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Charles Stewart, better known as ‘Chali 2na’ and one of the founding members of Jurassic 5, has cemented his place in Hip Hop history as one of the most recognizable voices in the genre.  Known for his “bass-baritone” sound and “quick delivery style.”  He has worked on some of the most iconic albums, EP’s, and collaborations in rap and hip hop, with not only Jurassic 5, but also as a solo artist working with such groups Lincoln Park, Roots Manuva, Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def, Blackalicious, and many more over his very long career in Hip-Hop.

We are excited to share this episode with you as we talk about his iconic career, the current state of Hip Hop, advice for young artists and entrepreneurs, as well some interesting career highlights.

The Topics We Discussed:

  • What Fuels His Art & Music 
  • His Introduction to Hip-Hop 
  • Where Did The Name “Chali 2na” Come From?
  • The Epiphany That Started His Rap Career
  • How We Came Up With The Name ‘Jurassic 5’ 
  • What Made Jurassic 5 Successful From The Beginning?
  • What Happened To Jurassic 5?
  • The Creative Process
  • How He Gets Rid Of ‘Writer’s Block’
  • Graff Time / Lessons For Entrepreneurs 
  • Working With George Clinton
  • The Night Prince Came To A Jurassic 5 Show
  • His Sing Along With Michael Jackson
  • My Most Embarrassing Moment On Stage
  • The Biggest Reason For His Longevity In Hip-Hop
  • His Advice For Young Hip-Hop Artists
  • The Conversation With Mos Def That Gave Him Perspective

Contact CHALI 2NA

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Youtube –

To say I’m excited about this episode is an understatement. I am a fan, and as we established long lost friends from a golden age of hip hop, we have evidence. We have evidence looking forward to this discussion with a hip hop legend, Charles Stewart, better known as Chali 2na. And one of the founding members of Jurassic five has cemented his place in hip hop history as one of the most recognizable voices in the genre.

Yeah, known for his bass baritone sound and quick delivery style. He has worked on some of the most iconic albums, EPS and collaborations in rap and hip hop with not only Jurassic five, but also as a solo artist, working with such groups as Lincoln park roots, maneuver black-eyed peas, most Def Blackalicious and many, many more over his very long career in hip hop.

We’re excited to talk about all of this, the history of rap, the current state of the union and his post-election thoughts. Tuna it’s. Absolutely. It’s an absolute pleasure. Welcome to the RUN GPG podcast. Yeah. Thank you for having me, man. I appreciate it. You know what I’m saying? Especially crossing borders digitally.

We’re doing that’s what’s up. You see, you spent a lot of time in Canada before. Aspects a lot of time everywhere. Yeah. I got a lot of good friends of Canada, man. Big up to, to the whole Westwood family. The phone Conners, Nick Middleton, Duncan Smith, to the cats from, swollen members to nearly the title to me, just enough, love to all y’all man, we in the same country, whether we want to say it or not, it’s the truth, you know?

So y’all just got different, you know, different little policies that we do. Yeah. Yeah. Right now I think Canadians are a little worried about, you know, racing out that borderline right now, just right now, just right now, which brings up an interesting question. Did you stay up all night and watch the election results?

Did you do that? No. Oh, cast. I learned that, especially dealing with. Ken Cooper here

last year at this point, if they keep saying, okay, I just got an alert right now. It says Trump steps up false claims of election fraud as volts continue to see, man, I don’t know, man. This is, the world is a stage and the theater has no seats. So I’m just sitting here just like, well, I’m just standing here with good point.

You know, the past few months have been insane as we were talking about before we started recording here. And as I said, we’re not a political podcast, but what are your thoughts on the current state of the union in the world as you reflect on the past year, where we’ve been, where we’re going from an artist’s perspective?

Well, I can only speak from a black man and America’s perspective. Which fuels my art, and fuels, everything that I do. And I can only say that this is the most intensified aspect of what America has been plagued with. As far as I can remember, you know, my lifetime 50 years old, my lifetime is just a drop in a bucket compared to how long these problems have existed.

You know, speaking with like police, police, brutality, corruption within the government, all of these different things. I mean, you know what I’m saying? And I’m sure every major civilization, every major country around a planet. So only one, one of us, you know, which is earth. And I feel like, you have the choice to speak about it within your art.

You have the choice to not speak about it in your art and use your art to basically give an alternative to, maybe the pain and the suffering that’s going on. So you don’t have to do any of that. I just feel like you should have the. To choose what you want to do. It’s not really an obligation. It’s all about what you’re obligated to within yourself.

Me personally, I like, I’ve always been one who spoke out against injustices in any form or fashion, whether it affected me directly or indirectly. Right. But at the same time, it’s like for me, like, people didn’t want to put the mic in my face now. I don’t know if that’s the conversation we need to have. I think the conversation that needs to be had is between the people who were holding the microphone, as opposed to the ones who you try to look to for some guidance when you’ve been looking to us for entertainment this whole time, you know, I ain’t, I ain’t saying every entertainer shouldn’t have an opinion on this cause we should, you know, we’re human beings and civilians first, you know, who live in a society.

So of course, but at the same time, I mean, you know, I’ve been talking about this forever and I’m tired of talking well said, moving along, as I said, we’re not

so far though. Chali 2na and the Stuart family are well and safe currently, correct? Yeah, we, we, we good. I mean, you know, we, we, we, okay. You know what I’m saying? My son’s grown. He, he, he got his own thing and he’s good. You know, I’m cool. It’s all good, man. So, so far so good. I can’t really sit here and complain cause I know it’s a lot of other people who are way worse off than I am right now.

Oh yeah, for sure. Now, as I said, you know, we don’t typically go down that path right away, but we can’t ignore what’s going on. It’s a major world event right now. So we thought we’d talk about it just briefly. Now let’s get into it. Take us back to the beginning to now, where are you from? Where did you grow up and how did you, start this hip hop journey?

How did you get involved in hip hop? From the city where.

House music was born and, you know, they buried all the components. So yeah, I’m from Chicago originally, south side, my whole family for the most part, you know, except for sprinkled throughout the Caribbean, because of, you know, old school slavery things. I’m sure there’s a lot of people still out there, but, and a lot of people in the south, I got a lot of people in Alabama, Mississippi, and, Atlanta, or they live in Atlanta, but, you know, sprinkle throughout Georgia.

But for the most part, Illinois is, is, is the home of both my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s side of the family. And, yeah, grew up there, saturated in the house music in, in, in the seventies, late seventies and eighties. I must, I’m a seventies, eighties, baby. You know what I’m saying? And, you know, 1979.

I got slapped in the face with a song called Rapper’s delight, and we could go down all kinds of tangents from there. Right. But you know, Rapper’s delight. I could draw. I was an artist. My whole family has a lot of visual artists. You know what I’m saying? I want to say three of my uncles for my cousins.

Two of my aunts. Yeah, it’s just a lot of us, you know what I mean? And so when hip hop hit and I started to understand certain aspects of the elements, the first one I was attracted to naturally was graffiti. You know what I’m saying? And that was my introduction to what the culture of hip hop was. But yeah, around that time house music ran Chicago.

That’s just what it was, WB MX. Then the hot mix, five Farley, Keith, and all those dudes running things. You know what I’m saying? Big up to Ron Hardy and everybody, all the dudes ran that, that whole scene because it definitely gave us a modern day of identity in the, in the music scene. You know what I mean?

