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Masta Killa: "Music is a Teacher"

Wu-Tang Clan's Masta Killa talks about his new album, and what's missing in music today

Pretty excited about the album?

Masta Killa: Definitely, I’m always excited about the album man.  It’s an accomplishment, it’s a blessing.  Made in Brooklyn, baby.

Who were your heroes when you were growing up?

MK: My heroes came from my family.  My uncle, Robert Dix, is one of my greatest heroes.  He’s like a modern-day superhero.  He’s like the Hulk, like Superman to me.

Now, I read the name “Masta Killa” comes from your lust for cannibalism.  How does that jibe with your endorsement of PETA?

MK: My lust for canabolism.  I don’t have a lust for cannibalism.

I thought you were Masta Killa, slicing and dicing motherfuckers.

MK: Well…Masta Killa is a verbal destructor.  My music is murderous.  When it comes to this lyrical shit, my shit is very sharp and jagged, on an MC level.  This is a very competitive sport.

So you have two different definitions of cannibalism.  And I just take my job serious.

What’s missing in music today?

MK: Patience to make good fuckin music.  The patience of taking the time to make music.  It’s like, everything is too rushed, and I don’t think people really take the time to make something that will make somebody think twice.

Did it take a while to make this album? 

MK: Yeah, but I also have fun with it.  I’m putting together a concentrated project, that I want you to enjoy.  I want your children to enjoy it, like a James Brown album.  I’m gonna make shit that makes you wanna unwind.

What sets Brooklyn apart from other cities?

MK: I was born here [laughs].

I love L.A., I just wasn’t born there.  This is my stomping grounds, where I come from.  Most of my history is here, just like most of Snoop’s is probably there.  We can be saying the same shit coming from two different places, but I’m not saying my shit is better than your shit.  I’m just saying this is where I come from, and this is a little part of me.

What city has the best ganja?

MK: Amsterdam [laughs].  Shit, L.A. has some good shit too.

Do you feel we’re on the crest of revolution, as you reference in “Street Corner?”

MK: I don’t know what the hell we’re coming close to, but I know that if we don’t start looking at each other like fuckin’ brothers and sisters and taking care of one another, the way we’re supposed to, I know it won’t be nice, and it probably won’t even be from the hands of man.  You never know how it might come.

On any level, however you want to look at it, on a political level, or a modern-day drama level, what you put out, you shall receive.

Have you had luck getting tracks on the radio?

MK: I’m pretty much letting things be what they’re gonna be.  Everything’s cost, cost, you take out, you pay in.  If a dj wants to spin the record, let him spin it because it’s hot, not because they paid for it.

And that’s not what my thing is all about.  I would love for them to spin my shit, spin it twice, three times, rewind it, but I’m not gonna fuckin pay for it.  When I hear my shit on the radio, I want it to be because it’s hot, not because I paid for it to get on the radio.  That’s what it’s all about.

Do you think because of that, the radio is becoming obsolete?

MK: Well, business controls the world, and this is a billion-dollar business.  Certain things are in position to monopolize and manipulate the game, you gotta know he ain’t playin this shit on his own because it’s the greatest record in the world.  But back in the days of early hip hop, you knew when they played that motherfucker 100 times, it was because you loved that shit.

Are you and the Wu-Tang going to do another Wu-Tang Clan album?

MK: Definitely.  And know that Made in Brooklyn is a Wu-Tang Clan album because it has the entire Clan participation. 

What does Music mean to you personally?

MK: Music is expression, music is feelin, music is a teacher, it’s a lesson, music is doors, music is life, music is moods, music is company…

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