Blessed. I’m living another day, so I’m blessed.
Fat Joe recently made some negative comments about you in a Philadelphia record store and it leaked out. What exactly happened between you and Fat Joe?
He said some shit like I was a Big Pun clone or whatever. It’s fucked up and it’s sad because I don’t know Fat Joe. I met him awhile ago and it wasn’t nothing like that. I put my CD in his hand when I was on my grind. He should embrace cats that are Latino. If you represent boricuas, you should support them. You have a cat that’s a beast coming in the game and instead of embracing me, you’re hating on me. Joe is making millions and he knows what he did in the South. He knows what he did down there. All right. You still have to respect him for certain things that he did in New York. But for him to not embrace me and to talk reckless about knocking me out and wiring my jaw, which is funny, it just shows the type of person that he is. Really, it is what it is. I don’t have nothing against Fat Joe. As long as he stays in his lane with me, I’ll stay in my lane. I just think he should be bigger than that. He’s talking reckless. You should embrace another Latino coming in the game.
You have other Latinos coming in the game like Joell Ortiz. The boy is nice. I mess with Immortal Technique and Talito. Not to embrace another Latino artist, it just tells you a lot about what type of person he is. It makes you think about what happened with him and his camp. It’s nothing personal with him and his camp. As long as he stays in his lane and doesn’t cross into my lane with the bullshit, we’ll be good.
Do you see this situation going anywhere?
As long as he doesn’t cross into my lane. I don’t have anything bad against the dude. The nigga is talking bad about me for no reason. I say things in my verses, but nothing big. It is what it is and I stay firm in what I say. If he can’t take the heat, I don’t know what to tell him. I liked the old Fat Joe. I liked the Fat Joe that messed with D.I.T.C. That’s my opinion. I was happy that Fat Joe put Pun on and I acknowledge him for the things he did. But look at the other side. I don’t even have to talk about that. Cats already know. I didn’t talk bad about him because I don’t know him. I got nothing against him. As long as he stays in his lane, we’ll be good. I don’t even know the brother. He just has to play his position and we’ll be good. I’ll play mine.
Your new mixtape Playtime Is Over is out now. How’s the mixtape doing for you?
It’s crazy. The places we wanted to get it in, we couldn’t even get it in because it’s been flying out of our hands so fast. It’s real effective. The people have been feeling the content. They know it’s real hip-hop and none of that bullshit. It’s not that watered-down bullshit. It’s just that uplifiting music. They’re loving it right now.
Are you surprised at how fast Playtime Is Over is moving?
Not really because a lot of cats are thirsty for that shit right now. It’s so dry right now. Music is so dry right now and a lot of cats know what kind of music I make. I’m not really surprised, but it’s a good look. It shows that there are a lot of real hip-hop fans out there that appreciate good hip-hop.
What was your state of mind when you were making the mixtape?
My hunger. It was my hunger showing cats that, no disrespect to Nas, hip-hop ain’t dead. There are still a lot of voices in the game. I know what Nas meant with that title, but hip-hop is still alive. There’s me and a couple of other cats out there doing real music. I just wanted to come at it hard with the angle, content and storytelling. I wanted to come with songs that could uplift brothers and sisters and make them feel good about themselves and make them feel good about music again. People don’t listen to the radio anymore because it’s the same bullshit being played. I just wanted to give them something where they could be like, ‘Damn, this CD is my radio player’ and they could play it all day.
On “Seems Like,” you talk about having to watch out for snakes in the grass. Are you on the lookout for snakes more now that you’re signed or was it worse before you got signed?
You always have to be aware of that. In my ‘hood, outside my ‘hood and everywhere, people have snakes in their grass. People come at you sideways. But they’re not going to say it to my face or nothing. I’m in the ‘hood every day. They’re not going to say it to my face. They’re going to live behind the computer, but I stay alerted on that shit and if something’s going to pop off, it’s going to pop off. But as far as me worrying about that, there’s nothing to worry about. Everybody has snakes in the grass. You just have to cut your lawn.
You also say on the song, “I’ve come a long way and it just seems like I’m getting dividends.” Was the grind worth it?
It’s good making money. Everybody wants to make money off of making music, especially if that’s what they love doing. But at the same time, it’s how you do it. It’s about how successful you want to be. My thing is that I believe strength comes in numbers. I come from a ‘hood that’s small and I got cats in my camp and I want to make sure they make dividends too. If I get a $1 million deal, I want to be on some 50 shit. 50 got $1 million dollar and look what he’s sitting on now. Why can’t I do that shit too? I can do it with a whole different approach, but why can’t I do that too? It’s about making your dividends right and strength comes in numbers. It’s always better to help a nigga that deserves to eat because cats know you’re genuine about your shit and you’re going to be eating for a long time. Strength comes in numbers and I firmly believe that.
How close are you to getting that $1 million deal?
It’s coming. We’re close. It’s all about playing your cards right. The big homie, Slay, he knows what’s best for me. I trust him with my life. Me and him built a bond that’s crazy now. I’m Streetsweepers. We’re family. We’re going to keep on pounding them until they give us the right shit and it’s on and popping after that.
