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   LÀ THE DARKMAN
[Heist Of A Life Time Interview]


Interview Date: 02nd June 2008

Conducted By: Dark 7 Invader

Notes:
Special thanks to  LÀ The Darkman, and Jonathan Jelks


Interview

son 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

responsibilities, 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 The Kid.

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 projects.

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 album too.

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 recording.

Wu-International: 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 anything.

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 Group?
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 him?
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 responsibilities?

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 the greats.

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 collaborate.

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 the time.


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
never tarnish.

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 brotherly disagreements.

Wu-International: 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 regards?
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 you?
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.

Wu-International: 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 science?
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 at
 www.myspace.com/lathedarkman
www.lathedarkman.com


[Willie The Kid: The Crowning Of A Prince Interview]

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