Sean Price Interview: Jesus Price Superstar

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by Alex Shtaerman

The resurgence of the Boot Camp Clik is no longer just wishful thinking; rather, it is a bright and beautiful reality that has Hip-Hop fans from coast to coast and around the world reveling in the essence of Brooklyn once again. At the core of the BCC’s relentless onslaught on rap lies an unlikely “new” artist. Previously known to fans as Ruck of acclaimed rap duo Heltah Skeltah, in 2005 Sean Price successfully reinvented himself as a solo artist while dropping the Ruck moniker in favor of his birth name. Sean P’s critically acclaimed solo debut made fans, young and old, take notice and put MCs on notice. Prominently featured on Boot Camp’s new LP, The Last Stand, Sean P is ready to settle all scores as he readies his sophomore follow up to Monkey Barz and plots a reunion album with longtime partner in crime Rock.

RIOTSOUND.COM: When you dropped your first solo LP, Monkey Barz, a lot of people were thinking that your name change might work against you since fans might not realize who you are and not buy your album because of that. But as it turns out, with all the great reviews your solo debut received, a lot of people think you’re like the fresh new star out of BCC and maybe some of them don’t even realize your past. So in all, do you think the name change turned out to be a plus for your career?

SEAN PRICE: You know what; I’ve had people run up on me and go – yo Ruck, that new kid ya’ll got, Sean Price, he’s off the chain! I’ve had people actually say that to me. So it goes both ways. I don’t [think] it hurts at all. Sometimes when you’ve been out since ’96 and then you take a hiatus and try to come back on some “Ta-da! I’m back” shit, it’s not a good look. Like certain rappers be trying to come back and [people] be like – aww shit, look at this guy, what a fuckin’ idiot.

The Sean Price shit, that’s me; if you’re a real die hard Heltah Skeltah fan you would know Sean Price is Ruck anyway, ‘cause on Nocturnal I had a song called “Sean Price”. Fuck it though, it is what it is. [Sean Price] is a new artist, a new persona and it works. Whatever it is, it’s working. Fuck it, I ain’t mad.

RIOTSOUND.COM: As far as the new Boot Camp LP, The Last Stand, what can the fans expect from that?

SEAN PRICE: Rock is [back on this record]. That’s one thing you can expect. Rock is on it, so that’s a big plus. The production is crazy. We all went in on it and it was a lot of fun creating the album.

RIOTSOUND.COM: What was the recording process like; were all of you in the studio at the same time?

SEAN PRICE: Sometimes all of us was in there and sometime we wasn’t. They started the album without me and Rock because we was on tour. When we came back there was like ten songs done. So we went in there and we jumped on a few of the songs and also started some new ones. We just went in and [took care of business].

RIOTSOUND.COM: Da Beatminerz were such a big part of all the classic Boot Camp releases with that boom bap dungeoncore sound. Can we ever again look forward to albums where that’s the dominant vibe of the entire record, or does everyone have to update with the times and embrace what the younger generation is doing?

SEAN PRICE: You know what, I’ve never been the type to rhyme to or follow the latest [trends]. I like a hot beat, whatever’s hot, that’s it. I wouldn’t care if Large Professor made it or duke who make DeBarge music made it; whoever’s hot, I want it. I don’t care. New sound, old sound, who cares; [it has to be] a good sound and that’s the bottom line. So I could care less if Timberland made it or my man Tim from around the corner. Whoever make it hot, that’s all [that matters].

RIOTSOUND.COM: You got your second solo album, Jesus Price Superstar, dropping in September. How far along are you with recording that record and what producers have you been working with?

SEAN PRICE: It’s actually done recording. Krisis & 9th Wonder did the bulk of the production. Also PF Cuttin, Ill Mind and Moss.

RIOTSOUND.COM: How would you compare your new album to Monkey Barz; would you say that this one is even better?

SEAN PRICE: You know, some people say “this one is better”, and then it don’t be, you know what I mean. So I’m not even going to put that out there. I’ma just let ya’ll judge that. I know I had fun making [this album].

RIOTSOUND.COM: How did you decide on the name “Jesus Price Superstar”?

SEAN PRICE: I was going to name it “Mighty Flow Young” and then I was like – enough of this ape shit. (Editor’s Note: Mighty Joe Young was a 1949 movie remake of King Kong) I was gonna [originally] run with this whole ape theme for every album but Dru was like – yo, you’re fuckin’ crazy. So I was like, alright, forget about it then.

RIOTSOUND.COM: [laughs]

SEAN PRICE: So I was just looking for some shit [to name the album] and I was like – Jesus Christ, Jesus Price, that shit rhymes. Then also Jesus Christ Superstar used to be a Broadway play and also became a movie. So [with that in mind] I put the “Superstar” on at the end.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Were you ever a fan of the Broadway show or movie?

SEAN PRICE: Not at all; I’ve never even seen the movie or heard the Broadway musical, never. But, you know, it’s a cool title and then also, in retrospect, anyone in my crew could have used that title but I just ended up to be the one to do it. I feel like my crew is one of the only teams that’s really keeping that real Hip-Hop alive. We saving it and we the saviors. Monkey Barz, that was a success for me. I don’t know about Soundscan and all that but [the album] was definitely a success for me and my crew and I’m leading the way right now, as they say. Hence the title “Jesus Price Superstar”.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Going way back, how did you originally start rhyming?

SEAN PRICE: Just listening to the radio back in the days. I listened to KISS and I listened to Chuck Chillout, Red Alert. I listened to Marley Marl and Mr. Magic, then [after that] Peter Rock was on there with [Marley Marl]. I used to tape that shit all the time and put it in my walkman. I love Hip-Hop and eventually I just started writing, simple as that.

It was a natural progression. At first I tried to DJ and I wasn’t shit at it. I used to break dance little bit but I was never gonna be that good with it. I wanted to be involved with Hip-Hop somehow so I was like – rapping, let’s try that. I was always kinda bright in school with the words so I was like, let’s throw [some words] together and see what happens.

RIOTSOUND.COM: You mentioned you and Rock were on tour; are the we going to see a new Heltah Sketah album sometime in the near future?

SEAN PRICE: We’re working on that right now. I was in the studio yesterday working on it. We working on a new album and so far it’s coming along good. We got this song called “Insane”, the shit is crazy.

RIOTSOUND.COM: You got The Last Stand in stores now and also your second solo LP is forthcoming; what else should the fans be looking out for?

SEAN PRICE: Buckshot and 9th Wonder are working on another album, Tek is working on a solo album called The Diceman Cometh. I also got a side project with C-Rayz Walz called Manimal. I don’t know when I’m gonna drop that but we trying to put that together real stupid.

RIOTSOUND.COM: As far as the future, where do you see the Boot Camp going? It seems like we’re definitely witnessing a resurgence.

SEAN PRICE: To the top baby. We’ve been at the bottom. We was rising and we fell and now we rising back. We’re going to the top, non-stop man, for real. Nigaas is workaholics, we going. It’s beautiful.

For the latest info on Sean Price and the Boot Camp Clik stay tuned to www.DuckDown.com