U THINK U KNOW...BUT U HAVE NO IDEA
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - TRAGEDY KHADAFI SPEAKS OUT ABOUT THE DRAMA WITH NEW-SCHOOL BROOKLYN MC MAINO
AS TOLD TO NASIRA MIRANDA JANE
The text message simply said, "Did you hear what happened to Tragedy?" Naturally, my heart dropped into my stomach. Don't send me a message like that, ever! I hit him up, didn't reach him, he's in the streets doing what Khadafi does best - run them. So I went online and did a little research. Apparently there was a fisticuffs at T.I.'s birthday party in New York recently, and all the websites were saying that Maino, the kid from BK who ran with Lil' Kim, had bested Tragedy Khadafi in a physical altercation. Believe me, after 10 years of knowing Trag, and having spent time with him in his 'hood, if you know like I know, no one (Freddie Foxxxx or Just Ice, MAYBE) is whipping Trag out...period. Of course anyone can shoot anyone else, and anyone can buck-fifty someone, that goes without saying! I mean, hand to hand combat, it's not happening, I don't care who this kid is.
And that's not even the fucken point. First of all, this is a damn business. THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC. Rap all you want about how hard you are, real bad men move in silence, and real great ones are generals in command of an army of bad men who move in silence. No matter what your beefs are, within this business, fighting and cutting and shooting is just more black-on-black violence or just more negativity period. And if people were getting hurt or killed for breaking contracts or owing money or any of that shit, MF DOOM would be in heaven many times over.
Not only was I pissed that people were saying that Tragedy got beat up at a party by some cornball young cat who I've only heard one song from ever on a DJ Stage One mixtape (Minneapolis!)...I fucking hate the media. I HATE IT. Tragedy is a legendary MC, he's the leader of the entire Queensbridge street movement, he's a businessman and entreprenuer, he's a father...I could go on and on and half the story would never be told.
But the damn bitches (men included) who own/operate all these gossip-column-sounding "Hip Hop" websites don't ever spend time lauding his accomplishments, or giving much needed awareness about his records! Of course there are many mags that have supported him, and one of the best features of my entire career was when I told his story from his own words from a 120-minute interview we conducted while I was at Complex Magazine but was printed in Elemental Magazine. I appreciate deeply the mags and websites who have supported Trag, and who have supported my work about him and other conscious, positive, independent, underground, political, socially relevent MCs and artists.
So I wanted to give some background about the situation, enough of me fucken talking, who cares what I have to say?! You can google the gossippingbitches who mentioned the Tragedy/Maino alleged-altercation stories your damn self, or more importantly just keep reading and learn what really happened fromTragedy himself. And I quote...
“Basically it’s a situation where we were going to do a mixtape deal with Maino, and my partner didn’t necessarily wanna do the deal, but I pushed for the deal ‘cause I kinda liked his vibe a little bit. Time went on, he signed off on the agreement, when I got it back my partner didn’t want to sign the executed agreement on our end, and technically there was no deal – Maino never delivered a master so there were no monies owed to him.
From what I gather from sources close to him he’s a bit frustrated, he’s riding the coattails of lil kim, I guess Universal isn’t pushing him the way he thought they would. Anyway, At the T.I. party I tried to talk to him, and at that time I’m totally unaware that there’s a gripe at that level between us as we haven’t talked in a few months.
I wouldn’t want to walk into a trap. I go to a T.I. party or an industry party, I’m there to get my network game on, to be social. I’m not getting into any wars, that’s what I left the hood for.
I’m hearing a lot of rumours that Maino fucked me up I don’t even like saying his name and giving this any energy, the fact is it wasn’t even him who hit me. I got hit with a chair in my back, with a champagne bottle in my face and a bottle in the back of my head. From what I gather it was 5 to 7 of them who were physically hitting me. I have a little scratch on my face, they ain’t fuck my sexy up, I’m still young and pretty and hitting hard.
