Inspectah Deck: A Deep Dive into His Career and Impact


Jason Richard Hunter, better known by his stage name Inspectah Deck, is an American rapper, producer, and actor born on July 6, 1970, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in Staten Island, he made a name for himself as a member of the iconic group Wu-Tang Clan and the collaborative project Czarface. Known for his intricate lyricism, Inspectah Deck has garnered critical acclaim for his skillful verses on some of the group’s most revered tracks.

Throughout his career, Inspectah Deck has contributed to many memorable songs, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with fellow Wu-Tang Clan members. Some of his notable performances include tracks like “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)” and “Triumph.” Despite not achieving the same level of solo success as some of his peers, Inspectah Deck’s unforgettable verses have solidified his reputation as one of Wu-Tang Clan’s most talented lyricists.

In addition to his work as a rapper, Inspectah Deck has also dabbled in production, working on tracks such as “Let Me at Them” and “Visionz.” His extensive discography showcases his dedication to hip-hop and his unique style that has earned him respect and admiration from fans and critics alike.

Early Life and Background

Birth and Family

Inspectah Deck was born Jason Richard Hunter on July 6, 1970, in Brooklyn, New York. There is limited information available about his family, but his stage name is derived from his position as an “inspector” of the group Wu-Tang Clan and their affiliation with the Nation of Gods and Earths, also known as the Five Percenters.

Growing up in Staten Island

At a young age, Jason moved to Staten Island and lived in diverse neighborhoods, which helped him develop a unique perspective on life. He attended school with future Wu-Tang Clan members Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man. During this time, he began participating in graffiti culture and used the moniker “Rebel INS.” This period played a significant role in cultivating Inspectah Deck’s passion for hip-hop. Eventually, it led to the formation of Wu-Tang Clan alongside other Staten Island-based artists in the early 1990s. As a member of the group, Inspectah Deck gained recognition for his intricate lyricism, contributing memorable verses to many of the group’s most revered songs.

Musical Career

Joining Wu-Tang Clan

Inspectah Deck, born Jason Richard Hunter on July 6, 1970, in Brooklyn, New York, was raised in Staten Island, New York. He joined the groundbreaking hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, which led to his rise to fame. Known for his intricate lyricism, Deck contributed verses to many of the group’s most revered songs, earning him critical praise.

Solo Career

Inspectah Deck’s solo career began with the release of his debut album, “Uncontrolled Substance,” in 1999. The album received positive reviews, showcasing his talent as both a rapper and producer. Songs from the album, such as “Femme Fatale,” “Word on the Street,” and “Elevation,” demonstrated Deck’s unique style and sound. He went on to release further solo albums, including “The Resident Patient” (2006), “The Manifesto” (2010), and “Chamber No. 9” (2019), further adding to his impressive discography.

Collaborations and Features

Throughout his career, Inspectah Deck has collaborated with numerous artists and has been featured on various tracks. In 2000, he produced the track “Glide” for U-God’s album “Golden Arms Redemption.” He also worked with Ghostface Killah on the song “Stay True” from the 2000 album “Supreme Clientele.”

Deck’s collaborative efforts extended beyond the Wu-Tang Clan as well. In 2013, he formed a new group called Czarface with rappers Esoteric and 7L. Together, they released multiple albums, combining their unique styles and skills, leading to well-received projects such as “Czarface” (2013) and “Every Hero Needs a Villain” (2015).

Overall, Inspectah Deck’s musical career has been defined by his contributions to Wu-Tang Clan, his impressive solo discography, and his collaborations with various artists across the hip-hop genre.

Style and Influence

Lyrical Technique

Inspectah Deck, born Jason Richard Hunter, is known for his intricate lyricism and complex, metaphor-packed rhymes. As a member of the Wu-Tang Clan, he has showcased his skills in songs like “Protect Ya Neck,” where he delivered lines with flair, incorporating references to pop culture icons like Joe Frazier and Spiderman. His watchful, quiet demeanor in the group earned him the first part of his nickname “Inspectah.” He has been praised for his understated skill, being able to convey deep meaning and tell stories through his lyrics.

Impact on the Hip Hop Scene

As a member of Wu-Tang Clan, Inspectah Deck’s impact on the hip hop scene is undeniable. The group’s first single “Protect Ya Neck” off their debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang” was a game-changer and introduced them to the world. Drawing on their raw energy and unique sound, Inspectah Deck, along with his fellow Wu-Tang members, helped to define the 90’s East Coast rap scene.

With his solo career, Inspectah Deck continued to impress fans and critics alike with his lyrical prowess and dedication to the craft. His influence as part of Wu-Tang Clan and his solo work has provided inspiration for future generations within the genre.


