By The Hip Hop Writer
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
This new era of New York hip hop was initially supposed to happen a few years ago and among the centerpiece artists was Papoose. Starting in 2004 and continuing to the present day, Papoose has been on an unprecedented mixtape run. Then, after years of anticipation, Papoose released The Nacirema Dream.
Papoose dropped his long-awaited debut album back in March, but it is still doing well now. “Get At Me” featuring Ron Browz is the latest single to be released from the project and it has the streets buzzing. Boasting one of the hottest records out, Papoose is still a key figure in this revival of New York hip hop.
Hip Hop Vibe had a chance to speak with Papoose about his work. With The Nacierma Dream out and doing well, Papoose talked about the album and the results it has shown since the spring. Papoose also spoke on the feedback from the “Get At Me” single with Ron Browz, New York’s comeback in hip hop, and Summer Jam.
Read the entire interview below:
Did it feel like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders when you released The Nacierma Dream? Yes. Yes it did.
What was the biggest difference between your initial goals for the album and how it ended up turning out? The biggest difference was my initial goal was to show my mentality and my way of life to the world and to let it be heard. Letting the world know I loved hip hop and how I went about doing things. But, as the years went by, I did that through mixtapes, and when I got to the album, the focus was the same, but my outlook on life was different. I wanted the people to see my mindstate and way of thinking, but now the industry and things play a part that did not before when I was younger.
Do you feel any differently as a rapper now that you have an official album out? A little bit, I feel a little different. But, the album did not make me or break me, I did this for the fans mostly. There are some fans who said I needed an album, but I dropped mixtapes consistently and they were all quality projects, so I was always doing my job as an artist. But, there are some fans who are fans of the industry and feel an album was due, but I was content because I was putting out good music.
Can you talk about the energy surrounding the “Get At Me” single? I am loving it, the energy is incredible. The people are energetic about it and I cannot be happier. This song is on radio stations around the world and I love the different nationalities that are featured in the music video.
You and Ron Browz had incredible chemistry, can you speak on that? Yeah man. The chemistry is something that you discover and I discovered that with Ron Browz a couple of months ago on a track called “I’m Like That,” which I got 2 Chainz, Jadakiss, and Styles P on the remix. Then, there is one called “Write Your Name on the Wall,” and then “My Trials,” which was supposed to be on the album and we began doing our thing. The chemistry came natural and he has worked with me and my wife in the past. Looking at him, I was a big fan of his “Pop Champagne” single, so the mutual respect as artists is there.
Word on the street is that “Get At Me” is one of the hottest records on the streets, what is your take on that? I am excited and I am happy to hear it. I have heard the same thing and I am thankful for the people saying that, let’s make it a huge record. There is no formula to making a hit record, so we need the fans to get behind this song. We need to love this song and others on a mainstream level and let the music, regardless of picking and choosing certain artists, so they can have mainstream success. I feel this record is headed there.
Overall, New York has moved back to the forefront of the game, do you feel comfortable calling it a new golden era? No, I would not. A lot of artists are trying to say that, but I wouldn’t. But, if more artists would be themselves, we could get there. A lot of artists are trying to sound like people from other regions and that is disgusting. Being versatile is one thing, but being a copycat is something else. These rappers need to keep it natural and be themselves.
Did you think there would ever be a time when New York would have this type of impact on the game again? Yeah, definitely. Everything comes full circle in life and hip hop was started here. It is a wonderful thing to see people from all different corners of the planet taking part in something created in New York City and different regions taking control of the game is a beautiful thing and it shows the influence we have had. I am a student of the game, raised by hip hop, and my album was a part of this turnaround, which gives me a good feeling.
Were you surprised by the reaction on the internet to your surprise performance at Summer Jam? No, I wasn’t surprised at all (laughs). I knew I was going to shake the world up as soon as I left house. The love and the hate did not surprise me, people wait for me to do something so they can hate. Tell them Papoose is there and they will start hating (laughs). I got a little comical, but the love and the support did not surprise me, I have a lot of supporters, but I get more hate than many other celebrities.
During the frenzy, you mentioned your early work with Kendrick Lamar, what has it been like watching him grow? Oh man, I am happy for him man, more than happy. He is dedicated to his craft, he went against the grain and he made it happen. His records were unorthodox and now he is no top of the game and it is a wonderful thing. Plus, he is a guy from the ghetto who made it, so I’m rooting for him.
Where can fans find you online so they can follow you? Naciremadreams.com, Twitter is @Papooseonline, and Instagram is @Papoosepapoose.