Nowadays more than ever, it seems like South Florida has been the hub for producing some of the rap game’s hottest artists, from the OGs such as Uncle Luke and Trick Daddy to the newer act such as Kodak Black and XXXTentacion (rest in peace).
Insert Foolio, who hails from Jacksonville, Florida and has been making a name for himself with his distinct raspy voice and unique sound that’s marked by relentless bars, melodic versatility, and honesty in his lyrics.
On a surface level, it may seem like Foolio is just another buzzing hot rapper on the scene. But in actuality, it goes way deeper than rap.
Falling victim to the confines of his environment, real name Charles Jones hails from a place stricken with gang violence, drugs, poverty, and everything in between. Having almost lost his own life as a teenager, the East Coast rapper lets it all out in his music, speaking his truth as a form of therapy to deal with the pain.
Released in April of this year, Foolio’s “When I See You (Remix),” which was released in response to unresolved beefs around Duval County, currently boasts over 17 million views and counting,
Regardless, Foolio has been killing it independently, most recently releasing his newest banger titled “Whip Bump” while “Play With Me” continues to go viral on TikTok.
AllHipHop: You said you’re buying jewelry on your bday, how much jewelry you got?
Foolio: I don’t got much jewelry on right now, I’m missing that. But I got two Rolex’s, a ring, some chains.
AllHipHop: What was the occasion for the Rolexes?
Foolio: When I bought them? I just wanted them. I was in the jewelry store and I wanted them.
AllHipHop: Are you doing all this independently?
Foolio: Yeah Create Music does my distribution, but I’m independent now.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to be able to buy Rolex’s as an independent artist? A lot of people can’t say that.
Foolio: It feels good. It’s good, they’re like trophies.
AllHipHop: How’s the independent grind? I’m sure you have labels hitting you…
Foolio: It’s good because I’ll make a lot of money and it all comes to me. [laughs] I had a lot of deals. Quality Control flew me out. Gucci Mane, I talked to Gucci Mane last week. We chopped it up.
AllHipHop: What was the conversation with Gucci Mane?
Foolio: S###, he f##### with my music and he wants me on the team. I f### with bruh, that’s love.
AllHipHop: Would you sign with him?
Foolio: Yeah, as long as it makes sense. Everything gotta make sense. I f### with Gucci’s s###.
AllHipHop: Were you excited?
Foolio: Yeah I was excited, but I wasn’t… I’m thorough so all that’s regular to me. Not regular, but you know.
AllHipHop: How rough was it coming up in Jacksonville?
Foolio: I done been through real deal, the worst wars. I done everything I wasn’t supposed to see, did everything I wasn’t supposed to do. From getting shot to going to jail, everything.
AllHipHop: You were shot at 15, there has to be trauma with that. How do you cope?
Foolio: I was young. I was 15 so damn, that s### f##### my head up. Because when you a jit, you don’t know that you can die for real.
AllHipHop: Where did you get hit?
Foolio: In my hip. It broke my hip, I was good though. I was in the hospital for 2 or 3 weeks to a month, I was good.
AllHipHop: What were you going through just recording “When I See You”?
Foolio: When I recorded that, I was in Miami. I didn’t really f### with the beat, but I did the song. Seeing how it sounded, I ended up liking it. I said “it’s gonna hit.” I uploaded the snippet, it hit a million views on my Instagram. That b#### went crazy.
AllHipHop: The deeper meaning behind the music video, what’s the message you were trying to convey?
Foolio: I was setting a statement, everybody knows what it was. It was setting the statement, you know? This what I do.
AllHipHop: Did you think it’d go up like this? 17 million views…
Foolio: Yup, in a month. I knew it was gonna go crazy, but I didn’t think it was gonna go that crazy. I thought it was going to do 2 or 3 million.
AllHipHop: How did your beef with Yungeen Ace start?
Foolio: It ain’t really nothing. It ain’t s###.
