Scarface & The Product: Training Day
By Brandon Edwards
Contrary to popular belief and media advertisement, many individuals aren’t the least bit happy with the way the world of Hip-Hop music has played out in the 21st century. Whether shady business deals or watered down, carbon copy songs are the illness, hopeful rap heads are fortunate to have hungry artists in the booth working to cook up a remedy.
Three of those individuals are in The Product. Led by who many would claim, is the undisputed "King of the South" – Scarface, the trio has a legend at the core. Then, the troupe is given some flavor from Bay Area veteran, Will Hen. Lastly, the youthful charge comes from Mississippi bred, Young Malice. This trio linked up with veteran producer Tone Capone to thread the needle, that’s likely to be jabbed in the industry’s veins.
Young Malice remains relatively quiet as Scarface and Will Hen reveal their plan to AllHipHop.com. ‘Face’s Underground Railroad Records may not be what Harriet Tubman had in mind, but the liberation of Black Music, as the Houston icon describes it, will begin this Black History Month. One Hunnid Percent independent.
AllHipHop.com: What’s up with the Underground Railroad movement?
Scarface: I’m just trying to free the slaves.
AllHipHop.com: Are you talking about underground artists?
Scarface: These big corporate slave-driving motherf**kers… I’ve gotten so many slave offers in the past five months from these major labels; they still aint trying to give a n***a a fair f**king run. I mean, they want that and want this, but ain’t trying to give a n***a shit. I’ve got to own my s**t.
AllHipHop.com: So you’re just going to continue putting your life on wax…
Scarface: I’m an artist, man. I’ll always have ideas. 20 years down the line, if somebody wants to use one of my songs, and the person who owns the publishing and masters of it is getting paid, that ain’t right. I did all the work. I think every artist in the music industry should boycott that s**t, and demand some of the ownership back. We’re in a position to start owning our music.
AllHipHop.com: The industry doesn’t get a chance to really feast on Bay Area music. I know it’s a land of independent hustle; can you fill us in?
Will Hen: It’s moving. The Bay is doing things themselves. We’ll let the industry catch on later. Back in the day when Bay area artists were selling 100,000 plus records themselves, Atlantic, Priority and everybody else came out here trying to get a piece; ‘We’ll take 20 and you can keep 80.’ They were giving out real deals back then, beyond joint ventures. It’s getting back there. It’s a buzzing music scene. Everyone’s doing something different: street s**t, crunk, spittin’ game and stepping up their craft.
AllHipHop.com: I know you released an album in 2002, Filmoism. But for fans who may be discovering you by way of ‘Face, can you give us some background on yourself, as far as taking the pimp game and transcending into rapping?
Will Hen: I’m a real Fillmore n***a. I’m from San Francisco, California. The pimp game to me is like the crack game, an alternative, nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve done anything anyone in the street had to do to survive. Anyone with any sense is going to elevate his or herself. A smart n***a’s not going to work hard, but work smart. We all can probably be gangster; grab a gun and hustle rocks, but the key is to find an easier way to get to the top.
AllHipHop.com: Everybody wants to pimp in rap today. What are your thoughts?
Will Hen: I don’t like it. I feel like, when I went outside and put my hard shoes on and played the part, it was real. I had to really study the game and deal with the ups and downs and everything that came with it. It ain’t all sweet out here in the city. I gotta ride like I’m supposed to and be holding what I’m supposed to… even though I was in the Mack game. You gotta stay gangsta on these n***as and pimpish on these hoes. A sucker or a n***a on that bulls**t is gone see a whole ‘nother side.
AllHipHop.com: People may remember Tone Capone for doing, “I Got 5 On It” ten years ago. As a producer for The Product, what element does Tone Capone bring to your music?
Will Hen: He’s very influential. When a producer and MC have good chemistry, the possibilities are endless. The first time we met, we cranked out a joint. He’s an experienced professional. Tone and ‘Face both have that ear for music… they [both] old school heads for real, digging in the crates. That impressed me. Tone played a joint we did for ‘Face, and he felt like it was time for me to get down.
AllHipHop.com: What went into the process of making One Hunnid?
Scarface: We just sat down and said, ‘Let’s try and make our s**t rock harder than anything else out there.’ I’m a fan of the game. I love music. I feel like the game needs every song we’ve made, ‘cause right now, we f***d. When you got n***as that don’t appreciate it, and just want to get a payday out of it, then we f***d.
AllHipHop.com: The South is dominant in the rap game today. How do you set yourself apart from the other acts?
Young Malice: I feel like what we’re saying has a bit more relevance.
Will Hen: That n***a’s dope man. He dope for real. He’s finna change what everybody think about a Mississippi n***a.
AllHipHop.com: What was it like working with Scarface?
Young Malice: It was a family environment. It was us doing what we had to do to get to where we wanted to be. When you’re working with professionals, it’s easier. I’ve been in the studio with cats that didn’t know what the f**k they were doing. Next thing you know, you’ve been in the studio for hours without a completed project. It takes no time for us to put a classic song together when we’re in the studio. That’s what made it so good working with Brad and Hen.
AllHipHop.com: As a spotlighted new artist, what do you want fans to take from the upcoming album One Hunnid?
Young Malice: I want you to gain our experience from the album. We’re voicing our lives and current events. Take knowledge from the album. Don’t try to be like one of us. Listen to the positive and negative parts, learn from the negative and try to take the positive with you to better yourself.
Scarface: When you listening to it, just think in your head: ‘This is what we need, what the world’s been missing.’