Jackson aka LÀ the
Darkman is one that lives up to his name, While you might not see him, and
hear him from time to time, you are definitely feeling him all
the time, whether you know this or not.
One of the earliest students from the Wu-Tang academy and often
referred to as the honourably 11th member, La The Darkman cast his spell on the rap game with the release of his
classic album "Heist
Of A Century" exactly 10 years ago.
The album moved about 300,000 units independently and served as
a stepping stone for Là, who quickly upgraded from his student's
status and became a graduate, moved on to a master and
constantly elevating to whatever level there is to achieve.
Moving back and forth from New York to Atlanta, and emulating
his once mentor The RZA (Wu-Tan Clan) Darkman took on many
from an emcee, entrepreneur, executive producer, manager, C.E.O,
mentor, and list goes on, he has managed to successfully build
up a solid foundation with his label Aphilliates Music Group and
secured major distributions from both Asylum/Atlantic and
Universal respectively. It is evident the sky is the limit for
La The Darkman, who has dabbled with the best the industry has
got to offer from the likes of Outkast, to Pharrell, Bilal, The
Clipse, T.I., Wu-Tang Clan members and many more. Teamed up with
one of the best DJs and production team in the game while laying
down the foundation for new lyricists such as his brother Willie
In tribute of his hard work and inspirational journey as well as
high demand from his fans, Wu-International caught up with Là to
discuss about his long overdue Darkman II, his new enterprises,
Wu-Tang ties, beefs and much much more. Enjoy!
I like to say thanks first and foremost for
taking the time to answer these questions, highly
appreciated, and will also point out that nothing will be
altered, edited or changed when this is published online.
Wu-International: Peace La, what’s good?
LA The Darkman: Man just working on building this
dynasty. Aphilliates Music Group/Embassy Ent, Gangsta Grillz.
Those are my Brands and my companies that were building.
Wu-International: Cool, apart from guest appearances
you have pretty much kept a low profile until recently, the
fans are forever asking after you, what have you been up?
LA The Darkman: I been working... establishing myself
as businessman mogul and marketing genius. I executive
produce the Gangsta Grillz album with Multi-platinum artist
such as Outkast T.I., G-Unit, Young Jeezy and more. So
basically I haven't gone anywhere. I'm the Darkman people
don't always see me but they feel me thru other projects.
They just might not recognize that I'm behind those
Wu-International: Darkman II, the fans are still
waiting La, when can we expect it to drop, and is “Darkman
II” still going to be the title of the album and could you
please tell us more about the featured guests and producers
involved in this project?
LA The Darkman: Darkman II is the Album but it is not
going to be the title. I have few concepts I'm brainstorming
on right now. It depends on the direction the album is going
in. The Title will reflect the direction of the album. As
far my album so far producers will include RZA, JR Rotem,
Scott Storch, Green Lantern, Alchemist, Sha Money XL,
Aphilliate/Embassy Producers Mac V12 & Shotti Screwface. I
don't do a lot features. My brother AMG/Embassy Artist
Willie the Kid & Lonnie Mack. Akon and Bilal will be on the
Wu-International: Sounds good, a lot of dope songs
that seems to be recorded for that album such as “Gunz Don’t
Kill”, “Have & Have Not’s” “and many more have been leaked
or released via mixtapes, was this intentional and does this
mean that you have all new materials for Darkman II?
LA The Darkman: I leaked those for my mixtapes. I
have brand new material for my Album.
Wu-International: It’s getting close to 10 years
since you dropped “Heist of the Century”, why has it taken
you so long to release another album?
LA The Darkman: I was focusing on being an
entrepreneur. I was establishing other ventures
outside of music. I was teenager and I had independent label
getting 7 dollars and I sold 373,000 records. The money came
so fast and I was into so many ventures I really wasn't
The fans panicked about your album coming out when one of
your offices in Atlanta, was raided by police early this
year where they seized close to 50, 000 CDs, What was this
about and we hope everything’s been resolved?
LA The Darkman:
The case is still pending. They are trying to charge us RICO
which is racketeering and money laundering. Its a big
misunderstanding and it should be cleared up in a year or
so. They were looking for guns and drugs but didn't find
Wu-International: Glad to hear it, You were heard on
Dreddy Kruger’s Think Differently Music
compilation, and your album was rumoured and advertised to
be coming out via Think Differently Music/Babygrande records
after Bronze Nazareth. What was the story behind that and
what is the current status with Think Differently Music
LA The Darkman: Think Differently is cool they
optioned for my album. I have my own
label deals. I have 3 active label deals to be exact.
