Read the full interview on AllHipHop.com!
Streetlife describes himself as “one of the most known, unknown WU members,” which is a completely accurate description.
Streetlife befriended Method Man when they were young men on Staten Island. The two would go on to form an unbreakable bond that stays strong to this day.
Having been around since the Wu-Tang Clan first came into fruition, the Bronx, New York native made his debut on Method Man’s debut album Tical in 1994.
Since then, he has been on each of the legendary group’s albums, minus their debut, Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers).
On the topic of working out, Streetlife states, “I learn from the best: Meth. Smoke, you gotta just go do it.”
This grind mode mentality is instilled in each of the Wu-Tang Clan members, including Streetlife himself. Last year, he released his single “Time Is Now,” which was created ironically before George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by the police on May 25th, 2020.
Streetlife followed up “Time Is Now” with a banger titled “Squad Up” featuring Meth and produced by Havoc of Mobb Deep.
And, the song serves as the official theme song for the New York Yankees!
Read below as Streetlife recalls epic stories from meeting Biggie and Tupac, love for Wu-Tang Clan, and the creation of “Time Is Now” and “Squad Up.”
AllHipHop: Any epic memories from meeting Biggie?
Streetlife: Both were epic actually.
One day Meth had got his new car, a truck. We’re going to the place in Jersey to get it detailed. When we got to the spot, we see Biggie. “Oh that’s Big right there, yo get in!” So he jumps in. He had the Range Rover which had the middle and back seat, we had to take out that middle seat so Big could get in. He’s sitting from the third row seat all through the middle, had to get up in there. He’s laid out in the back, the funniest s##t. We’re sitting there smoking, getting high.
Some dude runs up to the side where Meth was: “Meth, what’s good with you? I’m a fan. Yo wassup with that Biggie s##t? He let Pac diss his girl? He gotta represent!”
He’s dissing Biggie, but Biggie’s in the back. Meth’s like “why don’t you tell him?” He looks in the back and sees Biggie, he’s like “ohhh Biggie, I’m your best fan!” Biggie said “yeah n##ga, get that d##k out your mouth. f##k Tupac.”
That s##t was funny as hell because dude was tryna s##t on Biggie, but he’s in the back of the jeep.
AllHipHop: What about Tupac?
Streetlife: Me and Meth are in Vegas, it’s mad s##t going on in Vegas. The East Coast/West Coast beef, it’s bad.
Me and Meth right in the heart of the House of Blues, we got all these Blood n##gas over here, Crip n##gas. This s##t’s crazy.
Boom out of nowhere, somebody runs up right into Meth’s chest. A lil n##ga too. They said “that s##t that happened between my boys and your boys, it’s peace.”
Before that, a couple of my people and his people had a fight in Vegas. We’re in Hollywood on Sunset strip, but they had the beef with them in Vegas. He runs up to Meth, he’s not even looking at Meth. He’s talking about that incident between the homies in Vegas.
Meth’s a little startled, I’m a little startled. I look up and see Suge Knight and damn near half the Bloods over there. Me and Meth are standing there like “what the f##k was that s##t all about?”
At this time, we don’t even know they had the fight. He [Tupac] came over like “don’t disrespect me, we ain’t gotta worry about nothing.”
This was 4 or 5 days before Tupac gets shot. Meth comes to me like “yo I didn’t know that was him at first.” I said “yeah he looks different. I’m looking him in his eye, he ain’t even there. That wasn’t even Tupac talking to you.”
Tupac’s going through so much s##t in his life, it wasn’t even him. He wasn’t even Tupac at that time. You know that look when you look in somebody’s eyes? It was a deep darkness, he’s soulless and cold. He wasn’t there. I told Meth, “I don’t even think he’s gonna make it.”
This is right after they had the Source Awards in LA, Biggie just won. Tupac was there, but nobody seen Tupac.
After the cameras went off, Tupac came like “yeah motherf##kers, I’m here!” He jumped on top of Biggie’s car. It was so much s##t going on back there. That Tupac s##t was cold because I seen a soulless person, he was gone.
A situation you’re so deep in, you can’t get out. You might as well go all the way with it or be missing. He wasn’t a person that could be missing because he’s too famous.
He wasn’t a secondary B, C, D n##ga, you the A n##ga. Anywhere you go, they know you. He was there till the death in a sense.
AllHipHop: What was your guys’ reaction when Pac actually did pass?
Streetlife: I had more of a reaction when Biggie passed, being that he was from New York. The night before that, we’d seen Biggie and Lil’ Cease and them at the Billboard. We hung out with them. They had bodyguards, everything running around them. I’m thinking man, we don’t run with bodyguards. Me, Meth, and whoever we with, that’s who we with.
Every single person had at least 5 bodyguards, I can’t understand how that happened. He got shot up, there’s no return fire or none of that. It was a tough one. I had more of a reaction to that than Tupac. In order to settle that beef or to die down, they both had to go. After the Tupac s##t, Biggie’s like “we’re going back to Cali.” You hear it on the album. That one hit me more because I seen him the night before.
AllHipHop: Why did WuTang get so much love in LA in the 90’s?
Streetlife: Whew, they always love you further away. It was all a shock. I remember with Meth, the first time he went out there on the stage, he didn’t have to work for them to give him that “ahhhh!” He went out there and they f##king went crazy, it startled him for a second. I can’t even explain it.
I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing because if you go anywhere Spanish or Latino, they love Wu-Tang. Even if you go Asian, it’s a different love than your home love. They look at you differently, but we aren’t doing anything different. We do what we always do.
AllHipHop: It’s crazy you put out “Time is Now” before all this s##t happened.
Streetlife: Me personally if I would’ve came into the rap game on that note, I would’ve stayed on that note because it’s more conscious rap. I like doing that, but I had to slap and beat people up with the words first versus them trying to understand and listen. Motherf##kers don’t listen. That was easy to me, I always came in that current. I always felt that.
I’m a rebel, I’m fighting against the system. Police brutality, that s##t’s always been. Nothing new. At that time when I heard the song, something made that get out of me. Me trying to rhyme and put the illest words together, I wanted to come more from the heart, like the soul.
I remember the cops killed one of my dudes. A year or so later, this s##t happens. It’s the perfect song because nothing changed. More people, the people who weren’t paying attention or caring, the media platforms are woke now. It’s affecting their daily walks of life. It’s bigger now, but this s##t’s always been. They been killing us. They been shooting us, been doing whatever to us. Everybody has one of them stories to tell. If you hear my song or somebody else’s with that substance, it’s almost all the same things we’re saying. If you pay attention, it’s “they’re killing us for no reason.”
AllHipHop: That’s why I was shook you released it last year!
Streetlife: It is what it is, it’s always been. I didn’t write it because this situation made me write it. Everybody’s doing s##t because of that, but this has been happening.
AllHipHop: The “Squad Up,” collab is legendary in itself, featuring Meth and Havoc from Mobb Deep. How did that come into play?
AllHipHop: I didn’t know the whole album was produced by Havoc.
Streetlife: Yeah, I got a track on there.
AllHipHop: Were you in the club heavy before quarantine?
Streetlife: I’m not a heavy club dude. But yeah when I became a heavy club, I was all up in the club. They said “you can’t smoke in here.” It’d be so many of us, we’ll do s##t like form a circle with our backs to everybody and smoke in that circle. You see the smoke come up through the circle, the security guard’s trying to get in. “You can’t be smoking!” Break this circle if you want to n##ga. It’s gon’ be problems if you break this circle! Motherf##kers would let us smoke.