Hailing from one of the most violent cities in the country, Lou is bringing back that gritty, raw, street feel that’s been lacking in rap music these days. Going hard at Fat Joe on the lethal "Elephant’s Nightmare" diss track is just further proof that Big Lou is all about his longevity and keeping Hip Hop, well, Hip Hop.
Not just a studio emcee, Lou has proven on several occasions that he can murder his opponents in a freestyle too-- just peep one of his many YouTube videos. As far as signing to a major label, Lou says, “We in negotiations now…if a major offers something good then we’ll run with it. But if we can do it independent then [we’ll do that too].” But after selling 3,500 copies of his first independent album in his small hometown of only an eight square miles, we have a good feeling that Big Lou won’t need to depend on a major label to see success. DXNext goes down to South Jersey, across the murky waters of the Delaware River, where a new breed of artists is in development.
Name: Big Lou.
Repping: Camden, New Jersey.
Who Is this guy?: Making noise across the Tri-state area and beyond for the past two years, Camden’s golden boy [known as "The Spanish Frank White"] is one of Kay Slay’s newest additions to the Street Sweepers team. “He saw me perform at that this one show and I killed the show bad,” Lou tells DX, “I’m from Camden [New Jersey] and I went to New York and just went into it. He saw me do my thing and he jumped on stage…offered a stack [of cash] to anybody who could battle me…nobody raised their hand. So that kinda set the mark…he was like wow…it was a done deal from then." Since then, Lou has opened up for acts such as Freeway, Mobb Deep, KRS-ONE, Papoose, Remy Ma, Jae Millz, Busta Rhymes, D-Block, Saigon and many others, proving that he’s definitely one to watch for in '08.
Influences: “My sister was a singer, my uncle played the drums, my real dad - even though I never knew him- I heard stories that he was a crazy drum player. He played with a popular band out here called Grancombo back in the day…I came from a background of Latin music… Then my other brother who used to deejay, he put me on to Rakim and all of them…”
Dream Collaborations: “I’d wanna do a 'Symphony 2008' track…like the old track with Marley Marl on it, with Big Daddy Kane on it, Rakim, KRS-ONE, Kool G Rap….they never all got on a track together so I’d like to make history with them on a track. Then from the south, of course my man Bun B, Ludacris, Scarface…”
His Recipe for Quality Music: “I’m into that real Hip Hop. I respect the south, but I’m more into Common, Talib Kweli, Rakim…you know, when music was real… real Hip Hop. My formula is the legendary classic cats.”
On Growing up in Camden, New Jersey: “I was the same as any other ghetto kid; it was hard. Where I’m from, it’s a poor neighborhood and everything’s a struggle, but its nothing people in the hood can’t handle…we adapt pretty good. So I ain't gonna make a big story outta it. It is what it is."
On His Diss Track Towards Fat Joe: “I respected Fat Joe but then…my man was in Miami and he called me up [and said] 'Fat Joe asked me if I knew Big Lou…he said he was gonna wire your jaw!' So I’m like, 'What is this dude talkin' about?' So I get on the horn wit' Kay Slay. Slay said let him be. So I let that joint ride. But then a month later we in Philly, and someone called me on the phone like, 'Yo, Fat Joe’s here.' [And in the background I hear someone ask Joe] 'What you think about Latin rappers?...What you think about Joell Ortiz?” He said, 'Joell Ortiz is aight.' Then they was like, 'What about Big Lou?' and he said 'Oh that muthafuckin’ Big Pun clone? Yo, fuck that nigga.’ I don’t even know this nigga! I respected Fat Joe for what he did in the game, but at the same time, after he did that shit, I lost all respect for him as a man. If he felt some type of way about me he shoulda came to me and [said that]. He a grown ass man, he coulda reached out to another Latino coming up in the game instead of talking reckless.
This shit is crazy 'cause of the limited Latin rappers in the game. I’m a fan of Joell Ortiz. The boy nasty, know what I’m sayin'? So I love Joell Ortiz’s music; I can never hate. I liked the old Fat Joe. That’s the only thing I can think of that I said in an interview [that might have upset Fat Joe]. In an interview I did awhile back I said, 'I liked the old Fat Joe…the new Fat Joe? He aight, he’s makin' his money so whatever, much success to him…but I liked him better back then.' And I left it at that! So if that’s what it was then he could've called me and still embraced me and we coulda cleared it up. I don’t have no problem wit Fat Joe. I didn’t [do the diss track] because Papoose or 50 told me to, like everybody thinks. I’m my own man. It’s just fucked up that he had to be another Latin rapper…”
So how will the beef end?: “Honestly, it ain’t even no beef if he don’t make it no beef. I’m not the type of dude to get on camera like, 'Look at my guns,’ but the same way he talk about his niggas is 'bout it…my niggas is 'bout it! …I would hate to see it go down like that…but I feel as though…I came at him [with the diss track] so if he a real Hip Hop head like he claims he is…[he needs to come at me] the same way KRS-ONE did to MC Shan when it was real Hip Hop. [Fat Joe] talk about he’s Hip Hop, right? So let's keep it Hip Hop then; come at me in a battle. Don’t come at me as a bully 'cause sometimes bullies fall hard. And he don’t wanna take it to that street level wit' me 'cause we 'bout it too, and I wouldn’t wanna get into it like that. We in [the rap game] to get money. I didn’t disrespect his wife or his kids- he got a son that has autism; I got a son that has autism. So I would never disrespect that man’s family, you feel me? I’m a man just like him. It ain't no disrespect like that. Get on record! Lets make Hip Hop fun again. If you say you a real Hip Hop head and you wanna be considered a legend; that’s what makes legends. A man that helps another man get his way in. Like KRS and MC Shan did. Like LL Cool J did with Canibus. And if he defeats me in a battle? I’ll take it like Canibus and live with the consequences…and Fat Joe can be LL [laughs]. But if I come out on top? Shake my hand, we squash the beef and then we can make a record together.”
Dealing With Haters And Negativity From Back Home: “I just try to block that out from what I’m tryin to do. I’m a grown man. I try to stay clean from all that. I stay with my real niggas that’ve been there for me since day one…I been through too many obstacles to still be actin' like I'm muthafuckin 16 or 17 years old… I just stay on my game.”
On Giving Back To The Community: “We’ve been doing [ my charity Lost City for Kids successfully for like five years now; and that comes out our own pocket 'cause the city don’t do shit…so we took it upon ourselves. Last Thanksgiving we did like 600 plates for people. We hustlin’. If the people ain't got it, we knocking on doors and making sure they do. We sacrifice to do it on Thanksgiving Day; we don’t eat…we make sure other people eat 'cause they need it just as much as us…so we celebrate Thanksgiving the day after.”