Brooklyn born emcee Precyce Politix is a throwback to a time when lyrics mattered most. While he now resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, Precyce’s music still has that hardcore BK sound. Politix joined forces with another North Carolina resident, D.R.U.G.S Beats, to create an album called “Drug-Politix.”
Drug-Politix is a 15-track album produced entirely by D.R.U.G.S Beats. The album features appearances by OC from NC, Illpo, Major Green, and Lena Jackson.
Precyce Politix spoke to The Real Hip-Hop about working with D.R.U.G.S Beats, maintaining his classic east coast style, and his new album, Drug-Politix.
TRHH: How did you and D.R.U.G.S Beats get together and decide to do a full album?
Precyce Politix: It was something that we had been thinking about for a long time. I hooked up with D.R.U.G.S earlier in my career when I did an album called “Last Son of Brooklyn.” He produced about four joints on that album and the relationship just grew after that. He took off with the success he gained from producing some of the Dr. Dre album, “Compton.” I reached out to him and said, “Hey man, I’m hearing that you’re on Compton. Congratulations, that’s so dope,” and he said, “Look man, when are we going to do an album together?” I’d be an idiot not to do that so we went ahead and did that. Shout out to D.R.U.G.S for putting that in my ear, and the rest is history.
TRHH: Drug-Politix has a theme to it. How much of it is based on true stories?
Precyce Politix: A lot of the album is based on true stories. I had a family member that sold drugs. The album itself is actually an anti-drug album. I mixed the medicine with the food, so you have to really listen to it to understand that this guy’s life is screwed up because he sold drugs, so maybe you shouldn’t sell drugs. My brother played in that game and I was the little brother looking on. I’ve seen a lot, so I decided I definitely wanted to write about that experience when I was mature enough to. A lot of it is true.
TRHH: What inspired the song ‘To the Giants’?
Precyce Politix: I write all my songs in my car. I’ve written three albums in my car. I always put on the instrumental and just drive. A lot of times in Hip-Hop today with the industry it’s a lot of so-called tastemakers. If certain people say that you’re hot you get to blow no matter what. Everybody likes to live for the co-sign, but for those that are independent like myself, you may not get the co-sign because they don’t know you and you’re still grinding. That made me dedicate it to the giants. To everybody that’s out there, I’m definitely here and you have to notice me. You either get out the way or get ran over. When I got that beat from D.R.U.G.S it was automatic. That beat right there made my pen start moving. All the beats that I chose for that album made my pen start moving. D.R.U.G.S sent me over 100 beats, easy. He used to send me 20 a month. That’s what inspired To the Giants – just like the climate of the industry and coming up as an artist not signed to the major labels and not doing what everybody else is doing just to get shine.
TRHH: You said you write in the car; what’s your writing process like? Do you write to beats every time or whenever rhymes come to you?
Precyce Politix: Yeah. I’m always trying to write something. Now I have a little boy – he’s one. The song on the album, “Nation: A Song for Mikey” came to me when I saw him come into this world. I was like, “I gotta do something for him,” and the rhymes just started forming. I put it on hold until I got a beat that fit the motif. My process is, I get the beats and I let the beats tell me what to write. I’ll have a concept in mind, but I’ll know which beat fits that concept. Sometimes I’ll hear a beat that’s so dope that it will form a whole new concept for me. Most of the time I get the beat, throw it on in my car, go driving, freestyle to it for a long time just to get the cadence that I want and attack the pockets the way I want to, sit down with the concept in mind, and just tell the story. Like you said, this album has a theme so we had to keep going with that theme and make everything fit. That was another challenge. All of my albums are pretty much concept albums. That’s just something I love to do. I don’t want to throw 15-16 songs together and say, “Hey, here you go.” I actually want to have themes. I’m from the era where albums had themes and concept albums taught lessons and had messages in it. I wanted to keep that tradition going in my way.
TRHH: You mentioned “Nation: A Song for Mikey.” That song stands out to me on the album. How would you say being a father has changed your life?
Precyce Politix: Being a father has changed my life in many interesting ways – all of them good. Even if things get a little tight financially, that’s fine. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for my son. When you have a little one you see the world so differently because everything that was important before he or she came now is not even important at all. Things that you used to think weren’t really important now scare you. Even in my writing – whenever I pick up a pen I think about Mikey now. How is it going to be when he listens to this? I start to kind of answer questions before he even starts to bring them to me. When I write something I’m thinking, “I know he’s going to ask me about this, so I have to be prepared to answer him.” Things can’t be as ignorant as they used to when I write my records [laughs]. It’s just a part of growing. I think having a child makes you grow up even faster. No matter how old you are you always have room to grow up. When you go through something real like birth or death and everything in between, if it’s real enough it will change you. Being a father has definitely changed me and changed my grind. It made me grind harder, made me grind smarter, and made me really appreciate the time that I have in the booth and outside the booth.
