Gravediggaz – Poetic interview transcript

(This Space Age Bachelor interview with Poetic, a.k.a the Grym Reaper, occurred on November 5th/1997. An article corresponding with this interview was printed in issue 11 of Space Age Bachelor. Sadly, Poetic was diagnosed with colon cancer less than two years after this interview. He lived two and a half years beyond the three months the doctors gave him. The heartbreaking track “One Life,” with Poetic in a guest spot on a Last Emperor track, and the horrific “Burn Baby Burn”, a track on the Gravediggaz’ final album Nightmare in A-Minor, tell the story of Poetic’s fight with cancer. The wise words Poetic spoke to me in this interview, and the positivity and realness of the Gravediggaz’ record The Pick, The Sickle, and The Shovel, have stuck with me for years. This was definitely one of the more important conversations I’ve had in my life.  Rest in peace, Poetic.)

You can listen to the interview here, or read the transcript below:

SAB – Hey, is this Poetic?

Poetic – Yeah.

SAB – Alright, how are you doing?

Poetic – What’s going on?

SAB – I might as well start asking some questions then. I’m going to ask you about a few lyrics first. On “The Night The Earth Cried,” you say, ‘Society got to be reminded of my diary, Cause tragically I carry the misery of centuries sent to me,’ and there’s the other lyric about ‘23 elders each writing a song and placing it in your neurons.’ And it sounds like you’re talking about some sort of secret inspiration or something like that?

Poetic – Actually, well, I believe the universe as a whole has a certain amount of energy to it, and certain people are receptive to certain energies, whether they be negative energies or positive energies. Whether they be negative or positive, it depends on the receptacle, which is the person. Follow?

SAB – Yeah, definitely I follow. I think that, too.

Poetic – And in doing so, when I wake up in the middle of the night, at 3:15, and get up and walk to my pen and paper, and just start writing shit, when I was just asleep a minute ago — and yet I’ve got lyrics jumping in my head. I attribute that to a certain energy in the universe. Certain times I look back through my old notebooks, and things, and wonder what made me write that, what the hell was I thinking? But I just let myself be used as the vehicle for entities within my creative energy force, you know what I’m saying — entities that are attracted to my energy, so that they give me information from time to time. The things that I read, and view, and talk to people about, the state of my subconscious — there’s a point where it’s just potential energy, laying in there being digested, then by the time it gets digested, it becomes kinetic energy. It goes from my brain to my pen to my pad to my vocal booth to the record, you know what I’m saying. And I give props to those creative forces and energies.

SAB – Do you ever write something, and then you read some book you’ve never read before or heard of …

Poetic – Yeah, that’s what I just stated.

SAB – And then you look at what you wrote two years before, and it is exactly like what’s in the book that’s 500 years old.

Poetic – That’s why I have to say it’s some kind of entity or energy that’s giving you that information.

SAB – So then do you have to distinguish between positive and negative forces, because you can get some really negative shit in your head?

Poetic – Yeah, you have to distinguish. That’s what I said. You’re dealing with energy as a whole though, because the universe is balanced. The negative and the positive have to balance, and to be a wholesome individual, I have to realize I have as much negativity in me as I do positivity. Okay. The mind, the will is neutral, and you will yourself on a daily basis on when you’re going to be aggressive, and when you’re going to be passive, and when you’re going to be diplomatic, when you’re just going to be ignorant, or not diplomatic, or military, attack-mode. Whatever, you know what I’m saying — and that’s the holy war of the mental. It happens every second of every minute of every hour of every single day. You know.

SAB – So that’s like in “Hidden Emotions” — sometimes it comes out when you’re drinking, hey?

Poetic – I try. I don’t drink excessively to the point of drunkeness. I’ve been drunk and I don’t plan to get drunk. I don’t smoke weed. I used to get down, every once in a while, to some shit.

SAB – You don’t smoke weed either is that what you said?

Poetic – Yeah, word up. You know what I’m saying. I’ve got other things. I’m a Scorpio. I’ll just leave it like that.

