HHC: What’s been going on?
Phat Kat: I’m on tour right now, on the Carte Blanche tour, the album came out. Just out here grinding, man. We’ve been to LA, Frisco,
HHC: What spot has received you the best besides
Phat Kat: It’s a toss-up between
HHC: With this album, it seems like you’ve really stepped your game up lyrically. What have you been doing between your first album, The Undeniable, and Carte Blanche?
Phat Kat: With The Undeniable, that album was pushed back three times, the album was like three years old. The album’s supposed to came out in 2001, the album came out in 2004. That’s the difference. It’s not really nothing different in how I was going about things, but the album was dated. It was pushed back. The album was three years old before it even came out. With Carte Blanche, it was fresh. That’s really like my first album to me. The situation I was in, I didn’t feel like the label believed in what I was doing 100 percent, so I wasn’t going to give 100 percent as an artist to a label that wasn’t giving 100 percent as a label. With the situation I’m in now, you can tell it’s 100 percent. I was full throttle on this album.
HHC: Yeah, you document that in the song, “My Old Label.” Do you think that a lot of other artists on Barak Records went through the same thing?
Phat Kat: Every artist over there feels almost, if not the same way that I felt. I’m not there, so I can voice my opinion and say what I feel now. I don’t have a muzzle on me, I can say whatever I want to say. And, if the truth (hurts), so be it. But it’s the truth. It wasn’t a good situation.
HHC: You also have the song, “Survival Kit,” in which you go through some things that every artist should know. Out of that whole kit, which would you say would have helped you the most in your career?
Phat Kat: Really, Rule #2 and Rule #1, it’s a mixture of those two. Rule #1, “You want shit done, you’ve got to do it yourself/it’s the only true way to see your growth and your wealth.” It’s the only true way! You’ve got to do shit yourself. And #2, “Only you are responsible for you.” You’ve got to take responsibility for your own acts, and control your own destiny. That’s what it’s about.
HHC: It seems like ever since J Dilla died,
Phat Kat: It’s a mixture…it’s really this. It’s a jedi mind trick, everybody knows that. The reason
HHC: So what is it like for you, now that
Phat Kat: I mean, it’s different, man. I’m not used to it, so I’m really just taking it all in stride. But it’s a beautiful thing. Now that people are looking, they can hear, so it’s a beautiful thing, man.
HHC: Being a personal friend of Dilla, how bittersweet is it for you that all of this is happening after Dilla passed?
Phat Kat: it’s bittersweet, because we used to always used to say that the music we were making was light years ahead of people, so that it was going to take them years to catch on to what we were doing anyway. It’s kind of fucked up that he can’t be here to see people finally catching on, but I know he’s here in spirit with the stuff we created, so it’s all good.
HHC: There are a whole lot of projects coming out of
Phat Kat: Actually, me and Elzhi are doing an album too. We formed a group called Cold Steel (named after Carte Blanche’s Elzhi-featured single of the same name). Yeah. We just really putting ideas and crafting songs, and we’re just going to see what we come up with. We might put it out on Look. … I’m looking forward to Guilty Simpson’s album, I’m looking forward to the new
HHC: You’re from the D, so you’ve basically worked with everyone out there. But if you could have a fantasy track with any three MCs from the area and any producer, who would it be?
Phat Kat: Well, of course it would be a Dilla joint. It would be myself, Royce Da 5’9”, Elzhi, and Eminem. I think we would all bring something different out of each other on that track, and it would be one of the craziest songs ever made.