But when hip hop hit, it was just an escape for me. Cause I felt, I always felt like I was a little different than, in my neighborhood. So plus I was a little kid, I was a little kid, a little tall kid. I was tall. People that I was two or three years older than me, and looked a little older, I guess, and certain instances.

So it was like, I was always mistaken to be a little bit older. So I ended up falling in the older crowd, you know, getting a little trouble here and there. This then the third, a couple of my family members moved to California at the time. And, eventually my grandmother was getting bombarded with all kinds of struggles in Chicago.

Her father died, or son died. My son, my uncle got killed, you know? And once again, I said, I was in, I was in a bunch of little trouble eating and doing stupid. My grandmother decided to move to California with mine and told me I’m gonna take you a little brother. And you’ll assisted. You got the choice cause you older than them.

Whether you want to stay here with your mom or not. And I wrote this lyric to say, I could either. Play the corner with a vest and a Glock to California with the rest of my flat. And I shook the spot. It’s exactly what I did. So that’s how I ended up in California. That was actually on my list to ask you, Chicago does have a, a deep musical history rip Frankie knuckles, like were talking old Chicago house and even currently the real Frankie knuckles, no disrespect to the dude who calls himself Frankie knuckles.

That’s in the roots. The percussion is from the roots. The side percussionist with the braids is Frankie knuckles big up to him too though. Cause that’s my dude. He’s a cool dude, but yeah, we talked about the original. So anyway. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I w I, I DJ’ed years ago, for many, for a long time and, you know, Chicago house, that was the, was there any, and like I said, even currently, you know, Kanye west is from Chicago.

You got, you know, you got some history there, so that’s interesting. Okay. So, that’s how you got involved in hip hop. I think what a lot of people don’t realize about like, you know, being as old as we are. Being as old as we are tuna, you said this, he said like twice and real deep and real well being as old as we are.

I think what a lot of people don’t realize about hip hop is, is like hip hop was like in the nineties, like the early nineties, late eighties, early nineties, like the history of hip hop. It was a whole culture. It wasn’t just the music. It was the b-boys, it was the graffiti. It was the whole thing. The DJ, you know, there’s a few elements to it that brought in the whole thing.

It wasn’t just, it wasn’t like, it is not, it’s not commercialized. Like it was now, it was a whole culture, like a subculture, which I’m going to ask you about, as it relates to dress five in a minute here. So what did the name, Chali 2na. When I was 5, 6, 7 years old, something like that, StarKist tuna can to an, a commercial has a logo and a mascot.

His name is Chali 2na, he’s a big blue tuner who stark his fields. Isn’t quality enough for them to catch him, to turn him into a can of tuna. And he’s always like trying to, I use like, yo dude, you gotta it’s ironic. Cause when I was 5, 6, 700, that his voice. So I didn’t know, but this guy has a deep voice.

He wears a red Tam, you know, little side hat to the side, he got black, little cool, like Malcolm X frames, big blue, white, you know? And he is like, yeah, you know, a stock is still not as how he talks. Right. And he’s like, tell him, Chali century, my father was watching TV and he heard. Laughing now I’m Jr. My father’s junior and my grandfather’s junior.

So it was four of us. Right. And, they used to call my father. His nickname was Peewee when we were, when he was young. So I guess, growing up, he has a little cousin who was my cousin too, but like they’re first cousins. He’s, you know, they call him little Peewee. Cause I guess they used to act like windows when he was little.

So my father was like, I’m not going to call my son a little Peewee. And I guess when he heard, you know, tell him Charlie center, he, I remember him laughing and go, hi, I was calling you. That’s what I’m just dog Colleen. Now, from that point, like I said, six, seven years old. I was it right. That was my name, my name through my father’s side first.

And then my mom and them heard it into my, my whole family name. And I would just beg people not to call me that in front of friends. Please. Don’t just family stuff. Just don’t please pop slip. Call me that in front of a bunch of my friends, when he’s visiting one day, it was a rap. Now when hip hop hit and you know, the whole superhero aspect of, of choosing a moniker to hide your real personality,

I searched and searched for a name, you know, cause I had, by that time, got into graffiti thing, but potluck in and you know, and trying to learn how to DJ, I had friends who was. Who’s big brothers was house DJs. And so they had equipment. So we was trying to do the geography. I mean, the hip hop thing tried on a bunch of different names that didn’t work.

You know, it was, I was on some KRS, got a lot of suckers with colorful names. I’m, so-and-so, I’m this I’m that, but they all just did not fit for me. So I just, one day embraced, tuna, on some graffiti first, like trying to figure out a different way to when you were Graf writer. A lot of the times dudes don’t choose big names because it’s just a lot of letters that you can’t get away with tagging it real quick, whatever.

So I was like, tuna is for lettuce, but I, how can I shorten them? I shortened it to two and eight before I knew what you know, like, like Tupac’s spelling his name like that or different things. This is years ago, you know, this is like 1980. Oh, wow. You need to something like that. Right. And I was in Chicago.

I came to California with that name, but not really on some, you know, I was also graffiti, but I was, when I came to California, I was kind of reluctant. I didn’t really want to be there for long. I wanted to go back to Chicago. So I noticed I was different. My accent was different. I dressed different. I stuck out like a sore thumb.

Initially first five, six years, I stayed in California, hung around with my homeys. I looked different. I sounded different. And I just felt, you know, out of place. So I changed my name from, and that rule in my head of all these letters from tuna to Chicago. I just cause dues will call me that. So I just, I changed it for spelling, a C H a to SHR.

Right. And then my favorite graffiti artists was to future 2000 period. Cause I wasn’t really into lettering as much as I was at the characters, but I like the fact that he was into neither, he would do characters, but he was just like, and I just liked that his futuristic style. So I would tag Chicago is a more Chicago, 1000 trying to just give love to him.

You know what I’m saying? And I was tagging of doing it like crazy everywhere and got a little fame in Los Angeles. When I came here, you know what I’m saying from doing it, but that’s, that’s kinda how I got into it. I had one epiphany before I left Chicago where a couple of dudes in my neighborhood was trying to be, you know, be rappers.

They was not trying to be rappers, but they was like, you know, drinking beer, hanging out, summits out under the building. Freestyle cypher. Like, you know, it was no such thing as that, but everybody’s clapping their hands and they, these guys are rapping, but they’re making jokes about everybody. And it was a girl that I liked that was down in that same circle.

And I was scared to talk to her. And I came down to listen, ended up becoming the blunt of one of the jokes and everybody in the crowd laughed. I was embarrassed, embarrassed the shit out of me in front of my home front, the old girl who I really liked big up to Tasha and I was her name. And, yeah, I went home hurt.

Matt grabbed a piece of paper and wrote my feelings out in rhyme on both sides, looked at it like, damn, I could actually do their shotgun rap. But my feeling is what Phil is. I was dissing them dude. And I got a chance two weeks later to unveil this thing that I memorized, but I fronted like I did, like, it was a freestyle and I was just like, yeah, let me get a chance.

And when they was like, you can rap. I was like, you, right. You get a chance. They gave me a chance. I spit that rap, both sides. Crowd went crazy. Caught the fever for four for rapid, but I just kind of suppressed it until I got to California. It’s interesting. You brought that up, you know, I think that you felt a little out of place.