SAB – Oh shit, Scorpio.

Poetic – Me and some women is onto some other shit.

SAB – When’s Scorpio? Is that June?

Poetic – No, November. I got a birthday coming up, the fifteenth.

SAB – Yeah, I’m a Libra. I think that’s pretty good.

Poetic – Word up. So I get intoxicated in other ways. But as far as — you asked if it brought out the hidden emotion on the negative side?

SAB – Yeah.

Poetic – I think artificial stimulation always brings that out, especially excessively.

SAB – Yeah, I think liquor’s pretty funny, though. I think it brings out a lot of positive stuff, and then it turns negative pretty fast.

Poetic – Yeah, that’s why I gotta use the word excessively. Your limit before you get drunk might be ten times higher than somebody else’s limit. I know somebody that might drink a beer, and be buzzed, and drink a six pack, and be out! And other people can drink three 6-packs, like it’s nothing. It’s just beer. You know what I mean. So it depends on the tolerance level. And it’s the same with that negative side, because what drugs do is just enhance and blow up a part of you that is already there. Some parts of you are there in minute percentages, but when stimulated and touched upon start growing in epic proportions, like cancer.

SAB – Yeah, shit, it’s mad.

Poetic – You know what I’m saying.

SAB – Yeah, I’m starting to wonder about liquor. It does mad shit these days.

Poetic – That’s why they call liquors spirits — gins and all that. Cause it brings things out of you that might be dormant, but it opens up and shocks you.

SAB – The frustrating thing about liquor is that it can bring things out of you that you want to be like, but it’s normally repressed.

Poetic – Ah, but see, that’s the mastery of your mind. The trick is seeing what it brings out in you, and then on a daily basis, trying to bring it out yourself to see how close it gets — and then you eliminate that. But most people don’t strive for that. I’m very analytical. I’m analytical about myself and the things around me. So when something like that happens, it’s not just the effect, but you’ve got to go back to the cause, and say, ‘Why is it that when I’m this way, I can do this, and when I’m that way, I can’t? It’s still a part of me. What do I have to do to get to that level?’ You know?

SAB – Yeah. That’s what I love about the creative rush though, like when you say 3:15 in the morning, and you wake up and write. That’s something that liquor or weed can’t do.

Poetic – Yeah, that’s it. It’s so phat.

SAB – So do you ever get scared by this shit, like waking up in the middle of the night? Cause sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, and you feel like scared, you know what I mean?

Poetic – Yeah, sometimes, you get up anxious, heart beating boom-boom. But as an artist, personally, I try to take advantage of every emotion. Like if I have a fight with my wizz or something, or somebody I’m talking to, a girl I’m talking to, and I have an argument or whatever, I sometimes use that energy that I’m feeling, that emotion, and try to either put it in a track, cause I produce also, or put it in a lyric. So that I will maintain, and preserve that feeling, keep the realness of the thoughts. See, I go into analytical mode. I could be furious, I could be fuming, and still want to write, still want to just capture it. Even if I can’t capture the words, cause very often it’s hard to capture an emotion through the words. I want to be able to capture the feeling, how I felt at that moment. And once I get that vibe, whether it’s a happy vibe, or a sad vibe, or anxious, frustrated vibe, whatever — I want to be a real human being, and capture this shit artistically.

SAB – So if you’re an artist, experience is like the most important thing. You want to experience everything, even if it’s bad.

Poetic – This is true. That’s a good summary.

SAB – Shit, though, I don’t know what everybody else does with that shit. An artist can exploit that stuff, but everybody else must just carry it around bottled up or something like that.

Poetic – No, I don’t know. I think a lot of people express it. But they alter their ego, when they use certain stimulants or whatever. They start not recognizing emotional situations when they’re not stimulated.

SAB – So with this balance and stuff like that — say, if you take “Repentance Day” and then you take the opening to “Hidden Emotions,” and “Repentance Day” is all about ‘walking ten paces and you’re face starts falling off’, and “Hidden Emotions” is all about having a kid. How can you balance that? Cause everyone wants a kid, and to have a good family and shit like that, but if your face is going to be falling off in like five years. It’s kind of scary, isn’t it?

