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Interview With Bullet – Part 3 – 2005


31 August 2005 No Comment

In this last part of the Bullet interview we wrap up by talking about his live shows, which producers he is working with, the current state of Hip Hop, entering other markets, what he wants to achieve by the end of this year and lastly we discuss two new artists On One and Ready Starr.

Are you looking at distributing your music through digital channels?

Yes. This has already been explored and my music in one place or another is out there on the download network. 

Have you worked on a live show? What kind of set does Bullet have? What is the average length of your show?

The average set is about 15-20 minutes. We have been working on the live show a lot in the past month getting ready for the summer. I am definitely trying some new things I think people will enjoy even more than in the past.

Which producers are you working with right now?

Right now I’m starting to do some new stuff, I’m still working with Big Ice, Oral Bee & Funk Daddy. I really like what they do and we have a history together. In 2006, I will add another producer and style but these are people I will be working with till its over.

In your opinion do you think an artist can make a comfortable living only focusing the regional market or must you go national to realize any returns?

In large regions like Texas, California and New York I think you can for a few records. In smaller states I’d say you can for maybe one record, after that you have to expand. Things in life can never stay the same just like your album sales. They will either go up or go down. So expand and grow is really the only option if you want to win.

If you think about the man Bullet, do you see him as a brand?

Yes to a point. Like any logo or brand name you promote, it represents something. I think to each person Bullet means something else. It really comes to ones general perception. I have already done things to start branding the name and logo. The more we promote it, the more popular it will become. Obviously like many things I have done in the past people feel that making a logo out of their name is a good idea, that’s why you are now seeing other artists follow suit. 

If you look around at what is being released (hip hop) to the American public what do you like and what don’t you like?

I don’t like the way rap has changed. Now things seem so recycled and resemble what has already been done a million times over. Right now I do like Haystak and his political movement and views as a white rapper. I also like the entertainment aspect of Chingo Bling’s music, NB Ridaz last album was cool, something to just ride to and enjoy. It was a more universal have fun album. On a major label scale there really hasn’t been anything I can think of that I just had to have. Regionally I like Potluck out of Northern California and Ready Starr has a new album that just came out and its real solid. I also like Yuns, and the overall positive feel good vibe of his newer music. 

Do you consider yourself a hip-hop artist or a rap artist?

I am definitely a rap artist.

As for new releases what are the timelines you have in mind? 

Right now I really can’t say, so many things have jumped up and landed on my plate in the last week so it’s hard to tell. I know the Ready Starr album will be out May 19th and the launch of our website will be around June 15th. The Khevlar, On One, todd g along with the new Bullet album will be out in July. I am also doing a project with G-House Records in Japan that will be an exclusive CD and Vinyl release in Japan. I’m very confident that this will be what it takes to really break the language barrier for me and allow me to bring my entire catalog to Japan shortly. I also have a list of Bullet Presents albums we are trying to figure out release dates and distribution for in the United States. We may finish all of the albums and hold them back until next year so we can launch them nationally the right way. I think the best answer for the Bullet Presents catalog is stay tuned (www.BulletMuzik.com), most of them are already pressed, and the rest will be shortly. When everything lines itself up we will really start promoting it. 

I’ve received your catalog in the mail (thanks) and I must say that I’m impressed with the artwork and the overall quality of the songs (reviews coming soon). Is the reason for re-releasing some of your stuff got to do with the fact that many people either slept on them or didn’t have access to it? 

There are 4 re releases total basically the first 4 projects I put out under Bullet were all re done. A lot of people are confused by the re-releases because they have the same titles as the old albums but have new songs and new album covers. Basically I went back and perfected each individual album years later having much more experience and a more perfected craft as an artist. The end result is every album is 3 times better than the original hands down, and that’s why they’ve already sold more copies than the originals even though I never pushed any of these re releases like they were a new album. Infact I just promoted them while promoting When The Rain Falls, which is probably the reason they’ve ended up selling so many. Some people and some meaning a very select few have frowned on the idea of re releasing the albums but the bottom line is they are far better albums and that combined with repressing the originals a year later brought those original albums back to life which ended with me having 9 albums to sell and make money from instead of 5. Do the math! From the business perspective it was a great move by a great rapper.

