We’ve talked before how Fat Joe called you a Big Pun clone. It seems like you finally reached your tipping point, as you responded with two diss songs.
Yeah, man. He actually gave me a compliment, comparing me to a legend by calling me a Big Pun clone. I would never compare myself to Big Pun. He was in a class by himself as far as lyrically and everything. He was just a beast and I would never compare myself to him. There will never be another Pun. My thing is I want people to like Big Lou, but unfortunately Fat Joe said I’m a Big Pun clone. Hey, it’s a compliment. Why he said it, I don’t know. I don’t know what I did to that man and why he came in the direction he came at me. He was just talking reckless, saying he’s going to wire my jaw. And then another time in Philly he was talking about how I was a Big Pun clone. I just gave him something light, nothing heavy. It was just the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts. All I gave him was the truth.
How did you and Cuban Link come together on “You Ain’t No Gangsta”?
I actually reached out to Link and I reached out to his man Rappy. Shout out to Rappy too. Me and Rappy was cutting it up. We was talking. He was like, ‘Yo, I gotta get with Link later and hook something up.’ Me and Rappy was just wildin’. We hooked something up in the studio. I went to Cuban Link’s studio out there and me and my people went over there. We went over to the studio and it was incredible. Me and him got in the lab and started working. His work ethic is crazy. I love Cuban Link’s work ethic. He just gets in. The boy ain’t bullshitting.
When we got there, I don’t even remember me and him shaking hands. I remember mildly saying, ‘What up,’ but the beat was playing and were vibing on some real MC shit. We were working on the hook and he was telling me this and I was like, ‘I’m feeling this cat.’ His work ethic is crazy. We knocked out a banger. I’m observing him as he’s going in the booth. He did his thing.
He saw me go in the booth and he showed me mad love when I came out the booth. He said the most incredible thing to me. He was like, ‘Yo, son, you give me flashbacks of Pun.’ I was like, ‘Wow!’ He was saying, “I’m not saying you sound like Pun. Your flow is crazy.” I just take that as an honor because Cuban Link is part of that legacy. Regardless of what anybody motherfucking say, Cuban Link was one of the beasts in that Terror Squad shit. For that shit to come out of his mouth, that was an honor. And he didn’t say it like I was the next Pun. That’s that corny shit. He just told me that I gave him flashbacks to that shit and it was a crazy look and an honor to hear that from a nigga that lived that legacy with another giant in the game.
Cuban Link and Big Pun were always very close. Could you have gotten a compliment like that from anybody better than Cuban Link?
No, nobody, man. Even if it had come from Fat Joe and we were seeing eye-to-eye and he could embrace me like that and give me that compliment, I couldn’t have taken it as good as I did with it coming from Cuban. He goes back with Pun to when they were growing up. They were brothers. The compliment came from the right place and I was blessed to get that and just honored to hear that.
How much do you think it pissed Fat Joe off to hear you recording with Cuban Link?
I’m a man, regardless of what’s going on. I wouldn’t think he would hate it or nothing like that because I would never say that this nigga is hating because we did a track like that. I don’t know him like that and he don’t know me like that. I just know that he was talking sideways about me and it’s sad because I’m a Latin artist on the come-up and I’m a beast. I go in. I just felt like he should have embraced me like, ‘This is my man.’ Before he talked sideways, he should have reached out. I’m not asking him to put me on. I love grinding and doing shit, but if I said something, he should have told me and we could have cleared that shit up and we could have been the best of friends. But I don’t want Joe to put me on. I’ve always been a grinder and I come from a mother who raised seven kids by herself in the ‘hood. I don’t expect nothing from him. I just hate the fact that he came about it like that and I just don’t really know that man, so I can’t say he’s mad that I recorded a track with Cuban Link or stuff like that. I don’t know him. If he mad, he mad. If he ain’t, it really don’t matter. We knocked it out. Cuban was one of the monsters of that legacy and for whatever reasons, I won’t get into that. Who am I to say all of that shit? But it’s whatever. Whatever he say, it’s on him.
On “The Elephant’s Nightmare”, you talked about how you’ve been compared to Pun but Joell Ortiz and Termanology haven’t been. Why do you think that is?
