ow can a single digit exit on a major highway heading towards the southern states translate into a phenomena unseen since the untimely death of The Notorious B.I.G? In 2007 two distinct towns separated by an invisible border made shocking headlines. Moorestown NJ was named one of the best places in the United states to live and raise a family. It's neighbor Camden, NJ was ranked in the top 5 most dangerous places in America for the 10th year...in a row.
Incredibly both destinations are strangely off exit 4.. on Interstate 95. The irony? In 2007 a young man from the 8 square miles that makes up the city of Camden..emerged onto the rap scene out of nowhere. The rare combination of Big Lou's lyricism and ability to create radio friendly tracks may just be more unbelievable in rap music today than having two places with such an extreme social gap share the same exit. Big Lou represents everything that the true hip hop fan has been craving since the genre's demise due to the short lives of commercial radio lyricists like Biggie, Tupac Shakur and Big Pun.
Sure there are successful artist that continue to fill the airwaves. But the connection with the fans continues to decline due to lack of content, creative word play, and strong metaphorical punchlines, that can effectively make the dancer dance, and the listener listen. Big Lou is exit 4. A rare artist in a strange lonely place that is the fork road of hip hop. A special artist that one day hopes to convert that road into a bridge that will re-connect his genre the ways that the legends of the past did.
*What was it like growing up in Camden?*
Growing up in Camden is an education.Every day you learn from your surroundings.There’s corruption, narcotics, murders, and fucked up shit going on on a regular basis, but you turn the corner and there’s kids running around in the streets playing basketball with a milk crate, music blasting from some niggaz car, and the smell of arroz con pollo coming out somebody’s window.It’s a hood like any other hood.There’s good and there’s bad.We have a reputation as being one of the most dangerous cities in America but at the end of the day, that’s my home and I wouldn’t change shit about how I grew up cause it makes me who I am today.You don’t forget what it’s like to be hungry.You grow up seeing rich kids from the burbs risking their lives to drive through a living hell just to get high and throw their privileged lives away while some young kid is looking at that shit just wondering what it’s like to sit at a table and have dinner with his entire family.
*What is a typical day like for you? *
Man, my days are 24 hours.I even think about my music shit in my sleep.The only distraction I’ve had from, music lately is my beautiful son who was just recently born.The lil nigga make me go at this shit harder when I already thought I was doing that.It changes your perspective.But yeah man, I wake up early and sometimes I write or I call my team up to follow up on shit or strategize about other things that need attention.Man, I’m so programmed I can’t even tell you what my day is like.Shows, recording, filming videos, making sure my team is doing they shit, umm….let’s see promoting, marketing, listening to some of the 500 motherfucking tracks I get emailed everyday, twitter. Facebook, emails, collaboration requests, studio time, mastering mixing, on the phone talking to artists on my album complaining why the shit aint drop yet and calming other niggaz down who didn’t make the cut.Oh yea…and if I get a chance I might take a shit and a piss which sometimes I don’t cause you can’t shit if you forget to eat.
*Lets get right into this. A few months back you were going for Kay Slay and Papooses throat. You were dropping songs and doing interviews getting at them. Since then things quieted down. What is the status of your relationship with either of them?*
Look, let me clear.The Streetsweepers situation didn’t work out.I had a lawsuit which I have since won.I didn’t feel like Slay supported me as much as he could have.Things worked out for the better because bigger things have happened and are about to happen that are going to shake some peoples heads.The bottom line is that niggaz love to talk about how they would step to a nigga if that person had a problem with someone in they squad.That’s what real street niggaz do.So what the fuck is the difference if a nigga got a legal problem created by some power hungry, control freak, motherfucker from Florida with a napoleon complex.I fucks with a lot of people in this game, DJ’s, businessmen, producers, clothing line manufacturers, videographers, models, and a whole bunch of other people, but that don’t mean I’m letting no muthafucka try and control me or take credit for my blood sweat and tears.I’d rather put a fucking bullet in my head.The lawsuit didn’t intimidate me like growing up in Camden didn’t intimidate me, but Slay bugged out over that shit.That nigga talk like he ride out on the streets for a nigga but he gets shook by a legal document? C’mon fam.That wasn’t a nina.It was an 8 x 11 piece of paper.You was afraid of a fuckin papercut or something? That shit don’t make no sense.Look at his interview on Vlad.He was talking about this punk in Miami like the dude was Pappy Mason or some shit.On top of that, I was being sued by Lost City Records!That’s my own label!How the fuck can I be sued by my own label?
The other thing that niggaz don’t realize is that the first track I dropped ‘I don’t wanna be Right” was more about my struggle with my situation and my love for the game.I wasn’t dissing Kay Slay.I was just expressing disappointed.He’s the one that did a two part interview talking all this personal shit that a real nigga should have never brought up.I ain’t ever said no personal shit about that nigga until he opened up that Pandora’s box.
