Collardgreen and Lil’ Ru: South Carolina’s Chosen Few

While the South has recently dominated Hip-Hop, South Carolina has been slept on more than Serta mattresses. As the only Southern state without an artist signed to a major label, South Carolina has been waiting on its chance to join …

Collardgreen and Lil’ Ru: South Carolina’s Chosen Few Read More »

While the South has recently dominated

Hip-Hop, South Carolina has been slept on more than Serta mattresses.

As the only Southern state without an artist signed to a major label,

South Carolina has been waiting on its chance to join the Southern

movement since rappers started making it cool to be country. But, the

state may have found its remedy for it’s narcolepsy. Two Columbia,

South Carolina rappers, Collardgreen and Lil’ Ru, have flirted with

industry majors. Lil’ Ru was an Elektra Records artist, but found

himself label-less after it merged with Atlantic Records in 2004.

Collardgreen, through the buzz of his regional hit “Everybody Looking,” has recently garnered attention from some majors in his own rite.

Collardgreen

and Lil’ Ru have ascended themselves to the upper echelon of South

Carolina rappers by continuously flooding the streets with their Hustle Hard mixtape

series and mastering the formula for radio ready singles. Both rappers

are regulars on local radio station airwaves with songs like “Will Destroy,”

“Watch My Shoes,” (Ft. Mr. Flip), and one of SC’s biggest hits in 2005, “Hood Hard” all finding their way into radio rotation.

With

this tandem making noise just loud enough for the labels to take the

state seriously, South Carolina’s wait for major artists may be over

sooner rather later. AllHipHop.com caught up with Lil’ Ru and

Collardgreen to talk about why South Carolina has been overlooked, what

the duo can offer the rap game, and what makes them two of SC’s “chosen

few.”

AllHipHop.com:

With the South dominating Hip-Hop, South Carolina is the only Southern

state without a major artist signed. Why is South Carolina being

overlooked? And what is the music scene like here in South Carolina?

Lil’

Ru: It’s the f###### game around here to me, its that a lot of n#####

ain’t as serious as, you know what I mean, you should be, you see what

I’m sayin’. Like n##### in Texas and all them n##### like Paul Wall,

Mike Jones, them n##### had a movement started, you know what I mean. I

think all them n##### was on the same page as being serious, you see

what I’m sayin’. N##### around here ain’t got their game together or

nothing. You don’t see n##### with no wrapped vans, you don’t see

n##### with nothing. You might see a n#### with ten CDs, okay, I got my

CDs pressed up.

Collardgreen: He writing on it, got writing on the cover.

Lil’ Ru: These n##### ain’t got their whole business plan together.

Collardgreen: And then people who doing the music, who can make [the] decisions, they’re not coming here anyway.

Lil’

Ru: And these n##### ain’t supporting, that’s it. That’s a whole

‘nother area of the game. N##### around here ain’t even supporting each

other. It’s all about, “I’mma be this label, you gon’ be this label, we

wanna get on first.”

Collardgreen:

And people like that, people in Texas, I mean, their people was just

behind them so hard. Me and Ru we getting that love right now. It’s a

movement as far as the radio, the people, streets. They starting to see

it now, that’s why they calling. And they on us hard.

AllHipHop.com: Well, that leads into my next question, where do you see yourselves at as far as the rap scene in South Carolina?

Collardgreen: I think we are one of the people, we are one of the chosen few.

Lil’ Ru: Yeah, I’ll say that.

Collardgreen:

The reason I say one of the chosen few is, we gon’ get it crackin’ to

the point where other labels and everybody else are going to be like we

gotta go down here and see what other kinds of people are down here.

AllHipHop.com: When you see Lil’ Ru, you see Collardgreen, so how did the two of you hook up? And what kept you all so close?

