Wednesday, November 17, 2004
GOVERNMENT NAMES EXCLUSIVE: INTERVIEW WITH COMP
I reached out to Comp to do a interview a while back right before I realized I didn't have any free time and went about 3 weeks without a single day off, so I had to put it off for a minute. But last week I finally returned his call and we made plans to meet up. At first we tried to meet up at the Burger King in Mondawmin Mall, but I was running late getting there and I missed him. He was cool about it, though, and a few hours later we met up in the parking lot of the 7-11 on Reistertown Road and ended up doing the interview in the front seat of my busted ass Ford Taurus. He's a real cool dude. His favorite movie is Hook. I had a camera but I forgot to get any pictures and then was kicking myself as soon as I went home and remembered. But anyway here it is.
Government Names: So what's the situation with Def Jam and the album right now?
Comp: We gettin' our meetings right now with L.A., big L.A. Reid, so we havin' our little meetings right now about the first quarter. 'Cause I'm ready to get out there in the first quarter, honestly, that's when we gettin' ready to do our thing. But as far as outside of them, I'm just makin' myself a priority, with them and to the world, tryin' to make the best music I can, puttin' out joint after joint, you know I got to come on many perspectives, mixtape out right now that me and my man DNA put together. So I'm really just grindin', I'm in the studio. I've been workin' with Liveson, you know, D-Block producer, I'm about to do some things with Alchemist. I'm really just tryin' to keep movin'. Get them hits, you know?
GN: Yeah, I was wondering what the situation with Def Jam was, because there have been rumors, back in August, Allhiphop.com printed a rumor that when L.A. Reid came in he was gonna drop a bunch of new acts that Kevin Liles had signed, and you were one of the names they named.
C: Yeah, I saw that joint, they said I was dropped. But did you see the one they ran the day after where they corrected it?
C: See, nobody sees that one!
GN: I guess everybody sees the bad news and not the good news.
C: Well, I still got my deal, I'm still signed to Def Jam.
GN: I know Liles is from Baltimore, did Kevin Liles sign you personally when he was still with the company?
C: Well, no, I'm signed through Chocolate City. Tony Austin of Chocolate City Music signed me to a production and then we do Def Jam, so it's like, you know how Ja Rule is on Murder Inc/Def Jam, I'm on Chocolate City/Def Jam.
GN: The City Paper feature a few months ago said the title of the album is The Boy From Baltimore, is that still the title?
C: The album title is My Thoughts. You know, Comp means Clever On Many Perspectives, ain't nothin' like competitor or anything like that. The name really comes from, you know, first I started writin' my little joints in a composition notebook, then I started typin' my joints into a computer. Honestly, the name just means that no matter what I'm rappin' about, I feel I speak clever on it. You can tell I know what I'm talkin' about, because I can put you hip to things if you don't know what I'm talkin' about, and even if I'm talking about something you're familiar with, I'm hittin' the nail on the head at all times. That's what I feel I'm gonna do with my music, that's what it means.
GN: How did the situation with the video game come up, how did you get into Def Jam: Fight For NY?
C: I just been grindin'. Hey, I was on the first one, I just wasn't a character, and they had my music on there, a song called "Stick 'Em," and a song called "Do Sumptin'," which was also on the Cradle 2 The Grave soundtrack. And by the time the second game cam out, I had did the video with Ghostface and Jadakiss, you know, "Run," and the Johnson Family Vacation soundtrack.
GN: Yeah, what happened with the Ghostface thing? Because I remember, you were on the 12", you were in the video, but people didn't seem to know you were on the song, I would tell them you're on it, but nobody outside Baltimore seemed to know you're on it. And then when the Pretty Toney Album came out, you weren't on it.
