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In the Confession Booth with Sinful
11/4/04 - exclusive interview

rapper Sinful of tha Mexakinz

As one half of the group Tha Mexakinz, Sinful enjoyed the fruits of his labor in the form of Billboard success and respect from a number of artists whom he's collaborated with. Having earned his stripes in the industry, he just released his debut solo album entitled "Confesiones de un Pecador." The all-Spanish CD is straight up Sinful, no collaborations.

Not all seems quiet on the set, however, as the West Coast lyricist vents on static with his label over this long-awaited release. Sinful took a break before his release party to chop it up with LR in an exclusive interview. Off the top, lets talk about The Mexakinz. Thats where you got your start, but how long have you been doing the solo thing?

The solo thing, its been about 3 years now. I never released anything, I only released a single at the time, around a year and a couple months. It was the slyness, I put that out with Daz and Rass Kass, featured both of them cats on there. I put that out just to create a buzz on the streets.

So is the Mexakinz still actually a group?

Yup, yes it is. The mexakinz still together. We just cant use the name anymore, company problems, dealing with the label. You know how it goes, they still own the name.

So will you record under another name in the future?

Yup, we're going under Sinful and I.

How does the music you're doing now differ from that of the Mexakinz era?

Well what it is, it doesn't differ a lot. Its basically like I'm doing my own, I'm doing me, I'm calling my own shots on this, nobody else on it. That's the whole reason why I didn't feature no one else on the album, I wanted to establish my own identity, know what I'm saying.

You've collaborated with Chino XL, Rass Kass, Xzibit, Daz. Who haven't you worked with that you would be interested in doing a track with?

My thing has always been, the cat that I respect more than anyone out there in this game and that I've always been not only a fan of... the most lyrical cat to me is Nas. I've always been a fan of that cat, that's one cat they always compared me to in Spanish. I've had cats in radio stations say "You're like the Nas of Latin America, you're like the Rakim of Latin America", I get that from radio cats and artists. That's one cat I would definitely wanna work with.

A few months back I spoke to Kemo the Blaxican of Delinquent Habits, when I asked him who he'd like to work with you were the first person he mentioned. What do you say to a Kemo/Sinful collabo?

That's hot. Me and him linked up at a rap conference in San Diego a while back, and he told me about that as a matter of fact. That you guys had interviewed him, and that basically the same story you just told me, and that he wanted to do a joint with me. I said lets do it, I'm here.

Lets talk about your new album for a second. I've heard some crazy things about your label and "Confesiones de un Pecador", care to speak on that?

Man, I'm trying to speak on everything. First of all, the label... man... where do I start with them. First of all, they promised me a f*ckin video, which I never got. Never shot. They promised me street promotion, have a full on street team, have the kids hired in every state, they said they didn't have the budget for it. They were supposed to handle the vinyl for me for the single. None of that happened. I don't know where the f**k the money went, they said they have no money, supposedly they licensed the records to Lideres and so now, they're like controlling the whole project. And the whole f**kin year I was with Universal, I only got two f**kin phone calls, if I can remember, and that was all bullsh*t. Just bullsh*t after bullsh*t.

I paid for the mastering of this record, I paid for the artwork, I had to pay for the pictures for the photographer, all that sh*t came out of my own pocket, and I had to send them motherf**kers an invoice so they can send me the money back.. How scandalous is that sh*t. Its almost like you get a f**kin' advancement to pay for your own sh*t.

I'm a free agent now, I'm about to get on some other shit now, but my contract is up with those cats, my album is out, I guess you learn your lessons from dealing with bullsh*t. Thats why I tell a lot of these cats, watch what the f**k you do, and I guess I took the wrong route on this one.

How did you get a finished copy of the album?

I had to go cop that sh*t myself. I went and bought that sh*t myself, that's how f**ked up that label is. I went and got 2 copies for myself, then I got to the damn store, Tower records, and I'm looking for the artwork that we worked on for three months. There was a whole different cover, everything was different. I guess now they got it right, they gonna be changing up everything. How scandalous is that?

So does this mean you're still going to tour to promote the album?

Well, we settin' up everything right now, we definitely gonna be touring. Right now Universal aint stepped up to do anything on that label. When the sh*t was ready to go down, the motherfu**kers pulled out. Everything that you see out there right now, any noise that you hear, its because its coming from me. That's all the credentials I'm reppin', other than that, it aint nothing else. Me, P-Funk, that my manager, and FBC, those are the three cats that's doin' it all. And that's basically my street team. That's Sinful Entertainment.

For those who want to cop the album, tell us about who did the beats on it.

Myself, David Salas.

Describe Confesiones de un Pecador for the readers.

Its just a f**king heater, man, aint no fake sh*t on it. This whole album is real, as real as you gon' get. No fake sh*t by me, driving this that I aint got, everything you hear on that album is me. That's why its coming from me, Confesiones de un Pecador, its like a chapter of my life. Its like every song on there is a confession. I got a joint on there called Atraccion Fatal, and that's just me playing the gun. I got a joint on there, that's the last cut on the album, its called SIDA, and that joint right there I play the AIDS virus on that whole joint. Almost like a message to the cats, but its on some lyrical shit. I got a joint on there I did for my mom, like the Dear Mama of Latin America. You got your club bangers on there, few joints for the girls, and we just feeding everybody.

Speaking of the whole "Pecador" theme, where did the name "Sinful" come from?

Man that was a name given to me by a cat named Tony G. And basically he used to always say, ‘this cat right here commits sin on the mic', that's how the whole name came about.

Who are some of the artists that inspired you were coming up?

Rakim and Nas.

What artists do you listen to now?

Honestly man I don't really listen to stuff out there, try to stay away from radio. I'll listen to different cats like Talib Kweli, I'm waitin' for that new nas album. I listen to those Nas albums over and over.

Do you see in difference in the popularity of rap in Spanish from when you first got into the game, versus today?

Yeah, its definitely a big difference. What we were doing back then, and still doing now, is straight Hip Hop. Now its like, I don't know what it is. You got a combination of the culture, our culture mixed in. And its like some cats are doing it, and you got other cats that don't belong in the game, man.

What's are you doing outside of rapping, do you have any type of side ventures going on?

I'm working on another album right now, for my project, I'm working on the new Mexakinz album. Just collabos with different cats, but concentrating on my project. I gotta remix that's coming, for the first single, it's featuring Sly Boogie and Technique, that one's a heat rock. I'm grinding, doing different moves, trying to build. I do clothing, too, I'm working on my clothing line.

You were on the Billboard top 40 heatseekers chart when you were a part of the Mexakinz. You've got respect from other artists, how much more do you want to achieve at this point?

Its like this man, I just wanna go down being one of the most lyrical cats out there, that was first in the game. That went in there and represented lyrically. Like I said, knowing the cats in the game, but lyrically that's how I wanna be respected. That's what I could see happening.

Plenty of up and coming rappers are going to read this interview. What are some key points of advice that you would offer them before they get into this game.

Just stay real with the music. People respect you more when you real with it. You can be in the game, release an album, come in there and rhyming like a f**kin' clown, and the next album aint nobody gonna buy your sh*t. You sell tons of records but you try to come back in the game, its not gonna happen. Stay real with the music, just be yourself, that's all I can say. Come in the game ready to bust down doors. And get a motherf**kin' attorney if you got the money (laughs), especially if you dealing with bullsh*t a** labels.

Any last thoughts?

Go cop the album, Confesiones de un Pecador, it's the hottest sh*t on the streets right now. These motherf**kers been waiting 8 years for this album, its here.


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