Nobodysmiling.com : Back to the tour with P.Diddy, what you like most about this touring?
E. Ness : Itís real hard-work man. With Diddy heís a major artist, so his accomplishments reflect what heís done and all the records he sold. He has a major campaign behind him and he got the key to every city. His day starts at 4:00 A.m., he does all the morning shows, visit schools and just make the people love him. He just loves the people and heís just on the grind promoting this new album ďPress PlayĒ. I got the opportunity to be on it and heís just making it pop-off like that. He works 24/7 around the clock and I canít even keep up with him. By the time he gets ready for bed he might have to get up and do it all over again, so heís lucky if he might get four hours of sleep.
Nobodysmiling.com : That just shows the music business is a hustle.
E. Ness : Yeah and that just inspires me. A lot of people can say what they want about Diddy, but we have a good relationship and our situation is cool. I would never go off the record to disrespect that man, because he gave me the opportunity to share my music with the world. I canít speak on everybody else situation. I just know my situation of where I came from and where Iím at now. Diddy is my number one supporter and my biggest fan. Anything financial wise that needs to get done heís all for it.
Q: Back to the tour with P.Diddy, what you like most about this touring?
E. Ness: Itís real hard-work man. With Diddy heís a major artist, so his accomplishments reflect what heís done and all the records he sold. He has a major campaign behind him and he got the key to every city. His day starts at 4:00 A.m., he does all the morning shows, visit schools and just make the people love him. He just loves the people and heís just on the grind promoting this new album ďPress PlayĒ. I got the opportunity to be on it and heís just making it pop-off like that. He works 24/7 around the clock and I canít even keep up with him. By the time he gets ready for bed he might have to get up and do it all over again, so heís lucky if he might get four hours of sleep.
He mentions that he is on "Diddy Rock" on Press Play. He is a credited writer on the track, so that is probably what he means.
Ness: The name of the album is called Nessessary. I got everybody production-wise from Bink, Will.I.am, Just Blaze, Kanye West, of course the Bad Boy staff, D-Dot, Tony Dofat, Stevie J, Chad West, a lot of people. ...
AllHipHop.com: Diddy said on one of the interludes of the mixtape that he kept you locked in the dungeon with no food or water to keep you hungry. He gave you a ringing endorsement, do you feel heís 100% behind you at this point?
Ness: Um, no. I mean, you gotta understand that he has a label to run, heís the CEO and heís also the artist, and thereís also a lot of acts everywhere. I could say this, whenever I call him or I need anything, he would make sure it gets done. Money-wise, contractual-wise, any problem I have the doorís always open. People may be saying, ďWhy you still down with Bad Boy, Puff is a jerk artist or whatever,Ē but Iíd be the first to say if you donít handle your business, youíre gonna run into obstacles. Me and Puff got an understanding; he knows that I love the music. I canít speak on anybody elseís situation, but I know all my paperwork is straight.
411: We know what you're thinking: Where has this dude been? He was supposed to come out with a new album a couple of years ago. To keep it all the way real, Ness said he had to take some time out of the spotlight after being followed by cameras with his "Making the Band 3" group Da Band for three years straight ("I had to get to being a regular n---a," he said). Now he's back. Ness restructured his deal with Bad Boy in May and is hoping to piggyback off of the success of Danity Kane, Yung Joc, Cassie and Diddy as they flood the airwaves with Bad Boy material. Ness has recorded more than 200 songs and will put out the single "Talkin Dirty" soon. "I recorded whole albums with 9th Wonder, recorded whole albums with Tony Dofat, recorded whole albums with D-Dot ó I'm talking about 12, 14 joints when I say whole albums. I got joints from Will.I.Am, Swizz Beatz, Just Blaze." For the mixtape, the Philly native teamed up with DJ Cannon and former high school classmate DJ Drama. Here's the science on some of the tracks:
Joints To Check For:
"Talkin Dirty." "It's produced by Khrysis and recorded by 9th Wonder," Ness said. "We only have, like, two original tracks on the mixtape; the rest are freestyles. This is the first single off my debut album, Nessessary. Basically it's a hip-hop joint getting back at all the naysayers that had something to say about Ness. The actual verses were written in 2000 while I was incarcerated.
"Can I Live" freestyle. "I went in my bag on this one," Ness said. "This is the Lockness Monsta goin' hard on my favorite all-time Bad Boy track [Black Rob's 'Can I Live']."
"F--- N---as F--- B******." "I took the concept from Biggie when he freestyled over Dr. Dre's beats [on 'Road to the Riches.'] I was just showing n---as I could rap over anyone's track no matter the region. I used all West Coast beats like 'B****** Ain't Sh--,' 'This Is How We Do It,' 'What's My Name,' 'Gin and Juice.' "
Q: Whatever happened to that album you and Babs was supposed to drop?
E. Ness: We was supposed to drop an album, but what happened was we found our own identity so the label thought it was best if we come out with our own solo efforts. I'm up first and Babs still got a lot of material in the workings, she's putting together a solid project, but we recorded a lot of music so a lot of music didn't get used before they dismantled the band, but we got a lot of music recorded. So whenever I pop off and she pops off it's going to be a good look for both of us.
Q: I heard you on the radio a couple times here in Philly too, so why they showing you so much love?
E. Ness: Basically because of where I been, they know my struggle that I came from nothing and I got an opportunity to do what I always wanted to do and make money off it. I want to share my music with the world and sell records, so they support that and Philadelphia is a big market. It's not a real big city compared to other cities like Atlanta and New York, but it's a real big market and we take hip-hop serious. They know I'm one of the new faces up and coming, so they support me and get behind me and I give out the love while they show it back.