Hello Hello Hello..ML caught up with Shawty Lo this week to talk about his new video which premieres tonight on FN MTV @ 8pm EST (along with performances from Lil Wayne & Duffy), Bankhead, being a scholar with Killer Mike and other ML randomness you’ve surely come to expect.
Metal Lungies: How is your day going so far?
Shawty Lo: It’s going well, I’m just sitting here, eating a little bit, but everything’s good.
ML: What does Shawty Lo like to eat on?
Shawty Lo: Well, right now I’m eating a little baked chicken and rice.
ML: Is that from a local spot in Atlanta?
SL: Nah, it’s from the house.
ML: Alright, do you do your own cooking or do you have someone to cook that up for you?
SL: Yea, my girl, she cooked it for me.
ML: You have a video set to premier on the 20th, the remix for Foolish. Talk about what we can expect from the video, what’s the idea behind it?
SL: Basically, it’s a good summer video, you know. Me, DJ Khaled, Baby, Rick Ross and Jim Jomes. We shot it in Miami, it was a real good look, pretty outside. We had the girls outside, we were having fun on the beach and just doing our thing.
ML: Is it an example of what a day in Shawty Lo’s life is like?
SL: Yea, its fun, ain’t no sweat, just fun.
ML: How did the whole situation with TI start? Did he take a jab at you on “King”, what happened?
SL: Yea, he threw a jab at me on the song “Big Shit Poppin”. When he said “I said I was king [and them lames started laughin' and same suckers now want the King on a track with 'em]”. He could’ve gotten on a song of mine from 2002, I had a King song I had here in the street, but I guess he changed his mind and didn’t want to get on the song. It was no problem; he didn’t get on the song and threw a jab at me. I jabbed back with my song called Dunn Dunn. I ain’t never called his name out, he ain’t never called my name, If there was feeling like that, I would have called his name out on my album Units in The City, and he didn’t say my name. But, about a month later, he came on radio live in Atlanta and he was hollering my name, so that’s where it was brought back up at.
ML: Do you think it’s a real serious situation? What do you think of it now?
SL: Ah, no, I know it ain’t serious because he knew he shouldn’t have done that. I am in the streets for real and he’s a rapper.
ML: I saw that YouTube video you had of going through Bankhead and saying that no one had ever seen TI around there. Talk about Bankhead, what is the landscape there, what are the people like, what’s the environment like? Just give us a tour of Bankhead?
SL: It rough man, it’s like a jungle man, you know. It’s a poor town, It’s rough, bars of sugar [Ed note: it took me a while to get why bars of “sugar” were bad], AIDS. We were unfortunate, you know. And it’s like one of the most crime-ridden areas probably in Georgia. TI came to claim this side of town to get some street credibility behind him, But you know, I respect TI as a real rapper, he’s a real rapper, until he stepped on my toes and I had to tell the truth on him.
ML: Do you have a favorite spot in Bankhead or is it all just bad for you?
SL: It ain’t bad to me, but it’s bad to other people. I grew up there, I can handle it, that’s where I’m from. I’m from the projects, I was born and raised.
ML: What’s your favorite story about growing up in Bankhead? Do you have a favorite story?
SL: I really ain’t got no favorite stories, it just feels good to come from that and do something. Being that I’m from Bankhead, the people from Bankhead, they love it to see someone from Bankhead for real, to make it.
ML: So, Bankhead made you, who you are today, pretty much?
ML: Where are you living today, in Atlanta?
SL: I live in the outskirts right now but I’m come up here, my studios still in Bankhead.
ML: Dey Know was such a monstrous song, everyone wanted to drop a freestyle on it. How’d that song come about, what’s the background story for that?
SL: It was crazy man, it was a beat at the studio. The beat, I got it from my man Balis he’s from Jersey. I ain’t like the song as soon I [first] did it . When the label heard it, they were like it’s a hit, and everyone else said it. Then once it got poppin in the street real good, everyone started calling, “I wanna get on the remix”, and it just happened.
ML: Were you slipped the beat CD or did someone play it for you? How did the whole song go down?