As far a papoose, I never gave a fuck about that dude.I destroyed his ass in “The Destruction of Papoose” because Kay Slay got on camera talking shit about how pap didn’t fuck with me cause from the first day he met me he felt some type of way about me.These dudes is fake.Yeah, shit is quiet.1.5 million and you hear nothing but crickets.The dude knew he couldn’t come at me cause he don’t fuck with lyrical niggaz like that.He’s a bully who backs down when a challenge present himself.So what did he do? He acted like the track ain’t hurt his feelings, then he goes out and films a low quality video with some fat bitches and calls it “Bucket naked” or some shit, then has his people build up millions of hits on Worldstar and like 6 comments.It’s embarrassing for a cat who had a buzz like that to be where he is now.He knows it.That’s why he got shook when I signed.If he feels some type of way, he should ask Slay why he acted like a fucking snitch and mentioned things that Pap said about me just to justify his position in this whole situation.
*You walk into a club ... and see Kay Slay... what happens?*
That’s up to him, not me.Slay is a legend in this game.Do I wish things had been different, of course?But the dude got so defensive about a track that didn’t even go at him like that.Pap is different.I’ll smack the shit out that nigga and put it on youTube.I don’t give a fuck.There’s too many niggaz trying to intimidate with their stares, or they lyrics, or because they got a few niggaz around them.I’ll look a nigga in his eye.If he back down, I let him be.If he don’t, then I’ll personally tell my squad that I got this and I’ll go in on a nigga myself.In CMD we fight when we fucking bored then well drink a 40 right after that.Look at the way papoose walk around Brooklyn with his fitted and his nice clothes and crispy sneaks.That nigga aint walking around my hood like that.I live in the real world my nigga.I’m a product of my environment.That dude is a product of Kay Slay.
*When he said you were "hiding in a cave like Bin Laden" on twitter.... what did you think?*
To tell you the truth, I didn’t think much of it cause I know that he don’t even believe that himself.That nigga ain’t stupid man.I been to every borough and have gotten respect.You think Kay Slay or Papoose will come to Camden?I was down with Streetsweepers and it’s cool that I was classified as a lyricist cause pap was on the team and Slay fucks with Lyrical niggaz, but don’t no body who fuck with me will allow them dudes to classify me as a coward.These dudes think that everybody is a fake gansta like they is.They don’t live in a real world anymore.They institutionalized.But see, that’s when they get careless.They feel like they can hide in their radio stations and make whatever comment they want, until they end up in the same piece of real estate that I’m standing on.Then they have to look me in the eye.Then we’ll see if they turn away or be men and stare right back.
You could stare AT me but I’ll stare right through you.And when you see a muthafucka that’s made of stone, you better be prepared to deal with whatever comes.I’m living on borrowed time homie.I’m playing with house money.You disrespects me you’re gonna get violated in a bad way.Some niggaz will read this and say, aw man another nigga talking greasy.See, that’s when niggaz go wrong.They so used to fake as niggaz making threats and acting crazy, then running on they videos .Or getting their chain snatched like them yung berg niggaz….. that when you fuck with a nigga that come from where I come from, your sense of reality can come back to you real quick.
*You are dropping a new mixtape called "Goya Product with a twist of Soulfood" ... can you break down that title?*
I’m Puerto Rican.Besides Pun, all of the greats have been black besides Em.I grew up on Goya but I spit like I snuck in some Grits. Collared, greens, and some ham hocks.
*The cover (shouts to K Lion the designer) makes a point. It has you portayed like the Joker with "Anti HipHop" written in blood. Is it safe to say every song is hard core lyrical street shit?*
Man, that dude that played the Joker was really fucking crazy.That character is someone I can relate to because the boy was relentless and didn’t back down from shit.This album is for the streets.It’s got tracks in there that might confuse some stupid ass program Director cause the beat is crazy and sound like a radio joint but when niggaz start spittin, it’s gonna scare the shit out them muthafuckas.They gonna be like, yo take that shit off.Throw something the audience wants to hear that’s easy to understand, like Wocka Flocka.This mixtape is like a fuckin movie.It took over a year to make man.I’m exhausted.In fact, maybe kay Slay was right.I did have to hide for a month cause the talented artists out there who didn’t make it on this project wanted to burn my fucking house down.Everybody wanted to be on this shit.
*Would Big Lou ever make a dance track?*
No. I will always try and make a crazy track and if niggaz or bitches want to dance to it then god bless them.If the radio want s to play it, then I’m good with that.But I won’t bow down and sell out my core fans and what I believe in.Fans will never forgive an artist for that.The artist who doesn’t stick to the core that got him there will fail.If he records a track just for the radio, his core fan base will label him a sellout and the new fans will dig in to find the artists older shit and they will be also abandon him cause all of the older tracks are too underground for their taste.That’s why jay-z, Eminem, Tupac, biggie and Pun, are legendary.They were able to successfully overcome that.
*We heard a about a slew of emcee features on the mixtape. Can you tell us who made the final cut?*
man, we have legends, and hot artists that are on the comeup.Vinnie paz, Immortal Tech, Cassidy, Math Hoffa, Cuban Link, Jeru Da Damaja, Krutch, Tha Advocate….it’s so many you have to look at the video to see the line-up.
