While the South has recently dominated
Hip-Hop, South Carolina has been slept on more than Serta mattresses.
As the only Southern state without an artist signed to a major label,
South Carolina has been waiting on its chance to join the Southern
movement since rappers started making it cool to be country. But, the
state may have found its remedy for its narcolepsy. Two Columbia,
South Carolina rappers, Collardgreen and Lil Ru, have flirted with
industry majors. Lil Ru was an Elektra Records artist, but found
himself label-less after it merged with Atlantic Records in 2004.
Collardgreen, through the buzz of his regional hit "Everybody Looking," has recently garnered attention from some majors in his own rite.
and Lil Ru have ascended themselves to the upper echelon of South
Carolina rappers by continuously flooding the streets with their Hustle Hard mixtape
series and mastering the formula for radio ready singles. Both rappers
are regulars on local radio station airwaves with songs like "Will Destroy,"
"Watch My Shoes," (Ft. Mr. Flip), and one of SCs biggest hits in 2005, "Hood Hard" all finding their way into radio rotation.
this tandem making noise just loud enough for the labels to take the
state seriously, South Carolinas wait for major artists may be over
sooner rather later. AllHipHop.com caught up with Lil Ru and
Collardgreen to talk about why South Carolina has been overlooked, what
the duo can offer the rap game, and what makes them two of SCs chosen
With the South dominating Hip-Hop, South Carolina is the only Southern
state without a major artist signed. Why is South Carolina being
overlooked? And what is the music scene like here in South Carolina?
Ru: Its the fucking game around here to me, its that a lot of niggas
aint as serious as, you know what I mean, you should be, you see what
Im sayin. Like niggas in Texas and all them niggas like Paul Wall,
Mike Jones, them niggas had a movement started, you know what I mean. I
think all them niggas was on the same page as being serious, you see
what Im sayin. Niggas around here aint got their game together or
nothing. You dont see niggas with no wrapped vans, you dont see
niggas with nothing. You might see a nigga with ten CDs, okay, I got my
CDs pressed up.
Collardgreen: He writing on it, got writing on the cover.
Lil Ru: These niggas aint got their whole business plan together.
Collardgreen: And then people who doing the music, who can make [the] decisions, theyre not coming here anyway.
Ru: And these niggas aint supporting, thats it. Thats a whole
nother area of the game. Niggas around here aint even supporting each
other. Its all about, Imma be this label, you gon be this label, we
wanna get on first.
And people like that, people in Texas, I mean, their people was just
behind them so hard. Me and Ru we getting that love right now. Its a
movement as far as the radio, the people, streets. They starting to see
it now, thats why they calling. And they on us hard.
AllHipHop.com: Well, that leads into my next question, where do you see yourselves at as far as the rap scene in South Carolina?
Collardgreen: I think we are one of the people, we are one of the chosen few.
Lil Ru: Yeah, Ill say that.
The reason I say one of the chosen few is, we gon get it crackin to
the point where other labels and everybody else are going to be like we
gotta go down here and see what other kinds of people are down here.
AllHipHop.com: When you see Lil Ru, you see Collardgreen, so how did the two of you hook up? And what kept you all so close?
Ru: I met that nigga, I did a fucking show at Main Event [nightclub],
dog. My homeboy helped me put the show together, but he was fucking
with Green down here and shit. I was like, Man, who the fuck these
niggas is, country niggas. They all on stage and shit. Im playing the
nigga dirty. I aint heard the nigga music or nothing, Im just
treating the nigga crazy. But I met the nigga on some, you know what
Im sayin, the nigga came to me like, Whats up man, Im
Collardgreen. You know how the nigga do, everyday shit. But I met the
nigga, kicked it with the nigga, the nigga vibe was so trill it been on
ever since. We dropped that [mixtape] Truth and the Answer shit, ever
since then they could call it a game. Im trying to tell you.
Collardgreen: We like brothers forever.
AllHipHop.com: How long ago was that?
Lil Ru: Shit, about five, six years ago.
AllHipHop.com: So what kept you all rolling tight?
Ru: Just understanding each other, dog, and respecting each other and
thats it, dog. Understanding each other. I know he do his shit, I do
my shit. And dont let no haters come between us and shit. We just
understand the business. We know what we trying to do, pointblank. And
love, we got love for each other, and we trying to get to the same goal
so its a wrap. Fuck the rap shit, if we both stopped rappin today we
still gon be homies.
Collardgreen: And we got the whole Headhunter Records thing going on [the] same label.
AllHipHop.com: So youre both signed to Headhunter right now?
