Interview with artist
April 23, 2004 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview by Dante
No stranger to the world of
beef is Cuban Link, an artist who seems to face obstacle after
obstacle in the rap industry. Cuban took time out to
speak with LatinRapper.com on his new label, new album, the
nature of beef and the road to redemption.
LatinRapper.com: You've been doing your own thing since
leaving Atlantic a few years back, what's your label situation
at the moment?
I'm rolling with MOB records. Cuban link is definitely under
MOB records, expect a single this year. MOB stands for Men of
Business, that's my family, that's my home, and its
independent, we about to pop off.
You have your own imprint, CLK records, which you
personally own. Has CLK been shelved?
Its been shelved to where I know as an artist I gotta come out
first and break ground. MOB is like Cuban Link, I'm like the
first artist, the baby of the whole label. Its basically like
CLK, its still the same family. CLK has been pushed back a
little, because its my own baby, its my artists. CLK is a
separate entity, but its still tight like family. Roughly a
year or two, CLK is gonna pop off, I'm the one who's gotta
break the ice.
You've put out a few mixtapes, but everyone has been
eagerly waiting on Chain Reaction, when does it drop?
As of now we making the time, definitely a single by this
summer. Gonna be rockin', but I'm not of superstar status that
its gonna drop by the 4th quarter. Probably either August or
1st quarter of next year, January through march of next year.
We gotta prep the album as far as the marketing strategy. If
the buzz is incredible, where the buzz is gonna sell the
album, its gonna drop in August. If the hate is incredible, we
gonna wait until first quarter.
Why didn't Chain Reaction drop this Spring?
Basically, it's a capital problem, definitely a money thing.
We needed a certain amount of money. The love was there, but
the funds weren't there. A lot of fear from major labels, they
didn't wanna pick up my music because of the situation with
[Fat] Joe. Regardless, I'm dropping hot sh*t on mixtapes,
still a lot of love from the internet, lot of love from DJs
like Sycamore, J-Love.
Wendy Williams having me on their show,
they didn't care about the hate, they thought of me as a hot
artist and wanted to hear my voice. That's why I'm in the
situation with MOB. As far as why I didn't drop before, a lot
of bulls**t, a lot of hate, I was basically doing it all by
myself. (Laughing) I needed to find Sosa.
What artists have you already collabo'd with on Chain
Reaction, and what artists are in the works for you to collabo
Jadakiss is a go, Mya is a go, we definitely gonna have India,
the salsa singer, she's a go. Trying to get 50 to do
something, got Kanye West doing something. I'm a man of
business, so I waited for the right time. The respect is
definitely there as an artist, and the money is definitely
there as an artist. Before, I would have been asking for
favors, now the time is finally here, and the collabos is
definitely happening as we speak.
Any hot producers working on beats for the albums?
Got Kanye West, Rocwilder, got Lil Jon already working on a
track. In-house producers too, Big Mens, they did My Lady, got
a couple heavy hitters. [editor's note: MOB records added that
Swizz Beats produced 4 tracks for the album]
Seems like every few months you put out a new diss track,
is this something you plan on moving away from for Chain
Well as far as the album, it aint gonna be too many disses. My
definition of an album is to be universal, where everybody can
enjoy it, not because of any controversy. I might have a song
because the situation was real that happened, may have a
little hostility in there, but in the end of the day the album
is not as much about dissing, I leave that for mixtapes and
the streets. I don't want little kids to listen to my album
and then wanna go kill some dude I'm dissing.
Speaking of diss tracks, the "Hotel Remix" supposedly broke
records for most listens over at hiphopgame.com. It was
suggested that there was no altercation in Miami that night
between you and Terror Squad, care to speak on that?
I mean, that situation, regardless of whatever, I'm not a guy
to be a snitch, I'm not the dude for that, but that situation
did happen. Only reason I put him (Fat Joe) on blast like
that, he trying to make everyone forget about me. He's trying
to work into darkness, I'm bringing into the light. I can't
even stand for a ni**a to be talking shit, like coming out
with a album like "Loyalty", and not even represent what
Loyalty means. I can't stand that, I had to put him on blast.
When I see that he's taken that road like that, I had to fight
back. I cant fight back with money, ‘cause he's making paper.
‘Course we could always take it the streets, I could hurt him,
but I'd get in trouble. I took it to the music, so the streets
could hear. I know I aint lying, he could state he aint in the
country or whatever, but there's proof he was in the country.
He came, he tried to approach me, tried to set me up again,
but I caught it, I called them all p*ssy,
I stood up on my
own. If you roll up on someone, if you from the hood, make
sure you do something. When they rolled up, nothing happened,
a lot of acting. I was ready for anything. They gonna say that
Cuban is doing it for a publicity stunt, but I know what
happened, those who were there know what happened.
What will distinguish Chain Reaction from the unreleased
24k album, which was heard courtesy of massive bootlegging?
Definitely not gonna be bootlegged (laughs), we definitely
gonna watch out for that. Definitely more anger in my lyrics,
in Chain Reaction. Still gonna be a universal product, where I
hit songs with every emotion on the album, but you still gonna
get the hardcore joints, the lady joints. Its more rounded
off, little more anger, little rougher.
Basically I'm in my
sophomore year right now, 24k was rookie, plus all the sh*t I
been through, I feel like a veteran. Well, actually I'm a
rookie since 24k never came out, but I feel like a sophomore.
Whats up with Cuban Link in the future?
A lotta things. Trying to make a five year run. After I drop
my first year, movies all day, definitely try the hip hop in
Spanish joint, maybe a reggaeton joint, ‘cause I am Spanish, I
know I can do it and rep it right. Still wanna do my English,
the movie thing, clothing line, a lot of things Cuban is gonna
be into right now.
It's a blessing, my destiny has been
written all this time. All the time that was spent, all the
hard times I went through with the bullshit, what was meant to
be is meant to be. Its just everything got their own destiny,
my destiny is to make it the hard way. At the end of the day,
I paid my dues, I probably paid OVERdues, at the end of the
day the goal is to make it.
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