Chew: Big Lou whats the good word?
Lou: Ain’t shit man. It’s been a few years since you Street Certified my debut mixtape “Resurrecting the Dead”. I can’t believe that shit was in 2006. It feels like yesterday. A lot has happened since then.
Chew: Let me get your take on the current world of Hip Hop music?
Lou: Who really has a take on it? Lyricists are still mostly ignored on a commercial level. Nicki came out of nowhere and brought the females back in the game. That music money don’t seem to be enough to keep some of the biggest names in the game out of jail. In one year Em went from supposedly washed up to once again being the hottest cat in the game. Jay looks like he gonna be relevant til he’s 100 years old. Nas and Lupe sound real intelligent in what they spittin but still fell for that major label bullshit and now they careers are on pause cause they have no control, Kanye and Cudi bypassed traditional beef in hip hop and decided to battle on who can wear the corniest outfits, a Nickelodeon nigga from Toronto came out of nowhere and stepped right into Hip Hop royalty, the labels give a washed up DJ and his son 1.5 million but instead of getting a Nacirema Dream, they got a pipe dream. and til this day I still don’t know what the fuck Wocka Flocka is spitting about. Other than that, everything is just the way is supposed to be I guess.
Chew: A few years ago there was this kind of back lash where MCs were only considered NET rappers because they used the internet so much. MCs had to make it in the streets but now it seems like the NET took over. How do you feel about that?
Lou: The world is a smaller place. You can get your music to niggaz in Germany with the click of a button. The shit is that when you try and stay close to your roots and hit the streets hard, strugglin artist try and keep it real then they a see a dude like Drake who has no street cred rise to the top in a couple of years and now is performing on stage with HOV, EM and Kayne. There was a certain struggle that defined an artist back then and there still is to a degree but I don’t know if people really care anymore. The same thing that has helped artist is the same thing that hurts artists. Take Wocka Flocka, Yung Berg, or even Kay Slay for that matter. These dudes always talk about them being street niggaz. Listen to they music or how they talk and you’d think these dudes murder somebody every day. Then those few fans left that are intrigued by the struggles that real niggaz really go through, go on Youtube and sees Wocka Flocka and his whole set getting disrespected by a crip, or Young Berg gettin another chain snatched, or kay Slay saying “Harlem niggaz don’t run” in a video interview and before he finish his sentence, he hears a popping sound and runs like the roadrunner being chased by Wile E Cayote. Every avenue works when it’s new but eventually, the whack niggaz will exploit it and the real good prospects will have to find the next big thing to get their music out. Go on VLADTV, WSHH or Rapmullet. How many whack ass videos or in your case mixtapes do you get everyday that niggaz want you to review. How many whack ass videos get put on WSHH cause niggaz can now pay to get on there. How long before the fans STOP clicking on videos because they tired of seeing whack shit. Before WSHH and other sites at least put up the shit they thought was hot. now everything is for sale. I get 30 muthafuckin emails a day on Youtube from fans who say “damn homie, I saw your video link like 3-4 times on my man’s channel and I always say that that’s another whack ass nigga trying to make it, then I finally clicked on that shit and now you have a new fan”! Nigaz that don’t know of Big Lou will immediately think Big Lou is just like every other dude out there with a camcorder and a karaoke machine making videos. It’s hard enough getting your shit out there, now you have to compete with niggaz that are no where near your level.
Chew: Mixtape wise you’ve def made your mark in the game. How has that aspect of releasing music helped or hurt you?
Lou: It helps cause people feel your presence on a regular basis. If you keep dropping hot shit then maybe in a few years they start to understand that your first mixtape wasn’t an accident or that you didn’t get lucky. The fucked up thing is that you’re giving way hotter shit than what’s in the ringtone market for free. People don’t realize the investment and the money spent that it takes to give away music. You still have to rent studio time and package shit and pay for artwork. I don’t, but some niggaz have to pay for collabos from artists who have a name. Sometimes I have to pay for a niggaz studio time just so he could do the verse. And the dude be havin a buzz out there but his pockets are tight. It’s crazy. I ain’t even gonna tell you how much i spent on videos over the past few years.
Chew: Do you think dropping a mixtape in 2010 is still a viable means to get heard? Are pressing up CDs a must or does a download link only cut it now?
Lou: Pressing CD’s is a waste of time now. The internet has put companies like Tower Records out of business. If you don’t have an online presence, you can forget getting your music to the world. I know lil niggaz in the hood that got quarter size holes in they sneakers but they walking around with a fuckin ipod. The Internet is by far the fastest way to get the latest tracks. Why would a nigga wait for a CD when someone leaks MP3’s online every day. I hear shit on the radio that the DJ calls a new release or exclusive that I heard online 6 months ago.
Chew: I know you had some issues with KaySlay a while ago. I don’t want to bring that back but what did you learn from that ordeal?
Lou: I learned that nobody will ever do for you what you can do for yourself. If you get comfortable cause you confident that someone is going to use their power and influence to get you into this game quicker, then you will be disappointed. Remember that no matter what someone offers you, they probably have other shit that will take priority over you. Nobody takes priority over you like you will.
Chew: Do you think DJs are even relevant now as far as breaking new artist?
Lou: It depends. Radio DJ’s have no influence. Program directors are owned by the labels. Unless you release a record that can’t be ignored, you’re not going to get radio play at least not in a major market. The mixshow DJ’s still have some power but they move on quick from exclusive to exclusive and you’re record will never stay in rotation long enough for it to take off. Everybody is more interested in being the first to break a song. Even when I was with Streetsweepers, Slay rarely played my or any other artists joints for more than a couple of weekends. After that, the whole show was about exclusives. I think that the sleeper in the industry are the bloggers and having a visual presence on YouTube and other video channels. Blogs like Rapmullet are even more important because it’s an objective opinion from someone like you who is respected as someone that don’t play favors and tells it like it is. If the shit is whack, you don’t have a problem saying that.
Chew: I’m trying man, thanks for that. What’s your inspiration to write these days?
Lou: Life in general is my inspiration. I aint no young boy and I ain’t no dumb nigga. I read. I watch the news. I listen to the the old heads telling stories. I’ve learned something from seeing a nigga beg for his life and from the the dude that decided not to spare it. Everybody has a story and a journey. Inspiration comes from an open mind.
Chew: When is the new project dropping and what can we expect it to sound like?
Lou: Look, this may sound a bit crazy since I’m being interviewed by one of the most respected mixtape critics in the game, but I sincerely believe that this is the Greatest Mixtape ever put together by an unsigned artist. When artists like Chino XL, Vinnie Paz, Jeru da Damaja, Immortal Technique, Math Hoffa, Cuban Link and like 40 other motherfuckers jump on your project out of love and respect, then you know its something special about to hit the industry. I challenge anyone in the rap game to find a project like this with this many talented artists on it. I’m not kidding when I say that it’s a humbling experience. There’s a lot of hate in this game. Dudes feel threatened real easy. But the love I received form so many dudes is crazy. Yo put it this way, the artists that didn’t even make the cut on this project is more impressive than what other artist have done.
Chew: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions today. Any last words for the people?
Lou: I always say thank you to the fans that have been on this crazy ride with me. Camden always gets my love in every interview. And shouts to the whole Lost City team.
Follow Big Lou: @BigLouHipHop and hit up the youtube page: HERE
Peep Big Lou’s latest video: Big Lou ft. Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath) and Daysia – This Is
Paying homage to Ronnie James Dio. Classic rock fans stand up, sample was flipped lovely.