Mr. Serv-On: Does Anyone Care?

posted April 09, 2003 12:00:00 AM CDT | 0 comments

Truth be told, nobody cares too much about No Limit anymorewell, except for the 12 year-olds that flock to Lil Romeo concerts. For the past couple of years, the tank has been riding on Romeos small shouldersand hes got three years left, tops, to milk that whole cute kid thing.

But once upon a time, about five years ago to be exact, they were a dynasty. They dropped an album every week, and whats more, they actually sold records doing itmillions. Sitting in a scarcely populated restaurant in southwest Atlanta, Mr. Serv-On, who was once one of the labels most recognizable acts, reflects upon the days of yesteryear. Like the majority of the artists on the Tankhe jumped ship, citing shady business tactics as his reason for leaving the label that gave him his big break.

I [went] through a period where I had so much depressionI know what I meant to No Limit and I know what I brought to the table, he says softly, the brim of his white ball cap pulled low over his eyes. You would expect his eyes to be full of remorse, but strangely, they hold a different kind of lighthunger.

This is a new day, and Serv-On is bringing it with his first official album (he has released two underground albums to keep his name out there) since leaving No Limit, No More Questions.

[With this album] youll see what I wanted to do that I couldnt do while I was on No Limitnow I think that I can be me, he says, allowing his lips to form curl into a small grin.

He has enough insight to realize that its do or die time. Hopefully, No More Questions will not only reestablish him with long time fans, but will pave the way to acquire new listeners as well.

I think it will be well received because Im making it simple for [people], he explains. The lyrics arent hard to learn, but yet, they have deep messages. I think my lyrics are about life, Im olderI think my fans can relate better to what Im saying now.

He knows that he has something to prove with this album-- namely that he can make it on his own. This is his opportunity to shine, his chance to show people exactly what he can do, with no restrictions. He says that although his lead single, Where That Work At is similar to his previous work, that doesnt nearly scratch the surface of the depth of this release.

I just let myself go mentally, he says. I just got in the studio and did whatever came to mind. I did it my way; this is me.

Loaded with a refreshed sense of creativity, Serv-On makes it clear that he intends to conquer the rap game, intent upon extinguishing any lingering doubts about the souths ability to present gifted lyricists.

I wanna prove them wrong, he says with a sly grin. His look suggests that his album holds a few surprises for naysayers. His future looks bright, and as for the past, well, hes pretty much over it.

P and I, we speak, he says casually. My daughter went to Lil Romeos birthday party, which meant a lot to her.

But dont expect to find him and P in New Orleans reminiscing about the old days anytime soon. He mentions the jabs that P has taken over the years about the artists who left the label, and then just as quickly, dismisses them.

He takes his shots on every album about people that left, but if you know P, thats when his feelings are hurt, he says shaking his head slightly.

But he doesnt linger on the underlying animosity for long. His boys, and old label cohorts, Medicine Men (formerly Beats By the Pound) have arrived at the restaurant, and he stands up, greeting them with a wide smile. Its clear that right now, hes zeroed in on the future. As he speaks fervently about hip-hop and what he hopes to accomplish, his affinity for music is unmistakable, and his love has only been strengthened with time.

Whats the sense of you being here if youre not gonna leave something behind? he ponders, rubbing his face gently as he stares into space, oblivious to the bustling going on around him. His food has arrived, but he pushes it to the side, totally engaged in the conversation. He pauses, reflecting upon his own question before answering.

I feel like I have the creativity of Quincy Jones and it goes way past rap music. Rap is just my platform to do the things I want to do.

Share This

one moment...
Reply To This Comment

Got an account with one of these? Log in here, or just enter your info and leave a comment below.