Shawty Lo sits down to talk with StreetCred.com about his beef with T.I., why he won't stop the attacks, the reason he filmed a video in front of T.I.'s Club Crucial, new albums, D4L and more.
Shawty Lo on why the recent video for Stuntman's "Don't I" was shot in front of T.I.'s Club Crucial:
"It was just to let people know. Thatís what he went and did, we can do it too. They are trying to paint the picture like heís (T.I.) the "King" and he doing videos ("What's Up, What's Haapnin'") in front of my hood. But sh*t when you come to the front of Bowen Homes with 30 police, I canít do nothing about that. When they shot their video thatís what was going down."
St. James: Whatís up LO?
Shawty Lo: I feel real good right now. Coming off 2 awards my man just hit the White House, so Iím feeling good right now.
S: I think we all are right now. Go Barack! We are beaming!
Lo: We needed that one.
S: What do you want to tell the readers of Streetcred.com about the situation with you and T.I.?
Publicist: Iím just going to interject here. We were asked to do the interview and we are not really coming here to ďclear the airĒ. Pretty much everything has been said and if people want to research the history of what is going on they may do so. We are really just trying to move forward to more positive things. We want to talk about his mix tape, etc.
S: Well I am asking the questions of what the people want to know. A lot of people thought the beef was deaded and over. The world wants to know though.
Lo: Well you know I was going to let it go. His people reached out to me. ďWe want to dead itĒ they say but they still put the video ("What's Up, What's Haapniní") out there. They said it was already done and they had no control of it. They said they werenít tyring to push the video and to not respond. So I sat down for a minute and didnít respond. But then I heard him talking in an interview. I said f*ck it Iím not just about to let anybody say anything. When I speak I speak the truth. I give the real. I live it for real man.
S: So are there plans to dead it or as long as they go you go?
Lo: As long as they keep it poppiní Iím going to keep it poppiní. It ainít no real beef. It ainít like he want to tussle. It ainít nothing to me. Iím making my music, Iím not really going to waste my time on it. Iím making my music and I guess he wants to kill me musically. He doesnít want Shawty Lo to exist. But I do exist and Iím not going anywhere. I exist.
S: So you got the new mix tape, Iím Da Man 2K9 with DJ Scream. Whatís the direction and whatís on the mix tape?
Lo: Yeah you know this is my 3rd mix tape with Scream. We are just working hard man. I f*ck with that n*gga Scream.
S: So youíre gearing up for the new album with this mixtape?
Lo: Iím gearing up for my new album "Carlos." Itís on the way at the end of February or the end of March. The album is not done yet. Iím still working on the album. Iím just still doing songs right now. I have all kinds of producers, a couple of features and Iím just working. Itíll probably be done by the end of this month or December and ready to turn in.
S: So tell me about your experience with Diabetes and the projects youíve done to support that movement.
Lo: I was diagnosed in 2001. First I was in denial. But I kept getting sick and kept getting sick and my family got on me. So I had to get there and I had to get right.
S: So what are some of the things youíve done to help people with the disease?
Lo : I do a lot with it. A lot of private events. Iíve joined a network called thediabetesdestroyers.com. We are going to launch that sometime next month. We donít have an exact date. Itíll be a network where people can come on, share stories, and there will be a place on it to raise money as well as help the association we did the walk with.
S: What was the walk?
Lo: The walk was a drive for Diabetes. A lot of people came out and supported. That 3 miles almost killed me but we got it in.
S: So you won the BET Hip Hop Award for ďRookie of the YearĒ. How did that feel and what doors have opened up?
Lo : It was very unexpected but they called my name and it was a blessing. It let me know I made my mark and Iím here. Iím going to continue to work hard. No one is going to give you anything so Iím just going to continue to keep working hard.
St: Did it make you feel like youíve arrived? A lot of people have been in the game 20+ years and never gotten a BET award.
Lo: I know it. It was a blessing. I won because of everybody and all my people got to come up on stage. I mean Iíve only been a rapper 3 years... solo artist myself.
S: So how did you get started rappiní?
Lo: I was just the money behind the group (D4L) when we first started. I formed the group in 2003 and got locked up in 2004. I came home and people were telling my other artists that we were nothing without Fabo. Thatís when I came with the hit ďIím Da ManĒ. Everybody loved it. It was something that somebody from the real Bankhead and Atlanta could relate to. So I just kept making songs until it turned into the mixtape. And everybody was like ďyou da oneĒ.
S: So youíve kind of taken the forefront for D4L, it was Fabo when you all first dropped. How has that been coming from the background to the forefront?
Lo: Itís crazy ya know. Itís God. I was trying to get up out of there. I was really living the life at first.
S: So we havenít seen Fabo. Is everything cool with him?
Lo: Everything is cool. Heís trying to come up with it but everything is cool.
S: Is there plans for a new D4L album?
Lo: He do what he do. I just donít do that type of music no more. Iíll still push it for him though. If he has an album we are going to put it out. It just ainít a group thing.
S: So is there anything outside of the music that you are using to brand Shawty Lo?
Lo: Itís a movie Iím working on called ďBlack BagsĒ. Thatís supposed to be coming out next year some time. Itís for an independent company out of California. Iím in it, thatís what I know. We also are trying to get the clothing line going. I also got my other group with Front St. They are real good.
S: You and Front St. were on ďDonít IĒ with Stuntman. What was the deal for that video and shooting it in front of Club Crucial?
Lo: It was just to let people know. Thatís what he went and did, we can do it too. They are trying to paint the picture like heís (T.I.) the "King" and he doing videos in front of my hood. But sh*t when you come to the front of Bowen Homes with 30 police, I canít do nothing about that. When they shot their video thatís what was going down.
S: Who is your inspiration in the game and what you are trying to become?
Lo: Jay-Z is my inspiration in this game. He came a long way. He was always my favorite rapper because thatís how I was coming up. I mean I just feel like he reminds me of me so much. I feel like before I was even a rapper, the stuff he was talking about thatís what I was living. Heís come to be the most successful rapper ever to do it. I look at myself trying to get to the top as well.
S: So what are you trying to accomplish with the music and bring to the people?
Lo: Iím trying to take care of my family and talk to the people. Work hard and do what I do.
S: So let me get your reaction to the election. What do you think it has in store for the country and our people?
Lo: I think itís going to be big. I think itís definitely going to be a difference. I think Obama is going to make us one. We made history and I think heís going to make us one. Heís going to finish what he started and I think heís going to be a good President for us.
S: Tell the people something they donít know about L-O.
Lo: One thing they need to know, Iím one Hundred. Iím not just a rapper. I did this, I lived it. Iíve been arrested 28 times. Convicted 4 times. Iím here because God blessed me to be here. And Iím here for a reason. I went to rap man from dope man. I come from the hood and if I can do it anybody can do it. Ainít nobody going to give you nothing. You have to give 110% and work hard. You have to show that you want it in order for others to help you.
S: So anything else you want to tell the people?
Lo: Yeah check out the new single with me and Gucci Mane called ďDope Boy KnotĒ. You can find it on my myspace.com/therealshawtylo. I want to tell the world to come down to Atlanta and see the real and whatís going on and they will know what L-O is all about.