Wes Fif: Amongst The War Zone

AllHipHop interviewed Wes Fif before he recently got signed to Slip-N-Slide Records. We’d like to congratulate Wes Fif and wish him continued success.   Arguably the brightest star in Orlando, Florida is Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse. But if Wes Fif has anything to do with it, the O-Town emcee will soon dethrone the Walt Disney […]

AllHipHop interviewed Wes Fif before he recently got signed to Slip-N-Slide Records. We’d like to congratulate Wes Fif and wish him continued success.


Arguably the brightest star in Orlando, Florida is Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse. But if Wes Fif has anything to do with it, the O-Town emcee will soon dethrone the Walt Disney character as the city’s biggest coming attraction. While Orlando ranks as one of the world’s top vacation spots, according to the CQ Press reports, the city also ranks as the 11th Most Dangerous city in the nation.


Raised in the most crime-ridden part of the city, Wes Fif’s music represents his side of town through tracks like “G Code” and “Bread (Money, Money, Money).” His verse alongside ATL newbie B.O.B. on the single Haterz Everywhere has the game taking heed to this Floridian talent. And with his own single “Like Me” starting to bubble and rumors of his signing to Miami flagship, Slip-N-Slide Records, Wes Fif could soon stack enough paper to buy the Magic Kingdom. Move over, Mickey.   


AllHipHop.com: You’re from Orlando, FL and most people know Orlando for Disney World and vacationing. But Orlando was ranked as the 11th Most Dangerous City in the nation. So I’m guessing its gully there?


Wes Fif: Yeah, man, especially right now. It’s like a war zone. This year alone, I lost about five homeboys. Then you can go down the line and talk to people in my squad, they probably lost about six, seven people themselves. It’s real crazy around here, dawg.


AllHipHop.com: What makes the city so dangerous?


Wes Fif: Really what it is, if you come down here and you come around my way, or anywhere on the Westside of town where most of the sh*t is going on at, and you talk to a regular person and you bring up the crime rate to them, they’re gonna be like, ‘I ain’t never noticed sh*t different.’ Cause from growing up, this is all the same sh*t we’ve been seeing, you feel me. As farfetched as this might sound, we see sh*t everyday that never makes the news, or that never gets reported. I think that what happened now is that it got so far out of hand that you can’t hide everything no more, feel me. Our city gets money from tourism, so they’re not going to broadcast the fact that these n*ggas out here killing and robbing on a daily basis. You’re not going to broadcast that because then people aren’t gonna want to come. Just the other day there was a shoot out between the FBI and three n*ggas an associate of mine knew. There was a shoot out right in front of the Chucky Cheese. They got killed and like two bystanders got killed. That sh*t ain’t never come on the news. 


AllHipHop.com: So, does your music reflect the crime in your city?


Wes Fif: I try to walk a fine line between being a street artist, and at the same time, being able to appeal to suburban white kids. But really, when I go, I just put a beat on and whatever the beats says to me, that’s what I say on a track. I’m not like n*ggas that go in the studio, and watch American Gangster and rap about what they just saw Frank Lucas doing. Right now, I’m standing in Malibu where I grew up at, one of the worst parts of the city. Every time I go in the studio, I done came straight from over here in the streets. I’m just relaying what I see. I gotta give them something to listen to because my city doesn’t have a voice right now. There is nobody from my city on a scale like that to speak for them, so I feel I have to do that for them.


AllHipHop.com: What’s the music scene like in Orlando?


Wes Fif: Right now it’s really coming along. The problem is there really ain’t no DJ support. There’s n*ggas out here, and I’ll even name n*ggas names, there are n*ggas like D-Strong, there’s n*ggas like Chino, Disco and the City Boys, n*ggas like that, that do support local artists. But the thing about that, they support, the n*ggas that got the power, and I won’t say no names, but the n*ggas that do have the power to bring it to another level they don’t do it. They’re certain n*ggas that be outta town, whether it’s Miami, or Atlanta, or New York, these n*ggas be outta town and they know what’s poppin’ down here, but they don’t care to share that nowhere else. Unless you’re doing something for them, like giving them money or whatever. The n*ggas with power don’t support the n*ggas that’s out here grinding. I f*ck with Miami 100%, Florida is Florida, but at the same time, I turn my radio on and I don’t hear nothing but Miami n*ggas. Whereas, I go to Miami and turn on the radio, I hear nothing but Miami n*ggas. If I go to Atlanta, I hear nothing but Atlanta n*ggas. We’re not doing what other cities are doing, as far as breaking artists. I’m not saying play every n*gga’s music. But if a n*gga grinding and you know a n*gga grinding, and this n*gga got a fan base, and he’s been working for years and years, there ain’t no reason why you can’t play this man’s music.


AllHipHop.com: I know you said you didn’t want to name names, but DJ Khaled and DJ Nasty are two big DJs from Orlando. Are you referring to DJs like that when you make those statements?


Wes Fif: Khaled is from here but he holds down 305. Khaled be down here a lot. I f*ck with Khaled hard. I wouldn’t even throw him in that pot because he’s looked at as a Miami representer. And right now Khaled is up there. If he’s not the #1 DJ, he’s Top 3 right now. I won’t expect Khaled to play my sh*t off rip. I know better than that. But you can go a little bit lower, and you can like say…I would say Nasty is our most visible DJ from this city, or you can probably say Prostyle. And Nasty’s shown me love before, I don’t expect one n*gga to do no one thing, but as a whole, they just need to show love and don’t wait until somebody else call to Orlando and say, ‘Yeah, man. Oh, that kid, Wes Fif is hot. Or Treal, they’re hot.” And then you be like, ‘Oh, yeah. I’m playing there music.’ As a DJ, you’re supposed to give people what they want, so if these n*ggas is hot, why you can’t support them?


