|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2005-10-25
MA = Mass Appeal - the magazine
MF = MF Doom
GK = Ghostface
MF: Hey, what up? Where Starks at?
MA: I don’t know.
MF: Oh damn, you ain’t got him on the line? I knew it!
MA: You knew it?
MF: Yeah, it’s like, even with Madlib, when I do duets, I always get stuck with the interviews. They always do the dip on me, but it’s all good.
MA: How’d the record come to be? How’d you first hook up?
MF: Um, through a mutual friend of ours. My friend Professor Harshkovitz over there at Nature Sounds. He hooked up with Masta Killa and they did they think and I guess he got down with Wu that way, and finessed to where he got me and Starks together. It’s one big family.
MA: Did it seem like a natural pairing to you or out of the blue?
MF: Actually, nah, I’ve been a long time admirer of Starks. Them cats in We came out, their whole thing sparked MF Doom shit, really. I had it in the works, but when I seen those cats comin’ with that shit and it was the same type of direction I was comin, it was only natural that if I kept doing my thing, we was gonna eventually cross paths.
MA: So you were an early fan of Ghostface?
MF: Starks is an ill dude. Something bout his flows and the fact that he rocked a mask too was something that was to be admired. To have the daring to do that.
MA: Did you make all new beats for him or did he have Special Herbs?
MF: Oh, he happened to bump into Special Herbs—that’s what happened first. He was like, “Yo, this beat, where’d it come from?” So he got up with me and then I hit him with a batch of new butters. So some of them are off Special Herbs, some joints that haven’t been used yet. He chose a couple off there. I told him it was out before and it was on Special Herbs, but he insisted and nobody argues with Starks . So like, “Okay!” So he gets to have those, but then I hit him with a bunch of new shit that’s exquisitely butter that nobody ever heard.
MA: Are you rhyming on the album too?
MF: Yeah I’m gonna be getting busy on the one that I’m doing with him, the one that’s he’s doing. I think there’s seven joints he chose for his joint with Def Jam.
MF: Yeah, it was seven joints when they played it for me. But then we got a whole one coming together that I’m on with him. I’m catching wreck on the flows too.
MA: What’s your favorite thing about working with Ghostface?
MF: Hmm. Man, my favorite thing is his creativity. Like, I won’t ever have to worry about a direction to with the lyrics because he comes with it, he lays it down, and then I can easily follow up. Like if it’s a beat that I ain’t even know what I could do off it, he’ll do something on it and bring it to life in a way that I could never have imagined. Then I’ll follow up with him on that it’ll be butter. He don’t ever stall. He got no shortage of ideas.
MA: It’s a neat pairing because both of you use a lot of narratives and really clear imagery in your songs. Seems like you’d have endless story ideas.
MF: You, you know, I tried to keep up with him. I do my story thing, but I try to keep up with him.
MA: Who’s taller between the two of you?
MF: Oh, in height? I don’t know, cause we both fluctuate. He be goin from 6’ and up and I be goin from 5’9” to 6’.
MA: Depending on the day?
MF: Depends on the day and the time of year… and if you got Timbs or Wallies on .
MA: Who are your top three favorite cartoon characters?
MF: Ricochet Rabbit. Um, what’s the pink dude? Not the Pink Panther, but uh, Snagglepuss and Woody Woodpecker.
MA: The first one was Richochet Rabbit?
MF: Yeah. Even though he’s police, he was nice with his.
MA: What would you want to change in the hip-hop industry?
MF: I wouldn’t change nothing. The shit is fresh the way it is. Everybody got it poppin, brotherly love. All I’ll say is I wish it was more brotherly and sisterly love out here. There’d probably be even more money flying around.
MA: What’s your favorite thing about hip hop right now?
MF: In line with the last question, it’s grown to be such a lucrative business where brothers and sisters can have different job opportunities that wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for this art form. I remember rhyming back in the day on the corner when… come home from school, 3rd or 4th grade and just rhyming with another cat and everybody would stop and not walk home form school just to join in the circle and hear us rhyme. This was before money was involved, but now that it’s an industry like this, it’s good to see that there’s jobs, especially at this time in American history when the economy’s kinda crazy. There’s a lot of ups and down, but from an art form we created, we’re able to feed children.
MA: Any other ill parings you would like to see? Rappers or whoever?
