Whatís been happening for you since The Sun Rises In The East?
Jeru: Just working on all types of different projects. Trying to better myself as a producer; I'm doing some projects on my own and trying to stay busy.
Jeru:Life gets different for everybody. It's like me asking you what's changed in the past two years - really nothin'. Just gone through different experiences.
Why do you try to have conscious messages in your songs?
Jeru: Because when you have a voice to speak out against the oppressors, you have to make it count. In some way, you have to wake people up.
You're one of the more intelligent emcees out there; what kind of education do you have?
Jeru:I have a basic high school education, but it's not school that educates you, it's yourself. Anything that you learn in school, you can learn on your own. If you have someone to teach you, or you can teach yourself by just reading a book.
What's your religious background? Thereís a Muslim feel to some of your tracks.
Jeru: My music is not religious, it's just truth. Religion is not really truth. It's something that man created. What I'm doing is just truth.
So you're Muslim?
Jeru: Muslim just means man of peace. I'm everything, I'm God though. Because God is the father, and the father and the son are one and the same.
What's happening with the Gangstarr Foundation now? Is there going to be another album?
Jeru: Yeah, Gangstarr's gonna make another album. Right now we don't know exactly when it's coming out, but it'll be coming soon.
How do you feel about the East/West conflict?
I don't give a fuck about that shit because I don't come from the east or the west. We all come from the eastern hemisphere. That's just a trick that society puts up in order to divide all of us and to make us fight each other because if we knew that we all come from the same place, then there wouldn't be a reason to fight. But they want to make you think that you all come from different places but in reality our ancestors came from the same place. If you trace it back far enough, you'll find that everyone's ancestors came from the same place at one point in time. That's why things like architecture are similar. They don't understand that yet. They're still on this east/west coast thing. This is what the slave masters and all that shit created. I'm not fighting for that shit, you crazy?
What exactly happened in the Bay Area?
Just a lot of misunderstandings. When people feel that you are a good and righteous person or they think that they know you, they may cross a certain line and they expect you just to take it. But sometimes, you just can't take it. Sometimes you have to show how shit is in real life. It may come down to some type of conflict or combat, but it's no big deal. I held no grudges, but a lot of people held grudges against me, which just showed how small they were. Itís nothiní to me, it donít matter. Some people wanted to ban me, it don't matter. That's what the devil would have done, trying to stop you from getting money so you can't eat, just because they're mad at you. I felt that it was two different incidents and two different reasons. One was just a misunderstanding, and the other was an incident where a person just pushed me to a place where I didn't want to go.
Would you change anything if you could go back?
Jeru: No, because life is to learn. This way, you might have to go through it some other time, so why not get it all out and over with.
So there's no longer any static?
Jeru: I don't know. If there is, I'm uninformed. I never felt that way, it never went past a certain level with me. You know why I feel I have conflicts? Itís because I'm for the brotherman, but a lot of these black and Latino people out here are on the side of the other man. Although they may front and act as if they're on another vibe. So it's a conflict because I'm there doing what the brothers would do, regardless. People be on some bullshit, racism-type structure.
Did you hear what the Fugees had to say about you in their cut The Score?
You got that too? I don't know where that came from. I don't understand my friend. It's like this, a lot of have just been challenging me. I just don't understand. Why would you think I would have beef with the Fugees?
I'm just as curious as your are. First they say something about the Wu, then they come at you.
Jeru: Maybe because they look like me, maybe they don't like that. (laughter) I have never dealt or spoke to any of them in the past. I have no idea where that came from. Some people just attack me. I never claim to be the most perfect. All I claim to do is to say a little knowledge for my people, and that's it. I know who I am, I'm just saying truthfulness. I don't be sayin' that I'm the best or the most perfect. They don't know what to be a prophet is. To prophesize is to tell of things to come. And in my records, I think that I speak of things to come. Look how hip hop has changed since my record came out. I could come out with Come Clean again, because shit has gotten even worse now. For them to say 'No matter who you damage / You're still a false prophet' is really corny to me. I don't think they know where they're coming from. They don't know about the original man. We're from all over. We all came from the East. Because at one time everything was called Asia. So we're all Asian really.
Are you going to have anything to say to the Fugees?
Jeru: I don't know. I'm just doing my thing. They sell a lot of records, it's cool.
How do you feel about today's flood of crossover r&b/hiphop tracks?
Jeru: It's kind of corny to me, for real But I am producing some r&b which I will be rapping on. It's not my record though, so it's not like that. Her name's Carmina.
When's that gonna drop?
Jeru:I'm trying to get her a deal now. I'm trying to expand and bring what I have and make it more of the music. So that I can be the major influence so shit can be right. A lot of artists come hard the first time, but then lighten up for their sophomore release. Hey, I ain't got no gimmicks. You've heard my first album, and when you hear my second one, it'll be the same way.
What's the new album called?
Jeru: Wrath Of The Math
Whatís the first single?
Itís called Ya Playin' Yaself, produced by DJ Premier.
Who produced the new album?
Jeru: Premier. The album's fifteen tracks thick.
What should people be expecting from your new material?
Just expect that it's going to be dope. It's going to be the same so don't worry.
Any last words?
Jeru: Everybody believe in yourself, don't believe everything you see on TV. A lot brothas are talking a lot of that shit but not living that shit. So live how you know how to live and direct your energies towards creating the person that you want to be, not trying to emulate others.