He also reflected on his time with Tupac and Biggie before the fame, saying that rappers can “beat the streets” and follow their dreams, only to be murdered.
With a successful 30-year career under his belt, Treach is considered Hip Hop royalty. The Naughty By Nature legend has endured much throughout his career and now he has a few words of wisdom for rising generations of artists who may need some guidance along the way. Treach recently sat down with Sway in the Morning where he spoke about maintaining longevity in the entertainment industry while also dropping off a few Tupac Shakur memories.
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“Before we even came out with a label deal, we was under an apprenticeship,” Treach recalled. “So, we was learning the game and learning the steps… I hope a lot of the new artists out there has some type of person they can listen to, ’cause a lot of the youth ain’t listenin’ to the Old Heads or the ones that’s been there ’cause they know it all like we knew it all. I’m not mad at them, I’m just letting them know it goes so quick, the years, and everything else. The time, just make it worth it.”
After dropping a few gems about how he’s been able to survive a 30-year career by making smart business and investment moves, Treach shared a story about reading for the role of Bishop in the classic film, Juice. He auditioned at the same time a Tupac Shakur, who ended up getting the part, and recalled listening to Pac’s spirited portrayal from another room.
Treach said that he thought there was a fight going on inside and when Tupac was finished, he asked him what was up. When Pac said he was just auditioning, Treach admitted defeat and told him, “Oh yeah, you got that role. You had me believe, Bishop.” Later, Tupac called Treach to share that he did get the part and told his friend to pack his bags to come live with him as they tried to get Treach a role in the film.
“He had me in there, Ed Lover, Mopreme [Shakur], Big Stretch from Live Squad—rest in peace—like five, six of us,” said Treach of their days in a hotel room. Tupac took Treach to set every day until he got a bit part as “the only Black dude in the Puerto Rican gang.” Treach also shared that he “knew [Biggie] and Pac” before the riches and the fame. “We came up and we did it, so ’96 was a wake-up call.” He was referencing the year that Tupac was gunned down in Las Vegas.
“You really did everything you can do. You beat the streets, you left the streets behind you, you following your dream, you come out here you rich and famous. And you can still get murdered.”
Watch his full interview with Sway in the Morning below.