You know why? Because I’m a fucking beast. Joell and Termanology are beasts. I’m a fan of Joell Ortiz. I can’t even front. Joell Ortiz is nasty and he’s a Latin MC. The only thing, when it comes to that Latin MC shit, I don’t take no shit with that. If you’re going to look at me overall, you’re going to look at me overall. I’m a hot MC, period. Not because I’m Latin. Everybody that comes in the game, they get stereotyped with the Big Pun shit and just give it up, man. If it’s a Latin artist and he’s nice, he’s nice. We come from the same struggle. We come from the streets. If you grew up loving music, you grew up loving music, you feel me. I think I get the Pun comparisons more because sometimes they hear the rapid-fire flow. I got a million styles. If cats really hear my music, I change up styles like fashion. I change up styles constantly. I’m a versatile artist. And I guess it’s that.
I guess it’s also because I’m a little chubby. (laughs) I don’t know what it is, B. People are funny. I heard people get compared to Pun that could be saying the worst rhyme ever, but if he’s Spanish, he gets compared to Pun. He could be 50 pounds. He could be a little, skinny nigga, and if he’s Latin, he gets compared to Pun. It’s just a stereotype, man. And my thing is, sometimes I run with it because if you compare me to Pun, I’m going to run with it and I’ll take it as a compliment because that man was great and nobody could ever compare anyone to him. I’ll take it as a compliment but I would be lying to say, “Oh, man, that’s good to hear” because I want people to know that I’m Big Lou. I’m my own artist. Big Lou is Big Lou.
And look at Kool G. Rap. Why can’t you ever compare me to Kool G. Rap? Why? It’s because he’s Black. But Pun elevated his game by listening to Kool G. Rap, but cats don’t observe shit. We all have our own style and we go with our own craft and it’s good to have our Latin brothers out there doing their thing. Everybody has their own unique style.
On “The Elephant’s Worst Nightmare” you talked about how Fat Joe is an “ex-BX” dude. Did he lose his credibility with hardcore New York fans?
I’m not going to say he lost all of his credibility, but he lost a lot of it. He can go to the BX or whatever. That’s his ‘hood and I’m pretty sure he’s still going to get love in the BX. My thing is I keep it real and I’m not going to go off and say, “Oh, nah, they don’t want him in the BX.” I don’t know them like that but I know that I get love in the BX. I love everything about New York. That’s my second home. I get love in the BX and Brooklyn. I think Joe’s just…I’m not knocking him. People are like, ‘Oh, he went to MIA.’ And me, personally, you gotta move. At the level Joe went to, he had to leave.
You gotta leave, but the shit that hurt him more is the way, well, I ain’t even gonna say “hurt” because he’s making paper, but if he’s comfortable with doing it, that kind of way is kind of selling the shit out. And you go to MIA and now you’re claiming that and you’re rocking the chain that says “I-95”, now niggas in the Bronx are like, ‘What the fuck is that?’ Why couldn’t you rock with a Bronx chain on? But that’s Fat Joe. He’s the one that has to answer to the people. He can’t be bitter about nothing when he don’t get the love he used to get in the BX. That’s something he gotta take care of. That’s something that he gotta deal with. Only he knows that. He can eat and it’s all good, but me personally, I would never, never go somewhere else and rock a chain repping another city that I didn’t even grow up in and act like I’m from there. I’m Camden. I’m CMD. I’m Camden. That’s where I’m from and that’s what I rep.
Have you heard from Fat Joe at all since releasing the songs?
We don’t talk or none of that. I just heard about the bullshit that was said. I heard him calling me a Big Pun clone. I just heard the bullshit coming out of him and just him saying stupid shit in places and I don’t even know him. I don’t even talk to the dude. It’s not like we ever talked. I mean, if he wanna talk…I know he’s probably going to be like, ‘Who the fuck is he for me to get in touch with him?’ But if you always claim you’re hip-hop, be hip-hop, motherfucker. Get with me.