Like you didn’t belong a little bit, you know, when you moved to California, you know, you were looking at, you know, is that, and the same story you hear from other entrepreneurs and things that fuels them to become successful in whatever business they’re in or whatever discipline they’re involved in.

Right? Like it fuels that, like you just said, you got embarrassed and you wanted to go home and just like, prove a point. Right. And that’s what kind of led you down that path. That’s a point in your life that you can actually. Pinpoint as you know what I’m saying? Like a turning point in your life. Now you answered this.

When you said you moved to California, you were in your early twenties and you were in a group with cut chemist. Right? What was the name of that group? The unity committee. Unity committee. Okay. Hmm. At that point, what was the Genesis of Jurassic five? So there was the two of you and then you woke up no.

Oh, sorry. I don’t mean to cut you off, but it was three of us, actually. It was me mark seven and cut chemist. We were the unity committee. We were the Hollywood dwellers up silver lake, California. We would record demos and cook him as his house on his, you know, on this four track and, you know, just have fun with it and talk hip hop all night, his mom and his dad was just massive cut chemist, his mom and dad massively cool recipes to cut pumps, but massively cool people used to let us chill over the house all night, sometimes spending the night in the name of just us recording and allowing their son to have an artistic outlet because you know what I’m saying?

That canvas is amazing artists, not just the producers, you know, DJ, but he can paint and all that stuff too. So it’s really dope. We would do this stuff and we started doing backyard parties here and there. We started teaming up with little bands and just rap in any way. A friend of ours who could also wrap and was part of a group, that was forming is south central called dark leaf.

Had told us about this open mic spot called the good life and wanted to wanted us to go down into perform. We was down well, we had numbers, you know, went down and mark seven went down there with our friend, our friend, his name is Saint mark. Right? And he’s from group called darkly. So mark seven St. Mark went down to, to the good life to check it out.

It was on a Thursday night. I remember Friday, the next day after I got off work, we met at house and we were all like talking about Mark’s experience. He was like, yo fam, you got to understand this was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And I was so inspired to hear all these underground dudes.

I was like one, because at that time you have to understand it at that time, every record label. And NWA. I mean, the phenomenon had popped right around there and it was just like, oh, gangster rap. And everybody wanted that, you know, I’m a fan. I just didn’t, I’m not a gangster rapper, you know? So we didn’t think that it was a lot of groups that, that, you know, existed like us until we got to the good life.

Right. So there was the good life was kind of a racist, if you will, on the, on the west coast place where all the people who wasn’t gangsta rappers could congregate. And even some of them who work could congregate to do crazy new styles, hone their performance, of skills and, you know, just create new music, collaborate and create an, a whole new scene that would eventually kick off.

Some great west coast stars. You know what I’m saying? Us as the unity committee was like us and the dark leaf wrote this song called shoes and we performed it. We prepare to perform it at the Goodlife shoes was about how we could tell the personality of a woman by the type of shoes that she wore weird shit like that.

Right. But it was cool. It was a co it was a group, two groups, collaborative effort. We came to the good life and everybody thought that we want big ass group. They called us a unity committee darkly because they thought we were one big group. Right. So I’m saying this to tell you that that concept is what we took when it came to Jurassic five.

So when we were doing, we were, we were introduced, both groups, got a chance to unity committee. Darkly got a chance to, to, solidify their own brands in that scene, just, and the third. And, you know, a couple of years went past, maybe a year or so then we saw this group called the rebels of rhythm performance.

And these three dudes sounded sing in harmony wise. Like maybe COVID. We were like, wow, these dudes are dope. And me and mark seven, we used to panel for some two man group technical pastor Mike back and forth. But we had like this real conscious, you know, edge to us, sort of grown in D was public enemy or, you know, stuff like that.

It’s kind of how we was thinking about it, right when we saw keel and doc here and, Sean Africa rest in peace, he died. He would have been the other deep voice doing drastic it not passed. And it would have been seven of us instead of six with us. It’s crazy. But we saw their show and. Students with dope.

They did a song called, the trials and tribulations of Jessica. And he did the song called the rhythm and we were like, wow, these dudes are dope. So it was custom for us to, when I say us, I mean, everybody who contributed to the good life was custom for everybody to try to like collaborate. Let’s do a song together, man.

Nobody had ever seen this and they would perform it on a Thursday. You know? So when we saw them, that was just instant. We was like, man, we got to a song with these dudes. So Kim has asked him to do a song. They had heard a lot of cuts beats, and they liked it because B so they was like, yeah, let’s do a tune with you.

They thought the collaboration was rebels were really been cut cameras and cut was like, it’s cool. Let’s do this. But can my dudes in my group get on the song? It’s like, who is your group? I guess they had seen us before. So it was like, yeah. So we met up and we, you know, wrote, and we recorded this tune that would turn out to be unified revolution.

The song unified, that was very first Jurassic Plaza. And we were like, Separately rebels over here, unity committee over here, shopping demo deals, trying to try to get a right. You know, we in Los Angeles, man, and this what I was trying to bring back to Chicago, Chicago got all the talent and no industry, Los Angeles has talent and industry, but the bigger part of it is interesting.

So you got something it’s easy to get it to people, especially at that time. Right? So that was the thing to try to get signed. And we would shop in our demos everywhere. But we have realized after performing with each other for the following year, after making that song, that that song was bigger than anything.

We would do perspective we on our own. So we said, forget it, let’s put some money together and put the record out ourselves. So we put the record out 500 copies and just got it to as many people we could have sold a couple, but basically put them in as many important as we thought hands as we could. You know what I’m saying?

And, that got the attention of TVT records. TVT asked, could they release the 12 inch? And we was like, hell yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do it. But we was tripping, like, see this, like, you know, y’all demo and all demo, whatever they want this record, this is crazy. Right. So when he came, we was like, let’s just do it.

Just, you know, it’s just the 12 inch. Everybody was like, all right, cool. When he came down to the TVT was like, well, what’s the name of the group? Y’all got a name. And we, what was like, oh, so I took the record to home to my son’s mom. I was with my son’s mom at the time, my son at 29 now long time ago, play the record to her.

She has a funny little sense of humor, always acting like, you know, she got jokes and she listened to it. She’s like, this is dope. She was like, y’all think y’all sound like the fantastic Bob, but you sound more like the Jurassic five and walked out the room laughing. And I was like called fellas. It was rap.

We called her. That was it the first, that was our first 12 inch and it was out and it was doing little here and there got us on record in record pools and underground stations here and there. It wasn’t really visually because of the internet. We, you know, we didn’t know wasn’t no internet really at that time.

So we didn’t know what this thing was. So we had a home girl. I’m sorry. I’m so long winded. No, this is the history, man. You, you, well, now we know how the name Jurassic five came to be, which is crazy. That’s funny. That’s a funny story. It’s true. Let me ask you, you know, to me, Jurassic five was really interesting from a marketing and music perspective because I remember you were popular enough to fill, you know, large venues, maybe stadiums, but you were still respectable among the underground crowd, which made drastic five.

Cool to listen to, you know what I mean? Cause I never really thought about it like that. That’s the way it came across to me. You know, it really was an interesting time in the industry because hip hop, you know, was become or was mainstream, but you still had the underground scene, yet. You know, record labels.

