Interview: Killah Priest [Nineteen-Ninety-Now Series]
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Date Stamp: October 8, 2007
T: Obviously the kung-fu aspect was big in all the early Wu names but what is the exact science behind your's?
KP: My name started from how I carried myself. I started off battling emcee and I destroyed every emcee in my path back then. I was kickin' a lot of righteous shit, things that make you think. No different from what Rakim and all of them talked about 'cause that's who I came up under. I came up under the GZA, who's 5%, so there's a lot of 5% influence. A lot of my stuff also came from studying the scriptures, Hebrew Israelites. I used to battle dudes with things I had learned. My mind was on a greater level than a lot of emcees could think. So, I would use that to crush them...but it would build them up also.
T: Okay, but did somebody give you the name?
KP: Sorry, I lost the point, my bad. So, 60 (Second Assasin) was like, you a priest, you a killer. And I was like, Killah Priest, I like that. This was during the Gravediggaz era. So, I felt like since RZA put me down with the Gravediggaz, I needed a Gravediggaz name, so it was Killah Priest. I thought the Gravediggaz era was gonna be around forever. But then when it changed I juct kept the name. Now I'm dropping Killah, I'm past that. I'm just Priest, call me Priesthood.
T: You are notorious for battling back in the days, tell us a good battle story.
KP: There's so many stories. There was a time that we were all in a cypher and KRS-1 was around looking. He didn't jump in because he was just congratulating us. I rhyme for those guys to salute me. I paid so much homage to them because of what they did for my ears growing up. I wanted them to recognize me when I get on the mic. So, I knew I couldn't bullshit around. It was me, Allah Sun (rest in peace, he passed away), Sunz of Man and we was just battling one time. It like rained and I remember KRS-1 sat on the side, Busta Rhymes and everybody was like, these guys are impeccable. A lot of emcees I forget their names because if they don't put no impression on me...the older cat that comes with some shit is Canibus. That dude is a fuckin' assassin.
T: Yeah, we've heard about your and Bis' battle.
KP: I wanted to see Bis and Eminem go at it. That woulda been crazy. In think that battle would have been better than Jay-Z and Nas