German: UG RAP Underground Rap Magazine interviews Imperator

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IMPERATOR 
21. Oktober 2005 Arvid_Wuensch

Seit Ende der 70er Jahre ist Imperator im Spiel, da versteht es sich von selbst, dass er jede Menge zu erzählen hat. Arvid Wünsch (www.hiphopkiosk.de) unterhielt sich für ugrap.de mit dem Haudegen über die alten Tage im Good Life Cafe, sein aufsehenerregendes Battle gegen Eminem (in dessen Folge unschöne Rassismusvorwürfe gegen das Cafe laut wurden) und schließlich natürlich auch seine neuesten musikalischen Umtriebe. 

photo of Imperator(Photo of: Imperator)

Let’s start with some introductory words. Who are you and what do you represent? 

In regards to rap music I’m an old school rapper with new flows down with the group By Any Means Music and as a whole we represent the past, the present, and the future of HipHop. I represent the past in the group because of the styles I sometimes choose to use, and my production technics and so on. 

Are you originally from the old school or do you just like the style? 

I started rapping in 1979 so I would say I’m originally from the old school. I have a song called “Why We Do This Shit” on the “Evolution of a Man” album that kinda explains my orgin. Also I love the old school styles. 

If am right then you live in Palmdale at the moment. Has Palmdale an active Hip Hop Scene, how is Palmdale in general? 

Palmdale has lots of rappers, producers, studios, and indie labels. However the support here is far from great. Everyone appears to be out for self and they don’t understand the power in numbers principal. Also most of the hiphop heads don’t want to hustle and promote shows they perform in and they expect a full house just because their rapping. Thus when you give a show you mostly have a club full of rappers and a few of their label mates or managers. I’ve given three shows out here one of which people said was the best rap show ever in Palmdale. I think that was due mostly in part because I invited “Macadoshis” from from “Thug Life” and he brought his crew which included “Mopreme” Tupac’s brother. Based on that I believe people here want a headliner to really come out and support. 

That leads me to next question. I’ve got the impression that more and more MC’s do playback shows. What’s your opinion about that? 

I recently saw a rap act lip syncing like Mini Vinilli and one of them mess up it was ridiculous. But for the most part shows that I had anything to do the acts usually just leave their adlibs in the track they rap to. Or just rap over a beat with no vocals. 

In how far are you connected to The Good Life Café & The Project Blowed? 

The GoodLife was actually a health food restaurant and store which allowed Bea Hall and her son R-Kain Blaze give an open mic on Thursday nights. The open mic was called “The UnderGround Radio” if I’m correct. I met Blaze one night passing out flyers regarding the event and start attending immediately. I was a regular who sometimes, hosted, DJ’d, worked the door, or was security for the event. It started out free for performers but eventually everyone had to pay. This led to gripes between the rappers and the promoters. There was another spot “Club KAOS” which was also doing it’s thing on Thursday night and they basically saw an oppurtunity and took advantage of it by making arrangements which some of the disgruntled acts. Thus “Project Blowed” was in effect. People started attending “Project Blowed at Club KAOS on Thursday nights because it had more of a club vibe, stay open later, and you could cuss. I made the first flyer for the Blowed for Aceyalone and would attend it after the “Goodlife” was over. I’m actually going to perform there this Thursday. 

You have released two solo albums so far, “Evolution Of A Man” and “Hiphopoly”. What is the background of the lines you rap about Eminem in the title track of “Hiphopoly”? 

Evolution of a Man by Imperator of Rhyme album cover(Photo of: Evolution Of A Man (1999) album cover.)

I don’t remember the year but sometime ago I attended an event called the “Rap Olympics” where some of the Blowed Emcees were going to battle some other rappers mostly from back east. They had a head to head competition and a crew competition. During the head to head competiton they were calling some rapper and he didn’t come up. Finally when they said it’s your last chance I ran to the stage and pretended I was him so I could enter the battle. I beat about three rappers and then I had to battle Eminem he was a nobody back then in regards to fame and fortune. I remember him saying something to the effect of “such and such and such is down with us” and I came back with “white boy you gone have to get a whole lot darker for you come up in hear tryna bite Chris Parker” or something like that. Anyway they said I beat him and Otherwize and me where the finalist. This lady Eminem was with was in my face talking bout “Why you had to go to the race card” and I was like “we battling”. Eminem was cool but she was tripping. I’m not sure but it may have been Wendy Day. I was backstage with Otherwize thinking we both from the GoodLife when they called me back to battle Eminem again. I said I already beat you but they wanted us to go another round and he beat me. Anyway sometime later I was searching on the internet for something about the “Rap Olympics” when I came across an article where Eminem said “I only have one thing to say about the Blowed they racist” and I wasn’t cool with that. 

On the cover of “The Evolution Of A Man” one can see you behind bars, of what were you accused of? 

I’ve been accused many things and did a little time but I’ve never been convicted. 

How did you come up with the title of your latest release? 

“Family Ties” is the name of an album that features my son Creepy Fingers, my nephew Goldie, and myself, Imperator. We represent the past, the present, and the future of hiphop. 

Imperator, Goldie and Creepy Fingers a.k.a Family Ties(Photo of Imperator w/ Creepy Fingers & Goldie) 

What is the mood of the album, what are the contents of the songs? 

The album is real versatile because the groups members are so diverse. It has dynamics in regards to styles, story telling, and skills. You can party to some of the tracks, ride to some, play some when you mad at ya girl, or play some when you ready to kick some ass. I’ve actually recorded another song called “Top Ten Killa” in which I take shots at Jay Z, Baby, Young Jeezy, Tony Yayo, G-Unit, Ice Cube, Nelly among others. It may be on the album if I can get it mixed and mastered soon. I never really finished it and it’s sitting in the archives I have about 24 songs for that album. I will release someday soon. Wiz1der one of the founding members of Blak Forrest is mixing stuff for me I’m a pass it along to him to mix, and I’ll be sure you get the first copy. 

Can you make a living of your music? 

Yes I can make a living off music. I think anyone who has good music and good business sense can make a living off of music. You should be able to go out and make at least $100 a day selling your music in the streets. 

It hasn’t something to do with music but I am nevertheless curious, what is the normal price for a gram of good weed in California? 

You know the streets are calling me but I don’t listen. But I would say you could get something for $20 or $25 in Cali, in New York it might be $50-$75 

What can we anticipate from you for the future? 

CEOISM. Mean that I will be taking care of the business more in music, film, TV, games, licensing etc. Some videos should be coming very soon and once again you first on my list to get ‘em. 

What about some concerts in Europe? 

Would love to but who’s gonna handle the expense? See I’m not in demand but I think this album some create a demand and also expose new listeners to my music from the past. 

How can Hip Hop heads support you? 

Hip Hop heads can support me by buying my products, communicating, spreading the word, loyalty, and making suggestions. I would actually love someone to say you know what Imp you should make a song like this or like that. Most people might think I’m trying to please fans and in some regard their right but I’ve evolve as an artist and I’m confident enough to know I would stay true to myself in making a that particular song. You got any suggestions? You know it’s good to know that someone likes your music sincerely. I means I’ve sold a few thousand copies of “Evolution of a Man”, and other albums from my catalog but the fan support is not there. My thinking is basically people will support you more when your sucessful. That’s why the rich get richer. It’s hard breaking thru on a commercial level but once your in the door all types of oppurtunities present themself.

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