Most people only recognize Loon as the guy who
blew up when he was featured in P.Diddy's "I Need A Girl" series of
hits. As with most "overnight successes," it usually takes years and
years of hard work to finally realize your dream. Loon is no exception.
Loon comes from Harlem, where he says he was
treated like a Prince, due to some serious street connections. Unlike most of
his peers, Loon can also say that he also grew up around some of the most famous
and infamous icons of our generation. Loon's story is a must read.
AllHipHop.com: Explain the journey to this point
in your career?
Loon: I was a victim of a lot of transitions,
that’s how we going to sum it up. I was on Tommy Boy first, had a group
called Harlem World, had an album called “Harlem World”. At the time
it might have not been the appropriate thing for the music world, but it was
introduced in ’97 by Mase on Bad Boy Records, so I left Tommy Boy. Then
I pursued a solo career, 'cause unfortunately my partner got locked up. I ended
up in the office of a gentleman by the name of Clive Davis. He offered me a
solo deal, and with my solo deal on the table, I was also offered to be a part
of the group Harlem World that was established based on the success of Mase’s
solo attempt, his solo album named “Harlem World”. Unfortunately Mase
retired, we lost the support from Sony and the group situation withered away.
Which brings me back to Arista, solo deal still on the table, Clive Davis still
granted me the same deal. Did the solo deal and 6 songs in here’s another
transition. Clive Davis leaves and goes to J Records, LA Reid steps in with
quite a few things on his plate, maybe more than what was required at the time.
I just wasn’t considered a factor in his new reign, so therefore I was
on the brink of being dropped. At that point I made a suggestion to work with
Puff who was in Miami at the time, working on a compilation album, which became
P. Diddy and the Bad Boy Family. I was scheduled to go in there for 4 days and
write 2 songs. I ended up staying 4 weeks and I wrote 11 songs. I pretty much
been here ever since. So that’s the long version of all the transitions.
I was a victim of the music business, but I was strong, focused and I was determined.
AllHipHop.com: Who would you say is your inspiration?
L: My inspiration first and foremost is God;
I have a very trained relationship with God. It’s more like a brotherly
relationship with God. My family once again is one of my inspirations because
I came from a family that didn’t promise a lot of stars and success. To
come out of that as one of the members in my family and be successful kind of
makes me be inspired. Friends, peers, you got a couple of artist out there that
definitely inspired me like Biggie Smalls, Tupac. One of my first inspirations
was Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane. All the artist that had substance pretty
much inspired me to want to come out and establish my character and vibe that
I bring to the table.
AllHipHop.com: What makes this album different from anything
else out right now?
L: I think right now I took the initiative to
kind of consider the radio and the dance floor. It’s like a primary target
as opposed too me trying to establish some kind of street credibility, or credit
as a emcee, or a dominate force in the game. I just pretty much tried to fill
the void with the dance floors and just try to bring that classic Bad Boy vibe
that Puff brought to the table in ’97. I got Puff with his producer cap
on, he’s pretty much behind the scenes how we learned to love and appreciate
him, not to try to take something away from him as an artist. We just try to
really go and follow that old Bad Boy formula with a little new twist. To reach
the new generation of music that is taking over the airwaves now.
AllHipHop.com: Explain your rap style?
L: My style is pretty much like me, laid back,
smooth. I kind of elaborate off the positive things I see and pretty much the
vibe that I get when I wake up. I don’t wake up thinking about killing
nobody, I don’t wake up thinking about robbing and stealing. When I wake
up I think about getting money. I think about partying, I think about girls,
just all the finer things in life. I just try to take those things and elaborate
on them without glorifying them. Like the way I use my dialog to talk to women,
I don’t do too much promising jewelry and all the things that dudes think
girls want to hear, but I try to talk from a more monogamist aspect. Really
pointing out the things fellas take for granted, like opening the door, putting
up the umbrella when it’s raining, that’s my approach. I got that
little old fashioned, choir boy approach, with a little street edge.
AllHipHop.com: Can you explain the growth from back then
L: Me in my early rap days coming from the streets
of Harlem and Harlem not really being a factor to the real driving force in
the music business, I tried to represent Harlem in a darker aspect. I really
wanted to bring a more darker, realistic aspect of Harlem as opposed to what
you see just riding past seventh. You can see all the fly sh*t, you can see
all the kids out and all the activity in the street until like 3am in the morning.
I wanted to try to expose the dark side or some of the things it takes to be
able to live that social lifestyle. It was a lot more edgy than the music I
do now. Being that I was introduced to the world through a couple of popular
record like “ I Need A Girl Part 1 & 2," it kind of placed me
in a certain category that I’ve learned to appreciate. As an artist we
all have a certain amount of ego that drives us, my competitiveness used to
come from battling and going at other emcees. Now my competitiveness is really
trying to corner my slot. Like I said I was introduced on a record where women
appeal to me more, parents, kids. It’s placed me in a nice marketable,
wholesome, positive atmosphere. It’s almost totally opposite of the way
I initially wanted to approach the game. I think a lot of the growth came from
my grandmother ‘cause she used to find my little raps and see the profanity
in my rhymes and used to tell me "boy you aint going to get no money talking
about your privates, calling all women “B’s “ and things of that
nature." She kind of discouraged me so it really wasn’t Puff yall.
I don’t want yall to think Puff watered me down and sugar coated me. A
lot of the situations in my career right now have been developed in a good way.
I just want to take advantage of that. For those that know about my past ability
to rap about street stuff and get all in depth with the street genre, it’s
still there it’s just I’m feeling the “I Need A Girl" vibe.