You mentioned at corporations, they were starting to see the popularity of hip hop exploding. And that’s why there is so many mainstream collaborations in that decade. There was right. If you go back and you look, there was a lot of mainstream collaborations, is that how you see it? Did you see Jurassic five?

That way? That’s what made them cool was that you were, you were popular to the masses. That’s why the record labels started to pay attention, but you were also cool in that underground scene. I think we have, we, you know, if you pay attention to chemistry and ingredients and recipe, like, you know, you cook some food or whatever, and you got the right ingredients, it’s going to taste good to, everybody’s going to smell good.

It’s going to be nutritious. It’s everything. I think we’re Jurassic not trying this. We didn’t do, we didn’t sit down and some scientifically, you know, come up with this whole thing. But without trying, we, I think at that point in hip hop history had the right. Okay. Gangster rap was born one total way, which turned off a lot of people who really, really, really, really supported the hop.

And that’s outside of America. We talked about the UK and Europe, the gangster rap scene exploded here, guns, gangs, drugs. They got guns and gangs and drugs in the UK, but they don’t have the same problems with it that we do. Right. I mean, this is a culture whose police don’t carry guns at all right. Unless they absolutely need to need to.

So I noticed that they got turned off by hip hop when they supported it the most, cut it off, used elements of it and started creating their own drum and bass, garage.You know what I’m saying, dubs to all these different musics popped up. I, from over that scene splintering off of hip hop off the hip hop that.

As opposed to what it turned into. Meanwhile, we here trying to create the next thing, because we just so addicted in my opinion, once again, on trend, designing on being the first to do you know what I’m saying? When a lot of these people who are doing these days, don’t even get a chance to get outside of the country to see how, what they’re doing affects the rest of the world.

You know what I’m saying, more successful than, than a lot of these dudes even know, you know, what I’m saying is the music, which became the most popular element of hip hop it’s big. And you will find fans of damn near every style of hip hop in other countries. And I’m like, I was shocked just, you know, the very first time of doing it, like going out to go, yo y’all know about this kind of shit.

You know what I mean? So once again, it was the, the ingredients we had for MCs frontmen who, without trying our voices connected and sounded in harmony. When we spoke together, we didn’t try this. One of us could. Everybody else could hold a note, but one of us could sing, you know, try this. It just worked right for minorities, black dudes in America, who came from poverished conditions who, you know, chose not to within the height of the popularity of gangster rap, even though we’ve experienced a lot of the stories and a lot of the things that they glorify within that music, right.

We chose not to go down that path. We chose a stead to talk about upliftment and things of that nature. And on top of it, we just ain’t no militant black group is too wide. Who’s in the group too. So you can’t sit there and try to make it seem like this is some racial thing. Cause that’s what, you know, the biggest symptom in America and the sickness in America, which is racism, right.

The music stray totally away from everything that was out there. We paid homage to the origination of the musical aspect of hip hop. We tried to give back to all of the dudes and all of the music that we, as the older guys. In hip hop love so much, you know, we loved Grandmaster flash and the furious five.

We loved cold crush. You know what I’m saying? The fantastic five. And you know what I’m saying? The treacherous three, we, we love those dudes. Cause we was old enough to know about those dudes. And when you start talking about what rap is, he was like, well, this is what really, what rap was. It wasn’t meant to where they didn’t mean for it to be captured on a capsule or a piece of record was something that you saw a lot.

And we always felt like what KRS said, which was, you could have a hit record and tour for two years. You could have a crazy show and two or for the rest of your life. So that’s what we was all about was the, that part of hip hop that we love so much that people didn’t focus on it. And not knowing that that positive ingredient would hit you add to the recipe.

I just said, boom, that was it. It just, you know, it just ran. And I was definitely grateful for that, man. I was just like, wow, that’s cool that people are looking at us with this admiration. And it’s, you know, it’s just really. A flashback to would rapidly work. So, okay. I think you hit on something there, you couldn’t label it.

And I think that’s what made it so intriguing. Right? You couldn’t label it. And so people were looking and they were paying attention. The interesting thing, actually, if you Google, what happened to drastic five? Have you ever done that? No. Okay. If you do it, it says that the group split because of infighting or disagreements, is that true

group split because of infighting or disagreements? Is that true in fighting and disagreement? Yeah. Yeah. It’s true. To an extent we never officially split like right. If I pick up the phone and everybody was in agreeance, we could go, we’d be like, all right, let’s all right, let’s go. We out. And you’ll see a dressing pod thing again.

You know what I mean? So we never really officially split. But I will say this, we stayed on the road and became parents and husbands and this and the third, and didn’t see our families more than we saw each other. You know, I’m talking about, I said, and coming through tour without rest and bless my skulls laced with titanium plates to pass metal detection because we crashed the tour bus in 2000.

You know what I’m saying? And I almost died. I’d see the scar on my head. I got a metal plate right here because of it. So I think, being weary of the road, you know, adding on to, I think just, you know, not being able to see our families, you know, it’ll lead to disagreements at elite at different ideas.

Plus we was young. None of us were experts on what the music business was. We were just kind of riding this wave that we didn’t know what was coming, you know what I’m saying? So, yeah, it was a point where we was just like, eh, you know, but it was not like on some like war, I kill you. I’m platinum to have sex with your wife on plot to steal money for you.

Not like that. It was more like, man, my brother is getting on my goddamn nerves. I got to get away from this dude. And then not even see him fight him. He just gave you a month. I ain’t mean it was that kind of thing. Nothing, just family. You know what I mean? Like. And I think those family things would lead to disagreements that would cause us to make, you know, some wacky decisions here and there.

You know what I’m saying? And instead of us just continuing, continuously doing that, we stepped back. You know, I, I felt like we went out like Jordan with the two or three instead of the full five and I, and that’s, and that felt good to me. You know what I’m saying? It allowed us to still have a, a basis and a brand that allows us all as artists.

Cause we wasn’t just group members. We were all and still are all artists. Like whether it be visual, audio, whatever, we’re all artists. And that platform allows us to do these things, that we all, each individually have in our souls to do to, you know what I’m saying? It ain’t no love. I love every last one.

If they looking at this right now and I love you, man. I don’t care what you say, but it’s just one of those things. It’s just like, you know, my mom used to always say, If all good things come to an end, be prepared for when that incomes and you know, that’s just really that I don’t, I didn’t look at it like, like we, we ended because I’m still screaming, tele tuna from Jurassic five people still ask me about J five.

We still exist. And none of us are in the grave yet, you know, get thank us. So, you know, it’s always still potentially there. Well, let’s get the band back together. Now, besides Jurassic five, you had a really interesting solo career with collaborations and guest appearances. Right? What does your personal creative process look like?

Like when I asked that, do you start, by thinking of words and phrases, and then you write them down as they come to you or do you start with the beat and work on lyrics after what’s your it’s actually, the creative process looks like this. It looks just like this. This is called the fish tank and my father built this room for me when I bought this house 20 years ago.

And. I am a dude who has no method to my madness. And that’s why I think that is my method is to allow everything that I can to influence the creative process. Now, as a youngster, I was real superstitious about it. It only has to be a certain way to conditions have to be right. You know what I mean? And I, I noticed that I was stifling my creativity.