Studio Albums

Inspectah Deck has an extensive solo discography, which includes the following studio albums:

  • Uncontrolled Substance (1999) – This was his debut solo album, released after several appearances on Wu-Tang Clan projects. The album received positive reviews and showcased Deck’s skill as a lyricist.
  • The Movement (2003) – His second studio album, featuring appearances from fellow Wu-Tang Clan members and other artists. The album was praised for its tight production and lyrical content.
  • The Resident Patient (2006) – This album served as a prelude to his then-upcoming album The Rebellion. It featured guest appearances from various artists and was well-received by critics.
  • Manifesto (2010) – Released four years after the previous album, Manifesto was praised for its diverse production choices and hard-hitting lyrics. Some fans considered this to be his best work to date.
  • Cynthia’s Son (2014) – This self-released album paid tribute to his late mother Cynthia. It showcased a more introspective and personal side of Deck.

Mixtapes and EPs

In addition to his studio albums, Inspectah Deck has also released several mixtapes and EPs, such as:

  • The Resident Patient II (2009) – A sequel to his 2006 album, featuring new collaborations and a continuation of the themes explored in the original project.

He has also contributed to various collaborative projects, most notably as a member of the group Czarface, which includes Deck, 7L, and Esoteric. They have released several full-length albums together, further expanding Deck’s discography.

Personal Life

Legal Issues

Inspectah Deck, born as Jason Richard Hunter on July 6, 1970, has had relatively few legal issues compared to some of his fellow Wu-Tang Clan members. His focus has primarily been on his music career, both as a member of the influential hip-hop group and as a solo artist. Throughout his time in the limelight, he has managed to stay out of most legal troubles, a commendable feat within the entertainment industry.


As a part of the Wu-Tang Clan, Inspectah Deck has supported several charitable causes and initiatives over the years. The group as a whole has been known for their contributions to various organizations, often using their fame and influence to raise awareness and funds for important social issues. Specific details regarding Inspectah Deck’s personal charitable contributions are not readily available, but his involvement with the Wu-Tang Clan showcases a willingness to give back to his community and support causes larger than himself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rap group Inspectah Deck member?

Yes, Inspectah Deck, born Jason Richard Hunter on July 6, 1970, is a member of the famous rap group Wu-Tang Clan. He is also part of another group called Czarface.

Inspectah Deck’s record deal?

Inspectah Deck has been associated with several notable record labels throughout his career, including Loud Records, which released much of Wu-Tang Clan’s early work. As a solo artist, Deck has worked with labels such as Urban Icon Records and Koch Records.

Origin of stage name?

Inspectah Deck adopted his stage name as a reflection of his watchful and quiet nature. He is known for his intricate lyricism and complex, metaphor-packed rhymes delivered with understated skill.

Best Wu-Tang member?

It is subjective to determine who the best Wu-Tang Clan member is, as each member brings a unique style and contribution to the group. Inspectah Deck, however, is often praised for his intricate lyricism and standout verses on many of the group’s most revered songs.

Inspectah Deck’s solo albums?

Inspectah Deck has released several solo albums throughout his career. These include:

  • Uncontrolled Substance (1999)
  • The Movement (2003)
  • The Resident Patient (2006)
  • Manifesto (2010)
  • Chamber No. 9 (2019)

Inspectah Deck collaborations?

Apart from his work with Wu-Tang Clan and Czarface, Inspectah Deck has collaborated with many artists and producers on singles, guest appearances, and production credits. Some notable collaborations include Pete Rock, Big Pun, and Gang Starr.

From the archives: Interview

inspectah deck

Inspectah Deck is one cool brother. One of the charter members of the legendary Wu Tang Clan Deck has left his mark on the rap industry just with sick verses from “C.R.E.A.M” and “Triumph” alone. His legacy with the Clan is less stated than some of the more well known members but that’s mainly due to his personality and label problems then with style and lyrical ability. We caught up with Deck right after the second Roy Jones debacle to see what was going down and talked a little boxing, but mostly we kept on topic with Wu history, politics of the business and the future of the Clan. Enjoy.

Halftime: We was just talking about Roy Jones. Are you a boxing fan?

Inspectah Deck: I’m definitely a boxing fan. Did ya’ll see the fight the other night?

Halftime: Yea, that’s what we were just talking about.

Deck: He laid that motherfucker out.

Halftime (Jbutters): That hurt me man.

Deck: It didn’t really hurt me because I felt like how everyone else felt about Roy, that he was nice and all that shit but I didn’t see him knock a live nigga’s head off. Tarver ain’t even considered live to me, but he kinda exposed him. Roy always do that shit where he’ll punch you and run in one move. Bernard Hopkins will punch you and rush you with his shoulder or something. Roy will punch you and run the other way in the same move and niggas will say his speed is awesome! I’m like that nigga ran. I’m one of them dudes. I be looking at the fight like he threw a hook, body shot and an uppercut all with the left hand. I look at the schematics.

Halftime (Jbutters): I’ve never seen nobody put to sleep like that. He looked like he was in a coffin.

Deck: I felt sorry for the nigga at the end. The punch didn’t look too hard but son banged his head on the canvas and it could have been a combination of that and he caught him catching a breath because shortness of breath will fuck you up.