Poetic – This is true. This is the thing right here. You have a balance of thought right there, cause you have life and you have death, which are two opposites of the energy spectrum, but still two things you have to deal with on a daily basis. Consider this — from the moment you are born, the moment you start living, you start dying. So the two are intertwined. So, if you say, for instance, that you love God, then you have to hate something else. You have to hate the Devil. Love the law, then you hate crime. It goes on and on.

SAB – But do you think that’s a dangerous kind of thinking though, because say if you’re raised religious, you might disagree with God about certain shit, and then it kind of makes you think you’re on the Devil’s side or something like that.

Poetic – Yeah, the moment you change your mind, you just change the side of the coin, but the balance is still there. Love the Devil, then you hate God. Whether it’s a minute, or second-by-second analysis, or overall analysis that you use, I think the end result is still a consistent love-hate relationship. There’s still a positive and a negative.

SAB – So there’s no neutral?

Poetic – You are the neutral. Neutral is when you start to think about which way you’re going to go, and what you’re going to do at a given moment in time. Okay, for example, you could get into an altercation with somebody, and want to punch the shit out of them. At the moment the thought of wanting to punch the shit out of them is just latent energy. It just has the potential. Until you actually ball up your fist, and do the action, and go all the way through with the thought, then it’s nothing but a thought until you turn it into an action. I say that, because the mind being neutral, you’re going to get tempted everyday to do things, whether it’s fucking somebody or fucking somebody up.

SAB – But say, if you fuck someone, but you actually love them, then isn’t that a good thing?

Poetic – Yeah, that’s what my point is. You decide on what part of the spectrum you’re going to make it. You have a world to choose. Anywhere you want to go, it’s still you. Some people say if you act negative, ‘the Devil made me do it,’ bla-bla, but that’s bullshit. The Devil ain’t made you do shit, cause you had that will to do it. Because you are the one in control. You choose. All the Devil — all the negative entity, I should say — can do is put the thought in your head for you to react to. But you are the individual who has to take responsibility for reacting to it.

SAB – Say, what about on that track — well, I can barely hear the guy’s words, but I think it’s on “Repentance Day,” where the guy says something about how his life has been pushed in one direction, and he had no control over it?

Poetic – Yeah, I got one for that, too. Don’t worry. It’s like this — you have to decide what parts you can control, and what parts are beyond your control. Obviously, as a human being, you have to excrete, you have to eat, you have to digest, you’re subject to all the laws of nature, the laws of gravity. You’re not going to jump off a building and fly. I don’t care if you’re R. Kelly. You can believe you can fly all you want, but once you jump, I believe you can die. So basically, keeping that in mind — if you can’t change the sea, and you can’t control the wind, then take control of the sail, because you know you can control that, you know what I’m saying?

SAB – Well, what about fate? Do you believe in destiny and shit like that?

Poetic – I believe that if you adhere to certain events, that your fate will be locked. The end result of persistence in that course of events will lead to a fate that’s predictable. You follow me? But also know that you’re fate is not locked in stone. There are certain aspects of the fate that can be altered.

SAB – Yeah, there’s lots of possibilities.

Poetic – Oh yeah, if you follow the laws of probability, there’s so many different changes that can occur because of you doing something just with a fraction of effort — that can change things, situations.

SAB – But when we talk about this apocalypse shit — you guys seem to think, and it’s a valid thought and everything, but you guys seem to think it’s going to start happenning in 2001?

Poetic – I tell you what I think. I think that a lot of people follow Revelations, right? And in following Revelations — Revelations makes a lot of startling predictions, but Revelations is not even set in stone. It tells you that if the people on this planet keep pursuing a certain course, then boom! — the end result will be as follows. But it wasn’t set in stone. It’s not saying, ‘Ah fuck it, it’s going to end anyways, so let’s just fuck it up more.’ Cause by getting that attitude, you go into the prediction. You go into being the cause of that prediction in the first place. You understand what I’m saying?