Lil’

Ru: I met that n####, I did a f###### show at Main Event [nightclub],

dog. My homeboy helped me put the show together, but he was f######

with Green down here and s###. I was like, “Man, who the f### these

n##### is, country n#####. They all on stage and s###.” I’m playing the

n#### dirty. I ain’t heard the n#### music or nothing, I’m just

treating the n#### crazy. But I met the n#### on some, you know what

I’m sayin’, the n#### came to me like, “What’s up man, I’m

Collardgreen.” You know how the n#### do, everyday s###. But I met the

n####, kicked it with the n####, the n#### vibe was so trill it been on

ever since. We dropped that [mixtape] Truth and the Answer s###, ever

since then they could call it a game. I’m trying to tell you.

Collardgreen: We like brothers forever.

AllHipHop.com: How long ago was that?

Lil’ Ru: S###, about five, six years ago.

AllHipHop.com: So what kept you all rolling tight?

Lil’

Ru: Just understanding each other, dog, and respecting each other and

that’s it, dog. Understanding each other. I know he do his s###, I do

my s###. And don’t let no haters come between us and s###. We just

understand the business. We know what we trying to do, pointblank. And

love, we got love for each other, and we trying to get to the same goal

so it’s a wrap. F### the rap s###, if we both stopped rappin’ today we

still gon’ be homies.

Collardgreen: And we got the whole Headhunter Records thing going on [the] same label.

AllHipHop.com: So you’re both signed to Headhunter right now?

Lil’ Ru: We both own the s### like, me, him, and 9 Mil own the s### together. So we trying to do our own s### like that.

Collardgreen: We businessmen. We ain’t just rappers.

Lil’ Ru: You can’t just be rappers. You’re never gon’ get paid being a rapper, dog, straight up.

AllHipHop.com:

Ru, at one time you were signed with Elektra, so explain that situation

to me, how you got signed to Elektra and what happened at Elektra?

Lil’

Ru: That s### there come from f###### nothing really, just a n#### that

could rap, n#### hearing me rap. That wasn’t no grind, no type of…I

had already been grinding but, I didn’t get signed off my grind. I got

signed off of a n#### bringing me in the door saying, “Oh, this n####

tight. Hear this n#### rap.” I start rapping, boom, n#### signed me

like that. B#### thought I was cute, boom, I got signed just like that.

F###### with Angie Stone, she brought me up there. She always had in

her mind to get me a deal, but we didn’t think the s### was gonna go

that easily. Got a little deal for that s###, boom. S### just got, I

don’t know, n##### just got lazy like, they wasn’t really pressing the

situation, like “Oh, get this n#### album out. Get him working on his

s###.” We was just like we got this money. S### wasn’t clicking or

nothing. So s###, they had that little merge, boom, that was it. After

they had their joint with Atlantic they dropped me after that. It was a

wrap after that, I hadn’t been f###### with Angie or nothing after

that.

AllHipHop.com: Green, what were your feelings from seeing Lil’ Ru get dropped from his label?

Collardgreen:

Good. We was good, we need to keep grinding out. It really wasn’t no

feelings. The main thing, we trying to achieve a goal and we gon’ keep

on working. We can’t dwell on nothing, nothing that happened messed up.

Lil’

Ru: For me, dog, that s### was a good situation being dropped, you know

what I’m sayin’. Cause I wasn’t ready for that. Man, I wasn’t even

ready for that. I was doing red carpets and s###, and I ain’t even know

how to really have my whole swagger together like I was ‘posed to you,

you see what I’m sayin’.

AllHipHop.com: Both of you have had local success as solo artists, have you all talked about doing an album together?

Collardgreen: One day.

Lil’

Ru: Yeah, that’s in the works. We definitely gon’ do that. But s###,

right now we trying to man, make this label thing crack. We got Mr.

Flip, we got n####, then we got a whole group. Me, Flip, Green are the

S.C.G.s. So if it do be a group, that’ll be the group album that’s gon’

come out.

AllHipHop.com: Why not pursue it together as a group?

Collardgreen: We was thinking ‘bout that.

