Field Mob’s Smoke says people have mistaken their country mannerisms for comedy – an erroneous assumption.
“We ain’t no f***in’ comedians. They like to put us in that comedian [category], because we country [and] it’s taken a major toll on our career,” the Albany, Georgia native told AllHipHop.com. “Like we were proud to be country [and] people know this in the back of their heads like they know Chris [Ludacris is] that n***a in the back of their heads.”
Nevertheless, Smoke said the group's style, which debuted commercially in 2000, has been hijacked by some of their peers, who were not specifically named.
“I know I got kids [imitators] out there,” he said laughing. “We started that country s**t in ’99 before n***s came out with their country grammar albums. We were screaming country before it was cool. They see us and it’s so massive, but they don’t want to see it.”
Although the group released a pair of acclaimed albums, 613: From Ashy to Classy (2000) and From Tha Roota To Tha Toota (2002), the crossover success somehow eluded them.
Smoke said the group intends to change that with their upcoming set, Light Poles and Pine Trees.
Smoke said location has also hindered their success as the Atlanta musical explosion somehow escaped him and partner Shawn Jay.
“If you look at Ray Charles, Ray Charles is from Albany, Georgia – they ain’t even put it on TV. Why? Because Albany ain’t as metropolitan as Atlanta, New York or L.A.
"He’s not from a very popular place,” he continued. “So they do it the same way in this rap s**t. 'Oh, they ain’t from…[Atlanta].'”
Both of their previous albums came out under MCA Records, but Smoke would only state that the situation was a “terrible deal.”
Under Disturbing Tha Peace/Geffen Records, Smoke said they would even market themselves slightly differently to accentuate their personas.
“Yeah, dark-skinned n***as are in. Them light-skinned n***as tried to come back, but I’m going to promote my black ass,” he said. “Other than rapping, we got banging personalities.”
More seriously, Smoke explained that the group has high stakes with the expected November 29 release of Light Poles and Pine Trees.
“We trying to reestablish ourselves with our fans. We not trying to disappoint them,” he expounded. “We gotta come with a great album and the album is great. For the new people, we trying to make a great first impression.”
The group has already released their single, "Friday Night," and their third album features a high-powered supporting cast that includes Ciara, Bun B, Bobby Valentino, Jazze Pha, Bone Crusher and others.