The StreetCred.com Interview: Shawty Lo
Posted: 11/06/2008 :: Author: St. James
Shawty Lo sits down to talk with StreetCred.com about his beef with T.I., why he won't stop the attacks, the reason he filmed a video in front of T.I.'s Club Crucial, new albums, D4L and more.
Shawty Lo on why the recent video for Stuntman's "Don't I" was shot in front of T.I.'s Club Crucial:
"It was just to let people know. That’s what he went and did, we can do it too. They are trying to paint the picture like he’s (T.I.) the "King" and he doing videos ("What's Up, What's Haapnin'") in front of my hood. But sh*t when you come to the front of Bowen Homes with 30 police, I can’t do nothing about that. When they shot their video that’s what was going down."
St. James: What’s up LO?
Shawty Lo: I feel real good right now. Coming off 2 awards my man just hit the White House, so I’m feeling good right now.
S: I think we all are right now. Go Barack! We are beaming!
Lo: We needed that one.
S: What do you want to tell the readers of Streetcred.com about the situation with you and T.I.?
Publicist: I’m just going to interject here. We were asked to do the interview and we are not really coming here to “clear the air”. Pretty much everything has been said and if people want to research the history of what is going on they may do so. We are really just trying to move forward to more positive things. We want to talk about his mix tape, etc.
S: Well I am asking the questions of what the people want to know. A lot of people thought the beef was deaded and over. The world wants to know though.
Lo: Well you know I was going to let it go. His people reached out to me. “We want to dead it” they say but they still put the video ("What's Up, What's Haapnin’") out there. They said it was already done and they had no control of it. They said they weren’t tyring to push the video and to not respond. So I sat down for a minute and didn’t respond. But then I heard him talking in an interview. I said f*ck it I’m not just about to let anybody say anything. When I speak I speak the truth. I give the real. I live it for real man.
S: So are there plans to dead it or as long as they go you go?
Lo: As long as they keep it poppin’ I’m going to keep it poppin’. It ain’t no real beef. It ain’t like he want to tussle. It ain’t nothing to me. I’m making my music, I’m not really going to waste my time on it. I’m making my music and I guess he wants to kill me musically. He doesn’t want Shawty Lo to exist. But I do exist and I’m not going anywhere. I exist.
S: So you got the new mix tape, I’m Da Man 2K9 with DJ Scream. What’s the direction and what’s on the mix tape?
Lo: Yeah you know this is my 3rd mix tape with Scream. We are just working hard man. I f*ck with that n*gga Scream.
S: So you’re gearing up for the new album with this mixtape?
Lo: I’m gearing up for my new album "Carlos." It’s on the way at the end of February or the end of March. The album is not done yet. I’m still working on the album. I’m just still doing songs right now. I have all kinds of producers, a couple of features and I’m just working. It’ll probably be done by the end of this month or December and ready to turn in.
S: So tell me about your experience with Diabetes and the projects you’ve done to support that movement.
Lo: I was diagnosed in 2001. First I was in denial. But I kept getting sick and kept getting sick and my family got on me. So I had to get there and I had to get right.
S: So what are some of the things you’ve done to help people with the disease?
Lo : I do a lot with it. A lot of private events. I’ve joined a network called thediabetesdestroyers.com. We are going to launch that sometime next month. We don’t have an exact date. It’ll be a network where people can come on, share stories, and there will be a place on it to raise money as well as help the association we did the walk with.
S: What was the walk?
Lo: The walk was a drive for Diabetes. A lot of people came out and supported. That 3 miles almost killed me but we got it in.
S: So you won the BET Hip Hop Award for “Rookie of the Year”. How did that feel and what doors have opened up?
Lo : It was very unexpected but they called my name and it was a blessing. It let me know I made my mark and I’m here. I’m going to continue to work hard. No one is going to give you anything so I’m just going to continue to keep working hard.
St: Did it make you feel like you’ve arrived? A lot of people have been in the game 20+ years and never gotten a BET award.
Lo: I know it. It was a blessing. I won because of everybody and all my people got to come up on stage. I mean I’ve only been a rapper 3 years... solo artist myself.
S: So how did you get started rappin’?
Lo: I was just the money behind the group (D4L) when we first started. I formed the group in 2003 and got locked up in 2004. I came home and people were telling my other artists that we were nothing without Fabo. That’s when I came with the hit “I’m Da Man”. Everybody loved it. It was something that somebody from the real Bankhead and Atlanta could relate to. So I just kept making songs until it turned into the mixtape. And everybody was like “you da one”.
S: So you’ve kind of taken the forefront for D4L, it was Fabo when you all first dropped. How has that been coming from the background to the forefront?
Lo: It’s crazy ya know. It’s God. I was trying to get up out of there. I was really living the life at first.
S: So we haven’t seen Fabo. Is everything cool with him?
Lo: Everything is cool. He’s trying to come up with it but everything is cool.
S: Is there plans for a new D4L album?
Lo: He do what he do. I just don’t do that type of music no more. I’ll still push it for him though. If he has an album we are going to put it out. It just ain’t a group thing.
S: So is there anything outside of the music that you are using to brand Shawty Lo?
Lo: It’s a movie I’m working on called “Black Bags”. That’s supposed to be coming out next year some time. It’s for an independent company out of California. I’m in it, that’s what I know. We also are trying to get the clothing line going. I also got my other group with Front St. They are real good.
S: You and Front St. were on “Don’t I” with Stuntman. What was the deal for that video and shooting it in front of Club Crucial?
Lo: It was just to let people know. That’s what he went and did, we can do it too. They are trying to paint the picture like he’s (T.I.) the "King" and he doing videos in front of my hood. But sh*t when you come to the front of Bowen Homes with 30 police, I can’t do nothing about that. When they shot their video that’s what was going down.
S: Who is your inspiration in the game and what you are trying to become?
Lo: Jay-Z is my inspiration in this game. He came a long way. He was always my favorite rapper because that’s how I was coming up. I mean I just feel like he reminds me of me so much. I feel like before I was even a rapper, the stuff he was talking about that’s what I was living. He’s come to be the most successful rapper ever to do it. I look at myself trying to get to the top as well.
S: So what are you trying to accomplish with the music and bring to the people?
Lo: I’m trying to take care of my family and talk to the people. Work hard and do what I do.
S: So let me get your reaction to the election. What do you think it has in store for the country and our people?
Lo: I think it’s going to be big. I think it’s definitely going to be a difference. I think Obama is going to make us one. We made history and I think he’s going to make us one. He’s going to finish what he started and I think he’s going to be a good President for us.
S: Tell the people something they don’t know about L-O.
Lo: One thing they need to know, I’m one Hundred. I’m not just a rapper. I did this, I lived it. I’ve been arrested 28 times. Convicted 4 times. I’m here because God blessed me to be here. And I’m here for a reason. I went to rap man from dope man. I come from the hood and if I can do it anybody can do it. Ain’t nobody going to give you nothing. You have to give 110% and work hard. You have to show that you want it in order for others to help you.
S: So anything else you want to tell the people?
Lo: Yeah check out the new single with me and Gucci Mane called “Dope Boy Knot”. You can find it on my myspace.com/therealshawtylo. I want to tell the world to come down to Atlanta and see the real and what’s going on and they will know what L-O is all about.