Lil’

Ru: I’m kinda greedy though, I ain’t gon’ lie. I don’t want him sharing

my money. I don’t want Collardgreen getting this check for the show. I

want all my money here n####. $30,000 for the show, give me $30,000 for

my pocket. That’s why I don’t want to do no group. Jagged Edge, how

many albums these n##### done done? They still ain’t to the top to

where they need to be at. That group s### don’t work, dog. Look at D4L,

Fabo, nowhere to be found, that s### don’t work. That group s### break

you up.

Collardgreen:

I don’t know man, we trying to think right now. Cause we was solo

artists before. That’s why we got our own weight. That’s why when we

combine it’s much more crazier, it’s much more sicker. When they see us

on stage, they don’t even understand…

Lil’ Ru: That’s the reason we did it together like that, to make n##### be like that.

Collardgreen: So if you don’t like me, you gon’ like him. You don’t like him, you gon’ like Flip.

Lil’

Ru: You gon’ like something in that team, dog. Cause we got all that

s### that ever been buzzin’ around here on one squad. N##### in trouble.

AllHipHop.com: Describe Collardgreen’s style.

Collardgreen:

Collardgreen is the world. I’m waking up I might feel bad one day, I

might be mad one day. S###, I might just sit down and take me a shot of

liquor, I might wanna go party. I be chillin’, copasetic. I might see a

girl, I might wanna holla at a girl. Like 360, I’m a normal person.

Don’t mess with me, I ain’t gon’ mess with you. That’s my style. When

you hear it, my mix CD, Hustle Hard No Lunch Breaks, when you hear the

mix CD you’re going to hear everything. You’re going to hear from my

life, growing up ‘bout what was going on. To some party s### to okay

n#### don’t f### wit’ me I ain’t gon’ f### with you. Everything I do,

I’m a good illustrator. You know Jesus was a good illustrator, I’m a

good illustrator through my music. When you hear it, you’ll get a sense

of who I am. And when you get a sense of who I am, it’s a part of me in

everybody. And you gon’ relate to it, and that’s what’s going make you

like me.

Lil’ Ru: Oooh, you’ve been rehearsing. You been rehearsing on me on the low? [Both laughing].

AllHipHop.com: Lil’ Ru, same question?

Lil’

Ru: My style? My style n####, I don’t got no style. You can’t put me

with oh this n#### is a crunk rapper or this n#### is this type of

rapper cause, n####, you might hear me sangin’ on my s###. You might

hear me m###########’ sounding like an up North way, cause I’m just

versatile. You can’t even describe it, I can’t describe it my damn self

that’s what f#### me up.

Collardgreen: But we can talk about anything and make it a hit.

Lil’ Ru: I just got so many versatilities its crazy, dog. Like fast, slow, whatever, versatilities.

Collardgreen:

And a hit is a song everyone loves, and everyone wants to hear. I mean,

the radio know that. We done put hits out.

Lil’

Ru: That’s why we get on the radio n##### be like, “Oh why the f###,

nah, nah, nah.” Cause you know, we make the right f###### music,

pointblank. And the right timing, you feel me. Like that “Everybody

Looking.” N####, we don’t do all that s###, all that Joc’n’ s###, all

that s###. But it’s the perfect time, a snap song ok, if n##### wit’

it. Green came up with a perfect new song that fit right in that s###.

Now we got some other s### jumpin’ off right now. It’s just about

timing. When you hear that…you can’t always make [songs] about, “I

got that dope, I got that dope.” N#####, in the FEDs taking 30 n#####

to jail. N##### don’t wanna hear about no dope right now. Ok, let me

smile a bit now. Let me shine in the Chevy, let me talk about some

jewelry or something. I don’t wanna hear nothing about no keys, n####.

That s### crazy. It’s about timing dog, making good music at the right

time.

AllHipHop.com: Do you feel your styles are a representation of what South Carolina’s sound is?

Lil’

Ru: There is not South Carolina sound. See I done been in Philly for 7,

8 months, Cali, all that s###, hearing n##### music, local music or

whatever. But this s### to me got like, I can put it to like a

Tennessee like [Young] Buck [and] them, you know what I’m sayin’. It’s

more gutter than a m########### like this is what you’ll do to a n####.

