September 28, 2017

Biggie & Craig Mack "Caught In The Middle" Interview (1994)

Notorious B.I.G.  'Caught In The Middle' Zine Interview (1994)
Craig Mack 'Caught In The Middle' Zine Interview (1994)

We've all read the rumors and seen the documentary on how B.I.G. & Craig Mack weren't the closest of friends, but back in '94, they were both featured in Kevin BeachmanJ-Bird's short-lived Rap Zine, 'Caught In The Middle.' The zine raised awareness for all things hip-hop in Chicago and the December issue was the first of 2 issues produced; it had Common (Sense) on the cover. In the interview, B.I.G. shouts-out Nas, KRS, Black Moon, Da Bush Babees and trashes the 69 Boyz & the late-Biggie Smallz, who if you don’t know, I’ll have to do a whole other post about him. A lot of people argue whether B.I.G.’s short catalog was enough to consider him for the G.O.A.T. and think about what could have been … and how the industry might be different had he survived. Well, it’s interesting to see what his thoughts were for the future when asked in the interview. “I got a 5 year album deal. Once I finish it I’m mostly gonna chill. Hopefully, I’ll have a lot of money and I can just spend it. I can’t do this for my whole life. Too many fake motherf#ckers smile in your face while you’re the shit. I fuck around and make ‘Walk With A Panther’ like LL or something and people don’t wanna fuck with me no more. Then come back with a ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ and everybody’s just smiling back in your face again. That shit is phony. I hate that shit.” In explaining his album, Biggie adds "It's my life; it's just my life y'know. No gimmicks, no extra shit. The same shit playing on the tape is basically how it was. I was born, my mom and pops was arguing. Then my pops left, I started robbing and stealin', I got locked up and then started the rap shit. It's all there. That's basically it." People respect brevity, lol. Solid interviews in a publication not talked about nearly as often as it should; Zines were an important part of the culture. Props to Kevin Beacham and J Bird, who continue to pioneer amazing things at Rhymesayers and throughout the music industry.