Lil’ Scrappy: The Reinvention of…

While most 22-year-olds are too busy making petty mistakes, Darryl Kevin Richardson II seems to have the wisdom and experience of a man who has seen much of what life has to offer. Luckily, even though the album is called Bred to Die, Born to Live, Richardson, better known as Lil’ Scrappy, is nowhere near […]

While most 22-year-olds are too busy making petty mistakes, Darryl Kevin Richardson II seems to have the wisdom and experience of a man who has seen much of what life has to offer. Luckily, even though the album is called Bred to Die, Born to Live, Richardson, better known as Lil’ Scrappy, is nowhere near being finished.

Some, however, thought that Scrappy’s recording career with Lil’ Jon’s BME label was finished when 50 Cent began courting the artist to G-Unit. Instead, Lil’ Jon, 50 Cent, and even Slim Shady have all amicably pitched in on this album to give Lil’ Scrappy the buzz he’s pushing for. With many moguls’ hands in one pot, Scrappy’s solo debut stands to be a breakout success. However, the man previously known for his Crunk history says he’s about to show just how real he keeps it. Your latest album Bred to Die, Born to Live, shows you stepping out beyond the Lil’ Jon sound we’ve known. Who worked with you on this one?

Lil’ Scrappy: I got Lil’ Jon on there of course, I got people from Memphis called Drum Squad, Ike Dirty [a.k.a] Issac Hayes III, he produced the single “Money in the Bank,” featuring me and Young Buck. JR from LA, he produced one of my other singles, “Living in the Projects.” Jazze Pha, Sha Money is there, Eminem… everybody. Where’s the album title come from?

Lil’ Scrappy: It’s just life. You born to die, but why the hell you got damn stress about dying out when you can just live? You know what I’m sayin’? That’s all that means. 50 Cent is executive producing the album, after a lot of speculation and whatnot. What can you say about that?

Lil’ Scrappy: If you did not know, G-Unit is the place to be, baby. We all got the family thing going on. Cookouts, barbeques at 50’s house,…he brought me here to put me in the video… it’s just loyalty. So why not make money and do family things at the same time? So that’s what that is right there, ’cause big homie showed me love and the rest of them [G-Unit] always showed me love like I’m their little brother, you know what I’m saying? So it goes down. But I am sure that family-business and business on a professional level don’t always go well together, it’s hard to separate the two at times…

Lil’ Scrappy: I mean, you gotta just separate it [and] as a grown ass man, and I do that. I just look at the situation like this: when it’s time to play, it’s time to play. When it’s time to work it’s time to work and I’m a worker. We just got a good work ethic where [we are just] all in [it] together and we work [hard]. It’s just a good environment to be around, a lot of money, good business people and just makin’ it happen. That collaboration with Eminem for your album, considering that he’s retired and has so much to deal with on his plate, how did you convince him to get on that track with you?

Lil’ Scrappy: He just made the beat for me, and me and 50 wrote the song. It’s just simple stuff, it was five, ten minutes, and it’s done. In your opinion, what do you feel is the most intense track on your album that you want people to pay most attention to?

Lil’ Scrappy: I got a song called “Like Me,” it tells my little story about growing up with my moms, [when] she [was] selling dope, being a pimp, my little cousin Brandon who got kidnapped a long time [ago] and murdered or whatever. All my little life struggles and all the s**t that I done been through to get here. The people that look at me, I don’t think they want to be in my position… they want to be in my position [from a celebrity standpoint] and to be like me, but I don’t think they want to go through what I did to get here. So is the album different than fans of “Headbussa” would expect?

Lil’ Scrappy: I want them to know I got real s**t to talk about. Not just jumpin’ up and down screamin’ out a whole bunch of s**t that don’t mean nothin’. I got real hardcore s**t, I got Crunk s**t and we got reality s**t. I call the album “half-sorrow, half-party.” Half my s**t be sorrow anyway, ’cause n***a be so stressed out. Then we got the Crunk s**t, [that’s the] whole party s**t. [I’m] just letting people know your boy is real. I’m not one of the hardest lil’ rappers they got out there, I’ll just tell you what I’ll do if you f**k me over, you know what I’m talkin’ bout? Not what I’ll do if you don’t do nothin’ to me. You’ve always been known to have an optimistic persona, especially with that incident with the police…

Lil’ Scrappy: I [also] got a song out there for all the po-po. All the po-po that don’t know I have a song for you baby. It’s called “Mr Police.” Police get to get away with a lot of stuff, black, white, Hispanic. They all have this thing about them that [makes them feel as though] their badge is the s**t. Take your badge off, take your [uniform] off, put on your regular clothes and come meet me in the street… it’s nothing. We can handle it like street, but police don’t want to handle it, they want to handle it. How could you lock somebody up and then beat on them. Take the handcuffs off, put your gun and your little stick down and fight! Well let me give you a scenario, for whatever reason you’re stopped by a black police officer, and when you ask him why he stopped you and if it was because you’re black, he says “I don’t see color.” How would you respond to that if he said that to you?

Lil’ Scrappy: [I would say] “You don’t see color, well then you must be color blind, ‘cause I’m black.” It’s not even the thing about race no more, it’s just that they don’t like their jobs so they go off on us. In South Beach, Miami, they told my brother when they locked him up that there was not supposed to be any n***as on South Beach… just whites. No Puerto Ricans, no Cubans, none of that. If I’m black, and I got a whole bunch of money, then that’s still not good. They locked up Lebron James, Juvenile, they had a 1009 people in there – half [with] money, half without money. They beatin’ on people and all kinda stuff and nobody gon’ do nothing about it. Why? ‘Cause they’re the police. If we beat their ass, it’s a year, two, three years in jail. If they beat our ass, [they’re told to] go home for a couple of days, “Get your mind right, come back and we’ll holla at you.” What is the basis? With everything that has happened to you in the last two years, is Bred to Die, Born to Live going to be a darker album?

Lil’ Scrappy: No, like I said, it’s half-sorrow, half-party. I can talk about the bad s**t all day. The f**ked up part about it is you gotta die, the good part about that is you get to live before that. Before I die, I’m gon’ live. I won’t say it’s dark, I say it’s half-dark, half-light. But you don’t fear death?

Lil’ Scrappy: [Pause] I mean… my only fear about death is leaving my little girl with nothing, you know what I’m saying? So I just want to leave [her] as much as I can leave her with. But hopefully, after this, man, it’s straight heaven, baby. Palm trees everywhere. Gold roads and s**t. What was the best track based on lyrical content that you ever heard in your life so far? Like it just really got you intellectually and made you really think about life?

Lil’ Scrappy: I think 2Pac’s “Staring at the World Through my Rearview.” That’s one of the song that kind of touched me, and that Eminem song [“Mockingbird”]. Like I said, during the time off, it’s my daughter, But when you gotta go, you gotta go and it kinda hurt sometime to leave your family [when] your little girl is sitting there [looking at you like,] “Damn, I’m part of your life too.” What do you think is missing in Hip-Hop right now, and what are you gonna do to try and bring change to that?

Lil’ Scrappy: I’m gonna make it good to be real again, you know what I’m saying? I’m gonna make it real smooth and gangsta to be real… I done did everything, sold dope, did a nine-to-five, fought, got fought. I’m a real dude, at the end of the day, you ain’t got to do none of that to be real, you just do you. I just want to make it good to be real and not hard…