The Lil People are to make sure that real, boom bap hip-hop is alive and well. Hailing from Chicago, the rap duo composed of Weasel Sims and Jae Haze created the moniker The Lil People to bring attention to the fact that everyone from all walks of life are grinding to get to the top, with the goal of reminding folks to never forget where they came from or how they got started.
This isn’t just music for the streets, this is music for the soul.
With lyrics inspired by real-life experiences overcoming struggles in the streets along with their personal lives, both Weasel and Jae wear their heart on their sleeve with each release, spitting nothing short of truth and bars.
Born and raised on the Westside of Chicago comes with its own battles, and The Lil People are here to shed light on their side of town.
Most recently, the duo released their highly-anticipated new project titled Randemic 2, spearheaded by lead singles “Tesla Stocks” with Icewear Vezzo and “Trapping Season” with Z Money.
Serving as the second installment to their Randemic series, the 12-track body of work holds fans over until the release of their forthcoming project, Coke Raps 2.
AllHipHop: How’s Chicago been?
Jae: With the world opening back up, it’s been a little festive to say the least. Of course it’s always some grimy s### going on, as far as the streets are concerned. That toll doesn’t really stop going up but for most part, I’ve been outside. I know bro [Weasel] can’t really be out too much. S###, it’s regular.
Weasel: I went outside yesterday. It was nice.
AllHipHop: How did the idea for The Lil People come about?
Jae: The Lil People is originally an idea we had for a writing team. We never thought about being a unit or a group being that we were solo, but me and him write a lot of music together so that was really the idea. When the pandemic first hit, that’s when we decided to say “f### it” and make ourselves The Lil People. There’s a lot of people in the world in general that always feel like they’re small or they get looked over, they don’t get enough notoriety or things of that nature. We decided to take that role saying that we’re the little people as well. We represent those that feel overlooked or don’t get enough recognition.
AllHipHop: You guys met at the legendary Lacuna Lofts in Chicago. When did you guys realize you could be a duo?
Jae: Bro saw me perform a couple times, but I didn’t necessarily know him. Through our homie Murph, me and him used to do a lot of music back in 2011 and 2012. Me and Murph had a show once and bro ended up being there, he took a liking to me then. Pause. There’s another time when I got put up on his music and I liked the way he’s rapping. I hadn’t known anybody from our neighborhood that really rapped like that, except for a couple people I used to rap with.
S### when we bumped heads, we connected on a different level. The first time we really connected, I slid to his crib. We ended up playing instrumentals. We’re on the back porch, started vibing and freestyling. Right then and there, we started coming up with music. We came up with a song called “Rocking with the Guys.” We never recorded the s### but right off that introduction, we figured “yeah, I could f### with him. He could f### with me.” It was real mutual. That’s how we kicked off our run.
AllHipHop: Are there any duos that you look up to?
Weasel: I don’t know about duos, but for sure The Lox and Dipset.
Jae: Fasho, and The Clipse. Outkast too.
Weasel: Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch The Throne.
AllHipHop: What do each of you bring to the table?
Weasel: I bring strong lyrics and a real heavy street aspect, passion. A real eye for branding, putting stuff out there and a little bit of marketing. That’s what I do.
Jae: Me personally, I like being a facilitator and making s### happen. I like building with m############ on the networking side. That’s one thing I always stood on, having relationships because I know that gets things a lot further than you could on your own. Building with other producers, graphic designers, directors, whatever. I like making s### happen and connecting the dots.
As far as music-wise, man I represent a certain time when real rap was respected. Real hip-hop s###’s respected still, but it’s definitely hard to push that through when you have a whole other wave of music that’s the s### right now. It gets hard to stick out with that s###, but I know for a fact if you have your own core fanbase, that’s really all that matters because it’s still a lot of people that’s super hip-hop heads. We come from the real school of spitters.
Weasel: We say we want to bring that Dipset feel back.
AllHipHop: New project Randemic 2 out now, how are you feeling?
Jae: Me and bro have our times, we say we at least gotta get jiggy once a year. That’s what Randemic represents: us swagging with bars and having fun on records. Doing some of the more updated sounding records that people might want to listen to today, but adding our own little flavor to it. We got some dope ass features. We got Icewear Vezzo, Z Money, my homie Lil Chris from out West here in Chicago, Bowl King from Englewood out here. He’s a popular trap rapper. It’s a lot of groovy, uptempo, real straight to the point records on there. The first one we did, that’s when we really figured out we’re even making this sound per se. Now, we got a little formula.
AllHipHop: How did the collab with Icewear Vezzo come about?
Weasel: We got a homie named Don P who was locked up with Vezzo. Him and our homie Murph were going to link up with Vezzo in Detroit. At the time, Haze was staying out in Detroit building relationships with other artists and producers.
Jae: We connected at one of Sada Baby’s video shoots. This dude DollaBill owns a strip club out there on 7 Mile. Me, Don P, and Murph saw that s### and end up falling on Vezzo two nights in a row. The first time we slid on him, they were chillin’. The next time I got up with him was when Don P and Murph came out to Detroit again. We put it together like that, Don P made the play happen for us. At the time, bro was on the Benz.
