Silkk The Shocker: Lightening Strikes Again
Vyshonn King Miller along with his brothers Percy and Corey helped usher Southern Hip-Hop to the rest of the world, in a number of pioneering ways. Vyshonn, professionally known as Silkk the Shocker, is now president of a new label and plots the release a new album after close to five years away. No Limit broke sales records in the 90s by pushing music at a break neck speed and pushing a brand that transcended music. Silkk talks now with AllHipHop.com about the wait between albums, his new position at the head of a label, and his relationship with his family.
AllHipHop.com: Why such a long wait between releasing albums?
Silkk The Shocker: Ive just been more focused on the business side of things. I wanted to make sure that everything was in place. Once that happened I just wanted to take the time and really enjoy what Ive done. I didnt want to just keep working and not see the benefits. Then I actually did a song for a soundtrack and I liked the feel of the whole situation. Everything came together so well that I wanted to keep making music and see what happens.
AllHipHop.com: What record label is going to release the album?
Silkk The Shocker: Its coming out on Globy House, which is part of Universal.
AllHipHop.com: Now, is this your own record label?
Silkk The Shocker: Im the president but I dont own it.
AllHipHop.com: So what are some of the major differences from creating an album as an artist and creating an album as a president?
Silkk The Shocker: I can control a lot more and Im more involved in the business side. With an artist you just do what you do and give it to the label. You dont have as much input after that. Now Im more involved with artist development. I got the job because I know how to develop an artist and put together a complete project.
AllHipHop.com: Given your background with No Limit what are some of the positive and negative lessons you have learned from its history?
Silkk The Shocker: I would say I learned a lot of positives. I learned about the hustle and what it takes to make it. We didnt have the radio so we had to start at the streets. The streets are what gave us our core audience. The negatives? I dont think there are many negatives. Its a different day and age with artists making a lot more digital sales. There are more downloads and more ringtones. What we did with No Limit was great but that was for that time. Would it work right now? Probably not or at least not as much because of the way the system is setup. The whole situation did teach me how to make something out of nothing. Now that I have a lot to work with it makes it easier. Granted the record industry has changed but I feel I can still be successful. I feel good about what we did then and I feel good about what Im doing now. Right now Im focused on trying to make something better. It might not go and sell 75 million records but I still want to make something better.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the name of the new album?
Silkk The Shocker: Right now its called The Blessing although I may change the name. I know a lot of people say this, but I feel like this is my best record so far. People will have to wait to hear it, and if you dont think its the best let me know. I just feel its my best to date. I may change the name because I recently recorded a new track and that may become the title of the album.
AllHipHop.com: This being your best album, how do you feel it differs from your previous efforts?
Silkk The Shocker: The other records were great but I was just doing it. I was in the moment. I didnt really take my time. This album is more thought out. I think more people will appreciate it because it is more lyrical. You can understand what is going on and what Im rapping about. I know in the past I was into a fast rapping style that people couldnt understand. On this album I broke it down so that I would be clear on a lot of things. Also, its just a different vibe. I have more variety with heartfelt songs, club songs, Hip Hop songs its just more variety.
AllHipHop.com: What can we expect to hear, subject-wise, on this release?
Silkk The Shocker: I think you will get a lot from this album. A lot of people will appreciate it. I talk about the world and economy. I just speak about what people are going through today. I talk about the club and women. I speak about treating women right. I just have a lot of different types of songs on the album. I just cant wait for everyone to hear it. I know people around me that hear it are surprised and appreciate it. Its different from the records Ive done that I didnt really like. Overall Im just glad to be back and glad to be able to get more music to the fans.
AllHipHop.com: Now, what do you mean by records you didnt like?
Silkk The Shocker: Dont get me wrong, I liked my records. Its just that some of them I just did it to do it. I didnt really take as much time to make the records as I did on this album.
AllHipHop.com: Whats it like to see the blueprint that your record label created, in terms of music, clothing, and film, being followed by labels today? Some record labels take it to another level while many tend to remain stagnant and just copy your exact model.
Silkk The Shocker: I was just talking to someone about this the other day. I really proud of what weve done because we opened up the doors for a lot of people. The catch is, could we have done things a little different? Maybe. We were very successful with what we did but you also have to understand we were first generation entertainers. We were learning on the job. So I see people now trying to take it further and I am proud of that. I think they need to look back at the era. I mean, when we did it no one expected it. But realistically something like that wont happen again. You have to change it and take it forward. You have to make it better so you can open up the doors for people after you.
AllHipHop.com: Your brother, Master P, came forward saying he wanted to do clean rap, and he took a lot of heat for that. Does that have any affect on your craft?
Silkk The Shocker: It doesnt really affect me. Thats my brother and I commend him. He is responsible and coming from a positive place. Hes very mature and did a lot in his life so he wanted to give back. He wants to do something positive and there is nothing wrong with that. Personally, I have never done a lot of cursing. Im still going to do what Im going to do but it doesnt affect me. I just let my lyrics go and speak freely for myself. I just commend him for setting the example because I believe thats what our community needs.
AllHipHop.com: Your family has had its ups and downs in the music industry. Your brother, Master P, and your nephew, Lil Romeo, have experienced much success in the industry. Your other brother, Corey Miller, has had success in the underground for some period of time but is now currently dealing with a serious legal situation. How does that affect the family and yourself in general?
Silkk The Shocker: Its bad. Im the youngest so Ive seen it from al angles. I have a sister who taught me a lot. I have a successful older brother. I have a brother who was murdered. I have another brother who is extremely successful. I have a brother that is accused of a murder that we know he didnt do. I can really speak on his situation for obvious reasons. Theres just a lot of stuff going on in his situation with the government and the DA in Louisiana. I know for a fact he didnt do that crime. But because Ive seen all these situations it influences me. I live and learn from these situations.
AllHipHop.com: Do you still have ties with Louisiana?
Silkk The Shocker: Oh yeah. Thats home. Thats my pride and joy. Its my soul and I got it on my back. I just want to see better things for it. I see people trying to fight and bring it back after Katrina and Im just like them. I want the best for my city.
AllHipHop.com: You came into the game at a relatively young age. Is there anything you would change knowing what you know now?
Silkk The Shocker: I was very young but I would change anything. I mean, I was a young millionaire and didnt know what to do with that type of money, but overall Im comfortable with where Im at now. I feel Im focused on business now and that is because the pros and cons of my career.