Former Roc-A-Fella Records rapper Memphis Bleek recently talked about what he has been up to over the past few years and why it is more important to carefully craft new records rather than rushing out a retail project.
Admitting he has been out of the spotlight since the mid-2000’s, Bleek said his primary focus is regaining fans’ attention.
“I’ve been working for three years, four years, so, I’ve got a bunch of records,” Bleek said in an interview. “I ain’t released an album since 2005, 2006? It’s 2011. It’s almost like, I don’t want to say this on national TV, but it’s real. It’s like selling drugs. You can’t just get on the block and say, ‘I got this.’ You gotta give out some samples or who’s gonna come buy it from you just because you got it? … I want to give it away so people can appreciate it. I feel like I have to throw the big single out, the radio record, to make you appreciate the album and spend your hard earned money. I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to convince you that this is the best album. I just want to give it out and you decide.” (FUSE TV)
Last year, Bleek talked about wanting to find success without mentor Jay-Z‘s help.
“You know, Jay put out four albums and I was there for the making of all four of them,” Bleek said in an interview. “I ain’t get on none of them, people are probably like ‘Why?’ I did a whole album with Jay, I did nine singles with Jay, I shot seven videos with Jay, how much more can we tell people he’s my man than you already know? That’s number one and of course people are looking at me like ‘Why would you do that, you could get a record with Jay, get hot and be right back in the spotlight,’ but then you know what that is to me? That’s like buying a Playstation game from the store right now, putting in the cheat code and calling my man saying I beat the game. In all reality, I didn’t beat the game, I cheated. Me doing a song with Jay right now feels like I would cheat the game.” (Rap Radar)
Despite no longer being on the Roc, Bleek recently called Hov his biggest music critic.
“Jay. Because he my biggest critic,” Bleek said in an interview. “Jay is the type of person, it’s never right. I don’t care how much I can sit in my house, record 20 thousand records and I can say ‘this one is the record!’ Ain’t nothing no body can tell me that’s gonna change my mind. And soon as I get to the office, he be like that’s bulls**t. You for real thinking that’s crazy? And I be looking at him like “Am I bugging? Or is it you?” He’s my biggest critic. I’m tryna always get his approval and make the boss happy. And it’s never gonna happen I see (laughs) I definitely gotta come from the street first.” (All Hip Hop)
In 2009, Bleek explained why he turned down an opportunity to join Hov’s Roc Nation.
“I coulda went to Roc Nation, but then what am I getting out of that?,” Bleek asked in an interview. “Another $150,000 check advance, then I come out [and] sell 300,000 probably, somebody makes two or three million, and I gotta mess with the fact that they gon’ say yo you bricked out? Like that’s the industry. And that’s [with a label run by] my homie. Now if [it’s] somebody else, [they] might not even get a 150 [thousand dollar] advance, they probably go get 30. And plus I’d rather be on my own, fam. I been in the game, like you said a decade now, I know what to do; I know what not to do. It’s time for me to have my own record [label]. I got a lot of n*ggas behind me that’s ready to get they shot. And me being behind Jay, they ain’t gonna never get they shot.” (Hip Hop DX)
Memphis Bleek’s 2005 534 solo album dropped May 2005.
Check out Memphis Bleek’s interview below: