Sleepy & Scar
So when Big Boi came up with his idea for the Purple Ribbon Record Label and All-stars super-group, it was only a matter of time before the regal talent that makes up Big Bois super group were snapped up for distribution through Virgin. The multi-talented collective has it all, rappers and singers both male and female all wearing their colors with pride.
Even though the recent chart hit Kryptonite from their first album features the hip-hop/rap element of the group there is of course the soulful and melodic vocalists who will get their time to shine very soon.
It is like a case of new versus established when it comes down to Sleepy Brown and Scar; the two male vocalists. Sleepy is a southern legend having been a founding member of the production team Organized Noise which provided an umbrella for fellow Purple all-star Killer Mike back in the day and when you need a hook in the South you go to Sleepy, as he is just that go-to guy for those in the Dirty.
Scar is young, fresh into the game and so happy with this opportunity which encourages the delivery of personal contribution in an undeniable way, as his voice is like a breath of fresh air to a saturated soul/R&B market. There is no avoiding how well Big Boi's ear is in detecting talent as excuse the poet in me, Scar is that next star.
Both vocalists of the Purple Ribbon All-stars took a few minutes to talk with HIPHOPDX.com about future projects, the up and coming Outkast movie, what makes the South unique and why Bigs eyes ended up in their direction.
Look out for Killer Mike coming to HIPHOPDX.com very soon.
How has everything been going with you guys?
Sleepy Brown: Its been going beautiful. I have just been finishing up my own album and staying ready for that. So yeah it has been going great as we have had a great response from the album.
Scar: Everything has been going really cool, just hoping to get back out to promote and we are about to go out and do another promo run to make sure everyone knows that the album is in stores. I am also working on the Outkast movie soundtrack, Idlewide. I am working on my own album too which you will be able to see in stores in Summer, but I did just find out that for the move soundtrack I am part of the first single so that is going to open the door for me as a visual, you know this is Scar and get my voice out to the world and there is no better way than on an Outkast single right?
And your album Sleepy, what can we expect from that, the usual funky grown kind of music you always give us?
Sleepy Brown: Yeah its going to be real sexy, funky and its going to be like love music with lots of sexy grooves on it. I like doing music that people would love to rap off but at the same time it is easy to sing off.
You seem to have kept to the same game plan throughout your career, would I be right in saying that?
Sleepy Brown: Yeah you are right in saying that because I feel like you can only get better at what you do and I feel like I dont want to make it too hard for people to get what I am trying to do as I am making music for everybody to enjoy. If they want the soul from me then that is what I am going to give them.
Scar we dont really know too much about you just yet and I know that is going to change very soon, you are working with some of the best in the game, what else do you pull influences from?
Scar: I am influenced by every day life; everything you hear from me is coming straight from my soul and from my brain. Musically everything from Stevie Wonder to Marvin Gaye to Elton John, a lot of independent rap I have been listening to Kate Bush lately. I listen to everything, you know I will be up sometimes in the morning watching MTV2 just incase I am missing something. There is nothing new under the sun its just how you transcribe those notes and how you play those notes to the world and use a different melody.
As a writer is it easy for you to get started when it comes to writing your music?
Scar: I have just been fortunate to create without having a beat to write to. I mean there are songs that I wrote when I was 14/15 when I had no beat. I just concentrate on my voice being an instrument and however that voice transcribes and the words will eventually come. Every now and again I will catch a writers block and what I will do then is I will do something out of the norm as a lot of the time when I get a block it is because I am doing the same old thing and I need to mix it up a little bit and it can be from anything from watching a movie I havent seen that has got rave reviews from back in the day, you know like vintage movies or listening to an album I have never heard of, you know go to Tower Records and look at a cover and pull something from that. You know it will spark something, so when I get a writers block I just do something I havent done and that seems to get me past that point.
Are you both from Atlanta?
Sleepy Brown: No I was born in Philadelphia but I was raised in Atlanta, my parents moved to Atlanta when I was four, so I was really raised here.
Scar: Actually no I am from Mississippi. My Pops was in the air force so I was fortunate to travel to different areas and I spent time all over, in Europe, New York but then when the time came to settle down Atlanta was where I was raised.
Just being connected to Outkast is a big deal, but your history with them Sleepy goes way back?
Sleepy Brown: Yeah mine goes way back to the beginning. I was one of the founding members or Organized Noise.
And how did you actually hook up with Outkast Scar?
Scar: What really brought me to Bigs attention was my creativity as me and my management team sat down and we tried to figure out who would give me the opportunity to be me and of course the first thing came to mind was Purple Ribbon and I mean Outkast are known for creativity, they are living legends. So we made a call over here to Purple Ribbon and spoke to a lady called Regina Davenport and we set up a meeting and I came over with Tony Reid Junior and worked with a producer called Nate Wonder and we did a demo and she got it into Bigs hands. When Big got back from overseas he heard the demo and wanted to meet me the next day. I was actually working in the mall. You know I had to meet them at six and I was the only one at work so I closed the store down and I havent been back since.
Stories like this are what make this industry magical at times. What were you doing at the mall?
Scar: Believe it or not I was selling sunglasses at Sunglass Hut (laughing.)
There is nothing wrong with that. Some people think when they are doing this music game they dont really need to have a regular job while waiting to get on.
Scar: Yeah you have to hustle man. I would be in the studio until real late very night but I would still be going to work each day. You know if you have to work at McDonalds then you have to do that.
You have been considered the Nate Dogg of the south Sleepy, is that a comparison you approve of?
Sleepy Brown: Nate Dogg most definitely set standards for singing on hooks as such, I mean I dont get mad about that at all because it is what it is as I like Nate Dogg, thats my homie.
People are always talking about how the South is dominating right now, but the South has always had its fair share of seriously talented emcees, groups etc. Do you think the media has played a part in the focus being on the South or do you think it is just down to the artists finally getting their just rewards?
Sleepy Brown: I think it is a bit of both, you know people are finally coming around to realize just how dope the south is, at the same time we know the different types of style that come out of here, like snap, crunk and I am real happy for Atlanta as that is all we ever really wanted was for people to be proud. I remember when we first went to New York and we were like as long as the crowd dont boo you and you could keep their attention you felt like you had made it.
Do you think the artists from the South show more love to fellow southern artists as opposed to hate, just throwing that out there after Cam dissed Jay yesterday?
Sleepy Brown: There is always going to be a little beef in every city you know there was beef between Ludacris and T.I but they squashed it, you know it could have turned into something but it really didnt because they were big enough to deal with it. But in New York there are always artists beefing with each other, but that is what makes New York, New York.
But do you think that may make it harder for people to get ahead here too though?
Sleepy Brown: Yeah that as well but I am hoping they squash it, but I cant wait to hear what Jay has to say.
Are you happy with how things have turned out for you?
Scar: I was listening to the album last night and I was telling them how happy I was that they gave me a shot and allowing me to prove myself especially Big as he saw a star at the end of the tunnel and not just a light. I am thankful to God and I am thankful that I am utilizing my talents in the right way. This is going to open the doors for me to travel a lot. Being on an Outkast single that is going to be their first single out in two or three years is very powerful.
So you have the album, what else is going on with you? Will you be starring in the movie?
Sleepy Brown: I am just concentrating on my music career right now and I am not really looking at getting into movies. I just want to stay with what I am doing.