Inspectah Deck: Wu-Tang Worldwide

Throughout Wu-Week, both GZA and Masta Killa cosigned that Inspectah Deck has long been a cypha show-stealer for the Wu-Tang Clan. Whether he was comparing himself to Spiderman on “Protect Ya Neck” or impersonating a masked Peter Parker in the “Triumph” video, Deck has always been a musical marvel. Unfortunately, the Staten Island MC has […]

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Throughout Wu-Week, both GZA and Masta Killa cosigned that Inspectah Deck has long been a cypha show-stealer for the Wu-Tang Clan. Whether he was comparing himself to Spiderman on “Protect Ya Neck” or impersonating a masked Peter Parker in the “Triumph” video, Deck has always been a musical marvel.

Unfortunately, the Staten Island MC has never matched the public appeal of his Wu brethren. Since his certified-gold debut, Uncontrolled Substance in 1999, Deck has passed from the majors to indies, to now his latest release on his fledging Urban Icon Records. Originally, Unsung Hero, the album now known as Resident Alien speaks to his core fans, in the States and abroad, that Deck now exclusively considers in making his music. Though the labels and fanfare may have changed, Inspectah Deck’s name still carries like Mariah. Everybody talks about your verse on “Triumph.” Looking at all your material, what’s your favorite verse?

Inspectah Deck: I got a lot of s**t that y’all ain’t heard. But if I had to choose one that’s out there that y’all know, I don’t know “Triumph’ gotta be definitely in my top five but I got a lot in there like the [“For Heaven’s Sake”] way back on Wu-Tang Forever. Know what I’m saying, true messages. [Rhyming] “Oh heaven sake, a vast that swing like Willie Mayes…” Right.

Inspectah Deck: And different dogs give you different things. I got them serious thoughts like “Cold World,” you know what I mean. And in the “C.R.E.A.M.,” also you know you can’t take away from the assassination thing, you know. Some of them stickers, if I got to pick a favorite I would have to say “Triumph” though that was one of the four o’clock in the morning songs, that joint. So I mean I think this is a stupid question but why are you calling your album Unsung Hero?

Inspectah Deck: Unsung Hero is just like story of my career. And I’m not, I’m on damn near every Wu-Tang Clan song and I’m setting, I’m building a place for it me to come in but you know I still ain’t really reached that plateau of my career where it’s like my name is mentioned along side of the greats and s**t. And I can go toe-to-toe with anybody. There ain’t no battleship or disrespect. It’s just when you say you can match wits with them then they decide yeah, so I can dance with you man. I wouldn’t back down from nobody in the game. But I do respect a lot of cats. Unsung Hero is like, “Hey man, If you don’t know me by now you ain’t never gonna know me. In the process, I’m gonna make you know me.” Okay, I see.

Inspectah Deck: F**k all this s**t right here, man. All this HOT97 and hot this and know what I mean. Let’s bring it to 2009. I always use 2009, ‘cause that’s my little slogan know what I’m saying. It’s like what’s next man? If you look at rap the way s**t’s going now man, what’s next? We gonna be shooting laser beams at each other, taking rocketships to the moon. Right.

Inspectah Deck: It’s like what’s up with Platinum, god? What’s happening to your mansion? What’s happening to you in the Hamptons with your motherf**king whatever, know what I’m saying. Like, if your kids and his kids they just can’t have that same life it ain’t really worth celebrating like that. Can you tell everybody an update on the status of Wu-Tang, like right now?

Inspectah Deck: Wu-Tang, man it’s like you know I ain’t gonna f**king sit there and front, man. I be wanting dudes to just sit down, let’s do this album, smash the gang, open up the doors for the next set of young cats to come back through, man – and continue the cycle. Whichever way it goes, and however it goes – if it goes R&B or if it goes Techno, it’s all the way the people take it, man. That’s the other side of the fence though, man, is gonna say it is, not because of the rappers anymore. It’s the people, man. I blame fans now. You gotta aim your dollars. You gotta go in the record store and just demand better, man. Know what I’m saying. Some of them still, you get a chance to throw the headphones on and hear it first, so know what I mean. How’d you get bamboozled on that note? I’m just like certain joints are selling five, six, seven million, it’s like how is that possible with all the same dudes screaming out s**t? I’m gonna make it global ‘cause Wu-Tang is loved in more places than New York, man. You may never play my s**t in New York but I may have 50,000 [spins] in Paris. Do you go overseas a lot?

