E.H.M.P.: The meaning and reason behind a MC’S name is important to me. Can you break down your name Drag- on?
DRAG-ON: Back when I was little a lot of people use to always say that “this little kid right here is retarded he spits fire”. I was trying to figure out what else spit fire like Dragon, so I just kept the name. Once I got with Ruff Ryders, DMX is actually the one who broke it down and put the dash in it and made it, (Drag-On).
E.H.M.P.: You’ve had some success in the entertainment field. You appeared in the 2003 film Cradle 2 the Grave as Miles and in the 2001 film Exit Wounds (both starring Ruff Ryder’s ex label mate DMX). Your first release Opposite of H2O sold over 500,000 copies. Your second and third releases weren’t as successful. Talk to me about the up’s and down’s of attaining success and maintaining success, along with what Drag-On has personally done to maintain success and relevant in today’s world of Hip-Hop?
DRAG-ON: What I do to stay relevant as far as what’s going on now a days, I pretty much do what’s going on now a days. If it’s going on that’s what I’m doing. I’m not walking around with a one track mind. Us as people we are already evolving, where changing anyway. You pretty much have to revamp yourself. I watch big artist such as Usher, R Kelly, Nas, JAY Z reinvent them selves every year. What I do to stay focus is keep the hunger in me. I really love what I do that’s another thing that keeps me going too. I know what the Lord has me here to do I’m pretty much going along with the role that he gave me. As far as Hip Hop, I like how Hip hop is. It’s a lot of independence. At the same time it’s growing. I just appreciate and thank the Lord that everything is still working in my favor and I’m still grinding. I have a lot of ambition, heart and dedication in what I do and that’s pretty much it.
E.H.M.P.: Tell me about the first time you meet “DMX”, is he the person responsible for the Ruff Ryder deal? And do you guys still keep in contact? Well we ever hear another “DMX’ & Drag- On track soon?
DRAG-ON: Yes, ya’ll well hear another track with DMX and I. Ya’ll going to hear a lot of raw music too. What a lot of people don’t know is I have my own record label called “Hood environment”. That’s what I pretty much been doing for the pass two years. I have been going hard body. There hasn’t been too many not supporting Drag-On, BUT “Hood Environment”, my movement. That’s pretty much what I’m focused on now! The first time I met DMX was in 1997. We would be in the studio writing and I had to join a battle against him and I lost to him but he respected it. He even told me “I couldn’t fu*k with him.” He still had respect for me. I tore it down and I kept going hard. My game was always on a strong caliber for my age. So that’s how I met DMX and ever since then we been FAM.
E.H.M.P.: In 2011 you were released from your “Ruff Ryder” agreement. We just spoke about that. You now have your own label entitled “Hood Environment”. I hear you have some new music to soon be released and you have a few artists signed to your label. Do you have a time frame for a new DRAG-ON release? And when well some of your artists project drop? Or even some of the artist you’re working with.
DRAG-ON: I can’t really speak on the artist to much because the paperwork isn’t cleared. Those who want to hear the artist I’ve been working with you can actually go to my website which is dragon2012.blogspot.com and you will see the mix tape I’ve put out with DJ Self which is crazy!! So you can hear some of the artist I’ve work with there and I won’t speak for them, again because of the paperwork. So for now were just focusing on Drag_on right now. Then back to scouting different artist.
E.H.M.P.: Why do you keep going? Why not fall back and start a new business? What keeps motivated to keep pushing forward?
DRAG-ON: I’m still nice. That’s just the bottom line. I still have the hunger, I’m hungry. I’m still young in the game right now. It’s all good!
E.H.M.P.: What has been your most memorable performance to date?
DRAG-ON: It’s just a blessing to perform anywhere. I can’t just pinpoint a state. I have fun just being on stage where ever I’m at. Wherever I perform at, wherever there’s a stage, I am always getting it popping. I definitively have to give a crazy shout out to the Carolina‘s and the Mid-West! They the one’s that really went crazy when I was on that stage and it helped a lot. They showed me an extreme amount of love. I really appreciate it.
E.H.M.P.: Are you happy with the direction Hip Hop has taken?
DRAG-ON: Yes, I’m happy with it. It’s more of an independent thing right. A lot of people pretended to be bosses back in the days and not really bosses. Where as now a days the way the rap game is, it will show who’s a boss and who isn’t. That’s how the game is. I’m never mad at the state of Hip Hop because I’m a Hip Hop head. I’m all for the love of hip hop. Yea, I’m from the east coast and I understand a lot of people be saying the game went to the south. When I came out people thought I was from the south because of the different songs I came out with. Song’s I’ve came out with, with Petey Pablo, Swizz Beatz and Juvenile. I’m glad the south is where it is that means Hip Hop is getting bigger. I’m all for Hip Hop right now. Right now one of the biggest rappers is Drake and he’s from Canada. I really embrace stuff like that because it goes to show Hip Hop is getting bigger and bigger. It was a rumor years ago when they were talking about banning hip hop and they couldn’t because it’s actually growing. Now a days Hip hop is just is global. Once, I get close to dropping my album and stuff like that I going to get back in the movie thing but this time I’m going to do it the right way. I did it the wrong way before. Again, I’m all for the love of Hip Hop. You have reality shows that are cool. I feel as though the fans are ill, especially the ones that go out and buy albums. I feel those are the fans that deserve to get as much access to the artist as possible, that’s why artist are still successful.
E.H.M.P.: Tell us something about you that you have never told anybody.
DRAG–ON: I love Sade!! I love her music. I actually bought every album and lost my mind. I’m about to buy the whole collection. Her album came out it was live and all that. I’m going to get that.
E.H.M.P.: Do you feel the empire built by the original Ruff Ryders crew is over? And if so well they ever bring that name and brand back to mainstream again?
DRAG-ON: I don’t know. I’m so focused on Drag-On. At the end of the day where still family if they need me I’m here. That’s all I can say about that. I don’t know too much about what’s going on over there.
E.H.M.P.: Where can our readers and your fans reach you?
DRAG-ON: My fans can reach me on Instagram. I want everybody to follow me on Instagram because that’s what’s popping right now. As long as ya’ll follow me on there I have my twitter on there if you want to know it.
E.H.M.P.: Quick one word to describe you?
E.H.M.P.: If you could give the future Drag-On advice what would it be?
DRAG-ON: To know the game and just keep doing what you doing. Open your eyes a little more, keep grinding staying in the studio and going hard. Can’t nobody stop you except God keep your spirit alive and that’s what it is.
E.H.M.P.: Any thank you and or shout outs?
DRAG-ON: My hood for going hard for me and making sure I stay relevant to the game and stay in people ears and minds. Stay the talk of the town. Crazy shout out to my whole staff. Crazy shout out too CoCo the whole Chocolate Cutty radio. We just joined forces and it’s really crazy so crazy shout outs to them my whole Hood Environment staff and all the DJ’s showing love. Shout out’s to you A.D. for this interview.
WRITTEN BY: A.D. THE GENERAL
COURTESY OF ELEGANT HOODNESS MUSICAL PROGRAM 2013′