D4L: Candyshop

By now you might have heard yourself humming – if not, flat out singing – the chart-climbing song by D4L, “Laffy Taffy”. The metaphoric reference is a favorite – but is it a bit push-pop? D4L frontman, Mookie B has his own opinions.

The rapper chimed in with AllHipHop.com to discuss the little known, but lengthy career of the group. From the affects of the single, to project housing, to the Down 4 Life movement… Mookie B is no airhead. Get with it, and get a closer look at a different side of Atlanta.

AllHipHop.com: So really, what does D4L stand for?

Mook B: D4L means Down For Life, which is basically the promise we gave to each other. We have been at this for more then a minute. We’ve seen groups come out, put out an album and break up all in one year – [and] sometimes faster than that. And unlike most groups, D4L is a movement.

AllHipHop.com: The Diplomats are a movement; G-Unit is a movement – explain…

Mook B: We all from different projects, not to mention projects that ain’t get along. How fly is it that we took a major negative and turned it into a positive. How many people can say they got warring projects to come together? People that would normally not speak unless it was top throw disrespect showing each other love. It ain’t all peaches but it is a start.

AllHipHop.com: Did you think “Laffy Taffy” would be the song that gave you national recognition?

Mook B: Yeah, because we knew God had something big planned for us. He led, we followed. We just needed to be patient. Quick and easy ain’t always the best way to get to where you want to be.

AllHipHop.com: Some may look at “Laffy Taffy” as a one-hit-wonder. It’s not your average song on the radio and fans can be fickle to say the least.

Mook B: Since we put God first, we not even worried about that, one-hit-wonder junk. We know this is our time, and we plan to use it wisely. We have a name for haters; we call them cheerleaders, because they are cheering us on to where we know we’re going to be anyway. How can we be a one-hit-wonder when we’ve crossed over to Pop?

AllHipHop.com: Why “Laffy Taffy?”

Mook B: We wanted to put out something sweet for the ladies. There are already enough songs calling them b*tches and hoes. we wanted to give then something different – something they could dance to. Plus, who don’t like something sweet every once and a while?

AllHipHop.com: How long did it take you to come up with the concept of the song?

Mook B: Man, I forget where we was, but Fabo sang this hook, and we was all like, “That could work.” We hit the studio and the song was recorded in 30 minutes. We grinded it out and made it happen.

AllHipHop.com: Is this the signature sound of D4L? Or does your music expand past that?

Mook B: We make universal music, baby. We’ve lived the street life. There are enough gangsta songs and albums out there for everybody. We making music that everybody can get down to. You want your moms, sisters, cousins, man, just everybody to be able to enjoy the music. We trying to hit all faces and all races.

AllHipHop.com: Hip-Hop is party music through and through. Do you label yourselves as Hip-Hop?

Mook B: Hip-Hop is a way of life. An expression and you should be free to express yourself however you want to. If more artists stop trying to divide music, and tried more to bridge the gap, I think it could bring people together. We made history in ATL; we were the first group to break 1,000 spins on the radio without a record deal.

AllHipHop.com: From that, on into today’s success, how has your life changed?

Mook B: Our families are really proud of us. Our mothers ain’t been proud of us in a long time. The streets call you when you don’t have anything better. And a lot of times when the streets call, the people come running. Yeah, you may be bringing money into the household, but how proud is your moms really when you had to destroy x many people to get it? It feels good to all of us to give back in a positive way.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think you’re role models?

Mook B: Hell yeah! You feel the pressure the minute you walk into a spot and people are singing your song, or telling you how much they like or appreciate your music. D4L wants people to see that no matter how bad it is, you can make it. Yeah we trying to get money. But we’re dreaming bigger then that. We don’t want any beefs, we want to live.

AllHipHop.com: Speaking of beefs…there was the situation with Dem Franchise Boyz…

Mook B: I’m glad you asked that. It’s been reported by people that we were taking claim for their success. I used to manage Franchise. I helped then when they were first getting on. I got they song to Coco Brother and that’s how “White Tee” got on the radio. D4L studio engineered and recorded the song, that was our part in the situation and that’s it. I wish them nothing but continued success. I’m proud of them.

AllHipHop.com: Another ATL group putting it down, right?

Mook B: Yeah. What most people don’t know and I ain’t trying to take nothing away from any other down south artist. We from the projects! Some rappers from Atlanta, true are from Atlanta, but they not from the projects.

AllHipHop.com: Like who?

Mook B: Like T.I. – much respect, is from around the projects. Like many artists, they may claim Atlanta or some city, and make millions. But we are one of few groups to make a way not only out of just one Atlanta project, but four different projects, and I think that’s saying something. People forget we been doing this for a long time.

AllHipHop.com: What can we expect on Down For Life?

Mook B: We got Too Short, much love to him for showing real love and not being fake. People promise you anything when they in front of the cameras or a crowd, but it be totally different when you trying to get them in the studio. Busta Rhymes [is on the] “Laffy Taffy Remix.” Besides that, everything is in house production. We did this all on our own. With a very small budget mind you. Even in that sense we’re saying something to all those labels out there. It ain’t about the money; it’s about the product an artist gives to his people.

AllHipHop.com: Where would you like to see the D4L movement in… let’s say four or five years?

Mook B: Everywhere…touching a little bit of everything. We wanna be like AllHipHop.com…always being real to Hip-Hop, and the people that live this music. Men, women, children. We want to touch generations and cultures for life. Man, if we can’t tell people anything else. We want them to know they are only one hit away from whatever you trying to do. Broaden your mind, put God first, and the rest will come. We living that plan, right now.

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