As the self-proclaimed King of Philly, Gillie Da Kid may seem to be enduring an arduous reign. He has survived multiple gun shot
wounds, has experienced sordid beefs and has recovered from bogus record deals.
A candid chuckle reflects his resilient perspective when he says,
Ive never had a bad day in my life. You know, I just keep things moving.
Gillie is in ceaseless motion; his hustle is as constant as
his breathing. I come from a single-parent household. My mom worked two jobs,
he reveals. Thats just what I come from, nothing. But, when you come from
nothing the only way youre gonna
get to something is with hard work.
Da Kids latest mixtape, I Am Philly,
was just released on Figgas 4 Life Ent. and features the likes of Ace McCloud and Don
Cannon. Loving music too much to ever renounce his musical throne, Gillie
arent you appearing at the Brotherly Love Concert?
Gillie Da Kid: Because, Im shooting a movie called King of the Avenue in Puerto Rico. I
just got the call from Ving Rhames
and the director [Ryan Combs]. I have to fly out on Tuesday to start filming
the movie. I had every the intentions on performing next Thursday. Unfortunately
the schedules conflicted and I had to exclude [myself] and start filming for
this movie next week.
it purely last minute scheduling; it wasnt any disrespect towards anyone?
Gillie Da Kid: Its
my hectic schedule When I got the call about the whole Nike situation and the
whole concert I agreed on it right off the back. They presented it to me and it
was something for peace on the streets. And I already got a lot to do around here with the Put Down the Gun campaign. I go around to
the schools and talk to the kids. I already do a lot of things in that
perspective around Philadelphia.
this scheduling conflict, do you anticipate any shenanigans to occur this
Sunday at your show with Cassidy at Transit nightclub? [Ed. Note: the show occurred Dec. 7, 2008]
Me and Cassidy [are] good. We sat down, we talked, we good. Its
going to be a beautiful situation. Its just going to be a big concert. Im
bringing a lot of artists out from Philadelphia with me. I know its not going
to be no type of shenanigans or no foolishness from my side. It should be all
love; a beautiful situation.
your opinion about veteran MCs embracing the upcoming or unsigned talent within
Hip-Hop? Can MCs weather these slumping sales?
Gillie Da Kid: To
me, the main reason why the industry is down on record sales is because of the
economy. But, another reason got a lot to do with these record labels. They signing
these motherf**kers that aint got no story. They dont
have nothing about them; all they got is a hot record
But, theyre gonna make a
million dollars in ringtones; theyre comfortable with that.
But everybody that got the
streets, everybody that has a story, everybody that has a following sells
records. Jeezy doesnt have a problem selling
records, Rick Ross doesnt have a problem selling records, T.I.
doesnt have a problem selling records. Name any artist that has the streets,
they dont have a problem selling records because they have a fanbase.
it essential for the public to be able to reach past the façade thats created
for the artists by the record companies?
Gillie Da Kid: You
gotta be able to identify with the artist. When we
were coming up, we listened to Biggie because we felt like we could identify with
him. I was on my way to school, Im in the mirror, Im
rapping. I felt like I could identify with him. Now, its no identification
[with MCs] Yeah, you can sell ringtones but when his album come out how many
copies is he gonna sell 5,000? I sell 5,000 mixtapes. I sell 10,000 mixtapes
every time I drop a mixtape, 15,000 mixtapes in Philadelphia alone. I got over 35 million views
on YouTube. Theres a reason why I have close to 4 million plays on MySpace,
because Im a hustler.
it okay for MCs to employ poetic license; speaking of things that theyve never
Gillie Da Kid: I mean, its all entertainment, so you know.
Thats 95% of these artists out here, speaking on stuff they never seen before.
you were ghostwriting for Cash Money, did you ever envision Lil Wayne getting
as hot as he is now?
Gillie Da Kid: At the end of the day thats a situation that
God put Wayne in. Im happy for him. Me, I cant hate on no n***a. All I do is
try to create my own lane.
Gillie Da Kid: Do you feel any sorta way about the supposed Hot Boy reunion?