*Your song "I Run This" (featuring Doitall and Tha Advocate), had you spitting "Moment of Silence..... for the emcee's that died in violence, I guess I'm next if I dumb it down to nonsense". Those lyrics can be a bit prophetic. Do you think something fatal can happen to you because of this hip-hop shit? can you break down that lyric a little more.*
man, I grew up in a place where death was a normal part of our lives.I’ts normal to feel death following you.I’ve hurt people that have never forgotten that shit.I have young niggaz who have 3 fans on myspace and get offended when I won’t jump on a track.You think they don’t want to catch a nigga off guard to make a name for themselves.The more you anticipate death the more grateful you are for every day that it doesn’t come.Just because I’m grateful for every day that I’m here, my inner being always carries a dark cloud over my head.Whenever I look up to talk to God, that cloud blocks my view as if to say, nigga, don’t forget where you been or what you’ve done.I’m just waiting for you to start your victory parade so I can rain all over it.
*Other then music what do you do to make that paper? * Next question.
*When did you first become introduced to hip-hop? *
My brothers played all that BDP, Rakim, Big L shit when I was growing up.I picked up a mic maybe 10 years ago and started to go hard at it about 4 -5 years ago.
*What artists/people in your life intrigued you to get into the business? *
All the great lyricists were influential to me.Think about it….When an artist like Rakim or Big Pun take a crazy ass beat and after they start spittin you don’t even hear the beat cause you are hanging on to every word they say…..that’s hip hop.When you could do that successfully, then you have my attention.
*Who would you enjoy to work with that you haven't yet? *
Wow, there are so many cats out there.I feel I’m so versatile that I can make any rapper bring their “A” game.I used to have a list of niggaz that that I wanted to record with but lately a lot of artists are telling me they want to record with me.I never thought I’d record with Sheek Louch or Busta Rhymes.I never thought I’d be on a track with Vinnie Paz or Tito Puente Jr.Shit’s just coming to me naturally now.The more artists hear me the more they feel “damn, Big Lou could bring something to this track”.
*Tell us about your current projects? *
The Goya Product project is the main thing.I’m also working on the mixtape with DJ J-Ronin called “Pray for Me”.To be honest, the Goya project is so special that for the next year, my and my team’s goal is to let the world know about this mixtape.I ain’t trying to sound like no cocky nigga but I think this is the Best mixtape ever produced by an unsigned artist.
*What one reason would your fans say separates you from the norm? *
I’m lyrical.And it’s not just that and the beat selections and the mixdowns.It’s like when you in the hood and an old head starts telling stories about shit that’s happened and you see people gathering around cause not only can they relate, but there are some people that can tell a story better than others.On top of that I can switch flows and adapt to anything.I’m like a young Ali.I can finesse you to death with speed or I can knock you the fuck out.Every situation is different.
*What shows do you currently have lined up for this summer?* Too many to mention.Stay tuned.
*Where do you see yourself in the industry in the next 5 years?* **
if you’re expecting for me to say on top of the game, MTV, the grammys and all that other shit, it aint gonna happen.I’m a realist.I sacrifice everyday because I have a message and my fans are interested in that message.I do this for the love of it and I don’t give a fuck about cars and oes and 24’s.I feel like a muthafuckin prophet.A messenger to and for my people.I’m the voice of young people that were born to lose and don’t ever see the sun shine ion their blocks.In 5-10 years all these corny ass rappers can keep their awards.I’’ll be proud to say I just kept it real.
*Where do you see the industry in 5 to 10 years? *
man , who the fuck knows.This industry is like the fucking weather man.You never know what tomorrow is gonna be like.Every year they predict the death of hip hop, the resurgence of hip hop, the return of the lyrics, the death of autotune, Eminem is done then he comes back and sells 2 million records.Drake is the hottest artist in the world and he barely goes platinum.I mean, this is crazy.Women in Hip hop were dead a year ago.They were saying that no woman would ever sell.Now Nicki Minaj is selling out concerts.There’s more females on vlad and WSHH ralking shit then men.It’s crazy!
Do you have any shout outs or FU’s, links to your sites, etc?*
I always shout out my city first.I got Camden on my back.Shouts to my niggaz on my squad and the whole Lost City Team.No Fuck You’s man.I’m in a good place.Plus stupid niggazalways fuck themselves anyway.They don’t need my help. Shout out to my boy Advocate too that my nigga always reppin a real nigga
*What final words do you have for our community and the prospects of hip hop?*
Every day this game gets crazier and more difficult.I could tell up and coming dudes to reach for their drams, never give up, and all that other shit.But the truth is that hard work is not good enough anymore.You have to move smart.Surround yourself with niggaz that can see your dream the way that you do.And do it for the love of the game and hope your fans feel what you feel.If you touch the fans, they’ll reach out and touch you back.If you try and make it in this game with a dollar sign on your head, you lost the fight before you stepped into the ring.
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