In part 1 of The Real Hip-Hop’s interview with Daddy-O he spoke about the lack of righteousness that plagues the inner-city. In part 2 Daddy-O touches on even more hot button topics including the dissension within Stetsasonic, why he believes gun control won’t work, and why he supports President Donald Trump.
TRHH: I wanted ask you sort of a personal question; I follow you on Instagram and know that you believe that gun control won’t solve the problem of mass shootings. Why do you feel that stricter gun laws won’t help with reducing mass shootings?
Daddy-O: Because I haven’t seen it work in New York and Chicago. If I saw it work in New York and Chicago I would do that. I was just with a friend of mine, a really good buddy of mine, he’s my right-hand man, if you ever see me in Atlanta you’ll probably never see me without him, he takes his gun everywhere. He’s licensed. I had an award ceremony up in the Poconos. He lives in Atlanta so he got on the plane with his gun, no problem, came to New York, no problem, and drove up to the Poconos. He goes back to New York, tries to leave out of LaGuardia and gets arrested because of the gun. They threw the case out, they never gave him his burner back, but the point is New York has very strict gun laws. Being that a person who is licensed can get busted, they didn’t say it was a misunderstanding, they arrested him. Those two cities alone have some of the most strict gun laws in the world.
The best example I have is a biblical example; Cain slew Abel and God didn’t blame the rock. I feel like it’s a people issue. I have a whole album on mental health that was actually supposed to drop when this album dropped, but I changed the plans a little bit. I have an album called PTSD that I put together. Again, this is a black issue, no disrespect to anybody else, but you mean to tell me that we came over here in boats, traumatized, who knows what happened between trips, traumatized, got over here and turned into slaves, traumatized, became free but are getting traumatized even more because we’re ending up in trees, and we’re supposed to get along with no therapy at all? Not one person to say, “Hey, come talk about your experiences.” “How you feeling?” This is crazy.
I’m sure somebody else has said this before me, but we’re in a constant state of PTSD in this country because of the way we came over here. We do have a mental health problem in this country. Black folks got it, white folks got it, but they got it different than us. Mexican’s got it different than both of us. People are not sane. They aren’t mentally sane and they aren’t seeing things clearly. You start looking at the profiles of some of these men and boys that do some of this stuff and they’re messed up in the head. I’m not going to jump on them taking the white boy to get coffee and beating up the black boy. Larry Davis was one of my friends, so I know. That was my man. He used to call me collect all the time. I talk about him on my next album. I know what they do when it comes down to that, but that’s not my point here.
My point here is, if you look at the mental profile of these people they’re off their wacker. We have to figure how to address these people before we figure out how to address these guns. I live in Texas now. I’m around people with guns on their waist all the time. They’re not taking that gun out. It’s some weirdo with a messed up head who hates his parents. Like I said, if it worked in New York and Chicago I might be in favor of it. I just don’t see it doing anything. You can stop it, but that kind of mentality is going to find a gun from somewhere. I had a gun when I was growing up. You can’t get a gun in New York, but I had more than one gun. I don’t think it’s going to change anything if you change the gun stuff.
TRHH: Here’s what I think is often times confused; I don’t think people want to take away guns. I think it’s the military style weapons where these guys are mowing down 50 people in twenty seconds. It’s the access to those weapons that normal people shouldn’t have that is the problem. It’s not for hunting or protecting your home, it’s for people in the military.
Daddy-O: Them gangs in Chicago are known for German guns. I just wonder if a person really was to get them and has that on their mind if changing that will do anything. I’m not convinced that the person decides that because it’s available I’m going to do it. I’m convinced that the person who decides to do it, yes they do go out and find the tool, bad word here but I have to use it, that is the best. They do want to mow down as many people as possible and “before the police kill me I want to kill as many people as I can.” I understand that, but I’m convinced that, that mentality would do it anyway, whether they had access to military grade weapons or not.
The guns in this country that have killed people in mass shootings mostly are not those kinds of guns. It’s other kinds of guns and people just shoot a bunch of people. What happens is you have a bully type that goes some place where nobody is armed and they let loose. So it doesn’t matter what he’s got, he’s just going to let loose anyway. If he has access to that type of weapons, yes, but my issue is to find him before he finds the gun. Let’s figure out that situation.