Lil Ru: We both own the shit like, me, him, and 9 Mil own the shit together. So we trying to do our own shit like that.
Collardgreen: We businessmen. We aint just rappers.
Lil Ru: You cant just be rappers. Youre never gon get paid being a rapper, dog, straight up.
Ru, at one time you were signed with Elektra, so explain that situation
to me, how you got signed to Elektra and what happened at Elektra?
Ru: That shit there come from fucking nothing really, just a nigga that
could rap, nigga hearing me rap. That wasnt no grind, no type of...I
had already been grinding but, I didnt get signed off my grind. I got
signed off of a nigga bringing me in the door saying, Oh, this nigga
tight. Hear this nigga rap. I start rapping, boom, nigga signed me
like that. Bitch thought I was cute, boom, I got signed just like that.
Fucking with Angie Stone, she brought me up there. She always had in
her mind to get me a deal, but we didnt think the shit was gonna go
that easily. Got a little deal for that shit, boom. Shit just got, I
dont know, niggas just got lazy like, they wasnt really pressing the
situation, like Oh, get this nigga album out. Get him working on his
shit. We was just like we got this money. Shit wasnt clicking or
nothing. So shit, they had that little merge, boom, that was it. After
they had their joint with Atlantic they dropped me after that. It was a
wrap after that, I hadnt been fucking with Angie or nothing after
AllHipHop.com: Green, what were your feelings from seeing Lil Ru get dropped from his label?
Good. We was good, we need to keep grinding out. It really wasnt no
feelings. The main thing, we trying to achieve a goal and we gon keep
on working. We cant dwell on nothing, nothing that happened messed up.
Ru: For me, dog, that shit was a good situation being dropped, you know
what Im sayin. Cause I wasnt ready for that. Man, I wasnt even
ready for that. I was doing red carpets and shit, and I aint even know
how to really have my whole swagger together like I was posed to you,
you see what Im sayin.
AllHipHop.com: Both of you have had local success as solo artists, have you all talked about doing an album together?
Collardgreen: One day.
Ru: Yeah, thats in the works. We definitely gon do that. But shit,
right now we trying to man, make this label thing crack. We got Mr.
Flip, we got nigga, then we got a whole group. Me, Flip, Green are the
S.C.G.s. So if it do be a group, thatll be the group album thats gon
AllHipHop.com: Why not pursue it together as a group?
Collardgreen: We was thinking bout that.
Ru: Im kinda greedy though, I aint gon lie. I dont want him sharing
my money. I dont want Collardgreen getting this check for the show. I
want all my money here nigga. $30,000 for the show, give me $30,000 for
my pocket. Thats why I dont want to do no group. Jagged Edge, how
many albums these niggas done done? They still aint to the top to
where they need to be at. That group shit dont work, dog. Look at D4L,
Fabo, nowhere to be found, that shit dont work. That group shit break
I dont know man, we trying to think right now. Cause we was solo
artists before. Thats why we got our own weight. Thats why when we
combine its much more crazier, its much more sicker. When they see us
on stage, they dont even understand...
Lil Ru: Thats the reason we did it together like that, to make niggas be like that.
Collardgreen: So if you dont like me, you gon like him. You dont like him, you gon like Flip.
Ru: You gon like something in that team, dog. Cause we got all that
shit that ever been buzzin around here on one squad. Niggas in trouble.
AllHipHop.com: Describe Collardgreens style.
Collardgreen is the world. Im waking up I might feel bad one day, I
might be mad one day. Shit, I might just sit down and take me a shot of
liquor, I might wanna go party. I be chillin, copasetic. I might see a
girl, I might wanna holla at a girl. Like 360, Im a normal person.
Dont mess with me, I aint gon mess with you. Thats my style. When
you hear it, my mix CD, Hustle Hard No Lunch Breaks, when you hear the
mix CD youre going to hear everything. Youre going to hear from my
life, growing up bout what was going on. To some party shit to okay
nigga dont fuck wit me I aint gon fuck with you. Everything I do,
Im a good illustrator. You know Jesus was a good illustrator, Im a
good illustrator through my music. When you hear it, youll get a sense
of who I am. And when you get a sense of who I am, its a part of me in
everybody. And you gon relate to it, and thats whats going make you
Lil Ru: Oooh, youve been rehearsing. You been rehearsing on me on the low? [Both laughing].
AllHipHop.com: Lil Ru, same question?
