Lil Scrappy: Born Ready
Just a little over five years into his career, Atlantas Lil
Scrappy has experienced much success in Hip-Hop. The young MC came into the
game with a co-sign from super-producer Lil Jon, reaching gold success on the Kings of Crunk
compilation. From there, Scrappy partnered with 50 Cent to drop his Top 20,
2006 debut Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live.
Dissatisfied with the lack of support from major label
Warner Bros, Scrappy secured his release and founded his very own label G$ Up
Records. Early plans were delayed when the rapper was stabbed in a July 2008
domestic dispute involving his sisters boyfriend, and subsequently arrested
for felony possession of marijuana, battery of an officer, and possession of a
firearm/knife. Now back on track and living up to the perseverance his name
implies, Lil Scrappy outlines plans for an ambitious 2009, starting with the
February 24 release of Silence and
Secrecy (Black Rag Gang).
Its been two years since your last project, which is a lifetime in Hip-Hop.
What has been going on with you professionally and personally in preparation
for the new LP this month?
just getting my mind right. I [had] to get off the old label I was on, Warner
Bros. I was making hits but they werent putting nothing
out. If your record label is not behind it, then no one else will [be]. So why
am I on a record label? I can be f**ked up by myself. I was kinda
cool with the label dudes [and] we reached an agreement. [They told me] I dont
know want to do with you, but Im sure theres someone out there who can handle
just straight up Hip-Hop. I come as I am, thats how I market myself. Im a
real emotional type of rapper. I make real music. After that all I had to work
was work on my music, my group, and get Diamond from Crime Mob together. She
got an album coming [too].
Mentioning the major label experience, you were blessed in your first two albums
to work with an all-star cast that a lot of artists dont see over their whole
career. How have those collaborations and close relationships with people like
50 Cent and Lil Jon helped you approach the CEO position you now hold?
Scrappy: Jon and
50 have good work ethics. When I first came in the game I was already a
workaholic. And being around Jon
being that hes a perfectionist it makes you step up the product. Jon always
said, After its out, its out. Ive brought Jon 60 songs before, and when he
heard No Problems he said, Thats the one. Hes very confident.
With 50, [his advice] would be I cant tell you what to say,
but keep in mind some of it has to be radio friendly. He showed me that dont
make the process too hard. Its our life and what we do. Hes another
workaholic to make you be like, Damn! He showed me how
to be a businessman.
Lil Scrappy "No Problems" Video
Youve already revealed two members on your crew in Young Vet and Pooh Baby.
How many people are in the crew and a part of your new label G$ Up?
just a mixture. Everybody already knows about Atlanta. You got Pooh Baby from
the Eastside and Decatur. Young Vet holding down Marietta. He brings a new
whole swag to the game. And with Scrappy Im going to give you everything. We
got something for the D-boys, players, b***hes, for
Who are some of the producers on the new album?
Scrappy: Off the
top Drumma Boy (Crank It Up, Yummy Yum), C Gutta (Damn), Tillie (Cell Phone Watch, Gas) and Young
Juve (Grustle Or Not).
Its a lot of people that normally dont get a lot of recognition but put out
you know the Atlanta Hip-Hop scene is ever evolving with new faces and trends.
This record of course has a strong Atlanta base, but how do you expect it to
never made records just for Atlanta. Everyone in Atlanta f**ks with each other which makes the sound national. I
didnt just grow up on OutKast, but Biggie, Tupac, and UGK. But [even] with my South swag I still speak
from a universal tip that everyone can understand.
Lil Scrappy "Head Bussa" Video
Youre five years into your career, which is a milestone that a lot of Hip-Hop
artists do not reach. What do you attribute your success and perseverance to?
Scrappy: I just
thank God, man, first and foremost. I had stopped for a little bit back in the
day because I had got all my teeth knocked out my mouth [Editors Note: In a 2006 crowd moshing
incident]. And 50 came back in and saved me from just being dropped to the
bottom of the crowd. I thank God for that opportunity to recreate and start
over. Thats the best thing about Hip-Hop; you can recreate if youre creative
enough. People love new creations despite what they say. It feels good and sounds
good. Thats what I have to play into. I have to make sure whatever the next
man is doing, Im not doing.
