Sticky Fingaz may be contemporary when it comes to his music, but during this conversation when he phoned in from LA, the rapper also known as Kirk Jones wanted to make it clear that his down home philosophy of life is solidly old school. Currently co-starring in the mean streets to Wall street urban drama Changing The Game, Sticky talked about everything from his “abduction” into Onyx to The Art of War.
So what initially grabbed you about Craig, the character that you play in Changing The Game?
He was a bad buy, but you know, he turns into a good guy. Like an outstanding citizen, towards the end of the movie. So I thought that was really cool. Because a lot of people do that. You know, they start off on the wrong foot, and then they gain some balance later on in their life.
Craig is a barber, and you’ve been a barber as well over in Queens. What made you go for rapping as a life passion. As opposed to say, being a barber?
Well actually, I didn’t. It kinda chose me. I was abducted into the group Onyx. There was three members in the group, and two of the members got stranded out of state. While they were shopping for materials for a Jam Master Jay tape for Run DMC. So the manager at the time was like, hey. Um, Fredro. Your cousin Sticky, take him to the studio. So we don’t lose this deal with Jam Master Jay. And then Jay heard the stuff that me and Fredro made, and he loved it. And he wanted to find the group. But I wasn’t in a group. So he was like, wait a minute. Where’s the guy with the deep voice. I’m not signing y’all without him! And that’s how I got abducted into Onyx.
Do you see any comparisons in this film between those with the power over people through money on Wall Street, and what you’ve seen in your own life with those who have power over performers in the music business?
Yeah. But I don’t think it’s so much of a music thing, as a life thing. Because that’s just what happens in life.You know, even when any boss wields power over his employees. And the government over citizens, and so forth and so on.
One of the philosophies put forth in Changing The Game, from The Art Of War, is to “be unpredictable, and gain the advantage.” Is that something you’ve embraced in your own life, being unpredictable?
Yeah, I think so. But The Art Of War, it’s a dope book. I read it at least twice. And basically, in any war or circumstance, you have to be unpredictable. If you are predictable, they’ll know your next move. It’s like a chess board. If they know your next move, you’ll be defeated easily.
And what about another piece of advice from The Art Of War, mentioned in the movie. To keep women away from men’s business.
Ha! It was probably a man that made up that quote! And first of all, The Art of War is very ancient, okay? So even though a lot of the things in there work, they were true maybe in ancient times. It’s a whole new day now.
And since we’re on the subject of women, what are your thoughts about the attitudes towards, and images of women in rap?
Hmm…Hey, it’s definitely changing. Some of those ladies are bigger than some of the dudes that are out there now. But first of all, you have to understand that I have a different way of thinking. Because every man is half man and half woman. Because everybody is made by a man and a woman. So you’re always half man and half woman. So I don’t really think in terms of all that stuff you were saying.
Do you see any comparisons in Changing The Game, between what takes place in the movie on Wall Street and on the mean streets in the inner city?
Uh, yeah. It’s like crabs in a bucket. Everybody is trying to fight to get to the top. And when money is involved, it can be cutthroat. So there’s definitely comparisons.
Much like Changing The Game, you’ve changed up your game a lot between performing and acting in movies. What’s the different high for you of each of those creative paths?
And now I’m directing too. I’m really changing the game. But I’m interested in using those creative juices. I have a movie coming out, called Caught On Tape. And the whole entire movie is in rap. It’s like a hip hop musical. It’s coming out in January. And the movie stars Vivica Fox, Cedric The Entertainer. And Bokeem Woodbine, Malik Yoba and Joe Torry. And myself. It’s a dope movie.
And what are you up to next with your music and acting?
I’m coming up in Motel, with Robert De Niro and John Cusack, and a host of other people.
And what is your character doing in the movie.
Oh, I’m a very, very ,very bad guy!
Are you more comfortable playing a bad guy, or a good guy like Craig in Changing The Game?
I like playing both. But sometimes I prefer the bad guys. I prefer someone who’s a powerful character, whether they’re bad or good. You know?
What about your music, what’s happening there?
I’m about to go on tour. We’re going to Chile, and we’re going to Argentina and Brazil. And we’re going to Canada and Mongolia. So that’s exciting.
And we’ve also just released a new Onyx album. It’s called Cold Case Files 2. And it’s only available for digital download on our site, onyxdomain.com.
Are you working on anything new?
Yeah, right now I’m on post-production for this movie that I wrote and directed, called Brooklyn Night.
And basicaly in a nutshell, it’s like an urban Romeo and Juliet. The girl’s name is Brooklyn, and my character is Night.
What do you think of Occupy Wall Street, and Occupy The Hood?
I say we need to occupy everything. Make our presence known. YOLO – You only live once. I think it’s cool for people to stand up for what they believe in, and occupy places. But I don’t think it’s gonna change anything.
I think The Art Of War teaches you that. And unless you have millions of people willing to do what you tell them to at the drop of a hat, then you’re not changing nuthin.
Where do you see yourself headed in the future?
I don’t believe there is a future. I think it’s in our imagination. But if there is a future, hopefully I’ll start with just being alive first. And then I’ll take it from there.
And when you look in the mirror, what do you see?
I see a reflection. Yeah, but I like to look at myself, not through the mirror. So I can see the truth. From the inside out. As opposed to, from the outside in. You know?