C: Yeah, I'm not even on the album, that's so...I don't know what went on. That situation wasn't like pally, it was more on business. Like, I just met Ghostface when I went to do the video, it wasn't like we were really too friendly. But them dudes is real cool. But I met them, I had to open up for them. I did actually get to meet these people, talk to 'em. You know, I met two of my favorite rappers. I mean, c'mon, Ghostface! One of my favorite rappers is Styles, and I mean, I met Jadakiss, god, that's my man. My favorite groups is Lox, Clipse and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. And then you got Wu, but damn, Ghostface.
GN: And Ghostface did an interlude on your new mixtape, right?
C: Yeah, I got a drop from him. He came down here, and when he was down here I showed him mad love. He was in my hometown, I had to, you know what I mean, Baltimore. They cool people, I just wanted to show y'all that I appreciate it. But man...I thought the shit would be on the album, you know what I mean? I didn't even know until it dropped and man...you know what? I had a lot of people here that are just startin' to collect, even though it's nothin' big for them, it's huge for me, and I'm like the only thing poppin' here, so every little thing that I do right now, people was collectin' memorabilia. And they saw me on that, and they was like, "yo, whassup? I bought the album, and you not even on it, I'm mad", you know what I'm sayin'? You know how that get, shhhh.
GN: How about the track you did with Cam'ron, how did that come together?
C: We went and got him on the album and I'm just, I'm a big...like, Santana, he one of my favorites, I'm a big Dipset...you gotta understand, I'm a big fan of these guys. You know, I'm 18, and I'm from Baltimore, like...we only see these guys on mixtapes, on TV, you know what I mean? So I'm like, goddamn, I just went from seein' these guys and now these niggas know me, I got 'em in my phone, you know? They real dudes, I get to holla at 'em. The thing about that is, they seein' me, they seein' my grind, Jim Jones, that's been my man, that's who I really been tight with. Everybody knew me from doin' the song with Cam, and the song got hotter than I thought it would, they put it on his bootleg album. When they put out the bootleg of Purple Haze, they put "Fire" on it, and I'm like damn, that's so crazy. It's my joint, but even for bootleggers to do that, I think that's crazy.
GN: Who produced that, was that the Heatmakerz?
C: Nah, my man Big Will made that, shout out to him for that. But honestly, for my album, I ain't got that many features. I got Lil Mo on the album, on "Be Wit Chu", I got Layzie Bone for "Get 'Em". I did 2 joints with the TrackBoyz, I got snippets of those on the mixtape, you know, you just get a verse, and then on the album you get to hear the whole thing, I don't wanna give it all away.
GN: Who's in the Bang-A-Rang Gang?
C: It consists of Boy Troy and my main Zist. It's bigger than that, but that's the main people, that's my Young Buck and Lloyd. I been doin' this with them since I went to school, I went to school for this, I was a sound engineer. Bang-A-Rang Gang really consists of, you know, we takin' the little theme from the whole Peter Pan thing, but the thing is, it's just a bunch of young dudes, but they handlin' everything in grown men matters. They fed each other, they woke each other up, there was an organized gang, you know what I mean? Like they really live like parents but they was kids, you feel me? And that's just how they was gonna ride out for each other, I just like that. You know, before they go to war, they like "Bangarang!", that's how you know it's about to be on! For real, but that's my man Boy Troy, young Zist, a couple other people in the clique, that's Bang-A-Rang Gang. If you ever see me perform, my hypeman onstage with me, you see my man Jersey Jump Street.
GN: Yeah, I haven't seen you live yet.
C: Well, if you ever go to Sounds In The Hood, check my man Rome out, you know, Edmondson and Monroe, you can get the Fresh Fest 2004, your boy performin' on there, everybody was on there, Backland on there, Bossman on there. Matter fact, the Mixtapes Legend joint comin' out, it's a DVD, so you can catch my show, the last joint I did here at the Thunder Dome, there was a lot of promotion for that one, posters and everything. There's a lot of footage of me on there. I got another mixtape that's comin' out that's gonna be a DVD also, you get to see me perform, and hopefully you just come out. I'm actually about to go out here and holla at my man DJ Taz next Thursday, you know, Nashville, Tennessee, and do a little joint out there. It's gonna be crazy.