MF: Oh man, I’d like to see Nice & Smooth get back together. Maybe even Tribe if they could. But duets that I haven’t seen yet? I don’t know, it’s hard to imagine. Maybe Lil’ Wayne and Nas, like an offset duet.
MA: You should produce a record for Chubb Rock and Del.
MF: Oh, Chubb Rock and Del. Ooooooh. Yeah maybe when this article comes out, if somebody wants to fund it, it’d be great. I’m with it, definitely!
MA: What’s your favorite thing about yourself?
MF: I wouldn’t know what to say about that one. It’s hard to think. Myself? I’ve been away from that particular person for a long time. I don’t know how to answer that. All right, I’m gonna say dexterity and being persistent and an overall goal to succeed and an overall drive to succeed. I’m never gonna quit. Villain, straight up.
MA: Have you and Ghost been working together through the mail or in person?
MF: It’s half and half. Some of it is I send him beats, and then we hook up sometimes and we’re in the studio. Starks is an ill dude. It’s like, you only gotta meet him once and you feel like you know him. So first I sent a bunch of beats to him, but before I had a chance to meet him, he sent me back sketches on all of them. Then I met him after the sketches, so a muthafucka was like, “whoa, damn, how am I gonna come back to this dude? I get to meet him too?” But after that he kinda broke the ice and made it cool.
MA: Wu-Tang came out right about when KMD was ending right?
MF: Yeah, actually a little bit after KMD. KMD was on the fade out. I remember they signed Ol’ Dirt Dog to Elektra about the time they were dropping KMD. Me and Sub-Roc, God bless him, they were dropping us and at the same time signin him! We kinda heard, “Oh, they tryin to sign this guy Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who?” And the next thing we knew, the label was like, “Uh, we’re gonna have to sever our ties.” I’m like, “Oh shit, word.” It was on the fade in and the fade out. So it’s good that I’m able to come back in and catch up to cats.
MA: Have been spending any time at Def Jam?
MF: Nah, I send my peoples up there to help me and what not. I stay in the lab. I gotta be where the equipment is at. I haven’t been up there since back in the days, maybe ’92.
MA: If you had to walk through the roughest parts of the world, what animal would you want to walk with you as a guardian?
MF: Hmm. An animal? A cougar. It just seems like it fits. He’s the one who would be my guardian, I already know.
MA: Why did Judas rat to the Romans while Jesus slept?
MF: Oh, that’s one of twelve. One will be a betrayer out of the group, so one out of twelve or even a half a muthafucka outta six people is gonna be a befouled devil. Devil always come like that, so that’s the answer to that one.
MA: Are you working with MF Grimm anytime soon?
MF: Hey, if it’s in the works, it’s in the works. All he gotta do is get at me. I got some beats to give to him.
MA: Are you dong a comic book with him?
MF: Something like that might be in the works. I don’t want to mention it too early.
MA: Would you rather meet Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd?
MF: Oh my god. That’s the hardest question anybody’s ever asked. I don’t know how to choose between the two, you gotta be kidding me. I’d have to work out something where I could meet both of them for half the time. How would you know to ask me that question? That’s interesting.
MA: “A big fan of Dan Aykroyd.”
MF: Yea yeah, Vic and all them, no doubt. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, the whole “Saturday Night Live” run through. I grew up with all of that. All of that influences my style of thyme and stage presentation. I got love for all of that.
MA: How would you fight gorillas injected with the strength of 80 midgets?
MF: I’d have to come with the shottie, I guess. The shottie or the oowop. Yeah, a gorilla with the strength of 80 midgets? He’ll still get hit with the oowop…. Have to use the whole clip on his face, but he’d be hurt.
MA: Have you ever eaten seasoned giraffe ribs rotisserie ropes?
MF: No, actually I haven’t. Sounds tasty though.
MA: Why is the sky blue?
MF: The reflection of the water.
MA: Why is water wet?
MF: It’s from a physical human being having five senses and water being with the sense of touch. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be wet. It’s only from the description of a human touching it, but why would you ask me that question?
MA: They’re Ghostface lyrics.
MF: Oh, I can’t be revealing these answers then . You need to ask him!
MA: Is it true you’re putting the mask back on?
GK: Yeah, I’m putting the mask back on. Take the kids back for a little. Take them on a little memory, you know, boom.
MA: It was cool when Wu-Tang started. Nobody knew what you looked like.
