The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Rapper: Scooby
This Week's Subject(s): Transitioning from group member to solo artist.
Ask A Rapper: You had a strong mixtape last year that was mostly underappreciated. What's that like? Terribly frustrating?
Scooby: Far as my last mixtape, I understand why I didn't get the total recognition I deserved. I think me just jumping out there doing a solo was a surprise after us not attempting those kinda moves in the previous years. So to me, it's not frustrating because I get an iTunes check every month and I acquired 350,000 free downloads, not to mention the hand-to-hands CDs we push. That how you keep the streets behind you, that trill grind.
AAR: This new tape, what's it like? Anything interesting people should know going in?
S: Okay, now to the BIG SHIT: 1.5, my second entry into the world of my alter ego, is very seasoned. It's my best work yet. I have evolved into a solo artist mind frame. The G.R.i.T. Boys have not split or have inside problems going on, we're just building our own individual foundations , Along with the Grit Gang project, it's a new branch of GBoyEnterprise with artist we've had a relationships with (Greg L., Young B, King Musso, PT Da Underboss). There are a few different collabs I haven't had in the past. Don't wanna spoil it all the way, but I'll give you a few names that on it. Of course Paul Ward, Chris Ward, Killa Kyleon, Tare tha Truth, Yung Redd, Pill, G.R.i.T. Boys, Lil' Flip, Faelow, Starchy Arch and Mug. Production by Cy Fyre, Clay and Traksounds.
As far as the transition from a group to a solo artist, it wasn't at all a problem. We all wondered who would jump out first and play the guinea pig. Before we were The G.R.i.T. Boys we began as three solo artist. Me and Niq formed, than met Poppy. Since that, we always made decisions together. I will mention one particular time, like, in 2005: When Yung Redd signed to SwishaHouse on his first solo mission, behind closed doors I was offered a deal from T. Farris myself. I mean, him and Pretty Todd [then-managerof the group] went back and forth for months. As you can see, it didn't happen.
At that time, we were signed to TVT, and outside people around the business -- and there were a few people apart of the business -- that didn't like the idea of me have two avenues. Niq and Poppy never had a sour feeling about it. But all in all, everything happens for a reason. We have our own studio, label, tour van, producers, videos; it's wonderful.
AAR: Before this, you were part of a fairly successful group (G.R.i.T. Boys). Was it weird transitioning from group to solo? What were some of the unexpected outcomes from that?
S: Thank you. I don't measure my own success so I wouldn't know. [laughs]
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AAR: Lastly, since you did it and have been successful, can you name the four best from-group-to-solo-career rappers? Give a couple of sentences explaining why each one was able to become successful.
S: Now, the four best artist that went solo from a group?
Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne, Beyonce and Cee-Lo Green. Why? Because some people work better alone and then when you're in a group you tend to hold back because, self consciously, an unselfish guy like myself wouldn't wanna out shine my niggaz so it's a difference; you have more time on a song, shit they don't like you love.
Just because we in the same group with the same name doesn't mean when we sit at the table to eat we're eating the same food... but we all eating though. Every group has its star, people have their favorite. Honestly, I think Niq is the star. I'm just a student. I follow a tight path, I focus and execute. I take my time in places were other artists wouldn't even care to notice or correct.