By: Killah Priest
Date: 23rd January, 2006
With all of these songs put together, this album became a
classic. I knew it would have something to allow it to live
longer that a lot of MC's. I never thought it would have the
great impact it does. Every time I do shows, people are
like, "Yo Priest, do songs off of 'Heavy Mental!'" A lot of
people appreciate that. That makes me feel good because
something that I created all by myself, as far as
getting the studio time, having everyone coming through, and
the cats that I wanted on the album. It was all fun. It was
experience. I had to get used to the studio,
learn how to work the microphone, how to work the
engineers…I was always up at the label and they were like,
"How are we going to market this." They wanted to market it
as "alternative." Now look at how many years it's been.
People still tell me, "Priest, that's one of the best albums
created in Hip Hop." Talk about evolution, this album is
something different. Just look at the beats. Pun used to
tell me, "This shit is crazy!" I couldn't be around them all
the time because I had my own clique. I forgot how many Mics
I got, but I should have gotten 5 Mics on this album, hands
down.went to Rikers Island to promote
this album. We kept it gangster
with this album.
Intro: This is dope. The intro came from this
movie "The Egyptian." I like watching those old flicks.
There was "The Egyptian" and "Jesus Christ" that I used.
One Step (Prod. by True Master) (Feat.
Tekitha and Hell Razah)
I actually ended up doing
this during a Sunz of Man session. True Master was in
the studio. Originally, Poppa Wu was on there. That's
why I said, "Freedom, let's feed 'em/They took the first
book of Jacob to Jamaica" because Poppa Wu was talking
on it. I just got on the mic and did it. Hell Razah was
there so he did the hook.
Blessed Are Those (Prod. by Y-Kim)
There's a big story behind this one. That was an
incredible time right there. This
wasn't an original
beat. They had to go in there and do it again. Al
Green wouldn't clear the sample. I called up Al Green
and got on the phone with him. I called him Al Green. Al
Green was fronting because of my name "Killah Priest,"
he's supposed to be a preacher and
everything. Me and him ended up having words with each
other. That's a highlight of my career. They wouldn't
clear it, so we ended up having to redo it. I still have
the original beat. We're going to leak that one out
there too. This also got the Rhyme of the Month in The
Source. I didn't even think this was that strong. We
ended up doing this track towards the end of recording
for the album and we just put it in the right place.
From Then Till Now (Prod. by Y-Kim)
This is great. This was a great time. There's a big
story behind this one too. Ghostface wanted this beat
also. I was coming up and I was like, "I got it, I got
it." Me and Ghost were going at it over this beat. I
think Ghost had enough tracks though. I ended up getting
the beat. Y-Kim definitely came through on this one.
The whole Clan wanted this track. Everyone was going
crazy over the beat. I had known Y-Kim for awhile
because he was from Brownsville. My man Full Moon is the
one talking at the beginning. This song was magic. I did
this in a house studio out in Flatbush.
Cross My Heart (Prod. by True Master)
(Ft. Inspectah Deck and GZA)
was another incredible track. This was done by True
Master. It definitely sounds like a RZA joint. There's a
good story on this one. We ended up doing this one out
in Cali. RZA was on the original one. It was me, RZA,
and GZA. At the end of the day, he wanted his verse off
of it. I assured him that his verse was dope. We went
back-and-forth. We took RZA off "Cross My Heart" and put
Inspectah Deck on the track, who came in and murdered
it. Deck recorded his verse in New York. There are so
many stories behind "Heavy Mental" because it took
awhile for it to come out.
Fake MC's (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
We did this out in Steubenville, Ohio, at 4th Disciple's
crib. This was also done at the end of the album. 4th
played the beat. We were in a small-ass room and it was
real dope. I was like, "This is crazy." Every time 4th
makes a dope beat, he doesn't go crazy over it. I ended
up just jumping on this track and doing it right there.
It's Over (Prod. by 4th Disciple) -
We did this out in Cali. This was with 4th Disciple.
This was my first deal and I
wanted to keep it
moving. I just made up the intro out there. We did all
of this out there. 4th made the beat around the rhymes.
I kicked the rhyme and then when I heard the beat, I was
like, "It's over!" There were two girls around from New
York and we threw them on the track too. That's who you
hear screaming "run!" We just put them in front of the
mic and they did a good job.