He should embrace me instead of talking all that shit in the beginning. If he didn’t like something I said, he should have let that shit be known. He shouldn’t have come at me sideways. I respected the man up to that point. When he started coming at me, I lost respect for him. There’s really nothing for me to talk about unless he comes to me and tells me to keep this shit on records. He could man up and I don’t think people are going to look at him as a punk. He always wants to be a bully and he wants to go around, trying to take people’s hearts.
And I’m not trying to instigate it or make it worse than it is, but he met his match. You’re not going to walk through me. I’m going to respect you as a man but you’re going to respect me too. Just because you rolled with cats that did 8-10 years, guess what? All my niggas did a dime or better. He couldn’t even come within 10 feet of me and I don’t say that as a threat or nothing. But we stay on guard and we come from the ‘hood. I’m not a rapper, man. I’m a kid who from his whole life, grew up in the ‘hood around real dudes. I don’t say “killers” or “gangsters” or none of that. You could find that out when you step to me. You could find what these dudes is when you step to me. We keep it real over here.
And the funny shit is, we don’t want no problems. Keep that shit on records, man. The man disrespected me, saying he’s going to wire my jaw and this and this. And I let that slide. Then he came back and said some more shit, B. So it’s like, yo, keep the shit on records. Learn to man up. A nigga is going to understand his mistakes and be like, ‘Boom, boom, boom.’
He knows KRS-One personally. Talk to KRS-One about when he was battling MC Shan or when LL was battling Canibus. Battle me. I don’t want it for the attention. Make hip-hop fun again so the BX can respect you again and so Jersey can respect you. He don’t want to battle me. Battle me. You came and disrespected me. I disrespected you. Now come and battle me and let’s keep this hip-hop fun. If you beat me, you can shake your hand and you can be that real hip-hop legend that you want to be and heads can respect you. Do it like you did back in the day because you’re a grown-ass man. We could take it there and we could take it on wax. If I’m Canibus and you’re LL at the end of the day, I’ll take it like Canibus took it. I’ll do my thing and take it. But if I come out on top, then shake my hand, man. Be real. And later on, we could do a track together. We could kick it and who knows. And we could take it from there.
I don’t got nothing against the dude, man, but the dude disrespected me. That was all. You can’t always be thinking that you can shit on niggas and that you can get it off. There’s always one thing – you can meet your match. I don’t got 50 cash or Fat Joe cash. I’m not on Pap’s level. We’re grinding it out and he’s been in the game a couple years longer than me. But I love to grind. You know why? Because I was always grinding. So I’m a little dude, but you’re going to respect me. He came up as a little dude. He got there. Yeah, he got a couple hits. Who said I can’t make hits, B? It’s still early for me. Cat’s don’t know what I got in storage. I got straight radio bangers. But I ain’t snappin’ it up and I support the South on the real. I love some South music, but I don’t go and front like I’m from over there. I do real music. At the end of the day, we keep it on records. If he wants to be a real hip-hop head, hey, battle me. Drop your record. Let’s go back and forth. You do two hot joints and I’ll do two hot joints. Keep it hip-hop and at the end of the day, we’ll do a track together. That’s it.
Do you think you’ll get a response from Joe?
I mean, my thing is, B, I’m not trying to put out a million diss tracks on Joe. My career ain’t based off him. If I don’t hear from him, my career goes on. I got hit songs that me and Slay are cooking up in the lab. It’s back to the grind. I’m not going to lose sleep over Fat Joe. I’m not going to wait for him to respond. He disrespected me and I felt as though I had to get at him. Either he’s going to be real enough and come at it and cats already know, I’m a lyrical dude. So I’m pretty sure he knows I’m a lyrical dude. Maybe he don’t want no part of it. It’s really that he can’t fuck with it and that’s understandable. I’m not going to take away from his credibility because the man did put out hit albums and that’s the part that I used to respect about him until he disrespected me. I respect what he did for hip-hop and I could never take away from what Joe did.
I wasn’t involved in the Terror Squad so I can’t say too much about it. I know he did some shit that was uncalled for. I know he should have kept it real with his squad. I know whatever he felt about Pun’s wife, with Liza and the kids, I know he should have still taken care of them. That lady has Pun’s kids! Whatever you feel about her, you have to put that shit aside and still take care of the kids. If Pun was alive, I guarantee you he would have done that shit for him. Fat Joe got rich and our agendas are different. The way I go at music, we go at it differently. I’m trying to be wealthy. And I got some hit records and we’re going to get there too. It took him a good 10 years before he made a hit record. Come on, man. Don’t count me out right now. I’m fresh in the game. I’m a new kid. I’m a rookie.
