MIHH: Obie and MoSS, how did you guys initially link up?
MoSS: Basically, I met Obie through his cousin Will back in the 90ís. I was going to school in Ohio. And Obie would come to Ohio to get away from Detroit, and come stay with us. And when he came to Ohio I would have an MPC up there, so we used to start cutting records. And we started recording songs, and then pretty much between 97 and around 2000, between those years, we just knocked up a whole bunch of music together. And thatís what Special Reserve is, a whole bunch of music before Obie signed to Shady Records.
MIHH: Whatís a song that you think defines the album?
Obie: I would say ďDope, Jobs, HomelessĒ. I was definitely in the streets when I was 16 years oldÖI was never a successful drug dealer, but I lived that ďin the trap houseĒ type of life when I was a young kid. So being able to get away from that, and having a cousin in Ohio who was taking his education to another level with a scholarshipÖthat was just a great experience for me. I had jobs where ends just werenít meeting. I had a child coming around this time. We would put out this music and sell it out the trunk. It was just one of those things where it was your job. And being homeless, and just hopping from place to place when your motherís fed up. My mother, if you go back to some of the Shady albums, if you go back to Cheers, I put out the record ďDonít Come DownĒ. My mother used to actually drop me off at the precinct and tell them to take brothers who finished school and went to the service. Here I am, the black sheep of my family who was coming in the house with two nickel-plated 25ís. And mom was finding them shits, coming in the house and dropping rocks on the floor in the living room. They would be in my Carhartt jacket, and slip out the pocket, and my mother was just losing her mind at her oldest son. ďWhat is this ****?Ē
Itís definitely an underground record, just some of thoughts that were going on back then. My style is totally different, but for the fans itís just something where they could say, ďI got Obie before he signed to Shady.Ē Itís one of those things you think is real underground with the bubble coat and Timbs on in the small club with a skully on, which was just pure hip hop back then. And the sick thing about it is that MoSS actually kept that music. This is what me and him experienced and when me and him get 40 and 50, this is something we can have fun discussions about. This is like real hip hop in the gutter, grinding type of music. And the times have changed, itís a blessing that he was able to reinvent those beats and bring it up to date. With his producer charisma, he made it happen, so thatís a good look.
MIHH: You guys did these songs between 97 and 2000. Now itís almost a decade later, well itís actually more than a decade later for some of those joints. Obie, you were signed to Shady and sold a lot of records. MoSS, youíre signed to Premo now. So what is it like looking back on these songs for yíall? What is it like seeing all that stuff be relevant now?
MoSS: I mean for me itís mixed. We both have done a lot of things, especially for our careers, itís been a while. For me, one of the things I have been happy with so far for Special Reserve is that a lot of people are surprised that the songs are that old and it sounds like it does. In my opinion, it shows how dope Obie has been and how dope Obie will be. He was doing stuff like this 10 to 13 years ago, and heís obviously grown a lot since then, but it shows you the type of music he was pumping out before people even knew who he was. And for me thatís whatís crazy about it. Weíre putting songs out now to show people where we came from, and people are accepting it and playing it alongside music that was created last week. To me that shows that we had chemistry at the time, and through all these years, the chemistry held true. The music is still relevant.
MIHH: Now Obie, one thing Iíve noticed about your music is that even though you have one or two radio singles, you still have a lot of the same demeanor that made you popular. How do you maintain that you the success you had with Cheers?
Obie: Well, Iíve lost a lot of friends, a lot of close ones, since Cheers and didnít wise up. Iím a dumb dude, but I stand for something. Iíve lost, and Iíve been through so much ****, and itís about staying true to yourself and staying true to your music and staying true to what you believe in, and thatís what I do. You grow up though. I was a different individual back then. I was wild, I had a Redman influence, I was into hip hop like crazy, and I was Wu-Tangíd out. I was really like a hip hop junkie.
Today, this is what I do for a living. This is how I pay my bills, this is how I eat. At the same time, I never compromise my integrity, I do me. So thatís just the basis of it, man. And like I said, Iíve lost close ones who were dear to me. And you just have to chalk those things up, or I feel like Iím feeding you to the fishes, or I feel like it didnít die down enough to get those people back in my life. You canít stop doing what you do.
Iíll give you an example: my father. My father left me when I was six years old, and this is a lot of conversation that Iíll be having on my next record. My father left me at six years old. When I talk about this stuff in my music, he gets upset. But this is the truth. And in my personal life I have lost people that I took care of and did things for, who donít even come holler at me. And I had mad love for these people. So how do I keep myself going? I concentrate on Trice. And itís not a selfish thing, but this is what I do, and this is my life.
MIHH: Now another thing that Iíve noticed about your music, you have several interesting songs women doing dirt: ďThe Set UpĒ talks about a woman masterminding a robbery, while ďDripsĒ from The Eminem Show talks about a chick giving STDs. And one of my favorites, ďHoodrats,Ē is self-explanatory. Whatís the most scandalous thing a chick has ever done to you that you would be willing to say in an interview?
MoSS: [Laughs] Thatís the question of the year.
