Star Energy Drinks might have a new soundtrack, according to Shop Boyz
member Rasheed Sheed Hightower. The Atlanta trios Party Like a Rock
Star caught the suburbs last month, and when it joins up with a
reported campaign from the Red Bull competitor, expect it to be the
draw to sip your way out of a slumber. As one of the biggest
singles of spring, the song, its video, and grassroots marketing
campaign allude to something that few people have admitted lately
urban kids love Rock culture. Before you pull out your Anthrax and
Public Enemy Bring the Noise cut, Sheed says its truly more about
the lifestyle than the guitar licks that has him rocking out.
Nonetheless, the rapper, who will soon deliver Rock Star Mentality,
struggles to name the lead singer of Nirvana. Whether or not thats
posturing in the eyes of some, is to be decided the lead single is
hot. Other acts agree too, and have made the record their own
versions of the record, from B.O.B. to Green City. Like Axl Rose in his
prime, Sheed ego trips over the copycats and discusses how this
three-year movement in the making is no accident. AllHipHop.com and
Sheed talk Shop, and get wild like Rock stars who smash guitars.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that its a misperception out there that urban and Black people dont listen to Rock music?
Sheed: I wouldnt say that. Let me get into it before we even get
started: with Party Like a Rock Star, were not trying to be Rock
stars; were not trying to do the whole Punk Rock thing. We just like
the way the Punk rockers live, so we expressed that in the song. We
like their way of life. Thats basically the concept of Party Like a
Rock Star. Were trying to encourage the way of life that they live
live freely, live life to the limit, hardcore. You understand what Im
AllHipHop.com: I do. But you have to admit, from the logo of the group
which is very Guns N Roses-esque, to the way youre dressing, to the
guitar in the single
Sheed: Uh huh. We tryin to get the vibe. Theres something in the Punk
Rock, from the drum-lines and the bass, the instruments, its something
that we felt was needed in our sound of Hip-Hop. Its a sound. We love
the energy in the Punk Rock music, and were trying to put Hip-Hop on
top of it.
AllHipHop.com: Do you own or listen to a lot of Rock music?
Sheed: Nah. I dont listen to or own much Rock music, but I really like
it a lot. Whats the boy who killed himself? The [Smells Like] Teen
AllHipHop.com: Kurt Cobain.
Sheed: Right. Im a real fan.
AllHipHop.com: Who are your rap influences?
Sheed: T.I. I like Jay-Z
AllHipHop.com: The usual suspects.
Sheed: Yeah. The usuals.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of artists are running with your song, whether
its Green Citys Like a Porn Star or B.O.B.s Chiefin Like a
Rasta. This happens periodically, like with Busta Rhymes New York
S**t last year this time. How do you feel about this?
Sheed: We understand that our songs hot, and that kind of stuff
happens. We aint trippin, you know? We knew it was comin. People
would be crazy not to talk over our song when they know its gonna be
Number One. We understand.
AllHipHop.com: Was this something that you had built up originally with On Deck Records before Universal picked it up?
Sheed: Yeah. Thats exactly how it happened. Weve been down with On
Deck Records, an independent label, for a three years. When Party Like
a Rock Star came, we knew we was gonna stay with On Deck. We could
have taken it all the way independent, and done it ourselves, or we
could get a major. Basically, thats what happened. Were signed to On
Deck and Universal gave us a publishing deal, and were glad it
AllHipHop.com: How old is the song then, has this been around for a year or something?
Sheed: Nah. We made the song in January.
AllHipHop.com: The record is getting a lot of burn on commercial radio
in several markets well outside of Atlanta. Do you think you could have
achieved that without that publishing deal with Universal?
Sheed: Um it wouldnt be either or. The majors, they get you on the
radio. A lot of this stuff, it takes for the artist to have to do it
themselves. Like I said, On Deck is responsible for a lot of this.
AllHipHop.com: Excuse my ignorance, but have the Shop Boyz released an
album before? In the South, it always gets blurry between mixtapes and
Sheed: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We got two mixtapes out: Its All Hood [Volumes 1 and 2], and we get an album out called I Get Money.
AllHipHop.com: Have you noticed a pickup in the sales of I Get Money since the exposure of the single?
Sheed: It was a street album. We never wanted to put it in the stores,
cause you cant go make somebody buy something that they know nothing
about. It was for tours. We made the album, and took em to the clubs.
People were actually tryin to buy our music when we wasnt even
sellin it. We just did it. People would go to record stores and say,
Yall got the Shop Boyz I Get Money
album? The record stores didnt. Theyd turn to us and say, We want
copies. Thats how we got our buzz. People would request our songs in
the club. We just blew. We been hot!
AllHipHop.com: A lot of critics are very skeptical of hook-based songs.
If you turn on the radio, youll inevitably hear Hueys Pop Lock it
Drop it, Lil Mamas Lip Gloss, and your single. I like your single,
and Ill say it. But how do you react to the critics?
Sheed: Umm okay those are just people who I dont want to say dont
understand how can I put this? People are going to say what they want
to say. Its just their personal opinions. If they want to be critics,
they can be critics. Some people love it! Music is about how you feel
and you makin what you want to make. I dont feel nothin about it. If
they talkin about it, I like that theyre talkin bout it! If youre
bein talked about, youre doing something right.
AllHipHop.com: Whats your strategy for longevity?
Sheed: Man, our plan is just to stay workin. A lot of artists, once
they get hot, they slip. They sit back, eat, and dont move. Thats how
you get forgotten about by your fans. Were trying to do with Jeezy
doin, and T.I. doin, and Jay-Z did, and Nas doin, and a lot of other
legends in Hip-Hop did, and thats stay consistent. Thats the key and
foundation. We dont slack on our work ethic. We do it for the money,
but we do it cause it sounds good too.