We had the record done already. I was telling bro after we finished it we’re gonna leave it like that, then I said “man, this s### sounds like it could fit a Vezzo or something.” It needs one of them type of m########## on it. I f### with Detroit music hard, I like the way that they support each other. If you ever been to Detroit, if you go to any clubs or even being around nggas, they don’t listen to a lot of the industry. They listen to a lot of Detroit. Anyone from Detroit whether they’re underground, mainstream, B-list celebrity, whatever you can name, they really f### with each other like that so I dig that s###. Either way, I was an over fan of Vezzo’s music before I even thought about putting him on that. Nggas like Babyface Ray, s### like that. Once we figured out Don P had that play, we put it in tune and it was a wrap. I had got up with him at this studio, he knocked that s### out in 10 to 12 minutes. We f##### with it.
Weasel: It had a Detroit vibe because Haze was staying in Detroit for a minute. By him being out there, he put me up on all the poppin’ Detroit rappers I didn’t know about. We already knew how to take it in, put a Chicago feel on it, mix the vibes. Our homie Mike Jaxx made the beat.
AllHipHop: Is there a music video out?
Weasel: Nah. Right before that, Vezzo did the song with Future and the one with Durk. It might have been a little bit harder to access him but he does see this interview, we definitely tryna get that video done.
Jae: [laughs] Straight up.
AllHipHop: Talk about linking with Z Money, who’s also from Chicago.
Jae: Z Money’s really the homie. Him and Weasel had a relationship first to be honest. They had a session.
Weasel: We had this record since 2018 or 2019. You know how you pull a record out like “man, this joint bussin’!” We started feeling it over again like it was new. I hit him up and said “Aye bro, we finna put that one record out we did.” He said “Send it to me, I don’t remember.” I sent it to him, Mike Jaxx made that beat too. One of my main producers is Mike Jaxx, he does a lot of beats for Z Money so that was the link between that. Plus me and Z Money knew of each other in the streets before. Every time we bumped heads, it’s mutual respect. “Wassup? Yeah, we gon’ do something.” So that’s the first time we did something.
AllHipHop: What was the energy in the studio?
Weasel: He was high as hell. I said “Right, about time we started getting some decent features.” So I was feeling myself. As soon as I get this legality over with, we can link up with Z and get that visual done.
What do you have coming up next?
Weasel: I’m most excited for the project coming up after this one: Coke Raps 2. Just because we don’t make a lot of commercial songs these days, doesn’t mean that we can’t. Randemic was a time period where we rapped over faster, uptempo beats, stuff that might be in the club or the radio. But traditionally, we make more hip-hop music. I’m excited for that because we really going in that lane. Coke Raps 1 charted last year when we dropped it.
Jae: That was super exciting to chart while being independent. We got a lot of peers, a lot of rapper homies, I know a lot of independent people still that never did that on their own. It felt good. That was a lit moment for us. That’s really the lane that we mostly attack, we’re really growing in that lane. We got some stupid ass features on that s### from some hip-hop heavies right now that’s killing it, I’m definitely excited about that.
AllHipHop: Do you guys feel like real hip-hop is hard to be seen nowadays?
Weasel: I feel like we make real hip hop look and sound so damn cool. You know what’s crazy about the charting thing? Weren’ you breaking down to Vezzo in the studio about how we charted? I look forward to trying to chart again on both of these projects.
Jae: When you’re independent, you gotta make people buy s###. People gotta really feed into it. If you don’t have a major fanbase in general, streaming isn’t gonna cut it. You gotta make these people buy these singles, buy these projects. I don’t mean just a few, try to get as many m########## as you can to purchase. That’s really one of the main reasons everybody charts now. The difference is with artists that’s been on, now that everything’s digital as far as streaming goes, they gon’ always sell records. When you coming in new or hot, you ain’t got no cosign, it’s gonna be a little tight. You gotta go out your way to make people purchase the s###.
AllHipHop: Anyone you want to collab with that you haven’t yet?
Weasel: I want to collab with Saba.
Jae: Yeah, he from the crib and s###. That’s really famo, I definitely want to do a record with him for sure.
Weasel: Maybe Cam’ron, a Dipset member or something.
Jae: It’s a little extensive for me, I can’t even realistically think. It’s a nice handful. Any m########### from Grisdela at this point. I wouldn’t be mad at a Jada feature. I wouldn’t be mad at Fab feature.
Weasel: Jay-Z! Am I talking too big now?
Jae: [laughs] The list is extensive for me. I’m a fan of real thorough hip-hop, rap s###. Anybody barring s### heavy. that’s what “Coke Flow” is about. Coke Raps aint s### but dope raps. We use a lot of innuendos with Coke Raps. Most of the songs, you’d think we’re talking about actual cocaine. Actual heroin, but it’s really not that.
Weasel: Sometimes we might be, but not every time.
Jae: It might pop through every now and again. For the most part, we’re using innuendos as representation saying how dope our raps are. It could be anything like “I just whipped up a whole thing! Got the studio smelling like cocaine.” It’s like we in the studio cooking that s###. We cooking a whole lick in this m#########.
Weasel: Applying the whole trap mentality to the music.
AllHipHop: Anything you want to let us know?
Weasel: Go shop at RANapparel.com. We got all the fly new Barcode hoodies and West shorts, . You know, we represent the Westside real heavy. It’s not as represented as the Southside in our city so we gotta put our culture in the mix a little bit. When you get a chance, please stream that Randemic 2.