GK: Yeah, you know. I just decided to take it off though, but I’m just gonna put it back on again just for the fuck of it, for the people. They know who I am already.
MA: Do you have the technology to erase people’s memories so we forget what your face looks like?
GK: Ahh nah, I wish I did. Only God could do that.
MA: Oh okay. How did you first get down with Doom?
GK: I was on the road and somebody passed me some beats. I came across some real nice beats and I put them aside till I got home. It said some guy Metal Fingers Doom or something like that, so I had my manager hunt him down. And yo, we just connected cause he was right up the alley of the kind of music I was looking for.
MA: Where you a fan of KMD?
GK: Yeah, exactly. I didn’t know he was in them, so when I met him we was talking and looked familiar. When he said he was down with Pete Nice and Serch and them, I was like, “Oh yeah, now I remember who you are.”
MA: What’s your favorite thing about Doom?
GK: About Doom? He can rhyme, he just got a good ear for music and he can rhyme well too. He’s a great artist. He’s like me in a way, very creative. I like creative people.
MA: That’s exactly what he said about you. You’re very creative.
MA: So what’s your favorite thing about yourself?
GK: Umm. I don’t know, you might have to tell me. I don’t have a favorite thing for myself. Nah, nah . Deep in my heart, the way I feel towards people, my humbleness I hold in my heart for people and my love of God. That’s the greatest thing within me.
MA: Doom said you were very good at breaking the ice and that you made him feel comfortable. Like you’d been friends for a long time. How did you do you do that?
GK: It was just that our vibe was good. You nahmean? It was a good vibe. It wasn’t nothing too spectacular. But, it was just that we understood each other and the music and a lot of things. That was it though.
MA: Can you tell me what giraffe ribs taste like?
GK: Can I tell you what what tastes like?
MA: Giraffe ribs.
GK: My ad-libs?
MA: No, Giraffe Ribs, rotisserie…
GK: Oooh, that’s a good one, haha. You got that from “Nutmeg,” huh?
GK: Yeah, yeah, you know. All types of darts, man. Hip hop to me is about having fun. I grew up on real hip hop. Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Biz MArkie, Doug E. Fresh, KRS-ONE, Slick Rick and them people so I like to have fun when I write music. You know I don’t like to take shit too seriously. That street shit is good too, but it doesn’t show no creativity cause everyone is doing that. When I was doing “Nutmeg” I was rhyming with words that people probably never even… said, “It don’t even make no sense.” I wanted to do what I wanted to do. No once could stop me cause I did it how I wanted. Cause yo, if I wanted to write something down that you wouldn’t understand, yo, I’ma do it. I’m the first one that did it and made songs that made no sense to nobody. That’s me. I made history for that one, nahmean? So you know, rap is anything you want to rap about. You can rhyme about your elbow. You rhyme about picking boogers like Biz Mark did, you can rhyme about taking a shit, taking a piss. There ain’t no limits to this shit.
MA: What’s your favorite thing about rap right now?
GK: Right now, I don’t have a favorite thing about rap, nahmean? It’s just paying m bills right now. Rap is rap, man. It’s always gonna be hip for a minute. But it is what we make of it cause the way rap’s going right now, especially some of New York rap. We’re gonna be putting the shit inside the ground, nahmean? And everyone’s talking about bringing real hip hop back, talking that gangster shit. All the way from ’85 to like like ’05, those are like the real hip hop days.
MA: How do you feel about rappers making a big deal of their criminal records instead of focusing on their art form?
GK: Yeah, man, it’s messed up. Niggas ain’t focusing. You’re not using your brain. Anyone can shoot those kind of darts. That’s all you know. That’s all people are talking about. You’re a one track mind. You’re supposed to look at everything from a 360 degree angle, not just a 90 degree angle. That’s where people get it stuck. That’s why people are just saying that same shit over and over. Saying, I’ll shoot you this, I’ll soot you that. Cause muthafuckas don’t wanna take the time to think and write a nice rhyme, where it’s like, “Ooh, shit! How the fuck he think that?” Cause when you take the time to write a very skilled rhyme that’s different from everyone else’s, it takes time for you to think. You gotta use your mind more, as opposed to those who wanna talk about the block all day and this and that. It’s a shame that’s what they feeling right now. That’s the mentality of the people, so it’s like, to each his own. I’m trying to pay bills here, so if I gotta talk that same bullshit to pay my bills? I mean I started that whole shit, that gangster shit… Me and Rae, Cuban Linkin it out. On the streets doin this, that and the third, but it’s like, dag son, it’s time to grow. Cause niggas gonna be 40 years old in a few more years and you can’t still be kickin that same shit. Like you got kids lookin up to you and shit, lovin you even your own kids. And it’s like c’mon man. It’s like a 50 year old man selling drugs. C’mon G, you don’t wanna be doing that.
