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Collardgreen and Lil’ Ru: South Carolina’s Chosen Few

While the South has recently dominated

Hip-Hop, South Carolina has been slept on more than Serta mattresses.

As the only Southern state without an artist signed to a major label,

South Carolina has been waiting on its chance to join the Southern

movement since rappers started making it cool to be country. But, the

state may have found its remedy for it’s narcolepsy. Two Columbia,

South Carolina rappers, Collardgreen and Lil’ Ru, have flirted with

industry majors. Lil’ Ru was an Elektra Records artist, but found

himself label-less after it merged with Atlantic Records in 2004.

Collardgreen, through the buzz of his regional hit “Everybody Looking,” has recently garnered attention from some majors in his own rite.

Collardgreen

and Lil’ Ru have ascended themselves to the upper echelon of South

Carolina rappers by continuously flooding the streets with their Hustle Hard mixtape

series and mastering the formula for radio ready singles. Both rappers

are regulars on local radio station airwaves with songs like “Will Destroy,”

“Watch My Shoes,” (Ft. Mr. Flip), and one of SC’s biggest hits in 2005, “Hood Hard” all finding their way into radio rotation.

With

this tandem making noise just loud enough for the labels to take the

state seriously, South Carolina’s wait for major artists may be over

sooner rather later. AllHipHop.com caught up with Lil’ Ru and

Collardgreen to talk about why South Carolina has been overlooked, what

the duo can offer the rap game, and what makes them two of SC’s “chosen

few.”

AllHipHop.com:

With the South dominating Hip-Hop, South Carolina is the only Southern

state without a major artist signed. Why is South Carolina being

overlooked? And what is the music scene like here in South Carolina?

Lil’

Ru: It’s the fucking game around here to me, its that a lot of niggas

ain’t as serious as, you know what I mean, you should be, you see what

I’m sayin’. Like niggas in Texas and all them niggas like Paul Wall,

Mike Jones, them niggas had a movement started, you know what I mean. I

think all them niggas was on the same page as being serious, you see

what I’m sayin’. Niggas around here ain’t got their game together or

nothing. You don’t see niggas with no wrapped vans, you don’t see

niggas with nothing. You might see a nigga with ten CDs, okay, I got my

CDs pressed up.

Collardgreen: He writing on it, got writing on the cover.

Lil’ Ru: These niggas ain’t got their whole business plan together.

Collardgreen: And then people who doing the music, who can make [the] decisions, they’re not coming here anyway.

Lil’

Ru: And these niggas ain’t supporting, that’s it. That’s a whole

‘nother area of the game. Niggas around here ain’t even supporting each

other. It’s all about, “I’mma be this label, you gon’ be this label, we

wanna get on first.”

Collardgreen:

And people like that, people in Texas, I mean, their people was just

behind them so hard. Me and Ru we getting that love right now. It’s a

movement as far as the radio, the people, streets. They starting to see

it now, that’s why they calling. And they on us hard.

AllHipHop.com: Well, that leads into my next question, where do you see yourselves at as far as the rap scene in South Carolina?

Collardgreen: I think we are one of the people, we are one of the chosen few.

Lil’ Ru: Yeah, I’ll say that.

Collardgreen:

The reason I say one of the chosen few is, we gon’ get it crackin’ to

the point where other labels and everybody else are going to be like we

gotta go down here and see what other kinds of people are down here.

AllHipHop.com: When you see Lil’ Ru, you see Collardgreen, so how did the two of you hook up? And what kept you all so close?

Lil’

Ru: I met that nigga, I did a fucking show at Main Event [nightclub],

dog. My homeboy helped me put the show together, but he was fucking

with Green down here and shit. I was like, “Man, who the fuck these

niggas is, country niggas. They all on stage and shit.” I’m playing the

nigga dirty. I ain’t heard the nigga music or nothing, I’m just

treating the nigga crazy. But I met the nigga on some, you know what

I’m sayin’, the nigga came to me like, “What’s up man, I’m

Collardgreen.” You know how the nigga do, everyday shit. But I met the

nigga, kicked it with the nigga, the nigga vibe was so trill it been on

ever since. We dropped that [mixtape] Truth and the Answer shit, ever

since then they could call it a game. I’m trying to tell you.

