Every once in a while, I hear somebody call me Tracy to try to let me know that they know me, you know, personally. But most of my real friends will call me Trey, or 'Ice' was basically short for Iceberg. So they would call me - some of my boys call me Berg.
I think singing and acting go hand in hand. Take an R&B singer: one song says, 'I love you,' the next is, 'Baby, don't leave me', the next is, 'If you leave me I don't care.' You have to drop in and out of different perspectives.
Some music comes from a real place; some music comes from your imagination. It's difficult to find out what's real and what's not, especially with the gangster stuff.
If I do a song where I'm angry, when it's time to perform it live I'm not mad, I'm happy. I'm at a concert. But I have to somehow drum up that rage. That's acting.
I'm just disillusioned with the hip-hop sound right now. It's too materialistic. You know, I'm the kind of guy ... I can't do that. If you track my movement, you'll never see a picture of me with any girl that wasn't mine, or my own car. My jewelry, my clothes. What kind of gangsta rapper has a stylist? A stylist?!
AIDS is such a scary thing and it's also the kind of thing that you think won't happen to you. It can happen to you and it's deadly serious.
My father's family came from Virginia and Philadelphia. He wasn't a brother who talked a lot. He was a workingman, a quiet, blue-collar dude.
I have no hatred for cops. I have hatred for racists and brutal people, but not necessarily the cops. The cops are just doing what they're told to do.
Military is a great place for a jock. That's the first thing they test you, they test you physically. If you can run, if you can do the pushups, it's not as hard a transition. If you can't do that, you're going to have a problem because they're going to really work it out of you or work it into you.
I started writing rhymes first and then put it to the music. I figured out I could lock it to the beat better if I heard the music first. I like to get a lot of tracks, put the track up and let the music talk to me about what it's about.
I think L.A. radio is learning from the Bay. The Bay is a very classic place. Mac Mall, C-Bo, all that stuff, they love their artists, they're old school up there. My first big concert was playing in the Bay; I played the Fillmore.
I think, people look at me, and they say, 'You were very aggressive,' I say, 'Yeah,' you know, and I've made a better life for myself, for my son, so I should reflect that with my music now. I shouldn't still be rhyming like that; that would be me lying.
I don't feel that rap has been respected as an art form. Because people have seen rappers rap off the top of their heads, they don't think it is difficult.
I started rapping before anybody had ever bought a car from it. It was truly about the art form and the culture, more so than now, where it's a successful way to make money. Back then you had to be doing it because you liked it.
I think the most successful are the most paranoid. The first thing people do when they buy a mansion is they build the biggest wall you could possibly build around it. What happens is, now you become a target. If I go into the hood, I'm at a disadvantage. They could carry guns. I can't. They can hit me in the face. I can't.
I was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Summit, an upscale town in north Jersey. There was this tiny area of Summit where most of the black families lived. My parents and I lived in a duplex house on Williams Street.
Hollywood has its own way of telling stories. I was just telling stories that I was familiar with. And it's what I want to do in the future: I want to take my audio cinema and put it on the screen.
My mother passed when I was in the third grade, my father when I was in the seventh, and that's when I was shipped to Los Angeles to live with an aunt.
Because I first made my name as a rapper claiming South Central L.A., people often assume I'm strictly a West Coast cat. But my family was actually from back East. I was born in Newark, New Jersey, and grew up in Summit, an upscale town in north Jersey.
I think when people say 'real hip-hop,' they want it more buried in the streets. They want it more connected to the streets and the grime and the roughness of the streets. They don't want the fluff.