Memphis Bleek: The Misunderstanding Part Two After the tour, Nas throws a dart at you on the song “Nastradamus.” How did you feel when you originally heard that? When I saw you coming up I know you had a lot respect for Esco before that. Memphis Bleek: Man, Nas was one of the first original Gs of videos. He had […] After the tour, Nas throws a dart at you on the song “Nastradamus.” How did you feel when you originally heard that? When I saw you coming up I know you had a lot respect for Esco before that.

Memphis Bleek: Man, Nas was one of the first original Gs of videos. He had the flip phone that I had as a hustler that had the green lines that you know how full your battery is; the grey flip joint. Only hustlers had that. When he shot the video with that, the cell with the skully, I related to him heavy! I f**ked with him hard. A n***a from my hood actually called me like, “Yo, Nas [is] getting at you, you got to get at him, son!” That incident is why I delay on getting at people now. They saying my name verbally, and he didn’t. I jumped on Nas so blatantly and so hard and he probably didn’t even mean that towards me. I feel I got Jay and everybody in that drama for nothing. Did you feel insulted?

Memphis Bleek: Exactly, my n***a, I felt like I’m a young n***a, why would you throw a jab at me? Let me do my thing. Instead of saying his name, I took one of his lines and used it on him. It was vice versa, it wasn’t no name calling. But then Jay got involved, it was on. Your second album The Understanding is a total different look for you. You went platinum and were major airplay.

Memphis Bleek: It was a whole another mindset. That’s why I did “Mind Right”, I had a little bit of paper, I got my mind right, I’m ready for anything. You can’t go to war unless you got money, my money right now so that was my attitude. I didn’t even get to enjoy it, all I did was a couple of shows. We were about to shoot the video for the last song on the album “My Life”, but we were out in Miami for Memorial Day weekend. We were balling and had my brother out there, so we end up staying a little bit longer. Then my brother got into an motorcycle accident, he got hit by a car riding a scooter in Miami. He hit his head on the side walk and injured the left side of his brain and had a blood clot in his brain. They said nine out of 10 people after having that would have died, so my brother [is] still here to this day, so I thank God for that. That day in South Beach changed my life forever, and that’s real talk. Can you elaborate on how it changed your life personally?

Memphis Bleek: It made me realize that only thing you have in this world is your n***as and family. The only thing you can take with you is your memories. All this material s**t, you can’t take it. It made me really see that one minute you could be doing your thing and next minute, you’re gone. And it was hard, he’s my only brother. I had to fly my grandmother out there, my mother, my son’s mother, his son’s mother, his son, my cousin, it was crazy. I had to move half of my family to Miami for two years. He was in a coma for almost four five months, then he was in the hospital because he couldn’t walk another six months. He couldn’t talk, it was rehabilitation. He was in Jackson Memorial Hospital, I thank those doctors in there they saved his life. Damn, did he have medical insurance?

Memphis Bleek: Nah my n***a, I had to come out of pocket. I was renting two condominiums out of my pocket; I paid 155,000 [dollars] for a brain operation out of my pocket, no help from no-one. The only n***a that helped me was Jay. He helped me pay for these condos because I was new. Money wasn’t s**t, you got a million dollars you spend 150,000 dollars in the brain operation, two condos, you pay 250,000 in taxes, and you broke. And that’s real talk. I learned that you only got is your family, money means nothing. Now I got insurance and my whole family got it. I didn’t know nothing about that [back then]. Outside of Jay, did anybody else at the Roc support you at that time?

Memphis Bleek: Everybody was there for me supporting me showing me their love. But Jay was the main dude. Jay is such a big homey, think about famous he is. I live in a little town in New Jersey, when I had my baby shower this n***a at my crib. With a thousand people there, Jay’s is there with the Phantom parked in the driveway. Little s**t like that that no-one else would come out for that he would. How did you feel when Nas got back at you on the “QB’s Finest”?

Memphis Bleek: I was loving it. I had Nas talking to me, he up there with Biggie, Jay, and Pac. Like it was weird, because Jay came to me at the same time when I was dealing with my situation with my brother and knew I couldn’t really hold it down. He told me, “Don’t worry about it, I got you.” So real talk how was it like around the offices when Nas dropped “Ether”?

Memphis Bleek: [Laughs] It was a gloomy day, for real. When [Funkmaster] Flex played it, I ain’t going to lie, I admitted to myself and had to tell the big homey he got us, he got one up on us. That s**t was cooked crack cocaine right there. Like it was no denying that record was hot as s**t, it was a bunch of lies on that record, but it was still a hot record. One that is going down in history, you know what I mean. We were at Baseline Studios listening to the radio when we first heard it. Jay and everybody was saying this s**t’s hot. Were you ready to ride out after you heard it?

