5 & DONE: Plies

Within the last sixteen months Plies will have released

three albums. The latest, Da REAList

debuts both digitally and in stores on December 16th. Striving to

remain relevant, this “Lil Pakistan” aka Ft. Myers, FL native has been immersed

in a strenuous work schedule. “I’ve already shot four or five of the videos and

we’re about to shoot three more,” reveals Plies.

 

Staying in a constant work mode rather than misusing his

assets on fleeting pleasures, Plies is focused on furthering his impact on his

community and as his career. The time is now. “I don’t mind working as much

as I can because that keeps me occupied. I feel like there’s

a lot of things that I need to talk about. Being able to drop

albums every four to six months, everything comes to an end at some point. [But] any

time you ain’t sacrificing quality that’s always a

good thing.” He continues, “This new album Da REAList, a lot of people say it’s my

best work that I’ve ever done.”

 

“Put It On Ya” (featuring Chris J)

is the current single that has some zealous fans mesmerized with Plies. Chris

J, the initial artist signed to Big Gates Records, is among the invited few who

are featured on Da REAList.  Plies explains,

“I want to establish myself on my own terms.”

 

However, an honestly embarrassed chuckle introduces his next

statement, “There’s two or three R&B collaborations that I’ve done just because I can’t

sing. I had the

opportunity to work with Sean Garrett; he’s a gifted writer. A lot of people

that I had the [chance] to work with, I’m blessed that they respected me enough

to even take part in my situation. I feel like front to back from track one to

16; it’s a hell of a body of work.”

 

Plies “Put It On Ya” Video

 

 

The philanthropic spirit that Plies

possesses and work he has put in has endeared itself to those that are

incarcerated. One song that applies, “Second Chance,” is one his personal favorites from Da REAList.

“It’s talking about people that are currently incarcerated, some of ‘em deserve a second chance. But, unfortunately a lot of ‘em may not be granted that second chance. That s**t mean

everything to me because those are factual situations. And to make factual

music, that’s the beautiful part of it. That’s the most gratifying

ingredient of my success. I make what I like to call reality music. And at the end of the day that’s what people value

most about my situation.”

 

 

On staying grounded

despite his growing fame.

 

“Remaining humble has always been my most important concern.

I know a lot of times I do radio and I do other things, interviews and s**t,

and people always say, ‘Damn, he’s talking about something totally different

that what I thought he would.’ I’m the same n***a, it’s just that I’m humble.

But, you don’t expect me to be humble in the midst of the success that I’ve

experienced.

 

“One thing I’ve always known about street n****s is that

street n****s is never supposed to be professional, ever. They’re supposed to

be ignorant all the time. I tried that way and it just didn’t work for me. I

got a better understanding of what life is all about. That’s always been

important to me. My biggest concern was to make sure the game never changed me.

And one thing I learned about negativity is that being a part of the culture

that we’re part of, we don’t embrace success.

 

“One thing about negativity, it gets you more attention and

a lot of mutherf**kas know

that as well. You get less attention when you’re speaking about something

positive. And that’s why a lot of people talk negative about certain individuals

and certain situations. People only start criticizing once you become somebody

for people to even care about you. I wake up every morning and I thank God for

my situation, the criticism that comes with being a success, that’s just part

of it. If I stay true to who I am I can deal with anything that comes my way.”

 

Plies “Heard of Me” Video

 

 

On

female fans and his commitment, to the mic.

 

“I got one of the best situations as far as with females. I

don’t like to call them fans. I feel like that’s an understatement. I call them

supporters because that’s just what they are. With my first album, second album

and now with my third album they’re shaping up to something I never expected. I

got a diverse following.

 

“A year and a half ago it was primarily a minority

following. But as we all know, the majority of what I’ll say ‘suburban America’

gravitates towards what the minority cultures create. I can kinda say that with my situation…it’s great when muthf**kas love your music and

they love you. I think that’s a beautiful situation to be a part of.  And I feel currently at an early stage,

I’m creating that kind of situation for myself.

 

“I always tell people that my situation requires too much of

my time. I don’t think with the amount of hours I dedicate to my music and with

me traveling around the country, me being part of the things I’m a part of right

now, it don’t really allow me to be a good partner when it comes to a committed

relationship. I feel like the thing that has happened to my itinerary and my

workload it’ll open itself up at some point for me to be part of a true

committed relationship.”

 

 

 

On the powers that be

strangling the life out of Hip-Hop and what he plans to do to revive it.

 

 

“I just feel like I’m a part of a situation that’ll always

be rich in culture. I’m just one small part of it. Me being from the South,

it’s a whole different climate. I thank the people all the time who went out on a limb to create an avenue for a person like

myself to provide a living and to be a provider for my family.

 

“For me, I just think it’s so important for me to utilize

the s**t that I’ve obtained from an artist’s perspective to be able to build a

support system for the people that need me the most. Whether that’s the parents

that are currently incarcerated – I got a situation right now where I’m

actually reading letters for another situation that I’m a part of, it’s called

Under My Wings. It’s a program that I created to allow people from ages eight

to 18, if you feel like you have a child that’s headed astray, I’m offering

myself to be they big brother. Those things are the most important things to me; outside of selling records.

 

“We have a power vision situation, non-profit organization

that was created by my brother Big Gates, who is currently incarcerated. But,

we were able to give away $10,000 scholarships for the first time this year;

one for a male and one for a female [from the Somebody Loves You Scholarship

Fund]. Those are the things that are the most important to me, and mean more to

me than any amount of ringtones that I can sell or any amount of people that

can show up at a sold out show. Because, truly that’s where

my heart is at. Any time I have the opportunity to utilize my blessing

to bless other people I think that speaks volumes of who I am as a person.”

 

 

What he thinks

history will focus on the most regarding the 2008 Presidential Election.

 

“I think the whole Democratic side of our lives has always

been the trickle down effect. We grow up, especially from a minority

standpoint, an African-American standpoint, we grow up

in the Baptist religion [and] we’re born into Democratic ideals. I always tell

people to challenge themselves and do what works for them. Unfortunately, Democrat

is supposed to be less fortunate and Republican is supposed to be the more

successful people in this world. Any time that you allow yourself to become

predictable it’s always a problem. White folks understand how important it is

not to be predictable.

 

“With us from a Democratic standpoint, people don’t respect

our vote because they know what we’re gonna do. If we

had more Republicans people would fight for the African-American vote more than

they do. Because the Democratic that’s running for office feels he’s guaranteed

to get our vote, period. And the Republican party they

don’t f**k with us because they feel like they ain’t gonna get our vote anyway. If we had an even share of

Democrats and Republicans people would fight for the African-American vote more

than they do now.”

 

 

On

the challenge of being a parent and excelling in his profession.

 

“This is a selfish thing that I’m a part of; I have to put

my responsibilities off on other people just in order to chase my aspirations,

from a career standpoint. That’s something that I’m not proud of.  My son has been the biggest blessing in

my life, ever. For me to be on the road as much as I am; it’s something that

I’m not proud of as a father. I tell people this all the time. I don’t care

about being the best rapper alive I care about being the best father alive.

 

“I feel like from a father’s standpoint, all of the time

that I miss with my son, money can’t replace that for me. That’s a huge

decision that I’m going back and forth with myself now. Because, I feel like my

son got too much, in my opinion, to offer the world. And for me to allow him to

take it all in with just one parent in his life, full-time. It’s something that

I’m going back and forth with. And I definitely am challenging myself to find

time to be able to be that full-time father.”

 

 

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