Artists: Slim Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz
Independent Album: Back by Blockular Demand: Serve & Collect II
411: The hogs are out in a major way in Houston. Slim Thug is chillin' in the cut right outside of his favorite barbershop, the Right Touch. Besides the jaw-jacking going on inside over a game of dominoes, it's unusually quiet for a Saturday afternoon — until the Harleys come out. About 75 people — men and women, young and old — come cruising on their choppers.
Thug gets a grin on his sometimes-expressionless mug. He got his first Harley when he turned 21. Funny thing is, he didn't know how to drive one and had to get one of his homeboys to ride it home for him. Thugga has since learned how to handle the two-wheeler very well.
"This is one of the things we do out here," Slim explained, standing next to his good friend Gotti, formerly of Cash Money's Boo and Gotti.
This week, Slim releases the sequel to last year's Boss Hogg Outlawz's Serve & Collect via Koch Records. Slim is now fully independent.
"I was never signed directly to [Pharrell's] Star Trak," he said. "[There was an understanding] that if he did this many beats for me, he would put his imprint on [my album]. It was never nothing between me and Pharrell. We did good work together. I appreciate everything he did for me. It ain't no beef with Jimmy Iovine or Geffen. I love them for everything they did for me. I just like to move independent. I got off the label, and now we're moving with Koch."
Slim says he just couldn't "click" with the major and is back to moving units almost the same way he did when he first started. But thank goodness he doesn't have to distribute his own records hand to hand.
"Being with Koch is [like] a smaller major," he explained. "They got a helluva radio group over there. They do a wonderful job and give people major-label looks as far as the radio."
Back by Blockular Demand: Serve & Collect II features Thugga and his Outlawz Young Black, Chris Ward, J-Dawg and his captain, Killa Kyleon.
"It's the whole Boss Hogg Outlaw gang," Slim said. "It's really like a sampler of all the talent on my label. We did it last year with Serve & Collect. We got a lot of love from that. We got Ray J on there and Lil' Keke on there. Not too many guest appearances. The next Slim Thug solo is definitely coming out, if not this year, early next year. It's called Boss of All Bosses. The title ain't change. As far as the Boss of All Bosses, I done work with so many different artists and producers. I don't know who or what songs I'm gonna put on there. And I'm still working. I got over 150 songs. I'm gonna keep working, and whenever it drops, then we'll know."
Joints To Check For
"Ride With No Ceiling." "Riding [cars] with no ceiling — it's pretty much giving you the culture of Houston and how we do it," Kyleon explained. "It features all of us. We're flossing, balling and having fun."
"Same old Houston," Slim said. "We gonna keep it the same. We still talking about candy-painted cars on fo's. Chopped and screwed hook, giving you that H-Town view."
"Time." "That J-Dawg solo record with Keke, that's my jam right there," Ward said. "That's what I'm rolling with."
"When we get together, nobody sounds alike," Thugga said. "Everybody got their own style, man. This whole record, man, is strictly for the streets. From the beginning to the end. I love all the music, not just because it's my music and my people on there rapping on there with me. I love that kind of music. It's not really for the radio or BET or MTV. It's for what we do. For the streets."
"On the cool, though, we work so much, I don't remember the whole CD," Dawg added. "We been finished with that."
"Keep It Playa." "[It's] the new single we got with Ray J," Slim said. "We did a record for the playas, and when we played if for Koch, they went crazy for it."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» Nina B - The Icon
» Jack Da Rippa presents - Beauty and the Beats
» Big Mike and DJ Thoro - Grand Theft Audio 7
» DJ Diggz, DJ Rated R, P-Scriptz and G-Unit - Southside State of Mind
» Willie the Kid and LA the Darkman (hosted by DJ Drama, Don Cannon and Trendsetter Sense) - Aphilliasion
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» 50 Cent - "Here I Am" freestyle
» The LOX - "It's Like That"
» Plies - "Pants Hang Low"
» Sauce Money - "I Ain't No Joke 08"
» T.I. (featuring Rihanna) - "Live Your Life"
» Young Jeezy - "The Recession (Intro)" and "Circulate"
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
Game is admittedly a little loco. That's part of what makes him one of the best in rap right now. And to make tracks for him, you might have to get just as crazy as he is.
"Whenever I call a producer and tell them how I want the beat to be, I paint a picture," he said. "I called Just Blaze, and I'll be like, 'Yo, picture Jay-Z being in an elevator in the Bronx. ... It's broke, and all of sudden he presses the garage button and it shoots through the roof. He lands on Jupiter. And he walks out in all black. I want that record!' And Blaze will be like, 'All right. I'm about to do that record.'
"When you listen to my album and people say, 'You know how to pick beats' — nah, I know how to pick scenarios and producers who understand my scenarios and know how to transform them into music," he added. "When it comes out the speakers, it sounds like what I asked for."
Two of Game's obvious go-to guys on L.A.X. are Cool & Dre. They have his current single, [article id="1591529"]"My Life,"[/article] and might have his next as well.
"Cool & Dre did that beat," he smiled when talking about "Money." "It's Miami, sounds Miami. If it is the next single, we gonna shoot the video in Miami. 'Money' is gonna be a big record. I'mma let the streets pick the single. If I had my way, 'Let Us Live' would be it. That's my favorite joint on the album probably." ...
The art of making love is like ... well, T-Pain and Lil Wayne will tell you all about it on their joint project. We've been hearing about the [article id="1591279"]full-length collaboration[/article] for months. Pain finally got specific and told us about one of their records.
"It's the most awesome record in the world," he said of his favorite track, "Damn, Damn." "It's basically about what the girl is saying during intercourse."
Pain also broke out into song, revealing an excerpt from the [article id="1593362"]Thr33 Ringz[/article] track "Therapy": "I say, 'One, two, three, four/ Get the hell up out my door.' "
"[The track] is just for the crazy women out there," he said. ...
It's about time. DJ Green Lantern is getting that cook up just right. He and Grafh are going in on the Oracle 2 mixtape. The street CD should be out in a couple of weeks. Grafh's debut LP, The Evolution, is slated to arrive within the next three months or so.
"We first did the record with my boy Prinz the Pistoleer," Grafh said of his first single, "Like Ohh." "A lot of rappers showed love and wanted to be a part of it, but Busta was the first one to reach out. He came through, showed love, tore it up with a crazy 16 [bars], then came down to the video with the 'whoo-ha' Busta Rhymes flava. That originally was the remix, but we made it the official single because Busta smashed it. Because everybody showed so much love, the remix is getting crazier. Shout-out to Jim Jones, he jumped on it. Swizz Beatz jumped on the remix. Bun B, Jadakiss is on the remix. It's crazy, and it's growing. I'm glad everybody is being receptive. When they show that love, I gotta shoot it back."
Grafh's original debut LP was called The Autografh, but since it sat on the shelf for so many years, he just leaked the LP online for free.
"This is my first official release," he said. "I got caught up in the politics. I never got a chance to release an album. The Evolution involves change. I'm more mature in the game. I'm growing as a man. My point of views have broadened."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.