GN: So you just been networking, getting with a lot of mixtape DJs. I saw you did one with Kay Slay a while back?
C: Yeah, he did my old mixtape. It was so crazy, he did my 2nd mixtape, Kay Slay. And then my 3rd one was hosted by my man DNA, you know, Street Wars.
GN: I know you did stuff with P-Cutta too, he's from D.C., right?
C: Yeah, he's from down there, and DNA's from here.
GN: Who else are you working with from here in Baltimore?
C: My man Bishop, and Spit-1 Productions, I been workin' with them cats a lot. They produced a joint called "Comp," that's on the Def Jam game, they produced a joint on my album called "Bang." I just been tryin' to work with everybody, wherever the hot sound comin' from, that's where I'm at. You know what I mean, if you make a tough ass beat tonight, I will be over at your house tomorrow morning, with a bag of Salsa Doritos, extra sweet Lipton ice tea. It doesn't matter where it comes from, what the equipment is, it's the sound. You never know where it comes from.
GN: One thing I noticed listening to you is that you kinda got 2 different voices on records. On "Run" and a lot of freestyles you got that kind of loud, animated style, shouting and everything, but then on stuff like "Harder" you got a more laid back style. Was that something where at some point you changed your style, or are you always trying different things with your voice?
C: Well, different tracks, different approaches. You understand, I don't wanna keep givin' you the same, I just wanna mix it up, I just wanna use my voice in every way, whether it's if I'm sayin' "YES YES!" or if I'm just sayin' things like this. I just wanna switch it up, but I don't wanna confuse the people. But you know the difference, because you heard "Run," but then you heard "Harder," and it's like, wow. You can see what I can do, that's what Comp means, Clever On Many Perspectives.
GN: How about that track with Notorious B.I.G., "Get Ya Mind Right", how did that come together? I know the Biggie verse is from the Aaron Hall song, but who made it into a new song and put you on it?
C: My man DNA, he put that together. You know how they do, it was real exclusive, they got ahold of it, you know how that go. The whole thing, honestly, at first, I didn't wanna do that shit, you know? But the whole thing is, I'm in the business of publicity. And the whole thing is, can you be on a track with B.I.G. and hold your own? Can you be on a track with hiim and make a song out of it? You feel me, can you make this somebody's favorite song? And I felt as though I could step up to the challenge. And that's all I was doin', takin' a jab at it, because this is what I do.
GN: Is there anything else you wanna say to people?
C: Look out for Comp, no matter where you see the name, check him out, because I'm givin' 150%, no matter what I do, whether's it's the single, mixtape or Christmas jingle, you feel me? Make sure you check me out on the website, CompWebsite.com, I will be in a city near you, and look out for the Bang-A-Rang Gang, second star to the right, fairy dust in the pouch. Shout out to everybody in Baltimore, my man Backland, I think he gettin' better, you know, he was in a bad car accident.
GN: Oh yeah? I didn't know about that.
C: Yeah, man, I don't know who the fuck, some fuck hit him, drivin' too fast or somethin'. It was a minute ago, but the nigga been healin'. He in a wheelchair. That's my man.
GN: Yeah, I remember seein' him on TV, was that 106 & Park?
C: Yeah, 106 & Park champion, he was the nastiest dude, man, you remember Backland.
GN: Yeah, and he had that song with Bonecrusher on it.
C: Yeah, he had his little cameo. And you know, we just tryin' to bubble together, that's all we tryin' to do.
GN: Yeah, it seems like we got so much talent in this city, somethin's gotta happen.
C: For real, man...Bmore, 4-1-Oh no you didn't, land of the legendary throwback Baltimore Bullets in your face, neck, chest, whatever you wanna call it. That's where we at, right in front of 7-11, that's how real it is.
More Gov't Names coverage of Comp here, here, here, here, and here. Look out for the album in '05, you know I'll keep you up on it.
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