B.G.: The End Of The Beginning
The southern region of the country is known as a hotspot for new rap acts now, but B.G. was representing New Orleans way before the likes of Young Jeezy and T.I. After recording his 1993 debut True Story at the young age of 11, his astounding catalog of 11 solo albums and 4 group albums with the Hot Boys helped make southern rap a national act and establish Cash Money Records as a household name. Oh yeah, the now universaland Oxford English Dictionary-affirmedterm bling bling, was coined by him on his 1999 song of the same title.
But the rapper originally known as the Baby Gangsta has just as many industry experience points as he does music. Him and his Cash Money cohorts enjoyed widespread success in the early 2000s, but the crew quickly dissipated: him and Juvenile left the label citing monetary disparities, and Mannie Fresh left the label, saying, Its time for me to do me. He also partook in a beef with former fellow Hot Boy Lil Wayne.
Despite B.G.s veteran status in the industry, hes still keeping a new, fresh perspective. Fresh off the indie success of his latest album, The Heart of the Streetz Vol. 2, B.G. talks to HipHopDX about relocating to Detroit, explains rumors of signing to G-Unit South, and T.I. executive producing his Atlantic Records debut.
HipHopDX: You moved to Detroit recently, which is a big change from New Orleans. Did you just move there around the time of Hurricane Katrina, or was it before that?
B.G.: Ive been staying in Detroit back and forth for like four years now. When the hurricane came, I was already familiar with Detroit, Detroit was already my second home. After the hurricane hit, I was already familiar with itI had family up there, people up there, and I knew my way around.
HipHopDX: With the music youve recorded since youve been living up there consistently, have you seen a difference?
B.G.: I dont live no where, I live on the road. Half of the time I spent on the road, so just because I call a place home (doesnt mean Im always there). Even in New Orleans, I was living in New Orleans but I spent more time on the road working that I spent in New Orleans. But my style and my lyrics, you can take me overseas and itd never change. You can take a nigga out of New Orleans, but you cant take New Orleans out the nigga, ya know? If its in him, its just in him.
HipHopDX: Youve received a lot of love in the South, since youve been there for so long, but how much love do you get in Detroit?
B.G.: Man, Detroit shows me nothing but love. Youd think Id been there all my life, they accept me with open arms. But the reason I feel that they show me the love they show me is because they show me love back. When you move or relocate to someone elses hometown or someone elses state, youve got to shot that state love. Youre in their state. So by me showing the love that I show Detroit, Detroit shows me love back.
HipHopDX: With the love that youve received there, do you have any hate from the South since you moved?
B.G.: Naw, because like I said, Im still in the South. The south is where my heart at, just like up north is where my heart at. Itll never be like that, they respect my gangsta, and they know the type of nigga I am, so I dont have that problem. I keep it real with myself, and I keep it real with others. Im well-respected all the way around the board, so I dont think I have that problem.
HipHopDX: What kind of affect did Hurricane Katrina have on your last album, as far as your whole recording process and your lyrics?
B.G.: Really and truly, I didnt even want to get into emotional recording in my album, and get unfocused and focus just on (the hurricane) and the heartache that I was going through. I tried to record my album as if nothing happened. Instead of it just being on the events and the negativity and things of that nature, but I wanted to rap about what Im used to rapping about, and thats just everyday life. But through my albums, I really just broadcast live from the block, and give people B.G. When I do my albums, I bring you into my world, everything is based on my life story. Like I said on Chopper City, the hood seen it. When I do my albums, it really be shit I done seen, shit Im going through at the time, or things that happen in my life.
HipHopDX: Youve recorded a lot of albums, how many?
B.G.: Ten solo albums, four Hot Boyz albums, and a couple of mixtapes. If you look at Soundscan, I have ten solo albums and four Hot Boys albums, so you might as well say 14. I wont even include the underground shit.
HipHopDX: How do you record that much music nonstop?