SAB – Yeah, that’s a good point.

Poetic – So, when people talk about the end of the world, I’ve never read nobody’s Bible where it said the end of Planet Earth. I heard them say ‘the end of the world,’ but do you know what the world consists of? The world consists of the people that are in it, and the laws that govern it.

SAB – So it could be the end of societal structure as you know it now?

Poetic – As we know it, yes. You know the real situation is when people are fucking with the depletion of the ozone layer, and killing off certain animals, and certain — you’ve got to understand the way the universe is. It’s the Domino principle. The little thing that you least suspect is of any consequence is of consequence. And we all are linked together.

SAB – Yeah, this is serious shit about the environment. There’s damage done now, where it doesn’t matter what decisions you make today, because someone’s already made the wrong decisions in the past.

Poetic – Irreparable, you know what I’m saying. That’s why I made that statement — if you can’t change the wind, and you can’t change the seas, then change the sail. It’s like some people work forever trying to push the wind back, going ‘Ah ooh, I’m going to stop this wind.’ Imagine standing in a hurricane going, ‘Oooh, I’m going to stop this wind.’ Imagine being in a tidal wave, and saying, ‘Oooh, I’m going to stop this wave.’ No! You’ve got to use it to your advantage. The momentum of the wave and the wind can take you halfway across the world if you’ve got the right sail. You’ve got to navigate it.

SAB – So you think anything bad can be turned into something good?

Poetic – Yeah, I think negative energy in its correct application can serve a positive end.

SAB – There’s some pretty dark tracks you’ve done in the past though. Do you remember the one you did with Tricky — “Psychosis”?

Poetic – No, I don’t. Cause actually those tracks just started off as a bug-out session in the studio that somebody decided to make records with. That’s all fine and well. It could even be a part of your overall equation that makes you complete. You have to be as negative as you are positive, in order to be balanced. You know what I’m saying? And people tend to — or society only wants to deal with the things that are acceptable on the whole. People are very private, and they deal with certain things — you might have a prominent business owner or a prominent politician who goes home, and his wife is a fucking alcoholic, a violent alcoholic. Those are things they want to keep suppressed, so if someone writes a song about violent alcoholics, they might not want to hear that, because they’ve got to deal with it. But that doesn’t stop me as an artist from doing it, if I feel it’s pertinent or relevant in what I want to portray in my music.

SAB – So with the balance and stuff — when I think of the hip-hop songs I hear, you’d think if things were more balanced, there’d be more love songs and stuff like that. But there’s not very many love songs is there?

Poetic – That’s the beginning of “Hidden Emotions.” You understand me? “Hidden Emotions” is just saying that that same hard rock that’s on the street for whatever economic reasons, or for whatever reasons he’s doing what he does, it’s the same thing, like a lap dancer. On my solo joint, I got love songs that are just for lap dancing. They like little soldiers out here, and you might judge them on the superficial, and say, ‘Ah, that’s fucked up,’ just like you judge the brothers on the street, hustling and doing whatever they got to do, and you say, ‘Ah, that’s fucked up.’ Not in all cases, but there’s enough cases, where the economics of the situation — they have their grandmothers or their moms or somebody at home, and they’re just struggling to make things work, to make ends meet when the ends don’t reach, you know what I’m saying? And you see wizzes putting themselves through college, when they’ve got two kids who just don’t want to be on welfare, and the man who got them pregnant is gone — boom boom! And then you find all these other brothers who can criticize people — whether it’s guys or girls — they can criticize them, but not offer them an alternative. Anybody can point, and say, ‘Yo, that’s fucked up what you’re doing.’ So offer me something else. Offer me an alternate lifestyle. Offer me a job or something, so I won’t have to do this, and I can still maintain and support myself. People that come home with records, and stuff. They’ve got the fucking fervour and the energy, and they want to work — I mean, genuinely hard workers, but once they see that little ‘have you ever been convicted?’ shit, then that’s all she wrote. And then society wants to say you didn’t try hard enough — this, that, and the third. And then brothers go back to doing what they’re doing, and they get caught up in the same cycle, cause they’re not allowed to break the cycle. You know what I’m saying? And I think in hip-hop — there’s a stigma, that you’ve got to be so hardcore, and you don’t show no emotion, and you don’t show no feeling. Otherwise, people will think you’re weak, or look at it as a weakness on the street. Nobody wants to exploit themselves that way. But after that hard rock get off the street, and go home, he might pick up a baby, and that whole facade just break down. He’s there playing with the baby, talking to the baby, and laughing, and giggling — you know, something you would not believe, if you were on the street looking at him.

