“What I call it is a bunch of ni**as trying to show off to other rappers how much more money they got than them.
So it’s like Ok, so you got more money than him, so what? What you talking about though? You ain’t talking ’bout Shyte.”
Atlanta’s “Gangsta” Pill is a rare blend of the streets and consciousness in Hip-Hop. Something that’s long been missing from the music. After flooding the Internet and the streets with mixtapes over the past few years and riding shotgun with Killer Mike as a Grind Time Rap Gang affiliate, the majors finally came calling.
With Asylum finally winning out, the street poet came through and kicked it with Hip-Hop Wired about his new label situation and the importance of staying real to yourself and pushing fictionalized gangsta fairy tales to the side. A voice for the common man on the come-up now speaks.
HipHopWired: Heard you just got signed, can you speak on that?
Pill: Yeah, just did a deal with Asylum. I got that Shyte taken care of so I can now bust these folks in the mothafu^#in’ mouth (laughing).
HipHopWired: When’s the album looking to drop?
Pill: There ain’t no definite time yet but sometime around the summertime. I really want to let the people determine that because I don’t want to spit nothing on them that’s more than they can handle right now. That’s why I give them a tape every blue moon and let that ride. Because I want people to gravitate towards the music personally and get to know me as a person and as an artist and I don’t want to do it and such a short period of time. So when I do something, I make sure I spend time on it and give them good quality on it. And with my first album I want to spend as much time on it as I possibly can. That’s very important because it’s my first album ever. I might throw an EP together and might do another tape and once I build up enough demand that’s when I’ll give them the album. When they say they want the album, that’s when I’ll give it to them.
HipHopWired: One thing about Asylum and many incubator labels is they let the artist remain who they are and don’t try to water you down and change you, is that one of the main reasons that you signed with them?
Pill: That was one of the main reasons. Because I expressed how much I wanted to retain creative control and put as much effort into making my music as successful as possible. Most times, most artists go to a label and allow themselves to just become puppets. Then they eventually fall off. I think Asylum understand the music and they understand the direction I’m trying to go. From communicating over the past couple of months, I know they get the picture.
They don’t want to be like now move out the way and let us do what we need to do. They gonna be like let us move as a squad. Ya’ll do what ya’ll do and we gonna do what we do, but we gonna move together as one, ya feel me. They have had a stronghold on urban music period. Especially radio. You don’t see one Asylum artist that they have put out not on the radio. You hear Gucci everywhere. New Boyz everywhere. You hear their music and see it everywhere and that’s good. It’s good marketing and good marketing builds a good brand and that’s what I need.
HipHopWired: What made them sign you? Any particular song or mixtape they were feeling?
Pill: I dropped 4180: The Prescription mixtape last February and I let that ride. People gravitated towards that and I did a lot of free shows. So then I started getting request to do videos and people were liking “Trap Going Ham.” So I did the video and after about 45 minutes of the video being up on the Internet, Asylum called. They jumped in early before anybody. They just was with it and understood the music. They was saying they like this Shyte. We ain’t heard nothing like this.
HipHopWired: I feel what they were saying because in my personal opinion I consider you a new era of Tupac because you got the streets all day while you’re saying something that’s elevating the mind of the young in the same process.
Pill: I appreciate that Blue. That’s a big compliment man and people been saying that. And just to hear that lets me know I’m doing something right because as a new artist and you getting compared to arguably the greatest rapper of all time to do it. So that put the pressure on me, but I’m like nah but I’m just gonna continue to do what I do. [They see the comparisons] because its real Shyte and I would disappoint my family and my hood if I didn’t tell it like it was.
It’s my mission to tell these people what the f%&k is going on for real and not for play play. They [other rappers] like to glorify the cars and clothes and hoes, which is cool and there’s a time for everything… But that ain’t all it is.
There’s more to Atlanta than that, period… and more to life than that. There s a lot of people out here who got it f&%ed up and need somebody to lift them up and need someone to tell them it’s gonna be aiight or describe what they going through and someone they can relate to because everybody ain’t rich.
HipHopWired: Yeah and the way most rappers tell it, it’s almost a sin to work a regular job and come up and better to act like you descended from money and throw it in people’s face.
Pill: I know people I fantasized about growing up as a kid listening to them having all the cars, jewelry, money and clothes but it was just a fantasy for me and I couldn’t relate to it. And at that point people put you on a pedestal as far as flexing. What I call it is a bunch of ni**as trying to show off to other rappers how much more money they got than them. So it’s like Ok, so you got more money than him, so what? What you talking about though? You ain’t talking ’bout Shyte.
If your Shyte can’t be played outside the club then you just a club rapper. Ni**as ain’t riding to that hyped up a*s Shyte. I got hyped up stuff too now with high energy but I also got stuff that people can reminisce and say damn man, I remember when my apartments was like that too. Or my hood was like that or I remember them days when we didn’t have Shyte in the refrigerator when I was going through that too. I try to put out that type of Shyte where people can say damn I thought I was the only one who went through that Shyte.
Because when I heard Tupac’s records, I used to think like damn… I thought I was the only one who had it f%&ked up. Mama on drugs, no daddy, project living, I ain’t have Shyte. I was like damn I thought he was rapping about me. Is we brothers or some Shyte. How this ni**a momma on crack and my momma on crack and he ain’t got no daddy and I ain’t got no daddy. So when I heard Shyte like that, naturally I wanted to do the same thing. It’s real.
HipHopWired: That’s true. I’m glad you got the deal too because more people need to hear you. You can definitely touch people and maybe your music can give people another way of thinking and slow down. With this high murder rate and tragedies that’s going on in Black communities across America like Chicago, somebody has to break the monotony and start saying something. You’re a breath of fresh air.
Pill: I just try to maintain that level of street mixed with intelligence because there’s way more to it than what it looks like on TV. That Shyte is just entertainment and that’s all. I can still listen to Scarface’s The Fix… he touched my soul with that and it was classic. I’ve always been a fan of Scarface because you can hear it in his voice and feel that Shyte. He went all those years talking about what he talking about but he maintained the street level. Like he said, all that money he got and he still talking blow. There ain’t been a damn song where he ain’t talking about blow and I admire him for that because he stuck to what he stuck to. I admire rappers and people who keep it real. Kanye is one of the realest rappers I ever met. He’s not talking about killing nobody or trying to prove that he’s gangsta in any type of way.
HipHopWired: I feel ya because my personal opinion is the definition of real is keeping it real with yourself. To me Will Smith was one of the realest rappers ever in Hip-Hop because he stuck to his lane.
Pill: Exactly! He was one of the realest. That’s why he is what he is. He didn’t try to fabricate any sh%t. He just said, “Hey man, parents just don’t understand.” He rapped about good Shyte and how his life was. He wasn’t rapping about a pistol. He rapped about what he could relate to and what other people could relate to as well. Some rappers get it f&^ked up thinking they ain’t gonna like me if I’m soft or ain’t been shot. Ni**as get it twisted.
For more info on Pill and to download his mixtapes, log on to Pill4180.com.
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