Halftime (Marcus): That’s what I be telling niggas that if a big dude hit you hard in the body you don’t want to move and its hard for you to do all that running. Halftime (Jbutters): When I saw the replay, I’m like dude took fifteen minutes to hit him with the shot. He didn’t even move but he had to see that punch coming from a mile away and he still got bombed on. But aside from Roy we wanted to touch on some Wu Tang history, mostly your background and the part you played in creating the Wu Tang legacy. I read in a bunch of interviews with you and Ghostface and noticed that you both say that your 70’s babies infused with the soul of that era.

Deck: Word, I always say that.

Halftime (Jbutters): What were some of the instances that you had as a youth that helped create the mentality you have now.

Deck: It’s hard to explain that but it’s a combination of things. My moms really had to raise us on her own because my pops passed away when I was six. Seeing her hold it down, that showed me things were real because it’s fucked up when you see your moms really handling it. So it was a combination of my moms and my pops who was an artist who actually drew and played the trumpet. He was a real crafty fella so I take the artistic side from him and then my life on the streets. I always consider my life like one of them blackploitation flicks and the shit that they going through. When I step in the room the shit be like ‘da na, da na daaan’ like you that cool brother. I be applying that to my life everyday like the Richard Roundtrees and all them cats. If you gonna be cool, cool speaks for itself you don’t have to say shit. Everybody screaming gangsta, but gangsta is gonna show. A gangsta is gonna kill your kids, he ain’t gonna advertise that. I try to disassociate with all of that. On the forming of the Wu Tang my whole thing with being the Inspectah was that you had a whole lot of characters that were loud. Dirty is a loud cat, Rza is loud, and Meth is wild child. Everybody had a crazy personality. U-God is kinda like the grouch among other things but I’m jut pointing out that characteristic. I’m the laid back nigga. If you see that movie with Cam’ron called ‘Paid in Full’ I’m comparing myself to how AZ was out there hustling but he is still holding his head while Cam is wilding out. I’m always going to be that laid back cat, observant and doing the knowledge but there are other facets to me that are outgoing that I don’t allow folks to see like that. I just chose to be the Inspectah to analyze because you get more information that way.

Halftime (Jbutters): Which members of the clan did you meet up with first and what was everyone doing at the time to maintain?

Deck: We was all doing what we had to do. Some cats were hustling and some had jobs. I was doing both. I was always the type to have a job. Before I started hustling I was working. I had to get a check because my moms couldn’t do it for everybody. My sister get it today, my brother get it Wednesday so it was like you gotta wait. When everybody was trying to do the same thing we were the ones that wanted to be different. Cats don’t want to be different nowadays. Everybody wants to dick ride whatever is rocking right now.

Halftime (Marcus): In Baltimore nobody had ever heard of Shaolin…

Deck: Word, Baltimore is like my third home.

Halftime (Marcus): Yea my cousin told me you came down here and the bouncers started attacking some of ya’ll.

Deck: Yea I got into some shit with the bouncers in Baltimore. I gotta talk about that. I was chillin downstairs from the stage and Meth, Red and Streetlife were performing still. I jumped off in front of the stage cuz it was getting crowded with a lot of cats who wanted to be on stage for nothing. The bouncers saw me and thought I was just a cat from the crowd posting up. He was like yo you gotta move and I was like yo I just got off the stage with Meth I’m part of the group. He was like I don’t want to hear that shit and he walked off and came back with two or three more dudes. I was arguing for a minute and then one of them put they hand on me. They tried to actually physically throw me out the club so I just grabbed the silver gate that separate the crowd from the stage and didn’t let it go. That shit was swinging loosely in the air almost took a few cats out. It turned into a real live wrestling match and they had to stop the show. I almost got locked up for that. Baltimore, I always get into shit down there.

Halftime (Marcus): We be hearing the stories how niggas be acting up but it be the bouncers too.

Deck: That’s a lot of the shit plus like you’re saying we created such a mystique for ourselves that they were saying Wu Tang was a gang. They don’t know. They were told Wu Tang is some dusthead niggas, them niggas are crazy, and da da da. And when you finally see, I ain’t smiling, I ain’t really in a rush to meet you either so you don’t know what I’m thinking. If you thinking the shit that you heard and read is all true, nah you gotta really build with a cat before you cast a judgment on them. I know that’s with me. Everybody tell me you need to smile more and show them more of your personality and I’m like that’s me man. I try to take constructive criticism and shit though.

Halftime (Marcus): My question I always wanted to ask who in the Wu Tang is related because I got a funny story from high school?

Deck: The RZA, The Gza, and Ol’ Dirty are cousins.

Halftime (Marcus): Like I said nobody in Baltimore heard of Shaolin when ya’ll came out so this nigga holla yo Wu Tang is my cousins. We was like are there’s like fifty of them niggas how are they all your cousins. He was like yea out there in Shaolin and we was like what’s the real name and he was like ahh you know where that is man. I’m sure you got mad niggas that be lying about that.

Deck: It’s a lot of that. Cats be running up on me like yo I was locked up with your cousin Frank. I’m like yo I don’t got no cousin Frank man.

