t appears coincidental that Gillie rhymes with Philly.
However, the former Major Figgas front-man has represented for his hometown heavily over the last half-decade. Though hes currently without a deal, and never achieved reputable sales, the street-savvy spitter believes he has a legion of fans over six-digits in the 215 area code alone. With a beef brewing, and a buzz building, those numbers may be tested.
Since parting ways with Cash Money Records over two years ago, things appeared peaceful between label and artist. Gillie even did shows with Lil Wayne. But bad blood came spilling out recently when Wayne aired out the Philly hood-star on a mixtape track. With Gillie openly claiming penmanship to joints from Waynes work, perhaps that was a motive. Maybe the red-button was pushed from the Williams brothers. Gillie reflects on the reason for the beef, and shares why, with a DJ Drama tape coming, Philly may be getting a facelift.
AllHipHop.com: I have to touch on the subject that has websites and message boards jumping, that is the Lil Wayne situation. This isnt the first time this topic has been talked about. Why has it come to a head again now?
Gillie: I am sitting back and listening and I am hearing him shouting me out on a mixtape and I knew [Baby] had to have put him up to this, because I am cool with him. All through my stint there, I did nothing but help him so why would he throw a shot at me when all I had tried to do was help him. So I reached out to some peoples that were on the road with him and they were supposed to reach back to me, but they never got back.
AllHipHop.com: So he has responded to you since you heard the track?
Gillie: No, as when I first heard it, there had to have been about four people who had called me, [and said], Yo I thought you and Wayne were cool, I thought this was your man.
AllHipHop.com: Did you have issues with him when you left Cash Money?
Gillie: Everything was cool. I was cool with him, B.G., Mannie Fresh, Mikkey. I am still cool with everybody, so when I first got a call it went in one ear and out the other. Then, I get another call, [saying] He sounds like he dissing you on this record son. Then I get a third call, [and so on].
AllHipHop.com: In your estimations/beliefs, did he have a reason to come at you like this?
Gillie: There is no reason whatsoever. It kind of f**ked me up as I was left thinking, Why would he do that? I had nothing but love for the kid. I knew him since he was 21-years-old. To me, I gave him a lot of game.
AllHipHop.com: When you ghostwrite though, what is the situation? Do you sign confidentiality contracts? I mean, I have had this conversation before with people where they will never tell you who they write for but are open in admitting to writing
Gillie: A lot of times you have different types of scenarios. You know you have some where you just get a flat rate and they want to try and keep their publishing, which at the end of the day nothing is going to Wayne, everything is going to Stunna. Stunna just wanted to come up with a number; you know where you are just comfortable. It is kind of like work for hire. The one thing that people dont really get is Gillie doesnt have a record out, but when you see him he has close to two hundred thousand dollars worth of jewelry, he is driving just like you driving, he has a house just like you with six bedrooms, you know they know. I am the only artist that can throw a party in Philadelphia with 3,000 people there. Any time I throw an event, it is something big. You know my last event was at The [MTV] Real World house, I have another party coming up at The African-American Museum. So everything I do is done on a different level.
AllHipHop.com: I mean I am sure because people know you are unsigned, this may be a way of garnering attention, how do you respond to that?
Gillie: At the end of the day Mel, I dont need the attention. For example, with no album out, you know Wayne has asked to borrow my jewelry for a video. I have never had an album, I have never been on tour, I dont hustle, you feel what I am saying. First of all how can a guy go on national television and wear someone elses necklace, you know that necklace was for my company, it represented me.
AllHipHop.com: So where do you think this animosity has come from, do you think it has come from Baby and Slim?
Gillie: I mean, it has to be something because I have never thrown a cheap shot at Wayne. You know the whole city of Philadelphia came up under me, they know what my flow is, they know I broke Lil Wayne, but not one time did I ever think he would come out and do this.
AllHipHop.com: How long is it now since you walked away from Cash Money?
Gillie: It was about three or four months after [The] Carter came out.
AllHipHop.com: Was there animosity when you left Cash Money?
Gillie: Well I mean I flew down and first of all I told Stunna I wasnt happy in the situation.
AllHipHop.com: Why werent you happy in the situation, what were the problems?
