If you’re not familiar with Shugg, it’s time to get familiar. The new hottest artist rising out of the heart of Massachusetts, Shugg is here to take over the rap game with his undeniable talents, boasting a spitfire flow, aggressive bars, and nothing but truth in his lyrics.
As someone who came from the mud and took his hustle from the streets to the studio, Shugg proves hard work, dedication, and passion goes a long way.
In describing himself, Shugg states, “I’m a n#### from the outskirts of Boston, just trying to put on for his city. For the Twin Cities. I don’t like to say it like that, but I like to put myself in the most genuine category of them all. I gotta go hard, I feel a n#### like me know what it takes to win. I’m trying to do everything that I can do to win and provide for my family and everybody that I love.”
Most recently, Shugg unleashed his newest music video for “Foreal,” which arrives on the heels of his previous release “Kenan & Kel.” Both records serve as motivation to get out there and go after your wildest dreams, proving there’s a light at the tunnel no matter what your circumstances. Both records can be found on his forthcoming album titled Nonfiction.
AllHipHop: How is it over there in Massachusetts?
Shugg: Dude, don’t come out here. [laughs] Nah, it’s straight to come out here for a little bit during the summer maybe, but they don’t call us Mass-holes for no reason. It’s cold out here, the people and the weather. It’s not the best place to be, not gonna lie to you.
AllHipHop: What was it like growing up there?
Shugg: I’m not going to lie man, it wasn’t easy growing up. It was me and my mom, we had probably 9 or 10 people in a two-bedroom apartment. Never had the best living conditions growing up. Never had cable, never had a house phone my whole life. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade none of that for nothing because it made me who I am. It made me appreciate s###. Now, I appreciate everything. I know nothing’s promised because of that upbringing. I’ve seen my mom struggle and I never want to ever see her struggle ever again. That’s why I do me, and that’s why I go so hard doing what I do.
AllHipHop: How did you get your name?
Shugg: I got it in high school, I was going into my freshman year. Long story short, my coach heard about me doing my little 1, 2, 1, 2. He said, “I heard you got some sugar” or some s### like that. From then on, it was a little inside joke. Everybody called me Shugg from there on out. I don’t wanna say to much, but allegedly out here they called white girls ‘sugar’. So in high school, that’s what they used to call me. Shugga Shay, because in their mind they heard i had it like that. As I got older, I couldn’t be a grown man being called Sugar, so everybody calls me Shugg now.
AllHipHop: Favorite artists coming up?
Shugg: Ooh, that’s a hard one. Right now, I’d say Meek Mill is one of them. Gucci Mane is definitely a big inspiration. Jay-Z is the GOAT to me because nobody’s really better than Hov. At the moment, my two favorite artists are Baby Face Ray and I f### with Icewear Vezzo.
AllHipHop: When did you realize you can do music for a living? Was there a turning point?
Shugg: Yeah, I went through some s### back at the end of 2016. Some n*ggas was hating on me. I went through a little somethin’ somethin’ I don’t really want to speak about, but it made me realize that the streets don’t promise nobody nothing. Once I put up my first music video and my city showed me love and embraced me, it was a wrap. The minute I sold one ticket, I knew I could sell a million tickets. Because if I could do it one time, I knew I could do it a million times. Once I seen that, I thought “Yeah, I could definitely take this to the hoop.”
AllHipHop: You have “Foreal” out now. How are you feeling?
Shugg: I’m feeling great. I never got this much love, I’m not gonna front. “Foreal” is doing the best out of anything I ever did, so I see the progression. It really doesn’t have nothing to do with me, it has everything to do with we. I’ve got a beautiful team. I wouldn’t be s### without my n*ggas. Snake’s holding it down. Collectively, it’s a lot of us and everybody’s been putting in work. It’s weird because like I said, out here it’s cold. Massachusetts, Boston, I don’t know if you heard, we’re Mass-holes. People don’t really show love like that, it’s really bittersweet. But people are embracing me right now, so I’m loving it. I know if I can win people out here, then I can win people out there. So “Foreal” got me feeling good, foreal foreal.
AllHipHop: Where did you record the record at?
Shugg: I record everything at my own studio. I got my own s###, my own studio. I send everything else to this dude named John Scott. He’s that n#### out here. He actually just moved out to LA right now. He works with DaBaby, Lil’ Baby, Snoop Dogg, Jeezy, etc. He’s a big name.
AllHipHop: Where was the video shot? Best memory?
