Forgive the impending pun, but rappers often get a bad rap. Sometimes deservedly: [insert name of MC with inept law abiding skills here]. Other times, the said artist may boast an image that endears him to his hood friendly fans while simultaneously rising the ire of his, lets say sophisticated, detractors. Such is the case with Plies, who wipes clean any ignorant rapper prejudices with every conversation he has. While the Fort Myers, FL rappers 2007 debut, The Real Testament, garnered success with radio, club and ringtone hits like Shawty and Hypnotized, Plies simultaneously maintained his block cred with cuts like the acerbic 100 Years. Not one to sit back on his heels, Plies is prepping to release his sophomore act, Definition of Real, less than a year later in June. While the demeanor portrayed on celluloid is brazen thugbesides those cuts for the ladies that sell most of the records, of coursebusiness wise, the brother is on some sophisticated ish. Think of the dichotomy as the best of both worlds. AllHipHop.com: It’s been less than a year since you dropped your first album. Why drop another album so soon?Plies: For me bruh I feel like it’s important to continue to try to feed the streets. I had so much success on my first major national debut in terms of the The Real Testament certified gold album, selling two million ringtones out the gate The first artist to have seven ringtones in the Top 200.I felt like to come back and have two albums in a ten month window it was not only a blessing but a testament to show I can live on over here at Atlantic Records. So from there on I didn’t want to take no time off, I wanted to stay consistent and busy and as relevant as I possibly can. I feel like the June 10th look is a good look to bounce back so quick. AllHipHop.com: So are you always recording or did you take time out and say let me get back in and knock out another album?Plies: It’s always important for me to not step up a time block to actually try to finish an album or complete an album. In this kind of situation I always try to continue to record on the mood I’m currently feelin and what I’m currently going through in my life so for me, like I said, to be blessed man and have such a huge successful situation the first time and come back so quick I do understand how blessed I am.AllHipHop.com: Now what made you drop a two-part single with Bust It Baby Part 1 and Bust It Baby Part 2?Plies: Actually I just wanted to try to deliver something new to the game that I personally had never seen before so I wanted my next first look in terms of introduction to the new album to be a solo look by myself and drop “Bust It Baby” [Part 1]; that’s a monster in the street. Tempo-wise it’s not as radio friendly as “Bust it Baby Part 2 with Ne-Yo. I feel like it’s a good situation we have a no-brainer record and “Bust It Baby Part 2 has been the fastest responding record of my career.AllHipHop.com: Your commercial radio records do real well but on the album you’re you got plenty of street and mixtape oriented track, is that something you go into while recording realizing like alright let me hit all area.Plies: For me I always make music that’s true to who I am as a person and as an artist. The “Shawty” record that I had number one in the country, you know 14,000 plus record spins to come back with the “Hypnotized” record that was a 10,000 plus spin records. And I have the Ne-Yo record that is probably the fastest moving record in Atlantic Record history as far as a two week window for me those records aren’t even records I personally ride around and listen to because I don’t try to have too much sense and try to be a brainiac about the situation. I just try to make music that caters to who I am as a person and let people around me tell me what should personally work on the radio side. I can’t go to the radio with a “100 Years” type record. I do understand that as well, but the kind of have a formula that I have going on right now people around me support my situation. I don’t take it lightly man.
“The game is built to build you up and tear you down, so I’m aware of that.”
