When someone says D4L, you quickly think "Laffy Taffy." That's wrong and right at the same time. Shawty Lo formed the group and even he didn't approve of their creation. Anyone who knows Shawty Lo understands that statement without any thought at all.See Also:
As society does when it comes to labeling, he's quickly being called the next "Jeezy." His southern drawl, bass heavy anthems, and street content are the reason for that. Shawty also comes from Atlanta with bragging rights of a tremendous amount of street credibility that rappers die for. We caught up with the hustler turned rapper, so we could talk for a bit.
First, we covered his newfound success and rising stardom in the hip-hop. Shawty told us where the idea of D4L started and why he's not going to reflect the music that was showcased by his group. He also alluded to the criticism that accompanies his music and what he's created. And, he tells his side of the story when it came to the release of "Laffy Taffy."
BallerStatus.com: Out of nowhere your song seemingly popped up on the charts. Where did the song come from?
Shawty Lo: Well, we was in the club one night. We kicked till early in the morning and went back to the studio. It was like 6:30 in the morning and one of my producers had came in. He was like, "Lo write to this beat right here." I was like, "Man, I'm tired. I'll do it later on," but he kept asking to do it. So, I tried to write something, like the first six bars or whatever and I didn't like it, so I stopped. My producer stopped me again, "Just write something (everybody in the studio) loving it. Just keep going." The magic happened from there.
BallerStatus.com: Fans, media, and myself included are surprised to see you representing D4L. Do you see people being shocked because you're from D4L coming with this type of sound?
Shawty Lo: Yeah, what people don't know is that I started D4L, but I wasn't trying to be a rapper. I just wanted to do what Baby did with Cash Money or what Puff did with Bad Boy. People down South know me and how my movement is different from what everybody knows when it comes to D4L. I started D4L in 2003; got arrested in 2004, and I didn't come home until 2005. The first song I recorded was "I'm The Man." People was like, "We want to hear from you 'cause we know you been in the streets for real!"
BallerStatus.com: Since you're a street cat, what lead to you starting D4L?
Shawty Lo: Basically, the D4L thang been going on for years. We wasn't a gang, but we would just call ourselves D4L in the hood. People would see me with a lot of jewelry and ask me if I was a rapper. People kept on asking me that. I figured I'd just get some guys that knew how to rap and put them together. I formed the group and we just transferred the name over to the group.
BallerStatus.com: What's your plan to follow-up "Dey Know?"
Shawty Lo: I got a album full of that. I got songs pumping right now: "Dey Know," and a song called "Foolish."
BallerStatus.com: Oh yeah, where did the dance you're doing in the video for "Dey Know" come from?
Shawty Lo: That's just a long time coming; you wipe the sweat off and it's like I ran to get here. Chasing cheddar baby!
BallerStatus.com: So we go call that the "Paper Chase?"
Shawty Lo: Cheddar Chase.
BallerStatus.com: Speaking of the record, how did you get all those people on the remix?
Shawty Lo: That's what I been telling you; I didn't have to reach out. People know me and what time it is with me. I am that real dude from Bankhead. Jeezy, Luda, Plies, Wayne -- they know I'm that cat for real. I'm the next n---- coming out of Atlanta.
BallerStatus.com: You think you'll be criticized like Young Jeezy early in his career and even now for lyrical ability?
Shawty Lo: I'm a hustler man; I don't care. I love the haters; they the ones that make it happen. Success comes with [criticism].
BallerStatus.com: While we're talking about people being criticized, has anything changed about D4L's sound?
Shawty Lo: The sound you heard from them last time wasn't meant to be the sound you got. I didn't plan on that, but you got to go with making it happen. We got a hit; I don't care how it sound. I'm a street n----, so that's what you're going to get from me.
BallerStatus.com: So what type of input do you have on the group and what they do? You're a street n----, so you had to have a problem when you got out of prison and heard "Laffy Taffy" as the single for your group, Down 4 Life?!
Shawty Lo: I let them know if I hear [a hit] or not. I'm honest with them. I heard that song while I was locked up and I was like, "These n----s crazy!" My people was telling that they liking it out here. It took me going home to see. We had a big party at the club for me coming home, and I was looking at the crowd from the top. When "Laffy Taffy" came on, the club went crazy. I just said, "Let's roll with it baby."
MTS Centre, Winnipeg - May 26, 2008
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