Obie: [Laughs] Probably burning me. Yeah, coming up as a young ***** thatís what I would say, or on top of that taking the bread from me. But I would say giving me a STD, thatís the most scandalous **** a bitch has ever done to me. And these are growing pains. Iím from the block and most niggas wonít say this ****, but thatís real talk. On my new record, or even on Special Reserve when I talk about jacking my **** off, thatís where that inspiration comes from. From fucking around with a chick whoís young herself, and weíre having unprotected sex. We just fucking, she donít know. Luckily, I never got hit with that germ germ. Just young ****. ďJack My DickĒ is a record on Special Reserve and itís funny cause I talk about it, and itís actually me. And I still masturbate, I wonít even lie. There are real issues I had to deal with growing up in an urban community, and I had the voice to put that out there back then but some people didnít. And some people were not as fortunate as me. Some people stuck their **** out the first time and got the ďgerm,Ē got that HIV. So itís just one of those things that I thought was important to talk about.
The new record, Bottomís Up, is showing women in a better light [laughs]. Itís growing pains man. You talk about hood rats, you talk about ďDripsĒ, which is Eminemís record, or you talk about any other record. I also had ďHands On YouĒ which was about respecting a woman and understanding a woman. Iím not just about all dude issues, but I think that we need to talk about those things because this is real life **** that goes on.
MIHH: One thing Iíve noticed about your projects between Cheers, Second Roundís on Me and Special Reserve, is that aside from one or two different joints, they have a sound. Cheers sort of felt like an Eminem album in terms of sound, and Special Reserve has MoSS doing the beats. But Second Roundís on Me is a lot more diverse. So what do you normally like more: one producer to have a real cohesive sound, or several to show your versatility?
Obie: Well, Cheers was my freshman album. It was my first album. And dealing with people who had been in the game, I really just went with the flow. And Second Roundís on Me is a record I did myself. A lot of people really donít understand that. To me thatís my best record. I know a lot of people say that Cheers is a classic. They say Cheers changed their lives. Some people say Second Roundís on Me changed their lives because of what they were going through at the time. But Second Roundís of Me was more of Obie doing him, thatís why I named it Second Roundís on Me, in parallel with keeping the bar theme going. Special Reserve, thatís all MoSS.
Being with one producer, being with multiple producers, it just depends on you ear. If youíre a fan of MoSS, you would get Special Reserve. If youíre a fan of Obie Trice, you get Special Reserve. I think MoSS is a talented dude, and weíre going to definitely work in the future and get some new **** out here. Itís been a long time coming. I think it would be fun. I think it would be a great time. We can get a hit record. And he has those connects with Premier. Iíve never worked with Premier. So I think working with a single producer, nothing is wrong with that. An album with one producer, I ainít mad at that. An album with a variety of producers, I ainít mad at that either. Just try to keep putting music out there, while at the same time taking it to that next level.
MIHH: Each of your albums has an alcohol-related theme: Cheers, Second Roundís on Me, Special Reserve, [and] Bottomís Up. Another story, tell me about the worst time youíve gotten fucked up, that you can remember.
Obie: ****, the worst time I got fucked up? Aw man, ****. [pauses] The worst time I got fucked upÖdamn. Iíve been so fucked up where Iíve had a hangover for three days just from one night. So the second day was miserable as you can imagine. Bubble guts, farts, canít ****, feeling horrible, fuckin blood boiling like ants running up your body in your skin. Real fucked up. Probably close to alcohol poisoning. I really have done this drinking thing. Iíve been very intoxicated.
ÖEverybody has a vice, thatís what I look at. You get these stars out here who are ďbig,Ē and these muhfuckas have issues. I ainít saying drinking is an issue of mine, because I regulate it, but I have been to the point where I literally just drink. And itís surprising to me that Iím still living. I just lost a homie to cirrhosis of the liver, and thatís real talk. Iím just blessed man, I know how to drink and I know how to eat. Some muhfuckas donít eat. You gotta eat to support that alcohol. Sometimes you got to shut that **** down for a while. But alcohol is definitely one of my vices, and if the stars align and I become a successful artist, if Dr. Dre donít come out with Detox then Iíma do it first. Thatís gonna be my retiring album.
MIHH: Whatís your favorite go-to drink?
Obie: Iím gonna say Hennessy. I ainít goní say no gay ass **** like Moscato.
Obie: Hey man, these muhfuckas love Moscato. They so fucking dumb. I ainít even goní say they dumb. They just donít understand that Moscato is like a dessert drink; youíre not supposed to drink it in abundance. If they knew their fuckiní wine, then they would know Moscato is something you have after a full course meal, and if you donít want dessert, you take a small glass of Moscato. Itís sweet and itís not for drinking like that. And muhfuckas donít know their alcohol or their beverages, and itís crazy how people just go with a flow, man. Itís just crazy how people donít investigate what they **** around with. Moscato, get the **** out of here.
MIHH: [Laughs] You know what? Thatís something that you should make a record about, letting people know what to drink and what not to drink.
Obie: Yo, thatíll be me and MoSSí exclusive record on Bottomís Up. It will be a bonus track. [laughs]