Interview: Rising Stars #2 “Pill”
Så er vi igang igen med “Rising Star” konceptet. Første interview var med Freddie Gibbs (se her) og denne gang er det endnu en gangsta rapper, nemlig 2010’s XXL Freshman – Pill fra Atlanta. Pill er ikke som størstedelen fra ATL, der rapper om biler, smykker & model damer, men derimod den barske virkelighed i Atlanta. I interviewet kommer vi bl.a. ind på hvilke artister/producere han er vild med, og ordet HAM, som mange tror er Jay-Z og Kanye’s ord. Udover det kommer han ind på et meget relevant tema her på bloggen nemlig XXL Freshmen listen, og om hvordan det gik til med at blive signet af Rick Ross til Maybach Music.
Læs interviewet efter jumpet – og kom gerne med forslag til hvilke andre up & coming artister i vil have vi skal interviewe.
How did you get into rapping?
I started out as a kid. I wrote my first rap when I was in kindergarten, so I was always a musical person. Everybody around the neighborhood in my projects had their own rap crews as kids, you nahmean. Young Dro been one of them, ‘cause we grew up in the same neighborhood. It was just natural, I grew up in a musical house, my momma always had me performing at her card parties. I played instruments in elementary school, I was rappin’ on the stages, it was a natural thing I recorded in 3rd grade. I can’t really tell how I got into it, I feel like I was born to do it, you feel me.
Who is your favorite rapper and favorite producer?
I can’t really just name one, I love Bigge, I love ‘Pac, I love Outkast, Kilo, UGK, man you name it. I can’t just name one, ‘cause I had so many favorite rappers nahmean. Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, N.W.A., Scarface, I just love music, I love dope music. But one rapper in particular, you can’t be a gangsta rapper and not say 2Pac. He laid the foundation for displaying your true talent, and letting the people know how you feel no matter what. The way he spoke to us through his music, and the way he identified with us through his music made me automatically love his music and him as an artist. I have to say 2Pac. When he made the song “Dear Mama”, my momma was on dope, before she passed, may she rest in peace, and we was in scraps on Thanksgiving, you nahmean, so like everything he spoke in the song, I was like damn is he talkin’ to me, ‘cause he basically embodied what the struggle was and he put it on the forefront. So I have to say 2Pac.
My favorite producer has to be André 3000. Him and Big Boi had the dopest production. That “Elevator” beat was so craaaazy man, ‘til this day I wanna ask him, if he can possibly try to make me one like that for me.
Your song “Glass” reflects an untypical southern rapper’s approach to hip-hop, as you rap about the struggle and life in the ghetto instead of bling bling, flashy cars and model chicks. Is there any reason behind that?
I mean because it’s real life. I don’t wanna just give you the typical like you just said bling bling, flashy cars and model chicks. That’s been done so many times you know, and I felt like comin’ from Atlanta, everybody rap about those things, and I added in sometimes that “Glass” was my environment, that’s where im from. I’m from the struggle, I’m from the streets, and I want people to see that, and I felt like it would be me dissing the hood if I didn’t show them. The title basically came from because of the glass that I was sellin’, and it had a two-part meaning. I wanted it to be like you was lookin’ through a glass and see exactly what’s going on. I just basically wanted the people to see and identify with it, ‘cause I know there are others that come from there and can feel it.
Jay-Z & Kanye West made the song H.A.M., and started a whole word movement, but many people don’t know that you actually used the word in your song “Trap Going Ham”. Is Pill the originator of the word?
That’s Altlanta slang, that’s how we’ve been sayin’ for years. I am “Trap Going Ham” you nahmean. I am the word “HAM”, I popularized that term, I mean it’s obvious. Shout out to Kanye, shout out to Jay-Z, those are the gods you nahmean, they huge. They basically added some more flame to my fire, you feel me, so big ups to them cats. Ima continue to do me, and you know as long as people know that it came from me, it’s good! But as I said, it added some more gasoline to my fire, so it is what it is, they did what they did, it’s a big song, and I don’t think the world would’ve know what “HAM” was if it wasn’t for me. They just added to it. P-I-Double L, Mr. Trap Going Ham, Mr. Originator of HAM!
What is on your iPod right now?
