With that distinct New York tone, Golden Arms aka U God is fast talking, straight talking, rapid fire talking-U God delivers conversational speech like he’s testing out some lyrics he just thought of in his head at double time speed. The fact is that U God as part of the Wu Tang Clan could not be anything else apart from this whirlwind of energy.
The Wu Tang Clan period are simmering wells of loquacious verbal, mind bending 16 and they have been doing this for twenty years. Indeed this group of merry emcees are not backward in coming forward with opinions on everybody and everything; not in that gossip mongering fashion but rather just in that mode of ‘real talk’ So it was no surprise that in meeting U-God I was faced with an opinionated veteran rapper who has a major liking for some calamari-“give me ten pieces of calamari” he states before pausing and going-“in fact give me twenty pieces shit I love my calamari!” when I hit the K-West Hotel to chat with him.
The fact is the day was a Wu Clan fan’s dirty dream-the whole crew were there in all their Clan glory. As I walked in I was faced with Bobby Digital aka Rza the productive genius behind so many of the Clan’s classics (he was cool) as I asked him what was cracking?
Anyway U God is back with his latest project The Keynote Speaker which he released on Rza’s label Soul Temple Imprint. It’s been a hot minute since U God dropped something but as he states succinctly when talking about that gap-“I was working on this project and getting it right”
It’s a veritable stomach churning plunge into hip-hop royalty from; Elzhi, to Styles P with hot collabos from Clan members like Meth and Inspectah Deck all under pinned by brilliant beats that transport you into New York where emcees and dj’s work/ed in synergy-
So U God so what you saying?
It’s been two years since I been out and in that time I have been just working on the record. People have been asking me what I have been doing-working on the album that is it- see I don’t like to make no microwaveable food. My shit is hard and you can really feel the content and if you take your time with something like this then it is definitely better than that microwaveable food that is put out there.
How did you get into this mad game called hip-hop?
I came into hip-hop since the shit started but I don’t even really know why I got into this shit-maybe because in the hood we did not have stars and so we had to make our own stars but I was attracted to the whole scene. My neighbour down stairs used to make speakers and we used to collect a lot of vinyl and it was all hip-hop which is why I know so much about hip-hop so I expect that helped but getting into hip-hop was just this natural shit.
So before we get onto Key Note Speaker a little thoughts from a veteran on the older skool era and now?
I feel that the hip-hop of today is less street rap than it was before. When we came in the game we spoke about the hood and made the hood come to the masses. That is what is missing-rhymes just about street life and about that real shit that is going on. That bling thing is being done everywhere but people have forgotten about that good old hood rap, the good old street raps, the Nas and the Mobb Deep, Biggie, Tupac that’s all hood shit.
The labels seem to be ignoring that type of rap.
I don’t think these labels know the f**k what they are doing tell you the truth. They think they can put their money to bullshit and then think they can make shit into money and it is not like that. You gotta earn your stripes out here-you ain’t gonna get a whole heap of love just because you throw some money at this shit. You might get one single but you talking about continuously hitting nah that just won’t happen.
Have we lost an understanding of a rapper’s story?
Of course! With these people that come out like that when you hear their rhymes you don’t feel closeness to their story he just came f***ing out of nowhere-“who is this guy?” That’s basically the problem with the game right now you gotta be able to tell your story but you need to know who you are and where you came from. Not he was a hustler or a drug dealer no man there gotta be more to you dawg; you a lover or a fighter, you a family man, you a good guy a bad guy-damn what is your character you have got to let that shit out not just ‘I’m a baller’-who the f**k are you dawg!
What about this whole Kanye West thing where you stated ‘Kanye needs to come back to earth’?
Now you see that shit right there it got blown out of all proportion. I did not try and lynch this dude up I love the guy’s music. I was just saying the guy is too far gone-he needs to come back home. It’s like when you see your favourite hero not hitting home runs anymore. I don’t know how he feels about me personally because I really don’t give a fuck but I know I like his music but he is f***ing up at the moment-he needs to come back.
So with Key Note you have kept the collabos basically old skool.
Some dudes believe their hype so much that they be like I ain’t f**ing with this dude. I put out the calls but people did not get back.
The name Key note Speaker it is self-explanatory really but just give the background on why the name?
Well basically it represents me stepping to the podium and saying what I am saying. When politicians step the podium as the key note speaker they the main person but the thing is, I was not trying to say some profound shit as such I was just saying shit to get people’s attention in the form of hip-hop. It’s about rhyming but at any rate it’s about my fifteen minutes of fame where I get your attention and drop bars on that microphone.
Lastly just give a bit of info about the promo for the album.
I am in no rush really we got a whole load of shit kicking off in terms of the Clan it’s our twenty year history and so that’s going to be popping but with Key Note there’s a vid out right now for Fame and I am working on shit for Skyscraper-so stay locked for all that will be cracking.
Key Note Speaker out August 19th