Peewee Longway has been a mainstay of Atlanta Hip-Hop long before many rap fans nationwide even heard of him. The stories conflict—while it’s been reported that he was signed to Gucci Mane’s 1017 imprint before Guwop’s last stretch in the bing (and subsequent glow-up), Longway insists that he was never contractually bound although he maintains a solid relationship with the almighty Gucci.
Particularly since he’s the one who brought Young Thug, the rapper’s childhood friend, to the label head’s eyes and ears. He’s also one-third of the Felix Brothers—Pee Wee, Gucci and Young Dolph, collectively—who’ve garnered their own cult following.
Longway founded his own imprint MPA Music Group (‘Money, Pounds, Ammunition’), which hosts a number of artists, all patiently waiting to be signed as a unit to a major label. People ask about his gang affiliations and he counters with an offering that he just likes the color ‘blue.’ So with all this starp ower around the Zone 3 native, why hasn’t he blown up in the appropriate fashion, yet?
Peewee’s manager Spud says that it’s all been a learning process: “I’d say that it’s not us holding back. It’s more like, we just woke up one day and said, ‘Oh, we gon’ do this.’ We had different lives before we started this but he’s just now taking it seriously to where we’re saying, ‘Okay. Let’s go do this or that.’ We need that extra push. We can only get so far by doing it all ourselves. We don’t have the bigger people behind us to point us in the direction we should go in. We’re just doing it as we learn.”
So why doesn’t Longway use his (street and industry) ties to woo the national platform? Restraint. The biggest blessings take a minute and the rapper insists that he’s worth the wait.
One recent evening in South Downtown Atlanta, we were invited to MPA’s State of the Art Studios for a quick talk with Longway before he releases his third installment of the Blue M&M series on August 17—the original came out three years ago. The project’s lead video for ‘Stepped On’ dropped earlier in the week and his fans couldn’t be happier. Seems like this time may be the right time for Mr. Blue Benjamin.
HipHopWired: What is it that you think is holding you back from that big stage? That big spotlight?
Peewee Longway: That push, you already know. I guess another, bigger machine. Something that would throw me into another bracket where people really know [how to build my brand]. Because me and [Spud, his day-to-day manager] we really don’t know that much to even think about going that way you’re talking about. It takes a bigger machine. Doing a record, getting through recording it and giving it to them to let them do their thing. We’re not sure how to go far with it but we do know how to do mixtapes and what not.
HHW: So you’ve actually had opportunities to sign up with major labels and declined them all.
PWL: Oh yeah. We got opportunities. But it’s a perfect time for everything. It wasn’t right. I wanna learn first. It wasn’t really a money thing but it’s just like, ‘What you gon’ do with me? What you gon’ do right with this work? Cause I’ma give it my all.’ I’m gonna be a whole other person when I sign.
HHW: Do you think you may want to move into becoming an A&R one day?
PWL: Most definitely.
HHW: Gucci is Atlanta’s premier Hood A&R but you seem to be closing in. You already have a background, it was you that brought Thug over there…
PW: Yeah. I can’t wait to bust the door down for other people. That’s how it came for me. Through [Thug].
It’s just that it was fun for me to go record and hear myself. More than me seriously saying, ‘Lemme go make this music’ or driving myself crazy because I ain’t drop nothing. Nah, that ain’t how I work. I’m so far ahead of what everybody else doing. In my eyes and as far as I know. I’m way more ahead of them and what they got going on and what they’re doing now. So, me just not having the music on time ain’t really gon’ do nothing. It’s not knocking us out the way. It may stop the money but keeping up with time ain’t gon’ stop nothing because we’re coming way more ahead of them boys. And I’m just being honest.
HHW: You love to say that you never meant to start rapping and that it’s just ‘fun’ to you. Do you think you make people feel a way by saying that?
PWL: I hope not [laughs]. But only because if you go back and listen to everything I’ve recorded, you’ll hear me laughing all the way through.
HHW: I would think that there’s a certain level of frustration although you understand that everything takes time but it’s like, ‘I’m dropping music… Y’all see me?’…
PWL: I ran into somebody and they said they know my music but don’t know [how I look]. And that’s on me but that other system too because I need to shoot more videos, but at the end of the day… Even with the videos, World Star will take it down over the next two days…
HHW: That can be tough because this is a visual era, for real.
PWL: But it’s like if they’re begging for it and we give them the video and they take it down… Don’t do that bruh because you ain’t showing that you appreciate it. We got other [outlets] that wanna drop exclusives.
HHW: Talk about M&M 3. Any featured artists?
PWL: I ain’t really got too many features. I’m back to the basics with it.
HHW: And who you you have behind the boards? Producers?
Lil Mister, Cassius Jay, 808 Mafia, YDG…
HHW: You are within the trap realm although you don’t seem to want to admit to being in the trap particularly…
PWL: Yeah ‘cause… I wanna be them but they wanna be this. So they need to give me that and they can get this [laughs].
HHW: Is it a struggle to maintain a certain state of mind when people come to you with their affiliations, even if you want to make it all about the music?
PW: It ain’t the same though because I’m so knee-deep, it’s a whole other… It’s like, I’m in the cement and I’m tryna get out. It’s a whole other feel.
HHW: Felix Brothers has a following that is adamant about you, Dolph and Gucci putting out another tape. What are your thoughts?
PWL: From me to you… And I ain’t never told nobody but my brother said we gon’ do that. Guwop said people keep asking him when we gon’ put another one together. Dolph said the same thing so I guess we’re gonna put that together when we all catch up to each other.
Photo: Ryan Lowery