In Hip-Hop, every year is major, and the year is not over yet. Its the fourth quarter; 4th and inches, so only the star players are shuffling in the game to tally those critical points necessary to put the nail in the coffin. As Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, and Bun B got cozy in Houstons year, Lil Flip etched away at his next album, I Need Mine.
While Flips name might not excite like the others this year, in 2002, he was reigning supreme. Perhaps some friendly [and not] competition may give Flip to push to regain his throne. In a discussion with AllHipHop.com, Flip reflects on his competition, his unsung friend Z-Ro, and he revisits the T.I. situation, and its implications on his career. Welcome back, Flip!
AllHipHop.com: The year 2005 has been a phenomenal year for Hip-Hop, particularly Houston. A lot of people would say your success has been a catalyst for a lot of that with the fame of Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Paul Wall. How do you feel about your role/your mark as far as H-Town is concerned?
Lil Flip: I was the first to put Screwed & Chopped versions of songs with the album. Some people give you props, some people dont; I didnt want to be labeled as the usual artist. The difference between me and the other artists - I dont do my whole album about candy paint, the whole album isnt just for Houston. The stuff I been doing everybody is doing now, like showing your grill. I been did that. I feel I have other visions. I feel responsible for putting the [DJ] Screw stuff worldwide and doing Screwed & Chopped albums and all that.
AllHipHop.com: I Need Mine is about to drop. It seems you have been off the scene for a little while, as far as mainstream. Ive seen the underground stuff, you in the video with Chamillionaire; however, where you been at?
Lil Flip: Ive been busy, working on a movie. I got this liquor deal, the liquor is already in stores, got my watches coming December, I signed eight artists. I got Sqad Up, I know the streets know that, Crime Boss; he used to be with Suave House. The Clover Gees coming next year. Got this group called the Texas Boyz. I got a game plan, about a year ago I was on so many collaborations, I did Naughty Girl, Ridin Spinners, so I feel like if you over-saturate yourself people get tired of you, so I took a break; and I am making beats now.
AllHipHop.com: For who?
Lil Flip: I produced records on Lil Kekes new album, Big Pokey, I did five tracks on my new album. I never stop working, man. But this time around, when I come back this time, I aint going to go away, I might not do as many features on other peoples records, but as far as my artists, you going to hear me on most of they singles to make sure they get those spins they need.
AllHipHop.com: When you left Sucka Free, you came out with Clover Gees. Whats your vision for Clover Gees?
Lil Flip: The way I see it, before the rap stuff, we all family. So, one of the artists thats in the Clover Gees, C-Note, he put me on my first record. My goal is to train everybody and let them know brand your name. You aint got to rap forever, I got their minds on getting movies, getting things thats higher than rap. In a minute, everybody going to see, man. I am going to put them out there right. Aint nothing going to be rushed, we got time to listen to the records. If it aint right, people going to know. I am fin to have them right.
AllHipHop.com: The previous years were real big for you as far as becoming a high-ranked artist. With that, came a lot of credit and a lot of discredit and some of that came from the same people who previously gave you credit. How do you feel about all that animosity that you have accumulated with your fame.
Lil Flip: For one, I am not a snitch. Just like I am on the phone with you, I dont know what you did before you got on the phone with me. You dig what I am sayin? So, just cause somebody tell me, Hey, this dude aint hustlin, they dont know cause they aint with you right now, how they going to know what you doing. People be like, I was hustlin and they lying, you can check four years ago I was here and such and such That is stupid to me. Now I got information on one of these people who was on this mixtapes trying to discredit me, they smoking other stuff than what regular people smoke, but I didnt put that out there. I feel like for me to look good, I dont have to crush nobody. I dont go out trying to disrespect nobody to try to make me look good. When I came in the game, my OGs taught me [that] everybody aint going to like you. So, if you spend your whole day trying to make everybody like you, you never going to be satisfied. The way I look at that is all the people that got something negative to say about me, you look where they at now. Aint sold not one record, they have sold nothing, they have not sold three million ringtones. Aint made half a million off their liquor before they dropped. You know what I mean, we on two different levels. [They dont have any number one singles]. Its like why would I step down to address it. People can say what they want to say, cause at the end of the day, when it come to putting out hit records, and making good music, and having good videos that get played 60 times and get retired. Every time I drop, a video it gets retired. There is no comparison, man, I dont let it bother me. The fans stick by me, you got few fans they switch over and all that.
