Lil Scrappy: Born Ready

Just a little over five years into his career, Atlanta’s Lil Scrappy has experienced much success in Hip-Hop. The young MC came into the game with a co-sign from super-producer Lil Jon, reaching gold success on the Kings of Crunk compilation. From there, Scrappy partnered with 50 Cent to drop his Top 20, 2006 debut […]

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Just a little over five years into his career, Atlanta’s Lil

Scrappy has experienced much success in Hip-Hop. The young MC came into the

game with a co-sign from super-producer Lil Jon, reaching gold success on the Kings of Crunk

compilation. From there, Scrappy partnered with 50 Cent to drop his Top 20,

2006 debut Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live.


Dissatisfied with the lack of support from major label

Warner Bros, Scrappy secured his release and founded his very own label G’$ Up

Records. Early plans were delayed when the rapper was stabbed in a July 2008

domestic dispute involving his sister’s boyfriend, and subsequently arrested

for felony possession of marijuana, battery of an officer, and possession of a

firearm/knife. Now back on track and living up to the perseverance his name

implies, Lil Scrappy outlines plans for an ambitious 2009, starting with the

February 24 release of Silence and

Secrecy (Black Rag Gang).

It’s been two years since your last project, which is a lifetime in Hip-Hop.

What has been going on with you professionally and personally in preparation

for the new LP this month?


Scrappy: Generally

just getting my mind right. I [had] to get off the old label I was on, Warner

Bros. I was making hits but they weren’t putting nothing

out. If your record label is not behind it, then no one else will [be]. So why

am I on a record label? I can be f**ked up by myself. I was kinda

cool with the label dudes [and] we reached an agreement. [They told me] I don’t

know want to do with you, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who can handle

just straight up Hip-Hop. I come as I am, that’s how I market myself. I’m a

real emotional type of rapper. I make real music. After that all I had to work

was work on my music, my group, and get Diamond from Crime Mob together. She

got an album coming [too].

 Money In The Bank – Lil Scrappy

Mentioning the major label experience, you were blessed in your first two albums

to work with an all-star cast that a lot of artists don’t see over their whole

career. How have those collaborations and close relationships with people like

50 Cent and Lil Jon helped you approach the CEO position you now hold?


Scrappy: Jon and

50 have good work ethics. When I first came in the game I was already a

workaholic.  And being around Jon

being that he’s a perfectionist it makes you step up the product. Jon always

said, “After its out, its out.” I’ve brought Jon 60 songs before, and when he

heard “No Problems” he said, “That’s the one.” He’s very confident.


With 50, [his advice] would be I can’t tell you what to say,

but keep in mind some of it has to be radio friendly. He showed me that don’t

make the process too hard. It’s our life and what we do. He’s another

workaholic to make you be like, Damn! He showed me how

to be a businessman.

 Lil Scrappy “No Problems” Video

You’ve already revealed two members on your crew in Young Vet and Pooh Baby.

How many people are in the crew and a part of your new label G’$ Up?


Scrappy: It’s

just a mixture. Everybody already knows about Atlanta. You got Pooh Baby from

the Eastside and Decatur. Young Vet holding down Marietta. He brings a new

whole swag to the game. And with Scrappy I’m going to give you everything. We

got something for the D-boys, players, b***hes, for


Who are some of the producers on the new album?


Scrappy: Off the

top Drumma Boy (“Crank It Up,” “Yummy Yum”), C Gutta (“Damn”), Tillie (“Cell Phone Watch,” “Gas”) and Young

Juve (“Grustle Or Not”).

It’s a lot of people that normally don’t get a lot of recognition but put out

good work. As

you know the Atlanta Hip-Hop scene is ever evolving with new faces and trends.

This record of course has a strong Atlanta base, but how do you expect it to

perform nationally?


Scrappy: I’ve

never made records just for Atlanta. Everyone in Atlanta f**ks with each other which makes the sound national. I

didn’t just grow up on OutKast, but Biggie, Tupac, and UGK. But [even] with my South swag I still speak

from a universal tip that everyone can understand.

Lil Scrappy “Head Bussa” Video

You’re five years into your career, which is a milestone that a lot of Hip-Hop

artists do not reach. What do you attribute your success and perseverance to?