Last summer you had the legal situation with the stabbing, but to your credit
you didnt get on YouTube and exploit it through the media like a lot rappers
do. How important is it for you to keep a definitive line between your personal
life and professional persona?
Scrappy: You gotta think man, people cling to
the movie of their life, and I just dont do that. I like to come home, look at
TV just do stuff that regular folks do. Youre trying to pay your bills? S**t
Im trying to pay mine, you feel me? When I go out I dont make a big scene. If
I go to buy something, its just me, not 50 dudes. I remember not having
things. I remember people saying, Who is Lil Scrappy?, when I used to perform before I became known. I still
have a real life, and material things arent going to go with me when I die.
Im about my Hip-Hop and moving my career in the right direction. People do
hate when they dont see you for awhile. They assume youre not going anywhere.
But those people dont know the business, and every two or three years Im gonna keep coming. And Im moving
into movies as well.
Diamond & Lil Scrappy "Wishe Washe" Video
Much has been said about the mainstream direction of Hip-Hop. What do you like
about todays sound and where do you see room for improvement?
Scrappy: I like
it, its creative but it has no substance. Lil Wayne, T.I., Game, 50, Kanyes albums had substance. But everything else has
something missing. Its like were getting the pizza without tomato sauce. The
music we make down here has always been about partying, even back with OutKast. But we would still talk about real ass s**t with
it, like Jeezys Put On. And you got New York with
the party thing and their street thing. Everyone is waiting to see what the
next style is. Somebody just has to come in and take it over and thats gonna be me this year. Theres no one to blame this time,
its just me. Im gonna go hard. After the G$ Up
album I have my own album dropping, and then Diamonds (from Crime Mob) album
is dropping. And I have a reality show coming out this year for BET.
You mentioned your own solo album, when is that tentatively scheduled to drop?
Summertime this year. After that next album drop youre gonna be like, Well Scrappy did say he was gonna do it [big] [laughs]. Im definitely coming strong
a CEO, how hard is it to put aside friendships and personal relationships with
your artists to make sure business is handled accordingly?
Scrappy: I can
tell you I dont have too many friends in the rap game. One is Wayne. I told
him to get on something and he just jumped on it; did it and sent it back to
me. I can always call 50, Yayo because hes crazy and
will do anything, Banks, 40 Glocc, and all kind of
people. I can hit up Gucci Mane, Big Kuntry, or T.I.
to get on something. Even Shawty Lo! I f**ks with everybody. Thats a
good business mindset. Who you know gets you on, [but] what you know keeps you
on. Like Jon, hes never done an album by himself. Hes always had other
artists. I had fun making records with 3-6 Mafias crazy asses,
Yung Joc, Jazze Pha, and Yo Gotti.
Even though some of them charged me a helluva lot, I
got introduced to their fanbase and vice versa.
Lil Scrappy & G$'s "Cell Phone Watch" Video
Atlanta has been at the forefront of mainstream Hip-Hop for the last couple
years. Do you see the city starting any new trends in 2009?
Scrappy: We wanna hear something new every
day. We woke up and heard the old s**t yesterday. The underground always
switches over and becomes the bomb. Before the underground was that weak s**t,
now its that superstar s**t. You got superstars making underground music.
Gucci Mane is underground, so is Jeezy and Lil
Scrappy. S**t flips. I remember we couldnt even get played. Next thing you
know they caught on. So as the music develops well keep killing the game.
Atlanta is now fighting for the lyrical battle now. They
still think down South is not lyrical even though weve showed it. OutKast showed it back in the day, and even now in Wayne
and T.I. Were versatile, so were not going to do that s**t every song.
Everyone has their different flavor of music. Hip-Hop will never just be one
thing anymore. Weve went through that. MC Hammer came in and took it over. Ice
Cube knocked that out with the gangsta era. Who is
coming next? We havent found the person that has that tomato sauce to put back
on the pizza. All we got now is the toppings.