Halftime: Haha

Deck: It’s like that shit on the Chronic album where he was like I know Dr. Dre, I’m Snoop Dogg’s cousin and he was like niggas say anything to get the pussy. Niggas will say anything. I remember coming to a club telling them I’m Inspectah Deck and that I’m invited and niggas telling me I’m lying cuz Inspectah Deck is already inside. I’m writing a book ya’ll gonna bug out on my book. I got mad shit I can discuss with niggas.

Halftime: What’s the name of the book going to be?

Deck: I’m trying to think of a crazy name like ‘Behind the Flag’ or some shit. It’s about my life with Wu Tang. I’m not gonna go into the whole I was born and raised etc. It’s mainly the Wu Tang years.

Halftime (Jbutters): Back in the days you had your own trouble with the law and you had previously stated that you felt jail helped you in a way. Most people don’t really say that can you elaborate on how that changed you?

Deck: Yea I did say that because niggas is dumb on the streets. I’m watching this Paid in Full movie right now and its like we had MTM suits, ill jewels, fat cables, cars, and all this shit and we thought we was something. Half of the niggas that had that ain’t got shit right now. So I’m looking at it like niggas gotta come a little further than that. I was out on the streets hustling but I was the type that had to be smart about it. I’m bringing drugs upstairs to my moms house. I wasn’t no kingpin but I held my own where if I got into some trouble I could bail myself out by making a phone call to my fam like go into that Nike box, the Adidas jacket or the Boston Celtics starter. I always maintained my own self. I never worked for nobody or got mixed in any drug wars although I had to bust my steel and do what I had to do. I don’t glorify none of that shit because it’s stupid when crackers be having stocks and bonds for their kids. Our life ain’t the shit. That’s the reality of why I rhyme about what I rhyme about and I am who I am. I’m not out there with my chest out splashing water in the videos. I try to represent the majority of the poor people out here who outnumber all of that shit.

Halftime (Jbutters): Even with that most people don’t say jail helped. How did that affect you specifically?

Deck: Most niggas don’t want to be like Huey Newton, Malcolm X, or Thurgood Marshall. These niggas died for a cause. I’m not willing to die but I would die to prolong the life of somebody else if I had to do it. I’m like a black action hero to my youth and I never got the chance to get it out there like that even though Wu Tang gave me a chance to voice my opinion for years all around the world. I never really did my intention, which was really to try and teach these motherfuckers. Even on my next album I’m gonna be Wu Tang and people are gonna be like why don’t you have RZA’s beats and it’s like you grow older. You live with your mom to a certain age and then you get your own place but you’re always in tuned with your family. You over there like you still live there but at night you can sleep comfortably in your own bed. That’s all that is, you just grow and expand and want to meet new motherfuckers. My man Phantom of the Beats, him and Ayatollah did the majority of my last album but a lot of people didn’t give them the credit that they deserve. Now them dudes is popping off but everybody still like why didn’t you get Rza’s beats? It’s like listen man Snoop went to No Limit, niggas ain’t ask him why he didn’t get no Dre beats. I put out two albums in ten years as a solo artist because I wasn’t coming into the game trying to be that superstar dude. I was on the block hustling trying to get by and Rza put this opportunity in front of me and I’m forever grateful for it. It gave me a chance to really experience what I love, which is hip hop and music in general. I can never regret that. I don’t have any regrets except that I wish that certain shit took place when it could have. You take your cards how you’re dealt and you gotta work with your hand. Other than that I’m having fun with this shit at the same time. It’s more than I could have dreamed of. Nobody could have ever said ten or twelve years later cats will still want to do an interview with you.

Halftime (Jbutters): One thing that bugs me out is that we were there when ya’ll came out and have a clear understanding of how you impacted the game so anytime we hear rumors like Wu Tang broke up its like ahhh noooo! Even if you don’t put any albums out anymore you left that for us. It’s weird though cuz a lot of people today be fronting on the Wu like nothing ever happened.

Deck: Like we didn’t open the doors for them to be eating right now. Like you said like nothing ever happened and we didn’t come through and put the shit to smash. But its all good because quiet as kept we are working on that next one we just ain’t broadcasting that shit. Once you start mouthing off its booby-trapped. We putting the shit together man it was just shit that niggas had to get off their chest with each other. We all came to realize this ain’t the way to go out for us or for the fans. We have to supply the fans with at least one more album of putting our heart into the shit. Anything you got popping off put that away and let’s focus on reuniting the people. When we come together watch what happens to the generation man. They are gonna really see the difference between that bullshit they hear everyday and the niggas that are really doing it. We gave niggas personalities. We was the Wu Gambinos and then everybody wanted to change their name to a mafia gambino name after that. Or even our beats people putting skits in front of their shit from movies. We came with the karate to separate ourselves when everybody else had scenes from Scarface or Goodfellas. “It’s been a long time..” just fucking with your mind and the beat that come behind it just fuck you up just like the skit. I know ya’ll miss that because I miss that. I miss that sword swinging and then an ill RZA beat just drop. I want to go out on that note. If I don’t ever do this shit again I want it to be after Wu Tang sold five million on their last album.

