Lil’ Scrappy [Interview]
Atlanta, GA – Depending on how you measure it, success for one man could be considered as a half step for the next ambitious individual looking to make something of his or herself. It’s like the old saying, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”. While Lil’ Scrappy, a “soul survivor of Atlanta’s Zone 3”, has already had his fair share of ups and downs, he’s still a young artist (born January 20, 1984) and has many of life’s experiences still in front of him. That being said, the Prince of Crunk sets himself apart with a solid work ethic and a constant need to expand and do better. As a proud new father, Scrappy has even more motivation to take his great start in the music industry, and push it a million times further.
After getting hit with a bottle earlier this that left him with a bloody jaw and in need of recovery, it seemed nobody was checking for him. The calls from the record label that would come regularly seemed to slow down and as a result Scrappy’s motivation took a hit. That is until a certain industry mogul with a similar tale of label abandonment, 50 Cent, reached out with some uplifting words. As a result, Lil’ Scrappy’s new album Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live which has been pushed back to (November 21st) will come out on BME/G-Unit with Lil’ Jon and 50 Cent playing the Executive roles.
HipHopCanada.com caught up with Lil’ Scrappy to discuss his new album, his new situation with G-Unit and his other ventures like G’s Up TV. Check it out!
HipHopCanada: What’s up Scrappy, welcome to the HipHopCanada.com community. Tell us about growing up in the Zone 3 part of ATL. What was the biggest influence that drew you into making music?
Scrappy: Ah man, just everyday… when the people that you knew use to make the music feel good to you. Like when 2pac was here… I remember “Summertime” – Fresh Prince. A lot of shit, youknowhatImsayin? [Laughing] the music use to feel good. And I was in the car with my mom and she would play all the gangster shit, youknowhatImsayin? From Pac, Big, Scarface, UGK, 8Ball… all the big ones. So those were mostly my influences. Every now and then I listen to LL.
HipHopCanada: So your mom had a lot of influence on you growing up…
Scrappy: Really it was just a hood type thing, youknowhatImsayin? You know my dad is a preacher so I’ve got a good feeling and a bad feeling… well I wouldn’t say the hood is a bad feeling but it’s more street. My mother raised me mostly so I keep that with me all the time… that hood shit. So I just brought that to the light. I mean, you can’t help but bring that to light cause that’s just me.
HipHopCanada: Do you remember the first track you recorded? What it was about etc.
Scrappy: It was about getting a motherfucker… [Laughing] I can’t even remember all the details but I remember some of it. I was like 15.
HipHopCanada: By now we’ve heard everyone say that the music moves in a cycle. It went from the East coast, to the West coast, to the South and it’s going to keep shifting around like that. Before the South really made it’s mark at the magnitude that it did, could you feel things heating up? Did you honestly think it would get as big as it has for the South?
Scrappy: I mean we always we NEED to but we just never thought… I mean New York had BET and MTV and everything and had nothing. We just always prayed for this day and for it to be our time… so I guess it’s our time.
HipHopCanada: Would you credit one person or group for really opening doors for the South?
Scrappy: Outkast… I mean not for the South but that’s just for Atlanta, youknowhatImsayin? I mean, Triple 6 (Three 6 Mafia) been on for good little minute; since like 2000. Outkast… Scarface, Lil’Jon. There are a lot of people that opened the doors.
HipHopCanada: Who else is really doing it for the South in your opinion?
Scrappy: You know T.I., Jeezy… UGK still popping, Pimp Cee and Bun B. 8Ball & MJG still popping, youknowhatImsayin? You’ve got people that’s coming into the game like Young Joc… You got real people in the South that is coming… Chamillionaire, Slim Thig… These are the new faces of the game, youknowhatImsayin?
HipHopCanada: Before we discuss your current project, tell us how you linked up with BME originally?
