While theres a while slew of artist coming out of the south these days, we havent had that one artist or group that just speaks for hip-hop in quite some time. Our generation has definitely had a few, most notably groups like Outkast, 8Ball & MJG, and UGK. These groups have managed to appeal to millions, while carving their own niche in Hip-Hop. Theyve made their own way without the gimmicks that weve seen in the past, and still see till this very day. The horizon was looking rather bleak for Hip-Hop in that respect, until the arrival of the newest breed.
Cadillac Don & J. Money, made popular as of recent by their hit single Peanut Butter & Jelly, hail from Mississippi. These brothers have come a long way in making a name for themselves. Actually, they made respectable buzz as budding soloists, but after multiple collaborations together, their friendship ultimately brought them together as a group. J. Money also spent some time as a member of The Crawford Boys, which he discusses in our interview.
He and Cadillac also offer a little insight on how things finally came together for them, the people they gave them the inspiration to even pursue this career, as well as a little advice for anyone else looking to jump into the business.
AllHipHop.com: Talk to me about your history and how the two of you came together in Mississippi?
Cadillac Don: J money was with the Crawford Boys, and I myself was teaching. We just started rapping together. The DJs were really feeling us.
AllHipHop.com: What made you want to get into rapping, being that you already had a job teaching?
Cadillac Don: Actually, Ive been doing it all my life. My brother was break dancing. I was a shorty then, but I was feeling it, so I just got into it.
AllHipHop.com: How much of a part did music play in your lives growing up in Mississippi? Were there any others around your area doing music on a big level?
J. Money: Music played a big part. David Banner was doing his thing for Mississippi. Atlanta was doing it big too. We got out there and worked ourselves.
AllHipHop.com: So tell me about the album
Cadillac Don: This album is real big. It deals with all kinds of situations, man. Its a one of a kind. Its got something for the young kids, something for the thugs, and you know, its something for everybody.
AllHipHop.com: Coming from the South, who were some of the people that you guys looked up to coming into this game?
J. Money: Wow, we looked up to people like 8Ball & MJG, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J .. We talked to Bun B a lot. We actually did the collaboration with him for the album. He was able to teach us a lot of things. People like them, they been working so hard and maintaining in this game. It motivates us in every way.
AllHipHop.com: So besides the feature with Bun B, who else have you guys had the chance to work with?
J. Money: Well, besides the big feature with Bun B: Lookin At Me, we did a joint with Paul Wall, and then a couple of upcoming artists. We got DJ Redman too. He laid the album down. Squid from P.O.P., and Rush & Moe.
AllHipHop.com: So what else will you be doing in the coming weeks and months?
Cadillac Don: Were just going to keep grinding, doing shows, signing autographs, and just stayin humble. Well be doing promo, and were still hollering at the DJs. Were doing a lot of networking.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the one thing that you want people to know?
Cadillac Don: That were still in these streets, and we aint going nowhere.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me, what was one of the hardest things about coming into this game? Where did you have the most difficulty?
J. Money: The hardest thing in the beginning was that we aint have the money to do the things that we wanted to do. Of course, we did what we had to do, sleeping in the car and whatnot. The DJs, they love our music now, but before, it was like we were doing everything ourselves. We needed the money to make things happen.
AllHipHop.com: Shed some advice for the up-and-comers of the game?
J. Money: Just know that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make it in this game. If you give up, youre throwing away the chance of making it. You have to find that gold and push it. People are always going to say that you should give up, but you have to prove them wrong. With us, we had a goal in mind, and we kept pushing. People told us that we couldnt do it, coming out of Mississippi. They really didnt expect it. Of course, were Black, so that was something else. Sometimes, its just the everyday things that can hold you back, but in the end, you have to let the good rise above the bad.