Rapper Big Pooh: The HipHopGods Interview
Rapper Big Pooh: The HipHopGods Interview
Rapper Big Pooh has been consistently perfecting his craft since emerging in the late ‘90s with fellow MC Phonte in the group Little Brother. The North Carolina native has returned with a new solo EP, Everything 4 Sale, which finds him sticking to his roots and staying true to the Golden Era sound with production from DJ Flash. Album highlights include “Corner Store Blues” and “Buyer’s Remorse,” and touch on his personal experiences stemming from being an artist. Pooh is currently on tour with The Beatnuts and Lawrence, Massachusetts rapper Termanology. While backstage at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins, Colorado, Pooh had some time to talk “Corner Store Blues,” not catering to anyone and the misconception that performing is easy.
HipHopGods (Kyle Eustice): What artists have you been listening to lately?
Rapper Big Pooh: Right now, the only thing I’ve been listening to as far as new guys is Nick Grant. I haven’t had a chance to hear his new album yet, but I definitely like him. Then artists I manage. I jumped into management and just signed a new kid name Lute. He just signed to Dreamville/Interscope.
Oh that’s J.Cole’s label?
That’s J. Cole’s label, yeah. We working on his project now and getting it ready to go. That’s it for me because I was in creative mode all the way until we left on tour.
How long did your album take to complete?
I started it in September and it took me about a month and a half.
Can we talk about “Corner Store Blues?” What was inspiration behind that song?
I was struggling creatively all of 2016. I wasn’t really writing too much, and was just focused on managing and that’s it. DJ Flash and I took a road trip because I had a couple of tour dates dates. Flash DJ’ed for me so we were and he was playing the beat and I ended up hearing it and wanted to create a story about artists struggling to make things happen. Once they made it happen, then they realize it ain’t what they thought it was going to be. I know a lot of people who have athlete friends and they think they were going to be the ones who made it, but they’re still out here the same as they are. That’s what “Corner Store Blues is.” You have aspirations and goals, but you’re not moving fast enough. You don’t want to be another statistic who had the talent, but didn’t make it. You don't want to be that guy or girl.
What about “Buyer’s Remorse?” To me, it sounded like you were describing the first time you performed. Were you intending to paint the picture of being scared?
Not just my first time. I always talk about it when I do shows. People don’t understand what it takes for people to go stand on stage in front of people you do’t know and become vulnerable. They don’t understand what it is—and that’s the feeling. I’m up here giving it my all and I'm all by myself—thats worst thing for a performer. No matter how terrified you are, you never want to be up there and nobody’s there. That’s the feeling when there’s people there not giving you energy and now you feel like you’re by yourself, but people are still staring at you. It’s a weird feeling.
I used to be a singer and hated auditions.
It’s a very vulnerable moment. People don’t understand until you’re put in that position.
I also think there’s a misconception that it’s easy.
Most definitely. I just noticed this. If you ever see people consistently with a lot of people on stage and only one person doing the work, that’s an insecurity issue in my eyes. Why have six people up there? Because you’re scared of being up there by yourself and being vulnerable.
I’d be behind the curtain. What’s next on your agenda?
We shot a video for “Corner Store Blues.” It’s edited and finished up, then shoot more videos for the EP when I get home. It’s short.
It was too short. I wanted more [laughs].
That’s my thing now. I am only trying to create when the spirit hits me and not force it. When I do that, regardless of what anybody else say, it’s healing for me. As I was doing it, my thing now is once I’ve completed a thought or it feels forced, I stop. It’s over.
Do you feel like you have to cater to a certain audience?
Not now, but I used to. I was trying to do things to appeal to different crowds, but now I do what I want to do and have fun. If people love it—cool. If people don’t—cool. My business partner brought this up to me the other day. For one album, I did this and that, and nobody really cared. For this one, I just put it out and people love it. It’s the weirdest thing. It’s so crazy. It’s something I did to get out of a creative slump.
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