good. I'm standing outside in the great A. Hopefully the weather's as
good up there as it is here. What's good, HipHopGame?
we get into your music, how do you want to introduce yourself to everyone
just getting familiar with you?
Southwest Atlanta. I'm one of the top-sellers down here in this region.
I really just love the music. I'm very lyrical with the content. What
I'm doing in Atlanta is the same thing I learned from Chamillionaire and
Slim Thug and Mike Jones, how they built up their underground following
and got their underground game going. I'm doing that same thing in Georgia
with my own little twist to it.
you say your following is right now?
we're looking at a fan-base anywhere between 60 to 75,000, which is good
because I'm not all over BET and places like that. You get your buzz being
on a few mixtapes. Once DJ's see you on other tapes, they put you on theirs.
That helps when I drop my album, people will recognize. When I'm not in
school I'm back in my hood chilling with everybody.
happy with how your new album Underground Music came out?
I think it's a very different project. I'm freestyling and going off the
top of my head on my mixtapes, but on the album, I just wanted to try
something different. I just wanted to give everyone the underground insight
on the album. I didn't want to be the big gangster or the big drug dealer
on the album. I just wanted to bring a different view. I just wanted to
show how I hustle and why the streets support me.
your goals for Underground Music?
for the project, surprisingly, I wouldn't say it's to sell a whole bunch
of records. I want to sell a lot, but the top goal is to put out a quality
project. I want people to be able to relate and be able to understand
the southern underground. I would like to believe it exists. We have Magno
and the Grit Boys, both top-sellers in Houston. I want to show you the
hustle of the underground. I also got the chance to work with some pretty
cool producers. I want to get their music out there and see how people
respond. I want to see how people feel about the quality and the music
of the project.
your inspiration for the song "Self-Made"?
is basically stating how I had to do a lot of things myself. It goes back
to a time when I was sixteen or seventeen in Washington High School in
Atlanta. Ludacris came up to the school when he was DJ'ing. He told me
I definitely had skills and what I chose to do with my skills was entirely
up to me. He told me I could either rap for my friends or make moves on
my own. He told me if I made moves on my own, other people would take
notice. That song is about what I had to do and it's talking about the
DJ's who supported me. If you keep building a buzz more and more and more,
more people will support you.
been the most important thing you've done to build your buzz?
I would say
speak the truth. I'm not afraid to say, "Hey, I don't have a lot
of money" or "Hey, I'm in school right now." I'm trying
to show people you can be where I'm from and go to school and not be afraid
to go to school. I'm not afraid to say my car stops on the road sometimes.
I'm not going to say I have all the dough in the world. I think when they
heard me rapping about regular stuff, they think I'm crazy. They'll be
like, "You're crazy talking about your LeSabre breaking down on the
interstate." I go to the record stores and talk to the owners and
I go to the clubs and talk to everybody. I'm very humble about things
and I think that keeps your buzz up and keeps people wanting to work with
made a lot of positive moves in rap. A lot of people probably ask you,
"Why bother even going to school?"
A lot of
people do ask me that. The thing is, honestly, I've been rapping since
I was six years-old. I recorded my first song when I was six years-old.
I can't remember a time when I wasn't rapping and going to school. The
only difference is now I'm getting paid to do it. I really felt like I
had an opportunity to go to school. A lot of people in my area don't have
that opportunity. I feel like I have a responsibility to myself and to
my people to go to school and graduate. It's probably more important for
me to do well in school than for me to make it in the rap game. People
from my hood like Outkast, T.I., and Ludacris have made it in rap. I want
to show people you can do it another way as well. That's why I feel like
being in school and doing this is very important to me and my community.
a lot of pipe dreams out there but only one in a million will make it.
right. I try to tell people that. I never tell anybody to not go after
your dreams, because that's what life's about, but you have to be prepared
for anything that may come along the way. Don't put down one thing and
reach for another. The music business is very crazy and very political.
It's probably one of the most political things in life. You never know
what's going to happen next. You have to have something going at the other
end so you don't just fall flat on your face.
you do if rapping didn't work out?
