Many believed that B.G. could never outdo the success he experienced in 1999. Bling, Bling was a global anthem that even had the Oxford Dictionary heads bobbin, as The Hot Boys became a means for B.G. to permeate the charts, year round. By the new millennium however, B.G. left Cash Money, the rapper battled drug addiction, and his music suffered without that Mannie Fresh knock.
Second chances are possible. After an appearance on T.I.s King, Atlantic Records liked what they heard, offering B.G. his first major label contract in five years. T.I. has stayed on to executive produce the New Orleans rappers work, so as it would seem, 2007 looks good for B.G. He is starting off the New Year by releasing The Chopper City Boyz, his first artists. They consist of B.G.s brother, Hakeem Hakizzle, V.L. Mike, Sniper, and Gar. As the group puts the finishing touches on We Got This, the team talks about the past, beef, and how just like B.G.s career, New Orleans is coming back together.
AllHipHop.com: When you were getting ready to sign with a new record label there were a lot of rumors floating around that you would be signing with G-Unit. What happened to that situation?
B.G.: It was just an option that I had amongst many options. At the end of the day, its just an option I choose not to go with.
AllHipHop.com: How did the work with T.I. come about on this new album?
B.G.: Yeah, T.I. is executive producing this album. Me and T.I. first and foremost have a relationship of respect, just real n***a to real n***a. With my Atlantic situation, he really stepped in and sped the whole process up. Its just a young n***a with a vision from New Orleans and another young n***a with the same vision from Atlanta. We just decided to come together and get money, you know.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel comfortable talking about the loss of Babys sister?
B.G.: You know, he lost his sister and I really feel bad for him. My condolences go out to him and his whole family.
AllHipHop.com: Are you still in contact with any of the other Hot Boys?
B.G.: Were all cool. I mean, I dont have any relationships to be bragging on; me and Turk cool, me and Fresh cool, me and—
AllHipHop.com: — So in terms of Baby and Lil Wayne, there is no beef between you guys?
B.G.: I dont have anything bad to say about them. I say we just keep it moving. It is what it is.
AllHipHop.com: Gar, You were one of the first people to work with B.G. after he left Cash Money, right?
Gar: Yeah, straight like that; me and Hakeem.
AllHipHop.com: How did the group come about?
Gar: Well it came about after B.G. left Cash Money. He was beginning to form his own label and he wanted to push Hakeem. Hakeem was gonna be the first artist up. I guess he started seeing a vision of something bigger and he wanted to form a group. Thats how the Chopper City Boys came about and things started evolving.
Hakeem: Weve been artists since we were little kids. Weve been rapping since grade school. We always talked about how when we got older we would form our own label and just get it started. We talked about it and it happened.
Gar: Thats how the whole thing came about. We were just hitting the road, grinding, doing show after. Hakeem was doing his own thing as a solo artist and I used to go on the road with him as a hype man, or whatever. I just had the lyrical skill and he respected a n***as heart. We just got together and things started forming, and then Sniper came around and things just started bumping-
Hakeem: Then Mike came and picked it on up.
AllHipHop.com: All of you were around when B.G. was with Cash Money. What have you learned from his situation that you can apply to your own careers?
Gar: I learned, pretty much, to have your business in order. Stay true to yourself and everything else will fall into place. Just grind hard. I dont know all of what happened in B.G. and Cash Moneys situation because I wasnt involved, but I always say that you learn from every situation. So overall, I would just say stay true to yourself because you cant keep it real with another motherf**ka unless youre true with yourself.
AllHipHop.com: Is everyone still in New Orleans?
Gar: Me and Sniper are in New Orleans right now. Hakeem is in Detroit, and V.L. Mike is in Atlanta.
AllHipHop.com: Katrina spread a lot of New Orleans residents throughout the rest of the nation. How has that affected to New Orleans rap scene?
B.G.: Honestly, there were artists out here before the hurricane and there are artists out here after the hurricane. The hurricane washed up a whole .I mean it just means if you were focused before then, it made you focus even harder so that you can move forward. At the end of the day, this [rap] is one of the only outlets that a lot of young Black males got. It isnt guaranteed, but it is guaranteed. You just got to get in where you fit in.
Gar: Right now, its wide open. We really only have B.G., Lil Wayne, and Juvenile as the major artists coming out of New Orleans, so I feel its wide open for the new artist to bring out their sound.
Hakeem: Right now Im just looking for the Chopper City Boys. Were all featured on B.Gs album and mixtapes so I feel like were about to make it happen. Since the hurricane, I feel like were the ones who are making it happen. Were the hottest thing smoking.
V.L. Mike: Theyve had other groups come out but people havent seen the Chopper City Boys. Were nothing but that New Orleans stuff and were gonna give you the best product. Plus, I got the street cred to back it up, so it is what it is.
AllHipHop.com: What kind of work are you guys doing to help rebuild the city?
V.L. Mike: We giving back. Were did a Chopper City Christmas where we gave away toys to the displaced children in New Orleans.
Gar: And were doing that before the album even drops. And the more that we earn, the more were gonna give back. This isnt a publicity stunt. This is not a promotional thing. This is from the heart because were trying to help hold up the city. You got people out there that just talk about helping, but were out here right now.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the state of the city right now?
V.L. Mike: Right now the city is just under construction. Weve been out there a lot helping out with the construction, but were also focused on the music. We make contributions in the construction and helping people get their houses back in order. Soon, the city is gonna be back. Once the city is all the way back, and I promise you that it will be all the way back, Ima feel real good about that. Right now were just focused on rebuilding the city and putting out this album.
AllHipHop.com: What can we expect to hear on the new album?
V.L. Mike: The album is called We Got This and you can expect to hear nothing but the truth on wax. It should be coming out February 27, and well be starting the promo tour in soon. We got something for the ladies, we got some Gar bangers, and we got a single produced by David Banner. Its just a hell of a single. If you heard that last Heart of the Streets album that B.G. put out, then youll know what kind of sound were putting out there. On this album, everything is family oriented except for the David Banner single.
AllHipHop.com: Whats your take on critics complaints that the South is commercializing the music scene?
Gar: Look, no disrespect, but its just the Souths time right now. Its been in the North, its been in the East, its been in the West, and now its just in the South. If you really know and follow this rap game, then you know that everybody gets their chance to shine.