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by the Blaq

I was told by both of Mr. Cheeks' Publicists NOT to indulge him in our magazine title prior to us hooking up. However, the moment we met he refused to do the interview until he could touch some trees. Apparently he was out in La-La with no Lalo and had been promised that Kronick would come to the rescue. When all was said and done, he was happy, we were happy, and after this interview the label should be happy. Once he blazed one for the nation, a new personality was revealed. Evidently, there's more than meets the eye once Mr. Cheeks introduced us to his other personality AKA TIM McDANIELS.

What's the mission here Cheeks?

I'm here to take the streets back. That's what's goin' on.

What are the streets bein' held captive by right now?

The streets is bein' held captive by the same food they feedin' us on the radio all day. I'm comin' thru wit' the official meal. I'm not bringin' the fast food, Kid! I know you sick of fast food. You had McDonalds! We did that. We did Burger King! Cheeks comin' thru with the collard greens and the yams, Kid! Word up. I talk about real official shit. Its official shit out there, but I'm official wit' it though Kid. LB! Let's take it to the essence, Baby!

Ok, let's take it to the essence. Who is John P. Kelly?

My Grand Pops, Baby. My Grand Pops and my cousin John passed away. Stomach cancer an' shit. So I just dedicated that to them. John P. Kelly is just a family member, man; my Grand Pops. I respected the Game; he taught me all I know. If he was here, he'd be happy that I was doin' what I'm doin' right now. But since I've been makin' music, he's been passed away. So everything I did was for him and Grandma.

Is Mr. Cheeks a character?

Character like what? Am I fake? Or am I just a 'Character'- character?

As opposed to like Terrence Kelly; which is you, right?

Terrence Kelly and Mr. Cheeks is the same Niggaz. Nah, they the same Niggaz. Word up, Terrence be O-Din'- Cheeks be O-Din'. Them Niggaz is crazy! But all I know is we done left Terrence alone. I'm runnin' with Tim McDaniels now. Its Cheeks and Tim McDaniels. Word up. Terrence is what the checks come in. Its Tim McDaniels when I start blazin' and drinkin'.

So once Tim McDaniels gets nice and blazed and sauced, what's he lookin' forward to?

He be kinda actin' up. He's on the hunt! He'll be lookin' for some fat-fatties around. Ya know? He wanna just enjoy that night. He got the Tim McDaniels drink in him; Jack Daniels. That's Tim McDaniels drink. When I be gettin' that, I be just... God Damn! When I drink sometimes, this be the up and up; if I ain't drinkin' and goin out, I gotta stay in. If I go out I might O-D; I be gettin' in a lot of trouble. Sometimes I used to drink and just wake up, like yo Kid (in a daze)... Niggaz is mad at a Nigga an' shit!

Hmmn. Tim doesn't remember, huh?

Word, Man. Tim be done off sometimes, Kid. Tim has to really sharpen up. Tim's stepped it up though. He cool now. He calmed down.

Now does Tim hang out in the studio alot?

FULL TIME! Tim hang out with all the Marley's a lot. Me and Steve Marley got a label. He got Ghetto Youths. I got Diane's Boys. A collaboration of two albums together is called One Fam Records. That's what's up right now. So I stay in the studio. Ain't nothin' else to do, Kid. Word up. Gotta be in the studio Baby!

So what's the Jamaican connection? Because it's very visible in all the Lost Boyz work.

No doubt. I mean, Rasta is like the Kulture. Jah is who Niggaz believe in. That's the God to Us. I got trained on that; I got put on to that. 'Cause I was nowhere. I was done. I ain't have nobody to really believe in; I ain't never known no God, or nothin'. I was just... didn't know shit; didn't go to church or none o' that. Then I started Polyin' with some real positive people who put me on to ,you know, just the Love. Always had the Love, but I ain't never have a lil' situation where everybody I was wit' was positive. So now I'm around positive people. I got the Marley Blessings. I'm gravy now. I'm just doin' it now, Kid. I be out in Jamaica, Madd! Out in Kingston we just be doin' it! The museum is where we record at in Uncle Bob's shit.

For a Brotha from New York, what was the vibes like the first time you visited Jamaica?

Oh, it was off the chain! It was like I came to Cheers; went somewhere and everybody know your name. Word to mother! Jamaica was on and crankin'! I got off the plane Kid, word up. Niggaz' sellin' the trees right out the cab like, "Hey, I got it right here!" I was , "Oh shit! That's what I'm lookin' for! Good lookin', Good lookin'!" Throw it all up in my pockets. "Now take me to 56 Hope Road!" Word up. I'll be over there! That's regular runnin's man. I'm out in L.A. now and I love L.A. too, Kid! Soon as that album drop, I'm droppin' a crib somewhere around here myself. You understand? I ain't gon' be stayin' in no hotels too much. I'm tryin' ta get me my own lil' pool an' shit, and all that.

Take it back in the day when you was a youth; what were your favorite sports and why?

