Certified Fresh: Problem - First The West, Next The World

Hip-Hop Wired: The Understand Me EP did break you into the retail conversation but where ...


Hip-Hop Wired: The Understand Me EP did break you into the retail conversation but where were you trying to go musically?

Problem: Just a different way of delivering your single and making an event out of it. There's dudes out here who leak so many singles and just don't give a sh!t about the hard time of writing, editing, mixing and mastering this sh!t. We gonna make you appreciate what we're doing over here and if I have to give you seven extra songs, four new ones, then so be it. Musically I'm always trying to prove a point. Whether I'm talking about f*****g or fighting, it don't matter.

Collectively those records sounded good together and I'm loving the feedback on it. Honestly the newer records that I did on there is setting fans up for the next project.

Hip-Hop Wired: Speaking of people respecting your brand, how did The Separation Tour go?

Problem: Great. On and off the stage. I needed that. Just to be around my dudes; my homies and getting out to experience the road and execute for eight straight days, no breaks was just great. I loved it. I hope n****s get their show game up cuz dammit we getting ours up [Laughs].

I plan on adding all types of explosions and what not to future shows!

Hip-Hop Wired: So with this amount of buzz, that XXL Freshman cover usually comes knocking.

Problem: That's up to them. But we're after those Grammy Awards right now. It would dope to be a part of but I can't allow something like that to make us. If they give me and him [nods at Bad Lucc] the cover we will do it. Freshmens of the year. [Laughs]

Bad Lucc: I think being recognized by your peers is always cool but I'm with him on that. If you put me on the cover with seven other people, what exactly are you saying? I don't want fans to have to pick amongst people I wouldn't group myself with to begin with. I understand why Drake and Nicki Minaj didn't do that one time [in 2009]. The money and the hit records and sold out shows proves that they were different.

I'm a fan of XXL; been a long time subscriber and it's always good to be recognized but I would love to have our own Diamond Lane cover. Everybody should feel like that though. I remember the labels would not mess with you because you sounded like someone else. So I think it's a big deal when you have movements like ours or TDE because you don't see that too much on a larger scale anymore.

Hip-Hop Wired: So you guys have in-house competition amongst yourselves then?

Badd Lucc: That's my competition right there [nods at Problem]. I'm his. When he's in the studio doing a verse that's crazy, I'm sitting there like 'OK, my verse is wack now.' Then he can sing the hook and edit the whole thing and then I really think I lost.

But whatever Diamond Lane is pushing towards, I'm all for it. One wins, we all win. Full steam ahead. I'm a Diamond Lane Raider.

Hip-Hop Wired: You were just on 106 & Park. How do you guys feel like the reception is on the East Coast side of things?

Problem: It's a lot of love out there. I really love recording out there. I always try to go to the studio and zone out.

Learning how to record yourself is a very, VERY important piece to this puzzle too.

Bad Lucc: Yeah, I'm learning all that right now, actually. I didn't want to learn but I hated even more that I couldn't make a song when I wanted to record.

Problem: Everything moves so much smoother like that. He has his own key and knows how to cut the track where it needs it. And I mastered it so much, I can walk him through it over the phone too. Those little tricks are exactly how we're getting to the top.

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