MA: Is RAGU ever gonna come out?
GK: We gonna do another Cuban Link, but I dunno if we’re gonna call it RAGU. That would be a nice way though. Like RAGU: Rae and Ghost Unite.
MA: It seems like you guys have a lot of good chemistry in your rhymes like cartoon comic book characteristics. Do you feel like you guys share a lot of that? Like super hero type material?
GK: Yeah. I mean I’m not really a super hero cat but I just got Tony Starks. I live by the Tony Starks code and put the little cartoon skits in the songs. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Tom and Jerry when I was little. I still love Tom and Jerry, but you know, I’m not really a super hero type nigga. Iron Man coincides with Tony Starks. That’s where you get Marvel comic skits and stuff. That makes sense. Don’t look too much into it like, “Oh, he’s in love with that over there.” Nah… like one day I bought a shirt and I as like, “Yo, Tony Starks. Yo, Rae, this is my Tony Starks shirt.” I became Tony Starks that day. That’s what it been ever since. I loved the name.
MA: That being said, who are your top three cartoon characters?
GK: The best cartoon niggas was Tom and Jerry, man. Tom and Jerry is the illest cartoon ever man. Tony Starks Iron Man and all that stuff like that too. Might’ve been a lot of shit. Cause back then I watching that squirrel niggas secret agent and shit… “Frogger”. Old joints cartoons I used to watch back then.
MA: Would you rather meet: Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd?
GK: I don’t know. They’re both cool. I mean, I ain’t really into niggas like that… I mean Richard Pryor, man. I’d rather meet that dude.
MA: Who’s taller, you or Doom?
GK: I think I may be a little taller.
MA: What’s your favorite thing about laughing?
GK: It makes you feel good.
MA: What does it mean to be Dead Bent?
GK: Wachou mean dead bent?
MA: That’s the name of one of Doom’s songs on his first album.
GK: Hmm. I dunno except it if means when you get drunk. Like I was bent. Probably just dead bent. Might’ve been like he was mad drunk.
MA: I heard a rumor saying you were gonna lock up all your old jewelry and get all new joints made for the new album. Is that true?
GK: Yeah, something like that. Mmhm.
MA: What about the wrist eagle?
GK: I got all new shit. The eagle is no longer with me.
MA: Retired it, or gave it away?
GK: Yeah, retired it.
MA: How many bathrobes do you own?
GK: I don’t know, I never counted, man. You know, just a few that I have.
MA: Like 60?
GK: Nah, probably like 50.
MA: Are those things comfortable or what?
GK: If I throw them on, yeah! I ain’t gonna wear nothing that’s not comfortable.
MA: Why was it so hard to get in touch with you for this?
GK: I’m just a real busy man. I gotta do this, I got kids. I tried to call the other day but ya’ll left. Nigga’s a working man.
MA: What’s the best thing about being a dad?
GK: When your kids can tell you, “I love you.” say, “Daddy, I love you.” You nahmean?
MA: Definitely. What part of your career, from the early wu-tang days to now, did you enjoy most?
GK: Probably the early Wu-Tang days.
MA: What did you like about those?
GK: I mean, being with your peoples, it was fun. We was young. Me and Rae did Cuban Linx at 25 and it was like we were putting work in. We was the illest niggas in our prime.
MA: What combos of MC’s would you like to see or hear?
GK: Genius and Nas. Like to see them get together. Um, prolly what’s his name, I can’t think of his name right now. Me, Rae, my man Trife, my man Jay-Z and Nas on the track. You know, me, Rae, Trife, all D-Block, and Nas and Jay-Z on a ill track like that “What We Do.”
MA: If you had to walk through the most rugged parts of the world with an animal as your guardian, what animal would you want?
GK: I might just bring a fish. A shark or something. It depends. One day I may just bring a lion or even a lamb or a cow or something.
MA: What day would you want to bring a fish?
GK: I said a shark. It depends how I feel, you know?