B.G.: This is what I do. Ive been doing this shit since I was about 12 years old; I started rapping when I was about nine, started recording when I was 12, I got signed when I was 13, and Ive been in the studio ever since. This is where my heart at. When I aint on the road, getting money and doing concerts, Im in the studio.
HipHopDX: Youre with Atlantic now, but before, you were in talks to sign with Young Bucks G-Unit South label. Tell me about your relationship with Young Buck, and what made you decide to go to Atlantic.
B.G.: Young Bucks my nigga. Young Bucks gon always be my nigga. Me and Young Buck go way back, Young Buck was out in the Cash Money days. In time, I had like five different labels on the label: Sony offered me a deal, Jive offered me a deal, then G-Unit came to the table, Atlantic was at the table. I had a lot of options. At the end of the day, I wanted to make the best decision on what was best for me and my label as a whole. Atlantic came to the deal real aggressively, with a deal and with a situation that was undeniable.
At the time, I had went to jail like three times in Detroit.
I was in jail for a gun, I went back to jail for a gun and a bulletproof vest,
then I went to jail again for a gun. I was out on three different bonds, I was
out on bond on three different gun charges. From my understanding, 50 Cent was kind of worried about my
future, worried if I was going to go to jail, and this, that and the other, so
they were kind of dragging their leg about getting a deal done. And Atlantic
wasnt even much trippin, they were wondering how they could help me get out
of the situation so I wouldnt have to put my career on hold because someone
was worrying about the outcome of cases.
HipHopDX: I also heard that T.I. is executive producing your next album with Atlantic.
B.G.: Yup, T.I. is executive producer on this album, me and him are producing it together. Im real excited about that, because Im a T.I. fan, and T.I. is also a B.G. fan. Me and T.I. are good friends, so we were like, were doing to do what Sprint and Nextel did, and merge Grand Hustle and Chopper City, and take both our labels to the next level.
HipHopDX: You have a remix of Move Around with Juvenile. Tell me about your relationship with Juvenile since you guys left Cash Money.
B.G.: Me and Juveniles relationship is A-1, thats my nigga, thats gon always be my nigga. I left Cash Money for the same reason he left Cash Money, and for the same reason now that Mannie Fresh left Cash Money. Me and Juvie were the ones on the front grind anyway, taking that company to the level we took it to. We did all that hard work for Baby, and were going to work even harder for ourselves. We felt like it was a good idea and a good look to come back together do a Hot Boys reunion, without (Cash Money Records CEO) Baby or Cash Money being a part of it. We know the magic that we make in the studio together anyway, so its all good.
HipHopDX: So whats going on with Turk:?
B.G.: Turk: in jail right now, hes still locked up with the situation with Memphis a couple of years ago. Hes been locked up for the past couple of years, so I dont know how much longer hell be in there, I havent talked to him in the last two weeks. I heard he went to court and got sentenced, so Im not sure exactly what the outcome is. Ive heard this, that and the other, but Ive got to talk to him to really find out exactly what happened. I usually talk to him every other day, cuz me and Turk:s relationship is A-1, Im the only one out of the label thats been up there to see him since hes been locked up. Me and Turk: relationship is real good, but were healthy through it without him, because Im quite sure you know that he wouldnt be able to record from in jail. Its all good though, well make the best of it.
HipHopDX: How did you and Lil Waynes relationship go sour?
B.G.: Thats a question youre going to have to ask him. I thought me and him was cool, because every time we see each other it was love. I aint have no problem with him, my problems were with Baby. But I picked up the magazine, and he was in the magazine. They asked him how he felt about the Hot Boys, and how he felt about everyone leaving Cash Money, and hes the only one on Cash Money, and he said, Fuck everybody who left Cash Money, I dont respect none of em. And Im one of the niggas that left Cash Money, so thats like saying, Fuck me. So if you say, Fuck me, I have no chance but to say, Fuck you back.
HipHopDX: So when can we expect the next Hot Boys album?
B.G.: Maybe this year, I dont have no exact date on it now. But you should know that its coming real soon.