Fire Starter: Pill
We’re going ham! All this month in Fire Starter, we’re going to be bringing some of the emerging talent from the South who we feel you should be up on. First up is Pill, who’s already gotten props from one of the best to ever do it. Andre 3000 gave the Atlanta MC kudos for his mixtape 4180: The Prescription.
“To have his stamp of approval, me being from the A and idolizing them — him and Big [Boi] — for him to hit you and quote your lines on the tape, I was like, ‘Oh!’ ” Pill said. “I was like, ‘For real? That’s what’s up! I appreciate it.’ He’s top-five to me. … I was like, ‘I might know how to rap a little bit.’ ”
Pill is a former protégé of onetime Outkast affiliate Killer Mike but has since ventured out on his own. While handing out copies of his mixtape earlier this year, he bumped into Three Stacks and gave him a tape. Andre called the next day with compliments.
“I didn’t think he’d ever listen to it or ever say nothing about it,” Pill said. “That gave me some more fuel to keep going. I was like, ‘OK, yeah, maybe I need to actually keep on going.’ ”
Dre is just one of many to join Pill’s fanbase since 4180: The Prescription came out in February. The tape has generated enough interest that Pill has been performing at clubs and high-profile events such as the recent CMJ Music Seminar. The mixtape’s frantically paced “Trap Goin’ Ham” has been one of the year’s big underground sleeper hits. The equally gritty video and ode to a day in the trap had people wondering what the hell “goin’ ham” meant. He said “ham” is slang for “mayhem.”
“It’s just a street term we use down there. ‘Ham’ is just like off the meter,” Pill explained. “Don’t nobody know where it originates from. I ain’t going to sit here lying, like, ‘Oh, I made that up.’ That’s just a slang term in the A. Everybody said, ‘That thing going ham.’ I just thought of making a song about the trap goin’ ham.”
Pill also pointed out that “ham” is a universal term that could apply to the trap, a strip club or a ten-piece of chicken.
On Tuesday, Pill released the Bizness-produced “Hear Somebody Comin’,” which is the first song from his new mixtape 4075: The Refill, due November 17.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.