It may surprise many when I say that Pastor Troy is one of my favorite rappers in the game. Not only because of his energetic rowdy songs but as well as the conscious songs where he deals with the harsh realities of street life and escaping the struggle. You can feel it in his music.
Dude has put in serious work in the game since I first heard him bark at No Limit on the infamous rowdy classic No More Play in GA, That song still remains as one of the rowdiest hip hop songs ever made and Troy despite being blackballed still has a cult following.
To put new listeners into Troy, I decided to repost this interview he did with OZone Magazine. Shoutout to Ozone for continuing to represent the South and putting on artists that really putting in work.
As evidenced by the title of his recently released album “King of All Kings,” Pastor Disaster certainly doesn’t shy away from controversy. After releasing 21 solo albums, you’d think he’d be bored with rap by now. But for Troy, rap isn’t a get rich quick scheme or even a job for that matter, it’s what defines him and who he is.
In this candid conversation in his downtown Atlanta studio, PT discusses why other artists are scared to work with him, his new deal with ESPN, and why friends should save his email address because the number might change!
Your new album, “King of all Kings,” has a pretty interesting title. What exactly are you trying to say on that?
We just stating a claim. That’s something I’d tell anybody. I’m the king of all kings: north, south, east, west, all the kings—I’m the king of them. Everybody know I’m a damn king.
Out of all your albums, where would you rank this one?
It’s cool, it’s tight. I try not to get into ranking albums and stuff like that because they all mine at the end of the day and when I put ‘em together I put my best effort for the time. Of course you supposed to say each one is the best one, but you gotta love all your children, man. Got to love your babies.
As usual, you have a lot of tracks on the album, 18 to be precise. Which songs are you most excited about?
I’m real excited about the lead single, “King of all Kings.” Also people are excited about “Lying About Your Career: Part II.” It’s just a real interesting album. It’s a fun album, and It was fun to do. I love this shit. It’s football season so just being able to have a CD in the street with all the ball players getting ready to crank back up that’s good for me. That’s my lane.
I heard your doing the soundtrack for Sportscenter or something like that?
I messed around with ESPN for football season for the show “NFL Live.” We got some licensing deals and stuff like that and that shit is stoopid! I’m just getting into all these endorsement deals and stuff, because rap is so big now you just gotta find your niche and keep grindin’ it out. That ESPN joint opened up a lot of doors though. So when you watchin’ Sportscenter and you hear that “Murder Man,” don’t think your TV goin’ crazy, baby! It’s me!
How did that ESPN deal come about?
Just working man, I’m more into the sports industry than I am in the music industry. I ain’t got a lot of music industry friends, I got a lot of sports industry friends, so just hookin’ up with those boys we kickin’, trying to blow this shit out of proportion.
I know you’re not bored with the music, but are you tired of actually music industry itself?
Well its so easy to get in now, it ain’t that fraternity it used to be. It ain’t like that no more. The music industry today is like a non-Greek fraternity now.
No hazing involved, huh?
Exactly. On some ol’ “I bought my initiation” shit. The rap game done turned into a grad chapter of a fraternity.
Why do you think the game took such a different approach?
Lick-hitting rather than being diligent and putting in time and grind, and chasing a check; those are the two differences in the game today. You hear it all day, you know when it’s coming because the artist come and go and then you don’t see him no more. I laugh at it because y’all go from Troy to this mafucka and you ain’t know this dude was only gonna be around for some damn 6 months. Now you gotta come back to guess-who? Old faithful. I’m still right here. Doing the same ol’ music that you tried to leave, now that all that other shit ain’t staying.
Last time I interviewed you were mentioning how you have a reputation of murdering artists whose tracks you’re featured on—
Yep, I still haven’t had any phone calls. I won’t be on the new T.I.,I won’t be on the new Jeezy, I won’t be on the new Gucci; I won’t be on none of that shit.
Do you think those artists are scared to be on a track with you?
Bro, I’ll let the readers figure that out. Maybe if they start requesting to hear me with some of these other rappers we can get it done.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve been working with other rappers you’ve still been able to maintain a pretty solid fan base.
Yeah, man that’s cool too, but I hate it when I think on it, because them muthafuckas owe me that. You feel me? They owe me that. Man, I could drowned everybody out at the roots as they were coming up. We had just knocked off Master P, you feel me? I wanted allies. I wanted rappers to come up, but I ain’t know they was gonna come up and try to gotdamn keep me out of the loop. I could’ve been snatching weeds as they was growing. But that ain’t even my style, I needed some help. I was the only one at that time. But I always have that good feeling when I see anybody else that’s came up out this shit because I know we were all starting at the same time man. Y’all ain’t open up no doors for me. But I’m not out here cryin’, talkin’ bout, “They don’t respect me! They don’t respect me!” I don’t give a fuck about that shit; I don’t respect them! We can say the same thang to each other. I got so much other stuff going on, I damn sure can’t sit around thinking about who gon’ respect me or not. Shit, I got a studio, I got a microphone, I better get in here and rap. What the fuck I’m gon’ be sitting around here complaining for.
Anytime I see an interview with you in another outlet—or even with us sometimes—interviewers always dwell on the beefs you’ve had with Master P or Lil’ Jon. Why do you think that after 12 years in the game, that’s still all people want to talk about?
