Intervista a Don Bishop Agallah, rapper e produttore straordinario, da Brooklyn, NY. Per un curriculum minimo, ricordo le collaborazioni con PMD, Sean Price, RA the Rugged Man, e la recente affiliazione ai Purple City, gruppo del giro Diplomats.
A livello tecnico, ho preferito non tradurre dall’inglese, perché non venisse in nessun modo mutilato il senso di quello che Agallah dice…
The industry seems more concerned with rappers trying to appear "real" (whether they are real or not) rather than people with skills. What's your opinion?
Well, real recognize real. People from the hood ain’t all skilled in rap. Maybe a few are and some are not but the skill they lack in rap they will make up with being real, which is the foundation of the streets, period.
You are an excellent beatmaker, and I think you have been quite slept on. Why do you think that is?
Well, that’s because I have not allowed the industry to manipulate me into being just a beatmaker/producer. I also rap and being that is an advantage I have over some rappers they try to outshine me by getting no-name producers to produce for them. Then their album sell like 40 thousand copies and think they that dude when they not.
I think it’s mainly because I have so much skills I outshine the average producer/rapper that’s out poppin’, and they know this is a fact.
Mixtapes seem to be the weapon of choice of many artists to build a solid street fanbase. How do you approach the mixtape market?
Like a rambo. I goes in like I’m doin’ a street lp, not a mixtape. Propane Piff is the hottest mixtape out 'cause it sounds like a (real) album. I do shit to perfection so I gotta baby feed the people before I give them a full course meal that will sit in the stomachs for a very long time…
A lot of NY rappers seem to be obsessed with being the King of New York…
Who do you think the real King of New York is? You a movie if you the king of New York, get it???
It’s just a movie that came out in the late 80’s early 90’s, during the New York drug era after where Scarface left off. God bless Biggie Smalls, he was the official King of New York. Jay-Z tried to carry that but Nas stopped him from claiming that title in that memorial battle they had. Now, years later, Jay signed Nas: bad move for karma reasons… (It’s) my personal opinion though.
But there is no King of New York, period. Fuck what you heard, tell them rappers what I said. You heard it from me, now what?
You have worked with many of the best. If you had to list the best rappers and producers, who would you mention?
At the end of the day, that artist is that artist. I’m the one who has to sit late hours and press the buttons all day, while you niggas bullshit ‘bout ya lives on a piece of paper. The one dude I would say is Ike Eyes, ‘cause he is a lyrical monsta: rap ain’t ready for him. They like that generic baby food rap they gettin’ now, no names but you rappers know who you are. I don’t have a favorite artist cause mostly everyone I’ve worked with was washed up, lookin’ for me to save they career, like PMD. When I did Rough, Rugged ‘n’ Raw for him, he was not poppin’. Same thing with Sean Price, he wasn’t poppin’ til I put him on the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack with me. Now he has life as an artist all over again, (even) without Heltah Skeltah.
With the explosion of crunk and other southern subgenres, NY seems a bit behind and struggling to keep up. Have you got an idea of how to take NY back to prominence?
Well, I feel if you don’t know where this music is from you will never know where it’s going to go: real talk. New York will always be rap’s Mecca. Bottom line: no matter what any coast do, the title stays in New York City and can’t nobody do nothing about that! Ain’t no coast sold more records than New York, period.
You have a mixtape out now, Propane Piff. Do you want to talk your fans into buying it?
My fans know that it is the best CD out. Look at the reviews, look at the piff in the streets. I am the only rapper from that era who is still surviving this shit here.
Propane Piff is out now, go cop that: you’ll see what the fuck I’m talking about!!!!!!!
Any final words for your Italian fans?
All my italian fans hold it down, stay focused I know y’all got dreams and wants too. I stick to tha script and that’s what every artist needs to do. Keep doing you and you’ll make it in life: you control your destiny!! And cop my solo album this year, called the Agallah Show! Eddie Propane Piff is in the building!!!!!!