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Stretch Money Interview

December 16, 2009

stretch

While the title of Stretch Money’s The Punishment mixtape refers to his retribution of inferior emcees, it’s a reward to Michigan rap fans. Since his runaway hit “Takes Money To Make Money” and album of the same title, the East Side Detroiter has been saturating the streets with his witty bars and nasally, accented flow. Stretch’s rhymes even caught the attention of Detroit heavyweight Royce Da 5’9”, who used “Rebuild,” from his lauded Bar Exam 2 mixtape, to hand the young’n the torch of Detroit Hip Hop. After a break while his friend and label owner served a prison bid, but his partner back in action, Stretch is back with his partner to show his Detroit comrades and competition how it’s done. In an interview with MichiganHipHop, Stretch Money talks about his latest project, his friendship with Crane, and respect in the city.

MIHH: What were you looking to do with The Punishment mixtape? Like, what was your main focus with this project?

Stretch Money: Well, the main focus of The Punishment is to capture people in another way, actually to capture the streets. I’m showing versatility on there, but it’s kind of one dimensional. You know what I’m saying? It’s for the hood, you feel me, and really just showing cats that didn’t think I could rhyme. I still got a lot of people sleeping on me from “It Takes Money to Make Money” and The Punishment is whole notha’ level of rhyming. And you just gotta hear it man, I can’t even tell you. Like I said, raves and rants, you feel me?

MIHH: No doubt. What would you say are your favorite songs from the mixtape? You have to pick five favorites.

Stretch Money: My favorite record on there is number 14 “Do My Own Thang” and that’s with my young dog Jake MC, East 94 boys. We cold bustin’ on there. It’s smooth. I like that smooth, player type shit. I got one on there called “Golden Boy” and it’s just like me rhyming, like 24 bars. It’s a freestyle type, I’m loving it. And the rhymes, the shit that I’m on it’s just a whole notha’ level. You know “It Takes Money to Make Money” I’m bustin’, but now you can hear and see the growth.

“Back on my Dick” is the number one record on The Punishment, the first record. It’s called “Back on my Dick” and it’s my favorite. That’s my other favorite, and the thing is the reason I’m loving that is because people in the streets is loving it. They didn’t take it the wrong way. I’ve got several, but those are the ones I’m feeling right now.

MIHH: Your single “Takes Money to Make Money” was huge. Was it difficult to come up with something to follow that up?

Stretch Money: I’m not really worried about that, man because it’s been a true growth spurt since that point. Jay-Z couldn’t do “Can’t Knock the Hustle” again. Nas couldn’t come with “Imagine that” again. You just got to continue on and try to make greater and greater music.

MIHH: Another big moment for you, within this past year or so, was your appearance on Royce’s mixtape Bar Exam 2. How did that happen?

Stretch Money: I was at the studio with my man Azar, doing a verse on Cha Cha’s record. Royce was already on the record, and he came to the studio while we was in there. I was getting ready to leave, and he came in. He said “Oh what’s up baby? I’m getting ready to bust, you want to get on something with me?” I said, “Hell yeah, why not?” He gave me the bottle of 1800 and said get in the booth. Just like that [laugh], just a spur of the moment situation, but it’s always like that, and that’s when some of the best kinds of music come out.

MIHH: He said “Make way for the future,” and that’s when your verse began. Royce has had different people under his wing at different points of time, so what was that like for him to virtually pass the torch to you on the song?

Stretch Money: Man it was crazy, it was crazy. It was a crazy feeling. Now that was a different feeling between the Royce situation and the Slim situation. I look up to Royce as an emcee, so for me to be in his presence, he gives me that good, warm welcome, it was amazing, and for him to pass the torch, crazy. I just got Royce on a record that I did with Silent Riot, and it’s called “Murder Mitten’s Finest” with me, Royce, and Street Lord Juan. It’s crazy, it’s gonna be a big record. I called Royce up and he came right through. So he really took me under the wing like little bro, and that’s how we run it.

MIHH: Word. I was asking friends of mine what I should ask you for the interview, and all of them said the same thing: Crane coming home from prison. Talk about your guys’ relationship. How were you when he was gone, and how it is now that he’s back.

Stretch Money: [Sigh] Aw man, I don’t even think we can get all of that in one interview. You know, that’s my big bro, and that’s my everything. When he went in, it not only took his presence away, but a lot of different things we used to do. Like when I get new tracks from Helluva, and we sit in the car and he was like ‘Man, you should do this with this beat.’ He would tell me which way to go, and by him being gone, I didn’t have that anymore. When he was gone, I had to stand my own ground and just grow as an artist. It really just strengthened me. And now that he’s back, I’m even more polished, I’m ready to go. We got The Punishment out, just like that. He ain’t been home that long, but while he was gone I didn’t wanna drop it because I felt like it wasn’t going to get the right push because my bro wasn’t home. Now he’s home and we out here, and I’m blessed man. I’m really ready to put this work in. Tell the world to get ready for me.