Collardgreen: We like brothers forever.

AllHipHop.com: How long ago was that?

Lil’ Ru: Shit, about five, six years ago.

AllHipHop.com: So what kept you all rolling tight?

Lil’

Ru: Just understanding each other, dog, and respecting each other and

that’s it, dog. Understanding each other. I know he do his shit, I do

my shit. And don’t let no haters come between us and shit. We just

understand the business. We know what we trying to do, pointblank. And

love, we got love for each other, and we trying to get to the same goal

so it’s a wrap. Fuck the rap shit, if we both stopped rappin’ today we

still gon’ be homies.

Collardgreen: And we got the whole Headhunter Records thing going on [the] same label.

AllHipHop.com: So you’re both signed to Headhunter right now?

Lil’ Ru: We both own the shit like, me, him, and 9 Mil own the shit together. So we trying to do our own shit like that.

Collardgreen: We businessmen. We ain’t just rappers.

Lil’ Ru: You can’t just be rappers. You’re never gon’ get paid being a rapper, dog, straight up.

AllHipHop.com:

Ru, at one time you were signed with Elektra, so explain that situation

to me, how you got signed to Elektra and what happened at Elektra?

Lil’

Ru: That shit there come from fucking nothing really, just a nigga that

could rap, nigga hearing me rap. That wasn’t no grind, no type of…I

had already been grinding but, I didn’t get signed off my grind. I got

signed off of a nigga bringing me in the door saying, “Oh, this nigga

tight. Hear this nigga rap.” I start rapping, boom, nigga signed me

like that. Bitch thought I was cute, boom, I got signed just like that.

Fucking with Angie Stone, she brought me up there. She always had in

her mind to get me a deal, but we didn’t think the shit was gonna go

that easily. Got a little deal for that shit, boom. Shit just got, I

don’t know, niggas just got lazy like, they wasn’t really pressing the

situation, like “Oh, get this nigga album out. Get him working on his

shit.” We was just like we got this money. Shit wasn’t clicking or

nothing. So shit, they had that little merge, boom, that was it. After

they had their joint with Atlantic they dropped me after that. It was a

wrap after that, I hadn’t been fucking with Angie or nothing after

that.

AllHipHop.com: Green, what were your feelings from seeing Lil’ Ru get dropped from his label?

Collardgreen:

Good. We was good, we need to keep grinding out. It really wasn’t no

feelings. The main thing, we trying to achieve a goal and we gon’ keep

on working. We can’t dwell on nothing, nothing that happened messed up.

Lil’

Ru: For me, dog, that shit was a good situation being dropped, you know

what I’m sayin’. Cause I wasn’t ready for that. Man, I wasn’t even

ready for that. I was doing red carpets and shit, and I ain’t even know

how to really have my whole swagger together like I was ‘posed to you,

you see what I’m sayin’.

AllHipHop.com: Both of you have had local success as solo artists, have you all talked about doing an album together?

Collardgreen: One day.

Lil’

Ru: Yeah, that’s in the works. We definitely gon’ do that. But shit,

right now we trying to man, make this label thing crack. We got Mr.

Flip, we got nigga, then we got a whole group. Me, Flip, Green are the

S.C.G.s. So if it do be a group, that’ll be the group album that’s gon’

come out.

AllHipHop.com: Why not pursue it together as a group?

Collardgreen: We was thinking ‘bout that.

Lil’

Ru: I’m kinda greedy though, I ain’t gon’ lie. I don’t want him sharing

my money. I don’t want Collardgreen getting this check for the show. I

want all my money here nigga. $30,000 for the show, give me $30,000 for

my pocket. That’s why I don’t want to do no group. Jagged Edge, how

many albums these niggas done done? They still ain’t to the top to

where they need to be at. That group shit don’t work, dog. Look at D4L,

Fabo, nowhere to be found, that shit don’t work. That group shit break

you up.

