Philadelphia Weekly interviews Ness

Background: Elliott Ness (aka E.Ness, Ness) made a big name starring in Diddy's reality TV show Making the Band 2. The group Da Band dismantled after the album's release and tour, but Ness and two other members were selected to stay on Bad Boy.

The past two years: Ness released two mixtapes independently: Rhyme or Crime Vol. 1: The Leak and Vol. 2: Hate Mail. His 2004 single “My Hood” got a lot of radio support in Philly, leading to back-to-back appearances at Powerhouse 2004 and the Jay-Z and Friends concert.

Next up: DJ Drama is finishing an Elliott Ness Gangsta Grillz mixtape, The Ness Best Thing, which comes out this week. Following that DJ E.Nyce will release an E.Ness freestyle mixtape.

On meeting Drama: ”I went to Central for four years before I got kicked out, so I first met Drama there. He was kind of the skater/backpacker kid back then—baggy pants, dreads, a big fan of conscious rap.”

The album: Ness is currently recording his debut album Nessesary, which is scheduled to come out on Bad Boy/Warner Bros. in 2007. “Talking Dirty to Them” will premiere on the Gangsta Grillz mixtape.

On Diddy: ”He's one of the biggest Ness fans I have. It's like a big brother/little brother relationship. And I also write for him on his upcoming album.”

On why his album didn't come out sooner: ”Bad Boy wasn't really making noise back then. Then they came out with the Yung Joc record and Cassie and started picking up momentum. But we never had no bad blood. The business is smooth.”

On his new moniker the Lockness Monsta: ”It's me reinventing myself from what people saw me as on Making the Band. It's hard to market a street rapper, so I'm using what people use against me to promote myself. I'm just from the streets—grimy, not a pretty boy with all the muscles. I'm the Lockness Monsta. You never see him, but he's a beast—and he spits fire.”

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