NEEK THE EXOTIC
In this interview, Neek talks about the new collaborative album with legendary producer Large Professor. He also talks about his history and how “Fakin the Funk” came about and his abrupt disappearance from Hip Hop.
By William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about the new collaborative album you’re putting out with Large Professor?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: It’s called Still On The Hustle. It’s definitely a collabo with me and Large Professor. It’s our first time doing a whole album together. I’m like his protégé. He put me on the famous Fakin The Funk track. That track is now a classic track. Right now in 2011, we wanted to show the world we’re still relevant and that we can compete with everything that’s going on right now in this music game.
WHO?MAG: How did the album come about?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: I started recording about two or three tracks. Large Professor came to the studio and heard the tracks. He was impressed by what he heard. He was like “we need to do this and do that”. We sat there like let’s do this together man. You got a lot of fans and people that follow your music that want to see us do something together. This is the first time we got an opportunity to do it. We started putting it together and tracks together and who we wanted to produce it other than him. We started working.
WHO?MAG: Who else is handling production duties and cameo appearances?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: Lord Finesse and Marco Polo did some production on the album. We got Satchel Page, an up and coming hip-hop emcee. We also got a hot joint with Joell Ortiz called Street Level.
WHO?MAG: How did you get into rhyming?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: I’ve been doing it for a long time. I used to follow Kool Moe Dee back in the days. The LL Cool J’s in the early days. That was my inspiration coming up in the game. It just came to me. It’s a God given talent. I’ve been doing it since I was 11 years old.
WHO?MAG: How did you meet Large Professor?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: We’ve been like brothers for like 30 years. I met Large when I was like 10 years old in Flushing, Queens. We’ve been brothers ever since.
WHO?MAG: How did the “Fakin the Funk” song come about?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: Ah it was crazy. Large had Main Source. I was always a solo artist but we always rhymed together. He came to that he was doing the soundtrack to White Men Can’t Jump. I want you to get on this joint. We went to the soundtrack studio in Manhattan and I freestyled that joint and rocked it. Next thing you know it’s a classic.
WHO?MAG: What do you remember about the video shoot?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: It was crazy. It was in Brooklyn where we did that video. We were in a warehouse right across the street from Fort Greene, Brooklyn. It was my first time ever doing anything professionally and it happened to be a hit.
WHO?MAG: What happened to you after that song?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: I got incarcerated. I was away for about 4 years so people were asking what happened to the kid from Fakin The Funk. I was away. It is what it is.
WHO?MAG: What’s next for you after this project?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: I’m getting ready to drop the Neek the Exotic solo album. I’m almost finished with that. Large is also finishing his album up right now. We’re in the studio everyday working laying these tracks down and dropping album after album.
WHO?MAG: How did get your name?
NEEK THE EXOTIC: My name is Nico. Growing up I was always the exotic fly dude. I always looked the best, fresh, and fly all the time. Wearing the exotic wear and the exotic chicks. Why not call myself Neek the Exotic?