Like you’ll shoot a n#### in the face with a AK and all kinds of crazy

s### like that. That s### is like gutter, n##### don’t be on that s###

like everywhere else. N##### be on someone oh we doing this we got this

car, but this s### is gutter. I feel this s### is way more gutter than

a lot of n#####. S### more real, I guess that’s cause I’m here, I don’t

know. I guess cause I’m from this b#### but, this s### just seems so

real. I don’t know man, a lot of other local n##### music seems real to

me, dog. A lot of this s### is fools now, that’s a lot of b#######

round here, but it’s a lot of n##### that I’m f#####’ wit’.

AllHipHop.com: Collardgreen, your new single “Everybody Looking”

a major label expressed interest in that song, can you explain that

situation to me? And have they talked about signing you as an artist?

Collardgreen:

I don’t know pause it, I need to talk to my publicist. We had a lot of

people calling us. And we’ve been working on something real big. They

want the song, and we’ve just trying to work something out right now,

man. They on it all day, everyday, we talk to them regularly. But it’s

going to be real big for South Carolina, man.

AllHipHop.com: Collardgreen, what do you do that makes it seem like you are everywhere?

Collardgreen:

I just be everywhere. If I hear something, me and Ru, we know a whole

bunch of people throughout the whole state. Only thing I need is one

call, I’m such and such and they got this going on.

Lil’

Ru: His [grind is] more sicker than mine, I can’t lie. I be like, “Oh,

hell no. F### that, I ain’t going to that s###.” That n#### be like,

“F### that, I’m going. I’m up in that m###########.” He go to every

function like, I ain’t gon’ b####### you, this n#### had a show along

time ago at somebody’s house, n####. On the front yard, on the porch, I

was like, “Hell no Green. I do too much, I can’t rap for these n#####.”

Green jumped on the porch, rapping for these n##### on the porch. And

that show that n#### grind, he don’t give a f###, he just trying to get

that s### out there.

Collardgreen:

I’m just down to ride. Anything somebody want me to do, I’m doing it. I

don’t care. Something going on in Charleston, I’m there. Let’s go,

that’s what you gotta do.

AllHipHop: Lil’ Ru you were featured on the song “Hood Hard”

which was a big song in SC in ’05, what has that song done for your

career? And can you tell me why Jelly Tight has been nowhere to be

found?

Lil’

Ru: Really that s### kept me alive. That s### was like a float for me,

that s### kept me floating. I was like, “What I’mma do. I don’t know

the next s### I’mma drop.” I had a lot of music and s###.

Collardgreen: I think it kept his fans loving him.

Lil’

Ru: So when I hooked up with them n#####, my n#### TD [Da Don] was

already f#####’ with them n##### hard, doing mix CD songs with them

n#####. Them n##### was like, “Oh, that n#### Lil’ Ru, he would sound

good on this song,” you feel me. I came over there, heard the beat and

s###, the n##### already had the hook done. I was like this s### is

crazy. I jumped on that s###. At that moment I was in a zone like

n##### be sleeping on me. N##### don’t really think I can spit that

s### like that. I went in there, boom, smashed that s### like that.

Freestyled that s### off the top of the dome, it was over. That “Hood

Hard” done but me in a nice position. I got n##### where I want them

at, dog, it’s on now. As far as Jelly Tight, you know what it is, the

FEDs is vicious out here. The police is a m###########’ dirty dog. You

can’t be selling keys and trying to be a rapper at the same time, that

s### do not work, dog. I’m a witness from How You Love That, watching

my n##### go down. It’s just the police, you already know what it is

wit’ them n#####, man. They still out here grindin’ though, like Venom,

he still out here doing tracks. Donna and Cali, I f### wit’ them

b###### too, but it’s the FEDs, you already know. G-Boy, f###### Jelly

Tight, How You Love That, everybody gone, it’s all about them FEDs. You

can not sell crack and be a rapper, dog, straight up.

