B.G. & Chopper City Boyz: Concrete Rock

After leaving the label that gave popular culture such phrases as “drop it like it’s hot” and “bling, bling” New Orleans rapper B.G. was counted out. Many people thought that without his fellow Hot Boys and Cash Money’s clout, the New Orleans native would never be able to repeat or surpass any of his past success. After signing a multi-album deal with Warner Brothers to distribute his Chopper City record label, B.G. gained a new life. After the successful release of B.G. & Chopper City Boyz’ independent debut album, We Got This, B.G., along with fellow Chopper City Boyz Snipe and Gar, are preparing to take the Chopper City movement to the next level with the September 16th release of their new Chopper City/Asylum album Life in the Concrete Jungle. Oh yeah, did we mention a Hoy Boys reunion?AllHipHop.com: Given your history you probably had access to hundreds of aspiring rappers and even artists that are already in the game. What is it about these two men that made you want to form the group with them?B.G.: I chose them because I saw hunger in them. I saw something different about both of them and they wanted it. They wanted it and I wanted it. I had just left Cash Money and started the Chopper City label and they wanted to jump on board and ride with me. AllHipHop.com: What are your styles of rhyming and what is it you two bring to the Chopper City Boyz?Gar: My style, what I do, I bring my music from the heart man. Everything I spit I done did it, been seeing it, or I saw it. I give it straight from the heart. The beat pretty much tells me what to do. I let the fans decide what my style is but I give my 200 to the group. I bring it all the way real.Snipe: I bring my originality to the group. I find my own way to say what I saw. And like he said, you got to keep it 100 with yourself. That’s all you got to do. As far as my style, I’ll let the fans pick the style for me. I can’t really name my style. AllHipHop.com: What has it been like for you leaving Cash Money and building your own label from the bottom up?B.G.: A lot of people, when I left Cash Money…they counted me out. A lot of people wrote me off. A lot of people thought I couldn’t do it without Cash Money and it’s now, what? Six or seven years later and I’m still here. I’m still relevant.  I left Cash Money on my sixth album and I’m about to drop my 11th solo album and that ain’t even including the Hot Boys albums or the previous Chopper City Boyz albums. The streets kept me relevant. I do it for the streets and I stay true to myself. I followed what was in my heart and I didn’t let anybody tell me what I could and couldn’t do. I kept giving it to them man and the streets just embraced me. I’m here and it is what it is I ain’t going nowhere.

“I got Baby’s name tattooed here, Slim’s name tattooed there. Baby got my name on him. I named my son after him and he named his son after me. We were so family oriented that I never would’ve thought in a million years that the situation would end up the way they ended up.” —B.G.