MIHH: So had you done most of The Punishment while he was gone?

Stretch Money: Yeah, I started on it before he left. And I was only a couple tracks in, and basically all the music, I recorded 30 songs maybe. 30 something records, just different with all types of stuff, and we just picked through it when he got home.

MIHH: Dewitt Moore, of De Notes, was talking about some of the records that you guys have done. What those sounding like?

Stretch Money: Of course me and Dewitt have all original records, no mixtape type stuff. It’s all original, and we got some great music. Man, he really looked out for me while Crane was gone, as far as me going to the studio. He was throwing beats at me and I was taking em down. We got an album together. We could drop an album right now, with just hits. So Witt, that’s my man, that’s my bro. I got some powerful stuff with him.

By the way, that last record we did together is called “Hey Young World” and I’m basically just trying to talk to the kids, man. Like, the young lost souls out here, just trying to give them something to look forward to. I can’t even really explain the music. I’m trying to do something bigger than just beats and raps. Me and Witt got heat, bro. We did about 17 joints while Crane was gone.

MIHH: Who else have you been working with?

Stretch Money: Well uh, I was getting it in with Witt. I been gettin’ it in with Silent Riot, Del and Maestro. And them boys is crazy. They nuts. Silent Riot is behind MonicaBlaire’s music, as well as other artists in the D. You know, from D12 to King Gordy, to Obie Trice, I mean just all kinds of cats. So I’ve been working with them. I got some phenomenal records with them. They did the “Murder Mitten’s Finest” by the way. And shout out to my man Da Marvelous from Ann Arbor. Da Marvelous, he’s getting’ it in, he’s on the rise. I got some heat with him. So that’s Witt, Silent Riot, Da Marvelous, and oh of course the man himself, Helluva, Helly Hansen, one hell of a combination. Basically, I’ve been dropping classics with everybody I’ve been working with. And I’m probably gonna reach out to Tone Tone and do a track with him, cause he cold with it. And I’ma get a Trick Trick track, and have a well rounded Detroit album. That’s what I’m going for.

MIHH: A lot of different emcees and industry people called in and did drops and shout outs on the mixtape. What do you think it is about you that made so many people willing to support you in that way?

Stretch Money: I think what it is, is that I’m just a genuine person. And when people get to meet me, from fans or just other guys in the streets, or other artists in the D, when they meet me, they know I’m real. Real recognize real, and that’s why I get the love I get. If you hear somebody talk about me, or bad mouthing my name, they probably don’t even know me. And the average person that says I’m arrogant is just intimidated by my presence. So that’s something that I wanted to get out there. I’m glad you brought that up out of me. I got love, and it’s undeniable, and I give it back. Everybody know me, man.

MIHH: The song “Ill Feelings” tells a story about you falling out with someone.

Stretch Money: Yeah that’s “Ill Feelings”, track 13. “Ill Feelings”, that’s a real personal record. For those who know, or for those who don’t know, that’s what you do as an MC. That was about my daddy, my father. The whole song was about my old dude, and the third verse I say, “Your oldest son ain’t fuckin’ with you, what you gonna do now?” That was to let everyone know that I was talking about my old dude. I didn’t want to say “Daddy,” or “Father,” or none of that. I just wanted to keep it creative, and draw people in, and then on that third verse I let you know what’s going on.

MIHH: What’s crazy is that even though it’s about your dad, it could easily be used for anybody that you knew coming up.

Stretch Money: Yeah, and people who have heard it will see me and ask ‘Man, who was you talkin bout on that one song? You was going out, nigga’. And then I tell them and they be like ‘damn!’ So it could be aimed at anyone, and that’s a good thing because the listeners can relate. You might hear it and think of a similar situation that occurred with you and somebody else. So that’s music is all about man. That’s one thing Pac did. Pac knew how to capture the people. A lot of people listen to the music the wrong way, and don’t hear it how they should, but he was a master at capturing the people.

2 Comments »

  1. [email protected]! says:

    Really good interview. I’m lookin forward to The Punishment and I’m gonna be playin’ that shit inside out. I wish I could get on as well with Stretch. A Stretch, if ur readin’ this, I got sum hot joints 4 u 2. Lol. But anyways, keep reppin’ the city and doin’ ur thing. I LOVE DETROIT! Their’s NOTHING like it at all…

    December 17th, 2009 at 12:55 am

  2. JOSEPH G. PHILLIPS says:

    I am an aspiring screenwriter who wants to use ” It Takes Money to Make MOney” as the theme for an original show I am writing on the economic crisis? How can I contact Stretch Money’s representatives?

    August 5th, 2010 at 10:09 am

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