In the Bible, Adam and other Old Testament prophets are considered by most Christians to be prefigures of Jesus Christ.
Having already put in work with Heltah Skeltah in the late `90s, Ruck, better known today as Sean Price, could have retired from rap eight years ago with his status solidified as a veteran in hip-hop circles from the streets to the suburbs. But he didnâ€™t.
Hungry for respect, a solo career, and food (literally), a reinvigorated Ruck returned as Sean P in 2005 with the critically acclaimed album Monkey Barz. Now, two years later, after a full-blown BCC resurgence, Sean P is back again. Jesus Price Superstar has arrived.
Format: How did Sean Price evolve out of Ruck and what made you decide to switch aliases?
Sean Price: I just switched my name because itâ€™s my real name. It ainâ€™t even rocket science. When my moms passed, she asked me to rock my real name, so that was nothing to do. Simple as that, it ainâ€™t no big science behind it. But, what I found out, is when I put the name out and I put the Sean Price shit out, a lot of motherfuckers didnâ€™t realize Sean Price was Ruck. I appreciate that. I didnâ€™t want them to think I was some old nigga on the comeback, anyway. Sean Price is a new thing, so it works in my favor.
Format: That being the case, do you find that thereâ€™s a disparity between how people see Ruck and how people see Sean P?
Sean Price: Yeah, and I donâ€™t care. I have people walk up on me and say, â€˜Yo Ruck, that nigga Sean Price is the truth, where he at?â€™ And they lookinâ€™ at the motherfucker right in his face. I donâ€™t mind as long as you enjoying the music. Youâ€™ll discover it later.
“Whoever love the music, love the music. I don’t care, it could be a bunch of skateboarding, Tony Hawk-ass niggas, I wouldn’t give a fuck.”
Format: What, if any, are the differences between the two personas?
Sean Price: Itâ€™s a bit difference between Ruck and Sean Price. Sean Price is more responsible, he a family man, take care of his kids, got things in order. Whereas, Ruck was kind of reckless, smacking the shit out of people, slamming motherfuckers, getting into bullshit, carrying guns, getting locked-up â€“ so itâ€™s a difference.
Format: A lot has changed in the industry since the Heltah Skeltah days. What are the differences for you, personally, coming out ten years ago and coming out recently as Sean Price?
Sean Price: Well, right now, the music industry is kind of wack. A lot of niggas ainâ€™t putting out good material. Niggas canâ€™t rhyme, beats be fugazi. So when they hear a nigga like me, they hear my album, motherfuckers think they going back in time `cuz they donâ€™t hear shit like this no more, which they should. A lot of people saying hip-hop is this, hip-hop is that â€“ itâ€™s going down. I put out two hot albums. Iâ€™m about to put out my second one on the 30th [January, 2006]. My shitâ€™s been hot, my shitâ€™s been hip-hop. I donâ€™t think Nas heard my album. If he did he wouldnâ€™t of said hip-hop is dead. Obviously he donâ€™t know what the fuck he talkinâ€™ bout if he ainâ€™t hear Monkey Barz. If he heard Monkey Barz heâ€™d of retracted that statement, because hip-hop is alive, and itâ€™s in Brownsville right now.
Format: Youâ€™re kind of bringing that `90s vibe back. Do you feel that is how youâ€™re staying relevant today?
Sean Price: It ainâ€™t even a `90s vibe. Itâ€™s just a good hip-hop feel. The shit I grew-up on listening, the shit I like to do, thatâ€™s all. My shit ainâ€™t the `90s. I ainâ€™t write this shit in the `90s, I wrote this shit last year, so thatâ€™s what it is right there. Itâ€™s good hip-hop. It ainâ€™t outdated, it ainâ€™t old school. Itâ€™s real shit. Iâ€™m talking about relevant shit. My metaphors is up to date, there ainâ€™t no old nothinâ€™ on my shit. This shit hard body, people need to take notes.
Format: Youâ€™re definitely a hardcore rapper, but it seems like a lot of your fan base is backpacker-ish. Do you put yourself in that category? And why do you think youâ€™ve attracted those fans?
Sean Price: Whoever love the music, love the music. I donâ€™t care, it could be a bunch of skateboarding, Tony Hawk-ass niggas, I wouldnâ€™t give a fuck. It could be tennis players, I donâ€™t give a fuck. As long as you get it and enjoy it, I donâ€™t try to figure it out. A fan is a fan, I treat `em all the same. I appreciate all of them. You could be whatever race, color, creed â€“ I donâ€™t give a fuck, just get that shit.
Format: Where did the â€œBrokest Rapper You Knowâ€ thing come from?
