Your latest mixtape, There Is No Competition Part 3, dropped on Christmas for free download. That’s a great present for your fans.
Right. That’s what we really hoped for, to really put out the music on that day. It’s a big day for people at home and people enjoying they selves and I thought it would be a great day to put out a mixtape and give some free music away, where everybody’s home and everybody wants to get into something. You open your presents and then you have a whole day to yourself. It’s not like people are kids anymore, so they don’t get toys or anything to play with all day. They get their gifts and they’re sitting around, waiting for something to get into. They’re watching sports or they’re waiting for the food to cook and why not have a mixtape to listen to during that time?
Christmas is a day when people typically disconnect from the internet. Were you surprised by how much activity the mixtape got on a day like that?
I got kind of like a mixtape following, so I was surprised by how fast it was. I wasn’t surprised that people wanted to check it out, but I was definitely surprised at how fast the traffic was moving. But of course, like you said, it was Christmas day, I didn’t know if people were going to be super-on it or if they were going to be with their families and gifts, but I figured they would be checking it out. This interview is after it, of course. We idd some promotion leading up to it so people knew what day it was coming out on, but we let the mixtape market and the people who go online and research free music find it instead of beating down their doors. It was a release where if you were home, you were gonna grab it. It was that sort of thing.
One of the themes that runs through TINC 3 is loyalty. How important was it for you to address that on the mixtape?
Really, that’s how I am. I’m loyal to my friends and I’m loyal to my family. I’m loyal to a lot of things. I’m loyal to the people who look out for me and for my fans who support me. You look for loyalty in return and I don’t think the game is always loyal to you. The fans are finicky at times and they go with what’s hot at the moment, even if you’ve been doing this for nine or ten years. You have to reinvent yourself every year to keep your brand fresh. With me, loyalty plays a little key into it but there were a lot of things that, character-wise, that I put into this tape, but at the end of the day, it was just supposed to be some good energy for you during the holidays. I used a lot of beats that were more uptempo during the beginning that hit you and give you more energy at the beginning and towards the end of the tape I slowed it down more. It’s just a lot of things that’s in my character that I put in my music because that’s what I expect.
You address the Plaxico Burress rumors and Ray J on “Lord Knows.” Did you feel you had to get that out there?
There was a couple of things on there. Of course the Plaxico situation, I didn’t talk about it beforehand. I wanted people to just check it out to naturally check it out. I didn’t release any joints before it. I think something got leaked but it was nothing that we broadly released from the tape. I wanted people to just go dig in and have that classic not-hearing-anything that’s on the tape from back in the days, from when you’d go in and haven’t heard anything. I still believe in that and that’s what we did there. That’s why with “Lord Knows,” I never told people I was talking about this situation or talking about that.
The Plaxico situation, of course everybody knows he went to jail from his weapons charge. I think when he came out he did an interview stating that he was carrying a gun because he had heard Fabolous and his Street Fam guys were running around and robbing athletes and stuff like that. I just felt like that was a real “throw another guy under the bus” move after you already did your time, almost snitch kind of thing. After you did your time, you didn’t have to give any names. You could have stayed a straight arrow and just said, “I did my time, it was wrong.” Not throwing another guy under the bus and shining a light on someone else and having people look at us like we’er in some kind of a bad light.
And the Ray J thing wasn’t a diss. It was just me getting my feelings out. It happened three months ago and if I was going to make a diss track it would have come out right way. It was me expressing my frustrations over the music. With Plaxico, I was more direct and mentioned his name because it was something I read in an interview. He was direct and I was direct as well.
You’ve always put out quality mixtapes and albums, but there are definite differences between the two. Do you feel that way?
