I’m feeling excellent. I’m feeling great. I’ve been working.
Your single “Hood Figga” is doing really well for you. Are you surprised by the success of it?
Yeah, man. It’s been a blessing, man. It’s been a blessing. It’s been going so much and I have such a heavy buzz in the street. It’s more than that. It’s the whole Block Entertainment movement. The movement is crazy.
Is “Hood Figga” a good indication of how your debut album Welcome to the Zoo will sound?
That’s part of Welcome to the Zoo. Welcome to the Zoo is going to be a big album.
What’s going to make it so big?
Basically, man, I’m a personal fan of UGK. I’m a personal fan of Outkast. I’m a personal fan of 8Ball and MJG, Dr. Dre, Snoop, the whole West Coast, like N.W.A., Dade County, the Midwest, Trick Daddy and them…I got so many classic albums that I’ve listened to over and over. I’m a fan first of real music. I’m a fan of real down South hip-hop. And then I have my own swag. We really have a classic album. I poured my heart into it.
Why did you name your album Welcome to the Zoo?
For real, it’s like a concrete jungle in 2007. Let’s give it a new name. Block came up with that and I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s perfect. Welcome to the Zoo is perfect.’ Block came up with that name.
What was your mindstate recording Welcome to the Zoo?
I’m from the element. The zoo is like a concrete jungle. And that’s where I’ve been all of my life. I’ve been through the struggles, the hard times and the good times. I have to just go hard on them.
What made you want to sign with Block and his company Block Entertainment?
Block is real. He’s a real man. It’s easy for me, coming from the streets, to work with Block. Block has a good plan for me and we had our meeting and we did the deal. I can be a part of the group Boyz N Da Hood and also be a solo artist. I don’t know, man. He gave me a good vibe.
How did the new Boyz N Da Hood album come out?
It’s street shit. It’s street music. It’s for the streets. That’s who we did it for. It’s hard. It’s hardcore. It’s always gritty and it’s always gutter. It is what it is.
You were added to Boyz N Da Hood after Young Jeezy left. Was it hard to fit in at first?
I didn’t feel any pressure. It’s just music. This ain’t no pressure. All I have to do is work hard and go hard. I’m not taking penitentiary chances and risking my life out here. This isn’t personal. It’s work. I’m a hustler, so I’m going to work it out. It’s a new situation. That’s how you have to look at it. You have to go hard.
Looking back, what was it like growing up in East Points, Georgia?
Well, you know, coming up in the Southside, it has a different swag to it. Every side of Atlanta is different and I’ve lived on each side. I’ve lived almost everywhere in Atlanta. I’m 25. I made it. I’m not going to say I made it, but I’m happy and feel blessed to be where I’m at right now because I could be locked up or dead. A lot of my homies are locked up or are dead. It’s like any ‘hood in America. There’s poverty and struggle everywhere. There are a lot of people that can relate to my struggle and to my story. Really, as you get older and you see things, it’s not until you really think about what you’re doing. You either do sports, sell drugs or do music. You really don’t see too many other options. Some people become lawyers and doctors, but you really don’t see that.
Your name is Gorilla Zoe and your album is titled Welcome to the Zoo. Newsweek recently reported about the endangered mountain gorilla species that’s almost extinct. What would you do to save the mountain gorillas?
If I had the power, I would come up with some kind of protective program. Seriously, it’s hard to monitor the numbers like that. Go up there and get some of them and put them in a facility and protect the rest of them that are out there. Breed them. Really pay attention to what’s going on. It’s like a cycle. When certain things go, other things go. It’s like a domino effect. You have to be careful about that.
Welcome to the Zoo is coming out on September 25. What do you have to do from here on out to make sure the album is successful?
The only thing I can do is stay prayed up and work hard, bro, for real. I just have to keep God first and keep working.
What are your goals for Welcome to the Zoo?
Oh, man, I pray that it comes successfully. If something becomes successful, it means the Lord blessed it.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned in the industry so far?
You have to stay true to you. Stay true to you. Be yourself. Always know where you’re coming from and know where you’re going. There’s three people you are – the person you was, the person you are and the person you’re going to be. Always remember that and stay focused.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Man, thank you for the love. Thank you for the support. Thanks for the love and thanks for the support.