Sean Price: Itâ€™s not a thing, I was really assed out. Itâ€™s no gimmick, B. Nobody wants to be called the brokest rapper you know. That shit ainâ€™t funny, that shit ainâ€™t cute. Itâ€™s the truth though. Some kid ran up on me a couple weeks ago at one of my shows like, â€˜Yo Ruck, yo Iâ€™m the brokest rapper you know.â€™ Iâ€™m like cool, you can have that title. I ainâ€™t challenging you. Shit, I donâ€™t want to be broke. I had a good come up last year, too, so Iâ€™m not as broke as I was last year. Gracious. Allahâ€™s good.
“I don’t think Nas heard my album. If he did, he wouldn’t of said hip-hop is dead.”
Format: Youâ€™ve mentioned that you were having trouble after Magnum Force dropped?
Sean Price: Yeah, you know, I was in a lot of shit, in the streets. My moms had just died. Rock went to jail, gun charges. It was getting real critical, niggas was doing dumb shit. It was just a bad period, that whole period â€“ Magnum Force. That whole period was fucked up.
Format: What was it the sparked your return as Sean Price?
Sean Price: I was listening to shit that was going on and I was like, I can do better. I hear why niggas is rappinâ€™ now and all that shit they doinâ€™. Iâ€™m like this shit is corny, I can do better than that. And, I did, maybe not sale-wise, but put my album against anybody thatâ€™s shit is out right now. My shit is tough, niggas canâ€™t fuck around. And wait for this new album. You put my shit against any new album that just came out. Put it against whoever album. Who got new albums out? Nas, Jay-Z, who? Put my shit up against all they shit, my shit better than theirs. Iâ€™m not dissing them, Iâ€™m just stating the facts. Put they shit up and play my shit. My shit knock all them niggas shit out the box, straight music. Iâ€™m nice.
Format: Youâ€™re not the only member of Boot Camp to return recently. What was it that made all of you come back into the game?
Sean Price: We all nice, so [we] just put it together. We knocked that shit out. Thatâ€™s why we did the Triple Threat thing. My album, Monkey Barz; Tek N Steele, Reloaded; Buckshot and 9th Wonder, Chemistry. Then we put out another Boot Camp album, The Last Stand and now we back to square one, the new Sean Price. We not playing, man, we could do this shit all day. Now that we on the independent, thatâ€™s why albums dropping out so quick. Iâ€™m working on album three, right now, so you know how that shit go.
“I think all MCs coming up in New York are garbage.”
Format: How did the whole BCC and Justus League connection come about?
Sean Price: I did a show in North Carolina, me and Buck, and we met 9th Wonder out there. Son played some beats, he was like, â€˜Yo, yaâ€™ll need to come through.â€™ Matter fact, the beat he played me when I first met him was â€œHeartburn.â€ I was like, yeah that shit is hot. And, then we came back down south like two months later, we hooked up with son and I was like where that beat at? And then he played â€œHeartburnâ€ again, doo-doo-doo-doo â€“ I went in. That was it, the connection is there. Only thing I told him, I said, on Monkey Barz, I went there, [North Carolina], during the end of my album, when I start the new album, Iâ€™m going down south first to start and then Iâ€™m gonna finish it up in New York.
Format: Jesus Price Superstar has leaked, whatâ€™s going to happen to the owner of copy 33?
Sean Price: Aghhhhhh. No comment. Youâ€™ll see, youâ€™ll see [laughs].
Format: How are you dealing with the leak personally?
Sean Price: Iâ€™m not even tripping. Number one, the shit that got leaked is like an advance copy, itâ€™s got it saying â€œJesus Price Superstar, January 30thâ€ through the whole shit, so I guess itâ€™s like a preview of my album for those who didnâ€™t really believe. The response thatâ€™s been coming back is beautiful, so I guess itâ€™s cool. We trying to shut down every site that got it on there, but thatâ€™s fucking impossible. We doing as much as we can though, but Iâ€™m not really worried about it. It is what it is. Iâ€™m just glad people like it. Motherfuckers write me on MySpace going, â€˜Yo, I got number 33,â€™ everybody saying, â€˜I got copy 33.â€™ They like, â€˜That shit is banging,â€™ Iâ€™m like, â€˜Get it `cuz thereâ€™s too much talking over it, you guys love that shit.â€™
Format: How is Jesus Price Superstar different than Monkey Barz?