I do. I have less format on mixtapes. With this, of course, I stuck to the theme of the death and killing the competition kind of thing. That was a theme that we came up with with this entire series. With the last mixtape, more so than the first. But I have less format. With albums, I think them through a lot. I want to put them together and try to make bodies of work that cater to wide bodies of ears across the world, not just mixtape fans. Sometimes the mixtape fans are finicky about that, like, “Why can’t your albums be more like your mixtapes?” But they’re saying it themselves. A mixtape is a mixtape and an album is an album. You touch different subjects on an album that you may not touch on on a mixtape. Even my mixtapes, for me, now have differences because The Soul Tape is different from the TINC series. The TINC series is ignorant energy, a whole different feel from The Soul Tape. THat was more laid back and more introspective, talking about things that you’re going trough. With TINC 3, I was talking my shit and cursing for me to get my point across and talking about situations a little more loosely than introspective. My mixtape series, my album series, are definitely different. Even my mixtape series are different. Soul Tape is not like the TINC series.
From the TINC series to Loso’s Way to The Soul Tape, it seems like you do your best when you have a focused theme to your project.
I definitely think that it helps you stay on course. Sometimes if you don’t have that course, you’re just creating music and what comes in your head at that moment. If you have a subject to stick to and something to really hold onto throughout the process of when you’re making music, you can make more sonically-together music that way. I don’t think it’s that much of a challenge. I think for me I can take something and kind of stay in that area for as long as I want.
Are there any books, films, or TV shows that inspire you to create?
Yeah, but it’s so many things that I couldn’t even name you one thing. I watch a lot of movies and sports. Occasionally you’re going to hear different metaphors from sports and movies. Those are all things that I come across and check out and what leads to certain rap lyrics for me because I touch on all relatable subjects, stuff I know other people have said and done and use them to my advantage. It’s hard for me to say one movie or TV show. Right now Storage Wars is on and maybe two weeks from now a Storage War line will come in my head. Yeah, I’m definitely influences by television and other things, other musicians, everything.
But you won’t be bidding on any lockers, will you?
I don’t think so, man. I don’t watch the show much. It’s been on for the last 15 minutes but it doesn’t look like they’re coming up with nothing. I know the objective is you open the door and see if you come up with something but I haven’t seen anybody come up with anything.
How’s your next album, Loso’s Way 2, coming?
It’s coming along good. I’m just working. It’s coming along good. I grabbed up a lot of beats, man, and am just trying to trim the fat off of that and see what joints actually stick to the album versus the ones that are mediocre and okay. So you have to trim the fat once you go in the studio now and make sure you’re putting out the right music.
Are you and Red Cafe still putting out the Bedrock Boyz project?
I don’t know. I don’t know if the project is going to come along yet but we worked on a lot of records and that’s just because we work with each other a lot. We throw records out. But we had just talked about it and it had never materialized but we have a lot of music together.
What was the best Christmas present you got your son this year?
I like the stuff that makes him laugh and makes him have a good time. I got him an Iron Man toy that shoots out Iron Man rockets and he can control his arm. He likes that pretty much. He played with that all day. I could say a bunch of other things and probably big stuff but you see the way a kid’s heart goes to his toys and he was more ecstatic about toys than anything else.
What artists are you a fan of today?
I like Drake’s stuff. For the new guys, I like Drake. I like J. Cole. I like Jay-Z. I like Wayne. I like Rick Ross. I like Jadakiss. Those are some of my guys.
You have strong relationships with so many different artists in the game. What do you attribute that to?
I don’t know. I just be me and try to be as genuine as I can. I think that’s what helps relationships build, when you’re actually genuine with another artist. They have their own fans and their own ties and their career, and you have to be able to work with them and still be able to create good music.
Is there anyone you haven’t worked with yet that you really want to make happen?
I believe Eminem is the only person I want to work with that I haven’t at this point. And maybe Nas. Those two come to mind.
Will we hear more from your brother Paul Cain this year?
Yeah, definitely. Paul is working and he’s got a good energy. A lot of people gave him a lot of good feedback from his verse on TINC 3, so he’s back at work and trying to keep that energy up as well.
What are your plans to have a monster 2012?
I definitely have a foundation that I want to put forward a little bit more this year. We just thought it out, The Fabolous Way, in ’11, and I want to push that a little further. I’m working on another album and looking to do a mixtape towards the ending of the year, The Soul Tape 2, or maybe the fall when people are going back to school. But for the most part, that’s one of the most strongest things I want to do, is the foundation, and just get back and help people in times of need.