Interviews from 2007 VH1 Hip Hop Honors: Ice-T, Missy Elliott, Salt N Pepper, Tribe & more

Interviews from 2007 VH1 Hip Hop Honors: Andre Harrell, Teddy Riley, Busy Bee, Chris Rock, Ice-T, Missy Elliott, Salt N Pepper, Snoop Dogg, Tribe Called Quest, Whodini

Andre Harrell

Producers have a lot of power nowadays. What are your thoughts on it coming from years in the business?

I think that producers and management together make a good team. I think producers are artists and sometimes managing the day-to-day aspects can be [hard]. I think that together they can build a great team to create an artistry together that can last a long time.

Teddy Riley

What do you think is the secret in putting passion back into the art of Hip Hop and not so much on the commercial side?

It’s gonna get back there. I think realistically that Tupac and Biggie who really married R&B with Hip Hop, when they were making records we all in the house were listening. We listened to their words and they were on top of music. And I think that is needed.

Andre Harrell

(same question)

As far as passion coming back into Hip Hop I think that each generation has its own frame of reference, own goals, own challenges. I think we are in era of individuality. We need more love and less flaws. We need more of each other. I think as soon as music gets to the honesty of the individual I think you will find connection to the audience, you will find the truth in that, I think you’ll find passion in Hip Hop just sitting there, waiting to happen.

Busy Bee

Talking about changes since 1970s, in today’s Hip Hop what do you think is the most important thing that has been preserved from those times?

What you saw tonight. Me, (Granmaster) Caz, KRS-1, still looking good, rocking the people and the fans were still there, showing love and giving respect to us. One thing I do want to say, and I need your help, the culture of Hip Hop did not develop bitches and hoes. It developed queens and goddesses. Single mothers as well, believe it or not. Discriminating with bitches and hoes is not the culture of Hip Hop. That’s life.

Chris Rock

You always spoke your mind very openly in your stand up routines. What do you feel has not been said at this point yet that you would like to say?

I don’t even know yet. I’m ready to go on tour thou, so check it out. Chris Rock, Respect the Kill Tour starts in November 16th and 17th at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Special guests Whodini [and others]. My whole tour Hip Hop will be opening it up.

Ice-T

You stay active music-wise. How do you keep on reinventing yourself?

I’m not really in the music business no more because the music business is not as lucrative as it used to be. I mean I made 11 Golden/Platinum records but at some point it just wasn’t making enough money for me, so acting kinda came when I did New Jack City and I never really knew I can be an actor. I never really knew I can be a rapper, you know? But a real hustler he’ll go where the cake is. I see Will Smith getting $20 million a picture I be a fool not to try acting, you dig? So I’ve lucked up. I ended up going on Law and Order. They asked me to do 4 shows and now I’m on my 9th year. So I be on that show till they throw my black ass off, cause it’s a good look. Imagine that, Ice-T playing the police and I’m more gansta than you can understand. The ability to always come back and do music, like tonight I was having fun on the stage with Snoop and I think I kinda earned that with my career. So I can go to anybody’s concert, anybody’s, Jay-Z, whatever, and they be ‘Ice-T is here’ and I can go up there and bust a verse. That’s all I care.

Is it still you thou?

Oh, shit, did you see me on stage? I thought I was f—ing 19, creeping, the whole shit. It’s like when you get in there and start doing it it just happens. It reignites that. I love music, I just toured with Body Count. But at the end of the day it basically breaks down to dollars and cents and whatever actually making more paper you gonna do that. But I mean I got a chance to act with Denzel Washington… acting is a great thing. Anybody who’s ever watched TV and said ‘I would like to do that’ and then you get that opportunity… In the future I would like to direct movies and make soundtracks. Everything that I’ve learned and been through in one package, that’s where I wanna go.

Missy Elliott

G-d damn! What I do is just variety, so this is big for me. My dances, I know you are [here for me]. I love you all, I thank you for this right here. This mean a whole, whole lot.

Salt N Pepper

Salt

Pep and I got a lot of issues to work out. This show has been very therapeutic, ‘cause we weren’t tight for a while. We’re communicating here on this show.