Embassy Ent. through SRC/Universal, Aphilliates Music Group
through Grand Hustle Atlantic, Aphilliates Music Group
through Asylum. My Album is coming on my label Embassy Ent/Universal.
My artists Willie the Kid & Lonnie Mack are coming out on my
Aphilliates Label a well.
Wu-International: That's huge, please tell us more
about these labels, your position within them and the acts
or artists currently on the roster?
LA The Darkman: I'm the President, C.E.O, &
Stockholder of Embassy Ent/Aphilliates Music Group, and
Gangsta Grillz. I manage DJ Drama, Willie the Kid, DJ
Trendsetter Sense, Don Cannon, DJ Infamous, DJ Head Debiase,
DJ Young Mase, DJ Holiday, and our new artist Lonnie Mack.
Wu-International: Thanks, Lets talk about DJ Drama as
he is a well known DJ worldwide, you You got executively
produced his album, how did you meet him and got to managing
LA The Darkman: I met Drama in 1999. I used to do
parties with him. I used to sponsor parties in different
states. He was doing his DJ thing I was doing my music
thing. We were friends and solidified a business, official
business partnership in 2003.
Wu-International: Gangsta Grillz album was released
last year in December release date, anything else planned
for DJ Drama?
LA The Darkman: The new Gangsta Grillz Album is
coming out this Christmas! Gangsta
Grillz 2 is definitely on the way!
Wu-International: Emcee, manager, business
man, executive producer, CEO... the list goes on,
which role is more you or which do you prefer doing?
LA The Darkman: I prefer doing everything like Kobe
Bryant. I'm trying to win the ring a few of ‘em. I already
got one. Now we putting the dynasty together.
Wu-International: So how do you manage to get the
time to take on all these roles, or rather, how do you
manage to stay hungry lyrically with all these
LA The Darkman: I stay hungry. I was born poor.
Coming from the ghetto I don't think I could ever
get full. My ribs is touching. Its just striving for
perfection and always wanting to improve your craft.
I'm making history.
Wu-International: You spend most of your time in
Atlanta, GA now don’t you? What would you say is the
difference between GA and New York and which do you prefer?
LA The Darkman: I think I have the best of both
worlds. Coming from New York being raised with New York
State of mind... then having the opportunity to do business
in Atlanta and party in Atlanta is what its about. I move
around. I'm never just in one place.
Wu-International: You introduced the world to your
brother Willie The Kid, he is certainly one of the youngest
and freshest upcoming artist we have heard of for a while
now, you obviously place a lot of faith on him and
rightfully so, what would you say makes Willie The Kid
different from the present emcees out there right now?
LA The Darkman: He’s bloodline. He’s pedigree. He was
meant to do this like Floyd Mayweather Jr.. He's has an
original & unique style. He's definitely going to be one of
Wu-International: No doubt, you have featured closely
with him on a number of songs off a couple of mixtapes now,
are there plans of both of you doing a collaboration album
anytime soon or in future?
LA The Darkman: Oh yeah. You can definitely look
forward to that. After our solo albums, we are going to put
out a joint album. My solo album’s bangin, his solo album’s
bangin, Drama’s solo album is bangin then we will
Wu-International: Nice, You have described Willie to
be bringing forth the WU-element
in his music as the next generation of real hip-hop, could
you please expand on this?
LA The Darkman: I mean its self explanatory. When you
hear it you hear the quality
street music, you hear the lyrics, the vocabulary, the
integrity, you hear the artistry. It’s perfect as well as
Wu-International: You are obviously your own man and
have your own camp now, but
you came up with the Wu when you started off, few affiliates
like yourself still claim the “W” and few have tried to
distance themselves from the movement, what is your current
status within the Wu, are you still a Wu-blood kin?
LA The Darkman: Of course being in the Wu is like
being a Kennedy. You’re always a Clansman. Arnold Schwnager
wife's a Kennedy. You never know where a Kennedy will pop
up. It’s traditional. So yes its Wu forever.
Wu-International: Nice to hear that, you have been
referred to as the 11th member of the Clan in the past,
where you aware of this and why do you think the fans and
media have honoured you with that title?
LA The Darkman:
I am a great student.
Every great student gets rewarded for studying well for
being at the top of your class as far as performance so I
honor people who honor me.
Wu-International: Who would you say you are closest
to within the Wu and its extended family?
