talk about cocaine, because that’s not how I live. I talk about things I know. I talk about how I love to party, I stay fucked up, a lot of times. Now that is just a completely different environment. When I chose to rap, not many people transfer from a school environment into a Hip-Hop environment, or from a corporate suburb environment, into the life of the streets, and the Hip Hop scene. That’s why my story is unique. That’s why the tracks are crazy. I’ve been to the nicest places on the beach to the roughest places in the hood. The title “Crazy And Confused” fits in perfectly with it all.
DJ Booth: Certainly. Do you think you need to even bother responding to the critics before the release of this album drop, or is the album self-explanatory?
Stack$: Definitely, I think it is self-explanatory! I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not like Atlanta where everybody came together, and collaborated like a family. A lot of people are skeptical of my talent, what I have, and what I have to deliver to the game; and I just say fuck ‘em [especially within the mixtape scene.] But I think in terms of this album, I really think that in the purchase of this album, people will stop worrying about Hip-Hop, when they put this in the CD player.
DJ Booth: You mentioned briefly the mixtape scene. You recorded a freestyle over Rich Boy’s “Boy Looka Here,” single and I noticed a lot of anger and sense of self-worth in that cut…
Stack$: Yeah, when I came up, my producers didn’t really know what to do with my material. I had a lot of people in the wrong position, and they just said, ‘Man you just rap so aggressively.’ At the end of the day, you can only tell people ‘NO’ so many times—and then you’re gonna get angry. You might just get in front of the microphone, and say ‘Fuck Everybody. I’m better than everybody else’. Now I don’t think I’m better than everyone else, but when I put 4 years of my time into this… I could say right now, there’s nobody in Dade County that could beat me.
DJ Booth: Your label is a part of the Sobe Entertainment family, and a lot of people don’t realize this is a family production, and your name and money, along with your father’s is behind this production. Most rappers are saying, “I need to feed my family.” Do you consider this to be the situation, and if not, why are you rapping?
Stack$: I would say that too. I’m definitely trying to feed my family. Everybody believes you can still be wealthy, but you still gotta work. I came from a very fortunate background, where I don’t have to work. For some people, they’re just amazed that I want to work, in general. Some people just say, “Wow he’s tryin’ to be a rapper.” I could have been a doctor or lawyer. Rapper would be last on the list for people who knew me growing up. With Hip-Hop, I just fell into it, and love music, artists, and lyrics from back in the day; there used to be a story behind. We don’t have that anymore, and I think people are suffering for it.
DJ Booth: I’m with you, everything has gotten so monotonous, and at this point, we need a fresh face, and a fresh voice.
Stack$: Exactly, a fresh face and something shocking. It’s like back in the day; they used to say something shocking. From the shows to the albums. The tracks nowadays, it’s like you know producers are so set on getting that one “Regional dance song,” or whatever shit. So now you got this album and its all bullshit; which shows in the sales. People know that and don’t buy the whole album. That’s why people go through iTunes to buy that one “Walk-it-out song,” or whatever.
DJ Booth: I think the best word is “calculated.” Now, on your brand new single “Money Ova Here,” you have Lil’ Wayne with you, who’s on everybody’s material, but spittin hot fire. Talk about the collaboration.
Stack$: Yeah, see last we spoke, I had come out with “M.I.A.” which I think people expected from me, you know, some corporate pretty boy shit, so I said fuck it. I’m down here in Miami with Rick Ross, so the most crazy and confused thing I could do, was try to make a story about dope dealing, without talking about selling dope. It’s kind of like that crazy Dope Boy sound –with Young Jeezy on the hook. I looked towards the [Hip-Hop] game right now and there are very few MCs that I respect. I thought that [he] is someone who’s in a similar situation with his own company and so I got Lil’ Wayne. We figured when Sobe [Entertainment] comes together with Cash Money, its produces ‘money over here.’
DJ Booth: When do you foresee Sobe inkin’ this deal [with Cash Money] and getting things finalized?
Stack$: Hopefully within the next week or two. They actually on the road right now doin’ the Street Dreams tour, with Jeezy, Jim Jones, and all them. Then from that point on we can shoot that video and make it happen.
DJ Booth: Okay, so if I call them, and move that up a week, can I get 5% of that deal?
Stack$: Ha-ha—so you gonna get 5% or what? You tryin’ to get some of that money over there Z?
DJ Booth: Dude, I’m just tryin’ to move that money to the Midwest, Chicago needs some lovin’ too.
Stack$: You gotta move over here. You gotta move to Miami man.
DJ Booth: I was planning to visit down there. My Chicago Bears were just there for Super Bowl XLI.
Stack$: Awe yeah man, I was actually there and the Bears got spanked.
DJ Booth: Yeah and I don’t want to talk about it. Man after the first kick-off, I thought it would be all love, and then it all went downhill instead.
Stack$: Ha-ha-ha Prince performed “Purple Rain” at halftime, the rain came and shit changed.
DJ Booth: Tell me about it. Okay, ten seconds, sell yourself to everyone. Tell them all why when your album drops, they should pick up a copy.
Stack$: You already know man. This is the most original fuckin’ Hip-Hop story, comin’ your way. It’s the single “Money Ova Here,” with Lil’ Wayne. If you believe that lyricism does not exist in the South, you better grab this fuckin’ album, because Hip-Hop is not dead. It lives amongst the youth, so you better get it right.
DJ Booth: Yes, spoken very true. Go ahead and give everybody that website.
Stack$: Definitely, go to the website: www.sobeentertainment.com it’s the company site, and www.stacksmusic.com, and for anyone who wants to send me spam, www.myspace.com/stacksmusic.
DJ Booth: The next time we talk, which I hope is around your second album drop, I’m coming down to Miami…
Stack$: That will be by the 3rd or 4th album; you’ll be down here by then man.
DJ Booth: Yeah, you owe me a drive in that drop-top Phantom.
Stack$: That’s nothin’ man. I can get you a couple of bitches on your lap, while we drive around—wit’ a Mojito or something. Come on “Z,” it’s Miami man.
DJ Booth: That would be beautiful. Thank you.
Stack$: Thank you, I appreciate it as always.