Mr. Long aka Mr. Lawnge (Black Sheep)

Mr. Lawnge speaks on some interesting issues, most notably his current beef with Dres and the inspiration for his new album entitled Class of ’89. Interview, Album Info

Ok, lets get down to real business. You have this solo joint dropping, and all the promo stuff around it talks about Black Sheep now being defunct – but at the same time there’s a new Black Sheep album “Novakane” scheduled to drop, and the promo mix cd for that came out over the summer. So what’s the deal with Black Sheep – are you and Dre still together and still cool?

To be completely honest, that reunion will not happen because of exactly what we’re talking about right now. We’ve been trying to do a project since the first reunion in 2000 – we got in the studio, did some tracks, and Dres wanted to run around and try to get a deal. It didn’t work – there was no response. The labels said they didn’t know how to market us… blah blah blah – typical industry bullshit. The whole time I was telling him that we just needed to do it ourselves and drop it independently, but that’s not what his mindstate was. He said he wanted to rock with other producers, because he thought we needed a different sound. He starts doing shit with these other cats, and then starts telling me that maybe we need to do stuff with less samples in it… pretty much saying that we should escape and move away from what we’re known for.

So did this happen before the Novakane album or after?

This is before. This is the lead up. So he goes out and starts working with other cats and getting different beats, and he finally gets enough songs where I guess he was satisfied. The whole time I’m like “OK man… you know I’m still fucking with you,” and we’re still doing shows and whatever, but I was always feeling that when we dropped another album we really needed to do it ourselves. Dres wanted to take it back to the whole industry and try to shop it – but the industry ain’t trying to give out no little deals like that on a so-called ‘old school’ group. So he goes back and starts working with these cats out of Seattle… shout out to BeanOne and Vitamin D – they got hot shit… so he comes back now with a bunch of shit with a bunch of samples on it and he wants me to come in and work with these cats to enhance their shit to his liking. I felt like that was a slap in the face. Would Guru run around and try to get a bunch of producers to make beats that sound like Primo, then bring those beats back to Premier and say “Hey lets put this together and push it out as a Gang Starr album?” That’s crazy.

And that came on top of a whole bad history between Dres and myself which I won’t even elaborate on – I’ll just say a bad history. I’m not one who’s always gonna keep second guessing myself, and try to do this and do that to try to appease the unappeasable. Don’t try to kill yourself by trying some shit that you think is gonna pop… trying to live up to expectations… because you never know what’s gonna happen.