It’s been a while since we’ve had your music on HipHopGame. What have you been up to?
Just working on my music and trying to stay under the radar.
You had a good buzz going when you were working heavily with Bump J and then you disappeared. What happened?
Ah, man, I had an unfortunate situation where I was accused of kidnapping so I had to deal with the system for a minute. But it was minor setbacks for a major comeback. Everything worked out. I’m a stand-up dude. I’m saying that there was no way I could get out of the situation. Now I’m back out here.
Are you still rolling with the Goon Squad and Bump J?
Bump, that’s like my brother. It started with me and him as a team. The Goon Squad thing, it really went to a point where a lot of things was happening out in the streets and after I got a chance to sit back and look at it and talking to people, I just saw that it wasn’t a good situation for me as I come back hard. So I really just talked to Bump about it and it was just the movement went from being something that was positive to being something that was in the streets so heavy and I saw there was the opportunity that we could lose our lives to the federal system and I just didn’t agree with it.
On one hand people associate and recognize you with Bump J and the Goon Squad but on the other you need to stand on your own to be successful. Was leaving Goon Squad an easy decision for you to make?
Yeah. Once I weighed everything out, it was an easy decision for me to make. I’m in charge of my own destination. I’m a man. Whenever I see something that’s going to benefit me in the long run, I’m going to do it and if I see something that’s going to hurt me, I’m not going to do it. That’s like running into an alley with boxing gloves on when dudes got AK 47’s. That’s just something you don’t do. I saw there was danger there and I moved away. It don’t got nothing to do with me and Bump. That’s always going to be my brother. I just wasn’t a positive situation, especially knowing that this is what we want to do to feed our kids.
Will you still work with artists in Goon Squad like Bump?
I’m by myself as far as me doing what I do on a musical level but they’re my homies in the streets. I feel comfortable. As a matter of fact, Bump just got accused of something with the federal system, a bank robbery thing, which I really know he ain’t have nothing to do with. But it’s just like, I just talked to him a couple of days ago and we talked for awhile. He got his head up. He’s dealing with the situation. It’s just things we go through. But that’s my brother. And there’s people that started the Goon Squad movement with me and Bump and I love them too. So that don’t got nothing to do with it or our relationship on the streets. It’s just like a positive thing right now. There’s too much stuff going on behind it with the system.
What do you have to do to succeed in the game today?
I got a strong team behind me so I just stay focused and keep doing what I’m doing and try to outwork everybody else. Everything that you do, you only get out of it what you put in. I’m confident in what I’m doing right now so I’m just trying to stay focused and keep it moving.
You recently dropped The Clarification mixtape for free download. What inspired this project?
Music is just a form of expression of what you’re going through in your life. It’s really just an outlook on how I see things and where I come from. Who feels it knows. I’m from the gutter. I’m from the bottom so I represent the bottom anyway. It ain’t where you from it’s where you at. And wherever you have poverty, people have the same things and they might not deal with it the same way but I know that the people on the bottom will understand what I’m trying to do.
Why did you title your mixtape The Clarification?
Just a lot of things. There’s a lot of the things in a lot of the songs that will give you an understanding of what I’m all about. Even with me being where I’m from and representing what I do, I do a lot of things too that I really can’t rap. People expect me all the time to just talk about the drug game and the dope game but I believe hip-hop is more than that. I really can rhyme. I’m versatile. I feel like I need to put my product out there to clarify to the people that there really is more out there. I don’t just politic with the gutter. I’m around educated people too. I learn from them and see what they do and now I’m a part of that too. So I try to put different things out there just to let people see that I’m focused and that I can do different things.
What’s your place in Chicago hip-hop right now?
I’m just doing me, man. That ain’t up to me to decide. That’s up to the people. I don’t agree with just putting no title over my head. That’s up to the people to decide. I just do what I do. It’s going to be what it is. When the album comes out, it’s just going to do what it do and then you will be able to tell by how many people show up at the shows. The fans make you who you is and when we get to that point then we’ll see what it is. But in Chicago, I’m the voice of the streets right now. I come from it. I ain’t off no block. I come from the city of Chicago. I’m everywhere, even in places where people represent what I represent are not allowed to go. I go there and they open up and I’m welcome with open arms. I’m the voice of the streets right now.
How is your debut album coming?
Man, we’re just working on a lot of things. I’m going to keep putting the mixtapes out and we’re going to keep recording and putting songs to the side and then we’ll decide what we’re going to keep. You know, you have to keep up with the times and some people are so stuck in what they do. They ain’t a student. They don’t pay attention to the way music is shifting, especially with the way the internet is going. You just have to work through it and find out what’s best and how you’re going to be perceived to the public. You know, I just record and try to do a lot of different things and find out how can I be different from everybody else.
Would you rather go independent or with a major label at this point?
Well, I got a strong team behind me. We got our own label right now. We’re just working, man. We’re trying to work on this label deal and if that situation doesn’t present itself, that’s not just me. I don’t just decide. We work as a team to see the things that would help us in the long run because I plan to be here for awhile and we’re just going to make the decision together.
What’s the next move for Sly Polaroid?
Around Christmastime I should have another mixtape out soon. So we’re just keeping it moving. I don’t plan to just let one mixtape be out for three or four months. I’m going to show everybody that I’m working. If you’re a rapper, you better be working because if you don’t, I’m going to run a hundred steps in front of you.