I was stopping myself from doing things that eventually I would end up doing and going, damn, I could just sit. It did that taught me two years ago. You know what I mean? So I don’t really have, like right now I’m writing a rap from just writing a rap. Cause I be trying sometimes I’m like, okay, if I sit too long, I can catch a writer’s block.

And a friend of mine had told me about how to get out of it, but one way to get out of it, it’s just like scribbling and I will use to. Drawers block and didn’t know what to draw. Just start scribbling until it became something. So instead of the second opinion, the pad out, I turned on pro tool. If the pro tools session, slap a beat on there and let it play, just start freestyling, Dino, listen back.

Ah, I like that. I don’t like that. And just build shit. I’ve just been building this one rap and, and this was something that a friend of mine told me to do. One day, I was like, oh, I’m gonna try that. It’s fun. And it ain’t like you would ever probably hear this rap. I don’t know. You might, you might not, you know what I mean?

It might turn into something that’s serious, but it might just be exercise. You know what I’m saying? So I don’t have a real method other than all of my focus, my attention to detail. I’m a patient that comes from painting. So I think that’s probably the most organized as far as thoughts and. Inspirational, you know, point sooth, you know, launching off and doing something.

That’s probably the only thing that I have that’s that’s really organized is that I’m going to sit there and try to meticulously do it the same way that I would take my time to draw a picture or paint a picture of my life. Really try to get the details in there as much as I possibly can. Sometimes it might be to my detriment, but you, so two things there, there’s a lesson there for, you know, entrepreneurs, business builders is that done is better than perfect.

Just do it done is better than perfect. Number two, you know, you have structure and process as it relates to your art and by art, I mean can control. And that’s what that track was about. Yeah. Hi Grafton. Yes, sir. Yeah, man. I mean, Greg grabbed Tom was really like a Testament to. My love for the, for the sport.

And also, the small little things that I picked up from doing it, you know, technical things that I, you know, I counted up my cans as a way to have my chance. I perpetrated my plans with ink and paint on my hands. You know, things that I had that I’m like, I noticed that this is like an all the time thing, no matter what.

Okay. So I’m going to be talking about it. You know what I mean? But yeah, that’s what I mean, just paying attention to detail and trying to, use that. And the patients that it would take to pull off these details, you know what I’m saying, in order to make the best thing possible. I was surprised to hear that, one of your favorite artists was Futura.

I honestly, like, I I’m, I’m a future fan as well. Right? Almost the end of his son. A witness, a witness. Yeah. Actually I have a print, one of his prints in my house. He, did one for me. One-on-one one-on-one he did a, it was a, it was a shot at the Manhattan bridge with the snow falling. And he did a, he did a one-on-one.

I have actually, this is really sad. It’s in my mother-in-law’s house. Oh, Well, what can I, because I moved out east and stayed there and I feel really bad about it. Cause I’m a, I’m a big fan of his photography, which is one of your past times as well, right? Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yeah. Yeah. He’s one of the best. I like his, I like the dark tones to everything.

He does big up to evidence from dilated peoples for introducing them to me, man. I, I didn’t know. I liked this stuff. I would pass about Instagram and they have told me about it and I was like, oh man, this dude is really, really sick lately. I mean, he probably, I think he’s doing other things, you know, a lot of, a lot of these dudes who was running Instagram and they graduated to other things, you know what I’m saying?

But yeah, I think he’s doing like, like Greg cause his father is like super graphic with a lot of graphic design things and stuff like that. I think he’s in that world as pops and taking the trip. His, You were right though. Character characters are really interesting. I couldn’t do them, but, but you know, he had the, a, what are they called?

The, I always wanted to know what the things was called to them. Little space stones. Well, I know the name of them and he actually did a couple album covers too. He did one for alcohol. He did. Yeah, he did those. It’s funny. Yeah. We’ve got some of the same, like I said, we’re both, both of that age group.

It’s funny. In 1985, I met future at an art gallery in Los Angeles. I came out here to visit my aunt and everything and I was chilling, met some Graf writers, went to this king, future Lee Quinones, fab five Freddy, a rose and. Just one other person, one other person. I can’t think what they all did is cold.

Little gallery of future was there. And he drew, I still got this, a black book that I had. I brought my black book with me. Black book is synced, dissolved and faded away. But the pays that they say that they side, yeah,

go ahead. The page, the page they signed, I kept that I got signed. And if he drew his lose his loop, that was the first time I seen the character. I was like, damn, that’s crazy. And the first time I seen Graf writers tag the number, to spell out, to spell out the words of a number. So that five Freddy tag, then we put 19 8, 5 I V E.

And I was like, woo. I was all hyped. Like, yo. Yeah, there’s just something about it, man. Especially if you’re in that, you know, if you have a creative, I design, I there’s something about writing scripting, you know, grabs your attention. Right. You know, you go down a rabbit hole. If you’re, if that’s the type of, you know, mind you got now, as mentioned, you had some pretty interesting collaborations over the years, what was your favorite host?

I’ll tell you mine. Yeah, let me hear what’s your roots maneuver. I’m a huge, I’m a big fan. I’m a big fan. I’ll put a clip about not a little less than a month ago that I found I was digging through, you know, on the song, join the dots when he say no, sir, Mr. Doona, I can’t burn your blunt. You know that part, right.

They put out one a few years ago. Not too long ago. That was, yeah. Yeah. It was a total crafty cause we went on that tour with them tools. Oh, you’re kidding. Okay. Wow. Okay. That was, yeah, it was really interesting. But what was your favorite collaboration over the year? Oh, okay. So, oh man. So many collaborations, man.

I said just in a, in a, wrapped it up, I’m a man with more collaborations than a clan them more cameos in a clan of Larry Blackmon. Right now. The trick is, is I think I don’t have one favorite, but I do have, okay. I’ll say this one. The most interesting one I would say is the one I did with George Clinton and it’s not really like my best song.

I have fun doing it. Just because I learned so much watching, like, wow, like this guy did not come out of the booth for five hours. Not like five. I sat in that booth for five. This was back in rainbow six. Now it was 69. I got this down for rainbow haired. George Clinton. Yeah. Sat in that booth, man. It was just like, just thinking about lyrics, trying to figure out his parts in the song.

The song is called. There’s a party. If you ever want to hear it, it’s on the spirit of the Apollo. The artists is called NASA north America, south America. Anyway. So he facilitated this track, come to the studio. George was in the booth kind of spacing out. You know, this is back in his drug induced days, you know, and he’d just be mumbling to the mic.

Just mumbling, mumbling, looking at little small pieces of paper. He was pulling out his pocket and then he would say something that would be extremely profound. And in that everybody who’s outside of the would be like. Yeah. Like that y’all like that, like he said this, he said this line, he’s reading his paper paper.

It said something like, and he put it in their song. He said, socially he was reading papers, socially engineered, pre induced chaos. Everybody outside was like, whoa. He was like, y’all like that. Like, yeah. He was like, play the track, play the track. He listened to it for like two minutes. He was like, all right.

Be prepared to record. Cool, boom, press record. And he sat there and he was singing it out. He did admit he had figured out a rock, a Ron saying. And then put harmonies on it. And I was like, oh, that’s why you are who you are. I didn’t get it. I knew I would hear all these stories about you being on drugs on it, but I see you work.