It’s a long discussion. It’s definitely something plaguing our country, but we need to try to get into that and figure it out. I just spoke to a sister who actually used to date one of Farrakhan’s sons. She lives in Chicago and she’s a journalist. She told me, “Daddy-O, they closed all of the mental health hospitals in Chicago.” So now Cook County is where they all end up. I said, “One of the biggest issues in this country is we have to figure out the difference between the mentally ill and the criminal.” What they’re doing with the mentally ill now is throwing them in criminal status.
We’re not making the mark when it comes down to it. Yes, we’ve probably progressed where Autism is but we don’t call them mental health issues the way we call depression and schizophrenia and the rest of those things. Even though we diagnose people our treatment of it is horrible. We can not seek these people out. I’m sure some states are going to change laws and not allow people to have semi-automatic weapons that have rapid fire release. I get it. If you don’t save the people you’re still going to see the shootings.
TRHH: I agree. On the song “Afro Air” you say, “Give Trump props, you can like it or not.” Is that correct? What exactly are you giving Trump props for?
TRHH: Please explain that.
Daddy-O: I’m a voter. I’m not one of those people that believes both sides are the same, one is just left and one is just right. I’m not one of those guys. I was brought up that way. The Clinton’s are the most evil family in Washington ever – more evil than the Kennedy’s. You trace the Clinton name and you see some wicked stuff, in particularly around black people. When it’s all said and done, a guy who grows up, not in particularly a gangster, but let’s say a gangster mindset from East New York sees two people on the ballot, who do you think he’s going to vote for? There’s no way he’s going to vote for Hillary. He’s going to vote for the guy that he saw popping bottles in the club with Mike Tyson, that got Mike Tyson out of that Don King deal, that hung out with Super Cat when he seen him, and that hung out with Shabba Ranks when he seen him. He’s going to go with that guy.
And he’s a New Yorker and that guy is a New Yorker! He’s seen what Hillary did to Haiti. He’s seen the divorce your parent’s law, all of the stuff that she’s done to support Planned Parenthood, and beat my community down. That guy didn’t do anything to beat my community down, at all. All he did was real estate. The biggest scandal I heard from Trump was when I was younger he built this building on the upper west side and the people in the buildings behind it had a view of the water and he built his building in front and they were going bananas. He still won the right to build his building. Even the Central Park thing wasn’t as big as it is now. The movie came out and everybody made it big. It wasn’t that big in New York. I was in New York. Nobody cared about what Trump was saying.
You’ve got this whole issue with this guy who America deserves. American deserves a Donald Trump. No more placating, no more back door deals, just a person that’s straight up and down, this is what I’m doing, like me or love me, this is going to be it. He’s shaking the trees and I love it. Whether he gets reelected or not, I love it. These trees needed to be shaken up a long time ago. People got docile under Obama. I watched Donald Trump allow Kanye West to look at him and say, “Free Larry Hoover.” I was done, man. That’s dope as hell. That’s like me saying, “Free Tookie!” Come on! He looked at Trump and said, “Yo, I think he’s rehabilitated, he’s learned his lesson.” They missed it all.
They’re running around talking about Kanye’s a clown and all that. Which one of you clowns when y’all went to the White House with Obama asked for Larry Hoover to be freed? Oh, that wasn’t televised! “Oh, we don’t know what you said Common because all we saw was the picture up front with Obama and Michelle.” Knock it off, man. I’m a gangster from New York. Not really a gangster, but with that mindset. Knock it off, man. I know the difference between real people and fake people. Everything Trump is doing is all smoke and mirrors.
You have no idea what he’s really doing. He’s laughing behind that scenes like, “That’s what they believe? Let me tweet something else.” That’s how we get down in New York, man! You going to fall for the jack move, we’re going to do this all day, every day! But when it comes down to righteousness you give the person props that’s in the position. You don’t start fighting them, you just leave the country. You’ve got that option. Canada is right there. There’s a few other places to go. People have been going back and forth to Africa and Cuba. We’re better off being right with this guy and he’s push-able. That’s what I keep trying to explain to people, y’all think he’s hard like that, Trump is putty. He will listen. Look at the people that he pardoned, all black people. He will listen. He’s way more putty than people think.
TRHH: I agree with that, but to whom? He don’t know me.
Daddy-O: Look at Kanye’s approach. It wasn’t an approach of, “Man, F him, I’m gonna go curse him out.” He approached him in love and he got a conversation. I’ve seen people do it all the time. I got friends that are black conservatives and they all have conversations with Trump. My man is a little time radio dude in Atlanta and still got time. My momma used to say it all the time, “You catch more flies with honey than you do with shit.” The problem with black America is they will not look in mirrors. This concept of this anti-Trump thing coming from black folks is being in the victim box way more! When Obama was in office I said, “I can’t respect Obama ‘cause he ain’t do nothing for the south side of Chicago.” I have no respect for him. Gang violence rose under him.