Scrappy: I just

thank God, man, first and foremost. I had stopped for a little bit back in the

day because I had got all my teeth knocked out my mouth [Editors Note: In a 2006 crowd moshing

incident]. And 50 came back in and saved me from just being dropped to the

bottom of the crowd. I thank God for that opportunity to recreate and start

over. That’s the best thing about Hip-Hop; you can recreate if you’re creative

enough. People love new creations despite what they say. It feels good and sounds

good. That’s what I have to play into. I have to make sure whatever the next

man is doing, I’m not doing.

Last summer you had the legal situation with the stabbing, but to your credit

you didn’t get on YouTube and exploit it through the media like a lot rappers

do. How important is it for you to keep a definitive line between your personal

life and professional persona?


Scrappy: You gotta think man, people cling to

the movie of their life, and I just don’t do that. I like to come home, look at

TV…just do stuff that regular folks do. You’re trying to pay your bills? S**t

I’m trying to pay mine, you feel me? When I go out I don’t make a big scene. If

I go to buy something, it’s just me, not 50 dudes. I remember not having

things. I remember people saying, “Who is Lil Scrappy?,” when I used to perform before I became known. I still

have a real life, and material things aren’t going to go with me when I die.

I’m about my Hip-Hop and moving my career in the right direction. People do

hate when they don’t see you for awhile. They assume you’re not going anywhere.

But those people don’t know the business, and every two or three years I’m gonna keep coming. And I’m moving

into movies as well.

 Diamond & Lil Scrappy “Wishe Washe” Video

Much has been said about the mainstream direction of Hip-Hop. What do you like

about today’s sound and where do you see room for improvement?


Scrappy: I like

it, it’s creative but it has no substance. Lil Wayne, T.I., Game, 50, Kanye’s albums had substance. But everything else has

something missing. It’s like we’re getting the pizza without tomato sauce. The

music we make down here has always been about partying, even back with OutKast. But we would still talk about real ass s**t with

it, like Jeezy’s “Put On.” And you got New York with

the party thing and their street thing. Everyone is waiting to see what the

next style is. Somebody just has to come in and take it over and that’s gonna be me this year. There’s no one to blame this time,

it’s just me. I’m gonna go hard. After the G’$ Up

album I have my own album dropping, and then Diamond’s (from Crime Mob) album

is dropping. And I have a reality show coming out this year for BET.

You mentioned your own solo album, when is that tentatively scheduled to drop?



Summertime this year. After that next album drop you’re gonna be like, “Well Scrappy did say he was gonna do it [big]” [laughs]. I’m definitely coming strong

this year. As

a CEO, how hard is it to put aside friendships and personal relationships with

your artists to make sure business is handled accordingly?


Scrappy: I can

tell you I don’t have too many friends in the rap game. One is Wayne. I told

him to get on something and he just jumped on it; did it and sent it back to

me. I can always call 50, Yayo because he’s crazy and

will do anything, Banks, 40 Glocc, and all kind of

people. I can hit up Gucci Mane, Big Kuntry, or T.I.

to get on something. Even Shawty Lo! I f**ks with everybody. That’s a

good business mindset. Who you know gets you on, [but] what you know keeps you

on. Like Jon, he’s never done an album by himself. He’s always had other

artists. I had fun making records with 3-6 Mafia’s crazy a####,

Yung Joc, Jazze Pha, and Yo Gotti.

Even though some of them charged me a helluva lot, I

got introduced to their fanbase and vice versa.

 Lil Scrappy & G$’s “Cell Phone Watch” Video

Atlanta has been at the forefront of mainstream Hip-Hop for the last couple

years. Do you see the city starting any new trends in 2009?


Scrappy: We wanna hear something new every

day. We woke up and heard the old s**t yesterday. The underground always

switches over and becomes the bomb. Before the underground was that weak s**t,

now it’s that superstar s**t. You got superstars making underground music.

Gucci Mane is underground, so is Jeezy and Lil

Scrappy. S**t flips. I remember we couldn’t even get played. Next thing you

know they caught on. So as the music develops we’ll keep killing the game.


Atlanta is now fighting for the lyrical battle now. They

still think down South is not lyrical even though we’ve showed it. OutKast showed it back in the day, and even now in Wayne

and T.I. We’re versatile, so we’re not going to do that s**t every song.

Everyone has their different flavor of music. Hip-Hop will never just be one

thing anymore. We’ve went through that. MC Hammer came in and took it over. Ice

Cube knocked that out with the gangsta era. Who is

coming next? We haven’t found the person that has that tomato sauce to put back

on the pizza. All we got now is the toppings.