We sat down with legendary California lyricist Ras Kass last week to talk about Semi Hendrix, his collaboration with mega producer Jack Splash, and their debut project Breakfast At Banksy’s last week, but Kass had a lot more to sound off about than just the album. Respect for female MCs, repping Carson, CA, and the lack of positive coverage for the Black Lives Matter movement were tossed around, and Kass didn’t mince words.
On the state of The HRSMN and their latest EP:
“That wasn’t approved by me. Those were all rough mixes that I sent Canibus that his no-longer-manager, this corny dude named M-Eighty, put out. Luckily, I have a great relationship with the label that put out Canibus’ record, because the vice president worked at Priority [Records]. Those were songs that I had literally sent for Canibus to do like 4-5 years ago, and very sneakily they put it out on an EP and they were MP3s. Really corny, weak, garbage move, so I don’t really respect Canibus’ ex-manager; he’s a snake, he’s a horrible person…real corny thirsty wack shit…”
On Carson, CA’s place in hip-hop:
“We got a new claim to fame. We’re probably gonna get the football stadium in Carson, TDE’s offices and studios are in Carson, we okay (laughs). Feels good, man. It’s awesome; I always feel really cool that I named by city, and Ray-J and Brandy are from Carson, and we’re the sister city of Compton, so it was crazy that some people would try to say that they were from Compton when it’s like no, you’re not from Compton…some people didn’t really rep the city, but we had basketball/football players, it’s a highly mixed city with a lot of Samoans, and 20% everything, so our city’s ill. There’s just not a lot of rappers, apparently (laughs).”
On the next generation and female MCs:
“I would go as far as to say that a lot of the younger cats that are starting to do their research, like the 18-year-olds, like there are a lot of dope dudes that are listening to De La Soul and Rakim and really getting their bars up, so salute to them. There’s also a lot of dope female MCs out there; I was just in Atlanta this past weekend [A3C]…basically, Monie Love has a four-woman MC group Heresy, shouts out to Heresy. So it’s Monie, My Verse, [Dominique] Larue, and [Carolina Dirty], and they’ve got straight *bars*.
There’s a lot of underrated female MCs, and that’s what I was gonna say, a lot of dope female MCs. We’re kinda male-dominated, so it’s always “What do the guy have to say?,” but there’s some dope ass women out there, man, and they deserve their respect. We tend to let like two get on and then they have to fight for the spot like pit bulls and shit (laughs); it’s not cool, bro. Salute the women in hip-hop that bar out, man. Salute them.”
On the lack of media coverage for the Million Man March 20th anniversary:
“What do you expect? Farrakhan…actually, it was Khalid Muhammad, who was number two for a long time in the Nation of Islam, said that “if a man won’t treat you right, why would he teach you right?” These people don’t treat us right. This society has consistently left the elephant in the room about how they disenfranchised us, raped, stole, blah blah blah. I’m not comparing, but we remember the Holocaust, because we should, and we remember what happened to Native Americans, and then they say “just forget about it, ni**ers,” while they shoot more of us, unarmed, murder us. I think how could you go home after you’ve killed somebody unarmed and then eat dinner with your wife? It takes a different mentality…
Even what Stupid [Donald Trump] was saying, how do you write a whole people off and call them rapists? That takes a whole different mechanics of the brain, like you’re a savage, you’re an animal. That’s the animal, see what I’m saying? I don’t expect the media or Rupert Murdoch to have any kind of human interest. He’s an inhumane person to project the lies that he projects, so his coverage is going to be coverage that reinforces his lie, and that’s what the news does. They’re not going to cover us because that could make us too human, to be organized and care.”