Photo: Alexander Richter.
XXL spoke to the man himself about his prior beefs with Jay-Z and Chuck D to his rocky relationship with Guru…
You’ve previously spoken about how you and Guru had some differences. Did those arguments inspire the art?
Yeah, I’ve had songs written about me when we were having problems. “Now You’re Mine” was written about me. Guru was a lot of personalities. Not “was,” he has a lot of personalities. He goes from the coolest fun guy to the meanest, most dangerous guy. He is so many different moods. I used to think he was bipolar but it made our stuff great. We both had three different houses, cars and more cars and our homies are driving our old cars. We had Benzs, BMW’s, Jaguars and we did that with underground Gang Starr money. That’s why the last time we spoke, which was on April 1, 2004, we were on a good note. I still have this email stored in my inbox. It was a disagreement about a show in Vail, Colorado that he didn’t want to do. We already got paid for it and he didn’t want to give it back. He was like, “You can’t do it without me.” So I did the show. We got the money. It went to the Gang Starr account anyway. He sent me a letter after that saying he wanted to record [elsewhere]. I could mix it here though. That never happened. We even had some royalty issues. We were fighting with people who we sued in 1991. The money had been on hold for 18 years and we just got the money a year before he got sick. We had to correspond with each other because we both had to sign off on it. We got a nice fat six-figure check. We got to divvy that up. It wasn’t none of this, “My ex-DJ.”