AllHipHop.com: Looking at the fans, you briefly addressed how some may switch over. Not to compare, however, so you can feel me. Ja Rule, he made a lot of good hits, good music; however, a fan base can be real fickle. T.I. came at you kind of hard [a whole mixtape aimed at you] and most times, something like that can kill a persons fan base. How do you feel about that?
Lil Flip: You must aint heard the Kings of the South mixtape? This is the crazy part about that, I didnt go in the studio and give it 110% when I was doing my diss records, I got some more records, but we came to the agreement, that you know I could have said some s**t worse. Lets go with facts, he got other people on mixtapes saying such and such, negative s**t that aint true or whatever. This is the crazy part about the whole situation, dude said what he had to say, and I did what I had to do on the Kings of the South. He tried to charge Z-Ro some money for a verse. Telling him, I like you or whatever, so I am only going to charge you $20,000, so he took some disrespect to that. Anyhow, this is how I look at the situation, before any of these rappers who got beef with me dog; I was platinum in the whole United States before they had one record. When fans look at the printout, I dont think its going to do s**t because everywhere I go its nothing but love dog. Im still a humble cat; I dont go around disrespecting people no matter how much money I got, you know that just aint me. It dont bother me dog.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about one of my favorite tracks of yours, Burbans and Lacs
Lil Flip: I mean, there are probably about five artists I can get in the studio with and just straight up vibe and we knock s**t out in ten minutes or whatever. Making that record it sounded like some straight down South, just gutter s**t. We just did it, see when I do my music dog; I listen to rappers like 8Ball and MJG and s**t like that. So, when I get in the studio, I try to do music with no barriers. Back in the day, people used to do damn near 24s and 30s. 8Ball would rap in and out, he do four bars, he do five bars. It was a chance for me and Z-Ro to get in the studio, and just do what the f**k we feel.
AllHipHop.com: Z-Ro and you did some special stuff. As far as the upcoming year, who can we expect some collaborations from on I Need Mine.
Lil Flip: Every album I step it up. This album I did a lot of songs by myself, different types of s**t. A lot of people dont like down South rappers, trying to say they not lyricists. This whole album is just showing the haters, they really dont know what they talking about, because I came in this game freestyling and battling, so thats cool. However, you got to learn how to separate making a battle record from a hit record. I got Nate Dogg on a record; he did a hook with me, this song called, No Love. I got my favorite rapper, MJG, he got a song with me and Squad Up called, Cant You Tell. Of course the Clover Gs is on the album, Squad Up is on the album, Z-Ro is on the album, Yukmouth, Lil Keke, and Big Pokey.
AllHipHop.com: So when can we expect to see it in stores?
Lil Flip: December 27, man. We wrapped it up, just got done shooting two videos man. I shot a video for the single I got with Mannie Fresh called, What It Do. Then I shot a video for the single I produced called, Warrior. So I got those two singles and the album comes with a DVDyoull get the two new videos, plus a video with me, Keke, and Pokey; we did a song called, Starched and Clean. I take em to Amsterdam, for all those smokers out there. Plus I am giving away ten gifts; I got ten Golden Tickets in the albums. People can either win five Clover G watches, my watches coming out in December. They can win five Clover G chains.
AllHipHop.com: Who do you think is the hottest rapper in Texas, yourself included, the hottest in the South, and the hottest rapper period?
Lil Flip: For one, I would have to say myself as the hottest rapper in the [Houston]. Me coming out before I was rapping, I got to studying every rapper that was out. I feel like I have a little bit of all these rappers that sold a lot of records in me. I can tell you a story like Scarface do. I have a song called Hood Stories I am going to put out. When it come to spitting that pimp s**t, MJG got that, you dig what I am saying? You know when it come to being Trill, and talking about how we do it, Bun B. got that, you know what I am saying. I just feel like I am one of the few that can get in the studio dog and make an album that will take me to Germany, take me to France, like U Gotta Feel Me did. A lot from down South never get a chance to go overseas man, I been.