Back in the mid-90s, a young group from Oakland became one of the biggest rap acts around. Calling themselves The Luniz, Garrick “Numskull” Husbands and Jerrold “Yukmouth” Ellis went platinum with their hit I Got 5 On It. The success of this track catapulted them to the top, allowing them to open for names like Notorious B.I.G., Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Junior Mafia, and Naughty By Nature.
However, as is often the case with success, The Luniz quickly discovered the ruthlessness of the business. Management troubles and general disagreements led to the downfall of the group. Now, after some time away from the spotlight, Numskull is back with a solo album titled Numworld and is ready to reclaim his place at the top.
D:ET: First, how did you get the name Numskull?
Yukmouth told me I was hella hard headed
D:ET: What about the Luni Tunz name?
We couldn’t use it because Warner Bros. threatened to sue.
D:ET: Describe your sound for those who may not have heard you.
I’m a person that always tells the truth in my raps.
D:ET: Who are some of your influences?
Everybody who did it before me.
D:ET: Tell me about how The Luniz got started.
We started of with a group called B.W.P. that I had by myself and when Yuk came to West Lake Jr. High, I heard him rap and instantly put him in the group. We were the only ones that stayed at it so the Luniz was born.
D:ET: When you recorded I Got 5 On It, did you have any idea how big it would become?
I knew it was going to be big that’s why I wouldn’t sign my contract unless Virgin put that out first as my first single.
D:ET: How did your life change when Operation Stackola went platinum?
My dream came true, rags to riches then back down like a c saw. I got a song called See Saw because we all go thru ups and downs.
D:ET: What was it like opening for such huge acts as Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Naughty By Nature?
I felt like I accomplished something big. Lil ole me out the hood.
D:ET: Why do you think The Luniz are the last platinum selling rap group from the bay area?
The chemistry, the timing. Not sayin’ no else will go platinum, maybe with ringtones, but sellin’ CDs is becoming a thing of the past.
D:ET: Do you think there will be another Luniz album in the future?
Yeah, me and Yuk, not that we have a chemistry that’ll be wasted. They want to see us together. Yuk does albums with people all the time but it’s not a Luniz album. They want to see us together and I’m a hustler, gotta get that paper cause everybody not able.
D:ET: Why did you decide to take time off from making music?
I didn’t, it just happened that way. I’m a platinum artist; you don’t go from platinum to workin’ at Wal-Mart.
D:ET: With all the drama you’ve experienced in the industry, what keeps you inspired to make new tracks?
They can see what their favorite Luni is going thru every day.
D:ET: Why have you waited so long to drop a solo album?
It just happened that way.
D:ET: What can fans expect to hear on Numworld (release date: 5/29/07)?
On Numworld u can expect to hear that Luni sound you’ve been missin’ and if u were too young to know what the pandemonium was about, you’ll see.
D:ET: Do you feel you have more creative freedom on the independent Ball or Fall Records than you did on a major label like Noo-Trybe Records?
Definitely, it’s just me by myself. Me and Yuk brought two different sounds. When we split, he went thug lord, I brought a funny element to the Luniz. When u listen to my album, you’ll here that same Luni sound. I even did a track on the album where I took Yuk back to that sound. U can’t get a whole Luni album yet but at least one song on my album which will show u it’s not over.
D:ET: Who has been your favorite artist to collaborate with and why?
You’re only good as your last song so I’m a talk about this album. I have a label mate named Prince Bugsy out the south. I like workin’ with him; we work well and I know he’s got that special umf to get there.
D:ET: Are there any artists/producers you would like to work with?
No prejudices, anyone that has the heat I need.
D:ET: What message do you hope fans will get from your music?
He’s tellin’ the truth and he’s not going to stop givin’ us heat.
D:ET: Finally, what advice do you have for aspiring artists?
If u want, neva stop. F what everyone says.