Inspectah Deck: I went [to Spain] my last time overseas was with [Capadonna], Bizarre Street, Masta Killa. We just all came from Spain man, tore that joint up. I mean, I like I say, we go overseas people got love like I ain’t know there was love like that. We sell out, we actually go there, and [fans] tore my clothes off. Dudes, know what I’m saying? It’s like you know females going crazy. Some say that they’re still in the ‘90s overseas right now, like still in the ‘80s and the ‘90s as far as their appreciation…

Inspectah Deck: Yeah, them n***as is us when Hip-Hop meant something to us. That’s so true man. I seen from the steps of Budapest know what I’m saying to the sands of San Juan. Like you name it, I was there. Germany, did it. [Some] places, I’m the only Black person there, man. I’m still mixing it up on the motherf**kers, thrilling ‘em. They got a genuine love for s**t, man. All the autographs mean something to ‘em, a picture of me, like they treasure that s**t. This dude that came five, six, seven years later with s**t taking pictures of me like, “Yo you took this the last time in Russia.” And in Moscow, they is f**king [crazy], like I’m from Staten Island, man. I’m from Park Hill. You seen my hood, it’s like… I made it to Budapest. I’m smoking Budapest weed like it’s Budapest birds, yeah. I’m a Park Hill n***a, I’m loving this s**t, though. When you say Wu-Tang Worldwide, man, that s**t is worldwide, bro. I even went to Hawaii for that “It’s Yours” video where you see [Ol’] Dirty going up the escalator. How do you feel about that the fanatics that you still have here, in America?

Inspectah Deck: I feel like right now, man, like the state of Hip-Hop has got dudes so f**ked up they don’t know what they want ‘til they hear it. Like, you went from the East and then went to the West and then went to the Midwest, and then it went to the South. You know but, if you really want to look at it again, it’s like everybody had their time. [It’s] gotta come back to the East again. Can you speak on the early days of Wu-Tang? It seemed all about power…

Inspectah Deck: Right. I mean it still is power, man. It’s like a lot of s**t we talking about just flying past people because they was so caught up in you know what was already laid down. Like, you know, once “Triumph” came with the million dollar video and all that s**t, rap game stepped up, you know. Average cats had to have a million dollars to get in the game and compete. You had, you know Bad Boy was right there, neck-in-neck with us and Cash Money and No Limit, you know what I’m saying we had a powerhouse. Them was the only n***as really running the s**t at the time. You had a lot of miscellaneous dudes who was making they way on their own, but it was only a few powerhouse but they get to the point now, you know a lot of dudes got filtered out, even us. The strength of the numbers ain’t there. So what happens is you know a lot of people looking up to that s**t, man.

I think when the W album sit in stores like, you know the “Gravel Pit” and all that crazy s**t… I mean, that was a wild last song. I still sing that s**t. I tell you I never liked that song. Know what I’m saying. But you know, we decided we got to be for the cause and I’m gonna ride with n***as. They love it, so that’s what it was. You know a lot of that s**t they didn’t grasp the audience, man. So it was like they was like, “Oh, Wu-Tang all Hollywood and all that s**t.” But a lot of fans have that misconception and ran with it and s**t, so you know people was like, “Oh, this album is nothing like [Enter the] 36 [Chambers]. It’s not supposed to be like 36 even though you look at anybody who made a classic album, from the Biz Markie to the Big Daddy Kane, nobody ever duplicated that first form, know what I’m saying? I don’t care who it was, Dr. Dre, nobody. So expecting another 36 Chambers eight years later, it’s like expecting your daughter to turn eight when she already 12.