Nah, nuh uh. I f**ks with everybody; I f**ks with Juvie, I f**ks with B.G., I f**ks with Turk. So, you know, its all love from me.
Them n****s need to go get they money.
a major record company announced that their digital sales have surpassed their
retail sales. With that being said, whats the most useful digital outlet that
you use to help promote your music?
Gillie Da Kid: Man,
its so many websites and the Internet is so big. You know what Im
saying? Its kinda like, its a plus and its a
negative. Now artists can get hot from the Internet. But now the Internet has
provided artists [a platform] and now its not about talent anymore. Like this
Dirty Rik kid, that artist just
feel like he can use the Internet to get hot. And you got someone whos
creating a buzz on something that doesnt really [have] anything to do with talent.
The Internet helps you and it kinda
kills you. Because, at the same time now people arent going to stores, theyre
you be releasing any more PSAs via YouTube?
Gillie Da Kid: With
that little f*** boy, the only reason why I did it was because he mentioned my
wife name in a rap. If he wouldnt have mentioned my wife I probably wouldnt
have said nothing about him. Hes not relevant Youre
disrespecting me and you have 20,000 views in over a week and a half. Thats because
motherf**kers dont care
about what youre saying... If you disrespect someone in my
family or somebody that I have something to do very closely with, then I take
s**t like that personal. The actual rapping part of it, none of that
really bothered me. His credibility to my credibility is not even close.
he disrespected your wife, thats when it became personal?
Yeah, when you mentioned my wife on some rap s**t. And at the end
of the day I would have just seen him and slapped the s**t out of him. [Its] like
hes in hiding. I havent seen him in three years.
the status of Major Figgas?
Gillie Da Kid: The
Figgas is still on and popping. You feel what Im
saying? Its just that right now were all concentrating our efforts on Gillie.
Gillies gonna kick the door
in and then were gonna come with the Figgas album.
mentioned earlier that youre working on the movie King of the Avenue with Ving Rhames. Is your part in the movie based on life reflecting
art or art reflecting life?
Gillie Da Kid: Honestly,
to be all the way honest with you, I just think its a blessing from God. I
honestly feel in my heart feel that God knows that I work hard for everything
that I have. Just by the way me and Ving
met. He saw me on a DVD, he was out in Boston, he was filming a movie, and he
just so happened to walk into a store and buy a bunch of DVDs. The first DVD he
put in, I was on it. He seen me just off a DVD and decided, I need to contact
this kid. He felt as though this kid has talent that goes beyond rap.
that Marijuana High?
Gillie Da Kid: Nah,
this was a DVD called Ghetto Report.
And for a guy thats worth as much money as Ving Rhames to call Black Child, Black Child called my dad... My dad
gave him the number [and] Ving called me the next
day. And we talked on the phone everyday since that day; which has probably
been close to a year ago. I talked to him everyday. He flew me out to California, he gave me a house for $2.5 million. To me its
just a blessing that Im around somebody that has that type of power and thats
not intimidated by me. Im a presence and Im gonna be me no matter who Im around.
A lot of times when youre dealing with the music industry
youre dealing with these CEOs who are also rappers, when they get a guy like
me in front of them, whos charismatic, who has a presence; theyre intimidated
by it. I was happy with the fact that Ving wasnt intimidated, he was accepting to it.
Hes in a situation where Im trying to get to.
you an MC that plans to retire from the mic to take up acting?
Gillie Da Kid: As
of right now I got three movie roles. I got a movie Im about to shoot King of the Avenue. And
theres another movie called Thug
that I shoot, uh, I think in the beginning of February. Im really trying to
get into the acting heavy. But, that was always my goal with the rapping, to
put my albums out and do me and eventually cross over. You can act until youre
1,000 years old.
there anything else youd like to elaborate on?
Gillie Da Kid: Man,
I just want to tell people check me out on my MySpace, www.myspace.com/figga4lifeent, you know what Im saying? Shoot me a comment, show your boy some love. I got new mixtapes out and Im coming to a hood near you.