Not long after the EP release of G-Unit’s The Beauty Of Independence, we had the opportunity to speak on the phone with the newest addition to The Unit, New Orleans own Kidd Kidd. During the hour-long call, Kidd Kidd verbally illustrates a story that could be turned into a movie or HBO series. We wanted to really understand and know more about the southern spitter, as well as have him tell his story in his own words. Kidd Kidd also discusses the importance of 50 Cent in his life, what happened between him and Lil Wayne, raps Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”, thoughts on Trinidad James and more.
What was life like growing up in New Orleans?
Tell you the truth, if you listen to my music, you hear everything about me. All I rap about is my life experiences in New Orleans. Just growing up hard, struggles and everything we go through. Coming from the bottom, you know how Drake says “started from the bottom”, I started from the bottom for real, in all aspects.
At what moment did you realize, “I want to be a rapper”?
When I was a little kid. I was about 2 or3 years old and I was impersonating LL cool J (laughs). I knew music was always in me. I wrote about everyday stuff happening, so if it was about stealing a nigga bike, or taking candy or fighting, I just wrote what was happening around me. Then a dude from around my way named Mule, just like how Jay Z had Ty Ty, Mule was the one that told me I had a story to tell. So that’s who made me believe and who brought me to Wayne. He made me believe I could do this cause it was a just a dream that I saw on TV. The poverty, the hustle, it’ll suck you in so this was my personal release, I had to do this.
In early 2000 you were with Young Money and even appeared on Lil Wayne’s hit single “Mrs. Officer”. What led to you parting ways from Young Money?
People gotta understand that I hooked up with Wayne in 02′. I was with Wayne from ’02 to roughly ’05 before we separated. Then he called me back when he was doing The Carter 3. We did the “Mrs. Officer” joint and once the video came out I wasn’t a part of it. I ain’t gonna sound like “fuck it”, I was just like “damn the situation”. After the video I tried to talk to Wayne to see what was going on with it, and you know, I guess he was on his “high horse” or whatever at the time and I was just like “Alright, you do you man, imma do me”. Where I’m from we don’t kiss ass, we all men at the end of the day. I’m a hustler, I don’t ask for nothing, I don’t expect nothing, but if I work for something, I expect to get what I work for. There wasn’t no bad blood at all, it was just how it was. Then the Lord came and put Fif in my life and me and Fif have a better relationship than me and Wayne ever had…and that’s crazy. I guess real recognize real.
Prior to signing with G-Unit, you met 50 Cent and then got shot 6 times. Very similar to 50’s situation when he got shot and then dropped from Colombia Records just as they were ready to “push” him. Did you think the contact/opportunity was going to be lost?
When that happened, I wasn’t thinking about none of that. I wasn’t thinking about rap. I’m lucky I’m still alive. I was shot at 32 times and I got hit 6 times out of the 32, in front of my mama. After that, I was more angry than anything, so my mind wasn’t focused on rap, it was more focused on the retaliation. But then all it took was one phone call…. ONE CALL BRUH. Fif was the first person to call me in the hospital bed, the first person! God did this for me, it’s by fate man, that’s the only explanation I can see for it. None of my family has 50 cents number. So when I first turned my phone on he was the first person to call me. That tells me, if you the first person calling me, either you got some hell of a timing my nigga or, you was already trying to call me and wasn’t gonna stop calling my phone. That made me feel, I don’t even know the words… no words can really explain how I felt after that. That took a lot of frustration off my back and made me feel like I know what I’m about to do and I know what I gotta do. The first thing he told me was “Yo, what happened to me, and the label backing up off me, I’m not about to do that with you, I believe in you, so you know what, you’re gonna heal up and we gonna give it to these niggas”. And sure enough, he kept it real and he kept his word.
“I had to be slippin’ to let this clown hit me up/ Now I gotta walk around with this shit bag for months”. Reflecting back on an incident that could have ended your life, where was your mind at while writing that?
That’s all I can rap about is real shit, that’s how I was feeling. I had to be slipping! I was slipping and he hit me up, and now I gotta walk around with this shit bag for months… like fuck! (Chuckles) I want these people to know that this is real shit, its nothing that I’m making up just because it sound good, like nah man, this is real talk, this is what I’m going through everyday and this is what I gotta deal with. That song is so real. My cousin and Fif were there when we recorded that and a week later my cousin got killed. (They had a hit on him) That’s why for Fif to accept me and the people around me, it’s amazing. 50 will even tell you when he met me in New Orleans we pulled up to the studio DEEP. We were beefing then. Van filled with choppas in the back you know (laughs), looking like the old G-Unit in 03′.