SAB – Yeah, you got that lyric about the warrior.

Poetic – Yeah, ‘it’s like a warrior at peace with the child he adores.’

SAB – So where did you grow up?

Poetic – I grew up on Long Island, in Wyandanch. I grew up with Rakim, Freddie Fox, Biz Markie, Chill from Groove B Chill, who else was around — um, Diamond J..

SAB – Shit, were they all about your age?

Poetic – Um, yeah. Well, Rakim is younger than me, but him and my brother went to the same school. We was in the same talent shows, we was in the same schools and all that…

SAB – Do you mean the Rza?

Poetic – No Rakm, the R …

SAB – So there must be something good you can say about growing up there?

Poetic – Yeah, there’s something good about growing up there. You know what it is? I grew up… And it’s no different — some people have this hang-up about the suburbs versus the city, but let me tell you something, when you’re not empowered economically in either region, then you have more similarities than you will ever know. You go through the same stress, the same struggling, the same situations. I struggled. I grew up poor, poor, poor.

SAB – (I said something about the wealthy suburbs not being that easy either.)

Poetic – Well, it needs for somebody who knows about that to come out and speak on it. That’s the point. And give the audience, and give hip-hop a more well rounded view. When you have people coming up the same way, obviously, their views tend to be the same, and that’s one of the problems that stagnates hip-hop. Even if the view’s the same, then take it from a different angle, you know what I’m saying? That’s what Gravediggaz tried to do the first time around, it was just on some shock treatment. We ain’t saying nothing that you can’t see on the news, or read about, you know what I’m saying, that you’ve not been exposed to before. It’s just the angle, and the way we tried to do it creatively. To make more of an impact, and to give the listeners a more well-rounded scope of the environment and the perspectives of those that are in the same environment as them.

SAB – So do you think hip-hop …

Poetic – Hip-hop is now coming out of a slump, as far as the U.S. goes. Well, I think more on the East Coast hip-hop is slumping, because less East Coast artists are taking chances. I’ve got to give props to the West Coast for what they did. They brought themselves into a good light as far as creativity. They deserve the props that they should be getting. All they want is to hear it from us, from the East, that kind of made it what it is, brought it to the forefront, gave it its birth — but that doesn’t mean it’s not for everybody. We sometimes get selfish over here, and that causes tension, which hip-hop should lack. It should lack that tension. You know what I’m saying? And worldwide, hip-hop’s doing well now. And to the people it’s new to, it’s like when it was new to us. You know what I’m saying? They’ve got the same energy and enthusiasm — and we so saturated in the old shit and our old ways that we don’t remember how it was in our youthful hip-hop days. When hip-hop was young, and the enthusiasm we were feeling for it. You know, people got to go back to that shit, especially the artists.

SAB – So is hip-hop a lifestyle, or a style of music?

Poetic – I think rap is a division of hip-hop. Rap is part of the whole. Hip-hop is the attitude, the clothes, the vibes, the slang, everything about living. Everything about living and loving. Loving the music, loving the women that love hip-hop, loving your men that roll with you, knowing that they have your back no matter what goes down, and it’s all because you’re tied in at the music, which is a good tie-in. You know what I’m saying, it’s something that everyone can enjoy. There’s so many different varieties now. I don’t think the radio gives hip-hop a fair shake, because it doesn’t play enough – it doesn’t have a well-rounded enough programming schedule to expose different things.