So, what set it off? What made you get back together?Salt

Well, Pep’s been hounding me for years (laughs).

Pepper

Everybody know I left Salt-N-Pepper. I’m the bad one. Because when you’re an artist… I’ve been doing it since I was 18 years old. You know we were very successful, it was a train ride to success. I got to a point where I was overwhelmed, I felt like I had no control over my life, I was dealing with a lot of issues. Body image issues, self-esteem issues, I had a daughter, I was on the road a lot and I was away from her and I felt like I just needed a sense of normalcy in my life for a minute. So I got married, had another kid. I have a great life. I have a husband and 2 children and I have a very peaceful life. I was able to get myself together. That was my time to get myself together. Lots of artists don’t take the time to do that and they get a little crazy, which we see a lot now, ‘cause this industry will eat you up and spit you out, you know? Unfortunately the way that I did it was kind of abrupt and I kind of just walked out, which I apologized for many times. Not for what I did but the way that I did it. So now I feel strong, I’m at a point that I feel I can handle the industry and I can be in the industry without the industry being in me. So we try to figure out how we can move forward and that’s what this show is all about: how can 2 women that were so opposite, had opposite ideas about everything, get together and be in a group. Move forward and utilize their brand.

SaltDoes it feel awkward being back together or do you feel like you can’t believe you’ve been apart for so long?

I always believed in it. She [Salt] said ‘Just let it die’. I would never let it die, so I just always believed in us and finally, bam! (laughs)

Are you doing any other shows?

We got a show on October 15th. It’s our show. We got a production company, we created the show, we put the show together, it’s not one of the shows that VH1 put out, although they picked us up. I just think it’s important to know that we are pretty much in control of the content of our show. And we will not embarrass you guys.

Pepper

Don’t worry (laughing). People blogging us like ‘Please, queens, don’t let us down’. So we won’t.

Snoop Dogg

How would you describe West Coast Hip Hop right now?

Snoop Dogg.

Could you add to that?

I mean I am what I am, what do you mean?

How would you describe yourself then?

I just make good music, I make music for everybody. My music is not based on what you formed from the West Coast. I always say you can’t start the West without the E S. so that takes care of everybody.

How do you manage to keep your smile on all the time?

Holla at me in the green room.

Any ideas on when Detox is coming out?

Chill out pimpin’…

Tribe Called Quest

You’ve mentioned potentially putting out a new album. Any progress on that?Phife Dawg

We are definitely are not opposed to getting together and doing an album. We have to really keep it funky so instead of you know dealing with powers that be over at Jive, we are still under a contract and they are happy keeping it in the 1990 frame. So we’ll see. We are into it, we love each other and our relationship couldn’t be better.

Whodini

You’ve spoken of the past a lot, what about the future of Whodini? Where do you see yourself going?Jalil Hutchins

We living it up. (laughs) It’s funny, ‘cause someone at my old job used to work that 9 to 5 and used to ask me ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?’ I never really had an answer for them. I take it where G-d puts me at. I put my destiny in his hands and hope I can be what he wants me to be. Last time I answered that to somebody I went off course. So Imma put it where he puts me.

Is there a goal you try to fulfill thou?

Right now, this is stage one. For me personally, me and G-d got back together, we got a love affair. That right now is important to me. I want to get to know him and he’s getting to know me. The music really right now is not all my love.

Dee, how do you stay so passionate behind the turntables and do you play new music also or is it all old school for you?Grandmaster Dee

You know what I do is practice all the time but every once in a while I get things that just happen. We were just talking about that. What we gotta bring back to the game is better music, clean up the lyrics and let’s bring it back. We need to take kids to the next level.

Jalil Hutchins

And not only that. We need to give people more variety. There is all types or rap music out there just that radio promotes certain types of music. And more than that. To say that this is black music, but [through R&B stations] your children don’t know nothing of Sly and the Family Stone. They forget that whole generation of Parliament and Sly and that early music. So we’re prone to forget each other. What they call old school of Hip Hop [for it] to come back it’s a struggle. And it gotta be attacked with the right ideas. It ain’t impossible but right now we need make records for our generation that’s older.