I get it. That was one of my favorite times ever like working. I was like, I thank God that I’m able to do what I do cause nobody normally would ever get to see this. That’s great. It’s crazy. You mentioned that. Cause when you said that there may have been seven, members of Jurassic five on stage, I, I immediately thought of P-Funk all-stars right.

Like I saw George Clinton. I actually saw George Clinton live years ago. You know, my teens, it was crazy. Like guys crazy, like nuts. So you worked with George Clinton. So that was, that’s an interesting answer. I didn’t know that track actually existed. Yeah, it’s a lot, man. I got a lot of songs out there.

I even shocked myself sometimes. Man, I here’s the thing that I started playing cause I was going to the UK so much. And you were so much, you’ll get in a cab coming from the airport or, you know, driving around with somebody who’s Uber car. And it’s been times, lots of times I’d been in the car and a song of mine comes on and I forgot.

I did. I’m like, what is this? Oh, this, but it’s playing on a radio. And I’m like, yo, this is bugged out. Like, you know, like an Uber driver will be playing the tape or something. I’m just like, you know, I appreciate that because it’s just so much work out there. Oh man. That’s amazing. Who would be your dream collaboration today?

Is there anybody currently in the game that you would want to work with right now? Like if you had, you could pick anybody, who would that be? Or I guess I could ask, you know, who you listening to right now? Any music up until last year, it happened for me. I used to always want to work with Omar. You know, Omar Lafonda always wanted to work with him forever.

I’ve been a big fan of his from jump since nothing like this, I’ve been a fan. And he agreed to jump on the adventures of a reluctant superhero album. And that was, that was amazing. That was amazing. Now currently coffee, man, I would love to do is hone with coffee. The reggae singer, the young reggae, single girl, she’s amazing.

Or lyrical content, her lyrical dexterity her. She is beyond their years where their skill I’d love to work with her for sure. Rap world, I, to say black thought, but I did, I did a song with black dog before. I wouldn’t mind doing a current one. There’s a grad group from Seattle called blonde. They called called bag limes and gab it’s these two cleans.

Amazing on the mic and they can sing. They’re amazing. I love them. I love to do some stuff with them. Is one other person that I am getting and I feel so bad for getting these people right now. It will come to you. Hey, right. Just start, just start scribbling. And it’ll come to you.

The, hey, you you’ve done a lot of live performances and, and to be honest with you, like I said, I, I, I’ve never seen anybody with the energy you bring live on stage. It’s a lot of fun to go to a Charlie tuna show, Jurassic five show. It really is. What was your best live moment on stage? Can you think of one?

Oh, here’s one good one. Okay. Jurassic five. We got a chance to sell out first ad in Minneapolis. Right. And when you sell out, any shows and at first app, I sold out first dive with Jurassic five. And I sold our first app with Motley once. Okay. So when you sell out, they got these, this painting on the outside of, of the, of the, on the side of the wall, on the outside of the, the venue and they’re stars, they’re white stars inside the stars are the names of the people who sold the place out.

So we got our name, Jurassic, I got drastic and Ozil up there, and I felt really proud of those moments. Right. But one of these times during a Jurassic sold-out show, First ad is the club that they feel and famously film purple rain in, and prince owned it. This is when prince was still alive. We were performing at first at a dock here from Jurassic file.

Like I told you, one of us could sing in this dock here and I bought the same, but anyway, you know, and he’s a walking encyclopedia when it comes to like RNB music and don’t lose it, period. But you can ask him anything about, you know, like, just details about RB music and the series with it. So, you know, we’d be clown in, especially during their like soundchecks and stuff.

We used to, you know, cloud heavy, as far as like you can start singing an old tune, we changed the words act stupid, blah, blah, blah. Right. So we was doing that all, during that sound check at first app, well, during the actual show, if you’ve ever been the first app way in the back above the bubble, There is a big bubble that lets you see inside the backstage area upstairs.

So we in the middle of our show and I, I, you know, we, Roman history, we had just finished. There’s a part where we stopped in this part where, you know, one of us would take the lead and talk to the crowd that sets up the next section of the song, you know, show whatever. But when that part came, it deviated out of, cause I looked over and I looked at Darcie and he had this look in his eyes like, and he just started to sing purple rain.

He just started. He just, you know, it was quiet yesterday. I never made the call dude. And they probably only saw a row. And I looked over at him, I joined him saying it, then the whole crew start saying, and as we was singing, he nudged me on the shoulder and he pointed and I looked and prince was up there doing this with us.

Yo, I got goosebumps now talking about. I seen that. And I was like, oh, like, I just, like, I wasn’t able to like, you know what I’m saying? And then after we finished singing it, you know, we big them up and just was like, damn. And he just like, you know, he saluted us. I mean, we didn’t see him the rest of the night, but Clinton sat and watched us sing his song.

That’s my whole head up. You know what I’m saying? My whole head up, I had one other time like that, where I was with OZO Motley in The Bahamas, we were at the opening of this resort called Atlantis. And we were sound checking and Atlantis is too. They had two big ass buildings, which is long stretch of hallway.

It looked like a bridge that connected the two buildings. When in actuality, that bridge was an actual suite. It’s the best Wheaton in the house and a. One of the dudes rest in peace that they used to be in. Those were Molly, man. He dies and then crunchy Jose Espinosa. That’s my brother, man. He passed, but he was a sax player and he was, he, he could imitate none of Michael Jackson man.

So he just like started singing Michael Jackson heal the world. We look up there’s Mike and that’s sweet. It’s actually Mike. And he’s like, yeah, he’s like, I’ll sing it with him. It was like, they got Mike and he kissing Alison yo, sir, I can’t, you know, I can’t make these things up. Yeah. The sing along with prince, it sounds like a fake story, but it’s Minneapolis.

So anything’s possible. And, and, singing a Michael and MJ song and seeing them standing up there, that’s gotta be like, Oh, that was the most surreal man ever, man. It was cool too, because my son was eight years old at the time. And like I said, he was 28, 29 now. And I brought him to The Bahamas with me.

So later on that night, Mike was walking through the crowd with a security, like nothing like nothing. And instead of this, you know, security pushing people out the way. So Mike can get through, he was, he moved his first two, the first two dudes in front of him out the way so that people could come into a circle and give him hugs.

He was hugging everybody. So I threw my son on my shoulder and I ran down there to check them out. We got mad close and you know, Mike looked up, saw my son reached his hand up, you know, like wave that, with his gloved hand and everything. And my son to this day is one, that’s one of those memories that those life-changing memories for him.

He’s like, yo man, it took me all, you know, that kind of thing. So yeah, that was a crazy experience. Real, no kidding man. That’s did I didn’t think, I didn’t think those were the two stories that come up with what I talk about live moments, but it doesn’t get any better than doing a sing along with prince.

In Minneapolis, it doesn’t like that’s, that’s just a it’s, you know, you can dive blast. Right? Here’s another question. Do you remember your most? We keep it real here on the RUN GPG podcast. We do. We keep it real. Do you remember your most embarrassing moment life or did you ever, you know, did you ever forget lyrics or, you know, anything like that?

Okay, well, before I tell you my most embarrassing moment, well, one of my most embarrassing moments, yes, we forget lyrics all the time. And what was dope was because we was doing the show and because it was four of us, and that was the that’s. That to me is one of my favorite things about Jurassic five and just being in a group of vocalists, you know, it was like a sports team and you knew your part.

