KING T(July 2012) | Interview By:
If there was a West Coast Mount Rushmore then King T would have
to be on it. From Act A Fool to Thy Kingdom Come, this West Coast vet has
delivered time and time again. Now, after a hiatus King T the Great is
nearly done with his newest offering The Triflin’ Mixtape. The collection of
original material will re-introduce him to the new generation of Hip Hop
Javon caught up with King T as he puts the finishing touches on the project
and delves into the possible Likwit Crew project, what his favorite album is
and why, what it’s like to work with Dr. Dre and what we can expect from The
King T is a legend but after checking out this
conversation you will see that he is as hungry as ever. Hip Hop is all he
has ever known and is a huge part of his life. Enjoy.
Dubcnn: Dubcnn.com, man I love working with dubcnn.com because it gives me
the opportunity to talk to legends in the game. So without further adieu,
King T how are you doing man?
King T: Chillin’ man, I’m chillin’. I’m in the studio just getting
my grind on. This is my daily work. 9 to 5 I’m in the studio just mapping it
out and putting it down.
Dubcnn: So, mapping it out…you’re working on your new project and it
is called, The Triflin’ Mixtape. Is that right?
King T: Yeah.
Dubcnn: So how long has this been in the works for you?
King T: (laughs) Sh*t, about a year and a half. I’m pretty much an old
school cat as you probably well know. But this mixtape thing is like new to
me. And its pretty simple to go and just hop on some other cat’s
instrumentals and just kick some lines (but) I didn’t want to do that. I
ain’t been out for a minute so I wanted to really give, you know, the fans
of Likwit and King T something special for free. I have all original beats
and original rhymes. We have new cats and old cats that I’m putting
together. And it’s just taking a little more time than I thought it would.
Dubcnn: Ok. So when you say…because I’m a fan, I go back to the Act
A Fool days so I’m a fan for a long time. So when you talk about a year plus
in the making, how many tracks have you recorded or looked over and maybe
said, ‘No, not for this project.’ How many have you recorded?
King T: Ah sh*t, over 80…from 60 tracks to 80. And I try…I take the lyrics
and I put them on new beats if I hear a new beat and I’m remixing for the
mixtape and all kind of mothafu#*ing sh*t. I’m like on some Detox sh*t. For
Dubcnn: Ok. So you know we gotta get into…when I was talking to a
partner of mine and I said I was going to be talking to King T he said you
gotta ask him this question…so I gotta ask you because you mentioned
recording a lot of material for this project but when you think about the
Act A Fool, The Triflin’ Album and all of those things…do you have some
vaulted unrecorded material that you might break out every once and a while
and listen to? Do you have some vintage stuff that people have never heard?
King T: Yeah, I mean most definitely. There’s going to be a few things on
The Triflin’ Mixtape and that’s one of the reasons that I called it The
Triflin’ Mixtape because I was sitting up listening to The Triflin’ Album
and when we debuted Tha Alkaholiks and things like that. So there was a lot
of material left over from that album that I’m throwing on new beats and
things like that and reproducing…but yes there’s a lot. I’m leaking
something now….and like I said there will be a lot of vintage, not too much
but you’ll hear it. I got a lot of sh*t (laughs). A lot of sh*t.
Dubcnn: I want to talk about the Likwit Crew and I’m sure you always
get asked that question but I gotta talk about that in a second but I want
to mention one of my favorite King T albums, The Triflin’ Album. If you had
to rank in terms of an album that was near and dear to your heart which
album would it be?
King T: Well, I would have to say the Thy Kingdom Come album that I did with
(Dr.) Dre. I feel it was some of my best material that I ever did
because…the work I did with DJ Pooh on Act A Fool and The Triflin’ Album and
At Your Own Risk it was classic to me but I was young and all that. But when
you come under a situation where everything is like wow…I mean every beat
the ni**a was pulling up I wanted to drop something on and we came up with a
lot of cool sh*t. And plus I was a big fan of Dr. Dre. We’ve been friends
for a long time and the ni**a made classics and I always wanted to work with
him. It was a blessing that I got to get in there for a few years and mess
So that album, it was the best to me and I was very amped about it and it
was my best work. I should have stayed and been patient with Dre and just
mapped it out and put it together like he wanted to put it out. But at that
time not being properly advised and my ego and being really excited for what
I had…and you know the reputation of Dr. Dre. If it ain’t perfect then it
ain’t coming out. And I got wind of that ‘you’ll get shelved’ (rumors) and
all that and I shouldn’t have listened to it I should have just stayed there
and just put it together. But I asked to be released and if I could roll
with my masters and things like that. He didn’t want me to leave but if you
wanna roll…but it was a mistake. It was my best project to this day.
Dubcnn: Now along those lines…it’s interesting that you say that.
Because often times when you hear about Aftermath (Records) you hear that
they get on there and they get shelved or you hear about an artist like
Joell Ortiz or just different artists that come into Aftermath and maybe
they don’t have that patience. How difficult is that T? How difficult is
that to be patient when you have a project that maybe you feel is worthy of
people listening and appreciating it?
King T: Well, if I knew the things (then) that I know now but (I) was brand
new a novice to this dude. And as I said, I wish I would have known about
having patience and about how intricate and…he’s a genius sitting behind
that board. So when he tells you it ain’t right, it ain’t right.
Dubcnn: (laughs) Ok
King T: It might sound great to you, like it’s the best sh*t you ever did in
your life but he knows how to make the hits. To where you’re selling
millions of records and going on tour. Don’t just do something to where it’s
sounding good to you and you made something with Dr. Dre and has Dr. Dre’s
name on it. If that ni**a say it ain’t gonna hit, then it ain’t gonna hit.