Anothony Hamilton man! Im jammin’ to that old Outkast, im jammin’ to that ‘Pac, im jammin’ to that Biggie, of course “The Refill” on there, “Prescription”, “The Overdose”, im jammin’ to that, and a few tracks I recorded recently you nahmean, Scarface, I got a packed iPod man! From Lykke Li to Mark Ronson’s album. I actually like Maroon 5, I like Kings Of Leon, you nahmean, im just a music lover, I like Marsha Ambrosius, me and her are real good friends. We would have to write a whole book of everything that’s on my iPod!
What made you join Maybach Music Group, and how did the deal come about?
Me and Ross had been choppin’ it for a minute, tryna get the situation together, and I think that just basically put me on the bigger stage for the mainstream. It was a strategic move to make and you know, you got a very lyrical cat from the south, you got other artists like Wale, Meek Mill, Torch, Gun Play, the whole roster is a bunch of spitters, particularly Ross. It’s guys that is really tryna push the envelope musically, when it comes to hip-hop and not just doing traditional records, ‘cause he’s makin’ your “BMF” and he’s makin’ your “Aston Martin Music”. All different types of tracks that I like to make and the production is crazy, so it was only right that we hooked up and make it on the bigger scale.
You have formed a group with Big Boi and Killer Mike, have you found a group name and can we expect something in future?
We are already recording for the album. I just got off the phone with Big, I think he’s in Boston. We are waiting to release the name for the group, but we are working. There should be some music out later this year, im tryna figure out when we gonna officially drop a single, but we are working right now on it.
Who would you like to work with?
I wanna work with Kanye and Jay, just because that Kanye is a dope rapper and a dope producer, and Jay is such a dope rapper as well. I gotta get something with André 3000, I wanna do some stuff with Scarface, I wanna knock some out with Snoop just to see how it would turn out. Im tryna think of somebody else, I actually wanna do something with Maroon 5 too. I want them to sing on some hood shit you know what im sayin’, it doesn’t necessarily need to be rock, I want them to sing something that I may write and put it on a dope ass hip-hop track!
You collaborated early on with both Yelawolf and CyHi Da Prynce on the same track. Today they both are on the cover and experience fruition of their hard work. Does this motivate you even more? And how did the track come about?”
Of course it motivates me. I had the cover last year, and im still doing what im doing, those are the homies and they doing their thing, it’s great to see their dreams come true, and to manifest their own destiny through hard work, so that motivates me to work even harder as well. They makin’ dope music, I make dope music, all of us are busy right now doin’ our own thing. Yelawolf had the track already with Raekwon, you nahmean, that was on his tape. He tapped our shoulders, and it was only right that we went and did it, ‘cause me and Yelawolf been rockin’ since day one. If you go back and look at the “Trap Going Ham” video, Yelawolf is in it. People don’t know, but that been my homeboy, we been knockin’ our shows, doing tracks, we got old unreleased tracks that nobody has heard. Me, him and CyHi are all homies, and we gonna continue to make music together. Me and CyHi got music coming, on his next project we got a dope track together. Me and Yelawolf got new music we’ve done.
Speaking of Yela and CyHi, did you ever expect that they would make it on the cover of XXL as Freshmens?
Of course! Those guys been spitting hard, you know Yelawolf hooked up with Shady which is a huge deal, he dropped that “Trunk Muzik”, everything he has done thus far from the videos, to the tape, to the EP that earns him that place on the cover. And CyHi been killin’ shit on the mixtape circuit as well, knockin’ shit out with Kanye on the album, just everything he’s done. They both been killin’ shows, if they didn’t get on the cover, I might would’ve go up to New York to the XXL head office and say “AY MAN WHAT DA HELL ARE YA DOIN’!?”.
Being a former XXL Freshman, who would like to have on your list if you could make one now?
I think this year’s list is pretty much complete. I don’t go against XXL’s work, that’s the ones they’ve picked, you know my homie Meek is on there, like everybody that’s on the cover belong on the cover. I think whoever else that deserves to be on it, would’ve probably be on it.
How about another southern rapper from Atlanta called Alley Boy?
Yeah yeah that’s my nigga! Alley deserves to be on the cover long time ago. I think they might be scared of Alley Boy, I think the people might be scared if Alley man, I mean Alley he’s so gutter, I think they might be afraid of Alley, that’s the reason why he ain’t on the cover! That’s my nigga, he will always be my partner, I would definitely say Alley Boy! He been grindin’ for so long, and got so much dope shit. Honestly, I think they are scared of Alley Boy! He is a nice guy though!