Memphis Bleek: I wanted to fight; it was getting ugly, my dude. When someone do it to you like that, I thought we were going to fight. I am sure he felt the same way when Jay did “Takeover.” Y’all ever run into him when that entire situation was going down?

Memphis Bleek: Yeah, I seen him at the BET taping we had to do man, but they had too many security guards and they didn’t let us confront each other. So as Memphis Bleek, when did you know that Roc-A-Fella was going to crumble before your very eyes?

Memphis Bleek: It was at the “Change Clothes” video shoot. Me and Dame got into a real big heated incident, I don’t even want to get into that because that’s real real personal. But it was that day, he said something to me that he was never supposed to say to me. It got back to Jay, and Jay looked at me in my face and said, “It’s going to come a day where you never going have to deal with him ever again.” Damn, you can’t get into what he said?

Memphis Bleek: I can’t even get into it, playa. You’ll never hear anyone mention that. Did it almost come to blows though?

Memphis Bleek: Yeah, I wanted to thump, but he had his wife and kids with him. I wanted to scrap. How did you feel when Jay was offered the Roc-A-Fella name?

Memphis Bleek: It was rightfully so, it was his name. Without him it would of never been sh**. You could of put up a million flyers, if he would of never made a record it would have been nothing. Jay wanted the masters [to Reasonable Doubt] and they didn’t want to give him that, so he took the name. All is fair in love in war. Why don’t you think they would just give him the masters, do you think that was some spite?

Memphis Bleek: Exactly, it’s not like that album is going to sell 20 million. It’s not even platinum. That’s a question only they could answer. It was wack, they could of gave Jay the masters and kept Roc-A-Fella if they wanted to. Jay would have had his first album in his possession and everyone would have been happy. It probably wouldn’t of been as ugly as it is now, feel me? So with all the things happening, how did go into your third album M.A.D.E.?

Memphis Bleek: I ain’t know what to do, I was lost. I was lost, that’s what I poured it out on that album. Like I talked about everything on that album, family, growing up with my family, almost loosing my brother, the birth of my son, the s**t with my mom, me not having my pops, like I talk about everything. I felt like that was the turning point of me becoming a man from a child. How did you feel about how the public received the album?

Memphis Bleek: They didn’t, it was promoted right. My last two albums weren’t promoted right. I had a hot song that was bubbling harder in the South than in the North and I’m a New York artist [“Round Here”]. It did well though, it went gold. Did you go to Jay with your griviences with the lack of promotion?

Memphis Bleek: Nah, me and Jay never had conversations like that. I just take it in stride. I don’t whine about nothing. Without hit records there is no business. You want to address the ongoing rumor that people been getting you for your jewelry?

Memphis Bleek: [Laughs] I don’t know where that s**t came from. Every time you seen me, I got two chains; I never been robbed in my life, fam. That’s some back in the day s**t. I got set up before I got in the rap game. This is way before I shot a video for “It’s Alright.” If they talking about that, then duke dead. That was some drug s**t from back in the day, it happens to the best of us. As far as being a rapper and getting stuck, that’s crazy. The Roc piece is like a gold medal in the hood, a n***a going to show that! Then where is it at? Where you anprehensive about Jay coming back? Kingdom Come had a lukewarm response on the streets. He retired like Jordan with six rings but came back looking like 23 when he was struggling with the Wizards.

Memphis Bleek: I was like, “Damn he ain’t ever going to stop.” If the people ain’t happy with it, so be it. I just know he is spitting it like no other. Meet me in two years when they read a little bit more books. You now own your own custom car shop and your own rims. What poised you to get into cars?

Memphis Bleek: I got the rim company is Meyers, we specialize in any kind of rim. Color, size anything you want to do to your jawn. It’s manufactured by the same company that makes Loenhart and it’s distributed by us. We are the largest distribution company in New Jersey and we distribute to everyone on the East Coast. We got the car wash right on Route 1 right by the Menlo Mall. We got that. We got the transportation company called All Points Transportation. All these doors are opening now and opportunity only knocks once. Why based in New Jersey though opposite Brooklyn where you from?

Memphis Bleek: It’s not as many cars in Brooklyn, a lot of people don’t really drive like that. I’m from BK, I didn’t get a car until I dropped a record. That’s real talk and there’s no real competition in New Jersey. There’s more traffic and we right off highway 22. There’s no highways in BK, you can’t open on the BQE. You lacing Jay’s car with some rims?

Memphis Bleek: Jay ain’t getting no rims, man. Jay dissed the chrome. I tried to lace the Phantom, but he said, “Never disrespect the Phantom.” [Laughs] I might give my son a nice kit though, something nice.