SAB – Yeah, that’s a fact.

Poetic – It tends to play one thing. Different areas are conducive to different styles of rap, because that’s all that area is exposed to. I’m sure if I lived in an area that was predominantly go-go, I wouldn’t want to hear nothing else, because that would be my shit there. You understand what I’m saying? Everything has its own geography.

SAB – Okay, so I’m going to move on to a different question now — on “The Night The Earth Cried,” you’ve got this lyric, ‘I want a queen on every continent, so I can escape the government,’ so is that like you’re trying to get away from the U.S. government?

Poetic – Well, let’s look more at a large scale situation. Everybody nowadays is aware of the millenium, and the Illuminati sort of thing – (TAPE SIDE ENDS) – there’s a whole bunch of situations right now that indicate that the government, the world governmental structure is going through changes, and will continue to go through changes. Correct? So when I speak on government, I’m speaking on the world powers that be. I want to be able to be self-sufficient enough to be able to escape. Now whether that’s a reality or a fantasy — that’s in the mind of those that listen, in each individual. ‘I want a queen on every continent’ is also saying that I want to be able to go anywhere on this planet, and have a place. You see what I mean? And know that I fit in, and that I have someone there who loves me. Whether it’s somebody meaning people, whether it’s somebody meaning a government that thinks the same way I do, whatever the situation — as long as it allows me to be me. That’s escaping from the government, the worldwide, the world powers.

SAB – Yeah, I know what you’re saying. These days you’ve got to be versatile.

Poetic – No doubt.

SAB – Okay, a few questions just about the disc, lighter questions. So when the recording of the Wu-Tang Clan and the Gravediggaz is going on at the same time, at least a few of the tracks, so how is it decided which beats are used for which album?

Poetic – It’s a collaborative effort right there. It’s also dependent upon the MC’s, because we work by vibes. Certain lyrics is brought to life by hearing the track. It goes back to those entities again. Once the track is playing, and it’s like you’ve got to pick up a pen, and you just start writing. It’s not like you were thinking about this shit now. It goes to the feeling. You were feeling the shit. We use that sometimes, and go, ‘You know I’m feeling this shit. I can feel you. I can vibe to this.’ And then some songs you just write quick-fast, and other songs are more conceptual — you take your time, and just digest the beat, and decide on — okay, you let the music set the mood, and you’ve got to decide where you want to take your audience, what kind of tour you want to guide them on, and how you’re going to do this, creatively. You know, so, the group chooses the tracks.

SAB – Does it help having all those people around you to write your lyrics? Or do you write most of your lyrics by yourself in the middle of the night or when you’re with the guys?

Poetic – It doesn’t hurt, because in some situations stress makes you perform to a higher performance level, a higher degree, you know what I’m saying. When you’re scared, you got some shit to you. Your reactions are different. By the same token, when you’re amongst twelve MC’s that you know are good, you want to be able to shine. You want to make sure that out of these twelve, I’ve got to be the one, you know, fuck that, I’m not settling for being one out of twelve. And if everybody, all twelve of those write to that same level, then everybody’ll be on point. You understand what I’m saying?

SAB – Shit, yeah. It’s got to be pretty mad being in there. There must be a lot of shit that doesn’t get used then?

Poetic – Yeah, there’s stuff, but that’s why you’ve got solo albums, remixes, collaborations with R & B singers, whatever. Nothing goes to waste.

SAB – So are the lyrics all done in advance, or is a lot of it improvised while you’re going?

Poetic – Um, as far as the last Gravediggaz record, I put a lot of input into it, only because I’ve been working on a solo album. Which even after sacrificing 5 or 6 different songs and lyrics that I had for the Gravediggaz album, I still have like 7 songs that are already recorded.

SAB – Oh so you’re going to have a solo album coming out?

Poetic – Oh yeah, no doubt, you should look for it.

SAB – What label?

Poetic – That is undetermined right now, because I don’t really want to be monopolized for one label having everything, but if Gee Street/V2 comes correct, then I have no problem letting them service my album. But there are a couple of other labels that have offered me things.