I’ve never seen a Bullet music video, what’s the reason for that? Is there one in the works?

It’s not that I don’t want to do a video but for me it doesn’t make sense financially. There isn’t enough channels to push a video through and until that aspect changes I doubt it will be something I do. 

How often do you hang around on Raptalk?

I don’t. I stopped doing that back in January of 2004 right before I went on the road. After being on the road so long I just kind of stopped and started dealing with my personal life, which didn’t include music. Then after a situation with song clearances came up on there in November with a few artists, I watched all these people try to jump up and say shit when they really didn’t know the situation. It was like 1 perspective blown up and it just kind of reinforced my feelings that I wasn’t interested in forums. They’ve been the breeding ground for problems and have caused several problems for numerous rappers. If I felt it would make my career maybe I’d change my mind and spend time there but that aint the case and I’m past all the Internet kid shit.

Why did you rearrange the songs in the way you did on the Special Edition of “Small Town Living…”? I gotta admit it’s doper than the original! I notice that there are bonus tracks on there as well (nice!) but there’s one song you left out, it was on as a snippet on the original version, I think it’s the one with Cool Nutz. Why wasn’t that on the album? Are you still going to release it?

The song is called “If You” and yes I will release that song. Big Ice remixed the song, and Shaolin is no longer on the song. Now it is Cool Nutz and Mayo with me on there and it’s definitely a slumper. I know why your asking, and its actually tight that somebody can remember a song from hearing a snippet at the end of an album that came out 4 years ago. That’s super dope. 

When is “Before the Reign” coming out? Is it a straight Bullet album or a compilation?

The album will be out in July, its all Bullet and super hot. I have a few surprises on it so be sure not to miss it.

Who will be doing beats for that?

Funk Daddy, Da Playboy Foundation, C Major, The Northwest Kings, Bosko, and few others. It has some slumps on there.

You mentioned that you will be dropping “International Reign” in Japan. What will be the difference between this and the “Before the Reign”? Are they separate albums?

They are totally different records, the Reign title is a little confusing for people but my daughters name is Reigna so people will have to sort out the confusion. North Coast Rain is now spelled Reign as is When The Rain Falls. There will be Before The Reign, International Reign and possibly a follow up album After The Reign in 2006. If you think about how many albums I have under Bullet the title Reign is more fitting than people may want to admit but it fits for me, and my life so it is what it is.

Have you considered releasing in Germany? They have a massive market there.

I am already moving on Europe, in fact I am doing my first interview in Germany tonight. I just finished my first collaboration with a rapper from France named Moni (Money) called “Dangerous Connection”. The song is real tight and will be released in France in August.

 Are you going to be touring Japan?

Yes it is almost a guarantee now with the International Reign album. Obviously working with a label and a distributor based in Japan those doors will be open in August when the album drops. Unless somebody makes a power move, Bullet will be the first NW artist in Japan and when I go I’ll be bringing the Bullet Presents artists with me. This way by the time another act from our region gets over there, they won’t be second, they’ll be more like fifth or tenth. 

What’s a typical day like for you now?

Everyday changes so much I don’t really have a daily routine. I get up around 9am and get on the phone and touch basis with people I need to, check my email, maybe do an interview or work on advertising or filling orders for our distributor or an order in Japan. If it isn’t that I mailing out some CD’s to be reviewed etc. I try to spend sometime with my daughter when I first get up and here and there as the day goes on. If I hadn’t made time for my fiancé before dinner, I usually will right after. When I am home I try to do more family stuff in between all of the office work. When I am on the road, which is where I will be starting tomorrow night at 4pm. When we launch this year’s road trip it will start with Leo/Bullet Management, On One, and myself. Another person will join us on June 26th and we will be meeting up with another person in July. We are looking at 7 people total before the end of July. 