If I’m from East New York and gang violence is at an all-time high and I’m president, I’m stepping right in there and I’m saying something. Two weeks after Trump was elected, it’s on YouTube, he went and sat with the gang members in Chicago. They said, “We’re going to clean it up,” and he said, “Yeah, I know you are because if you don’t I will.” All my black friends were like, “Obama don’t have no power. He gotta go through the Senate and everything,” so how come Trump has so much power? Trump stepped in the spot and said “I am the president and this is what I’m saying. I’ll use an executive order or whatever.”
TRHH: Daddy-O, he didn’t do shit. It’s all talk! I can sit up here and say I’m going to fucking walk on the moon, it don’t mean I’m gonna do it.
Daddy-O: I don’t agree that he didn’t do anything, but rather than go down that rabbit hole, the leaves are being shaken the way the leaves are supposed to be. My statement stands from the beginning way that I answered it, “I give Trump props, you can like it or not” because I was never going to vote for Hillary’s wicked ass. I hate the Clinton’s. My wife is Haitian, I hate the fucking Clinton’s. I know a lot about Bill. I have an Italian friend, Joey P, I can tell you so many back stories about how wicked Bill is. He’s got pictures and everything. I hate the Clinton’s, bro. I hate them.
TRHH: I think half the country felt that way, too. I totally get that. I wasn’t going to vote for her. I think she’s evil too. However, I was presented with a man with zero political experience…
Daddy-O: It’s great for America.
TRHH: I disagree.
Daddy-O: Trump is no different than the country. Listen to me, bro. You know as well as I know, and I know you’re younger than me, but you growing up there was always a voice of an elder somewhere. Millennial’s actually believe that they have no voice. They have no experience with fuckin’ age. Nothing! They haven’t been there, but they literally think they can argue with me. That’s no different than Trump. I’m telling you, the country deserves him. The country didn’t deserve anybody else, it deserves him.
TRHH: Well, okay…
Daddy-O: The country does deserve him and that’s how he got elected. There’s people running around talking about they don’t vote and this is exactly what happened. More than likely, bro, mark my words, 90% more than likely he’ll get a second term.
TRHH: I agree.
Daddy-O: Because the people running are clowns. They’re all clowns. All away across the board they’re clowns. You have two people on that panel that actually has something to say. There’s only one that Trump is actually nervous about and that’s Beto. Other than that, he’s not even moved by nobody else, and then you’ve got a shaker in Marianne Williamson. She’s coming with all love. I know her because I studied her books for years. She’s shaking it up, but that makes it really bad for the Democratic Party because it won’t unite in time.
TRHH: I agree with you on some of that. I disagree on the clown part. I think it’s probably 50/50 clowns and qualified people. I think every single one of them is more intelligent than Trump is, but that’s another story.
Daddy-O: That could be true. This country probably never thrived off intelligence. It’s probably always thrived off power. He watched the Turn of the Tide and his whole thing is the Art of War. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
TRHH: Okay, let’s get off that. The song “Ride Out” sounds like a diss record to someone in Stetsasonic to me. What’s the backstory on that song?
Daddy-O: [Laughs] Well, we got a member of the band that somewhere between now and 2016 just up and said “I quit.” I’ll let your readers do the research and see who’s on stage and who’s not. I couldn’t understand it. I can be brutally honest, and I might have said this the last time I did an interview with you but I’ll say it again, it’s been very, very, very therapeutic for me. I very often make music based on things that I think, feel, and exude. My lyrics are me bleeding on tracks. Sometimes I don’t have any other outlet. I’m not a guy on the street corner with a soap box and a bullhorn. I don’t have another outlet. Maybe once my book is done and I’m doing some speaking gigs, maybe I’ll use the music for different things. As much as I want to make music for fans to like, I want to make music that’s therapeutically entertaining and healing to me. It was just something that I couldn’t hold in any longer.
