By the time you read this, Memphis Bleek will have flown out of New Jersey and landed in Florida to meet Jay-Z. The two are rehearsing for the next leg of the Blueprint 3 Tour for the next couple of days, and the real thing kicks off this weekend.
Although we haven’t heard a lot of Memph’s music the last three years, he has constantly been performing at Jay-Z’s shows and keeping a close bond with the cat he used to borrow sugar from in the Marcy Projects. When Bleek drops his next album, The Process, later this year, things will be different. The independent release will be his first album not coming through Roc-A-Fella records.
“It was mutual,” Bleek said about not signing with Hov’s Roc Nation and choosing to go independent. “It was a conversation … I was asking him his next move. What is he gonna do? Where is Blueprint 3 coming out, since he had just left Def Jam. He was telling me he was doing this Roc Nation thing. He was trying to start a whole new venture, new label, new brand — a whole new everything. I was like, ‘Damn. What’s next for me?’ He was like, ‘Whatever you wanna do.’ After a little bit of thinking, I came to a decision: ‘It’s time for [my company] Get Lo to breathe. I can’t be under that umbrella forever.’ The conversation was more or less mutual.
“He’s giving me the free will to do whatever I want to do,” added Bleek, who said Just Blaze produced two songs on his upcoming LP. “Time for me to prove myself on my terms.”
Obviously, with Bleek and Jay, their relationship is based on more than music. Bleek said he thought Beanie Sigel and Jay had that same bond. Just like many fans, Memph said he was shocked that Beans came out dissing him and Jay. Just this week, during a live show in Philadelphia, Beans spit his flames at Jay and Bleek again, rapping, “Memph Bleek pee the sheets/ Leave the bed all wetty.”
“My thing is, what’s the purpose?” Bleek said about Sigel’s outburst. “You said all you had to say. You said you wasn’t gonna say no more until Jay called you. He ain’t call. Everything you said ain’t adding up. It becomes a point, what are you doing it for? Are you doing it to get you a deal? Are you doing it to get you hot, doing it to get you back on the radio? That’s all I wanna know. Anybody knows if you come at Hov, you’re not stopping his movement. C’mon, it’s stupid. We been there before. We seen this movie. I hate to elaborate on it, because it’s like I’m breathing life on a situation that really don’t need no life to it.”
Bleek said he spoke to Beans the night before the Powerhouse show in Philadelphia last year, and the Broad Street Bully gave him no indication that there was any ill will.
“For it to come out the blue like this, it was like, ‘Oh, this is what you really was thinking?’ ” Bleek said. “When Ice Cube left N.W.A, it was automatic dis records. Automatic. They was coming at each other. The Roc had split up in 2003. We in 2010. Seven years later, you wanna dis? It’s pointless. It’s no truth to it. ‘Jay is this, Jay is foul.’ Jay is not foul. This is what I tell everybody: Opportunity is worth more than a check. So that’s what people need to understand. He gave the opportunity to get rich. It ain’t about the check he didn’t give you. I didn’t get it. The check you waiting for, I’m waiting for too then. My opportunity is to be able to do this interview with you, still be relevant, be onstage with that man and even be a part of history and what we did. That’s more than any dollar amount. You can push it however far you gonna carry it.”
With all that has transpired lately, Bleek said the chances of mending any fences with Sig are less than bleak.
“Could it ever be mended? Jay is gone,” Bleek said. “I could sit down with Beans. You wanna holla with me, he knows how to get in contact with me. I’m out here. Jay’s gone. Ain’t no time to look back. Where [Jay’s] at, no time to look back. If Jay looks back, it’s the back of the G5 [jet], luggage. He’s gone. We don’t need that. Where’s the problem? When [all the Roc-A-Fella artists] signed their release paper and went their separate ways, it was no problem. Now it’s a problem. Why do you need to talk?”
As for the footage that recently hit the Net of Bleek and former Roc co-CEO Damon Dash showing each other love in Europe, Bleek said that video was old.
“That was almost three years ago,” he clarified. “We was on the Water for Life Tour. I knew all that was gonna come out. I thought it was gonna come out before. Like I say to anybody else, Dame is a cool dude. Dame did things for me in my career I could never take back. I could never down him for nothing.”
Click here to hear the Memphis Bleek interview.