Halftime (Jbutters): I was watching Kill Bill 2 and they had the Shogun’s Assassin playing and that just took me back yo. It made me want to just go grab that Genius album cuz I was waiting for the beat to drop but they was really watching the movie.

Deck: All that shit was ahead of its time. We opened so many doors just like the doors were opened for us by N.W.A and all the other groups that came through like the Hit Squad. Before Wu Tang came in the door the Hit Squad was together with Erick Sermon and Das Efx and them. They play a part in opening the way for us. That’s what we tried to do and now you got Roc-A-Fellas, Cash Money, Bad Boys, and there are so many more to come. I don’t want no pat on the back just recognize even if you mumble it under your breath. Niggas fucking around saying ‘Wu ain’t made a hit in twelve years’ but they still got the motherfucking poster hanging on the wall.

Halftime (Jbutters): You can argue that you guys had five to seven classic albums. When I hear people say that I’m like what more do you want?

Deck: We got older while the generation got younger and the music changed. We were coming with the samples when sampling was ok and then they came with the new Triton and all types of other keyboards and the sound changed. Then you had Ruff Ryders and Timberland with that style. The sound definitely stepped up a notch and now you have Lil Jon and all these cats in the south reinventing the sound. I’m trying to be ahead like how do we reinvent New York’s sound with all the fly samples. Kanye beat us to it. Now New York has to come a step above all of that. The whole east coast can’t try to be that. We have to reinvent what made us live. Like when you heard Mobb Deep “Shook Ones” for the first time, when you heard Smif-N-Wessun “Dah Shinin” and Black Moon, that’s the era I want to bring back.

Halftime (Marcus): What I don’t like is how all my favorite artists, especially New York artists, will have that one song on their record where they try out that new flow. Right now it’s a southern type of thing. Biggie sounded cool when he did it with Bone Thugs but that’s not Nas and Az’s type of thing. I don’t want to hear that from them and I hope the Wu don’t come out with that type of song.

Deck: I’ll give you a perfect song we shouldn’t have made but people love it anyway and I see the purpose of why people do it. “The Gravel Pit” topped the charts for a while and was still rocking overseas. To me personally that shit killed niggas street cred.

Halftime (Marcus): Hahaha, I think the song was alright but it’s the video. That Flintstones shit. It was different though.

Deck: I don’t even know what to say about that shit. If ya’ll want you can sit here and torment me. Wu Tang gotta suck that one up. I knew that one from the jump but I participated so I have to eat that one. It would have been nice if we would have made that shit for the Flintstones movie that came out with Rosie O’donnell but to come out not putting a album out in years and one that is highly anticipated and to come with the “Gravel Pit” and you’re in bear skins in the desert with a karate scene and a fucking dinosaur! I ain’t ashamed man I gotta swallow that one you can print that. Just as I know we gave ya’ll “C.R.E.A.M” and all of that fly shit that was one of them shits where it was like that wasn’t necessary. Everybody do that shit. Biggie did that ‘I’m going going Back back to Cali’.

Halftime (Jbutters): Yea I didn’t like that one

Deck: And we all love Biggie but that’s one where its like yo everybody lay an egg every now and then. We are going about this one with a different approach though. Everybody is more grown, more civilized and coming to the realization that we know Wu Tang as a force is unstoppable. All the solo projects we do we are getting shine and we are eating but Wu Tang is a force that can lift a mountain up. This album is gonna be under a microscope and it’s either do or die. We gotta hit niggas like Roy got hit.

Halftime: Hahaha

Deck: We gotta be Hurricane Glen real quick and floor them motherfuckers. We gotta floor these niggas who think they are on top right now.

Halftime (Marcus): The thing that got niggas was the samples ya’ll used. I think ya’ll should just go back to that same crate you were using before. Cats saying we went to Argentina to explore a new instrument and put it on the album, nah man just go ahead do what made ya’ll hot. That’s the same thing I told AZ, he shouldn’t have did that one song with the south flow, he been doing him.

Deck: I ain’t been feeling son personally and I’m a fan of his. He put out like three albums in a row that bombed. I got a gold album and one that sold 100K on Koch records. We weren’t trying to sell a million, we were trying to hustle and get our name back in the mix. I’m doing this album now “Return of the Rebel.” I’m gonna have Rza produce and all that but I want to wait until after we do a Clan album and then drop it. It makes more sense. I also got an album I want to do with DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill and I’m gonna drop that first before anything.

Halftime (Jbutters): You mentioned your solo joints. Reflecting on all of the label issues and push backs that you have dealt with what has been your overall experience of putting out your solo projects?