TRHH: I interviewed your better half, Lena Jackson, a few months ago and she talked a little about how you guys help each other when creating music. What’s your perspective on how you guys help each other creatively?
Precyce Politix: Lena and I help each other in a number of ways. First of all, she’s a phenomenal artist herself. You know how they say steel sharpens steel? Being around someone that’s that dope, creative, and passionate is going to rub off on you, even if you have been that way. Like I just said, you’re never too old to learn, well you’re never to dope to be inspired. Lena inspires me a lot with the things that she does, especially when she’s performing. We see each other going hard, so we go hard for each other at the same times. Taking it a step further, I lay with this person, we’re husband and wife so I’m seeing her grind all the time. I’m seeing what you guys aren’t seeing. I’m seeing the frustration, I’m seeing the anxiety, and I’m seeing the determination. I’m seeing things from the ground up.
I’m blessed to be able to be here to see her work the way she does and I’m blessed to have her watch me when I work the way I do. She’s always here to encourage me and to make sure that my stuff stays sharp. If anybody is going to tell you the truth it’s going to be your wife or your significant other. They’re not going to let you go out there and make a fool out of yourself. If you say something even remotely wack they’re going to tell you. I don’t have to worry about having a “yes” person. If all else fails I can just talk to her and let her hear some stuff. Some times we’ll be in the car and we’ll vibe out to instrumentals and we’ll start rhyming together, which is super dope. That keeps me sharp as well. It’s like having that really dedicated gym partner. Both of y’all walk out with the god and goddess body. Everybody’s all chiseled because y’all push each other and can’t nobody in that gym push y’all like y’all push y’all.
TRHH: You have a classic East Coast style during a time where a lot of emcees from New York don’t sound like they’re from New York. Why have you carried on the tradition of putting lyrics first?
Precyce Politix: First of all, I take that as a compliment so thank you for saying I have a classic east coast style. I appreciate that. Good, bad, or indifferent that’s me, so I thank you for noticing that. I stick to what I know. I stick to the script because that’s what I grew up on. I still listen to “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” As you see on the album, I paid a little homage to it on my cover. Everything is black and white except for the tape on my shirt. That shirt was actually one of the 1995 shirts that was released when the re-release happened for the Cuban Linx 20 year tour. My wife copped that for me. I have a whole Raekwon shrine. I still listen to Big L, rest in peace. I still listen to Mobb Deep and old Prodigy. It’s not that I’m stuck in the past, it’s I know what I love and I’m not going to force myself to do anything otherwise. I listen to the new cats, I listen to the new flows and cadences, and a lot of them are actually dope.
I appreciate them, but I still bring what I bring to the table because I feel like there are a lot of like-minded individuals still here in this world that want and need to hear that to get through whatever they need to get through. Whether they’re doing a bid, whether they are working out, whether they just had a stressful day at work and want to hear some hardcore stuff, or whether they just want to hear some bars blown the way that they know them, that’s pretty much why I do it and who I do it for. I know what I wanna hear so I gotta do what I wanna hear. The beauty of being independent is you can do what you want, you just gotta understand that it comes with consequences, such as you may have to reach out farther to find your fan base, but once you do find them it’s so rewarding. You feel like you can do this kind of stuff forever. There is nothing better than doing something that you love and being true to your roots and true to yourself. I definitely change and update my formula, but the foundation is always going to be what you hear right now.
TRHH: The way the album ended leaves the door open for a sequel. Will there be a part 2 to Drug-Politix?
Precyce Politix: Absolutely. There is absolutely going to be a part 2 to Drug-Politix [laughs]. I’m a big comic book head. I love the way the narratives are in comic books where they leave you with cliffhangers. It can go both ways. You can see the lesson like, “Ah man, he bit of more than he could chew,” or I could just let the imagination of the listeners run wild and just call it a night. The way that I’m getting responses for this album I already know that there’s going to have to be another one. The chemistry with D.R.U.G.S is really dope. He’s definitely old school and a student of the game. He can sit and have a true Hip-Hop culture conversation with you. He can probably pull up more points of reference than I can. He’s established and he can put his finger on a lot of different rappers that are super-dope that he has done joints with – Royce da 5’9”, Kendrick Lamar, he’s done joints with them. He chose to do a full album with me. I told him the concept, he loved it, and we started chopping it up. There is definitely going to be a part 2 – absolutely.