good. I'm feeling real good. I'm just working on this album. It's about
to be finished.
been on your grind for a long time. How good does it feel to finally be
great, man. I've been at it for a minute. I've had an unusual path to
get to where I'm at. I felt like it was overdue, but at the same time,
I feel like the timing is perfect.
tell us about your path?
a small town, Talbotton. I didn't have the luxury that most rappers have
coming from big cities and coming from places that people have heard of.
That kind of makes you legitimate. I come from a small town of 1,500 people.
I had to grind and I had to prove myself over and over again. I had to
work twice as hard as the average rapper had to work just to get myself
to a point where people would listen to my music. When people hear you
come from a small town, if they can discredit you, they're going to discredit
you. I had to make sure my talent was up to par.
from big cities look down on those coming from small towns?
I wouldn't say they look down on us, but at the same time, there's always
going to be that stereotype that the South had; that we were slow and
didn't know what's going on. When you come from a small town, it's the
same thing times ten.
ever think you would make it out of Talbotton?
My mom had
me when she was 15. Her whole thing was she was going to make a life for
herself and make a life for me and she was going to get out in the world
and get what was due to her. That was instilled in me at a young age.
Even though it was a hard grind and I paced myself at times because a
lot of things that I'm doing and have done, I never could have even imagined
myself doing it ten years ago. At the same time, you have to visualize
stuff before it happens. I envisioned it happening in my mind before it
happened. I felt I had the same talent everybody else had, no matter where
a person was from. I had the same desire to succeed. It ain't too surprising,
but at the same time I never thought I would go to Australia or be on
tour with Eminem and 50 Cent. Sometimes I pinch myself.
up with Lil' Jon in his So-So Def days ten years ago. Was there ever a
time you thought about giving up?
a couple times. I think everybody gets frustrated. It's about who has
that desire and who stays in it. A lot of times people look at it like
it's a sprint. Those are the people who had one good year, they think
they're on top, they get lazy, and they fall off. You have to look at
it like it's a marathon. Some people are going to sprint off, but if you
just pace yourself, it can happen to you.
the first thing you want people to know about your debut album, Sundays
at the Bootlegger?
the things that you would see at the bootlegger. The bootlegger was a
little spot where you could be ten years old or you could go and get drunk
or meet the girls, or eat good food, talk about life. It was the intersecting
point between everything. You might have seen your preacher at the bootlegger.
You might have seen your teacher. It's where everything went down. It's
kind of like a barbershop in that sense. You see the good, the bad, and
the ugly at the bootlegger. I don't want people to get it confused and
think it's just going to be some righteous, religious-type music. There's
going to be some good in it, but I've seen people get harmed at the bootlegger
on Sundays. I've seen people get shot at the bootlegger on Sundays. It's
not going to be about church because it's on Sunday. Everything goes on
at the bootlegger.
you want to portray where you're from to people who have never seen it?
I'm a visualizer.
I'm going to make it visual. I'm going to make it real serious so people
can understand how I came up and people can walk in my shoes. I'm going
to make it so they can understand why I am the way I am. I want them to
smell the same things I smell and feel the same breeze I feel. I want
them to stand in my shoes for a moment in time.
guess you have a lot of material to choose from for this album.
crazy because I've lived on both sides of the fence for so long. I can
walk the streets as a normal person or rock a stage for 8,000 people in
New York for Summer Jam. I get to see both sides thanks to me never having
a video out there. I've been a successful artist and I have a lot of stuff
to pull from for this album.
have fun putting together Sundays at the Bootlegger?
say you have your whole life to make your first album, but only a couple
months to make your second. I have so much of my struggle to explain to
people. I had the time of my life making it, but at the same time it was
hard work. It wasn't all that easy.
it working with Lil' Jon?
Jon is a
perfectionist. I've learned so much from being around that cat and being
under his wings that I think I know what it takes to take over the world.
Just being up under that cat's wings and seeing all the things he went
through helped me a lot.
confident in his plans for you?
course with anytime you get into the music business, you're not going
to get to do everything you want to do. Sometimes you have to compromise
and meet people in the middle. For the most part, I'm confident in everything
my label has handled my career. Everything's good.
Jon get the respect he deserves?
I think if
you ask him, he'll probably say he doesn't. I think once you get content,
you will lose that hunger. I don't think he's gotten content yet. He'll
still feel like he hasn't gotten everything he deserves. That's how all
of us feel. As artists, we always have to feel like we're the underdog.
you say before that you like to blend hip-hop and the blues. Is there
a market to blend hip-hop and the blues?
me singing the blues. When you hear my music, it's not just me doing a
song and calling it a "blues song." Yeah, there is. Everybody
is starting to appreciate other forms of music, and I think hip-hop is
starting to incorporate different genres of music. It's about growing.
It's about rock and roll understanding hip-hop and vice versa and incorporating
jazz and expanding your mind to appreciate all forms of music.
see yourself getting into other genres?
definitely something I want to do. I want to collaborate with other kinds
ghostwriting have you done recently?
I don't know
if you remember "Damn" by the Youngbloodz and Lil' Jon. That's
me on the hook. I did that.
done any others?
some stuff for the Eastside Boyz. I got a song with Usher's artist Rico
Love. I collaborate and I write for artists. I just try to do it all.
I try to get a lot of music out there.
write for Lil' Jon?
some hooks for him, but for the most part, he handles all that.
recently said Big Sam and Lil' Bo should check their names before they
come out. How do you feel about that statement?
their names before they got in the music, so maybe he didn't know that.
ever bother you when artists not from the South look down on Southern
It used to
frustrate the South collectively, as a whole, years ago. But now we've
learned how to maneuver. The South is getting respect on the East and
West Coast. The world is starting to acknowledge us. Before, our music
wouldn't be played anywhere but the South, but people everywhere are embracing
our music. It's a beautiful thing.
do you have for up-and-coming artists coming from places like yours where
there aren't a lot of media and labels?
and go to the places where things are happening at and then you can shine
light a lot better on your hometown. I had to go to Atlanta where everything
was happening at to hit my town harder. For artists to come up where there
is no hip-hop scene, sometimes you have to go where there is a hip-hop
scene. You have to get noticed and then be able to shine that light back
have any adjustment problems moving to Atlanta?
but thank God, my mom stayed in Atlanta. She always stayed in Columbus,
so I was always going back-and-forth. It wasn't too much of a transition
when I went up there.
Chyna White doing?
good. In fact, me and her just did a song together a couple of weeks ago.
your Gangsta Grillz dropping?
in the next couple of weeks.
we check for Sundays at the Bootlegger?
will be here in July or August. It's going to be one of the most amazing
albums the world has ever heard. I have something on there for everybody.
I have some pimp shit on there, some gangster shit, some conscious music,
I got everything that a motherfucker would want to here and then some.
you want to say to everyone?
Be on the
lookout for Bohagon. I know you've been waiting for me for a long time
and I'm finally about to hit you up with the album. I appreciate the love
that you've showed me throughout the years. I know I kept the fans waiting
for years and years and years, but the wait is going to be worth it.