Deck: From my experience that shit is a nightmare man. My first album came out on Loud Records when niggas was in the mix and on top of everything. I got the deal in ’97 but the album didn’t come out until ’99. It got pushed back a long time cuz this nigga album was coming out or that nigga’s album was coming out, or money is short because they signed this act or didn’t recoup off of this act. It was different excuses so when the album finally came out it lost the buzz but it still managed to go gold. That was “Uncontrolled Substance.” So the whole two-year hiatus of having a deal and not being able to put a record out fucks with you. Then its like even when I got the record out I didn’t get the push from them because the record was old. I got the half ass push where they give me enough to make their money back and make a lil profit but leave me still clinging. It just so happens it sold over 400K copies so I managed to make some money off of the shit. That’s good for a first album. On the second album I had no push no nothing. I went in there to try and keep my name alive. I didn’t expect a gigantic response to the shit but even selling six figures is good. Some people ain’t even make it to six figures and AZ is one of them. I ain’t trying to shit on my brother like that but I’m being realistic. The next time though we have platinum thoughts so whether or not the music matches is what we have to make happen.

Halftime (Jbutters): I was reading that with the egos it was surprising you even came together the first time. Now with all of you having solo careers and families I would think to come back together would be impossible because you’ve grown apart so much. Do you feel that’s true or that the experience has somehow brought you closer together?

Deck: It’s kinda like both. The further you grow apart the more you realize you need to be a little bit closer. The further we went out into our own individual projects and lives and you lose touch with a nigga you realize you need to be in touch. Not only could something happen to your brother, but your wavelength ain’t the same when you out in the jungle by yourself. You may be thinking about the grenade and your brother might be thinking about the handgun. You need that extra opinion sometimes. At times you miss niggas. You go from practically sleeping on top of each other and drooling on each other to like yo I ain’t seen you in like six months damn you grew your beard back? When you see a nigga its always good. I don’t care what you’ve been mad about it’s like I’m glad you still here. I be easy. Niggas see me out I’m in Wal-Mart, K-Mart, everywhere by myself or with my girl just living. I don’t carry myself in that fashion. I ain’t a flashy nigga. Nigga like me have twelve million I’m buying an apartment complex. I don’t need seventeen cars on MTV Cribs, I’m trying to get long money. That’s how schools get named after you in the hood. The first 100K I get for 2005 I’m donating that to schools in my hood for books and desks and it ain’t even a publicity stunt.

I don’t want to be that famous nigga talking about he is modeling Prada and all that Emmy awards shit with Joan Rivers all in your face. Some niggas live for that shit. I live for empowerment not power. Empowerment is the drive to uplift the struggle to get the power. Power could be handed to you. Michael Corleone became the Don because his pops handed it to him. He didn’t go out and put the work in like some other niggas who felt they should have gotten the job. That shit applies to other things likes politics and all that. You see how Bush gangstered the election from Al Gore when he first got in. Now they trying to gangster (ed. They succeeded) this Kerry nigga by painting a picture that he is an idiot. But niggas don’t want Bush in there so bad that they will vote for this dude. I ain’t fucking with the shit period. I’m registered to vote and everything but I don’t give a fuck because its not intended for us. We are the bottom of the food chain when it comes to politics. They just need us to vote for them because we outnumber a lot of motherfuckers. That’s all we good for ‘vote nigga’ and what’s bad is they are using us to do it. They got rappers and celebrities using us to get the black vote for the fucking white politician. Let me see you do that same drive when Sharpton was running. Sharpton ran for what a hot two months? He didn’t get no support.

Halftime (Jbutters): Buckshot said he couldn’t vote for him because he got a perm. Haha

Deck: I don’t give a fuck he would look out for the blacks man. I guarantee you that. He would have looked out for us somehow. Son be fighting. When they had those hostages in Guantanamo Bay and that nigga went over there on a protest and starved himself! I know he had to be thinking I did this shit for nothing man. These motherfucking people didn’t even rally to my side. We got niggas who think they are gangsta because they shot two niggas they grew up with and got away with it. You ain’t gangsta nigga. Gangsta was Harriet Tubman who got away from slavery and went back to go help niggas and kept going back. Risked her life to get away and went back to face certain death and did that shit like forty times. That’s gangsta. Other niggas went and got free and got some new shoes like yo my corns are hurting.

Halftime (Jbutters): That’s the same mentality we have today.

Deck: That’s what I’m saying. I want you to print this because when people read Deck interviews I want them to know he ain’t even thinking about rap. I’m hip hop and music for life but fuck rap there is bigger shit out there and when you hear me rap you’re gonna hear me slide it in there. You gotta talk about the guns and the drugs also but I’m trying to be like damn man I can’t even rhyme about that shit no more. Its like what’s after Rolexes, Bentleys and condos on the moon? Ya’ll gotta ask these plastic ass rappers. We can get this money but your dollars gotta make sense. Invest in something else and not in yourself. I’m on some bigger shit. I got lil groups and all that shit but I don’t want to be on the mic forever. I’m gonna drop one or two more albums at the most three. Other than that I’m trying to be in tune with this presidential race, this war in Iraq, and the war at home in streets over five dollars. I’m peeping out C-Span and how they are making new laws everyday on niggas. I’m peeping out how they taking programs from jails and not allowing you to use your incarceration time to benefit you. They just want you to sit in your cell all day. That’s just gonna cause more riots. They don’t want that then again they do. It allows them to come beat the shit out of you in their riot gear. Then they can be like order was restored to the unruly inmates but they only fighting because they don’t have no TV, no drug program etc. This shit is science. The nigga who thought up civilization is ill. The nigga who said we gonna put stores here and create commerce and income and generate revenue for the town. We are gonna make you earn wages and take taxes out of your check and that’s gonna fund the city for schools. That’s ill. That’s next level.

