Littles is a survivor. Raised in the infamous Queens Bridge housing projects, the rapper has overcome adversity and hardship his entire life. He was only in seventh grade when he dropped out of school to run the streets. Eventually, the street life caught up to Littles and he served five years in prison. Once released, he knew he had to play a different game. Initially, hooked up with Nas, but Littles was not content playing the bench. The QB rep then got on his grind and starting flooding the streets with his CD/DVD projects, such as 2003’s release The Feeding. Littles began running with Mobb Deep, and appeared their last two albums Infamy and Amerikaz Nightmare. However, after a highly publicized and furious split, Mobb Deep and Littles parted ways in a huff. Now the hood business man is looking to write his own page in the history book. His latest mixtape/DVD Reloaded recently hit the streets, and it is Littles’ final project before his official debut The Streets Will Listen. In a humbling interview with AllHipHop.com, Littles opens up like never before. Littles discusses everything from his early days running the streets, to a hustler’s transition into the Rap game, to moving forward. This is no small talk, but this absolutely is Littles!
AllHipHop.com: When should we see your official debut The Street’s Will Listen ?
Littles: I have been staying away from major labels for a long time, as I won’t even take meetings. I have learned how to really eat off of this DVD game. I have learned the ins and outs and how to make good money. I plan for this DVD to be my last knock on the door. Once I get in the situation that I really want, I’ll roll with it. I could have had my card turned in the direction of a Koch or somebody like that, but I want to see what else I can get out of life before I settle for less. I got Petey Pablo, Pastor Troy, Jazz from Dru Hill, Ras Kass, just to name a few. But I got a bunch of flamers that are just waiting. And all of the production is from Havoc. Heat!
AllHipHop.com: All of them?
Littles: All of them, I swear to you. Every big song that I have, Havoc did the production. It’s crazy!
AllHipHop.com: Is it old school, grimy Havoc production?
Littles: Grimy! I’m from the streets, I ain’t going to pick no “Hey Luv” [a 112 song]. I listen to the beats that Havoc wants to erase. He makes a lot of beats, and he’ll say, “Erase that”. That’s when I come in saying, “Hold up!” He was going to erase “Quiet Storm”! That beat was going to be erased, until Prodigy walked in the studio and said, “That beat is crazy. Put it on a zip drive and let me have it.” So I waited, sat in the studio with him while he was doing beats, and I listened for the ones that he wanted to delete. That’s when I say, “Timeout!”
AllHipHop.com: I’m not here to focus on beef or anything that has went down in the past, but it looks like Mobb Deep is close to signing with 50 Cent? What do you think about that?
Littles: On one note, I’m happy for them, because I would hate for me to walk in Pathmark and see Havoc or Prodigy behind the cash register, checking my bags. Because they got dropped from Jive, and their business wasn’t as tight as it should be. But 50 is a beast, he is a f**king gorilla! Whoever he puts down with him wins. On another note, I’ll put it like this, it’s like Michael Jackson owning all the rights to The Beatles. 50 is Michael, and they are The Beatles. Whether 50 outsold them or not, Mobb Deep is a classic group! They could have been billionaires by now if they would have just been more business savvy.
AllHipHop.com: At one point, Prodigy was one of the top ten MC’s in the game – period. More recently, his voice and tone has changed a lot.
Littles: I think he lost his passion, and his motivation. I think he’s unsure of who he is. I don’t think he knows he’s Prodigy. I don’t think he knows he was one of the best three MC’s in the world at one point! I think that is the problem, plus he lost his identity. Because his rhymes are so basic now, he just uses words that rhyme back and forth together. And Hav is f**king spitting fire now! And you have to ask yourself why?
I just gave Havoc his first birthday party ever! Ever! He just turned 30, and I did his birthday party at club Exit with DJ Enuff. 4,000 people showed up! I had a naked girl jump out of a cake. That was the best birthday he ever had. He never had a birthday party since his mom’s gave him one at nine years old. I’m into stuff like that, and I’m family oriented. I’m not talking about kids either, I’m talking about when I’m in Amsterdam, and I see a pair of Uptown’s that I know are never going to be in New York, I’ll be six pairs in all of our sizes and bring them back. You feel me? Everybody has a different color. I want my money that I paid for them – cool – but its all love. They were used to flying around the world and buying stuff for themselves. I’m like, “Damn, you could have picked me up a shirt.” So I brought morals and values to Mobb Deep. And even though we are not together anymore, I pray that they take those morals and values and run with it. I know I got to earn my keep to make it to where they have been – I know that! I haven’t sold millions of records – I know that. I didn’t come out with a “Drop A Gem On ‘Em,” “Survival Of The Fittest,” or “Shook Ones.” I can never take away from what they accomplished, and I respect their accomplishments. But what I’m trying to do is, create my own accomplishments now. But bottom, Prodigy just lost his drive. Maybe 50 Cent can give him his grind back. G-G-G-G-Unit!