I’m not even concentrating on it but I’m hearing so many rumours about it, and I don’t want things to go unchecked. It’d be one thing if I owed him money, e’one who knows me knows that I’d keep my mouth shut if I was in the wrong. At the end of the day were in a business. If he feels some kind of way about my company there’s a way to confront things. You don’t want to savagely beat somebody in this industry, who’d want to do business with you? Now are people are gonna feel reluctant to invite Tragedy Khadafi to a party? No. Because Khadafi was confronted in an aggressive way and did what he could to survive. Would they want to invite Maino to a party? No. Who’s to say he’s not unhappy with Universal…what’s he gonna do? Shoot a Universal staff member at a party, I mean think about it.
A lot of this game is based on negative sensationalism. You’ve got a lot of people who don’t care about that stuff – is Maino gonna come with a good record? Will Tragedy Khadafi come back to save Hip Hop, will he put his stamp on something like he did with Capone-N-Noreaga’s War Report record? Is it possible for another street record to be commercially successful? Those are the questions ad the stories we need to concentrate on as opposed to focusing on someone becoming irate and resorting back to the primitive skills we learn in the streets - that’s not general status, it’s not thinking like a boss, and it’s counter-productive.
On a real note, for the fans of Tragedy Khadafi and 25 to Life Records, I’m working on a compilation with Uprising Records, a collaboration of Queensbridge and Queens artists. I’m also putting out a new solo album through a joint venture between 25 II Life and Nature Sounds in the first quarter of 2007, and I’m working on closing some deals with Havoc and Scram Jones for the 2nd quarter. Lastly, myself,Cormega and Nature are putting a supergroup together.”
Real words from Trag on the situation! Just wanted to clear that up. Let's focus on this last paragraph, people, please. Also I have to say that Trag, his brother Christ Castro and I are in the process on a book about his life and a related movie treatment/script. It's been many years in the making, on my part, and obviously their whole lives in the living. I first mentioned the book project in my bio/press clips packages circa 2000, and I've been working on it, in my brain, since I first heard GRAND GROOVE and ARREST THE PRESIDENT. So I'm excited and happy that the first book project I'll be authoring is a collaboration with someone I respect as an artist, as a businessperson, and as a man.
And for MY fans, I promise, the 2nd book WILL be the first volume of my autobiography, which is also in progress - spanning from the pre-history on my Communist/Labor organizing Grandparents, my Jazz bassist father and Jazz drummer mother, my early years in Hollywood, and ending with my short-lived career at The Source - with everything on the years in between within those pages.
And finally, for a young girl reading this somewhere in Ghana, or in Wichita, Kansas, or in London, UK - who doesn't know anyone in the music business or listen to Hip Hop or read The Source or know that Queensbridge Housing is the largest housing projects in Northern America...here's the lesson.
You can be from anywhere in the world. You can come from the slums, or from a broken home. Even if your father doesn't love you and he leaves your mother and your family behind, or if you're an orphan with no parents; or if you're young and pregnant and confused. Even if you were born with HIV/AIDS; or if your friends and neighbors are disappearing at the hands of death squads or are victims of "ethnic cleansing". Even if you or someone you love is incarcerated, or a victim of police brutality. Even if you live somewhere without running water, or paved roads, or if you have a tin roof on your house and a dirt patch as your floor...EVEN IF YOU'RE ALL THESE THINGS AT ONCE, YOU CAN DREAM, PLAN, VISUALIZE, PRACTICE, ACT, BUILD, GROW, OVERSTAND, EFFECT CHANGE, AND CREATE FRUITION. DON'T EVER GIVE UP. AND DON'T EVER STOP SPEAKING OUT IN WHICHEVER FORMS YOU CHOOSE. NEVER BE SILENCED. AND ALWAYS LOVE YOUR LIFE.
One Love to my true readers...
NASIRA MIRANDA JANE