Crusaids (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
This is a phat-ass song. This was featuring Rose Cartel
and the whole Sunz of Man. Rose ended up being in The
Maccabeez. This ended up being crazy-long. We were all
rhyming on this. I think 4th Disciple still has the
original track of this. I think there were 12 MC's on
there going crazy with long-ass rhymes.
Tai Chi (Prod. by 4th Disciple) (Feat.
Hell Razah, 60-Second Assassin & Father Lord [R.I.P.])
This was really the first track I made for "Heavy
Mental." Hell Razah and 60-Second went to the studio
with me. 4th Disciple played this beat and my girl at
the time was in there and she was like, "What beat is
that?" It was a wrap from there. 4th Disciple definitely
came through on this beat. We did another song that day
called "Break it Down" that never came out. Prodigal
Sunn was on that one.
Heavy Mental (Prod. by Killah Priest)
I produced this one! This was a song that I always
wanted to do to get off my chest. I lost the first one.
I always tell this story. I was on a ferry boat in
Staten kicking it with Prodigal. I kicked him the rhyme
and he was like, "Are you going to say all
was like, "Yeah, man." The rhyme was on a piece of
paper, and I turned around and could not find it. I
finished up the last part in the studio. I was so mad. I
was like, "Let's record it right now." There was really
no sample but it was a dope sound I got. It was an
Australian musical instrument. I got it in the art
department of the guy who was designing my album. I
heard that instrument and said, "You're
going to the
studio" and we laid it there.
If You Don't Know (Prod. by True
Master) (Feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard)
Oh man, this one
has my brother O.D.B. This was during the same time that
we did "Cross My Heart." We were still out in Cali. It
worked out good. I was out there for a
came to the studio and he was bugging. I don't know if
he was high, but he came to the studio saying that
aliens were chasing him. He came through with his girl,
got on the mic, and did his thing. True gave us two
bangers out there, "Cross My Heart" and "If You Don't
Know." This was a marriage right here. This was Masta
Killa's and GZA's favorite joint off the album.
Atoms to Adam (Prod. by True Master)
This was a beautiful time. This was done during the
time the Sunz of Man album was
coming together. I
heard the track in New York and it blew my mind. It was
a phenomenal track and I had never heard anything like
it at the time. We were just experimenting with a lot of
different styles. We went out to Cali and I just spazzed
out. This beat is so melodic. My man Shanghai sung
throughout the whole song. He wouldn't get off the mic!
We had to chop up his vocals. That's why you hear the
"oooooh oooooh." You should hear the original version. I
came in and blessed it. This one took awhile because I
was just zoning out on the beat so much. This beat is so
High Explosives (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
Q-Base was working with Y-Kim. I was doing a lot of work
at his crib. I did a lot of stuff at his crib, like
"Blessed Are Those" and "Mystic City." He threw on this
track and I was like, "This shit sounds crazy." At the
time, the beat sounded like some high explosive Dr. Dre
shit. I just called the shit "High Explosives" and we
took it from there.
Wisdom (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
was done at the same time as "Fake MC's" out in
Steubenville in 4th Disciple's
room. He had this
small orange light in his room and he played this track.
This took two takes and it was done. We didn't even want
to touch that. I was staying at 4th's crib in Ohio and
we were knocking out mad songs. This song came out of a
little mood. This was done during the last stages of
"Heavy Mental." The album sat around for so long. They
kept on pushing it back so we just kept recording songs
B.I.B.L.E. (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
The original one was done in RZA's crib, way back. It
was Shabaaz the Disciple who
put me on to this beat.
He was like, "You have to listen to this track." When I
heard the track, I was like, "Yo, this is dope." This
was the first track that I ever recorded. I was
listening to Raekwon. He was doing "Cuban Linx,"
recording songs and stuff. He was downstairs. I had
actually done this song for "Cuban Linx" but I was
trying to be on a positive tip. I did some stuff for
that. After I did it, they were thinking about letting
this one make it. This came across too positive. I said,
"Straight-up, I ain't the thug-type." They were like,
"This has to be hard." After that session, I went
back in and all of a sudden, the track got lost. RZA was
like, "I don't know where that track is at." After I got
my deal, we still couldn't find "Basic Instructions."
