After a three year hiatus, one of Chicago’s most well respected and highly touted emcees, Vakill returns to the limelight, to take what’s rightfully his. Instead of going to a “larger” website, Vakill decided to chop it up with the home team, FSD, to explain his hiatus, discuss his upcoming release, Armor of God, and talk Chicago Hip Hop. Respect an architect.
Well, the first question would have to be, where have you been for the past few years and why did you feel this particular moment was right for a comeback? You’re still with the Moleman camp, correct?
I had to get my house in order, first. I had to BUY ONE! Once I got a roof over my family head and saw that they were good, it was time to get back into the booth. Panik had some new artists he wanted to break so while he was on that I used that opportunity to fallback and get my cameo and ghostwrite game on. Keep that paper in order! But as far as the Molemen, yeah Mole is me.
So you were doing some ghostwriting in your time off? I know Rule #1 in Ghostwriting is to not spill on who you’re writing for, but care to divulge any info on that (laughs)? Local or national cats?
That hustle helped me buy my house…I AINT SAYIN SHIT! Next question.
Well, since you’ve been away, the landscape of the Chicago hip hop scene has changed a bit. What do you think about the current state of Chicago hip hop?
A lot of mutha fuckin’ rappers on deck and a bunch of colorful ass niggaz, I’ll tell you that! I ain’t mad at it, though. If you nice it’s room for everybody – shit, even if you ain’t nice. I’m a little concerned with my city being the TIGHT JEAN MECCA, though. I’d rather us be known for being TIGHT SPITTERS!
Do you like any of these new cats? Any in particular that you fuck or don’t fuck with?
I encourage them all. Some of them get in touch wit me, and I always give them a jewel and encourage them. I been gave Naledge my blessings on his work, Lungz, I dig Mic Terror’s humor to his approach. But yeah, if n***** is really trying, I fucks with them.
So, let’s talk more about you and your reemergence. What’s your plan of attack for your upcoming album?
Disgusting. Just forget it! I’m going in like never before – bar city- this go round I’m gone give n***** the visuals. We already had the hustle, but I wanna show n***** the visuals to Va. It’s an EXTREME intelligent gangsta record! That’s the best way to put my shit: intelligent gangsta. You saw some of this when Worst Fear dropped and that gave me my signature. But yeah, the album is crazy, and we’re calling it The Armor of God.
What’s the formula of the album looking like? Is it going to be an all Molemen in-house project, or do you plan on collaborating with anyone outside of your camp?
Nah, this wont be an entire Molemen-produced project. Like I said, when I dropped Worst Fears, I was tampering wit the formula, I never had just one way of doing records, so when I did Worst Fears, my whole thing was, lets clean up the flow and polish the production and see what the hell we snag. And it snagged HEAVY. My earlier boom bap fans wanted the grime, though, so I fused them together with Armor of God.
I grabbed My Dude, an engineer from Vancouver, I grabbed Blunt who laced most of Freeway’s month of madness tracks, which he released online. And I also grabbed Jake One of G-Unit fame. Throw in some Mole Soul and wa’la: – I’m gonna shut shit DOWN!
Do you have any features, or is this just going to be Vakill only opus?
I’ve got some of the usual suspects on there, but also artists like Juice who has NEVER been on a Vakill album. Then I went and got the wolves: Crooked I, Grafh, etc. It’s a spitters party. The bar on Chicago gangsta shit is getting raised in this bitch!
They say gangstas can’t be too lyrical. I say fuck that. I went and got some of the most lyrical gangsta dark horse n***** out there and went hardbody. It’s a new era, my n****. Gangstas is lyrical, they are computer savvy now and they love they Momma, n*** (laughs). This is the LP that’s gonna draw the backpack n***** and the hood n***** in…even more so than the last LP. And I’m one of the few n**** here that has such a unique following to do that.
Right, and I know the world will be dying to hear that collaboration with Crooked I, who is also one of the dopest lyricists out here, who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.
Speaking of which, do you ever feel that you haven’t gotten the accolades you deserved for holding it down in Chicago for so long?
Nah, I don’t trip. Andrew, I’ve done things that I never thought possible when I started pickin’ up that pen, cousin. I went from the block of 119th to fuckin’ Switzerland, n****! World tours with NO MAJOR LABEL! IVE SEEN THE WORLD, dog, and I’m about to go back. Shit, I was on my way back for the Worst Fears Confirmed Tour until Sadat X caught a case. Shit happens, but I’ve seen shit that n***** can’t comprehend here until they’ve done it. I’ve got an international fanbase, fam. World wide with NO MAJOR. We invented the internet hustle and then RE-invented it. So nah, I gets my just due. When dudes in Spain run up on you with your whole catalog and ask you to sign it???! Maaan look, it don’t get no bigger than that. I’m on cloud nine, my n****. My kids get a kick out of it, too. Now, the megastar Kanye fame? I wouldn’t mind it…for a day (laughs), and I mean that shit cause that n**** ain’t enjoying it like he should be from where I’m sittin’. I mean, man joe, I did a joint in Manchester and a n**** was mad cause I didn’t have a cd to sell or shit to autograph (laughs) This n**** like, “Vakill, I know you got somethin’!!”, I dug in my pocket and pulled out my plane ticket receipt, and that n**** was like “SIGN IT !!!”. So if I’m getting’ it on that end, I can’t imagine what he’s goin’ through.