That’s why when they be like ‘ I call my nigga son cuz he shine like one.’ We call each other god because we are created in the image of the most high. If god is the father and you are the children then one day you will become god when you become fully aware of who god is. Everybody has to understand that everything has a science to it like the cause and effect rule. Everything adds up but niggas don’t want to hear about that shit. Niggas reading the magazine want to hear about titties, what kind of whip I got and all that shit. I’m still driving the same old ass Denali. My nigga is straight he ain’t giving me no problems. I’m low key. I like it that way.

Halftime (Jbutters): I wanted to ask you about issues in society and power. Where do you think the power is to change things in our neighborhoods? We did an interview with Brand Nubian and like you said they felt voting wasn’t for us and won’t solve our problems. What solutions do you feel are out here?

Deck: Its time to go back to the sixties. Them niggas fought for their community. I remember back in the days growing up my neighbor used to look out for me. If my moms wasn’t around I could go to my neighbor’s house and chill until she got home from work. There ain’t no unity and that’s what real. Every community has some type of unison. My best friend is Dominican and when I go with him around his community they are one even if they don’t even know you. Mexicans, I know so many Mexicans that I met in cali they be like “Fuck it holmes he don’t got no speakers and you have two pair why don’t you let him get one.” They look out for their own. Everybody does that shit Jews, Italians, Whites, except us. It’s time to go back when Martin was like fuck that we are gonna start marching on shit and demanding to be heard. If you don’t like the shit on the radio you gotta pick the phone up and call. I call myself the Rebel because I love that nigga Chuck D. All of that shit he was saying I love that because the power is in the people. I’m not saying go out and kill whitey don’t get me wrong but just educate yourself. We have to elect our own nigga and vote amongst us for one of us. There used to be community leaders and borough presidents but they took away all that shit.

Halftime (Jbutters): With politics it is power with the people. That’s why I am split on the voting because I understand the issues aren’t what we need to be talking about but we can set the agenda. If we get together we can tell motherfuckers what to do because democracy is the power of the people. If we wanted Bush out he would be out tomorrow. If we wanted it, we could make it happen but cats be acting like they can’t make nothing happen.

Deck: I was just watching Original Gangstaz with Pam Grier and them and they were saying the same shit. I ain’t saying for your aunt and your uncle go get the drug dealers on the corner but we got to run our own shit even if you are a drug dealer. The mob wasn’t the most legal shit but they organized their community. As a drug dealer you gotta be like we doing what we doing but there ain’t gonna be no robbery unless it’s us. All that stick up kids shit we putting a cease to that. Or we gonna throw block parties or doing something to say we not just trying to get this money. We are getting this money so we can do shit with it. Niggas ain’t thinking like that. To me everything is a fucking gimmick. Niggas be trying to do for positive reasons but there is always a hidden agenda in the back. I look at the song with Hammer, Michelle’ and them when they was trying to stop the violence. The most a nigga did was really laugh at the video. That shit had no impact in no hood. That’s how the majority of the shit hood oriented turns out. I be buggin off that shit. Anything we try to create from the ground up it gets taken from us. We can take it all the way back to the numbers game which is lotto nowadays. It’s illegal to do number running but lotto is legal. That’s the whole science of Lucky Luciano and Bumpy Johnson on why below 96th street is the rich section and if you go 96th street and up it’s where it turns to Harlem. There is a lot of science behind everything. You know what a big part of the poison is though is that motherfucking BET.

Halftime (Jbutters): Oh hell yea. BET is the anti-christ. I can’t even watch that shit.

Deck: BET and the Triton they are in the same category. Digital Cable has like a thousand channels and we got one black channel.

Halftime (Jbutters): Owned by white people

Deck: And all they do is video you to death. They don’t have no Blues Clues type of shows. Nothing for your kids. Teach my son how to fucking add. Give me the Black Sesame Street or Lil Bill on Sunday mornings. Bring the Jackson 5 cartoon back on Saturday mornings.

Halftime (Jbutters): They are on some supreme bullshit. Every time I turn BET on its either comic view or a video and both are horrible.

Deck: I like comic view I won’t front.

Halftime (Jbutters): Maybe the old one but the new comic view man? That shit is a joke.

Deck: Yea it’s like comic train, comic view / soul train.

Halftime (Jbutters): I want to see something better than that on TV because its garbage.

Deck: I been to that shit before they position the women so the cameras can catch them.

Halftime (Jbutters): Are you serious?

Deck: Yea they rig that shit up. They pick the best looking women and put them on the stage and put the other ones in the front row. Its all for the cameras.