AllHipHop: I know witchcraft and Voodoo is big in Jacksonville. Have you and your friends tried that s###?
Foolio: Yeah, something like that. We go to see the voodoo lady to get spells, prayed up.
AllHipHop: What spells ya’ll getting?
Foolio: Safety, money, keep you safe.
AllHipHop: Are you religious at all?
Foolio: Yeah, I believe in God. I pray for safety, better life, everybody safe. Blessings!
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about your new single “Whip Bump.”
Foolio: Yup, “Whip Bump” hardest out right now. TikTok crazy! That bich going crazy on TikTok. I ain’t on Tik Tok, I just got it. I just made an account. I’m getting used to it, learning how to work it.
AllHipHop: I feel like you’re the type that could go viral like [snaps].
Foolio: Who you telling? That song’s a TikTok song, that b#### hard.
AllHipHop: How did it feel reaching 2 million on Youtube in a few days?
Foolio: That s### felt good. I knew it was gonna hit, but damn that’s crazy.” I’m really doing it, 2 million in a day or few days. A big blessing.
AllHipHop: How was shooting the music video?
Foolio: For “Whip Bump,” that s### was lit! We were at the little school. We did the dodgeball scene, that was fun. The classroom scene was lit. When I drowned them with water, that was lit. It was fun.
AllHipHop: How did it feel to have “Play with Me” go viral on TikTok?
Foolio: I’m finna have to redrop that song again, but I f### with it. That’s one of my favorite songs. I’ma have a big artist get on a remix. I f### with “Play with Me,” that’s one of my hardest songs.
AllHipHop: I seen you with Fredo Bang, you got a song in the works?
Foolio: Yup, we got a video finna drop. We shot a video. The record’s hard. Me and him weren’t in the studio when we did it, we did it through email. It’s hard though.
AllHipHop: How did y’all tap in?
Foolio: Lakafilms from Chicago, shoutout Laka. That’s love, I f### with bro. He shot a lot of my videos, like 3 or 4 of my videos.
AllHipHop: Are you selective with who you work with?
Foolio: Not really. If I f### with your vibe, I f### with you.
AllHipHop: Top artists in rotation for you?
Foolio: That I listen to? Me, probably Co Jack. I’ll turn on some Rod Wave, some old Boosie or something like that. That’s about it.
AllHipHop: Is there someone you want to work with?
Foolio: Probably Drake. I f### with Drake.
AllHipHop: How’s your mental state?
Foolio: S###, I’m good. I’m happy as hell to be here.
AllHipHop: You say you like percs and guns, do you ever feel like you’re sending a bad message to the youth?
Foolio: I’m just rapping about my life. Putting verses and bars, rapping about my life.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
Foolio: Yeah, I want to start investing in properties and real estate. I could do it any day, but I got to f### with the right people and get in the right lane.
AllHipHop: How’s it residing in Atlanta?
Foolio: It’s cool, it’s decent. There’s a lot of networking and a lot of artists. I f### with Atlanta, Atlanta’s cool.
AllHipHop: Who you been tapped in with over there?
Foolio: Producer-wise, Zaytoven. We did a whole mixtape 2 or 3 years ago. We been drop that 2 years ago. 6toven, that bih went crazy.
AllHipHop: Is there something that you want to let the people know that they may not know? Besides you being nice.
Foolio: Mixtape finna drop soon. “Love Me Like I’m Dead” the deluxe, that’s finna drop soon. Single “Whip Bump” out everywhere. Co Jack finna drop soon. He’s next, he’s up and coming. We working. We grinding hard, that’s how we doing.
AllHipHop: You got artists under you?
Foolio: Nah, that’s my cousin. He’s grinding, that’s who I’m pushing right now.
AllHipHop: What are you most excited for as the world opens back up?
Foolio: I’m so happy! I’m on a tour right now, so it’s been open for me. I’m happy though, it’s lit!