AllHipHop.com: The Runners are doing big things with producing out of Orlando. Have you worked with them on any productions?


Wes Fif: Nah, I just recently met one of them. I’m the type of n*gga, bruh, like I do what I do for street n*ggas. And with that said, I stay independent. I’m not the type of n*gga that’s gonna reach out to somebody and say, ‘I really wanna work with you. I wanna work with you so bad.’ I don’t do that. I don’t feel like I need such and such to give me a record in order for me to pop. I never did need no one before, and I don’t need no one now. I know they’re from here, I know they be here, I know they be in Miami, but I’ve only seen them one time. It’s nothing like I just have to work with them. I mean, they got hot sh*t. In the future if we work together, we work together, but that’s not really a goal of mine.


AllHipHop.com: Who are some of your influences?


Wes Fif: #1 influence, I’d have to say Trick Daddy, as far as wanting to do it period. Because when he dropped, and how he did when he went national with the “Nann N*gga” record, it was like something new. Because at that time, aside from 2 Live Crew, that’s all it was, as far as Miami. So when Trick came with that other element of Miami music, it opened people’s eyes. So, he’s my main influence. Then you got cats like T.I., Ludacris, Jay, Jeezy. I’m young, I’m just now 22. So, all these people influenced me too, feel me.


AllHipHop.com: There have been cats from Orlando that have had some success, like Smilez and Southstar, and Granddaddy Souf. Would you say they paved a way for rappers out of Orlando?


Wes Fif: I’d say yes, and I’d say no, just for the simple fact that, and I know all three of them. All three of them are my people. I respect everything they did, but at the same time, like with Smilez and South, they’re it as far as exposure in the new decade. They were on 106 & Park, they were on Rap City, they had a real hit record, you feel me. So in that aspect, they differently paved the way. But at the same time, it’s kinda like you shoot to Atlanta and you got the Ying Yang Twins but then you got T.I.  They ain’t nothing alike. So, while they maybe from the same place, its two totally different kinda things. And with Granddaddy Souf, he never blew to where I thought he was gonna blow and shoulda blew. But on a local level, Granddaddy Souf still is considered a legend. But on a very local level, the person that really paved the way for Orlando artists to me is a dude named Chubby Relle. He’s like my big brother and all that. They definitely paved the way, but I don’t think the door has been kicked in yet. Ain’t nobody really made somebody say, ‘Ok, Orlando is a problem.’ Nobody has done that yet. There’s still more work to be done.


AllHipHop.com: Right now people are looking at you like you have the potential to kick in the doors. What are you going to do differently to kick down those doors?


Wes Fif: Basically, all I can do at the end of the day is be me and keep doing what I’ve been doing. My #1 thing is, I never wanna make no garbage. I’m not gonna pick no garbage beat. And after I pick a hard beat, I’m not gonna write no garbage to it. I might take two or three days to do the hook, but I make sure that my sh*t is something that I would listen to. I don’t want to put out no sh*t that is straight, but I don’t really like it. I want to put out sh*t that I actually jam. And then on top of that, after good music, you gotta make a movement. I can’t just sit at the crib in Orlando and chill. I gotta go to Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York, Texas. You gotta move and create that movement. So that’s what I plan on doing differently. And never ever wait on a label to do sh*t. I’m gon’ make the label do what they gotta to support what I’m doing.


AllHipHop.com: You’re featured on B.O.B.’s single “Haterz Everywhere.” That record is starting to pick up.


Wes Fif: Intentionally, it was supposed to be a mixtape record. It wasn’t supposed to be a single or nothing like that. But we started pitching it to DJs down here and it started getting mixshow spins. And then from there it started growing legs. At that time I was signed to my independent label, SMG, and B.O.B. had just got his situation over at Atlantic and he needed a single. And that record was getting such a crazy response, everybody agreed to work together to let this be his first single and to keep me on the track for the exposure. It’s a crazy record, to this day I love this record.


AllHipHop.com: “Haterz Everywhere” is really the first record that you’ve been featured on to get national attention. How does it feel to watch that record grow?


Wes Fif: It’s a good look. I ain’t expect it to do like that. Prior to this, I had nothing on that scale. So, to me, it’s still kinda crazy to go places I’ve never been before and the song comes on the radio. That still blows me to this day. Its mind blowing but it’s definitely something I can get used to.


AllHipHop.com: What single are pushing for yourself?


Wes Fif: Right now we have the street single called “Like Me.” Anybody that’s not familiar with the music that I make, I’m a real put it in your face type dude. Like my album is called Get Money Guidelines. Most of the thing I talk about, I’m trying to empower people to go do something, go get some money, instead of sitting around not doing sh*t. So on this record, I’m telling people that this is what I’m doing, this is what you should be doing, which is getting money.


AllHipHop.com: Are there any last words you want to add?


Wes Fif: Not really, man. I’m just anxious really, just to go head get it poppin’. Cause anybody that knows me, been following me, knows that I’ve been at it for a minute. People have seen a whole bunch of garbage ass n*ggas get signed since I’ve been doing this sh*t. People have always told me to be patient and that’s what I did. But right now, I ain’t gonna be patient no more. That’s the bottom line. It’s a blessing. I f*ck with AllHipHop. Everybody, just f*ck with me.


Wes Fif’s MySpace page is www.myspace.com/wesfif

Wes Fif website is www.wesfifonline.com