An Interview With Wu-Tang’s Killah Priest.
I’ve personally worked with multiple members of the Wu-Tang clan, and by far my most interesting experience was with Killah Priest. He’s quite a personality, and after working together for the first time at VooDoo in San Jose, I’ve been following his career pretty closely. Recently I stumbled across an interview conducted by Brian Kayser where Priest discusses touring with Ghostface, his solo album and being independent. Check the interview below.
You’ve been on the road a lot with R.A. the Rugged Man and Ghostface Killah. How’s the road treating you?
The road is a great experience. It’s therapy for me and it should be for any artist, I think, that’s on the road, man. It’s just therapy.
Have any plans for music developed with R.A. and Ghost?
Yeah, man. Me and Ghost have been brainstorming heavy. We’ve been talking about this and that and just tactics on how to do this album and how to attack the industry and how to get music out that people will appreciate and get it heard to where people who appreciate real hip-hop music, and what I mean by that is unsaturated, unadulterated, not compromised music and how to get it to the people where they can hear it. Ghostface being the artist that he is, he has a name that can help with the movement so I’m grateful fort that and this is a brother that is a spiritual cat also.
I would imagine there’s some good conversations there.
Definitely. Definitely, man. We go all the way from the Bible to the Koran. We just build on all tactics from the galaxy to whatever. He asks that question “why is the water wet?” and “why is the sky blue?” We’ve been building. That’s my brother.
When you talk about the album, the album you’re talking about is your solo album, The Psychic World or Walter Reed, right?
Definitely, man. It’s done. There’s nothing I will add to it. I never rushed this album, even when I had the release date of January 30th. I couldn’t rush the album now. I gave them a date and I don’t want to rush it, even if it means holding it back for a little while more. I can’t rush it out like that. I wasn’t ready and I felt like it wasn’t ready but it’s ready now. It’s ready to come in. It’s got its suit on and everything and I’m very happy with the project.
You were putting out albums at a steady rate since The Offering, and some of them got criticized for the beat selection. Did you ever feel like that criticism was fair?
Nah. All criticism is good. With The Offering, people were talking about how I had them. It’s just that predicament. When you have something like The Offering, which everybody is claiming is a classic, you’re trying to get what’s next because everybody wants to know what’s next. But I went a whole different angle. It was just crazy timing. When I did Behind the Stained Glass, which was next, I felt people might not think of it as dope as The Offering or a real follow-up to The Offering, but it was something. It was a real emotional time. I had just moved out to Cali and it was my first time working with DJ Woool like that. We just knocked tracks out and what was I going to do with tracks? We put them out. Some people liked it. Some people didn’t take it as well because they were expecting The Offering but I got that. The Offering came from a deep part but I got more deep parts. It was just The Offering. Then we went back in and I gave them a free album, The Untold Stories of Walter Reed, and that was all a download for free and it’s still available. And when we did that, DJ Woool had leftover tracks that we had done and he put out The Exorcist. Those were tracks that I didn’t want to use for Untold Stories because I didn’t think they were ready but he liked them. And then there were some tracks I recorded during The Offering, which Ryan (Man Bites Dog) put out. There was a lot of stuff and it was a lot of material. At least everybody knows I haven’t been sitting back, sleeping. But I’ve been having The Psychic World of Walter Reed as my next album and I’ve been working at it for a long time and some of it slipped out but, you know, that’s what it’s for.
It was originally supposed to be a double disc, too.
Exactly. You had “Brillionaire” that leaked out there and “Listen to Me.” I shot a video for all of those joints that leaked out because I never got to shoot any videos for The Offering. I might go back and shoot “Salvation” or “Essential” because people request those. “Uprising” did real good. Somebody put that together and that did real good.
Yeah, originally that was a double album. I don’t know if I’m still going that same route but I got three or four albums that’s ready.
You’re going the independent route here too, right?
Yeah. I gave everybody a chance with my material. That’s what happened with The Offering too. When you’re doing it independently and you have a distributor, sometimes they just get caught up and they don’t look at the passion behind it. I had Nas and Immortal Technique on there and people received it well but there wasn’t enough material there for it to get in everybody’s hands. I feel sorry for cats that missed that. If you missed it, go back and get it in your hands. It’s the same with Black August. Albums that I put my heart into, people don’t understand it but I’m always on the road and with this album, if I’m not there, it’s not coming out. If I don’t have hands on it, it’s not coming out. We had to do Black August: Revisited and with The Offering, there was a lot of complaints that it wasn’t in enough stores. The material was dope but with this one, I would rather do it myself like, “Here, you’re getting this from me.”
That approach takes more time than handing the album over to a company.
Yeah, but I got good help this time. It takes more time and it takes more concentration. It’s not just releasing it. I had another mixtape with Woool that was coming out called Castle Hop that we had to put our brakes on because I can’t just drop that right now. I can’t drop that before dropping The Psychic World.
Are you liking the independence so far?
Yeah. It’s way better. It’s hands-on and you get to really feel what’s going on. You control your own destiny. You have to come up with a certain amount and you know you get to see all the paperwork and you’re controlling it, man. From there, it’s up to the ears of the people and that’s what we work so hard for – to get to the ears of the people and to make sure that you get it to as many people as you can get it to. If you don’t like it, maybe it’s not for you, but there’s blood and sweat in this.
Where does The Psychic World stand in your discography?
Some people that heard it said I might have outdone myself. I heard a lot of different things. For me, I just think it sounds like nothing out there and it sounds like nothing I’ve heard before. There’s different elements and there’s a different mood. There’s things that’s changing and it’s me talking about different subjects. The subject matter and concepts, it sounds different. It sounds different. I would have to put The Psychic World of Walter Reed right up there with the greats.
When can we expect the album?
March. March and I plan on touring and performing those songs and doing some classics, taking it back. I just did the Rock the Bells and that gave me great inspiration for performing Heavy Mental in its entirety and just doing different tours and doing different stuff. That’s what I’m doing. It’s definitely The Psychic World of Walter Reed.