You just touched down in New York. What kind of a reception do you get in New York?
The same response I get anywhere. Real recognize real and it is what it is. Wherever I’m going, the street niggas fuck with me.
What’s your favorite part about New York?
The diversity, man, from the food to the cars to the clubs to the bitches. It’s the diversity.
It’s been a few months since Welcome to the Zoo dropped. Are you happy with how your debut album did?
Success to different people is different things. I’m straight. My status in the game is solidified as a real nigga and as a real artist in the game. I sold more ringtones than anybody on the label and more downloads than anybody on the label. I’m happy, man. I’m happy. For real, man, I could be selling dope or I could be in prison or I could be dead. I got two albums in the street and I’m putting a mixtape out. I’m working on a new DVD with a new situation. I’m great man. Thank God.
Did you expect to have the success that you did online?
No, I really didn’t. I didn’t predict that online shit, but that shit was real. That’s a blessing. It’s great.
Fans who went online to find music and read about music used to be called nerds. Do you think that’s changing now?
The way our society is built, anything different is wrong. Anything that you don’t understand is wrong. They’ll degrade you and try to knock you, but that’s what the whole world is going to. It’s really the trendsetters. It’s not the masses who start things. It’s the little guys and that’s what cranks it up. If everybody moved together there wouldn’t be no surprises.
Did your single “Tryin’ To Make A Jug” go as far as you wanted it to?
It really didn’t, but I didn’t record the song for that. It’s a trap song. It’s a hustler’s song. It’s not for the radio. It’s not for the clubs. It’s for the streets. It’s street. If you look at the video, it’s street. The whole song is about trying to make a jug. It’s about hustling. I wasn’t talking about nothing but work. I was just keeping it G. I got five or six, 10 more albums. It ain’t about making everything jump off your first year in the game. I solidified myself as a real ‘hood nigga. I keep it thorough everywhere I go. I’m in the streets and I was teaching people about the streets on “Tryin’ To Make A Jug”.
There’s another version of “Trying To Make A Jug” with Rick Ross on it. How come that didn’t make Welcome to the Zoo?
I don’t know. I really don’t know. A lot of rappers need help. You can’t solidify yourself as a legend if you got features all the time. I’m doing me.
How much longer do you want to push Welcome to the Zoo?
It’s not going to stop selling. Look at 8Ball and MJG’s first album. It never stopped selling. It’s a classic. I’m just going to move on. It’s going to keep on selling. It’s not a gimmicky album. It’s going to keep selling. That’s one of those albums that people will never stop buying. And if you don’t know it and I drop a sicker album that’s crazy, you’re going to have to go back and get Welcome to the Zoo.
Have you started working on your next album?
I’m already working on it. There’s no time for nothing. Life is short, man, and the world is small. I keep it moving.
How is the album coming?
It’s crazy. It’s dope. Everything I do is real. I’ve been around the United States four times and before I made my first album I had never left Atlanta. And I still haven’t been overseas yet. My whole shit is real. It’s not fabricated.
Are you looking to work with the same producers as you did on Welcome to the Zoo?
It’s not about the producer. It’s about finding good music. I got a new sound now and it’s a new year. I’ve really grown. I’m still into the same shit but I’m always looking for a fresher, newer sound. People want to hear my fresher, newer shit. I’m looking for all kinds of production. I’m in New York right now looking for production.
How’s the new Boyz N Da Hood album coming?
It is what it is, man. It’s a street group and it’s a street album. If you fuck with it, you do. If you don’t, you don’t. That’s what it is. This is straight gangsta and straight music. Right now, because of the state of hip-hop, a lot of money is put behind gimmicky shit, but it doesn’t last long.
Yung Joc had you on both of his singles off his album Hustlenomics. How is Joc helping your career?
Joc has a crossover appeal. Joc had already crossed over and a lot of people know him. For me, him being a label-mate, it was a good look for me. That was great exposure for me.
Where do you want to take your career in the next year?
The sky’s the limit, homie. I’m trying to do bigger songs and touch more people. Not different people, but more people. I love my fans and I need to reach out to more people. That’s what I have to do. I have to grind harder. Whatever comes my way, whatever, I’m a hustler, man.
Are you ever surprised by how quickly you broke into the mainstream?
Yeah. I really want to just thank the fans, man. It’s crazy. Bad Boy does their thing and it all comes together. I’m definitely blessed and the team is moving. I couldn’t find the right DJ and now I have the right DJ. I have great management with Violator. Bad Boy believes in me a little bit more and Atlantic believes in me a little bit more. It changed up.
What’s the next move for Gorilla Zoe?
I’m just working with Violator and Chris Lighty and Shaun. And I’m working on this next album and work on this mixtape and have everything take off.