Do you have anymore songs for Fat Joe?
Oh, I’m chilling, man. I’m chilling. I just wanted to get a little shit off of my chest. If he wanna take it back, like he say, he reps real hip-hop. Rep real hip-hop then. Let’s make it fun, Joe. You say you rep real hip-hop. Real hip-hop is when cats used to battle and go at each other. You already know what it is. Look at guys like Kool Moe Dee. He’s an older cat. He knows what it is. He knows the KRS-Ones and the MC Shans. Look at LL and Canibus. Come on, man. I got schooled by my older brother about Rakim. That’s how I fell in love with that music. He knows better. Let’s take it back to real hip-hop again. Let’s me and you go at it. As a matter of fact, if you don’t want to go at 50, come at Big Lou. I bet you you’ll get mad respect. He probably won’t feel like that because he probably doesn’t want to give me shine, but if you’re hip-hop, battle me and showcase your skills. And let’s keep it on records. Let’s not get crazy and think that you can come at me sideways because then that shit can get ugly. I didn’t get in the game for that shit. And he’s too old to be doing that shit too, man. Niggas is grown-ass men, man. Niggas need to act like men. I’m a grown-ass man and I act like it. He’s a grown-ass man and he needs to act like it.
What do you know about what happened between Joe and Papoose?
There’s just a bunch of shit going around. I don’t really know too much about what’s going down. That’s between him and Pap. I’m pretty sure Pap did what he had to do. Pap got caught up in a room and Pap had to fight his way out of that situation and he fought his way out of that situation. Whatever they got going, I don’t know. I just would hope that niggas just stop carrying on. I don’t know what all the bullshit is for. Come on, man. Niggas ain’t about that shit. There’s a way to go about that shit already. Niggas gotta grow up. You can’t tell us how to move. He must have thought Pap was a slouch or something. Pap brought it to him.
Has Kay Slay advised you as to how he wants you to move?
Nah. Slay knows we know how to move. Slay knows what’s good. Slay knows what’s good. Slay don’t want me to move no type of way. Out of all things, he just wants me to keep on grinding. We got a lot of shit on the table. I got a lot of people knocking at my door. A lot of people are knocking at my door so we gotta stay focused on what we do, man. We’re not going to focus on making some bullshit with Joe and me doing a million diss records. Nah, man, we ain’t doing that. The man disrespected me. That’s why I did what I did.
There were rumors of a Big Lou beef with Saigon and Just Blaze. Is everything cool with you guys?
There were rumors going around that I had a problem with Saigon and Just Blaze. I don’t know how the rumors got started but I love Saigon’s music. Saigon’s got some joints. Me and Just Blaze spoke recently and that was about a beat that he had done for Jay-Z. It was the “Kingdom Come” beat and I had this other beat that these cats had produced and they were claiming that Just Blaze took their beat or whatever. Whatever the case was, I know Slay had already heard my version of it way before Jay came out with “Kingdom Come”, but at the end of the day, really, it was a coincidence that Jay had that joint because Jay is a giant and I would never disrespect Jay. I’m a fan of Jay too. It was just a thing that it was the same beat almost made, but I didn’t get into all the bullshit over whose beat it was. Nah, I just moved along with it.
But then somebody told me that Saigon had some shit on his website page and when I went to Saigon’s website page, it said, “This dude is a clown” and when you press on the link, it was going to my page. So at the time, my people were trying to get with Just Blaze and say, “Yo, you’ve mistaken us for something else. You gotta take that shit down off your page.” It stayed up there and a couple of weeks later I met Just Blaze a few weeks later at a beat battle in New York. I went and addressed him. Maybe it was a misunderstanding, but I gotta address it. So I told him about the link that was going to my page and he was like, ‘Nah, I was talking about the boys that made the beats.’ And it was just a misunderstanding. Me and him shook hands. I told him I just had to address him because the link was going to my page and he was cool, man. He was a cool dude. He was there and I was actually performing that night. We shook hands and I dipped off with Saigon. I met him coming out of a club. My man introduced me to him but I know he’s mad busy. He’s running around doing his one-two and I’m doing my one-two so we’ve never been able to connect like that. I actually like Saigon’s music. It was just a misunderstanding. Everybody was talking. You know how it is. Everybody just misunderstands everything. Hopefully one day me and Saigon will drop a gem together and hopefully one day I’ll be able to work with Just Blaze.