Collardgreen:

I don’t know man, we trying to think right now. Cause we was solo

artists before. That’s why we got our own weight. That’s why when we

combine it’s much more crazier, it’s much more sicker. When they see us

on stage, they don’t even understand…

Lil’ Ru: That’s the reason we did it together like that, to make niggas be like that.

Collardgreen: So if you don’t like me, you gon’ like him. You don’t like him, you gon’ like Flip.

Lil’

Ru: You gon’ like something in that team, dog. Cause we got all that

shit that ever been buzzin’ around here on one squad. Niggas in trouble.

AllHipHop.com: Describe Collardgreen’s style.

Collardgreen:

Collardgreen is the world. I’m waking up I might feel bad one day, I

might be mad one day. Shit, I might just sit down and take me a shot of

liquor, I might wanna go party. I be chillin’, copasetic. I might see a

girl, I might wanna holla at a girl. Like 360, I’m a normal person.

Don’t mess with me, I ain’t gon’ mess with you. That’s my style. When

you hear it, my mix CD, Hustle Hard No Lunch Breaks, when you hear the

mix CD you’re going to hear everything. You’re going to hear from my

life, growing up ‘bout what was going on. To some party shit to okay

nigga don’t fuck wit’ me I ain’t gon’ fuck with you. Everything I do,

I’m a good illustrator. You know Jesus was a good illustrator, I’m a

good illustrator through my music. When you hear it, you’ll get a sense

of who I am. And when you get a sense of who I am, it’s a part of me in

everybody. And you gon’ relate to it, and that’s what’s going make you

like me.

Lil’ Ru: Oooh, you’ve been rehearsing. You been rehearsing on me on the low? [Both laughing].

AllHipHop.com: Lil’ Ru, same question?

Lil’

Ru: My style? My style nigga, I don’t got no style. You can’t put me

with oh this nigga is a crunk rapper or this nigga is this type of

rapper cause, nigga, you might hear me sangin’ on my shit. You might

hear me motherfuckin’ sounding like an up North way, cause I’m just

versatile. You can’t even describe it, I can’t describe it my damn self

that’s what fucks me up.

Collardgreen: But we can talk about anything and make it a hit.

Lil’ Ru: I just got so many versatilities its crazy, dog. Like fast, slow, whatever, versatilities.

Collardgreen:

And a hit is a song everyone loves, and everyone wants to hear. I mean,

the radio know that. We done put hits out.

Lil’

Ru: That’s why we get on the radio niggas be like, “Oh why the fuck,

nah, nah, nah.” Cause you know, we make the right fucking music,

pointblank. And the right timing, you feel me. Like that “Everybody

Looking.” Nigga, we don’t do all that shit, all that Joc’n’ shit, all

that shit. But it’s the perfect time, a snap song ok, if niggas wit’

it. Green came up with a perfect new song that fit right in that shit.

Now we got some other shit jumpin’ off right now. It’s just about

timing. When you hear that…you can’t always make [songs] about, “I

got that dope, I got that dope.” Niggas, in the FEDs taking 30 niggas

to jail. Niggas don’t wanna hear about no dope right now. Ok, let me

smile a bit now. Let me shine in the Chevy, let me talk about some

jewelry or something. I don’t wanna hear nothing about no keys, nigga.

That shit crazy. It’s about timing dog, making good music at the right

time.

AllHipHop.com: Do you feel your styles are a representation of what South Carolina’s sound is?

Lil’

Ru: There is not South Carolina sound. See I done been in Philly for 7,

8 months, Cali, all that shit, hearing niggas music, local music or

whatever. But this shit to me got like, I can put it to like a

Tennessee like [Young] Buck [and] them, you know what I’m sayin’. It’s

more gutter than a motherfucker like this is what you’ll do to a nigga.

