It’s been a long time coming with The Bronx emcee Durell “Hell Rell” Mohammed, who has been down with The Diplomats since day one. Due to his incarceration, the only way fans of Dipset could hear Hell Rell was through freestyle skits over the phone from jail. After his release from prison in 2004, Hell Rell’s long duration to stardom was prepped by Cam’ron, co-starring him in the movie, “Killa Season” and gave him numerous guest appearances on records with other artists as well as The Diplomats.
Now, Hell Rell has released his debut album called “For The Hell of It” and he sits down with HipHopClub to tell us all about it and let’s us know that he’s here to raise hell on earth.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: How did you meet up with The Diplomats?
Hell Rell: Jim Jones grew up on my block, Weeks Avenue in The Bronx. I always knew Jim, he introduced me to Cam around ’97. When Cam started The Diplomats and got his deal, he pretty much came back and got me so that’s what’s up.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Ok. Being signed with The Diplomats since 2001, do you feel like that it’s worth the wait for your project to be released?
Hell Rell: Yeah I feel like it was worth the wait. You know what I mean, due to the circumstances, being signed to an independent label, it’s kind of like a lot of big records that I’ve got with a lot of artists that I couldn’t get cleared. So I just pretty much came to the streets. The streets looked out for me, they showed me love so I just pretty much just give them good theme music. The hustlers, the pimps, the gangstaz you know when we’re in the midst of action or when they’re coming up with their devious schemes they need some type of music to listen to. Pretty much, I service them.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Ok, that’s what’s up! So, when should fans expect to see your first album, “For The Hell of It”?
Hell Rell: It’s in stores now, “For The Hell of It” is in stores now. It came out September 25th.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Okay, cool. So how is the album doing? Are there any features on the album?
Hell Rell: Yeah, I got Young Dro from Grand Hustle on there. I got my boy Styles P from D-Block besides The Dipset.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: What has your experience been working with KOCH Records?
Hell Rell: I mean it just pretty much shows me how to be hands-on with my project because KOCH is a distribution company, not a record label. You understand what I’m sayin? So they pretty much want it as a record label and that’s what I commend them for and I give them love but you know, they’re a distribution company and a lot of people come to KOCH with the expectations of them working a project hands-on and working it as opposed to a label. So it pretty much just showed me how to be hands-on with everything. Even from calling up the DJs, playing the records, from studio sessions, everything… everything. Business, paperwork, everything. Hands-on with everything.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: You’re more patented as being a freestyle artist. How did that skill come about?
Hell Rell: Pretty much just standing on the corner waiting to make my sounds man, ya feel me? You know, I’ve been a trap star all my life. So you know, just by me being in the spots and just being bored, no money coming through I just sit there and just come up with raps and I kind of got nice with it. I got nice to the point where I felt I could start a career with it, so you know. That’s what it is.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Do you think that you will become pigeon-holed as a freestyle rapper more than just being an emcee?
Hell Rell: I don’t think I’ve been labeled as a freestyle rapper. At the end of the day, I’ve got a movie in stores like, I’m in Blockbuster. I’ve put a movie out with Cam called “Killa Season” before I even had an album out yet and I’m actually in the process of reading more scripts to major movies. I’m flying out to L.A. for 3 weeks to read some scripts for some directors. So if everything goes good look forward to seeing me in some big movies in ‘08. So to categorize me as a freestyle artist, I pretty much don’t agree with that because I had a movie out. I’m co-starring with Cam in “Killa Season”. You understand what I’m sayin? You can rent that from Blockbuster right now. So I kind of feel like I’m pretty much more seasoned than a new artist.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Ok, that’s what’s up. What do you think people get misconstrued about you the most?
Hell Rell: That I can’t rap.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: What?!
Hell Rell: Man, you’d be surprised man. You know, it’s a little community, like a little club in hip hop, you know what I mean being meek. You know what I mean? Like a little gay crew. I guess they feel like you know, I’m not hot because I look at the publications and I watch T.V. you know. I don’t get the reviews and the love that I feel I deserve. So I guess there’s a little gay community that I’m not accepted in.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: So is there anything else that you would like the HipHopClub readers to know?
Hell Rell: Yeah man. Look out for my label, it’s called Top Gunners. I’m the head gunner in charge, Mr. Rugger. Look out for my DVD it’s called “Welcome to Hell” you know what I mean. You guys should be receiving a trailer from my dude so you know look out for that. Basically, pretty much look out for my clothing line “Hell Bound” and my restaurants called “Rugger Rib Shack”. I’m looking for some locations in Jersey so it should be up and running by mid ’08 also.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Don’t forget to stop through St. Louis and Minneapolis to open those restaurants man!
Hell Rell: Definitely! I was just in St. Louis on promo tour! I was up in this strip club, Pink Slip.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: What? That’s the spot right there!
Hell Rell: I know! I know what’s up in there.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: (laughs!) Yeah, that’s what’s up man. So are you coming back through here again?
Hell Rell: Yeah, I actually got a show in December. I’ll be back out there.
St. Louis Ben Grimm: Cool. Thanks for the interview man.
–By Marrio (St. Louis Ben Grimm) Gardner