Does Papoose being released from Jive affect you at all?
No, it doesn’t affect me. I think the situation with Pap worked out good for him. Jive is a good label, but they don’t have any hip-hop artists. No disrespect to Jive. They’re a good label. It will probably work out better for him and as far as my situation, there’s no distractions with that. He got into that situation and it’s good that he got out and now he’s making better movements. Everything happens for a reason. But there’s no distraction with that. We know how to play our cards better if something pops off.
Is Papoose being released from Jive really a good move for him?
I think it’s definitely a good move. He’s free to move around better now. He’s not tied down. He can get into a position to where he can make his own calls. I think it’s definitely better for him that he made that move and he’ll get into a better situation next time.
On “Survive the Hood,” you say, “The good die young, the bad die younger.” Is that the Camden mentality?
Yeah. It’s definitely the mentality in Camden. You have to be a warrior to live in Camden. There is a lot of meaning to that track because there are a lot of cats that live in Camden and they act like they’re hard and shit, but the only reason they survived Camden is because they’re homebodies. They never lived the street life. They were internet gangsters and did a lot of telemarketing. If the streets aren’t for you, that’s fine, but be yourself. I grew up making my money on the block and it’s nothing that I glorify because I hated that life. I saw a lot of my homies die in front of me. I’m blessed just to be alive and to make it through the ‘hood. I feel blessed to make a song called “Survive the Hood” and to be down with Streetsweepers and Kay Slay. I’m just blessed to be able to let them know where I come from.
Are you ever surprised that you made it out and are in the position you’re in?
Yeah. I’m definitely, definitely surprised. I was always moving strong and I always wanted to do something big. I’m definitely surprised I got this far, but I’m not surprised of my struggle and the way I moved because I was always relentless. I came in the game relentless. I’m glad I’m here every day to do this shit.
On “Survive the Hood” you also say, “Fuck Mims on the block, this is why I’m hot.” Is that a shot at Mims?
It is what it is. It’s no shot. It’s what it means. It’s no shot, it’s just what it means. They can take it however they want to take it, but it is what it is. “Fuck Mims on the block, this is why I’m hot.” I don’t have to make that type of music so you can know why I’m hot. I’ve been hot enough times. I was hot before everything was moving. Now I’m hot on the music scene. (laughs)
Have you heard from Mims regarding that line?
Nah. There’s nothing to talk about. Mims don’t have nothing to say to me on that note. I’m expressing what I feel. He don’t got nothing to say to me about nothing. If he did try to get at me, he just needs to get at me the right way. He just needs to suck it up. It ain’t no beef. I wasn’t even trying to battle Mims or none of that shit. That would be abuse. That would be like child abuse, trying to make me battle Mims. I don’t try to battle somebody that’s not built for it. I ain’t that type of dude. I just said what I said. If he takes it some way, then he has to deal with it. But I make real music.
Do you have anything personal against Mims?
No. It’s nothing personal. I don’t even know the cat, so it’s nothing personal. I just make real music. That’s it.
Does it only take one dumb song to kill an artist’s credibility?
I bring Mims name up because I think Mims could have been a nice artist if he would have stuck to the script. Now he has to live with the fact that “This Is Why I’m Hot” is the only song that he’s going to be remembered for. If I asked you what other song Mims would be remembered for, nine times out of ten you wouldn’t be able to answer me. It’s only “This Is Why I’m Hot.” It’s the one-hit wonders that everybody forgets about. An artist like Mims knows how to make good songs, but when he tries to make good songs, they’re not going to listen to him because they’ll only remember him for “This Is Why I’m Hot.”
Artists need to take heed to what the fuck they’re doing. At the end of the day, when they want to go and sell out, they have to remember that they might be remembered for that one song. If you’re not trying to make all of your songs classical joints and real shit, don’t sell the fuck out. Don’t follow what everybody else is doing. Be original. Bring it back to some real radio-play shit. Radio is real fucked up right now. All radio is doing right now is killing artists. Artists think it’s a good look for them, but it’s really not a good look. All they’re going to be remembered for is that one hit and their career is over.
Papoose made some songs that fans didn’t take to on HipHopGame. What are you going to do regarding making songs for the radio?
Big Lou is going to do Big Lou. I want to do radio tracks. I got radio tracks. But my radio tracks are the type of shit that you have to pay attention to. And when you hear them, you may not even realize everything that I’m saying, but when you really hear it, you’re going to be like, ‘That nigga is hip-hop.’ I’m going to take it back to how all the legendary niggas did it where it was a good party joint. Best believe it’s going to be real. It’s not going to be none of that watered-down shit.
At the end of “Survive the Hood,” you say, “Tell the South that real hip-hop is back.”