AllHipHop.com: What is your current relationship with your former label mates/group members?B.G.: Our relationship, and I mean from day one when I left until now, we never had problems with each other amongst the group. It was always problems that we had personally with the business side of things. Things weren’t going the way they were supposed to be going and it just became obvious. And people had been saying those things for a while but couldn’t nobody tell me anything about Baby or Slim. I got Baby’s name tattooed here, Slim’s name tattooed there. Baby got my name tattoed on him. I named my son after him and he named his son after me. We were so family orientated so I never would’ve thought in a million years that the situation would end up the way it ended up but it did. I don’t regret it. Everything I went through make me the man I am today. Everything happens for a reason. At the end of the day I’m a Hot Boy for life. I’m one of the originators of the Hot Boys s**t. I carried Cash Money on my back, by myself before Universal was even much involved. Before Juve, before Wayne it was me, Fresh, Baby, and Slim. Then Wayne came, Juve came, Turk came and we took it to another level. But, before all that, I was a regional star, I was a neighborhood superstar. Everything I put out I was doing 100 thousand plus. A 15 or 16 years old.AllHipHop.com: So there is truth to the rumors of a Hot Boys reunion?B.G.: The first single off my new album is featuring Lil’ Wayne and Trey Songz that we’re shooting a video for. I got a record on my album called “Ya Heard Me” and that’s just to certify the Hot Boy reunion. The world’s been asking for this for a while. They want it and you can’t deny the fans what they want, you got to give it to them. It took a while for us to come to this but we already showed that we can stand alone. We already showed we can stand on our own two feet. We’re all men now. I look at it like that. We were Hot Boys then and we’re Hot Men now so let’s do it. AllHipHop.com: Do you plan on involving your Chopper City group in that project?B.G.: Chopper City Boyz is us. That’s our movement right there. But Hot Boys is the Hot Boys. We got to work out the situation as far as how we’re going to do it. You know how it goes. Is it going to be through Universal, is it going to be Atlantic but however it ends up it’s going to happen. Chopper City Boyz is a whole new generation. I’m repping for the 80’s babies. I’m a 80’s baby. 1980, September 3rd. I feel like we’re the now. I’m just repping for my generation and just take it to the next level. AllHipHop.com: Snipe and Gar, you guys are fairly new to the game. What is it like for the young hungry rappers out there in New Orleans?Gar: Everybody in New Orleans is just trying to get in where they fit in. There’s very few n****s that’s really doing their thing down there. Everybody pretty much kind of just plug up. Like we plug with Gizzle, Juve got his situation, Wayne got his situation. Muthaf**kers is just trying to get in where they fit in, trying to slip through f**king with us. We’re playing our part by keeping it real with them. We do songs with them and all that. We do what we can do to make their situations better.B.G.: Just to have that unity back in New Orleans… At one point in time New Orleans was ran by No Limit and Cash Money. But our CEO’s had their egos so for whatever reason it was we never ended up working together, I’ll never know, even though all of us knew each other. We all grew up with each other. New Orleans is small. Everybody knows each other. Now, it’s a whole new day and a whole new generation. N****s is looking at Atlanta and Miami and all these other places that come together. And New Orleans is so grimy. We like crabs in a pot. They see you and they wanna pull you down. I’m trying to really open people minds up to saying ,“Hey, lets do it together.” Instead of me, myself, and I let it be we, us, and ours. AllHipHop.com: B.G. has been in the game since ’93 and had his share of ups and downs. What was your struggle like trying to get into the Hip-Hop game?Gar: To tell you the truth, rapping wasn’t even on my agenda. I’m an opportunist so I went to school, I hustled, I was playing ball. I was doing everything to get up out the hood. This opportunity presented itself when Gizzle’s brother Hakim was rapping, about to do his solo thing. He asked me if I wanted to go on the road. We went on the road and s**t just popped off from there, Chopper City Boyz. But I was pretty much an opportunist. Rap wasn’t what I chose but now we’re in this game going hard and that’s what it is.Snipe: I came in through management. I knew of B.G. and Gar, me and him from around the same way, the east so it all came together. Like I said, I knew them before the rap but, as far as me coming into rap, I had a passion for it since high school. I was beating on the desks and s**t in high school. That’s what it was for me as far as my drive. I just had to get in the game, had to get some money. And I was working at one time, pretty much doing anything to get some money. And now I’m here telling my story.AllHipHop.com: I heard T.I. was going to be involved in some of your upcoming project [Too Hood to Be Hollywood]?B.G.: T.I. executive producing my album with me. I’m most definitely affiliated with Grand Hustle. That’s my second family but I got a situation with Chopper City/Atlantic, T.I. executive producing the album with me. It’s funny how it happened…me and T.I, we partners. Like we’re cool. Before we started doing business we had a real n***a to real n***a relationship. He had got word or it’d got leaked some way that I had signed to G-Unit. So Tip called me to congratulate me. I was like I appreciate it my n***a but that ain’t official. He was like, “S**t, what’s it going to get you over here at Atlantic with me?” I told him what it was gonna take, he called Craig [Kallman], made a few phone calls. They flew me to New York and we went back and forth, they gave me what I asked for and we took it from there. The rest history.

“I support Grand Hustle 100 percent and he supports me and what I’m doing 100 percent. I’m a fan of T.I. and T.I. is a fan of mine. We got that real n***a relationship. He respects what I’ve done and where I come from.”

