Interview by Greg “Gate$” Davenport
From Murder Dog vol. 12 #4
How does it feel to have one of the top singles in the country right now?
Feels great. Happy to be here. Feels better than just staying at home in Tallahassee.
When’s the album coming out and who’s on it and who did the production and all that?
The album comes out Dec. 6. It’s got Akon, Mike Jones, Trick Daddy, YoungBloodz, Bonecrusher, Styles P from the Lox. Basically, I did all the production.
I heard you were on 106 & Park and had to correct some folks that thought you were from Miami. Let them know where you from.
They already know – Tallahassee.
Does everybody think you’re from Miami when you say you’re from Florida?
They just see me and think I’m from Miami. He got dreads and gold teeth. He got to be from Miami.
A lot of people think you came out of nowhere but you’ve been doing this a long time.
A very long time. You know, I started that thing in about ’99. Came up with the Nappy Headz. That was a rap group from Tallahassee. You know, a local celebrity thing for a long time. We was signed before. That deal ain’t work out. We done had a lot of other offers and all kinds of shit. We was basically hearing from every major record company in the country. I started doing the singing thing and shit just started poppin’ off.
What age where you when you started being part of the Nappy Headz?
I was 16. It was T-Pain, Luc Dog, Knotty Black, Doe Boy, C-Dog and O.D. Two of them is my brothers.
What made you switch from rapping to singing?
Actually it switched from singing to rapping. I was singing at first and when the Nappy Headz came along that’s when I started rapping.
Didn’t you have an album out called Rapper Turned Singer or Singer Turned Rapper or something like that?
It was “Rapper Turned Singer”. I had put that out myself. Passing them out and selling them out of the trunk. It was a local thing.
I heard you had a lot of positive feedback from that album.
Definitely, everybody was loving it. It was something different to come out of Tallahassee.
What’s the Tallahassee sound?
It’s basically a mix of everybody else’s shit. That’s why I’m trying to make a sound for Tallahassee. When somebody hears a certain sound they’re going to know it’s coming out of Tallahassee.
What do you mean everybody else’s shit? What cities or states are you talking about?
The most popular shit like Georgia and all kind of shit. You know, Georgia, West Coast and New York and shit.
Were you influenced by all those sounds? Where did you get your sound from?
I wasn’t influenced by none of that shit. It was basically something that just came up. Me, I was just trying to be creative. I just put it on the track and see what happens.
Is that where the Vocrecorder and all of that came from?
That’s was just some shit I’ve been wanting to play with for a long time and I finally did it on a song; and that’s the one that happened to get out.
How did you pick the song “I’m Sprung” as the single?
I didn’t really pick it. I don’t like to pick my singles. I like to put some shit out there and let the people pick it. You can’t go wrong with that. I let one person hear it and he played it on the radio and I believe that shit went to spreading. I didn’t even plan on bringing it out like that. I wasn’t gonna bring my album out at all. I was gonna wait ‘til I blew up with the Nappy Headz and then I was gonna do a solo thing.
Who put that single out?
TJ Chapman put it out, but Dreesey Baby on 102.3 played it on the radio. One of the School Boys, basically, he was the first one to play it on the radio. After TJ started hearing the feedback and shit he was like, “This might be something we can run with,” so he started putting it out and shit.
Didn’t TJ have to do with you getting to where you’re at now?
He brought the A&R from Jive to one of my shows. That helped out a lot.
A lot of people hear the song and then they see the video and they’re like, “The face don’t match with the voice. This dude’s a thug!” Do you get that a lot?
I get that all the time. I love it. I love it. That just shows people how they judge and have fucking R&B stereotypes and shit. I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they see me. That shit be crazy.
Are you worried about being pigeonholed as an R&B crooner and not being able to spread your wings and do rap and production?
Hell naw! I did all that on the album. I rap, sing, produce. I produced the whole album. I did all that shit. They ain’t gonna hold me back from creating.
How did you hook up with Akon?
Akon was the first one when I started singing, like the very beginning, he heard one of my songs. I did a remake of “Locked Up” called “Fucked Up” and he heard that. It kind of spread to Atlanta where he was at. He heard that shit and he found my phone number.
Are you going to go back and get the Nappy Headz? What’s going to happen next?”
Everybody got to know this ain’t no overnight shit. I’m about to get my label poppin’ called Nappy Boy Entertainment. So, as soon as I get that poppin’ that’s when the Nappy Headz coming out.
Is that going to mean more gutta street shit or is going to be something different?
It’s going to be some left shit. It ain’t gonna be the rapper stereotype. Just how I ain’t the R&B stereotype, it ain’t gonna be the rap stereotype.
What’s going to be the next single? What’s going to be the next video? What’s coming up next?
I’m on tour now basically. I’ve been producing for other people and shit. I got Charlie Wilson’s album, number 9, “You Got Nerve” featuring Snoop Dogg. I wrote and produced that. Did some shit for Trillville, 3LW, Big Boi from Outkast, Juvenile, YoungBloodz. All kinds of shit already. That’s why you can’t get a hold of me. The next single and video is “I’m in Love with a Stripper”.