Gillie: Because at the end of the day I didnt go to Cash Money to stay in the background, I went to Cash Money to bring them stuff, you know to bring a whole movement. What I didnt understand about Stunna is that he would brag to people in the industry, like Clue, like Jazze Pha, I got Gillie, but yet he didnt want to put me on the front line because of his insecurities and his selfishness. All because he wanted to be the number one rapper but he didnt have the star qualities to be a Juvenile, he didnt have the star qualities to be a Gillie. But at the end of the day, if I come out and sell five million copies, three million, one million or even 500,000 at the end of the day, you are still the boss. You know no matter what I sold he would still be respected as a boss. That is what he couldnt figure out. Whenever someone came out with a hot record, Stunna had to be on it. Any video that was being shot; you know he had to be up on it. You know I am not saying anything new here, you know nothing Juvenile hasnt told you.
AllHipHop.com: If this is coming from them, why do you think it has come about now?
Gillie: I think it is more or less an issue with Baby, I have thrown shots at Baby and none of the s**t I have thrown has been false.
AllHipHop.com: Out of the whole situation, what is it that bothers you the most?
Gillie: The thing that bothers me the most is that Wayne didnt reach back out to me, I thought he was real. I know him, I know he never been no street n***a, you know and at the end of the day, that isnt what makes you real whether you been in the streets or not because I have friends that keep it real and they straight out the suburbs, they just real n***as and they keep it real. You know you got an issue with me Wayne, you know me, you been to my city, you seen how I ride, you seen how my city respects me. You know he would get to the hotel; I would have two cars of guys waiting for him to take him to the hotel. So when he would get to the hotel, one of them would give him the phone and say, Gillie, and I would be like, Just making sure you got in okay, and he would be like, Thats love Gillie. That is the type of love I show you when you come to my city.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think he is just a pawn in all this?
Gillie: It just doesnt make sense. You know you mess with Trina and yet she used to mess with Baby, how could you play with me when I know all this? I mean is he really feeling himself this much? Then he would come at me. You know my management team said this was an opportunity; I am so real that I dont really look at this as an opportunity. If it was meant to me to go to war, then that is what will happen.
AllHipHop.com: How important has radio been in your resurgence as you get a lot of love from the Philly stations?
Gillie: I have to give a shout out to Power 99 and 100.3 because both of them show me love, one thing I can say about them is they always dug me from day-one, I always built mine from the ground up. You know I have been had the tri-state area on fire. I aint never stop, you know I am always going to be able to do shows here. This will never stop. I always have music that is better than what is out. You know I can sell 100,000 units underground.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think it is hard to get a buzz beyond your hometown nowadays?
Gillie: I think you have to go a little further to get a buzz coming out of Philly, because the right face hasnt represented for Philadelphia yet. For example, if you are coming out as a new artist, no disrespect to any of the artists that have come out of Philly, what I am saying is they dont have the streets around them. I control the streets, and I feel like I am the heart and soul of them because no one else in Philadelphia can do the things I do.
AllHipHop.com: The Major Figgas Yeah Thats Us was a big track in the late 90s and that could possibly be when hooks became the priority. Had the label pushed you better do you think your success would have been a lot different?
Gillie: You know we had the biggest rap single in the country. We were getting 700 spins worldwide. You know, we were riding off an underground street buzz. We never really had no major push. Warner Brothers then is a lot different to Warner Bros now, you know now they have Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles, they are the guys in the game that know how to work records and then Warner Brothers just wasnt able to do what they can now. You know you just have to learn form your mistakes and keep it moving. One thing about me, I was the best at keeping it moving. I had three different deals at the same time, I was a solo artist on Ruffhouse, then my company Major Figgas was on Ruff Nation/Warner Brothers, and then there was the situation over at Interscope. One thing about us is that we are able to put in the work to get to where we want to get to but I feel that I have put so much hustle in that really God is blessing me. You know I am putting the work and everything is falling into my lap right now. I have a Gangsta Grillz coming out with DJ Drama.
AllHipHop.com: Are you going to retaliate to Lil Wayne?
Gillie: I have something cocked and loaded, I just know that if I do this, it is going to hurt, it is going to be more than just a freestyle diss. You know it might be a freestyle diss to us, but to him everything I am saying is true. I just want to know how he is going to explain it.