Like you’ll shoot a nigga in the face with a AK and all kinds of crazy

shit like that. That shit is like gutter, niggas don’t be on that shit

like everywhere else. Niggas be on someone oh we doing this we got this

car, but this shit is gutter. I feel this shit is way more gutter than

a lot of niggas. Shit more real, I guess that’s cause I’m here, I don’t

know. I guess cause I’m from this bitch but, this shit just seems so

real. I don’t know man, a lot of other local niggas music seems real to

me, dog. A lot of this shit is fools now, that’s a lot of bullshit

round here, but it’s a lot of niggas that I’m fuckin’ wit’.

AllHipHop.com: Collardgreen, your new single “Everybody Looking”

a major label expressed interest in that song, can you explain that

situation to me? And have they talked about signing you as an artist?

Collardgreen:

I don’t know pause it, I need to talk to my publicist. We had a lot of

people calling us. And we’ve been working on something real big. They

want the song, and we’ve just trying to work something out right now,

man. They on it all day, everyday, we talk to them regularly. But it’s

going to be real big for South Carolina, man.

AllHipHop.com: Collardgreen, what do you do that makes it seem like you are everywhere?

Collardgreen:

I just be everywhere. If I hear something, me and Ru, we know a whole

bunch of people throughout the whole state. Only thing I need is one

call, I’m such and such and they got this going on.

Lil’

Ru: His [grind is] more sicker than mine, I can’t lie. I be like, “Oh,

hell no. Fuck that, I ain’t going to that shit.” That nigga be like,

“Fuck that, I’m going. I’m up in that motherfucker.” He go to every

function like, I ain’t gon’ bullshit you, this nigga had a show along

time ago at somebody’s house, nigga. On the front yard, on the porch, I

was like, “Hell no Green. I do too much, I can’t rap for these niggas.”

Green jumped on the porch, rapping for these niggas on the porch. And

that show that nigga grind, he don’t give a fuck, he just trying to get

that shit out there.

Collardgreen:

I’m just down to ride. Anything somebody want me to do, I’m doing it. I

don’t care. Something going on in Charleston, I’m there. Let’s go,

that’s what you gotta do.

AllHipHop: Lil’ Ru you were featured on the song “Hood Hard”

which was a big song in SC in ’05, what has that song done for your

career? And can you tell me why Jelly Tight has been nowhere to be

found?

Lil’

Ru: Really that shit kept me alive. That shit was like a float for me,

that shit kept me floating. I was like, “What I’mma do. I don’t know

the next shit I’mma drop.” I had a lot of music and shit.

Collardgreen: I think it kept his fans loving him.

Lil’

Ru: So when I hooked up with them niggas, my nigga TD [Da Don] was

already fuckin’ with them niggas hard, doing mix CD songs with them

niggas. Them niggas was like, “Oh, that nigga Lil’ Ru, he would sound

good on this song,” you feel me. I came over there, heard the beat and

shit, the niggas already had the hook done. I was like this shit is

crazy. I jumped on that shit. At that moment I was in a zone like

niggas be sleeping on me. Niggas don’t really think I can spit that

shit like that. I went in there, boom, smashed that shit like that.

Freestyled that shit off the top of the dome, it was over. That “Hood

Hard” done but me in a nice position. I got niggas where I want them

at, dog, it’s on now. As far as Jelly Tight, you know what it is, the

FEDs is vicious out here. The police is a motherfuckin’ dirty dog. You

can’t be selling keys and trying to be a rapper at the same time, that

shit do not work, dog. I’m a witness from How You Love That, watching

my niggas go down. It’s just the police, you already know what it is

wit’ them niggas, man. They still out here grindin’ though, like Venom,

he still out here doing tracks. Donna and Cali, I fuck wit’ them

bitches too, but it’s the FEDs, you already know. G-Boy, fucking Jelly

Tight, How You Love That, everybody gone, it’s all about them FEDs. You

can not sell crack and be a rapper, dog, straight up.

AllHipHop.com: On your mixtape, you worked with Rich Boy on the song “Shinnin’ On ‘Em” how do you hook up with him?