What do you hope to achieve by the end of this year?

20,000 units sold. Are estimate on the road is about 16,000 and I am just under 3,000 for Japan this year already so 20,000 would be solid, 25,000 would be perfect. The funny thing is that even if we went out and sold 40 or 50,000 cats out here would still talk shit. Rappers and labels in the Northwest don’t know how to respect another mans success, but they’ll be the first to praise them selves while downing everybody else. It’s their way of trying to feel better about the things they aren’t doing. People give you props when they want to piggy back your shit and talk shit about you when they think they don’t need you or they know you won’t help them. Like I said I aint working with people outside my circle, and I aint rapping for the Northwest. I’m rapping to feed my family, and because I love to do it. The best rapper is the one who sells more records and makes more money, everything else is just opinion. 

What do you find yourself writing about these days?

It varies, I really aint had much time to write a lot these days, to busy selling records and carrying out the plan to sell records. Once I get back to being an artist fulltime I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say, until then people can hear me on the Bullet Presents catalog, as well as the new Bullet record.

What get’s you writing verses?

Life, whatever I am going through. The other day when I was chopping it up with Todd G, he told me I write the best when I am proving people wrong and letting my music speak for me. I never really realized that until he said it but its true, when my back is against the wall and I’m out to prove points, I can spit with the best of them. 

Are you planning a DVD?

I’ve thought about it recently but to me at this point the DVD and mix tape thing is already burnt out. With that said I would have to say it is unlikely at this time. There needs to be a rule in the game where you can only copy or duplicate something that has been done so many times before you should be banned from rap. The DVD thing isn’t that tired but the mix tape thing seems just more than a little bit old unless your somebody who really helped develop the idea or break it in your market. 

Will you ever write a book? 

I’d like to, but the names would have to be changed to protect the innocent. If I did it would have to be a life story on myself but the problem is I’ve done to many things at this point I would never want out there for the world to read. That kind of honesty would be brutal to people and there feelings, and for that reason alone I don’t think I could ever do it. Aside from that we all make choices we regret and sometimes its just better to leave certain things in the past. My music to me in some ways is an on going book, and every album is like a chapter of my life. If people really want to know me I feel like that’s the only form I feel comfortable with. Does that make sense?

Can you tell us what you doing right now (on the road?)

HUSTLIN! Things are super crazy out here, its an entire different world when your out here on the road selling records and signing autographs all day everyday 7 days a week. We make runs, which can be 2 weeks to as long as 8 weeks depending on what region of the United States we are in. Currently we are on a 15 days run which will end late Thursday night. This year so far we have already hit numberous states including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah. We are still planning to reach another 10 states which we predict will take us until late October. From there we will head to the Southeast United States and end in Flordia or we will be flying to Japan to tour off my first Japan album “International Reign” which will be released in September. 

The other day I was waking up in Pocatello, Idaho as I finish the last questions for this interview that has been going on now for 2 months with mixed emotions. For the first time in two weeks I got to see my fiance and my kids last night as they drove down and met me on the road. It’s a great feeling to spend time with the people you love, especially when your apart so much. My daughter is now 9 weeks old and getting so big. It’s really hard to be away from home after having her, but on the other side I’m proud to take care of my family. It was just real hard to see them leave this morning. On the other hand last night we sold the 7000th copy of “When The Rain Falls” with only 500 copies left before I have to repress which will take place next Monday. It is truely a blessing to do music this long and accomplish so much. It is so much more than i ever expected to say the least. It really proves if you work hard for something you will be rewarded not just in music but in life. 

Give us a quick brief on On One and Ready Starr as you mentioned them and we didn’t get those.