What are you unsatisfied with in the industry, and if you could change something what would it be?
It would be me at the top of the charts! Nr. 1 video on 106 & Park! More videos on MTV! And more solo Pill covers, but all of that will be coming soon though. But now I’m more serious though, more lyrical cats, more music with a message, more real music on the radio and more guys actually standing for something and puttin’ out music with a meaning. Although you are gonna do your hood shit and you gonna do your dance shit, it has to have a balance. And I would probably have to say, that anytime I drop a verse they should give me a million dollars!
What’s your favorite clothing brand?
I mean I wear t-shirts a lot! I can’t really say what’s really my favorite clothing line, I mean I like Rocksmith Tokyo, and they show a lot of love. But I can’t really mention too many other people until they cut the check! I just keep it simple, I do the all black, but since it has been so hot recently, I throw on them white t-shirts. I gotta have the crazy kicks, I gotta have the Levi’s, you nahmean, I might do the flashy t-shirts every now and then, but nothin’ too colorful.
Being an Atlanta Hawks fan, how do you think your season’s gonna end and who do you think is going to win the championship?
If they do a little bit better, ‘cause right now we are going to the playoffs, and if they step it up in the playoffs I think we can go and we can win it, if everybody boost their moral and do their thing, I’m on the home team, so I ain’t gonna ever say like any other team gonna win it. But i’m not gonna lie though, those Bulls are lookin’ mighty sharp! Rose definitely getting’ the MVP, if he ain’t gonna get the MVP, ima personally write a letter to the NBA and be like “YOU’RE FUCKIN’ UP!”.
Recently you were in London alongside Mark Ronson and Ghostface Killah, what stuck out the most when you were in Europe?
Just the big audiences and the love that I received! And the fact that they are so into hip-hop over there, and I know it’s like that around the world, but in London they’re really into hip-hop. They love it; they got hip-hop spots like it’s crazy over there. Everything was just a broader scale; it’s one of the biggest shows I’ve ever been on, you nahmean, so everything about that stuck out, ‘cause that was my first time ever being outside of the country. So that whole thing stuck out, it’s definitely memories and something I will tell my kids. In the States you got a lot of critics and some people will try to look too cool, you nahmean, but over there they are just glad that you’re performin’, and they just love the music, and everybody go crazy! There’s more appreciation for the music over there as well as different places in Europe period! I feel more appreciation. All of the European markets are open up, when it comes to hip-hop anywhere. It has been that way for years, but I think that artists, like new artists have started to realize that it’s a big market. Im so appreciative for the love that I get in Europe period, and all that with you guys and your interview, like that’s one of the greatest feelings in the world, ‘cause starting out you don’t know if everybody’s gonna appreciate your shit all around the world, you nahmean. It warms your heart man, it makes the work ethic worthwhile, it makes what you doin’ have a purpose.
What are your plans for the future, and what can we expect from Pill?
My plans for the future, is to do more music. You can expect the “Self Made” album may 24th, you can expect “The Medicine” album coming soon, probably later this year you can expect that project with me, Big Boi and Killer droppin’ this year, you can expect a new movie im in with with Brittany Snow and Terrence Howard to be droppin’, it just premiered at Side By Side West Film Festival, it got great reviews, I play a character by the name of Roger in the film, it’s directed by Aimee Lagos. It’s a dope picture, you can expect more movies from me, you can expect everything being on a larger scale, you can expect me puttin’ out great material and me informin’ the people on what’s really going on in the neighborhood and you can expect me to be with your favorite actress! *Laughing* somebody callin’ my phone right now!
What do you know about Scandinavia?
I know it’s a country in. Uhm… it’s Russian right? I know this; Scandinavia is in South East Europe! I know it’s very cold there. I know that uhm, I know that uhm.. Damn it! I know these questions, I know this, I did really well in geography! I actually know shit about Scandinavia!
When can we expect Pill in Scandinavia?
Definitely soon man! I gotta get over there, like probably later in the year we gotta set that up man, ‘cause I know I gotta come to Denmark and I definitely gotta go to like Oslo and all that shit. I will maybe at your festival in the summer! I would love to be over there!