If I'm not
rapping five years from now for whatever reason, I see so much stuff.
I could be an A&R for a label, I could do marketing for a label, I
could be a mixshow specialist for a record label, I could work for a record
label, I could be a teacher, I could be a coach, or I could be writing
for HipHopGame. I've positioned myself to just have all the options in
the world just in case the music doesn't work. I'll still be able to drop
independent albums at the same time.
to have a lot of options right now. What do you want to do in the rap
game right now?
things are looking better than ever. I've benefited from being in Atlanta.
You catch a lot of majors' attention. I've worked with some major artists.
With the Underground album, some sales, and some radio play, I and the
people around me have positioned ourselves to get a good major deal. There
are certain things we look for in a deal. You want a lot of things brought
to the table so you can be sure you will be successful. You don't want
to just jump into a situation. You want to make sure you can be successful
in the situation. I think our hard work is paying off and we're looking
at our options.
in a hurry to sign?
I was before.
I didn't want to just be an underground rapper. The one thing I've always
refused to do is a demo or a talent show. I'll do a show and send you
a CD, but I'm not sending you my demo. I will not do talent shows. I'll
do shows, but no talent shows. The reason I say that is because at this
point, if you're the number-one seller in Atlanta, and you go to a talent
show, what do you really have to gain. If I do not win a freestyle or
talent show, I just hurt everything I just worked for. You could go to
a place where a guy has all his friends there and he could win. If I win
a talent show or freestyle battle, they'll say, "That's Lil Weavah,
he has a song with T.I." Sometimes you have to look at a situation
and see what you can gain from it.
I'm not in a rush. Being in the music industry, you see people sign deals
and you see, "Wow, that might not be the best deal." Anybody
from Wendy Day to Chris Young who used to be at Jive or Jason Jeter who
manages T.I., has given me a lot of insight in the industry and how things
happen. I wouldn't say I'm rushing right now, but I'm trying to get myself
in a position to get what I want.
of artists from Paul Wall to Young Dro support you. How did you make that
It all started
with the mixtapes. When people see the streets support you, more artists
are willing to work with you. They'll see you have a buzz and people like
your music. If they like your music, it's easy to make that happen.
won Best Freestyle Award at the Southern Entertainment Awards. How did
It means a lot of people are taking notice to what you're doing. I'm proud
of that. I didn't go promoting it. I have a hard time promoting myself
for awards. I didn't send out one email about it. People told me they
would vote for me and I said, "Thank you." I really do appreciate
the streets supporting me, but I find it hard sending out email blasts
asking people to vote for me. I just want the listener to get something
out of the music.
Shakur, 2Pac's sister, was your mentor in high school. What did you learn
humble. Of course anytime she talks, you listen because that's 2Pac's
sister. She just has the knowledge of just going through a lot of different
things. She had a program called Kings on the Rise. We would talk about
everyday situations and how to respond to adversities in life. Working
with her was very good for me growing up.
the next move for Lil Weavah?
two months, this is when it gets very hectic. We have this album dropping
June 13. I have a mixtape The Streets 4 dropping early July. Then I have
the fifth volume dropping soon. I'm working on a New York Mobb mixtape.
That will get a lot of play up north. I'm also working on a radio campaign
for my single "Cuzz We Poe." That's starting to get a lot of
spins down here. I think with the album being out there and the buzz in
the streets and the album being nationwide, because people can order it
off CDUniverse or Amazon, right now I'm just working on the radio. You
have the mixtapes, the album, and now the radio campaign. Hopefully that
expands in the next few weeks.
you want to say to everyone?
everyone supporting me. I really do. It really starts with y'all. If y'all
didn't like the music, then I wouldn't be able to have the success I've
had. I'm not a gangster, I'm not going to try to play a gangster. I'm
going to tell you about my life whether it's good or bad. We have a buzz
in the streets and we're going to keep it in the streets and take it worldwide.
And I really appreciate this interview.