4th came back and redid the track. Everybody loved this
song so much. RZA said
it was too positive and happy
for "Liquid Swords," but GZA was like, "Nah, we're
putting it on there." A lot of people don't know that I
came in with one of the illest MC's that started up with
the Clan. I was amongst RZA and GZA and it was just
crazy for me. We worked on this so many times. We got it
mixed here, got it
mixed there. A lot of cats were
just vibing to it, smoking weed in a studio out in Cali.
I got a bad report. The studio called up Geffen Records
and said, "There's too much smoking in Priest's
sessions. He's a cool dude, but it's the entourage that
he brings with him." I had a lot of cats with me when we
recorded. After I laid the vocals, it just came out
right. I'm one of the first cats to have his whole song
featured on another album. That was the first song right
there. That was a
blessing to do that song. I had
that rhyme for a very long time. It was basically about
Mystic City (Prod. by Y-Kim)
said before, this was also done during the time of "High
Explosives." I had to go back and do this twice. I liked
the first version, but everyone else liked the second
version. I was more relaxed on the first version, but
everyone wanted a more aggressive version. Y-Kim wanted
me to go back and re-spit it. This ended
a lot of props too. I forced this one to be on the
album. I think this was the last song that we did.
Information (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
Let me think about this one. We did this during the time
of "Crusaids" and all that.
No, this was done in
Steubenville at 4th Disciple's crib. 4th had given me
this conspiracy book and we were reading the scriptures,
lighting candles. A lot of information was being given
out. Cats don't make songs like this. You have to vibe
out on tracks like this. We were lighting candles
reading conspiracy books, and this shit just came
across. Where are you gonna run, where are you gonna
Science Projects (Prod. by 4th
Disciple) (Feat. Hell Razah)
This was done in
Soundtrack in New York. 4th Disciple was the only
producer I was working with until True Master and Y-Kim
came through and blessed me. We did this in New York.
Like I said earlier, I had my clique with me. Razah and
were there. Dirty came through. This beat
sounded like a movie. Prodigal Sunn told me I should
talk about my life and where I grew up at. I ended up
doing exactly what he said at the beginning of the song.
This was incredible right here. The
like a movie, and I wrote the rhyme right there on the
spot. The beat was so melodic that I just wanted to do
something different and rhyme a certain way, and
actually be a part of the rap. If you listen to "Science
Projects" real good, I do become the character and I
rhyme in 3rd-person. It all intertwines. It's a
different type of style because I liked the beat. Then
Razah came up with "Life in the science projects, life
in the science projects." Then he changed it and we were
like, "Why don't you name all the projects?"
Almost There (Prod. by 4th Disciple)
This is another rhyme that I used to kick. This was one
of the first joints that I
did. I think I did this
before "Tai Chi." We were in the studio and we did this
song called "Life is a Gamble" and it never made the
album. This was one of the songs we did when we were
working on my demo. "Almost There" almost didn't make
I kicked the rhyme and this was just one of
those beats that took me somewhere. When 4th put that on
there, I heard it. One of my favorite topics is travel
and taking the audience on a ride with me. This was
up-tempo so it was perfect for me to
audience on a ride. That's second-nature for me. This
was a good track for me. He made some of the beat around
the rhyme. I was saying, "Are we 'almost there?'" I had
never been in the studio that much. Yeah, I'm almost
The Professional (Prod. by John the
This brings us to the closing and one of the
illest songs. I worked with John
the Baptist, and I
was one of the first to work with him. I always
get to work with the first producers that bang shit out.
We were out in Miami recording this song. This version
is not the original. The original was called "How to MC"
or something like that. It was a whole different song. I
did two songs to this beat. It was crazy. John the
Baptist still has the original one to this day. I think
it was RZA that heard
the beat and liked it so much
that they were like, "Yo, that shit is dope." I don't
know what it was that made me go back in the studio and
record another track. I was just showing that I was a
professional. That's why I was saying that in the
rhyme. They were like, "That song is dope. The rhyme is
cool and the beat is nice." I was like, "No beat is
going to show me out." I went back to do a whole new
song over that. The first one was banging too.
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