Slim Thug and The Boss Hogg Outlawz: Dues Paid

Houston isn’t folding anytime soon. Proudly reppin’ the South and showcasing their mainstream appeal, Slim Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz follow up their 2007 Serve & Collect debut with Back By Blockular Demand (Serve & Collect 2), an album that still preserves the Outlawz street-value style. “We make the rules in the streets,” says de facto crew leader Slim Thug. “We do what we wanna do. Twenty fours hours a day.” The boss man and his posse of MCs (Killa Kyleon, PJ Tha Rap Hustla, Sir Daily, Chris Ward, J-Dawg, and Young Black) talk about the new record, upcoming solo projects, working for a major label, and why Hip-Hop is hurting. So, tell us about this new album?Killa Kyleon: It’s our second record showcasing the whole group, and the first actual Serve and Collect which we got a lot of good reviews on it – it was basically for our region; we had done the record for our region. This go around is more to show that we can go beyond our region and make a lot more mainstream records and showcase our talents a little bit more for ourselves concept-wise, lyric-wise, and content. Boss Hogg Outlawz f/ Ray J “Keep It Playa” Is it hard getting six MCs on the record and giving everyone enough face time?Killa Kyleon: We six rappers, when get out on the floor, s**t, there ain’t much room left on the mother f**king floor. That’s how we do it we put six out on every song. And you know, the way we work it’s like we all motivate each other. If Young Black be bulls**ttin’ around or something and he taking too long, he ain’t on the song. You wanna be on more songs, then you gotta be working for it. PJ Tha Rap Hustla: We got a lot of mixtapes we do and they call us into the studio, “Hey, come do your flow for this and that,” and you miss that and the CD gets wrapped up and you didn’t get to make whatever it is that you wanted to do, then it’s on you. So it’s like, you know, I ain’t show up and I ain’t on that thing, well you can’t sit back and wait on a motherf**ker, n***a wanna leave a group, then he can leave. They ain’t happy they can leave, you know, it’s just strictly business, man, we just getting to the money. Ain’t no feelings involved; we don’t need more on our shoulder. We a team we got a problem we gonna address it – we don’t need emotions and all of that. If you ain’t happy speak up on it and say whatever it is.

“…The whole game changed, not just Houston, the record industry went down a little bit, and my personal situation I was at Interscope/Geffen and they fired their whole staff and I had to get reacquainted with everybody.” —Slim Thug Houston was front and center two or three years ago, what has changed since?Slim Thug: The whole change is that we’re all signed to major deals, man, and you’ll notice that first time we came around it was good because they were letting us do what we were doing. They were just following our lead because they didn’t know s**t about what was up; they just seen we had a hell of a buzz about us, and they just put the machine behind and pushed. On the second time around, we’ve got deals now. So everyone wanna put their input in it and, you know, they wanna do what they wanna do and stuff like that. And not to mention, that the whole game changed, not just Houston, the record industry went down a little bit, and my personal situation I was at Interscope-Geffen and they fired their whole staff and I had to get reacquainted with everybody. So it was a lot of stuff like that happening in the city. And I think that really hurt us. Killa Kyleon: At the time when Houston came to the forefront they were diggin’ what we were doing because it was fresh at the time, but at the same time, when you feel something fresh and new being just a business they still kinda skeptical on taking chances with the type of music we were doing. They were really into the music, but what really ended up hurting us was they wouldn’t let any of the guys work together. They were too scared of one stepping outside of the other that I think not knowing it was really everybody coming together which made the machine push. And now if you look at movements that’s going on, like the whole Florida movement, the Atlanta movement, they didn’t really allow our movement to go on because we couldn’t work with each other, that’s what slowed the movement. Is that a difference you’ve seen working as an independent group and then being part of a major label?Killa Kyleon: It’s a big difference that I’ve seen. I was signed to a major for four years behind my boss and I wasn’t really able just because they were complications with his records it didn’t allow me to get heard because they wanted to get past his look first in order to get to me. I had a budget and everything; the money was there, they just weren’t ready to move forward. And that’s the thing, they roll the dice a lot; they do a lot of gambling but they’re scared. Being an independent, we don’t give a damn. We just gonna get out there and we’re gonna get that look. We’re gonna get out there and work extra hard and make sure that we’re in control of our look. We gonna fail and succeed on our own instead of failing and succeeding on their behalf because they’re really not willing to take the chance. What did you think of the Ozone Awards?J-Dawg: We loved them. We got good looks. I like all the performers. We liked that fact that the awards even exist. You know, that they giving people who really not heard, as far as mainstream, giving them a good look and people who paid a lot of dues in the game, who got a lot of respect in the game give them what they deserve. With all the work they put in, Ozone gives us props. Are you still signed to Star Trak as a solo artist and what’s your relationship with Pharrell like?Slim Thug: I was never directly signed to Star Trak; I [was] always signed to Interscope-Geffen and it was like, when I got over there, Jimmy Lovine’s whole formula is to put the new artist with a big producer and let it blow up like that. So that’s what he came up with me and Pharrell, we did a few records together. So you know, it got leaked, a lot of the records got leaked when I was gonna put the album out – like nine months before it came out. So we had to scramble for more songs. So me and P just got into the studio and got into doing a lot more records. We weren’t supposed to have that many records on my albums, but ended up doing a lot of records on my album…doing a majority of it and put the Star Trak stamp on that, the production deal. He had so many beats on that so that’s how that formed. He said, “Alright, I’ll just co-sign that” and, you know, say Star Trak just to give it that look. Well me and P, we’re still cool and he’s still my boy and everything. I still talk to him; it’s all good.