SL: That’s one of my other producers, Ryan Blatz, he’s [Balis] is one of his producers, basically our in house producer. I was in the studio late one night and one of our producers put it on and said “write to it”. And I started writing to it, but I didn’t like what I wrote at first, so I started over and started thinking to it in my head “Shawty Lo-I got flavor…” and it went from there.
ML: When I heard that song, I was blown away. I was like “Who is this? Shawty Lo?” So you really impressed me with that track.
SL: Thanks sir.
ML: You mentioned that you weren’t so sure at first about that track, was there another single that you would have gone with from the album as your first song?
SL: Umm yea I like my song Let’s Get It, I still love it. I thought that was going to be the single at first, a long time ago, but it turned out to be Dey Know was to be the one.
ML: I was reading that you’re going to be on Killer Mike’s upcoming album. How’d you two link up, was it just connections or hanging out in Atlanta? How’d that happen?
SL: Yeah, I know Killer Mike, we went to high school together; we went to Franklin Douglas High School.
ML: So he just hit you up and said “jump on this”?
SL: He stopped by the studio and told me he needed me and I said no problem.
ML: What was Killer Mike like in high school?
SL: He was cool, we were just running wild, doing our thing. He was a big fella in high school, he is a good dude, man.
ML: Were the both of you rhyming back in high school?
SL: I wasn’t rhyming period I didn’t start rhyming till 2006. End of 2005, 2006, that’s when I started Rhyming.
ML: Was he rapping back then?
SL: Uhh, yea.
ML: So he’s been doing it for a while?
SL: Yea, Mike’s been doin it for a minute. I was so bad back then, you know, I was real bad back then, I was a bad boy.
ML: So you were doing all that other stuff, huh?
ML: You mentioned that you started rapping recently. Did you have inspiration when it came to rappers who you might want to get inspiration from or maybe emulate?
ML: Just Jay-Z straight up? No one else?
SL: There were a couple others, but Jay-Z inspired me to be a rapper, you know. He was talking about what I was living.
ML: When you were growing up, was Jay-Z relevant in Bankhead? Or was there someone else that people in Bankhead listened to more than him?
SL: People listened to more pop, bass music and stuff. I was young and wild, I really wasn’t out there then [listening to music] and I didn’t get out there till I was mad in the drug game. I didn’t start listening to Jay-Z until Hard Knock Life, that was the first time I really heard it and I heard Money Ain’t a Thing with him and Jermaine Dupri. The song with the sped up Annie sample was the first song I ever put in of Jay-Z’s, then I started going back to the other songs. He was talking about me in his mind.
ML: What’s the popular style of music in Bankhead?
SL: Street music
ML: Do you like street music?
SL: It’s like me. You come to club Crucial in Bankhead that’s what you gonna hear- Shawty Lo.
ML: So, a lot of people are showing you love down there?
ML: What’s the last thing you bought?
SL: The last thing I bought, uhh…the video y’all fiending to see, The Foolish Remix is the last thing I paid for.
ML: So you paid out of your own pocket for that?
ML: Are you a sports fan? What are your favorite teams?
SL: My favorite basketball team is the LA Lakers and my favorite football team is the Indianapolis Colts.
ML: No Atlanta teams?
SL: Atlanta don’t got no good teams, you know, but I’m an Atlanta fan. But I’m [more] a Peyton Manning fan & a Kobe Bryant fan. Like my favorite rapper is from New York, Jay-Z, it doesn’t necessary have to be the hometown. I like what I like.
ML: Do you feel like the Lakers have a good chance of coming back in this series?
SL: I really don’t have the confidence any more. But I hope we come back, you know. They took the second game from them with all those calls and the referees in Boston. But its crazy, you know, anything can happen though, they’ll be the first to do it in history.
ML: What made you lose confidence, Game 4?
SL: Yea, when they gave that game away, and Boston went up 3-1.
ML: The last thing is, what are the last 3 CDs that you listened?
SL: The last 3 CDs, hmm…Rick Ross, Rocko, Ashanti, and Snoop Dogg.
ML: Thanks for your time, look forward to video, I hope you enjoyed your chicken.
SL: I’m still eating it now, trying to keep quiet!