If you hear in the beginning of the song I say, “I’m not going to hold back no more. I can’t believe that this happened with me and you.” A lot of people have debating me on this, but my top 10 is a lot different from everybody else’s top 10. In my top 10 rap albums of all-time is Ridin’ Dirty by UGK. I love Pimp C and Bun B. I always have since “Pocket Full of Stones.” People will tell you when I worked at MCA/Universal all you heard me playing was Texas stuff, the Bay, and all of that. I left all the New York stuff alone because cats was lying about selling drugs. They’re lying. They just wanted to be tough on records. Bun is one of my favorite emcees in the world. It just so happened that I moved to Houston a few years ago. I gave Bun a call, he came through, and that was it. Yeah, it was personal. You got that on the nose, my brother. It was personal.
TRHH: Who is the “From My Hood 2 U” album made for?
Daddy-O: I’m so glad you asked that question. Technically From My Hood 2 U is my sixth studio solo album. The first one being “You Can Be A Daddy, But Never Daddy-O” in ’93. Then I put out four more records on the new label since 2016 – #EverybodyButKRS, The Odad, The Gun, & The Children, El Dolar De Las Calles, and then the last one, No Tablecloths. This one is actually the fifth of this new set of records. When I started doing these records in 2016 I was in my own head. I don’t think the records were bad. I love everything I do, but I was in my own head. My own head told me that my audience were in their late 30s to my age, they wanted to hear something more of redeeming value, and they probably wanted me to touch more on the message stuff. My head was geared toward what they talk about around the water cooler, that’s why issues like “Pull Ya Pants Up” came from No Tablecloths.
I was in Atlanta last summer and a really good friend of mine who is also a producer, Fran Lover who is from East New York as well, gave me this track for County of Kings. He said, “D, if you’re still here let’s do that record.” I had only written the hook. I went for the first time in a long time and wrote in the studio. It came out pretty dope. I stayed in Atlanta another week and he called me up and said, “D, if you’re still in town let’s do the video.” It’s the first time we shot a video ourselves. Usually we use total film crews and it’s cinematic the way the Drumma Man joint is. This one we just did on a white screen and it still came out dope. The record kind of broke through.
My Spotify numbers went up and DJ’s were now calling me for conference calls. I had to ask him, “I’ve been doing these records for a minute. Why am I hearing from y’all now? Four albums had already been out and now I’m starting to hear from y’all.” They said, “O.G., we wanna see all of y’all pick up where you left off,” meaning me, Kane, Chuck, Slick Rick, Lyte. A light bulb went off in my head. Two things happened; 1, I realized I was leaving DJ’s out of my equation. I was hardly giving them anything to play. No Disrespect to “Shootin’ Like a Beatbox” or “Graffiti” but they weren’t many things I was giving DJ’s to play, because I was making these cerebral records.
Although, they might have felt good musically I think I just misread my audience. I still think my audience are the same people but now I know the kind of stuff that they wanna hear. No disrespect to anything else I did, but they wanna see my spit that fire. I started calling it “rappity rap.” I told my team, “They want me to be rappity rap.” I can do the rappity rap. I did it. They call it boom bap, I don’t really care what you call it, but the stuff is danceable, I’m getting it in, I’m leaning in on the lyrics a little bit, and I’m being a little more lyrical than cerebral and they like it. I still think my audience is the same. The only difference between other records and From My Hood 2 U is I really think now I can get the attention of their children.
Prior to From My Hood 2 U I used to say, “I don’t make records for kids, I make records for their parents.” I can now say I make records for both groups. If you would have asked me last year this time if I would make a record with J. Cole I would say, “Nah.” I wasn’t ready. Now I’m ready to spit with the young guys too. I’m there now. I figured it out. I always said this about myself and I even challenge some of my peers to adopt this philosophically; I’ll never be wack again, but I might be inapplicable. It might not apply and I think that’s what it is. I think my audience is still the same. It might skew a little younger than I thought. I was saying 39 and up, but it might be 32 and up. I still think some millennial’s can jump in here and even some young kids, because I played it for some young kids, and it’s palatable now.
I feel like some of the stuff might not have been as palatable. Now I’m the uncle with the flow that you wish for. I always give this metaphor, there’s a young boy with the dope velour sweat suit. He got the new Yeezy’s or the new Jordan’s on and he feels real fresh at the family reunion or barbecue. And then I walk in, Italian knit tailor-made pants, gators that make the sun shine back at itself, and my nephew look at me and say, “Damn, look at unc!” It’s a different thing. We might both have on Rolex’s but just the way mine looks, the way my shirt is, the way my haircut is – that’s the respect. I make the records for my same core audience. I’m looking for the super-fan, but now I got something that I think the young kids can respect and admire.
Purchase: Daddy-O – From My Hood 2 U