Cuban Link starts his Chain Reaction
8/15/05 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview by Dante
(click here for
This week marks the release
of Cuban Link's debut album, Chain Reaction, an album that had
been anticipated for so long that many felt it would never
drop. Flash back to 2000, Cuban was recording tracks for his
debut album 24k. The CD was eventually shelved by Atlantic,
the reasons still being a topic of debate. Its bootlegging,
however, kept Cuban's name in the public's ear. Refusing to bow out, Cuban kept his name
in the game with several mixtapes until signing to MOB Records
With a busy indie label and major distribution to
back him, Cuban can finally begin his Chain Reaction.
Cuban took time out to speak with us about his new album and
more in this exclusive interview.
Latinrapper.com: So how does it feel to finally have an album
drop after all these years?
Definitely feels good, feels great, like I'm finally getting
my fair shot at the world of hip hop. Really my sophomore
album, it feels good to have a label like MOB Records backing
A lot of effort went into promoting a March release, what
Yeah, it was a little confusing. Not even confusing, a meeting
of the minds where we sat down and said lets push the album
back. Since we independent, we don't have the machine like the
big labels have, so as far as shelving the product and putting
it back out there, 50's album was gonna drop, a lot of heavy
hitters, so we figured we could wait. Give it four or five
months of promotion on the low, and we just set for the August
16th date. I aint mad, we coulda did a little more promotion
coming out right now, but I'm sure people know about it. The
main object was to let people know I was coming out August
What's the difference, if any, between the Chain Reaction
dropping now versus what we heard on the advanced copy back in
It was a lot of switched up things, we took some songs out,
added more up to date ones. As far as the one with Zion and
all that reggaeton, we added Scandalous, we added Tonight's
the Night, and some skits, so we rearranged but its
three-quarters the same.
So what can fans expect from Chain Reaction?
Definitely a bargain for your buck. Good music, a piece of
Cuban Link, a universal album, everyone's gonna feel at least
one track. I made it for the world, for everybody, at the end
its a project that fits everybody's criteria, everybody can
enjoy it. And of course give people a piece of my heart, let
them know how I'm feeling and what's going on in my life.
Is your label still pushing to get Sugar Daddy played or have
they moved on to a new single?
The new single is Scandalous with Don Omar, we already shot a
video, we still working. Of course, some people didn't get the
copy of Sugar Daddy 'cause of technical difficulties, but
people just hearing Sugar Daddy now loving it and giving it
more spins now. But the new single is Scandalous, check out
the music video on Music Box and local video shows,. MTV and
BET aint pick up on it yet, we trying to figure out the
reasons for that, but sometimes you get lost in the system. If
its love, we roll with the streets, if not, we move on.
Since this album took so long to drop, do you ever feel
pressured that you had to come stronger with this album to
meet the high expectations of fans?
Definitely. I just took the approach of me missing the game
too much to put a product out there, my mind state was
definitely on making priority songs, not just angry music that
will fade away in six months. Definitely stood the test of
time, I'm happy with it, but in the process of me making the
album I tried to make it so the fans would respect it.
Do you ever worry about album sales?
I really don't get caught up in all that, I do my music from
the heart. Not the type of album you're gonna go get just
'cause of the hype, something you'll treasure through the
years. Like Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt, that you're gonna want
to hear five years from now. As far as my situation, being
independent, the connections, they wasn't there like it used
to be, but we moved on as far as doing what we could with the
capital we had and the avenues we had. First album sales is
not really in my mind, but at the end of the project its what
To add some fuel to the promotional flame, you dropped a new
mixtape "Man on Fire", right?
Oh yeah, Man on Fire. Did Broken Chains One, Broken Chains
Two, Chainsaw Massacre. We gonna market the s**t out of it in
New York, we gonna flood the streets, give 'em what they need,
they don't even need to buy it. That's for people in the
streets that been missing Cuban Link, what happened to Cuban
since Terror Squad. I can have a little more fun in mixtapes,
album's a little more serious.
How can people check the mixtape out?
Its online, its on cubanlinkonline.com, this week we gonnna
press 20,000 and flood the streets with them.
How has your new label been handling Chain Reaction so far?
Good, good. We being distributed by Universal, Fontana, so we
have a major backing us as far as distribution. Its gonna get
to the stores, people just gotta go out on August 16th. MOB
stuck to their word, they still pulling behind me, still
looked at as rookies and got a lot to learn in the music
industry as far as the depth of the game in Hip Hop and the
systems. But they great businessmen. It's a learning
experience for them like me, it's a family thing.
We spoke before about you getting more involved with movies.
For those that don't know, why did the Scarface sequel "Son of
Tony" never come about?
It's a lot of politics behind the movie, just like the record
business. The movie, the script, I wrote the script, a little
project I always seen having. When it got to the real
political stage, the rights and all that from the first movie
become a problem. People from the first movie wanted a piece,
at the end I didn't wanna give my ideas to anyone else so that
its stays here with us. Not lost with the system where
everyone has a piece of it and I get the short end of the
stick. My mind frame is really independent.
So are you still going to try to get involved with film?
Oh yeah! Definitely a future, Chain Reaction. Its my heart in
Hip Hop, when I knock that down, everything will fall in
What about clothing or other non music ventures?
As far as clothing line, I definitely want it in the future.
Ghostwriting, my own label on the side. Those are the dreams I
Something I think many people don't realize is that you used
to live in Puerto Rico when you were a kid, tell us about
I came from Cuba, went to Florida, six months in Florida got
my papers, went to Puerto Rico for three years. That was the
closest thing next to my homeland in the culture and language.
Moms and Pops felt comfortable there, scenery just like Cuba.
I lived in Santurce, Calle Quince. Fifteenth Street. Fond
memories, Latino culture is in my blood.
So what was it like during your press junket and the Mixshow
Power Summit to be hanging out in San Juan and spots you may
have been around as a shorty?
Oh yeah, the Malecon right there, where you cross that little
thing. When I used to live there I crossed that bridge and go
to the beaches. When I was a kid, I remembered el Morro,
admiring it, brought memories back.
You obviously left Cuba under tough family circumstances, will
you ever go back anytime soon?
Ah definitely, I wanna go to my homeland and visit it, kiss
the ground. A missing link in my life I need fulfilled. As
Felix Delgado I need to do that, its gonna be done, just a lot
of politics behind the scenes I need to take care of.
Speaking of the future, how do you want to be remembered by
Hip Hop fans 10 years from now?
Cuban immigrant that came in the game of hip hop without
knowing English, and put it down in hip hop from lyrics to the
music, and was a real motherf**ker. Big Pun's little brother.
Anything else you'd like to mention to readers?
Cop the album August 16th, ya boy Cuban, the time has come.
Lets see what it is, definitely gonna get your money's worth,
go get that Chain Reaction.
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