Lil’

Ru: Fucking [DJ] D-Tec. Tec hooked that up. Nah, I gave my nigga Polo

Da Don one of my CDs, the nigga been on that shit hard. So shit, he did

the shit with Rich Boy, got Rich Boy the deal supposedly, I don’t know.

I just hooked the shit up through Polo, bam, we went to the “A”

together, did the shit. I fuck wit’ that nigga right there, that’s my

nigga.

AllHipHop.com: Have you worked with any other artists, or do you have plans to work with any other artists or producers?

Lil’

Ru: Man, I done did shit with Jeff Johnson, nigga did the Jamie Foxx

“Unpredictable” beat to that shit. He did Trick Daddy’s shit.

Collardgreen: The whole new South movement, the young boys, we a part of it. The Young Cashs, the Rich Boys, Suga Suga.

Lil’ Ru: All that shit there, we part of that new movement in the South, niggas already know us, we all cool.

AllHipHop.com: Lil’ Ru, what did you learn from your Elektra experience that will help you in your career now?

Lil’

Ru: Everything that shines ain’t gold. Motherfuckin’, stay on your

grind dog, don’t let nothing knock you the fuck off. Be motherfuckin’

focused about every situation you get into. Don’t be taking shit for

granted. I took that situation as “Oh, I’m signed nigga, that’s it. I

don’t gotta worry about nothing. I told niggas I was gon’ get signed.”

And never think in the back of my mind that these niggas could drop me

any day. That’s how dumb to the game I was. You could get kicked the

fuck off just like that. I was 16-years-old. Just being dumb to the

game, damn nigga you can get dropped just like that. You don’t even

gotta spit a rap, you don’t even gotta be garbage. Something happen to

the business and you can be out of here. That’s just me not being on my

shit, I learned to be on my motherfuckin’ grind.

AllHipHop.com: Green, what do you think you could offer the game?

Collardgreen:

I can just offer a new sound, just everything. Everything that these

boys Nelly done done, came killed it giving the people what they want.

Ludacris. People that make hits, make good albums and good music, and

represent for my state. I’m bringing South Carolina to the game.

AllHipHop.com: Lil’ Ru, same question?

Lil’

Ru: What I’m bringing to the game? I’mma problem to the game, I ain’t

even gon’ lie. I’mma be honest. Niggas ain’t gon’ never see no nigga

like this again like straight up dog, I don’t give a fuck. There ain’t

no nigga that ever been on, I ain’t never heard no nigga like me, dog,

that can do all the shit I do as far as music wise. Like coming up with

shit, as fast as I come up with shit, how I do, on the spot, shows,

swagger, all that shit. I’m just ‘bout to be a problem.

Collardgreen: And our shows. When the world see our shows, performance on stage they gon’ be amazed.

Lil’ Ru: Yeah, it’s over.

Collardgreen:

People don’t even do that no more, I don’t know what they be doing on

stage. We gon’ bring the energy back to this thing, they gon’ love us

to death, dog. Tell MTV to go head get the show ready.

AllHipHop: Do you all have anything else that I didn’t ask you about that you want to say?

Lil’ Ru: My motherfuckin’ album is 1000 Grams that’s all I want to say, nigga. My album’s coming out. My album is 1000 Grams, my mix CD is 500 Grams.

I ain’t talking about motherfuckin’ dope, nigga. I’m talking about dope

on the album but it’s just letting niggas know my style is straight

drop, nigga. You drop 28, you definitely gonna get 28 all the time. You

gonna get double every time you fuck with this. My style it is what it

is, dog. Album 1000 Grams that’s all I got to say.

Collardgreen: Album Dinner Served, mix CD in the streets Hustle Hard No Lunch Breaks, produced by 9 Million, hosted by 9 Million.

Lil’ Ru: Headhunter Records, that’s the movement.

Visit Collardgreen’s Myspacepage at www.myspace.com/collardgreen

Visit Lil’ Ru’s Myspacepage at www.myspace.com/lilruhoodhard

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