I’ma do it! I’ma do it! I’m bringing that real hip-hop shit back. I think a lot of southern rappers respect the East Coast, but I think that some of them turned into monsters. They started saying, “The South is hip-hop. Tell the East that.” The East has created monsters. Now they think they’re the shit because they made a couple of joints and they got played. I got love for the real South niggas like Ludacris, Scarface and UGK, but there’s a lot of other motherfuckers out there that are just abusing it and they think they run shit now. I don’t like that part of the game. I don’t like it when niggas forget where hip-hop comes from. I’m a Jersey nigga but I grew up knowing where hip-hop started. I listened to “South Bronx” and everything else. I can’t even defend a lot of New York cats because a lot of New York cats sold out and followed the wave of the South and they didn’t have to do that. All the South is doing is dance tunes and the East Coast started that. Take it back to the days when New York invented the Cabbage Patch. It just came around and the South just ran with it in a different kind of way. At the end of the day, don’t claim that you’re hip-hop because half of that shit ain’t hip-hop. I’m letting them know that the real hip-hop is back. I’m going to show you what real hip-hop is about. You’re going to hear it in my messages and my stories. My club bangers are going to be hip-hop, if I got a club banger. I do house party shit.
A lot of East Coast artists are very politically correct when talking about the South. Have East Coast artists been slipping?
Yeah, man. A lot of niggas just fell by the wayside on that note, man. You know how it gets repetitious. The South is just getting repetitious and everybody is hopping on the bandwagon. It’s upsetting when you see a lot of East Coast artists doing that and hopping on the bandwagon. There’s definitely enough, but it’s going to take some real cats that don’t like following the other shit and believe in real music to stop all that bullshit. And with me being one of them, I’m truly going to be a voice that’s going to be heard and I’m truly going to make motherfuckers think twice before they do the stupid shit.
You worked with Busta Rhymes on “The Shining.” What did that mean to you?
That was probably one of the best feelings in my life, to get a legendary lyrical beast to reach out and want me to do a track with him. That meant everything to me, man. I already knew about his career and it’s just an honor. It’s an honor for him to want to reach out and do the track. It was a surprise. The track came out crazy and I’m blessed. I never thought that that shit would happen and that it would pop off like that. It’s a good look right now.
What was it like working with Sheek Louch on “The Champ Is Here”?
That was good. Sheek saw me at a show that he was hosting. That was before the whole Streetsweepers thing really popped off. He saw me beast off at a show and I didn’t even want to give up the mic. The crowd was going crazy. He already kind of knew what he was getting into when Slay reached out to him. He already knew that I was a nigga that was going to go in and Sheek’s legendary as D-Block. We just did the track and made a crazy joint. It feels good just doing joints with legendary niggas. It just feels real good.
Your next mixtape is The Bidding Starts At A Million. How’s that coming?
It’s coming out crazy, man. We got so much heat, man. It’s ridiculous, man. I’m just a workhorse right now. I must have done over 100 songs in a couple of months, man. And that’s serious. Serious. I’m putting the work in. This is my job now, so I take my job seriously. I’m just being prepared for when it drops and with that and with Playtime Is Over, cats are going to know that I’m not bullshitting. I’m coming in this shit beasting.
Will The Bidding Starts At A Million be your best project to date?
I’m just getting better. You haven’t even heard my best yet. There are so many tracks that Slay has been putting aside that are ridiculous. I’m talking about some shit. He’s just not leaking them out. I do songs. I ain’t really a mixtape dude, but I can do a whole bunch of songs. I could probably put out a hundred mixtapes, but the way my mixtapes will be, I do songs. It will definitely be better than Playtime Is Over and my album will be better than that.
When will you drop A Bidding Starts At A Million?
Probably in a couple of months when Slay decides to make a move on it. Right now we’re letting them marinate on Playtime Is Over. Right now they’re just flying everywhere else so quickly. You can pick some up. It’s for promotional use only. It’s in a ‘hood near you. It is what it is.
How’s your album coming?
Ridiculous. Ridiculous. I can’t even speak on how crazy the album shit that I got is going. Sometimes I’ll be like, ‘Damn! Another banger!’ It just feels good. It’s content that’s going to take people there and grip people up. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my shit. Artists always hype their own shit up. I’m my own worst critic and I think people will be able to put this album in the classic category. I’ve always heard classic albums and I want to make a classic in my own mind. It’s definitely going to be a classic.
What’s the next move for Big Lou?
Stay feeding the streets and stay focused on what I’m doing with the album. I’m going to keep on playing with these labels and make them give up the big shit. We’ll take it from there and see what happens from there. Once Slay comes and is like, ‘Lou, this is what we got,’ I’ll talk to my peoples and we’ll take it from there. Until then I’m going to keep on hitting the mixtapes and the airwaves and let everybody know what it is.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Support real hip-hop. Thanks to all of my fans and all of my friends. CMG stand up. I’m here. Don’t worry about nothing. I got y’all. The whole Streetsweepers family, what up? My Streetsweepers family and my boricuas. Your boy is here. To everybody that supported me, one love. Shout out to my partner Adam. You know what it is. Big Lou, Streetsweepers!