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Slim of 112: Flying Solo

It was the year 1996 when Q, Slim, Mike and Daron, who the world would come to know as 112, dropped their first single, “Only You.” I thought I told you that we won’t stop, was the recognized catch phrase from the remix of their hit single, featuring the Notorious B.I.G and Mase. The ATL natives began their journey to fame after being signed to the label owned by Hip-Hop mogul Sean “[then] Puffy [now] Diddy” Combs. “Peaches n’ Cream,” “Dance with Me,” “Cupid,” and “Anywhere” are just a few more of the memorable hits from the quartet that still bang loud in the clubs. Throughout the years, these Bad Boys achieved four platinum albums, eight chart- topping records and adorned two Grammy nods. After their brief hiatus, the frontman Slim, with the undeniable voice has emerged to embark on a new solo mission. Just in case you didn’t know, the high falsetto singer is now the first R&B artist signed to Asylum Records and is an eight time ASCAP Award recipient. Despite rumors swirling that Slim and his 112 groupmates are on shaky terms, all appears well as the crooner still calls them his brothers and pictures them on stage with him.Slim’s new single “So Fly” featuring Shawty Lo and Yung Joc is currently racing to the top of the charts. For this new project, Love’s Crazy, Slim aligned himself with a team of producers including Midnight Black, Designated Hitters, Polow Da Don and Sean Garrett among others. We had the chance to talk to Slim about his new CEO status, debut solo album, the rise of his hometown of Atlanta, and possibly signing Faith Evans. AllHipHop.com Alternatives: So tell us about your new home at Asylum Records.Slim: I love the system over here. The great thing about it is, I have my own label M3 and I did an incredible partnership with Asylum. We’ve worked hand in hand, everyone is like family. It’s really hot! AHHA: Since you brought up your company M3 Productions, can you tell us a little bit more about it?Slim: Basically what I’m doing right now is I’m trying to lay the foundation and get the wheels rolling, as far as the labels concerned. I’m also working with other artists; I’m in talks trying to complete the deal with Faith Evans, how hot is that? I have another artists, a 19 year-old rapper name Deezo. I found that he’s one of the best 19 year-olds that I’ve heard rap. I also have a group out there in the Bay Area, they’re called Ivy League. I love this group because they’re in touch with fashion and Hip-Hop, they remind me of the Kanye West, Pharrell and Lupe. They rap about a lot things other than the block; it’s like a breath of fresh air.AHHA: So far what has been the most difficult part about being a CEO?Slim: The cons are when I’m accounting, my brother or one of my staff members come to me and remind me that I’m working with a budget. They’ll say, “You know good and well you’re not Diddy, so you can’t do this right here.” You definitely have to recognize restraints as far as what you do with certain projects; I have to be economically sound. I have to make the best judgment and the best moves for the label. AHHA: So what are the great things that come along with that title?Slim: The pros are, you know everything – nothing can slip past you, and you have a better sense of pride when it’s coming from your own camp. AHHA: Why did you make the decision to come out as a solo act?Slim: I already have a brand from working with 112 and we’ve sold millions and millions of records. I have a very distinctive sound, so it’s not that hard to get things back rolling. So that’s good right there; I got something working. So all I have to do is make sure that I come out with a hot song, I’m blessed to say that my first single is doing incredibly well. This is a really big blessing right here. AHHA: When you’re performing, what does it feel like to have the spotlight totally on you? Slim: The first time I was nervous, oh my god! When you’re used to looking back and you have three other guys, your brothers and now it’s like oh man they’re really not here. So in my mind, I have them behind me, but my staff makes everything very simple at M3. As long as I like the music and the fans are right there with me it’s all love, but I tell you in my mind they’re there. [laughs]AHHA: What was the process like when you were choosing producers that you wanted to work with?Slim: Well there was chemistry with a few producers. I’m not going to front; I was feeling a little jealous because sometimes I feel producers give the kind of tracks that jump off in the club better to Hip-Hop artists. When you say it’s an R&B cat they start slowing the tempo down, making the music all soft. [laughs] These producers out now, these cats have their own swag; you have to come into their world too.  AHHA: Your album is titled Love’s Crazy. Who are some of the appearances that are featured on this project?Slim: Some of the artists are Diddy, Faith Evans, Yung Berg, I have Big Boi from Outkast, and I’m doing a record with Ryan Leslie. For the “So Fly” remix in the past 24 hours I’ve gotten phone calls from T.I., Game, it’s a lot of stuff going on, of course you know Jadakiss, Shawty Lo and Yung Joc already on the record. This is really a big movement right here, the great thing about it is they really feel the record. When a song really affects someone and they say, I want to be apart of the movement, to me that better than any more you could ever give me.AHHA: I mean really, with this song you’ll be in the club feeling real fly. It will put you in a different element! So was that the effect you were looking for?Slim: That’s what I’m talking about! That’s what I did; I feel that everybody needs an anthem. When I say so fly, I’m not talking about materialistic things, being so fly starts in the mind and stops in the heart. When you wake up on the ride side of the bed in the morning, everything just already seems fly. It’s like everyday is your birthday, everyday is Friday and that’s the feeling that I want everyone to get. When you hear that record right there, it just generally makes you feel good.  AHHA: How different will the songs be on your album, from the style of music and topics you sang about in 112?Slim: I believe they’ll definitely be touching around the same areas; it’s just that I have my own swag to the situation. On a lot of 112 records we did a lot of begging to come back, I did you wrong and I messed up. Not on this record, that’s not my swag!I want everyone to understand the music, but my personality. I want everyone to get to know who Slim is. I highlight the situation, rather than the problem. When you see something bumpy coming in the road, a lot of times you’ll say I’ll just tackle it when it when it gets here. No, no, no when you see it, you stop it before it gets there. The album is going to sound very positive, realistically speaking with all of the crazy stuff going on look at our economy, jobs, and the recession. Music is supposed to be therapeutic, it’s supposed to make you feel good and it’s universal. When you make positive music, that music will stick with you forever. AHHA: Over the years, how have you seen yourself grow as an artist?Slim: Well it’s a blessing to see how music has evolved. In ‘96 when we came out, the golden years, that was like the golden era of music. Where we didn’t have the Pro-Tools, the technology, now you can sing in a vocoder and anybody could sing. To go from there and in the last 12 years and still be relevant, people still feeling you and everyone is growing along with you. It’s like I evolved, I was 16 years old when we came out. I still feel the same way about love, it feels the same way. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you just learn more things and so there’s a lot more to talk about. Now I could word my words a little bit better, but I feel like everyone could relate, young and old.AHHA: Being in the game for so many years now, what does it feel like to see the birth of the Atlanta music scene?Slim: It’s amazing; you know how you graduate from a high school class? Your class might have been kind of small, but as the school grows the classes gets bigger. You go back and you look at the school and you’re like that’s my school right there. When we first came out and tried to get our deal, we really didn’t have too many outlets. You had LaFace, you did have So So Def and you had Dallas Austin. Now there are so many labels, so many avenues. It’s incredible just watching people that I was friends with, looking at T.I. knowing I grew up with him and Tiny. We were friends before the record deals and boom now he’s the “King of The South.” That’s amazing! All of them from TLC, Escape, Jagged Edge, I can’t even call everybody. You can’t help but be very proud, the city, not only the artists, but the city in general because we’ve been holding it down!

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