SAB – Now, what I’ve always wondered about with Gravediggaz and Wu-Tang Clan — there’s so much talent right there you’d think you could just strike out on your own, and start your own major label?

Poetic – Actually, I started my own minor label, and let’s hope that I can work it up, cause I’m still getting the experience and all that. I have a label called Plasma Records — the life force of music, that’s our catchy slogan right there. I have Sharp Shooter Productions, which is my own production company. As you know, I did “Repentance Day,” “The Elimination Process,” and “The Unexplained.” I did a couple of remixes for Spearhead. I’ve just been doing my thing. I started my own clothing line — Digger (Digga?) Wear International, DWI.

SAB – All kinds of clothes?

Poetic – Yeah, all kinds of clothes — jeans, sweatsuits, army pants…

SAB – So eventually do you see this all working up to something big?

Poetic – Yeah, of course. You start with the vision, and then you have to work it into the reality. You have to work it into the bigger picture, you know. You can’t be scared to work, and I’ve never been that. Like I said, I came up real poor, and had to fight and scratch for everything. Some things took longer than others, but here I am ten years after “God Made Me Funky” still doing my shit.
SAB – So on Plasma, do you got some young artists coming up?
Poetic – Yes, I do. Of course. This is a business where you have to be able to pass the mantle. I have a lot of artists that through my experience I’ve been able to develop — from the range of 17 to 25, 26 — that might be the highest right now. One of my artists is on “Elimination Process,” the last kid, Omen.

SAB – So when you make a track is it made out of deconstructed samples or instruments?

Poetic – A combination of both. A lot of my solo stuff is me playing instruments. I play the piano, the keyboards, things of that nature. I do a lot of sequencing at the house with just modules and instruments as opposed of samples. I like samples to accessorize something. Yeah, as an accessory.

SAB – Like embellish it. Well, if you take a sample right, have you ever thought about …

Poetic – Yeah, I get sounds off the samples. I seldom take loops. That’s what I mean. It’s got to be a dope loop, before I take a whole loop. I take a sound, or a note, or a filtered bass line, and then play stuff over it. Or I take drum sounds, like a kick and a snare, or a little hit, or violins, you know. Shit like that I do.

SAB – So what are your favorite records to sample?

Poetic – I like the soul era — the Dramatics, Delphonics, Stylistics, Temptations, Heat Wave, Blue Magic, Otis Redding — you get where I’m coming from right?

SAB – Do you believe when you sample you can get the energy from the original song?

Poetic – Yeah, that’s transmitted on wax. Because wax traps in the feeling. Whatever feeling you had on that mic, it’s immortalized. Every time that record is played, those same feelings that you had are coming back through. You know what I’m saying.

SAB – So it’s like immortal. Well, I’m fairly out of questions, so I’d better let you go, instead of wasting your time trying to think of something.

Poetic -Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. This has not been the ordinary, normal shit. I appreciate that.

SAB – Okay, cool. I’m well into it anyway.

Poetic – I’m happy so far about the turn out for the Gravediggaz. The Pick, The Sickle, and The Shovel is doing well, and I want to thank all of those people out there who are responsible for buying it and supporting us as a group. I’m also hoping — Prince Paul has a movie coming out called A Prince Among Thieves, and that’s a movie he’s written and is directing. And also, he’s got the Pyschoanalysis album, which is now released on Tommy Boy, so he’s now got major distribution. He’s the busiest man in show business right now. That movie is taking up a lot of his time. And the soundtrack. So he’s doing his thing. I just want to give him a shout-out. The Rza — I don’t even know what to say, he’s just doing his thing. He’s doing a solo album right now.

SAB – Is he in Jamaica right now?

Poetic – I don’t know where he is — Africa, Jamaica, Guadalupe, I don’t know — and Frukwan and I are both doing solo albums, you know. I just want people to be able to support me and my solo endeavours as well.

SAB – When’s the next Gravediggaz coming?

Poetic – It won’t be as long as this one took. I’ll tell you that.


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