Ready Starr is a close friend of mine, and his talent as an artist is unbelievable. Its really an honor to be working with such a great person. As for his album I have nothing to do with the release of it, but we are doing a lot of cross promotion and touring together. His single “Paradise” is already catching a big buzz at radio in the Northwest and i predict a major deal for him soon. For more info on Ready Starr go to www.readystarr.com.

As for On One, we are re-releasing his debut album that he released in 2004 on his own. We are trying to wrap it up while being on the road. Yesterday In Salt Lake City, Utah we took a day off from the road and got a big chunck of it done with King Cevil in the Sick Lake Records recording studios. He is the next generation of Bullet and Eastside Muzik Inc. Its up to him on how far this will really go for him, but where talent is concerned he’s on a whole other level. My plan is for him to carry the Bullet & Eastside legacy into the future. I have commited to the end of 2006 as an artist, but after that I am really thinking I will turn to the business and let my new artists get their shine on. With that said I want to make it clear that I’m not saying I’m retiring or walking away from music positively, but as it sits now I am releasing “Before The Reign” and 2 Best Of Bullet albums titled “Second To Who?” & “Dedication & Desire” which I will take on the road next year. We have 2 On One projects scheduled for next year, to go with a few other titles including Todd G, No One Else (N.O.E.) and possibly a few more. Next year is already being planned out and the goals are extremely high. 

In 2006, our catalog will exceed 30 albums total which nobody can say isn’t astronomical. We will be shopping for a major deal with our catalog which were excited about. However it aint no secret, the business perspective of this movement has come very time consuming and somebody has to focus on that aspect. At this point I’m the most realistic option for that, and with the realignment of my priorities where my family is concerned I have to consider things. I really love being on the road and making fans everyday, its what i’ve worked over seven years for, but I don’t love it more than being with my family. 

Are you still working with Dante Thomas?

Yes we still talk occasionally, and we;ve even spoke about doing an album but right now I don’t have the time and resources to do it the way I would want to. A record like that would make me reconsider 2007 but for now i’ll have to wait to see how it unfolds and this year plays out. He’s a great guy and probably the best singer i’ve ever worked with.

Do you plan to work your product on the East Coast?

Honestly its highly unlikely. We do the best on the West Coast, South West and the North West. We did ok in the Midwest on our first run through there last week and plan to hit a little more of it later this year but its gets harder and harder the more we go East. Iowa is our best state in Mid America right now and one of our better states overall but the Midwest as a whole is an entirely different world. To answer the question, if we do hit the East Coast it won’t be for another year. It already takes us a sold 5 months just to hit the West half of the United States. 

Do you have any preference for the places you perform at?

No not really, as long as I’m in front of people who enjoy what I do it doesn’t matter to me. 

Thanks for giving us this opportunity for talking to you again. We wish you every bit of success and as we said before we know this will not be the last we hear of you. Give us your shout outs and last words of wisdom.

As always it is great to sitdown with you and conversate through our long history. You’ve always supported our music as the voice of South Africa in the world Hip-Hop as well as a fan. It means a lot to have people like you out there. 

I want to give a huge shot out to all of my fans worldwide, it is because of you that me and all of the artists around me make music and travel hotel to hotel, city to city, state to state. I wish each of you could see are everyday struggles that face us, just for us to get the music to you. I also have to thank Leo/Bullet Management for staying onboard as we build the future of Bullet & Eastside Muzik Inc. Big ups to my road dogs, On One and No One Else (N.O.E.) who get up everyday and work to help build this empire into something great. Big ups to King Cevil & Sick Lake Records, Ready Starr, Khevlar, Jonas Montgomery, and everybody else who has put there blood, sweat and tears into this. 

An extra thank you to my beautiful Fiance for supporting me through all of us and taking care of our kids. I’m really proud of who you’ve become and I can’t wait to come home to you. 

Best Wishes, From Bullet The Certified Northwest Rap Star!

PS. Be sure to check out my new website! www.BulletMuzik.com For News on Bullet & Eastside Muzik Inc.

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