Halftime (Marcus): That’s what J. Anthony Brown said he was like lets get some big girls up here.

Deck: Even him man. That nigga is terrible. His funniest joke was that jerry curl juice shit from Def Comedy jam. That nigga is not funny at all.

Halftime (Jbutters): I heard you had a DVD that chronicled a day in your life.

Deck: We filmed the making of the album and one of the road tours and put it together. I’m trying to do all of that the DVD, the book and two albums together.

Halftime (Jbutters): Is the DVD Done?

Deck: It’s basically done but it needs a better editing job. I like shit to stay moving. We are gonna edit that shit up right. I also got a label called Urban Icon Records so I’m dropping the album on that label. I got some distribution deals set up but I am trying to put a package on the table for them.

Halftime (Jbutters): When do you think that will be hitting?

Deck: I’m trying to have it done at the end of the year the book and the DVD. I got a writer on the book already so that’s nothing. Everything I recited to you is in the book in different chapters.

Halftime (Marcus): What’s your favorite Wu song?

Deck: I’d say it’s between Gza’s “Life of a drug Dealer” and Ghost’s “Mighty Healthy”

Halftime (Marcus): My favorite shit all time I would have to say “Heaven and Hell”

Deck: I can’t forget “Motherless Child”

Halftime (Jbutters): I like “C.R.E.A.M” but I would have to say Verbal Intercourse because that’s like the illest shit I ever heard. We really can’t pick one.

Deck: Off the head I have to say “Mighty Healthy.” I got the “Mighty Healthy” instrumental. I get dressed faster and all that.

Halftime (Jbutters): I read where you said GZA helped you with your rhyme writing and I am assuming RZA helped you on the business end and with the beats. What are some of the examples of how they helped you develop your style?

Deck: Each nigga gave me something way back. Dirty is the showman He don’t have the lyrics that will bury a nigga line for line but Dirty will capture the crowd off of entertainment value and he’ll say shit according to that. He’ll be like yea I’m drunk nigga I drink beer and rhyme about that shit and steal the crowd from you. Meth is a flow nigga. Meth will hear a beat and the way you jump on the beat Meth will come the total opposite way. He taught me how to pick parts of the beat like how girls do double dutch. You find the part of the beat then jump in on it. GZA taught me even if you’re freestyling just put your shit in sentences and it will make sense. RZA taught me how to project my shit. He was like if you’re gonna be Inspectah Deck the Rebel you have to get on the mic and convince niggas and say your shit with power. That’s what made me start always going first. Going first is like warming up the track. Rae and Ghost give me two different things. Rae is street corner rap to the fullest. I’m the nigga that take you from the block go eat, go upstairs then I break out and go to Queens. Rae has you on the block twenty-four hours so his shit is vivid. He be like ‘kick in the door, hit him with the nine yo you should have seen that nigga running.’ He would say his shit like that and I get the visuals because I lived that shit. So I started learning how to incorporate everything you live in your rhymes without overdoing it. Ghost gave me the slang. Ghost is like ‘the bionic microphone is stacked mechanic move like a bunch of Mexicans with bandanas.’ ‘We eat fish, toss salads and make rap ballads.’ He is saying shit the average nigga ain’t even thinking about. It’s that type of shit. So when I’m writing rhymes and I say a line that’s hype I’ll be like nah the nigga Ghost would say some exotic shit right there and I’ll try to make my shit more exotic than Ghost.

And then Cappadonna he is a fully automatic rap machine. That nigga can roll off a hundred bars at you crazy at least three times in a row. Niggas don’t know Cap. That nigga taught me how to freestyle. He used to get in the full-length mirror like he is battling himself. I was like why are you in the mirror doing it. He was like who is the illest nigga who can fuck with you? That’s you. That’s the only nigga that can fuck with me so I have to go toe to toe with him. He is looking in the mirror saying that shit I’m like this nigga is ill. He got me in the mirror. I went and got the full length mirror and that shit got me sharp. It helps you fix your face and all that when you are freestyling. You know how to look, how to stand, you know if your colors are matching because all that shit plays a part. Niggas come up to you trying to battle and you look at his kicks and be like I ain’t even rhyming against your low budget ass. Niggas like you will get smacked first before the rap. You checking a nigga style like did you just stop me? Don’t stop me asking no stupid shit. You gotta be like that with some niggas. When we was on top they would come up to me all the time because I’m the humble nigga. They were scared of Ghost, Rae and Meth but Deck he the quiet nigga we might be able to test him. I’m the nigga that will rattle off fifty at you real quick and have your niggas saying you should have said that other rhyme you hit me with the other day. U-God is the voice nigga. If I had that voice I’d be the Barry White of rap. Wu Tang taught me everything. Wu Tang is me. We didn’t come together to make a record. We been together. We been watching Wu Tang karate flicks chopping and kicking the shit out of each other. All of this shit was meant to happen

Disclaimer: This is an interview published by the old version of HalfTimeOnline, now republished in full