Back in 1995 Mack 10 was introduced to us through Ice Cube with his slamming' self-titled LP which included stand-out cuts like “Foe Life”, “On Them Thangs” and “Westside Slaughterhouse.” Then in 1996 he joined his mentor Ice Cube and fellow West Coast rapper WC to form the lethal trio known as Westside Connection which shook up the rap world with their Bow Down LP as sides were drawn in the East & West Coast war. After things cooled down between the Coasts, Mack 10 released his solo albums Based On A True Story and The Recipe with continued success. 2000's Paper Route LP was met with more criticism than previous releases and soon after Mack 10 departed from Priority Records and went in to business with the New Orleans based Cash Money Records. With the release of the Bang Or Ball, Mack 10 was back on the winning path as hits included production by the likes of Mannie Fresh and Dr. Dre. In 2003, Ice Cube, WC and Mack 10 decided to put the band back together and once again The Westside Connection was on the loose with their Terrorist Threats album. Unfortunately that would be the last time the Connect-Gang would release an LP together as Mack 10 and Ice Cube had a falling out over personal and family business. Since then, Mack 10 has put together a string of independent releases through his Hoo-Bangin' Records label and things have been relatively quite between the two former friends over the past few years until recently. To promote his upcoming album I Am The West and to connect with fans, Ice Cube has been blogging on his own site and in recent posts has directed a few comments towards Mack 10 and quite possibly to his protege' Glasses Malone who is putting out his debut album through Mack's label and Cash Money Records. As the West starts to rumble with tremors, AllHipHop.com caught up with Inglewood rapper to get his take on the recent comments of his former friend and to talk about his upcoming Money Music album with Glasses Malone.
AllHipHop.com: I'm just going to get right to it. Your former friend and mentor Ice Cube has mentioned you several times in his personal blog. One of those statements said that in order to work with him again you would have to kiss the ring. How did you feel when you heard about that statement?
Mack 10: I laughed. I see that he's taking his comedy to the next level now.
AllHipHop.com: You weren't mad in any way?
Mack 10: The thing about it is that Ice Cube knows that I'm not a sucker. I had to laugh about it. Now he's a comedian doing stand-up comedy. I said to myself, “He must have an album coming out or something. I know that the Mack & Malone album is dropping on July 13th (laughs).
AllHipHop.com: That's the same day that Ice Cube is dropping his I Am The West album.
Mack 10: (Laughs) Oh, he's got one coming out on July 13th too? The Mack & Malone will be in stores on that day. It's called Money Music on Hoo-Bangin' Records. Tell that dude to quit playing and come get this money. What's he trippin' on (laughs)?
AllHipHop.com: There's been some stories around the internet about your falling out with Ice Cube. Some have said it's personal and regarding family. What's the real story?
Mack 10: Basically, I didn't do anything to him and he didn't do anything to me. We had an argument and I guess it was taken the wrong way because his wife was present. If she wasn't there, we would probably still be doing records. His brother-in-law was disrespectful in a certain way. I don't know what kind of dude he is now, but back then he was disrespectful. It was brought to Cube about 3 or 4 times before the bullsh*t happened. If I bring something to you 3 or 4 times and you don't do anything about it – I mean just because a kid is your kid doesn't mean he has the right to go spitting about anybody. The argument and the brother-in-law wasn't worth throwing away The Westside Connection over in my opinion. When I heard the “kiss the ring” comment I just had to laugh because that's comedy. That's where I'm at with it. I don't know what he's tripping off of.
AllHipHop.com: After that argument all communication between you two ceased?
Mack 10: Just like that. It was over his disrespectful brother-in-law and I guess that's what he meant when he said that I crossed the line or the family line. I didn't cross any line. He (the brother-in-law) got in to it with several of my people. To keep it real with you, I don't know what dude is tripping off of. Whatever happened that night it wasn't worth The Westside Connection not doing anymore records together.
AllHipHop.com: Do you miss being in Westside Connection?
Mack 10: I think I miss what The Westside Connection meant to the Coast. I don't have time to feel all that about it but I miss what we meant to the West. I don't have no problem getting money. WC doesn't have any problems I'm sure.
AllHipHop.com: You and W.C are still cool? This hasn't affected your friendship?
Mack 10: We've got a couple of shows coming up.
AllHipHop.com: I heard the show on April 17th at the West Hollywood Key Club got cancelled.
Mack 10: We've got some out of town shows coming up. I'm not really tripping off The Westside Connection. I don't even know why my name came out of Ice Cube's mouth. I was very surprised at that.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that a diss song from Ice Cube might be coming your way?
Mack 10: I ain't tripping. It's whatever. He knows me and I know him. That's on him. It surprised me that 4 years later he's now saying something. Like I said, he must have an album dropping. Mack & Malone is July 13th. Me and Malone had always planned to do this record together. We just finally finished it up and we're gonna let the people have it. Glasses has been preparing his debut album so this album that we're doing together will get him out there before his solo one drops.
AllHipHop.com: Glasses' name hasn't been brought up specifically by Ice Cube in his blogs but if one reads between the lines it's not too hard to figure out who he's talking about. How do you feel about your protege' being involved in that situation?