You don’t seem like the type of person to hold a grudge.
Nah, B. This hip-hop game is funny. These dudes recording music act hard. They’re doing music and they’re acting hard and it just baffles me, like, ‘Wow, look at these clown-ass niggas.’ It’s funny. I come from the streets, man, and I thank God every day for where I am. We’ve been through the street wars and I’m like, ‘Man, these dudes act like clowns. These dudes get in music and really act like they’re street.’ It’s just corny to me. I just stay humble, but just don’t fuck with me. That’s all. Because I’ll bite your fucking head off if you think I’m a bitch-ass nigga. I’m a quiet, humble dude. As long as you respect me, I’ll respect you. I don’t got time to hold no grudges. It’s the same way with the Fat Joe shit too. I don’t know that man. Just stay in your lane and I’ll stay in mine. Let’s do it for fun and leave it on records and later on, if you want to holla at the boy and shake my hand, it’s all good. That’s all.
How’s the bidding war for your services going?
It’s good, B. We got a lot of good shit on the table. We’re just playing our cards right. We’re not rushing into nothing right now. At the end of the day, we look at it like we gotta have a business mind. If we think that we can do better independently, then I’m going to take the independent route. The game is so crazy right now and you have to play your cards right. There’s a lot of bullshit out there. You just have to play your cards right and take your time.
How’s your mixtape The Bidding Starts at a Million coming?
We kind of retracted on that joint because of some legal problems there that I can’t really talk too much about. But we’re back up on that. I’m working on two new, crazy, other mixtapes. I’m probably going to drop these two and then I’m done with the mixtapes. Four or five mixtapes is enough for me. It’s time for me to start working on the album. I already started working on the album, but I have to keep myself fresh and work on making my radio jams.
What’s your next mixtape?
I’m just going to keep on feeding the streets. That’s where it starts at. I’m going to keep on feeding the people the music and just get that buzz up there crazy. I’m giving the people that real hip-hop music and we’re not stalling nothing. The album will be here, whether we have to drop it with a major or independent. It will be here. And we’re just keeping it fresh, waiting to drop that album.
But my next mixtape will be dropping within the month. That’s called The Last Lyricist. So we’ll be dropping that in another month and then not too long after that, we’re going to drop another mixtape and then I’ll be working on the album in the process and just getting ready for what’s to come.
You’re putting your older mixtapes up for free download. What made you want to do that?
I mean, you’ve gotta always give back to the people. My name ain’t too big either. It ain’t even about the money. It’s about playing the strategic game because we do make money. So money ain’t an issue over in the Streetsweeper camp. We do make money. So we were like, ‘Let’s give that joint away. We did what we had to do with it at that point.’ We make money other ways. (laughs) We just gave that shit out to the people and let them run with it and enjoy both mixtapes. We’re just giving it to the people. My mixtapes are like albums, so just imagine how my album is going to be.
From listening to your last two mixtapes, it’s clear that you don’t hold back on them.
Nah. I feel as though I do every project like it’s my last project. I think every song has to make people feel you because a lot of people go through the same shit, so you definitely want them to feel the music. Believe it or not, music is a healing method for a lot of people. So I want to give them that treatment. I want to give them that medicine.
What’s the next move for Big Lou?
Just grinding, B. A lot of doors are opening up for me, so it’s just staying fresh with it, man. Pretty soon, the people are going to be hearing about a lot of things popping off. A lot of people are going to be surprised with the things that are happening with my career. It’s definitely going to be a good look. I’m grinding at it and I’m going at it hard and when I get there, I’m still going to go at it hard because I don’t forget how grinding feels and how difficult it is to get up in this game. So I’m always working hard and grinding.