“If you ain’t talking about girls shaking their ass or your song ain’t about dancing or something for the kids, the radio ain’t gonna play it. If you ain’t talking about the same thing, they ain’t gonna try to play your video on BET.” —Slim Thug What are your thoughts on the current state of Hip-Hop?J-Dawg: Me personally, just to be part of the Hip-Hop game, you know, I ain’t got no complaints. Throughout all the sales and being in a recession, it seems like everything ain’t the way it was, but I think it can get better. I don’t always look at the bad about the situation, I look at it like God blessed you with the good, you gonna get the bad, too. Slim Thug: I think that it’s messed up right now. It’s messed up because they try to censor us too much, man, like this radio s**t. Like if you ain’t talking about girls shaking their ass or your song ain’t about dancing or something for the kids, the radio ain’t gonna play it. If you ain’t talking about the same thing, they ain’t gonna try to play your video on BET. I’ve been on the other side of it, when you gotta talk to other people, you know I’m saying, so I see a lot of that. That’s what I don’t like about it; I don’t like how everyone’s trying to censor [what] artist are doing and make us be role models. When a person write a book they write a book they way they want it, and if you don’t like, you don’t like it, don’t buy it. And it should be like that when we do our music. Everyone with the right sound should be able to be on BET, not cussin’ or anything like that, but as far as the type of songs we wanna do, and the people wanna hear, they should play it. And with that being said, with the radio not doing it and BET and MTV and all these different places not playing our videos or making us change it or if they don’t like certain kinds of songs because they feel like it’s too violent of whatever, you know back when Ice Cube started having videos with guns and s**t, it was the greatest time for Hip-Hop, and now we’re just being censored too much. Boss Hogg Outlawz “Ridin Wit No Ceiling” After this project, will you all put our individuals?Slim Thug: Definitely, this is gonna set everybody’s up. We don’t give a f**k if you – we want you to definitely go purchase the album – whether you go to the store [or] get it from iTunes, just go through and listen to a few records. If you f**k with it buy it, if you don’t, don’t. If you ain’t got money or the opportunity, then get it on bootleg, I don’t give a damn. The whole thing is listen to the album; everybody listen to the album – there’s six different artists on there, I’m sure you gonna like a few of them. At least three of them. I just want everybody to listen to the album and be a fan of one of the artists, and you know, get ready for their solo albums. And we just gonna take it from there.

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