LA The Darkman: RZA. Me and The Abbot have a great
relationship. Our relationship will
Wu-International: That’s what’s up. You had a song
out featuring 50 Cent, you are obviously cool with the
G-Unit camp and still family with the Wu. Just last year, 50
Cent and Tony Yayo took shots at the Clanmen in an interview
especially towards Ghost, what is your view on all of this?
LA The Darkman: Competitive competition. It’s never a
real problem. Everybody’s getting money.
Wu-International: G-unit members also hinted that the
Wu were shadows of their old selves and living off their
name or legacy even though the Wu still have a steady solid
fan base worldwide and are still growing. It is quite
obvious though that hip-hop music is very different from
what it was when you first came out, how relevant do you
think the Wu are in today’s hip-hop?
LA The Darkman: Wu is always relevant for the
culture. Wu created and innovated a lot of different things.
A lot of artists mimicked different styles. Like we had
Wu-Wear and then you seen Rocawear. So the Wu-Tang legacy is
forever set on stone.
Wu-International: The Clansmen put out 8 Diagrams out
last year, Raekwon and Ghostface have publicly criticized
The RZA in regards to his musical direction and handling of
their finances with hints of them doing another album
without The RZA involved in it, while some welcomed the
members speaking out and letting the people know what is
going on, others feel what goes on within a family should be
kept within them, what’s your take on this?
LA The Darkman:
That's just brotherly
debates. When you have 9-10 brothers living in one
house you are gonna have different views, different
perspectives. But it’s never nothing threatening just
Thanks for those answers,
moving along, I have seen surveys on ours and
numerous sites and forums where you have always come
out top 1-3 favourite Wu-tang affiliated artist all
the time, no exaggerations. Are you aware you had
strong cult following within the Wu fans? Especially
as you have not had an album out since your first
one and how do you feel about this?
LA The Darkman: I admire people who admire me and
admire others who may admire me. But
I'm in a blessed situation. I work for it. I labor
for it. I study for it so I feel I should get that
type of response.
Wu-International: One would say that you are
in a very interesting position right now, you came
up during hip-hop’s golden era and you are still in
the game, for some you can be viewed as still a
young but established artist yet to reach his full
potentials and for others you might be considered as
a veteran even, how do you see your self in that
LA The Darkman:
I'm new school
that was raised by the old school. So I got the best
of both worlds. Now I'm an adult so my music is more
mature, its more in depth, and detailed.
Wu-International: You are one of the most lyrical and
versatile artists out there, How has the industry been to
LA The Darkman: The industry's been great to
me. I get out of it what I've put in. I'm
enjoying it. I'm enjoying making great music.
Wu-International: In a number of articles online you
have been compared to the next Jay-Z or 50 Cent, how close
are you to fulfilling or surpassing that similarity?
LA The Darkman: I'm very close. I'm feeling good. My
future looks bright like highlighter.
Wu-International: Your lyrics are quite vivid, and
your voice commands respect on the mic, very few MCs have
that gift, what is your thought/writing process like when
approaching a song?
LA The Darkman: Really I just wanna make something
flavorful. It's like fruit I want pineapple, Mango,
Strawberries, etc. That’s how I like to create.
On the song “They Keep
Talking” you had a line “I hate a motherfuckers that tryin
to watch me, don’t watch me ho, watch TV, cus people get
confused by what they see” I am assuming you were
speaking off experience? As an artist you are in the public
eye whether you like to be or not, and you are bound to be
constantly watched and talked about, is this something that
bothers you strongly
LA The Darkman: No it doesn't bother me at all it
part of the game.
Wu-International: What would you say is the best song
you have ever worked on and why?
LA The Darkman: I couldn't pick one. There are just
too many. I write too many songs I couldn't pick one.
Wu-International: In the past some of your lyrics
have had some form of quotes or teachings from the 5%
nations of the Gods and Earths, this is not so visible on
your recent songs, where you part of the nation, and have
your new songs strayed away from any form of spirituality or
LA The Darkman: Never. Its always the same. But with
different methods to madness.
Wu-International: What would you say is the most
rewarding aspect of being La?
LA The Darkman: All kinds of things, but my thought
process. I'm rich in thought process.
Wu-International: Can you please run down what is in
store for La and your crew or label for 2008?
LA The Darkman: Dropping my new artist Lonnie Mack,
Gangsta Grillz Album 2, La the Darkman album, and Willie the
Kid album and Continue building this dynasty in the making
Thanks man for the time..
Look forward to more from you soon, PEACE!.
Catch up with La The Darkman
[Willie The Kid: The
Crowning Of A Prince Interview]
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