Scrappy: I linked up with them by them coming to see Trillville do some shit. I happened to be there. Then I ended up meeting Jon. I was like, “Are you going to do that “Head Bussa” up for me?”. He was like “Yeah I’m going to get this “Neva Eva” out of the way and then I’m going to go ahead and do “Head Bustas”.” So I was like, “Alright, that’s what it is”. So I jumped on “Neva Eva” and then that weekend we all had a show… just to stunt. I did my “Head Bussa” song and rocked that bitch… He was like, “Damn, that shit is crazy… we’re doing that shit Monday, ASAP!”
HipHopCanada: How did that turn into a BME / G-Unit situation? 50 reached out while you were recovering from getting a bottle to the mouth?
Scrappy: Yeah. You see some people might think that getting a bottle to the mouth is nothing… but I had half of my gums on the floor, youknowhatImsayin? Nobody called me or nothing… no labels, nothing… but that nigga 50 called me and he gave me some uplifting words and advice. From there I got back on my feet, feeling real good and I ended up hooking up with dude. I was like, “We need to go ahead and put your boy out there… you I’m already established… I need to just run this shit, I know how to do it.” He said he liked the idea and that’s what happened. We explained to Jon the situation and he was like, “Hell yeah!”.
HipHopCanada: Did you know Fif personally before he reached out?
Scrappy: I had met him before and talked to him a few times but I didn’t know him personally.
HipHopCanada: Let’s talk about your pending release Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live… You have 2 of the best selling artists of the new millennium, Executive Producing your album – Lil’ Jon & 50 Cent. What kind of pressure does that come with in terms of making sure the sales stack right?
Scrappy: I mean I’m just trying to kill all this other shit that’s going on…. all this unnecessary shit like songs that have no meaning. I want to feel something. I want to know that someone else is going through what I’m going.
HipHopCanada: What should we expect in terms of producers and artists?
Scrappy: I got members of G’s Up, my little brother Chris, Pooh Baby, Yo Gotti, Young Buck, 50, Olivia, Lil’ Jon, Bohagon…. [Thinking] Who else I got on there? That’s it really.
HipHopCanada: Before the situation with G-Unit came about, was Young Buck already on the “Money in the Bank” single before you linked with 50?
Scrappy: Nah, I had it by myself and then 50 was like, “shit, Buck would sound good on that”. I already wanted that to down anyways but I wasn’t going to say shit so when he brought it up I said, “hell yeah, let’s make it happen”.
HipHopCanada: So would you say you are a member of G-Unit now or is this just a one album situation?
Scrappy: I’m a member but I’m not on Interscope, you feel me? If you see everyone together you won’t see me because it’s an Interscope thing.
HipHopCanada: What is G’s Up and G’s Up TV?
Scrappy: G’s Up is my group and my record label. I also have Crime Mob but the group G’s Up are people that went through hard times with me and we’re all god fearing people. We’re all Gods little thugs so that’s what we mean by “G’s Up”. I mean, people are going to call us little thugs anyways so we’re God’s thugs. Even though we rap crazy and do all kinds of crazy type stuff, we still have God in our hearts. There’s a peaceful side and good side to everything and these are people that grew up with me and went through my struggle. G’s Up TV is my TV show. I wouldn’t call it a reality show… I wanted to give niggas something different to watch other then all this bullshit and I wanted to try something new anyways.
HipHopCanada: So back to your album… what would be your favourite track?
Scrappy: “Like Me”. It tells you about my experiences… my bad times and good times. And it’s telling people I know you want to ride like me but you don’t want to go through that struggle and pain to get that.
HipHopCanada: Now that you have a daughter, has your focused changed?
Scrappy: Yeah, I’m more straight on the grind. At first, I ain’t going to lie, I could of stopped this shit and did some regular hood shit but it’s like… I have to take care of my daughter man. I want her to have a big, amazing future! I don’t want her to have to struggle or nothing, youknowwhatImsayin?
HipHopCanada: Was there any last topics you wanted to touch on?
Scrappy: Yeah, Crime Mob is coming out real soon with their new album. My album will be out November 21st, Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live. Look out for G’s Up, Little Chris and I’m doing a new movie with Mekhi Phifer, Stacey Dash and Clifton Powell. We’re getting ready to do it and it’ll probably be out next year.
Written by Jesse “Dutchy” Plunkett for HipHopCanada