Mack 10: I know one thing, if Cube is trying to rap he better leave Glasses alone. I don't know if a diss is coming at Glasses but I know Malone. He's a young gunner and he ain't running from nothing. That I do know.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that Glasses' involvement and association with you has a part in all of this?
Mack 10: I don't know and it doesn't really matter. I haven't thought too much of what's in Cube's head. I honestly laughed at all of this. I guess it's more of a big deal than what I thought it was.
AllHiphop.com: That's twice he's mentioned you. The first being that you were way out of line.
Mack 10: I wasn't out of line. Grown men are responsible for their own actions. I hate that his wife was there but when a grown man continually disrespects other grown men, sometimes sh*t happens. What's everybody supposed to do? Let themselves get disrespected just because this man is related to Ice Cube? It don't go like that. That's the truth and everybody that was there, knows that's the truth. Anything else that you hear is bullsh*t. It's not like I didn't come to him before whatever happened, happened.
AllHipHop.com: What did he say when you brought his brother-in-law's disrespect to his attention?
Mack 10: He didn't say much of anything. He just continued to allow it to happen. At a certain point, it doesn't matter who you are. If you keep disrespecting other grown men, it can turn in to an issue. I hate that it turned in to an issue that big – for us to not do any records together anymore. To me it wasn't that serious. It's all on him, dog. Cube knows what time it is, believe me.
AllHipHop.com: Let's say he decided to do away with the “kiss the ring” comment and ask you to go in to the studio again and do some records. Are you with it?
Mack 10: Check this out, I've been ready to knock out some records. That ain't nothing to me. I've done talked to dudes that have done worse. Me and him had an argument. So an argument means that we can't work together anymore? If that's what it means, then that's what it means, but I've never looked at it as being that serious. The reason why it's so serious is all on him. I don't know how an argument can stop these millions from coming in – especially when it wasn't even me and him that came to blows. Tell him to quit playing and cut out all of those jokes and sh*t (laughs).
AllHipHop.com: You were in another feud a few years back which involved the group The Relativez consisting of Big Wy and Suga Buga. I saw that the three of you did a song recently. Tell us how you guys squashed the beef.
Mack 10: They are from Inglewood and you know how it goes – sometimes tempers flare amongst soldiers and that's what happened. Nobody's going to tuck their tail and back down. Some of the other older homies got involved and helped straighten it all out. We're all just moving forward now. I'm not tripping off of anybody. I'm just having fun, to keep it real with you.
AllHipHop.com: You've been doing the independent thing for a while now with your Hoo-Bangin' Records company. Is that the route that you are going to continue on with your albums?
Mack 10: I love it like that. I've been getting it like that my whole career.
AllHipHop.com: Are you satisfied with the sales numbers that you've been getting with your last few releases?
Mack 10: I am satisfied but at the same time I am not. You can't ever think that things are good enough because they are never good enough. You've got to always want to do better. The climate being what it is these days though, with the right marketing you can still win. I'm a veteran in this business so I do what only makes sense. After the Mack & Malone album I've got about 3 more releases coming. There's Mack 10 Presents The Cartel, and I've got another solo record coming called 2000-1-0. After that I'm putting out my little cousin's record. His name is YG.
AllHipHop.com: There's been a lot of tension over the past few years between the Newer and Older West Coast artists. The youngsters are saying that the Vets aren't reaching out and the Vets are saying that the youngsters need to make a name for themselves. What's your take on it?
Mack 10: Yeah I have an opinion on that! I've always reached out and that's why Hoo-Bangin' Records always stayed alive. I've always put people out and thrown somebody a rope. That's how you keep the hood alive. You've got to keep putting people on. If you think that it's going to only be just you forever, then you are living in a fantasy world. That's thinking too much like an artist. I think too much like a businessman to think like that.
AllHipHop.com: So you feel what the youngsters are saying?
Mack 10: I understand some of them. Some dudes are holding on for dear life and they never want to pass the torch and help none of the young homies out. Anybody that has ever known me, knows that I've never been like that. I've always stayed messing with the youngsters. That's why Glasses and all them get down with me because I'm always reaching back trying to bring the youngsters with me. I think that's how you keep a region alive. You've got to people on. If you ain't putting people on, then you ain't playing the game. That's my philosophy. Everybody handles their own business their own way.
AllHipHop.com: There was a time when there weren't too many Bloods rapping. You were one of the few. Now there seems to be an abundant of Blood rappers.
Mack 10: Soo-Woo is international now. Much love – they are all on the Red team. They show me love everywhere I go so I can't do nothing but show love right back. I don't make any pre-judgments against anybody or question anybody's gangsta. I love who loves me.
AllHipHop.com: Lil Wayne and Baby's Blood affiliations have been a hot topic amongst fans.
Mack 10: That's their personal opinion. Like I said, I love who loves me. Baby and Wayne are my folks. It is what it is.
AllHipHop.com: Mack 10, thank you for your time. Any last words for us?
Mack 10: Mack and Malone, July 13th. Hoo-Bangin'.
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