Sean Price: Thatâ€™s for you to decide. I had fun doing both of them. Itâ€™s hard for me to say one of them is better than the other. Thatâ€™s on you to judge. I know I love both of them. I think this album is a little more harder than Monkey Barz. I felt like I had a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to do two solo albums before I do the new Heltah Skeltah. You know why, `cuz the first album is to let you know, Iâ€™m here, Iâ€™m back. The second album is to let you know itâ€™s not a fluke and Iâ€™m not a solo artist until Rock come back. Iâ€™m a solo artist forever, ya heard? So thatâ€™s what I wanted to get across with this album. Let you know it ainâ€™t no fluke, Iâ€™m the truth, Iâ€™m a solo artist for real. This ainâ€™t no temporary shit. This shit is serious.
Format: How does it feel to be a solo artist now?
Sean Price: It feel great man, nah mean? Iâ€™m making money, Iâ€™m taking care of the family. Thatâ€™s what I do this for. Itâ€™s bigger than me. I got a kid, I got a wife, I gotta support the family, so thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m doing.
Format: Is there any difference in artistic freedom or anything like that?
Sean Price: Ainâ€™t nothing changed. Dru holla at me, I do what I want. This the process: I go down south, I start working on my album, I bring back the skeleton of the album, then I sit with Dru, he listen to it. Dru give me tips on how to fine tune it or whatever, whatever, then we sit in the studio and we do it. Real simple. I made it real easy for Dru this time. I went down south, did my thing, came back and put the music in his lap. He like, â€˜Aight, no problem.â€™ Then we did the Boot Camp album. My album was done before the Boot Camp album, but he wanted to the Boot Camp album first to close out that Triple Threat thing.
Format: When youâ€™re sitting down to write a verse for the Boot Camp album, do you come at it differently than if itâ€™s for your solo?
Sean Price: I take my albums a little bit more seriously than everything else I do. Iâ€™m real picky choosy. But Iâ€™m supposed to be, itâ€™s my shit. If itâ€™s a group, itâ€™s more than me, so some things I do get outvoted, but it is what it is. Bottom line is letâ€™s all get it right. Whether you gotta take something of mine off, or whoever, itâ€™s not personal, itâ€™s business.
“Who got new albums out? Nas, Jay-Z, who? Put my shit up against all they shit, my shit better than theirs.”
Format: The album name, Jesus Price Superstar, depending on the interpretation can be taken as controversial. What kind of responses have you received from the title?
Sean Price: Allegedly if you read the Bible, I donâ€™t believe everything I read anyway, that go for the Bible too, but allegedly in the Bible, Jesus walked through the hood and spread the word, and the word was God. So, Jesus Price is going through the hood, spreading the word and the word is real hip-hop. Thatâ€™s where it start and end. You look at my cover, I ainâ€™t got no crosses, no nails through my feet, I ainâ€™t with none of that crazy shit. I did get one response recently. Duke was like â€˜Hey man, youâ€™re not the fucking savior, blasphemy.â€™ Some stupid shit like that, but Iâ€™m like man get out of here with that shit man. I donâ€™t pay that shit no mind.
Format: Whatâ€™s up with the features youâ€™ve been doing on MySpace, how did that all come together?
Sean Price: They, [the artists], started hollering at me. Iâ€™m like aight this is how we gonna do it, ray-ray-ray-ray, and it goes down. I do like three, four of them a week. Random peoples. You send money and send me the beat, I lay the beat down, send it back to `em, itâ€™s a wrap. All fresh verses, I even send them the lyrics I wrote. It donâ€™t even be a vibe, `cuz half of the motherfuckers who I do it with, I donâ€™t really see `em, I donâ€™t know what they look like, so itâ€™s just me handling my business. A lot of people, itâ€™s just e-mails, e-mails, e-mails. Yousendit, you give me the beat, I send it back. Western Union me the money and shit. One time, a song was just so horrible, I could just not take dukeâ€™s money. I was like, â€˜Yo, I donâ€™t like the beat, I donâ€™t like this at all, Iâ€™m not gonna take your money.â€™ He wrote back like, â€˜I appreciate that.â€™
Format: Whatâ€™s your opinion of the new wave of MCs coming up in New York?
Sean Price: I think they garbage, I think all MCs coming up in New York are garbage. Peace to my man Uncle Murda, he serious, but the rest of them niggas is trash. I love Uncle Murda, he talk that real shit, you know? Ready to shoot cops, smack police. Iâ€™m all for that, I endorse that. Ruste Juxx, he workin on his new album right now, but otherwise than that these niggas is trash. They canâ€™t rhyme. I donâ€™t know niggas personally to be like â€˜Yo, he a bitch ass nigga, he did this that and a third.â€™ All I know is what they rap, and they rappinâ€™ is horrible. And I worried about them, neither. I hit hard.