When you’re lying around the house one day, and you suddenly get invited to a rapper’s private party to do an interview complete with female strippers and free Hennessey, you don’t say no; there’s generally no need to ask “who?” and “why?”
This was the mindset when Life & Art received an invite from a publicist at Bloodline Records working for rapper D’ Original (yes, we were clueless too). After a quick Google, it turns out that Bloodline is DMX’s record label, but that opened up more questions than it sealed. Images of barking dogs with platinum collars and shot callers hitting girls across dey ass with record release posters (and so forth) turned into stickup nightmares as we were directed up a staircase to the penthouses of the Tudor Hotel on South Beach (what happened to the elevator, yo?).
Expecting a party fit for BET “Uncut,” it ended up that we were the party, with Mr. D’ Original and a few of his cronies (fellow rappers L.S. the Hustler and Madguns Monster, I’m not joking about this name I swear) as our generous (sincerely) blunt-toting hosts. D’s album, complete with an “arsenal” of self-hailed new rap classics like “My Revolver” sung to the tune of “My Sharona” (try to find it, it’s numbing) and “Throw Your Legs Up,” which uses the same damn sample as “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” filled the air like mustard gas.
After soaking in the complimentary cognac and a miraculous disc swap to Doggystyle, the lights dimmed and the lap dancing began; by this point three more people had shown up. L.S. informed all partiers that the girls were “down,” but after reusing the four or five dollars we were given, four or five times (sorry girls), we took a fifth look at the situation and decided our memories of “Doggy Dogg World” were best left on the school bus.
The next day I returned to do an interview; after all, Mr. D is promoting a just-released LP on his label Money Entertainment impeccably titled From the Cradle to the Grave…uknowmeasahustler. It also turns out that his publicist used to work at The Miami Hurricane, go figure.
Q: The title of your album is From the Cradle to the Grave…Mobb Deep has a song called “Cradle to the Grave,” and there’s a DMX movie called Cradle to the Grave. How is this so D’ Original?
D’O: Well, because realistically, primarily, I stay on top of who’s out and stuff like that and the little trends and stuff. But I’ve learned that people come and go, titles come and, things people did come and go, so I goes with what I wanna do. And what I wanted to do was name this album From the Cradle to the Grave…uknowmeasahuslter because realistically that’s what I am.
Q: Did you bring any AKs down here?
D’O: Yeah, uh, we brought the Sub 2000. We brought two of them. Whenever we take a trip, some of us fly and some of us drive. We always got guns. I don’t care if they gotta drive to California – they gonna drive to California before we get down there and they gonna drive with our guns because shit is real. You will get robbed, you will get jumped, you will get tested for nothin’.
Q: Money Entertainment, what spawned that idea?
D’O: Because that’s what it’s about. It’s about money first, then entertaining you second.
Q: Your crew sports money bandanas (for Money Entertainment). Are you gonna make “Benjie Got Back” ladies lingerie?
D’O: We gonna do everything we can to make money.
Q: On your album you mention meeting Run DMC by running into them with your car. Have you run into other people?
D’O: Yeah, I hit a lot of people in my car. Madguns’ll tell ya, they call me “hit and run haze.” If you a pedestrian and you don’t have the right of way, I’m not slowing down.
I asked Mr. D if I could take some pictures of him with his guns, but they were at another “undisclosed” location (no doubt the same logic as using “I smoke weed a lot” for a hook). There was more to this interview. For instance, he explains why he decided to cover R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” (because it’s a “real song”). He’s also a double black belt “nice with his aim.” If you want to hear more details, give me a call and I’ll read them straight off his press release.
Sven Barth can be reached at 305.MOB.RENT.