Shugg: The video was shot in Providence, Rhode Island. The best memory was falling in love with one of the dancers.
AllHipHop: For real? [laughs]
Shugg: Hell yeah, I love one of them. We in love, but not really, but really.
AllHipHop: Does she know?
Shugg: Does she know? S###, she better know. Nah, she knows. We cool.
AllHipHop: I premiered your video, “Kenan & Kel,” on Flaunt. How did that visual embody where you’re from?
Shugg: That really shows you everything in a nutshell. Really, really, without getting too crazy. “Kenan & Kel” is basically for the streets out here because that’s what’s going on. When you listen to that track, that’s what’s really going on out here. It definitely shows that yeah people might think Mass is uppity, but there’s a hood everywhere. “Kenan & Kel” definitely embodies that. It shows and talks about what’s really going on in the most friendly and catchy way possible.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to have the Massachusetts rap scene popping?
Shugg: It feels great. It feels beautiful. I remember going into the club and just being a regular street n*gga. Now when I go into the club, every club I go to my record’s getting spinned. I’m hearing DJs shouting me out, I’m taking pictures with random people. It’s an indescribable feeling. I’m truly blessed. It’s truly fortunate.
AllHipHop: What is it that you want fans to get from your story?
Shugg: If Shugg can do it, you can do it. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever let anybody tell you you can’t do something. It’s never too late to start following your dreams. You know, the streets is a lie. It’s a beautiful place to get some life lessons, but don’t get caught up in the sauce. If you a real n*gga and you stay 10 toes down, God’s gonna help you no matter what.
AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind?
Shugg: I love it man, I love it. Because at the end of the day, I work hard for my money. Anytime I put up my own money and I see it flip, then I get to reap all the benefits and I don’t really got nobody telling me what to do, it’s a beautiful thing. I don’t know if I’ll ever sign a major deal, to be honest unless the bag is super right.
AllHipHop: Damn, that’s a statement. Why?
Shugg: If I could get in front of the right amount of people and show people what I’m working with, there’s nothing a label could really do for me. Other than hand us some money, but we already have money. Money isn’t really an issue anymore. You know what it is, you create the engine, you create the monster and they reap the benefits. I thank the streets for giving me the knowledge to understand that if I could make a dollar once, I can make it a million times. You really don’t need too much outside help.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Shugg: A good vibe, some good Zaza. Honestly, I need something cold to drink at all times. Without that, s### gets weird. I’ve been in that situation a few times, left a whole session because there’s no water.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from your forthcoming album, Nonfiction?
Shugg: The truth. 110% the truth. The truth is in the pudding. Nonfiction, it is what it is. I never told a lie, that’s my slogan. I’ma be real: all that s### there’s no pen, no pad. That’s all coming straight from the head and the heart. From Nonfiction, people are going to expect the truth and a big piece of Shugg. A lot of n##### capping and rapping, there’s zero cap in my rap. I never told a lie, not once.
AllHipHop: Any collabs we should know about?
Shugg: Right now, no honestly. We got a whole bunch of s### in the works, but I haven’t done anything solid. We talking to Icewear’s team right now. I f### with ABG Neal heavy.
So far as features right now, honestly we haven’t done any. We’ve been doing everything just Shugg. Everybody’s like, “Yo, you got to get these features. You got feature money.” Yo man, I be so busy doing what I do. By the time I get to the studio, I bang that s### out and I get out. So far as major features, none right now, but they’re definitely on the way for sure.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Shugg: I’d say 6 months to a year, to be in a real solid position where I’m not just that ngga in New England or in Boston area. I want the world to know who I am. Well, not even the world. 6 months to a year, I need the nation to know who I am. Nggas f### with me, that’s all. And the movement to get bigger, take full advantage of this momentum we got going.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?
Shugg: What I like to do for fun? [sighs] Can’t even tell you the last time I had fun. S###, I like to smoke good weed. I like to laugh. I like to chill my n*ggas, catch a vibe man, and catch some rec. What else do I like to do? I’m not really a club dude, I do like the casinos though, not even gonna front. The casino be the devil’s house, but we be in there. That’s about it. I like to plot honestly. That’s really my sense of fun, working really.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
Shugg: Just be on the lookout. I promise you, we ain’t gon’ stop here. I appreciate you the long way for you helping me out, helping the team out. F### with your energy. I’m super thankful and grateful for you and this interview. Thank you and may God bless all the trap n#####.