I was playin' football when I was in high school and all that. Running back an' shit. I mean, that was what was up. I used to look at my man Joe Morris from the Giants an' shit. (All of a sudden he becomes animated up with a memory) Word up, this is what happened right? I was on the football team Kid, and a Nigga scored a lil' touchdown and all that. Then I went up against Bayside. That's when I was lovin football; that was my first love, right? Went up against Bayside; I'm gettin' amped up watchin' the Giants play the night before my game. I'm throwin' the helmet on, I'm feelin' good. Next day I'm knocked out; concussioned-out! Dayum! We was playin' Bayside!! They was a buncha ringers man! Niggaz was beatin' us little Niggaz up like they was parents. Oh Shit! They concussioned-me-the-fuck-out! Now I'm on the ground and my coach goes, "Kelly! You alright? - 'Yea I'm alright coach.'- Well get up where you sittin'!" I'm like, Fuck! I just caught a concussion, Nigga! Ahhite, that's how you gon' do it? Ok, I see it's ON now! So that's how I took it fa life, Kid. Once the coach was like, "You alright Kelly? Well get the Fuck..." Oh shit! Shit is Real. But football was my love Kid. I got that basketball game too, though. I played ball, but my grades wasn't always there. I was into too much other shit. I was into this music shit; cuttin' out of school to go do music. Shit, I remember I used to go to school off the Christmas breaks and all that. Niggaz' would come back to school battlin'. He's battlin' sayin' Kane's rhyme and I'm battlin' sayin' Rakim's rhyme. So then we had to learn how we could battle with our own rhymes. So that's how it came into play. I used to go, hopin' Niggaz' ain't hear the Kane shit when I would come tryin' ta spit Kane's verse. And Niggaz' would already know it. So that's how we grew up into that. Word, Run DMC had me amped; 'keep a bag of cheeba inside my locker'. Keep a bag a cheeba inside his locker? He could say that? Oh I'm rhymin'! Word up. That's what made me get this Legal Drug Money. Nigga wanted to be a drug dealer, wanted to have the drug dealin' cars; wanted to have drug dealer houses. But legally! So now I'm makin' Legal Drug Money. That's the first album I made.

So what are the stories you're tellin' on this new John P. Kelly album? The solo joint.

On the solo album I got the solo situations I've been goin' through. I been around the world meetin' different people, so I've been just pickin' up different vibes an' shit of who I am and who they are. I got this one song on the album called "Mama Say" that's dedicated to just regular Kats like me when I was workin' at UPS. I was likin' this lil' chick when I always used to go make my drop-offs. So one day me and the crew was hangin' and I seen her. "What you lookin' upset for?" So that's one story. Then I did the song for Freaky Tah. That's real deep. That's a deep joint. I got the joint with me and Gipp. We just talk about how we do from New York to ATL, or whatever. The whole album is definitely some ill shit. I got the New Orleans type of flavor an' shit, called "Let's Go". When I first moved out to Miami I wrote about that shit: palm trees, chicks, weed... Cars is hot! "Let's Roll". This album's just everyday life though.

So why did you move to Miami?

Because I love it. It was about just the atmosphere; the way it was when I first went and took a trip down there to do a show. I just wanted to stay. So when I got a chance to get some money I was like, "I'm goin' to Miami. Fuck that shit!" Word up, I put some lil' money down on that and let me get that house right there! That's what's up though. It's just the way it feels. It feels good. It's a hot area!

How about over Memorial Day weekend?

Oh, it was overcrowded, man! That shit got ME mad!! It was too many people out in Miami. That shit was crowded, Kid! I'm talkin' bout I ain't never seen that shit! That was alright though. It was crowded. But Yo, it was ahhite. Word up, I could work wit' it!

Recently, the Kats that killed your brother admitted that it was a mistaken identity. Does that bring some closure to you?

No! That means he was gon' kill my other man then. He talkin' 'bout he's upset. Yo Kid, how he gon' even come off and bust you? Niggaz' is made Niggaz out there Kid! Talkin' 'bout you sorry! Niggaz ain't goin' for that.

That shit shook me Dog. Because when it first happened, it seemed like the target was a Kat wit' Dreads, regardless. And we got Dreads man!

Yea, that's what I'm sayin'. That's what I'm talkin' about. So what is he talkin' about? And I know my whole team got Dreads. So who you was after Kid? So I'm thinkin' like, he coulda tried to hit me and any of my mans an' 'dem. Them Niggaz hit Tah Lee, Kid. I felt that night was a nasty night anyway. 'Cause my brother just got married that night and it was my birthday. So we went to the party over there. When you just don't feel right somewhere; I was just like, "Yo Tah, let's be up outta here Kid." We was gonna go to the city or somethin'. And we was all dressed up too; suits on, lookin' sharp. Word up, that was that day: March 28th. My birthday an' shit. That hurts. That shit hurts every year now too, 'cause I gotta go through that every birthday and he ain't there. Nigga got killed on my birthday: I'ma always feel that. Word.

Alright. Every piece of music that you and your Fam has touched always lifts the Spirits. What special tracks do you got on there that are straight for the party?

I got a joint "Friday Night" on there. I got this shit called "Here We Come" that's a lil' party shit. "Let's Go" is a party joint. I got a few party joints, but I got some more mental shit though. Like I really wanna talk an' shit, and lay down some other Game too though. It's time. Everybody's talkin' 'bout the same thing. Everybody talkin' 'bout they jewelry right now; they cribs, they cars right now. Yo, kids is goin' to school an' shit. Niggaz need to hear somethin' else right now. Niggaz gotta bring some other type of thing to the Game, Kid. Word up, so I'ma step that part up Kid. I don't know what part it is. I'll just play my part though. I'ma bring some type of, "ya heard, Ya Heard, YA HEARD that shit!?! That's some different shit!!" Niggaz is talkin' 'bout how Niggaz is beefin' over who got the most money now, an' shit. Y'all ain't know Niggaz was just fightin' a muhfuckin' Civil Rights War? Nigga, Niggaz is here now! And Niggaz' is arguin' over who got the most money? I'm tryin' to go shack shopping myself. Word up, I ain't got no beef. Niggaz' live Kid! Let's live and get this money, man! Word up. So that's really it man. That's what's up though.