Stressing the importance of keeping their name out your mouth, the Heavy Metal Kings, Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz, talk to SB.TV’s Editor In Chief, Lily Mercer, about Odd Future, emo rap and why their collaboration stands out from the rest…
LM. You’re performing tonight in Camden, do you enjoy performing in London?
Vinnie. I love it. We’ve been here a bunch of times, it’s good every time. The gig last time in Neighbourhood was crazy, people were getting crushed and s***. For me it was good, maybe not so much for them.
LM. But aren’t all your shows like that?
V. Kind of, we were just in Paris and that s*** was fucking out of control, people swaying, it looked like a sea of dead bodies. We like it, I don’t know if they do.
LM. Do you ever feel that people won’t understand your music as much when you go over seas?
V. Nah, sometimes they get it more. People are attracted to the aggression. We have a lot of posturing in the States and people staring. But you just paid to get in and you wanna give me the B-Boy stance? That doesn’t add up to me. I didn’t pay money to do that shit when I was younger, show me some love.
LM. A lot of people go to UK gigs just to pose too.
V. Yeah? Well f*** them.
LM. You’re both inspired by heavy metal; do you think that gives you an edge to other rappers in the scene?
Bill. Yeah, I think so.
V. I think our sound is proof of that; the aggression is there. We could play with a metal band easy, that’s how we grew up in Philly and Brooklyn. You hung out with a kid that listened to metal, a kid that listened to hip hop, Horrorcore and then people like us who listen to all of it. Its inspired by what we grew up with. Heavy metal and hip hop, that shit is one and the same.
LM. You’re both known as underground legends and have worked together over the years but what led to your album collaboration?
B. It’s an idea we had for a while. Our work ethic is similar, we both work a lot and we’re always in the studio. When you smoke enough weed and drink enough booze, you’re ready to make an album with anybody. Everybody’s doing albums together, look at any blog or website, every other day there’s the announcement of new collaboration album that never happens. The reason this one actually happened is that we’re capable of doing it.
LM. Did you feel like you were having fun when you were working on it?
B. Yeah, we’re past doing shit that ain’t fun.
V. This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time making a record. And the most creative I’ve felt.
B. If it ain’t fun, we’re ain’t doing it, we don’t have to. We gotta enjoy ourselves and challenge ourselves and keep it interesting.
LM. What else are you working on this year?
V. Bill’s got his solo album, I’ve got another one too. There’s a Jedi [Mind Tricks] record dropping in September but we’re working on two more Heavy Metal Kings albums, we’re staying busy.
LM. Was that a result of having too much material?
V. We had a lot of material, but we just enjoyed doing it so much.
B. There’s stuff that didn’t get completed and now we’re working on new s***. It’s definitely not a bunch of left over shit from before.
V. We work so well together, like finishing each others sentences and s***. That’s my brother, why wouldn’t I wanna work with my brother?
B. I’ve been in groups over the years and groups are great but it’s also a marriage and sometimes people go in different directions. Like a car, if the wheels aren’t going in the same direction, you’re gonna crash. What we have is called synergy.
V. When we were younger, in the fog of drugs, alcohol, touring and stupidity, we didn’t know ten years ago. But we recognise it now, ‘Oh its supposed to be fun to record? You’re not supposed to be arguing every day? We’re not supposed to be yelling at each other? Wow’. We were cracking up like, ‘This is fake, its too easy’, this song is incredible and neither one of us yelled at each other. How is that possible?
LM. What do you think has given you such longevity?
V. We refuse to lose, refuse to budge, refuse to do what other people tell us we should be doing. We’re both very hard headed, which is again why we didn’t let people tell us, ‘You’re crazy for doing that video for Blood Meridian, it looks like a f***ing black metal video’. We think there’s beauty in strange places.
LM. Bill, you’ve been working on an album with Sean Price recently, called The Pill.
B. I just actually gave Sean a bunch of beats so we’re planting seeds right now.
LM. Is it true you’re doing a concept album with Raekwon?
B. No, me and Rae have worked together over the years but I think that album is something the fans want. I guess if they make enough noise about it, it could happen. I love working with Rae so I’m down to rock with Rae on whatever he wanna rock on.
LM. Odd Future are the new big thing in hip hop, what’s your view on them as a group?
V. I don’t have one, I heard like 2 songs. I don’t really understand it, maybe it’s because I’m older. More power to them, I don’t hate on anybody. Maybe they’ll hear this and say ‘fuck him he’s old’, but I don’t understand. Its not what I listen to. Clearly there’s some brilliant marketing going on, someone’s doing something right.
LM. Did you hear their Horrorcore comments and think that they were maybe speaking out of place?
B. I’d be very curious to see if the shoe was on the other foot what they’d think before I comment on them.
LM. They are young so they may grow up to regret those comments.
V. When I was a kid I was so respectful towards older artists and the culture and the history that spawned me. I would never talk out of place or mention someone else’s name. That isn’t something I can really build on because I’m not exaggerating, I heard half of two songs and was like, ‘I’m clearly out of touch’. So print that, I’m out of touch, I listen to Slayer and EPMD.
LM. What do you think of emo rap taking over the radio?
V. I’ve said some funny shit after a couple of drinks but I don’t care about it, things have to effect me. When I was younger I used to shout ‘F*** this’ and ‘F*** that’ but then I realised it didn’t effect me. If someone disses me, I’ll beat them the fuck up, but if you wanna talk about eating granola bars and your girlfriend breaking up with you, that’s cool. That’s your shit. If you wanna rap about Lilies and growing Sunflower seeds, that’s not where I come from but you’re talking to guys from Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
B. Plus when an artist talks about another artist its like when the dude from Oasis disses everyone, it’s just a cry for attention and I don’t really need that.
V. Unless someone speaks on us and our name, we’re good.
B. That’s why I kinda wanna hear what Odd Future think about us, because then it would shape what I think. To me its personal.
LM. On Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin, he says something about Immortal Technique, which some took as a diss.
V. There you go, if you’re saying someone’s name, you should be prepared for backlashes. I’m not talking about nobody but me, if someone say my name, they gonna have to deal with me and it ain’t gonna be f***ing sweet. Like Bill said, that’s a personal thing. I ain’t gon diss nobody, get your money, leave me the f*** alone. I hang out with my moms, I drink at the corner bar, I don’t want no one to bother me so if I go in an interview and start dissing everybody, I’m as bad as they are. I don’t think nothing bad about nobody. I think it’s hilarious that people say ‘F*** Vinnie Paz’. Come see me motherf***er, you can get a beating. Equal opportunities, anyone can get a beating. As far as artists, we ain’t bitter, we got love for everyone, just do not say our name. Do not say our name.
Buy Heavy Metal Kings here.