Ru: My style? My style nigga, I dont got no style. You cant put me
with oh this nigga is a crunk rapper or this nigga is this type of
rapper cause, nigga, you might hear me sangin on my shit. You might
hear me motherfuckin sounding like an up North way, cause Im just
versatile. You cant even describe it, I cant describe it my damn self
thats what fucks me up.
Collardgreen: But we can talk about anything and make it a hit.
Lil Ru: I just got so many versatilities its crazy, dog. Like fast, slow, whatever, versatilities.
And a hit is a song everyone loves, and everyone wants to hear. I mean,
the radio know that. We done put hits out.
Ru: Thats why we get on the radio niggas be like, Oh why the fuck,
nah, nah, nah. Cause you know, we make the right fucking music,
pointblank. And the right timing, you feel me. Like that Everybody
Looking. Nigga, we dont do all that shit, all that Jocn shit, all
that shit. But its the perfect time, a snap song ok, if niggas wit
it. Green came up with a perfect new song that fit right in that shit.
Now we got some other shit jumpin off right now. Its just about
timing. When you hear that...you cant always make [songs] about, I
got that dope, I got that dope. Niggas, in the FEDs taking 30 niggas
to jail. Niggas dont wanna hear about no dope right now. Ok, let me
smile a bit now. Let me shine in the Chevy, let me talk about some
jewelry or something. I dont wanna hear nothing about no keys, nigga.
That shit crazy. Its about timing dog, making good music at the right
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel your styles are a representation of what South Carolinas sound is?
Ru: There is not South Carolina sound. See I done been in Philly for 7,
8 months, Cali, all that shit, hearing niggas music, local music or
whatever. But this shit to me got like, I can put it to like a
Tennessee like [Young] Buck [and] them, you know what Im sayin. Its
more gutter than a motherfucker like this is what youll do to a nigga.
Like youll shoot a nigga in the face with a AK and all kinds of crazy
shit like that. That shit is like gutter, niggas dont be on that shit
like everywhere else. Niggas be on someone oh we doing this we got this
car, but this shit is gutter. I feel this shit is way more gutter than
a lot of niggas. Shit more real, I guess thats cause Im here, I dont
know. I guess cause Im from this bitch but, this shit just seems so
real. I dont know man, a lot of other local niggas music seems real to
me, dog. A lot of this shit is fools now, thats a lot of bullshit
round here, but its a lot of niggas that Im fuckin wit.
AllHipHop.com: Collardgreen, your new single "Everybody Looking"
a major label expressed interest in that song, can you explain that
situation to me? And have they talked about signing you as an artist?
I dont know pause it, I need to talk to my publicist. We had a lot of
people calling us. And weve been working on something real big. They
want the song, and weve just trying to work something out right now,
man. They on it all day, everyday, we talk to them regularly. But its
going to be real big for South Carolina, man.
AllHipHop.com: Collardgreen, what do you do that makes it seem like you are everywhere?
I just be everywhere. If I hear something, me and Ru, we know a whole
bunch of people throughout the whole state. Only thing I need is one
call, Im such and such and they got this going on.
Ru: His [grind is] more sicker than mine, I cant lie. I be like, Oh,
hell no. Fuck that, I aint going to that shit. That nigga be like,
Fuck that, Im going. Im up in that motherfucker. He go to every
function like, I aint gon bullshit you, this nigga had a show along
time ago at somebodys house, nigga. On the front yard, on the porch, I
was like, Hell no Green. I do too much, I cant rap for these niggas.
Green jumped on the porch, rapping for these niggas on the porch. And
that show that nigga grind, he dont give a fuck, he just trying to get
that shit out there.
Im just down to ride. Anything somebody want me to do, Im doing it. I
dont care. Something going on in Charleston, Im there. Lets go,
thats what you gotta do.
AllHipHop: Lil Ru you were featured on the song "Hood Hard"
which was a big song in SC in 05, what has that song done for your
career? And can you tell me why Jelly Tight has been nowhere to be
Ru: Really that shit kept me alive. That shit was like a float for me,
that shit kept me floating. I was like, What Imma do. I dont know
the next shit Imma drop. I had a lot of music and shit.
Collardgreen: I think it kept his fans loving him.
Ru: So when I hooked up with them niggas, my nigga TD [Da Don] was
already fuckin with them niggas hard, doing mix CD songs with them
niggas. Them niggas was like, Oh, that nigga Lil Ru, he would sound
good on this song, you feel me. I came over there, heard the beat and
shit, the niggas already had the hook done. I was like this shit is
crazy. I jumped on that shit. At that moment I was in a zone like
niggas be sleeping on me. Niggas dont really think I can spit that
shit like that. I went in there, boom, smashed that shit like that.
