Pastor Troy: Catch Me While You Can

Pastor Troy has been a staple on the Crunk scene for many years. Carrying the title with an official belt wrapped around his waist has made him hard to miss. With hits like “Visa Versa” and “We Ready,” he showed the industry he was a force to be reckoned with. In doing so, he bumped […]

Pastor Troy has been a staple on the Crunk scene for many years. Carrying the title with an official belt wrapped around his waist has made him hard to miss. With hits like “Visa Versa” and “We Ready,” he showed the industry he was a force to be reckoned with. In doing so, he bumped a few heads – Master P and Lil’ Jon included, on the way. After formerly being a flagship artist at Universal Records years ago, Troy returned, after a stint with Koch, on the SMC/Universal roster. Claiming that he’s defiantly independent, Pastor Troy’s recently-released Tool Muziq has garnered the reviews that Pastor Troy pulled in his first run in the late ’90s. Already a self-proclaimed, the Atlanta rapper tells, that if he sells serious units, interviews are limited. For those who think strongly of Troy, we caught him while we could. Your deal with Universal Records was a major step for you, what happened with the deal and what made you and Universal part ways the last time?Pastor Troy: I really completed my obligation with Universal. I recorded four albums while I was in my deal and it got to the end of the obligation. It was like getting out of jail: you can get out or you can stay in for another damn week. I’ll get out and we will talk later. It was about getting free. It wouldn’t have been a big deal to sign back with them, but to just be able to entertain is what I want to do. I know you had some beef with Lil’ Jon and Lil Scrappy at one time. How is your relationship with Atlanta rappers now?Pastor Troy: Man, I’m cool. Everybody [is] staying in their lane for the most part. It’s all good. I don’t have a problem with that. Stay in your lane. How do you feel the South is being portrayed in the radio and in the industry? Pastor Troy: Real bubble gum. Real bubble gum style right now. It’s crazy. Like they’ve turned Atlanta into a whole dance city. It isn’t even about that. If I got to make a dance song to get on the damn radio, I won’t be on there. You were able to pull in some heavy-hitting producers for the album Tool Muziq…Pastor Troy: I got Shawty Redd – the sound behind Young Jeezy, Drumma Boy, DJ Squeeky out of Memphis and Zaytoven – the sound behind Gucci Mane. I went and got some bangers. All these boys love my style and wanted me to have the best s###. So that is what they gave me.  In being that the initial title of the album was Saddam, what went on that made you change the name to Tool Musiq?Pastor Troy: A lot of stores did not want the controversy and for people to misinterput the message. I damn sure didn’t want to get picked up on a Terrorist Act. It’s all good though, it was nothing but a name change. I still was able to create the album with that name being in mind. So the album is still Saddam. It wasn’t s**t. Instead of [the would-be title track] being track number two, its track number one. Now that you have moved on to SMC Records, how do you feel about them and how they represent Pastor Troy? Pastor Troy: SMC is cool. I dealt with them last year and sold a lot of [copies of Stay Tru] without any kind of push. It was through a third party that took me through SMC. We got rid of the middle-man and now we dealing with them direct. I think we are going to have a lot of success over the years. Do you still feel like you are the Crunk King of the South? Pastor Troy: I’m the champ. I’m looking at the belt while I’m talking to you. [Laughs] Who are you feeling right now in the industry? Pastor Troy: I’m not no hater. I dig anything that sounds good to me. Any tracks that I heard that I would like to rap on, I can dig that. From Young Jeezy’s s**t to Tip’s s**t, I like what I like. I ain’t no sucker. I’m not like “I don’t like that s**t.” I’m real. That’s what these Motherf**kers need to do in return. Since you’ve been in the music game for a while, what advice can you give a new artist just coming in to the scene? Pastor Troy: All I can say is, do what works for you. I look at the dudes on the major labels and their situations. That is all cool, but that isn’t what works for me. I work better as an indie. Do what works for you. I’m going to do what works for me. I specialize in this independent game. I kill them – we kill them. It is a lot of stress off of you. I ain’t got to try to go gold. But if I do, don’t call me for an interview because I am going to be hard to catch up with. [Laughs] So, for you, the independent thing is the way to go?Pastor Troy: Yeah, this is were I started. Some people don’t have that independent grind. Some boys would not know how to survive without a major push. That really isn’t my problem. We can do it either way. We still got major distribution. It’s still a big boy distribution situation. At the end of the day it’s all mine. I own these songs forever publishing and all. What do you have popping off in the near future that we need to know about? Pastor Troy: Man I am going to drop a Rock album. I got this rock character I have been trying to create for a while now. I have been talking about it for a couple of years. His name is Mavado. When I’m in the character, I’m a straight Rock character. It’s cool to be able to flip it out like that. Everybody can’t do that. My voice already wild like a Rock singer. I just want to hear myself do it. We got a lot of songs in the bag. I want to try and step out with that before the end of the year. You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take.  One particular hit that has everybody still thinking is 2002’s “Visa Versa.” How do you feel about that song’s popularity?Pastor Troy: That was a strong song, man. The song was so powerful because all it was a simple question. It was for everybody, though. So many people felt it and it feels good to be felt like that. When you’re in the club and the beat hit, everybody starts saying “Yeah!” Earlier, we talked about Saddam. How do you feel about the War in Iraq? Pastor Troy: It’s really sad, man. I am the kind of person that feels like we need to protect home. I would much rather see our people set up on the border with guns and s**t than sending people way over there starting s**t. It’s about oil, and everybody knows that. It isn’t about anything else we think – just simply about oil. So many innocent lives involved in the middle of that s**t is treacherous. I love my country and all that good s**t, but at the same time, I ain’t going over there. I ain’t going over there interrupting a government they have had in place for years and years. They survived this long with it, who the hell are we to try and change it. It’s so crazy because they couldn’t come over here and that happen. You think them motherf**kers would come over here and kill President Bush and tell all of us we going to be Muslims? It’s not going to happen. America, America, America. I just hope I ain’t in the way when it goes down.