And if you knew somebody else’s part, then if they slipped, you can help them. And if you slip, they can help you this. And then the third. So. Maybe we would do this so much. We made it a game amongst us all. We have, we had any ears. So, you know, we could hear each other mess up and do different things. And clown, when the crowd couldn’t hear what was going on.

So it was a joke with us. We would try to mess each other up and do little stuff, to message each other. And then at the end of the show backstage, Hey, I got your ass mama. You know, that kind of thing, you know, it was, it was really fun. So yeah, we used to mess up all the time. Now that being said, MTV used to throw these parties called $2 bill shows where you pay $2 to get in and you see some, two stars, you know, this is how they live, right?

So they asked us to do it, which I thought was dope that they thought we were stars, which is cool. We opened up for the RNB singer tweet right now. We get up there, we do our fizzle. And after you finish. Doing your performance. Then a person comes up there and they interview you. They talk to you and they’re coming up next tweet.

And then we go off, you know, you get to talk to you crap all while you go backstage. And you’ve done me. I’m just, you know, super, super personal man. Right? I’m always shaking hands of fans and this then the third. So when it come time for us to talk to the, to the interviewer, I’m the furthest away from the interviewer, right?

It’s everybody, else’s closer to the end. I’m the furthest away. And I’m still shaking hands in front of the stage because this is a broadcast on MTV is set up a little bit. Unconventional. It’s not like stage in space, in a little bar in the crowd or no bar at all. And staged in crowd is stage then a whole row of lights.

And then emptiness in the barn and the cry. So I had to reach over all those lights and I got a long arm reaching over all those lights, the security guard, the bar to reach people’s hands. And I was shaking them. Well, one overzealous girl. I can remember her face. She was cute. I remember her face to this day, grabbed my hand.

Wow. The fellow started to talk to the journalist. Camera’s on millions of people watching this girl grabbed my hand, shakes my hand, instead of letting it go. She pulls me. And when she pulls me, I fall headfirst into all of these lights. And this is all on TV. Now I’m six, five, you know, and it’s time like right now, probably two 20 at the time I was out, we was eating at that time.

I was like two 50. I was a big dude and I fell in all these lights, all this sound. Laughter everywhere. My fellows really gave it to me. They gave it to me. And the lot the wackiest part was at the end of it all. Once we finished and tweaked finished, they do this meet and greet where we sit down and we signed autographs and this and the third.

So tweet sits next, next to me. And I know tweaked from before she was tweaked, she’s always been true, but I mean, she used to be in this group called sugar. And I knew her from them group from them days when she was in LA trying to get a deal. And it’s the third. So she sat down, she was like, what’s up, baby?

I was like, you remember me? She’s like, well, I know, because I know y’all was like brew house. There’s my keyboard player as well. I met her. She’s like, oh baby. Charlie told her. She’s like, you know what though? I don’t mean to laugh, but I seen you fall that damn baby. You all right. When she said that I was up, cause tweet is gorgeous.

I was embarrassed fam. I was so embarrassed. I was like, damn man.

That’s amazing. Thanks for sharing that with us. You know, I always ask those questions, you know, like, you know, you think it’s all like roses guys as a hip hop icon, it could be 65 and fallen a bunch of lights and people stage lights. It’s true. Here’s a question for you. Have you thought about this, what’s been the biggest contributor to your longevity in the game?

I would honestly probably have to say, I’m not trying to compete with the game or anybody in any members within the game, but to the biggest competition is yourself. And to aspire to be that, you know, I heard doc say in, in, in that song that Diggy Diggy doc y’all, he said, and I even took the line and used it in another song of mine because I respected this brother so much for saying that he said, Keeping the adult, as long as I can, like imagine making these record that I do better than the last one he’s competing with itself.

That told me that when I first heard that I was like, oh, you ain’t worried about what everybody thinks. You worried about how dope your lasting was and how better you can make the next thing. So that’s what I’ve always tried to attribute to. And I think that not worrying about what the trends were, but doing, being happy with what it is that I made and, and me being a fan of it first is, has been my, my longevity piece.

One of, one of the parts of it, I think also not being afraid to, take the skillset that I learned from hip hop within hip hop, using hip hop is like my college, so to speak and taking that skill set and applying it to every other thing that I do, you know, any other, other genre of music that I love, I can.

I feel like I have the ability to take what I’ve learned and mix it to create something different. I’m a hybrid maker unconventional, right? No labels. What advice would you give newcomers or these young guys trying to make a name in hip hop now? Just that man, stick to your guns. If, I mean, art is perspective though.

So you can’t sit here and say, this dude is better than that, dude. It’s about, who’s looking at the glass and you know, my pops used to take a glass and fill it up halfway with water and put it in on the table, make me stand on one side and I’m standing up and he’s standing on the other and be like, okay, describe that glass to me.

Tell me in every word, I’m going to remember every word you say and I’ll do it. Then he describe it to me. And his words will be different, but we’d be saying the same, you know, that’s what I’m saying. So it’s like everybody got a different perspective on what’s good and what’s not. So it’s hard to. It’s hard to stay focused on.

What’s what, for one, you know what I feel like, even with this question, I was like, I’m lost. I’m like, okay. So how can I really, really answer it? Like, well, I, I think, you know, the newcomers can just go to school by listening to your dog discography, right? Your repertoire, your music, and, you know, listen to the, well, more than anything, I was just like, stick to your guns, man, and be as, as original as your soul and your drive and, you know, whatever it is that you’re pursuing, what you want out of it can take you go where it, the furthest reaches that it can take you, you know what I’m saying?

Cause some people it’s in them to compete and then some people it’s in them to create. And then some people got a bit of both. Some, you know, it, it just keeps going. So, you know, I would just say don’t deny who you are. Don’t don’t try to be somebody else be you no matter what, it’s another lesson authenticity be authentic, be authentic.

Now if you didn’t become a hip hop legend, He didn’t become a hip hop legend. Yeah. From my perspective, our generation, for sure. Didn’t become a musician. What would you have been? I’m a painter man. That’s just simple as that. I’m a painter that can rap. I’m surprised that you know, who should have been my, my wife, which is the painting and the art, you know, said, God, you know, super’s lead it’s as big of a mystery, the music, but I mean, yeah man, I you know, and still to this day, man, I, I paint like, that’s the only thing I know how to do because truthfully I’m thinking that my way through rap, I ain’t gonna fry.

And I don’t, I don’t really know how to do that. Most Def told me this one thing one day, me, the rest of the drastic pot we were in France. This was when black on both sides have been out for the longest time. And we was waiting for a follow-up to the album where ran into most Def and his and his wife. I think I was his wife.

Yeah. Yeah. We went in there. Most of his wife and two of his. Because he had babies wouldn’t move home. But we had this conversation in the airport while we was waiting on a plane, asking him, sweating him about y’all in the next day, coming out. Right. Tell them how a Gopi love black on both sides. I’m telling you this today to say that he was like, man, I don’t understand how this is what he said to us.

I don’t understand how y’all could go in the studio and just work and work and work on an album until the album done. And then put it out. I was like, wait, what are you most deaf? He talking about? He’s like, man, I’m gonna tell you the truth, man. I go in the studio, I record full five songs and I get bored, man.