One of the most impressive aspects I’ve seen were the recent radio appearances you along with The Unit did, specifically when it came time to rap. I find artists on occasion do not utilize that time, while you on the other hand, even with 10 plus years in the game, have been the BEST example of capitalizing on the moment because you stood out and people now notice your skill level. What advice would you give young artists who want to gain the people’s attention?
There’s an Eminem song that explains that whole situation, “Lose yourself”… “You gotta lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go, you only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime” (Sings chorus from “Lose Yourself”). There’s no better way to explain it than that.
Are you concerned with being overlooked since the 50 Cent/G-Unit brand is so big?
No, no…Not at all. If anything it’s gonna bring more attention to me because people are gonna wanna know why is he in G-unit? Can he go in? Is he compatible with everybody else? So that’s when I step up to the plate and I gotta let them know, “yeah nigga, I do this for real”. We’re similar because we all speak from a street perspective, that’s what brings everything full circle, but we all express it in different ways.
Old news, but I would like a southern rappers perspective on the comments made by Trinidad James last year when he stated that the south runs New York musically. What did you think about that statement?
I felt that was stupid, I really did. I grew up on New York music, so for him to do that, seems like it was a personal thing between him and another person. That should have been kept between him and whoever, you don’t bring a whole fucking city into it my nigga, cause at the end of the day, you gotta look at yourself. And Trinidad James, as far as he goes, he’s only known for that one song my G, and that one song is no hell of a lyrical track and look where he’s at now. I think niggas heads get big when they start seeing a little bread and they feel untouchable. Even looking back at what he said made no sense, because a lot of his shows were in the New York area! Like why would you do that? And me, coming from the south, I got a lot of respect for east coast rappers because everybody go hard. We all got the same goals, get this money, feed the fam, and supply the people with real music. And once you get there you don’t abuse it by saying shit like that.
The Beauty of Independence was well received and now The Beast is G-Unit drops March 3rd. What can we expect from The Beast?
Ah man The Beast, just be expecting more shit to fuck the game up. If you liked The Beauty Of Independence, just wait. I’m actually on my way to Best Buy right to go get however many copies are left. I’m grabbing extra copies and personally sending them to people DM’ing me that can’t get it where they live. It ain’t the same buying online, ya need that physical copy in your hands! That’s just something a nigga should do, cause like I said, I don’t take nothing for granted, so if someone wanna buy something from me, and they can’t get it, imma get it to you then.
Do you like the the music coming out these days? Who are some artists you listen to?
I like the new up and coming artists, I just like to hear real music. Lyrical music or not, just real music. Right now I’m listening to Young Dolph, I like the song he got called “Preach” cause he’s saying some real shit on that. I listen to my other artist Young Elz, Dej loaf, I’m on her mixtape right now. She’s spittin’ some real nigga shit but its coming from a female perspective. I respect what she’s doing right now. I even listen to Drake, even though he don’t talk no gangster shit, he says some real regular shit you know. I like the nigga cause he’s cocky with it and he’s a cool dude. Besides that I’m listening to our shit and that’s it man, I feel a lot of the music now is watered down.
How did you enjoy being at OVO Fest and did you get to see any of Toronto?
It was love. It was good to see Drake. I was there when Drake first came to Wayne. We got some joints together. I was even on the original “Forever” track when it was just me, Drake and Wayne. I didn’t really get a chance to see Toronto though, I was in and out. Only because me not having no real people out there, cause whenever I go anywhere I usually know people and go out. I’m not a hotel guy, I don’t like sleeping at hotels, I like to go out and explore and see the hoods. No matter where I go I try to go see the hoods. Especially when you hear a rapper talk about it. The first time coming to New York, the first place I wanted to go was Marcy projects, cause I heard Jay Z talking about it. Ask 50, I was sleeping in the projects when we connected.
What is the best advice 50 Cent has given you?
Be about your business first and know that everything is a business in this game. Everybody ain’t your friend and I learned that so much just being around 50, because you work with people all day that come to you like they wanna be your friend, when really they just wanna be around Fif.
If you had to move to mars and could only take 5 albums, which would you bring?
Soulja Slim – Give it to ‘em raw | 50 Cent – Get rich or die trying | Jay Z – Reasonable doubt | Nas – I am & 2 Pac – Me against the world.
Lastly, what does hip-hop mean to Kidd Kidd?
The world. It’s everything, hip-hop is my savior, so it’s everything to me.
The Beast Is G-unit drops March 3rd. Pre-order on iTunes here.