Aw man, that’s just the nature of the world. It’s that crazy thinking that they tricked us into as black people. It’s that against each other thinking. We got the Willie Lynch syndrome going and as long as that’s going on we always gonna have those kinda beefs and spats. It’s nothing wrong with [rap beef] but don’t take it to the point where you wanna kill somebody over some lyrics man. It’s deeper than that.
Do you think a lot of beef now is just based on record sales?
Man, I came up in the beef era where niggas would killed about this shit, so when I see this Bubba Gump shit going on now, its like, “If yall ain’t gonna be all about it, just leave it alone.”
You were 18 when you came out with your first album, “We Ready.” That was in 1998. In the twelve years since, what has been the single biggest moment for you, the memory that sticks out in your brain the most?
The best moment I’ve had in my career so far was probably performing at Birthday Bash, not the first year when Goodie Mob brought me out, but the second year when I had a chance to go out there and do my thing.
You were the headliner, right?
Yeah. I was supposed to headline the first one that Master P replaced me on. [The radio station] replaced me with Master P and those people booed all night long. Then Goodie Mob finally brought me out and crunk up “We Ready” for just a quick verse and then it was complete hysteria. So the next year to be able to come back and do it with no time limit in front of 20,000 people that love me to death just felt great.
Last time I talked to you, you were telling me that if you sold a million records independent that I better save your email address cause the number was gon’ be different—
[Laughs] Damn right!
It was funny, but that truthfulness was real though. I respect you for that. Where does that blunt honesty come from?
I’d say I get the blunt honesty from other muthafuckas not being blunt and honest. I give what I want people to give me, make it easy for both of us.
Has there ever been a moment when you considered walking away from rap altogether?
Hell naw, man! It’s too much of a shake the dice thing man. Walking away is a gamble, it’s like being at a crap table. Hell man, I can stay over here and shake these dice and who knows what I might be able to do. I think I’m gonna stay in and take my chances.
Yeah, it just seems like the trendy thing to do now is retire from rap.
They can do it. My position is different than a lot of other rappers because I still have that fan base that I raised, and they still down and lookin’ for my guidance. We done grew together. Here I am 20 or so, and these guys were 10. Now these guys are in 20, listening to me at 30. And they still give me that ear and that respect so as long as I got them people to talk to we can do this shit for a while. We growing together.
Do you listen to any particular song of yours before you sit down to write new music?
Um, I write so much that I very seldom take the time to listen. But when I do take my time to listen to those old songs of mine “Vice Versa” is always impressive. It’s nothing like to listening to a song where you can remember a different place or time in life when you were first listening to that song heavy. As the artist I remember listening to those songs and having my pad and my pen out writing the song. I sit back and remember where I was sitting at when I wrote it. It’s different, real special shit.
Where do you write?
We’re sitting in your studio now. Do you write here, in the car—
I write wherever I get the vibe. I like driving and writing, but shit, how they writing up tickets for texting, if they catch me with this pen and pad in the middle console I don’t know what they gon’ do. But basically when the beat hits me and I feel like rapping, I rap.
And you stay on the road a lot also.
Oh yeah, I been kickin ass lately, but we gotta do that. That’s too simple. My man Chris Lighty told me a long time ago, “Even if it’s just five thousand dollars go get it. Do you know what your great-grandma and them would did to make five thousand dollars in a night?”
Talk about your label situation right now. I know you migrate a lot based on what the best situation is for you. Where are you currently?
Right now I’m staying down with the independents man, because it’s too pivotal. You can’t take on a situation that you want if you always in a situation. You got to leave yourself open, so when that deal that you want comes along you can take it. With that being said, we doing our shit strictly 100% independent. It’s cool cause I got other artists like my girls the Blonde Bandits that I can work with. We also working on another DSGB album that’s bout to be crazy. We just making good music and we’ll worry about the rest later.
What would it take to get you to sign with a major label?
It would really have to be a situation that I want. I understand that better now. I’m not 20 going into the situation with no experience. I know how to finesse it and make this stuff work to my advantage more. I would want more flexibility and independence to be able to record as freely as I want to. When you signed to a major this stuff gets real strict. You look up and you can’t even do a song with your best friend who you been rapping with all your life. I love the freedom of being independent. It’s a different grind, but at the same time it’s all for me. I love my position man. Long as I got that belt. I’m the champion.
Yeah, speaking of that belt, that thing is always around you. It’s ubiquitously with you. What’s the significance?
The champ, man. When started that thing with Master P I just felt like the champion, so I released the song “Champion.” That was when [the wrestler] Goldberg was real big. The belt just stuck. People don’t even wanna see me if they don’t see the belt.
Everybody is familiar with where your rap name came from. Your dad being a pastor and all, but with your family being very religious, how do they feel about your rap career and lifestyle?
They cool, man. They love what I’m doing. They praying me up and rooting for me 110%.
Would you ever release a gospel album?
Oh yeah, that’s nothing. I love God, love Jesus just like I did as a child and like everybody should. I don’t have no complex about that. I’m not worried about people thinking I’m weak if I do an album about God. I already do songs about the glory of God on the hardest albums of mine you gon’ hear. Even “Vice Versa” had a lot of religious aspects to it.
What about doing an album in Creole?
Aw yeah man, definitely. As a matter of fact, Haitian Fresh and I are doing a song now called “fas a Fas” for Wyclef’s campaign for President of Haiti. It’s gon’ be cool , man.
Finally, I know you’ve had to have considered releasing a Pastor Troy greatest hits album.
Definitely. We gon’ work on something pretty soon. I got enough hits for it.