And I might like, go do some other shit. And you might not, I might not revisit the studio for months at a time. Maybe, you know, there’s times I’ve done this, like for like a year or so. I was like, for real, he’s like, yeah, he said, you forget, man, for real, I’m an actor. He was like, that’s probably why y’all think I can rap.

So, so good. I could act. I said, oh, damn. I remember walking away from that conversation to go. And if that’s the case, then I’m a painter

did perspective, man. That’s an interesting story. That’s a really interesting story. I, you know, in terms of personal development, I, I remember, when we were hanging out backstage, I remember this clearly some years ago, the one thing that stood out to me was you didn’t drink now. Everyone else was drinking and you were crushing.

I remember this clearly because you’re the only one I’ve ever seen do this. You’re crushing five-hour energies with seven up. I think it was, it was just one of them just once Bob, I take one five-hour books. I, if I got them, I’ll take one before the show, just so I can just like have this energy that I really, really need if I’m, especially if I’m traveling and tired and stuff like that.

So you take one before the show, I mix it with little seven up and it tastes like club soda when you do that. So he’s just like, yeah. So like, you know, I’m, I’m backstage at a hip hop show with a legend and I’m like, okay, we’re drinking, we’re drinking. I’m having a great time. I look over and you drink and five-hour energies know.

Really, and I kind of looked at my bottle a little bit. Right. Like, so is that something, the reason why I’m bringing this up? Is it, is that just a pre-show routine or do you, do you not actually drink? I don’t drink. I ain’t had a drink. I have never had a professional drink. Trust me. Like as long as I’ve been doing this music and being out there and actually getting paid for it, I’ve never had a drink.

Stopped drinking when my son. Three, either two or three. I came, I always forget that time, is, partially because I’m a Muslim, you know, so I try my hardest to try to, you know, I, I’m not a perfect man, but I practice as much as I possibly can. You know, I’m, I’m a God-fearing man. I pray, you know, saying I really try to ascribe to the teachings of prophet, Muhammad, things of that nature.

Once again, I fall short because I’m a man, you know, is there anybody else who, you know, who, who try to sit up there and act like they perfect because of their religion? Now you can’t. There was nobody who really can, you know, people, certain people are more pious than others, but still, I mean, I know I just try to be as real as I possibly can with the fact that I’m an imperfect creature, right?

So that’s one of the biggest reasons why I hold onto the, the non drinking, but also because it takes me out of who I am. I’m not, it, it makes me too, aggressive yet lacks a days ago. If you understand what I’m saying, it takes me out of my focus. I like to be focused, especially when I’m doing. If I’m especially there, but in general period, I’ll just like to be focused.

No, I’ve been in situations where I’ve been like jumped by 10 people. You know what I’m saying? Just, you know, chilling, talking to one dude, and then the next, you know, that same dude who I’m thinking is all comfortable, has a gun pointed in my face. I mean, it’s been situations where I’ve been like, okay, I have to be more on point with.

And so, you know, I’ll add the rest of that part to the fact that being a Muslim and everything makes this something easier for me to do than anything else that also. In the words of slick, Rick, Hey kid, walk straight and master your high. Some people can, can control themselves in those situations. You know what I’m saying?

I’ve seen dudes on Coke, math, acts on, you know, we are everything. Sometimes all of it at one time, some people can control their high and some people can not. And I noticed that when we pray, when we perform in different places and touring and stuff like that, people who get in faded, they trying to relax.

They try to have fun. So people just go overboard. You know what I’m saying? Some people get aggressive on a fight. So when people get too lovey w you want to get up on you, some people, you know, is it some of those things I never really wanted myself to fall under that. Especially dealing with the public.

You know what I mean? So th that’s another lesson, you know, know yourself, know your limits and stay focused. That’s a good, that’s a good lesson. Actually. My favorite part of that night was where the, where the stage was in order for us to come out from behind the stage, you had to come on the stage and I came out briefly and everybody thought I was a member of drastic five for about 30 seconds.

So I thought that was cool,

ladies and gentlemen. What’s good. So you’d have to show everybody, yeah, that was fun. Now listen right now, is there this again, personal development, daily routine, is there an app or piece of technology that you can’t live without? Wow. Well, I’ve always been, you know, in all of the social media situations, Instagram has been the funnest for me, just because it has been able to, I’ve been able to show images, you know?

So I got on to Instagram, through a dude named Tim house in the bay who was telling me about how two of my other brothers was running Instagram, evidence and Baboo, and I’m like word. So, you know, then another brother of mine tri-state and I’m like, word, okay, cous, I’m taking everybody out. And I’m like, oh, this is cool.

Cause I like to take pictures. I like to paint. Might as well. Just use this as an outlet. And it’s been cool now since then, Instagram has turned into some other shit. So I liked all of the little small apps that, picked up, you know, casts like evidence told me about, tri-state told me about, that helped me edit pictures, like on my phone, on the fly when I’m just moving, you know what I’m saying?

A big up to camera plus big up to Snapseed, big up to light room. Big up to. Just one other one I’m forgetting. But yeah, those like the apps that you use to, edit your photos, that’s probably the most, the things that I’m on the most actually. Okay. Now here’s another question getting to the end of this, wrapping it all up.

If you could have dinner with any three people in history, pastor present, who would that be and why? Okay. Robin Nesta Marley would be at the table with me. I’ve had dinner with his sons in that, and I’ve always said, damn man, you talked to actually sit there with him. You know, I would love to sit down with Malik El Chabads, Mr.

Malcolm X. And at that same table, I would love to have, this is weird, but I would love to have king cut sitting there and them three perspectives. I feel like I get so much out of just sitting down, having dinner with them, greet people. So let’s review. Who is it? Who are the three king Tut? Malcolm X and Bob Marley.

Think about that for stick about what you would talk about and then the whole spectrum right there. Imagine that table. Imagine that table. Yeah. Yeah. It makes you go a little, little deeper. Doesn’t it? You know, think about that. Like who’s had a major influence on your career and your life. Okay. When all is said and done, what does the Charlie tuna legacy look like?

I’m hoping that my, my, the verbal Herman monsters thirsty and I’m concert worthy with no controversy, mine states beyond what you formed about me and my music will live on without me. That’s kind of what the legacy happens. I want it to look like that. I want everything that I’ve been able to create with my hands and my mind to have a lasting effect way after I’m gone.

Amazing. Amazing on that note, it was an app. Pleasure, tuna, you know, to talk to you, get to know you better. Here’s the deal, where can people find you or where do you want people to go? So my website is, C H a L I N If you want, look on that, on that site and check out the merge, and that, and if you need anything from me, painting wise, I do commissions, as well as I have existing payments and stuff like that.

Hit me up at Charlie tuna Merck. So C H a L I N a M E R C H. At And just man, somebody followed me on Instagram and on YouTube. Yeah. I’m saying Instagram is Charlie underscore two N a C H a L. I underscore two and a and a, the YouTube is just a Tali toner, man. You look me up and you’ll see me.

Absolute honor. Hear your story. What inspires you? Your creative process took all things drastic five along with the history of hip hop and its current state. That was a fun one for me. And I know all our listeners and subscribers will really love this conversation. Thank you very much. Thank you bad.


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