AllHipHop.com: Now on your records you drop “cracker” and “n****a” often at times, being in the business that you’re in has that ever come up as people saying, Damn you say that a lot ?Plies: I get a lot of backlash from it; particularly from the whole cracker term which was used on the “100 Years” record. That was kind of like shock value record, but for me on that record I said n***a twice as many times as I said cracker. I guess that was a new term to people in terms of accepting that but for me bruh, this game itself is a pro and con type situation like the bigger you become in this game the game is kind of built to build you up and tear you down, I’m aware of that. So with me knowing that, I take it as what it’s worth and at the end of the day I try to do it my way. I can’t ask for no more than that.AllHipHop.com: What’s up with this prison tour I heard about?Plies: I had an opportunity to once again do shows with some of the most influential people in this business man and have Don Diva reach out to me when they heard I was putting together a whole prison tour situation. We kind of got sidetracked and backtracked a little bit because we had a couple of institutions that previously committed to us that revoked their agreements with us. They felt my level of stardom, if you want to call it that, personally didn’t coincide with what they were trying to do in terms of the facility. But it’s something that’s super important to me to know the love I got on the inside and know that people are at the worst point in their lives man that’s locked up and I can come for an hour or two hours and blow life into their situation and take their mind off of what they’re currently experiencing. [It] is more than worth it for me.Right now we got seven institutions that got confirmed, I already did two of them. We’re just trying to continue to expand and get the most out of the situation [they were allowed to get out of it]. We’re definitely trying to keep people committed to what they promised us awhile ago.AllHipHop.com: With that being said how is your brother Big Gates doing?Plies: It’s a blessed situation man for me to be a part of a person…I never had this much respect for any individual as much as I have for my brother. I talk to him daily and go see him three or four times a week and he continues to express to me how proud he is of me being able to maintain a million dollar business with it being crippled a little bit with him being locked up. At the end of the day man to see I’m definitely making him proud. It somehow makes it seem like it’s all worth it.AllHipHop.com: Now for the record, how did you get your name?Plies: The term that we used to use in Fort Myers, where I’m from, were street cats that were getting their share of money. There was a partner of mine that used to go around callin n****s plies and it just snowballed and everywhere you went n****s was callin each other plies and getting their share of street money. So for me man to have the pleasure of getting into this whole rap thing and have a name that embraced where I was from it was something I definitely didn’t take lightly. I guess I kind of won the name off of forfeit so it was a good situation to be a part of because it’s always a reflection of where I’m from.AllHipHop.com: Okay, calling people pliers like the tool?Plies: Yeah, it was just a term like I said it was a term they were using usually. We was calling each other that, n****s in terms of the streets and trying to get their street paper. So it was a real good look for me in terms of having a name that embodied the city that I always tried my best to represent.AllHipHop.com: And what’s up with this new video you got coming Who Hotter Than Me?Plies: Its one of my personal favorite records off my sophomore album Definition of Real. It’s just kind of a swag type record and for me to have the people who didn’t have an opportunity to listen to my album they personally feel like it ‘s going to be one of the biggest street monsters out this year.[Plies “Who Hotter Than Me” Video]I’m trying to do something real special this time. I’m shooting a video for every song off my album. We’re setting up something with the radio stations where we’re renting out a theater and letting the consumers and the DJ’s in that market come and see what we’ll be delivering on June 10th. I’m real real excited about it. It’s a lot of work but at the end of the day I feel that it’s well worth it.
ignorance that you can display in this business, the more people like
to categorize you as being certified and being real. But,
it’s being able to turn that light switch on and off.”
AlHlipHop.com: Who are some of the producers on the album?Plies: I kept it in house as much as possible. The single [“Bust It Baby”] was something that was done by J.R. Rotem a guy that I got the utmost respect for. We’ve got the World Music Group which is a company founded by my brother and one of my point people in Alex Martin. We kept a lot of the production like we did the last time, under the umbrella. Financially there are certain moves that you have to make and not sacrifice the good quality of the music so I felt like we pulled it off in a major way this time too.AllHipHop.com: Just from speaking to you now and all the interviews I’ve read of you it’s obvious you’re a brother that’s well spoken and that’s about business. But people are still going to stereotype you as just another ignorant rapper. With that being said how do you deal with it?Plies: I take it for what it’s worth bruh. To be a part of the culture that we’re a part of man and even the outside of our culture but primarily focused on our culture, like it’s a sad part. For me I’m more than proud to be a part of what I’m from. But at the same time the more ignorant that you can become or the more ignorance that you can display in this business, the more people like to categorize you as being certified and being real. But for me to sit back in this game and watch the people who succeeded at a major level, it’s being able to turn that light switch on and off. I can conduct an interview with you and do it from an ignorant prospective or I can conduct an interview with you and treat what I do as a business and I treat it as such. I don’t walk into a corporate office and come in there and approach it as if I’m talking to one of my n****s on the corner. I do understand that it’s a business and I treat it that way. If I’m doing radio I don’t walk in their smelling like reefer smoke neither, you know what I’m sayin? I tried to take my way through life and it didn’t get me far. And I try to be respectful in life and it got me farther than I ever been before. So whether it’s an interview with yourself now or having the opportunity to be a face of my culture, I know it’s important to prove a lot people wrong. I have people tell me at radio stations, Damn your music sound like this but you talk like you’re well educated. I never want to be the dude who’s scared of information. I don’t never want to be that because I’ve seen that the more information that you got the more some n****s try to use it against you and call you lame or whatever the case may be. But when you’re comfortable with yourself as who you are as a person I think that’s the most important thing.