AllHipHop.com: Did he have a hand in this Chopper City Boyz album as well?B.G.: He’s just involved in my project but  like I say he involved in whatever I do just like I’m involved in whatever he do. I support Grand Hustle 100 percent and he supports me and what I’m doing 100 percent. I’m a fan of T.I. and T.I. a fan of mine. We got that real n***a relationship. He respects what I’ve done, where I come from. He came up listening to the Hot Boys and B.G. so for him to work with me is kind of like a honor for him and it’s kind of like an honor for me too.AllHipHop.com: What can people expect to hear when they listen to Life in the Concrete Jungle?B.G.: When you listen to it you’re going to hear that real New Orleans, down south s**t. That real street s**t. I learned from traveling all over the world that my hood aint no different from your hood. My story aint no different from your story. We tried so many different things and was so open minded about the whole project and that just took it to a whole other level. I didn’t want to be in their way because I want them to shine. I want their talents to be noticed and respected. Everybody knows who I am. I’m already going to do what I’m going to do. For me to be co-signing them you know it has to be official. I believe in them and they believe in me, believing in them. We just went in the studio and did what we do and it came out exactly how I predicted it’d come out. AllHipHop.com: What are some of the tracks you feel people will gravitate towards the most?Gar: The song I really appreciate the most is a record called “Maintain.” We all know what’s going on in the world right now. Times is hard and we’re in a recession. Money is short, work is high. This record is basically therapy for n****s in the hood going though something. There’s n****s that need to hear that word. There’s n****s that need that pat on his back to tell him keep going. The song pretty much sums that up so if you out there going through something f**k with that “Maintain” my n***a. You need it. Snipe: I’d have to say that “Maintain” too. At the same time, I put like 100 to 150 percent into it so the whole album’s a beast. It’s well rounded. It go everything you could possibly want. AllHipHop.com: What are some of the things that get to you while trying to build your label and your brand?B.G.: The brand’s already built. When I left Cash Money and started Chopper City records I was in the process of building the brand. When I put my first album out on Koch I did like 400,000. That let me know the street was f**king with me. Then I dropped another one and did 300 damn near 400,000. Everything I put my hands on I was doing numbers that motherf**kers on major labels wasn’t doing. Then I spread my wings a little more and put the Chopper City Boyz in effect. We did like 100,000 on they first album and that was with little promotion. Just in the streets grinding it out. It’s like Chopper City, I nicknamed New Orleans Chopper City back in like ’95 or ’96 so the brand’s there. It’s just taking it to the next level. I felt like I did everything I could do independently with Koch. That’s why I took the situation to Asylum. I felt the they was an independent with a major push. We saw eye to eye. They see where I’m trying to go with it and they’re on the same page with me, behind me 100. They believe in me, I believe in them. Then, I got the situation at Atlantic which makes it all better because I can just bounce from one floor to the next floor. It’s all good. AllHipHop.com: How has the response been from the people you’ve encountered while promoting the project? Do you have any memorable moments?Gar: To be real with you, the promo tour has been crazy. The people just been embracing the music like it’s been there. That’s just letting me know that the vibe is there. Most of the time when you doing s**t they’ll pay attention. But when you got a muthaf**ka bobbing and nodding, wanting to touch you and feel you and s**t, it’s real respect. Chopper City, just the name carry weight. Just to represent that, just to put that work out there and get that love, I appreciate it. I really do appreciate it. Snipe: The memorable moments for me has been when a n***a come up to me rapping my s**t or when people come up to me with CD’s and s**t when we’re in the streets or out of town. They pretty much embrace us wherever we go because there’s a “Chopper City” in every hood. That name is strong by itself.Gar: Just to touch on that, I don’t think [we] appreciate and really recognize what Chopper City stands for. We’re a bunch of realists. We represent the realism, we feel the realism dog. I’m going to give you a monumental moment in my life, my musical career, that stands out for me. The moment my dog [B.G.] kicked his habit and started this s**t. When we went on the road it was just an idea, a thought and he made that s**t materialize. That s**t is monumental.AllHipHop.com: Will there ever come a time when you’ll step back as a member of the Chopper City group and just focus on the label?B.G.: My little brother’s part of the group too so it’s four of us. It was four at first, R.I.P. VL Mike. He got killed a couple months ago. Then my little brother got locked up. He’s going through some personal situations right now so he just got to stay out the loop on this one. I’m going to have to wait until he’s ready fro him to step back in. But it’s us three right now. We’re holding it down and we’re going to keep giving it to them. But really, I’m just coaching. I got a Kobe and a Lebron right here and we’re trying to get us a gold medal, that platinum plaque. AllHipHop.com: You were with Cash Money since ’93. What are some of the things you learned that you use in the operation of your Chopper City situation?B.G.: Keep it real. You got to keep it real with yourself before you can keep it real with others. You can’t keep it real with others if you can keep it real with yourself. If you got something in the back of your head or you’re feeling a certain way, bring it to the table. Don’t hold it in, we’re all men. We’re going to keep it real with each other and doing that we’re all going to eat from the same plate. It’s like Puffy say, there’s no b***hassness in here. B.G & Chopper City Boyz “Bubble Gum” VideoAllHipHop.com: What do you hope to see happen for the group and the label in the future?B.G.: I’m passing them the torch. My fans look at me like, “If Gizzle say it’s hot, it got to be.” I don’t put my name on nothing I don’t feel is official. I stand for too much. I’m trying to turn Chopper City into what I helped turn Cash Money into. I want Chopper City to be like a Rap-A-Lot, a No Limit, a Cash Money. I want it to be like Grand Hustle, like DTP, or CTE. When you mention the south I want Chopper City to be in that same conversation. Gar: Sky’s the limit. Everything is just starting with this music s**t. As far as the group, we’re trying to get as many deals and put out as many projects as possible. It’s not for us, it’s for ya’ll. Our stories ain’t no different from yours, our hood aint no different from yours and we’re going to keep giving it to you like that. B.G.: This s**t creates opportunities for a lot of things. Don’t think if Oliver Stone calls me tomorrow with a role I ain’t going to take it. At the end of the day we got kids and a lot of people who depend on us. We’re just trying to take this to the next level, represent the N.O. but rep it in the right way.

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