Freestyled that shit off the top of the dome, it was over. That Hood
Hard done but me in a nice position. I got niggas where I want them
at, dog, its on now. As far as Jelly Tight, you know what it is, the
FEDs is vicious out here. The police is a motherfuckin dirty dog. You
cant be selling keys and trying to be a rapper at the same time, that
shit do not work, dog. Im a witness from How You Love That, watching
my niggas go down. Its just the police, you already know what it is
wit them niggas, man. They still out here grindin though, like Venom,
he still out here doing tracks. Donna and Cali, I fuck wit them
bitches too, but its the FEDs, you already know. G-Boy, fucking Jelly
Tight, How You Love That, everybody gone, its all about them FEDs. You
can not sell crack and be a rapper, dog, straight up.
AllHipHop.com: On your mixtape, you worked with Rich Boy on the song "Shinnin' On 'Em" how do you hook up with him?
Ru: Fucking [DJ] D-Tec. Tec hooked that up. Nah, I gave my nigga Polo
Da Don one of my CDs, the nigga been on that shit hard. So shit, he did
the shit with Rich Boy, got Rich Boy the deal supposedly, I dont know.
I just hooked the shit up through Polo, bam, we went to the A
together, did the shit. I fuck wit that nigga right there, thats my
AllHipHop.com: Have you worked with any other artists, or do you have plans to work with any other artists or producers?
Ru: Man, I done did shit with Jeff Johnson, nigga did the Jamie Foxx
Unpredictable beat to that shit. He did Trick Daddys shit.
Collardgreen: The whole new South movement, the young boys, we a part of it. The Young Cashs, the Rich Boys, Suga Suga.
Lil Ru: All that shit there, we part of that new movement in the South, niggas already know us, we all cool.
AllHipHop.com: Lil Ru, what did you learn from your Elektra experience that will help you in your career now?
Ru: Everything that shines aint gold. Motherfuckin, stay on your
grind dog, dont let nothing knock you the fuck off. Be motherfuckin
focused about every situation you get into. Dont be taking shit for
granted. I took that situation as Oh, Im signed nigga, thats it. I
dont gotta worry about nothing. I told niggas I was gon get signed.
And never think in the back of my mind that these niggas could drop me
any day. Thats how dumb to the game I was. You could get kicked the
fuck off just like that. I was 16-years-old. Just being dumb to the
game, damn nigga you can get dropped just like that. You dont even
gotta spit a rap, you dont even gotta be garbage. Something happen to
the business and you can be out of here. Thats just me not being on my
shit, I learned to be on my motherfuckin grind.
AllHipHop.com: Green, what do you think you could offer the game?
I can just offer a new sound, just everything. Everything that these
boys Nelly done done, came killed it giving the people what they want.
Ludacris. People that make hits, make good albums and good music, and
represent for my state. Im bringing South Carolina to the game.
AllHipHop.com: Lil Ru, same question?
Ru: What Im bringing to the game? Imma problem to the game, I aint
even gon lie. Imma be honest. Niggas aint gon never see no nigga
like this again like straight up dog, I dont give a fuck. There aint
no nigga that ever been on, I aint never heard no nigga like me, dog,
that can do all the shit I do as far as music wise. Like coming up with
shit, as fast as I come up with shit, how I do, on the spot, shows,
swagger, all that shit. Im just bout to be a problem.
Collardgreen: And our shows. When the world see our shows, performance on stage they gon be amazed.
Lil Ru: Yeah, its over.
People dont even do that no more, I dont know what they be doing on
stage. We gon bring the energy back to this thing, they gon love us
to death, dog. Tell MTV to go head get the show ready.
AllHipHop: Do you all have anything else that I didnt ask you about that you want to say?
Lil Ru: My motherfuckin album is 1000 Grams thats all I want to say, nigga. My albums coming out. My album is 1000 Grams, my mix CD is 500 Grams.
I aint talking about motherfuckin dope, nigga. Im talking about dope
on the album but its just letting niggas know my style is straight
drop, nigga. You drop 28, you definitely gonna get 28 all the time. You
gonna get double every time you fuck with this. My style it is what it
is, dog. Album 1000 Grams thats all I got to say.
Collardgreen: Album Dinner Served, mix CD in the streets Hustle Hard No Lunch Breaks, produced by 9 Million, hosted by 9 Million.
Lil Ru: Headhunter Records, thats the movement.
Visit Collardgreen's Myspacepage at www.myspace.com/collardgreen
Visit Lil' Ru's Myspacepage at www.myspace.com/lilruhoodhard