AllHipHop.com: At first, what attracted you to the street life?
Littles: What attracted me was, looking out of my project window, seeing other people, and knowing my mother couldn’t afford a pair of Patrick Ewing’s or Saucony’s for me. I would look out my window and see kids my age, or a year or two older than me with triple fat gooses on, selling crack and cocaine. Back then, it was so easy, because we were all in the same school or same class. And I had a pair of these sneakers on, and they got the Saucony’s. So I chose the streets as my scapegoat. That was my way to put a few extra dollars in my pocket. Once the streets embraced me, I felt like no one else understood what I was going through or what I was living, other than the people in the streets is was with. So it took my life over!
AllHipHop.com: How did you make the transition to the Rap game then?
Littles: I have always been good at expressing myself. I eventually grew up and realized I didn’t need to have all of that [materialsm]. That’s when I started rapping, because I would hear people rhyming but they were trash! I was like, “I can do better than that”. So at first I was doing poems, then I just got into rhyming heavy. Every jail that I went to, I wanted to battle everyone. Whoever was the illest in the jail, I would come out of my cell with about five or six new rhymes a day. Since I had so much time on my hands, I would memorize five or six rhymes, go into the yard, spit all the old rhymes I had, and then end off with the new ones. It just became a part of my life, and I started looking forward to going into my cell, and writing more rhymes so I could come back in the yard and hear everybody’s ooh’s and ahh’s. After that, I saw Nas and Mobb Deep doing it real big. I was seeing them in Word Up Magazine and The Source, and I was like, ‘They did it!’ These are the same people that used to walk around the projects with Panasonic radios, letting us all hear their demos. And we thought it was a joke, because we were already living the life that they were trying to succeed in and portray. They wanted to write to get out of the projects and live better. We were selling drugs to live better in the projects. So when I’m in jail seeing them blow up, I knew what I had to do when I came home. I wanted to make people proud of me, and not sell drugs anymore. Then when I did come home, music stayed apart of my life.
AllHipHop.com: When you got out of jail you hooked up with Mobb Deep?
Littles: Na, I hooked up with Nas first. Nas sent Horse (former Braveheart and bodyguard) to come pick me up in a Bentley. That was the first time I road in a Bentley, other than that, I only saw them in magazines. So when I first saw him, he gives me a pound, a hug, a few dollars, and was like, “Yo, let me hear what you got!” And at the time, I didn’t know how to count bars, so my rhymes were like three minutes long. So Nas wanted to record some of the s**t I had, which led me to being with him everyday. I was recording nonstop, as EZ Elpee and everybody would come through and just throw on beats. But after awhile, I was like, ‘What are we doing?’. Because I was supposed to sign with Nas [and] Steve Stoute, but it didn’t happen. So I told Nas, “I’m tired of just coming to the studio and doings songs, when I’m not even leaving with any copies at that.” That is why I made a song called “Black Couch.” which was on my official mixtape “The Feeding.” And the black couch is the couch you see in every studio across America. Everybody who sits on that couch are usually the flunkies. The people who are running the session and the artists sit at the boards. But the flunkies are sitting on the couch, crackin’ philly’s, ordering food, and doing whatever they do. So I got my ass off the black couch and told myself I had to get it poppin’. All of the DJ’s and producers that I met during those sessions, I would get their numbers. I would then holla at them on the weekends, and whenever they had time, I was doing songs. From then on, I decided I had to do my own thing. I didn’t get with Mobb Deep until about two years ago. I just started messing with Mobb Deep, like hard.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about your new mixtape/DVD Reloaded.
Littles: Reloaded is the best CD and DVD that I have ever put together! That’s real talk, from the content, to the graphics. The DVD is actually the ghetto documentary of Queens Bridge. You will get to see how the Feds took down my project. They took down 56 doors on one day, and a lot of them were my friends. Now some of them have federal indictments and are facing 40 to 50 years. But you get to see the individuals before it happened, and after. It shows how Mobb Deep got on, and how they would stand outside of record labels. How they almost got arrested for trying to force A&R’s to listen to their music. You get to see what Queens Bridge is really about. I’m actually bringing the world inside of Queens Bridge for the first time. Also, the DVD comes with a mixtape called Reloaded, and features people like Red Spyda, Havoc, Rush, and a lot of other big producers. The only features on the mixtape are Nature, Tragedy, and Bandana. But the joint is hot, and everybody who has heard it so far as been blown away.