AllHipHop.com: On your mixtape, you worked with Rich Boy on the song “Shinnin’ On ‘Em” how do you hook up with him?

Lil’

Ru: F###### [DJ] D-Tec. Tec hooked that up. Nah, I gave my n#### Polo

Da Don one of my CDs, the n#### been on that s### hard. So s###, he did

the s### with Rich Boy, got Rich Boy the deal supposedly, I don’t know.

I just hooked the s### up through Polo, bam, we went to the “A”

together, did the s###. I f### wit’ that n#### right there, that’s my

n####.

AllHipHop.com: Have you worked with any other artists, or do you have plans to work with any other artists or producers?

Lil’

Ru: Man, I done did s### with Jeff Johnson, n#### did the Jamie Foxx

“Unpredictable” beat to that s###. He did Trick Daddy’s s###.

Collardgreen: The whole new South movement, the young boys, we a part of it. The Young Cashs, the Rich Boys, Suga Suga.

Lil’ Ru: All that s### there, we part of that new movement in the South, n##### already know us, we all cool.

AllHipHop.com: Lil’ Ru, what did you learn from your Elektra experience that will help you in your career now?

Lil’

Ru: Everything that shines ain’t gold. M###########’, stay on your

grind dog, don’t let nothing knock you the f### off. Be m###########’

focused about every situation you get into. Don’t be taking s### for

granted. I took that situation as “Oh, I’m signed n####, that’s it. I

don’t gotta worry about nothing. I told n##### I was gon’ get signed.”

And never think in the back of my mind that these n##### could drop me

any day. That’s how dumb to the game I was. You could get kicked the

f### off just like that. I was 16-years-old. Just being dumb to the

game, damn n#### you can get dropped just like that. You don’t even

gotta spit a rap, you don’t even gotta be garbage. Something happen to

the business and you can be out of here. That’s just me not being on my

s###, I learned to be on my m###########’ grind.

AllHipHop.com: Green, what do you think you could offer the game?

Collardgreen:

I can just offer a new sound, just everything. Everything that these

boys Nelly done done, came killed it giving the people what they want.

Ludacris. People that make hits, make good albums and good music, and

represent for my state. I’m bringing South Carolina to the game.

AllHipHop.com: Lil’ Ru, same question?

Lil’

Ru: What I’m bringing to the game? I’mma problem to the game, I ain’t

even gon’ lie. I’mma be honest. N##### ain’t gon’ never see no n####

like this again like straight up dog, I don’t give a f###. There ain’t

no n#### that ever been on, I ain’t never heard no n#### like me, dog,

that can do all the s### I do as far as music wise. Like coming up with

s###, as fast as I come up with s###, how I do, on the spot, shows,

swagger, all that s###. I’m just ‘bout to be a problem.

Collardgreen: And our shows. When the world see our shows, performance on stage they gon’ be amazed.

Lil’ Ru: Yeah, it’s over.

Collardgreen:

People don’t even do that no more, I don’t know what they be doing on

stage. We gon’ bring the energy back to this thing, they gon’ love us

to death, dog. Tell MTV to go head get the show ready.

AllHipHop: Do you all have anything else that I didn’t ask you about that you want to say?

Lil’ Ru: My m###########’ album is 1000 Grams that’s all I want to say, n####. My album’s coming out. My album is 1000 Grams, my mix CD is 500 Grams.

I ain’t talking about m###########’ dope, n####. I’m talking about dope

on the album but it’s just letting n##### know my style is straight

drop, n####. You drop 28, you definitely gonna get 28 all the time. You

gonna get double every time you f### with this. My style it is what it

is, dog. Album 1000 Grams that’s all I got to say.

Collardgreen: Album Dinner Served, mix CD in the streets Hustle Hard No Lunch Breaks, produced by 9 Million, hosted by 9 Million.

Lil’ Ru: Headhunter Records, that’s the movement.

Visit Collardgreen’s Myspacepage at www.myspace.com/collardgreen

Visit Lil’ Ru’s Myspacepage at www.myspace.com/lilruhoodhard



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