Tuesday, May 20, 2008
New Gemstones Interview on Hip Hop Game!
"Take us back a minute. How did you and Lupe initially link up?
Okay. I met Lupe way back in the beginning. I met Lupe back in 2000 or 2001. I did a studio session at this studio in Chicago. This was before he was really big. I was still Gemini. We were at a little hole-in-the-wall studio with my friend waiting to do a song. They wouldn’t let me start because Lupe had to finish his song and they said he was about to sign with Jay-Z and Rocafella. So I’m in the session and we were waiting for three hours.
Finally Lupe comes through the door. I was anxious at the time and I was thinking that I was the best rapper. Stack Bundles also walked by. He was signed to First and 15th at the time and he was Lupe’s first artist. God bless his soul. So him and Stack Bundles walk through the door. Lupe never recorded his verse but we had a big cipher. We went at it for like an hour. We were just throwing monster verses out and at the end of the session, Lupe asked us if we wanted to hear his album. Nobody really knows who Lupe is except for his guy George. He played us his album and it was all bangers. I didn’t know how to make songs at that point. I just knew how to rap. I didn’t know how to write 16’s. Lupe had songs and they were really good. He was name-dropping Eminem and Dr. Dre, saying that they were supposed to be working on the album and I believed him. You could hear it in his music that he wasn’t faking it. And you could also see it in the car that he was driving and the jewelry that he was wearing.
He was who I was trying to be. I just needed someone who was already on that. So we exchanged numbers and the rest is history. He heard what I do and he signed me. He brought me around everyone at the label. They had me rapping against a gang of dudes and I was running through everybody that they threw up against me. And then I started singing. I hit them with all of these songs and they was blown away. Before you know it I was signed. I was recording my album and I knew how to write songs. We formed a friendship and we’ve just been going hard ever since we met.
And actually, when I first met Lu, he told me he wasn’t actually looking to sign any artists. He had heard me the night we met. He heard me that night but he didn’t see my full potential, so I had to prove myself. So when I got up with him, he told me he would listen but he wasn’t going to sign anyone. That wasn’t enough for me and I wasn’t trying to hear that. I heard that at plenty of job interviews, like they’ll look over my application and call me. I knew what that was about and there were plenty of jobs that I didn’t get and I wasn’t going to have that. I ultimately made my way. If there is no way, I’ll make a way.
I had to get up with those guys a second time and when I did, I knew it was either go hard or go home. I pulled all types of raps out the hat. I went hard. I went hard. And then I told him that I didn’t even want to sign. I told him that I wanted to sign, but that I wanted to sit back for a year or two and just learn the game and just soak it up and then when I was ready, I would sharpen my knife and let it out the draw. I told them that I wasn’t ready and that they couldn’t put me out yet. He respected it and the next time he heard me rap I went hard and they were blown away. They saw me and knew that I was that dude. They knew that my pen game and my songwriting game was sick and that my vocals were sick. They knew I was lyrically sick and that I was a monster. They knew they could mold me into something crazy and that’s what they did. They got me in the studio. There were producers giving me beats and I just grew. I started following Lupe and he started complimenting my style and I just got better and better and better and better. And before you knew it I was doing shows."
CLICK HERE to read the full interview