Click here to listen to Sheek Louch's "Gangsta Sh*t" (feat. Styles P) in the Street Fury Audio Podcast.
Hip hop fans know the name Sheek Louch. They know he’s part of the Lox, alongside Styles P and Jadakiss. They know him from street classics like “Kiss Yo’ Ass Goodbye” and “Mighty D-Block (2 Guns Up).” They know him from the mixtape circuit, where he rules supreme. They know him from his stellar debut solo effort, Walk Witt Me, and countless guest appearances and video cameos. Yup, his name’s heavy in the hood, daddy, and don’t you forget it.
With his most recent album (After Taxes) and hot new mixtape (Still A Wolf) creating more heat on the block than a firebomb, Street Fury had a chance to get Sheek on the phone to chat about hip hop, video games and violence in gaming. It took, literally, a month of steady phone calls to hunt this dude down and get him on the phone, so major props go out to Ty of D-Blockworld.com and the great Supa Mario, both of whom helped make this happen. Mario was also kind enough to leak us a new mixtape track from Still A Wolf, the incredible "Gansta Sh*t" with Styles P. Thanks, man! Enjoy!
Hey Sheek, how ya doin’?
Before we even get into this, I gotta ask ya, how do find time to record so much material? You guys put out more songs than anyone, be it on mixtapes or your official albums, and it just keeps coming. How do you get so much work done and still tour?
We own our studio, so we damn near live in there. So when we ain’t on the road, we’re in the studio. While one guy is watching the game or playing videogames, someone like Vinnie Idol might come through with a hot beat, and we just go right in the booth. We got two up and running booths so we’re not bumping into each other. And it’s hunger, man. We stay hungry. We been in this game 10 years, but you’d think we were brand new and just got a deal by how hungry we are. We’ve been blessed. And it's like we’re working construction or in a steel mine like our parents did. We just have to grab a piece on pen and paper and write down our thoughts.
After Taxes was critically acclaimed and hot as hell. How do you compare it to Walk Witt Me.
It’s amazing. After Taxes is incredible. It’s my second album and I’m real proud of this one. I feel like I stepped it up in all areas. My first one was real personal for me in that I wasn’t looking for outside tracks and didn’t want no one on my album. I was talking from a lot of personal angles. This one, I’m on my grown man sh*t.
You got Beanie Siegel on the remix of “Kiss Yo’ Ass Goodbye” right after he got out of prison. It’s his first appearance since he got out. How’d you pull that off?
That was through Dame Dash. We did his “Feel It In The Air” remix and he got on my joint. That was the first rhyme he wrote after getting out.
It’s killer, man. So on the videogame tip, what video games were you playin’ as a kid?
I had everything. I had R.O.B. the Robot and was rockin’ Gyromite. I was playing Tecmo Bowl, Double Dribble, Ten Yard Fight. You’re talking to the right guy now! I’m talkin’ Atari: Breakout, Berserk, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man. I was one of those dudes with the black and white TV and the counter-ball that goes back and forth, the little computer ball.
Did you used to go to the arcade and play too?
We had this place called CYO in Yonkers. We were supposed to be at church at the time, but we’d skip and take our money that we were supposed to put in the pot and play them videogames.
Were you friend with the other Lox guys back then?
Yeah, we have been friends for a long time. Our parents were friends and hung out. Still do even now. Jadakiss is into Madden and all the basketball games.
What kind of current games do you dig?
I like basketball games like NBA Live 06, NBA Street Vol. 3 and NCAA March Madness 2005, and stuff like Madden NFL 06. I dig a lot of shooter games and army games too. I like Brothers in Arms a lot and SOCOM. I’m all about those army games and strategy games. Like SOCOM, I’ll spend all night long on that. And Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? That’s a classic too. That’s sick. One of the best ones so far.
One of the reason so many cats love that game is all the violence. But, of course, just like rap music, rock ‘n’ roll, and everything else fun, the politicians and critics complain about too much violence. When it comes to violence in games and what kids should be exposed to, how much of that is the responsibility of the game makers as opposed to the parents?
It’s up to the parent, man, strictly. If you don’t want them to play a game, don’t buy it for ‘em. If you see it in the house, and you told him not to have it, then he musta traded it with one of his friends and got a hold of it. Just take it away. We’ll put a parental advisory sticker on it, but that’s the most. I’m not with all that. The parents should be able to stop their kid from playing everything. It’s not the guy who made the game.
Do you think that these complaints are more of a reflection of lazy parenting than evil game makers?
Definitely lazy parenting. They’re not staying on top of it. “I told you ‘no, you can’t play that game. That’s the way it is. I have my reasons. That’s that.’”
And it seems like this argument comes up every few years, whether it’s about movies, music or videogames.
Yeah. When I make my raps and I’m talking about shooting this person or doing this and that, I’m not telling you to go do it. I’m letting you know experiences or something that happened to somebody I know. Or maybe it’s made up. But I’m not telling you to go out and do it. If Steven Spielberg makes a movie, he’s not saying do what he does in the movie, he’s just putting his imagination and thoughts out there.
I remember when Ice-T was catching heat for Body Count’s “Cop Killer” song back in the early ‘90s, he wondered why all these people that were tripping weren’t going after Arnold Schwarzenegger for his Terminator movies, where he kills hundreds of people.
He’s right. Arnold is worth millions of dollars, so they ain’t gonna come down hard on him.
Is it a political thing?
Hell yeah. Very, very political. The government wants in. If they get in [and they are making some money], they won’t say too much. It’s like with gambling. It’s illegal when they don’t have nothing to do with it. But they’ll put it in the casino and make it legal where they can have a cut off it
I wonder if they were seeing a cut of these games, if they’d be making such a big deal about it?
I guarantee they wouldn’t. I guarantee.
What do you think of this new trend of taking old movies and turning them into videogames, like Godfather and Warriors? And, hey, aren’t you in the Warriors game?
Yeah, I’m one of the guys you come by your weapons from. Supa Mario hooked that up. They asked me and I was like, “Word! Hell yeah, I’ll do that.” Everybody has the movie Warriors in the house. That was cool. You go there and go through a whole list of things to say, and see the characters that’s on screen in front of you. It’s dope. Some of these movies need to be made into video games. Especially for the kids that don’t know about Warriors. That’s a way for them to see it and understand it. It’s like a book, these video games.
Is there a movie you’d like to see turned into a videogame?
Young Guns! Remember that one? That’s sick. That’s one of the illest movies. It’s a western. The action, the shootouts. That would be an incredible game.
What about the Mario Van Peebles version a few years later with Bid Daddy Kane, Posse?
Ha ha! I think I’ll pass on that one!
Check out www.dblockonline.com for more D-Block heat.