You’re bringing your group G’s Up out in your new group album Silence and Secrecy. Was it hard waiting this long to bring them out in a big way?
Yeah, it was kind of, you know…I had to sit back for awhile and go through some things because you know, some people are just ungrateful. So I wanted to make sure I picked the right place to make sure shit is great for me.
Who was being ungrateful to you?
Those names don’t need to be mentioned or named because they are who they are and they’re not a part of the situation. We’re all moving on to bigger and better things. The situation now is Young Vet and Pooh Bear. We have to get them out there. This is the beginning for G’s Up. I think these are two young rappers that definitely need some spotlight time.
Have you been working on your solo music as well?
I’ve been collab’ing and watching the whole scene. I’ve just been living life without the extras. I’ve just been staying on my grind. I’ve been realizing and taking a break and I started working and recording, just being around my hip-hop fam. And you know, it’s time to get it on. I noticed that there’s nobody like me out there. (laughs) There’s nobody like me.
Do you think you make better music when you take a break and then come back to it?
I can make music all the time but with my new situation now, I have a couple other little deals on the table and money is involved so I feel that I have a need to stay in the studio and make those songs. Now I can put them out. I don’t have to wait. I was on Warner Brothers and they wanted me making this other music at first and after the album did what it did, I was still making music and they wouldn’t put it out. What do they call it? Out of sight, out of mind. Out of their ears, you’re out of their mind. You can hear a motherfucker and still be good even if you don’t see him 24/7.
How happy are you to be out of the Warner Brothers deal?
I’m excited, man. I’m excited. I got a couple deals on the table I’m looking at. I’m just going to see which one is right. People are going to like my music. They gotta like my shit.
How did you get your release from Warner Brothers?
I was already cool with the people up there at Warner Brothers. He was saying that he didn’t want to put me in a situation where I just don’t come out or I get shelved. He wanted to let me do my thing. I can do a lot of stuff on my own. My manager, Kevin Clark, he got me out of it.
Would you ever sign with G-Unit today?
I mean, I did that on my last album. I did that on my last album. I mean, it’s cool.
Are you still in touch with 50 Cent today?
I mean, hey, it’s always open because we don’t have no beef or blood. I know he looked out for me and I’ll do whatever he needs for me to do. If he wants me to come out there and jump on something I’ll jump on it. That’s the big homie right now. Right now I’m doing my own thing. Scrappy’s the C.E.O.
You’re going independent with Good Hands Records for the G’s Up album. How are you liking the independent route so far?
It’s better than Warner Brothers. I’m getting more money out of it. It’s showing people that I’m a good businessman. Let’s make something happen. I can make some good music.
You’ve seen the major and independent game so far in your career. What do you think you’ll lean towards in the future?
It’ll definitely be technology. It’ll be the internet. What do they call it? The internet labels. The online labels. Whatever they call it, I’m gonna start doing that shit. I’m gonna get me a label on the internet and do all that shit. (laughs)
How much time do you spend online a day?
Probably like an hour. Probably like an hour. But if I get deep into that shit I’m sure I’ll do something crazy.
Silence and Secrecy is a well-rounded album. How important was that element to you?
Well, me, I just always liked to be well-rounded and to have a lot of stuff going on in the song. I grew up listening to 2Pac and Jay-Z. If you listen to them, certain songs they stay on subject the whole song and certain times they go off the subject. I wanted to make it like a movie.
What’s your favorite song off Silence and Secrecy?
It would be “Rubberbands.” And probably “Get Money.”
How do you work with Young Vet and Pooh Baby on songs?
Well, we actually get in there and sometimes I might have came up with the hook first and we get on that and sometimes I might go in there or I’ll let them go in there together and we just make a hit. We don’t think about making a hit. We just go in there and get in our own creative modes. I might ask them for their opinion about what they think and put all of what they think together in a song.
Can you establish Pooh Baby and Young Vet as solo artists?
That’s what I’m working on. I’m definitely going to be working on that. We just shot the video for “Cell Phone” and we’ll do another video for “Get Money” which is Young Vet featuring me and then we’ll shoot another video for “Rubberbands.” The videos and shows are going to show that they can do it on their own. I’m going to set up shows just for them. That’s why they got songs on the album that’s just them.
Telly is one of the producers who stood out on Silence and Secrecy. What’s his story?
He’s a young dude from Detroit. He’s 19 years-old and he understands the southern beat style. He understands how we get down here beat-wise. He flows with it. I like his style. He fits in down here. I fuck with him on that note and the young dude is a workaholic. He’s a good kid.
Your mixtape The Prince of the South got shut down. How did that happen?
I have no idea. I had nothing do with it but that’s why it got taken off the shelves, because I had nothing to do with it. I had nothing to do with that. I was like, ‘Wow.’ People were asking me if I had a new album coming out and I actually saw it and I hit the label up like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ and they shut it down.
On Lil’ Wayne’s Dedication III, he had a skit where he said he didn’t mind people leaking his music because it was a sign that it was hot. Do you take unauthorized leaks as a compliment?
Yeah, it’s a good sign but sometimes they don’t give me a chance to make it sound good. I’ll be like, ‘Damn!’ I did some songs to certain beats and the beats got switched around and what came out doesn’t even sound right. I work wherever I go and I guess the dude thought he could put something out.
How would you describe Atlanta’s hip-hop scene today?
We’re putting music out online and we’re having a good time. It ain’t all good but it ain’t all bad.