“GET THE GAT GET THE GAT GET THE GAT!”
We’ve all heard the viral smash “Get The Gat,” quite possibly one of the hottest songs to grace the rap game. Lil Elt, the
New Orleans native who created the record back in 1992 at just 17-years-old.
Now three decades later the song has seen a huge resurgence, thanks to LSU taking home the trophy in the NCAA National Championship while celebrating the victory with “Get The Gat” and corresponding dances.
Immediately, the song became a phenomenon and sparked a worldwide social media challenge (particularly on TikTok), reeling in celebrities who partook in the dance challenge ranging from Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, Justin Combs, Marshmello, to Odell Beckham, and even Donald Trump.
Beyond the millions of videos created on TikTok, Jay-Z and Jay Electronica sampled the record on “Flux Capacitor” from the latter’s newest project A Written Testimony.
In fact, Roc Nation even reached out to Lil Elt’s team to get the sample cleared.
AllHipHop: What was it like creating “Get The Gat” in New Orleans?
Lil Elt: Back in the day when we were doing the thing, I was with the DJ crew doing parties, school dances, block parties, whatever. The DJ gets on the turntables, he’s going to take the club beat/instrumental, backtrack that. We grab the mic and tell them “shake that ass, throw it in the air, represent your ward!” That’s where that originated, we started screaming “get the gat!” and it took off through the neighborhoods. I made the song up. I was in the living room, me, MC Dart & DJ Tee put it together. They’re coming to the door every day like they’re coming to buy crack. That’s how hot it was.
I’m talking a 90-minute cassette tape with one song on it. Everybody paid $10 for it. Everybody who’s purchasing one, their tape was being stolen. They’d come back and get another one. The s### was so hot. I’m in the club with the DJ, not knowing he’s standing right next to me, selling my product to people walking up who wanted the song. When he’d play it, he got his cassette and put it on record. Making copies right there, selling them $10 a pop.
This was going on through different clubs in the city. I wasn’t there but I happened to walk up on one and it was going down. That made us make the move; we gotta put this song out. We went to the studio and I put it down, the rest is history. It took off when it hit the streets. For it to come back 2021 30 years later, it’s doing what I wanted it to do: go national. That’s what’s happening right now, it’s a big blessing now.
AllHipHop: Did you think it would go up the way it did?
Lil Elt: It’s been hot ever since, to the point where one time, Uncle Luke was looking into this song. Some people didn’t relay that to me, but a big promoter told me he was looking into “Get The Gat.” It was smooth back then. I’m blessed to have the new generation, even these guys are on it from the children on up. They’re loving this “Get The Gat” so it’s big things with it.
AllHipHop: Talk about selling vinyl in the 90’s, when the murder rate was highest in the country.
Lil Elt: Any vinyls we did sell were to the DJs. As far as cassettes, we ran through them. During the 90’s when everything was murder cap, certain school dances or block parties, they’ll let us know from jump do not play “Get The Gat.” I’m with the DJs and they can’t even play the song, that’s how turnt up it was. When they do play it, the song never finishes. They’ll start fighting, start jumping off. They loved that beat.
AllHipHop: How’s it feel to see people making videos all these decades later?
Lil Elt: Oh man, I’m still pinching myself. 30 years later, to have a song come back and do what it’s doing, blowing up like this? It’s doing what I wanted it to do in the 90’s. Donald Trump posted it. That’s where it did its thing with LSU, that’s where it mainly jumped off.
The influencer “SubTweet Shawn” went to the LSU locker room and danced with the players. That’s where I started watching the numbers turn and all I needed was LSU to win that championship. I said “if they win the championship, I can get ready.” I got ready and sure enough, this is where we’re at now.
AllHipHop: What was your reaction when they won?
Lil Elt: Man, I’m sitting on the edge of the bed like “Win this game!” If they win I win, and that’s what it was. I’m in LA for the first time, this is where “Get The Gat” brought me. Oh man, it’s beautiful.
AllHipHop: You were 17 when you recorded “Get The Gat,” how have you evolved as an artist and person?
Lil Elt: Now when the money starts coming in, I know what to do with it. I’m not a 17-year-old with that type of cash. I’m very smart, that’s the lovely thing about it. With it coming in after all of these years, my kids are witnessing what they always heard. Growing up, they heard about it. They’re in their 20’s now, they’re able to be in the video. They always heard about their daddy’s song… it wasn’t no lie, it was the truth.
AllHipHop: How do your kids feel?
Lil Elt: They’re still trippin’ off it. Just what the hood told them: “your daddy’s song, that ‘Get The Gat’!” Even at their school, I’m talking about teachers coming up to them once they see their names. They’re named after me, my name is Elton. My daughters are Eltonique and Eltonesha. My son is named after me, Elton III. Once the teachers asked who their father is and realized I sung “Get The Gat,” they got a story to tell them. They’re living the dream with me.
AllHipHop: 150 million videos made on TikTok alone, what’s gotten you most hyped?
Lil Elt: Seeing those superstars, the big rappers. Drake in New York in the club scratching “Get The Gat,” hyping it up. Lil Wayne mentioning it in his interview. He started singing it. He said “LSU won, shout out LSU. ‘Get The Gat’! ‘Get The Gat’!” Snoop DJing and doing the damn thing, he’s the first one I saw. When I started seeing celebrities like Marshmello… that s### went crazy.
AllHipHop: Talk about the remix coming.
Lil Elt: Actually, that’s on the hush. We not even running that up, I just want people to know it’s going to be something major.
AllHipHop: Is Lil Wayne involved?
Lil Elt: Wayne had already done a couple of songs on his own, even underground tapes where he’s done “Get The Gat.” Not really sounding like me, but mentioning “Get The Gat” in his songs. He tried to link up with us before he dropped his Funeral album to do a thing with “Get The Gat,” but the business part was too late in the game. They wanted to drop that within a week, so he went on with the other thing. I’m not letting them know who it is. I’ma pop out with it, let them feel the heat.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Lil Elt: Right now, what I’m working on is the “Get The Gat” remix. Close this chapter with a remix, because it didn’t come 30 years later just to go viral and that’s it. This story has already been written, we’re going to put it down. Once that remix done, I’ma do my other thing. I’ma have more music. I’ve always done my music. I’ve done gangster rap where I done the gat, and things went the other way with that. I was always under the radar doing my music in the interim, that’s still gonna be that. I want to do this “Get The Gat” remix, put that out there, and give my people some other stuff.
AllHipHop: Jay-Z sampled your song in “Flux Capacitor,” how’d it feel to have Roc Nation email come through?
Lil Elt: Jay-Z spit “Get The Gat” on the hook, on Jay Electronica’s album. Roc Nation called us and touched base to clear the sample. Somebody sent me a message saying “if you got Jay-Z saying it, that’s it.” [laughs] “You’ve done it.” It’s a great feeling, to have it back like this.
AllHipHop: What’s the reality of the independent grind?
Lil Elt: Oh it’s work, and I don’t mind putting it in. This is what we come from. I was doing it at 17. I knew the main business part is the grind, everything else will fall in line. I’m ready to get it out here.
AllHipHop: Anything you are looking forward to?
Lil Elt: I’m looking forward to getting this remix done, and a brand new music video.