posted April 03, 2008 12:00:00 AM CDT | 36 comments

Imagine how difficult it would be to emerge as a rapper from a market thatís only known for its sponge-harvesting industry. Tarpon Springs, Florida is inhabited with just over 20,000 thousand people making it much less than a blip on the rap industryís radar. But these are the circumstances that rapper, 2Pistols, had to overcomeóalong with his previous life in the streetsóin order to land where he is today. His track ďShe Got ItĒ is already making its rounds on urban music charts and itís a strong possibility you know his track but you donít know him. Garnering not only attention from record behemoth, Universal, 2Pistols landed a deal with the label. It may be time to get familiar with 2Pistols.

Life Before Music: "HustlingÖI get money. I used to do a little music here and there. I did the school thing somewhat. I actually made myself go to school and get good grades. I didnít have a mom or dad pushing me. I used to play sports too. I played football to take my frustration and anger out from not having no money by just playing ball and focusing on that. At the end of the day though, music was always there. I had music there to say what I wanted. Itís just me speaking into a microphone; nobody could respond. Itís just me."

Growing Up In Tarpon Springs, Florida With "Crabs In The Bucket":
"Where Iím from, no one has ever done the stuff Iíve done. I figured that being from the area [Iím from] I thought cats would respect that. Some of them do and some of them donít. The ones that donít [respect what Iím doing], itís because I left them pretty much doing the same things they used to do (hustling) and I donít have to do that no more. They donít like that I can go buy whatever I want to buy. Itís a lot of jealousy where I grew up. When youíre on the same level as them buying old schools, rims and TVs and riding around with no where to goóthe city is only about five miles long, a real small cityóor you trying to fuck so and so from 'round here, everybodyís happy with that. But when I started getting some real money and getting these model bitches flying in from Miami to kick it with a nigga, they started looking at me like Iíd changed. Itís like crabs in the bucket."

On Coming From A Place Where No Market Exists:
"My grindÖmy hustleÖa lot of cats didnít get on like me. I donít know what their story was but I really had to get out here and make cats pay attention to me. I donít know what Plies or Brisco did but if I came from Miami I think it wouldíve been a lilí bit easier. There are no Slip-N-Slide's or Poe Boy where I came from. I came from nowhere. I come from a market that nobodyís camp comes out of. You ainít never heard of nobody coming out from where Iím from."

What Separates 2Pistols From The Other Florida Artists Poppiní Right Now:
"I want to sayÖsome artists - and Iím not goní say their names or nothing, but what they talking about is not what they 'bout and where theyíre saying they from is not really where they from. Itís like T.I. said, 'Yíall better start checking these catsí resumes.' A lot of cats are strictly doing music. They didnít really come from that so when theyíre placed in certain situations in this music industry I donít think theyíll be able to make the proper decisions that decisions Iím going to make. Iím making that decision based off of what I actually been through. But basically, Iíma tell them how I feel from my streets and I donít think they have that element behind them."

The Lead Up To Inking The Deal With Universal:
"Before I went in [to prison], I was planning on putting out my own music. So when I got out of jail, I started thinking I got to do something. But my mind was focused on local shit. I had dropped out of school to take care of my daughter when I was younger, so I didnít have a degree. What the hell could I do? I just needed a second chance in life to get out of this situation. [The cops] were coming at me [while I was in jail] everyday trying to give me 15 years, 30 yearsÖjust everyday saying, 'So and so said this and if you donít say this youíll be locked up forever.' It was just a lot of drama, but I got out on this probation house arrest shit. So I had my second chance and I hustled. I didnít know anything else. I had to do what I had to do during the day and on the side, I had a cleaning service. When I got my money up, I started promoting. I wanted to bring someone big out to the city to get my name up. So, I put some shows together and [when they were promoting the shows] Iíd have them say, '2Pistols performing live with T-Pain' or '2Pistols performing live with Fat Joe' on the radio spots. So I built relationships with the artists and deejays. Then people started hearing my name on the radio and they didnít even know what I looked like. Then theyíd see me open up for whatever major artists Iíd bring to the city."

On How ďShe Got ItĒ Featuring T-Pain Came About: "I put a couple of mixtapes out, but I needed a record thatís not local, not regional but that was national. I needed a nigga thatíll co-sign me that everybody was vibing to. So when I brought T-Pain to the city, the venue was packed and they were feeling him. I had this record I wanted him to do a hook to. So I stepped to him like, 'Yo I want you to do this record.' And [in his mind] he was probably like, 'Okay whatever, Iíll just take his money do the record and this nigga ainít ever goní come out with the record, buddy wack or whatever,'ÖI donít know what he was thinking. He did the record and my buzz from what I was already doing in the streets prior to the music, my promoting and plus my music had niggas following me. The record started popping in the city and the radio took a hold of it and that was it."

Biggest Adjustment Since Becoming A Part Of The Music Industry: "I donít know just the business. Itís a machine. Theyíre not stressing death before dishonor in the industry. All this shit is about paperwork. If you ainít got the paperwork then people ainít gon do what they said theyíll do. Not being industry I just go by a niggaís word. In this industry, a niggaís word donít mean nothing. You gotta have that paperwork, otherwise nothing else matters."

You can hear more of 2Pistols by [clicking here...]. There, you can download his mixtape The Jimmy Jump Introduction for free. His debut Death Before Dishonor is set to drop on May 20th.

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