But when you are there and you just signed and have been there for a couple
of years and having fun spending money you want to get out there and do your
thing. And a lot of kids…and I’m just speaking on me because I don’t know
Joell’s situation or Rakim or Busta or anybody. But if I would have known
what I know now I would have sat there and just posted up because you can’t
do anything but get better. Sitting there and learning from the man. Sitting
there while he is doing his thing, you can’t do nothing but get better. So
why try to shake. You have to go through things and learn. You have to make
mistakes to learn. So it is what it is but you have to have patience with
You can tell by his own sh*t. He doesn’t want to put his own sh*t out and I
have been there (in the studio) and I’ve heard 10 different albums of Detox.
And I’m saying, this sh*t will tear sh*t up. It will change the whole fuc*ing
game but not to him. That ain’t it. And it might be a little crazy or weird
or whatever but that’s him, you know. Michael Jackson was like that. Quincy
Jones was like that. Sade is like that. Those mothafu*#ers put out albums
and you won’t hear from them for another 7 years or 15 years or something
like that. But every time they put out they hit.
Dubcnn: You mentioned being patient a while ago and ever since I
heard the I Got It Bad Y’all and the incarnation of Likwit Crew I’ve been
waiting for a Likwit Crew album or an offering. I’m sure you hear that all
the time. Is that ever going to happen? Can we expect a really big
presentation of the Likwit Crew on your project? Talk a little bit about
King T: Um, yeah it could happen. A Likwit Crew album could happen. It would
have to be the right situation to accommodate every member of the Likwit
because everyone is their own individual. We’ve been through our things as a
crew. As I’ve said before, we’ve had to come together, and this is
recently…to come together more on the level of some family sh*t. We started
out as kids and we love each other like brothers. And you know how different
kind of sh*t comes into play in your career and all that and it can f*ck sh*t
up. So we had to come together as a family and brother and get together on
some other sh*t other than music. Like, ‘Come on man, my kid is playing
softball. Bring the fam out and lets BBQ.’ We came together on that type of
sh*t instead of trying to talk music all the time.
We’re trying to see how everybody in the crew is doing and see where
everybody’s head is at. If everybody’s head is right then we can talk about
doing a record. For example, what Xzibit just did for his new album,
Napalm…he brought everybody from the crew down with Dr. Dre to do a song
called Louis XIII and its classic. It’s something we’ve been waiting on for
the longest and this is going to be The One right here but it took awhile.
Fighting, scratching and cussing each other out but we’re brothers at the
end of it. It’s all about family. We have families now. We’re grown men with
kids and mortgages and other things than music.
We came in this game together and fu*k that sh*t…we know how it is. We know
how scandalous it is and we’ve been through it. We’ve made the mistakes.
We’ve done sh*t to each other and talked about each other but we’re cool
now. Fu*k Likwit Crew, we’re Likwit Brothers. If it wasn’t for each one of
us then there wouldn’t be none of us. Thath’s what it is.
Dubcnn: I like to hear that. So we are going to continue this
conversation because there is so much to talk about with the one and only
King T. So Triflin’ Mixtape…When can we be expecting it and how can people
stay in touch with what King T has going on in terms of social media,
websites and whatever the case may be. Last words for Dubcnn.com.
King T: Yo man, I’m fu*king with music and beats and sh*t like that and new
artists everyday. That’s all I do. I’m kind of new to how it is today as far
as media and the mixtape thing like that. So I just ask people to be patient
but I’m trying to drop this in July, in the middle. Everything is going good
right now and you might hear something from me and Special Ed. You might
hear something from me and Sean Price...
Dubcnn: What? Wait a minute! Yes, you’ve got to do that. That’s what
I’m talking about.
King T: (laughs) I’m working on it. All the people that I love as an emcee.
I love Special Ed and I love…this ni**a Sean Price is a fuc*ing beast man.
And I just went out to Vegas to see him at a show and it that’s my dude…and
you know Tash and everybody fuc*s with him and have done joints together so
we’re trying to work on that. Working on a few things…I have joints with
mainly a lot of my West Coast counterparts like MC Eiht and I have some
stuff from the First Generation that I’m going to throw on there. Got a
joint with the Relativez and I got some sh*t with Sadat X and all kinda…it’s
going to be massive. But it’s a mixtape and just me having fun and spitting
some verses and just letting these cats know that I can still grace the
stage and have fun with y’all.
I ain’t trying to hurt nobody and ain’t trying to disrespect nobody. I love
the young cats that’s doing things. Hip Hop changes and you gotta roll with
it. Adapt or die. So I’m not hating on nobody. I have kids that love
everything like the jerkin’, 2Chainz and all that type of sh*t. So you grow
to love it. If your kids are running around playing that sh*t all the time
and especially if you are into Hip Hop it grows on you. It’s just new to me
so I have to adapt to it and you can’t hate on that sh*t. When we were
coming out back in the days I was coming out with Ice T and Ice Cube and all
these dudes and they were hating on us. (Critics would say) fu*k that
country sh*t, so I know how it is. That’s why I would never hate. I love all
that sh*t. Whatever it is. And plus we have a lot of classic emcees coming
out from the West Coast. Like Jay Rock, Glasses, Big Sean and ni**as is hot
out here. It’s coming back to the West so I just want to be there as far
as…and that’s the reason I’m putting the mixtape out.
I just want to be there because I’m going to make sure that I got these new
cats that I’m fuc*in’ with are plastered all over the mixtape. And
producers…I want them to know about the producers and know that I can still
spit too and I’m coming to the shows and we’re going to rock. This is Hip
Hop. This is my life and this is all I know. So fuc* it.
Dubcnn: That’s what’s up. So we are going to continue this with a part 2.
King T and Dubcnn. And that’s what’s up.