Well, what about your beef with various Chicago rappers? I know that Matlock recently took some shots at you and some people commented that move was basically career suicide for him…
Fuck career! That’s more like humane suicide! Shit, that’s only a tiff. That’s what I’d call it, a tiff. Because beef is kidnapping mothers in the Wild Hunnids! N***** don’t know no better though…that is until mouth shots get handed out, and then that magic phrase comes out ” But I was on some hip hop shit”. I won’t address n***** ‘til they grind and build their name from the dirt up. I’m cut from a cloth where we gutted it out for our 15 minutes of fame. From No ID to Twista to Rhymefest, and until you do that, you a fart in a Chi-Town wind to me
Yeah I figured you guys would have gone and done a full blown assault with that one. What other infamous battles have you participated in? I hear all the Chi-Town folklore…just never know what to believe.
span style=”color: #9fc5e8;”>Kids fail to realize how battle tested I am. I’ve got legendary wars under my belt, fam, but no one remembers that shit. But you put out a burner over a hot ass track and it’ll stick to n***** mental forever. I remember having a convo with Juice and he was talkin’ about how he would do shit different if he could. He was like “I would’ve made a name as an artist first and THEN a battle rapper. That’s some real shit to say, chalie. But on the flip, if I was to zone out and pick up this pen and go into full blown war with n*****, they’d be at my mercy! N***** know! It is no secret what I does wit these bars…It’s some of the most saint/sinnerish shit witnessed to music. See, I’ve got seomethin’ a lot of these snot nosed muthafuckas want jo. More than a record deal in they short sighted ass goals, and that’s the respect of my peers. Some of these artists I do joints with, these crab n***** would have to put up 6 house notes to breathe in the booth wit them. My gospel is the truth, fam!
So, what’s the first single and when can we expect the first leaks? Have you secured a release date yet?
The video is coming first for “Beast Ballad” with me, Crooked I and company. That’s the first shit, then shit’s gonna be a domino effect from there
When can we expect that?
It’s gone be a hot summer this year, Andrew. Satan gonna have one of them cheap ass popsicle stick church fans, a Chinese fan, and the AC on this year, n****. It’s ova (laughs).
You elaborated on the album a bit earlier, but I’d really like to get down to the nitty gritty of it. Can you compare it, if at all, to any of your previous efforts?
In some ways you can compare it, but in some ways, nope. This is more than comparing quotables and lines. There’s some strong songs on here that are gonna catch you off guard and are meant to stir up shit. Stories! It’s got a cryptic spiritual undertone to it.. Like some tales in the hood type shit. The title is basically saying I’m suited up and ready for whatever my enemies wanna throw at me. Sometimes ignoring an opponent can hurt him worse than rushin’ to the booth. – Sun Tzu is a muthafucker ain’t he? (laughs). But it’s a growth LP and it’s only been 3 years.
You wanna hear something funny? Every time I drop an album, n***** outside of this city categorize me as a new n****! Shit cracks me up! When Worst Fears Confirmed dropped, The Source, XXL and all these magazines thought I was some “up and comer”. They don’t know that I’ve been here for a minute! It’s called the power of re-invention and staying CURRENT. This LP gonna sound like I never left and I just switched it up.
Let’s talk about the Molemen for a second…You guys have been around seemingly forever. It’s very impressive you guys are still so relevant in a very fickle industry.
Molemen survives because it’s a brand! It ain’t a rapper, or a producer…It’s a brand. A brand with a monster catalog (laughs)
So where does Armor of God rank in the Molemen catalog?
This is the King Kong of them (laughs). Fully focused and thirsty as shit! It’s my favorite and the crews favorite.
Final question: So I hear you’re doing an album with Juice entitled “Triangle Offense”. Any truth to this?
Triangle Offense is me, Juice…and a special guest. And yes, we’re already knockin’ out songs. It’ll be out in 09 for sure
So Wayne MT and I were having a pretty in-depth discussion regarding our favorite Chi-Town collabo records of all time. A lot of joints were being tossed around: Common and Twilite Tone’s “Chapter 13”, Twista and Buk on “Adrenaline Rush”, Common and ‘Ye on “They Say”, “Po Pimp”, “Slow Jamz”, “So Nuts”, “Chicagorillas”…the list goes on. One track that Wayne mentioned, that I know hasn’t ever been posted here, is Joe Glass and IRoc’s collabo with Mick Luter, “Trouble Song”, from their 2004 album, Street Monopoly.
Now, I know the peanut gallery (that being YOU), probably has some kind of opinion on this, so please, SPEAK ON IT.
Joe Glass & IRoc feat. Mick Luter – “Trouble Song”Andrew Barber 0