You might not see it at first, but there’s something special about Scrappy. How else can you explain the fact that two of hip-hop’s most prominent trendsetters—50 Cent and Lil Jon—have both demanded a stake in the 22-year-old’s budding career. Scrappy came into the game on crunk’s hype, putting out a split album with fellow Lil Jon protégés Trillville in 2004. After his single “No Problems” turned out to be the surprise hit of the album, beef with Trillville’s Don P jumped off, resulting in 2005’s Full Metal Jacket mixtape, on which Scrappy took shots at his label mate as well as Atlanta veteran Pastor Troy. A year later, Scrappy has put the beef behind him and is focusing on becoming the most well-rounded star in the South, with G-Unit and BME releasing his official debut Bred to Die, Born to Lose through a joint venture. But before the album drops in the fall, he’s releasing a new mixtape with DJ Don Cannon called Keepin’ It G as well as two new videos, one for “Gangsta Gangsta” with Lil Jon and one for “Money in the Bank” with Young Buck. Crank it!

How involved have Sha Money and 50 been in your project?
It ain’t too much. They let me do my thing. 50 might come in there with three or four songs and he’ll be like, “I like these, personally.” And then I put together what I like personally, then Jon put together what he like personally. And now we got a fuckin’ album. Nobody gonna pick no bullshit. I got two of the biggest names, so they gonna pick three or four of the biggest songs. Let me put it like this: I’m 50 when he first got signed. He got Dre and Eminem with him. The only difference is Jon is on TVT, I’m on Warner Bros and 50 is on Interscope. You remember when 50 did “How to Rob”? I’m finna to do a “How to Rob Part II.” How to rob the whole game.

So are you robbing 50 on this too?
I have to! [Laughs] Nah, I wouldn’t fuck with those niggas. 50 don’t even know about it yet so I’m going to wait until I get his input.

50 knows how to write those hooks and how to make a crossover record. Has he been coaching you?
Oh yeah, I’m doing everything. I don’t give a damn. They can hate it, they can love it, but I’m finna get everything. I don’t give a damn if I gotta sit on a goddamn horse playin’ a goddamn guitar. If that’s what’s gonna get me paid and get me to be a star, that’s what I’m gonna do.

Is there anything you wouldn’t do for more money?
Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t be no faggot. That’s about it.

But when you see somebody like Mobb Deep not really selling records, do you ever worry that the G-Unit co-sign isn’t as valuable as it once was?
Nah. Stuff happens, but they still got hot records though. It might not be like that in the sales, but they got shows. But it’ll pick back up in a minute, hopefully. But me, I’m ready. I’m like a beast, I’m like a gorilla, I’m not playin’ with these cocksuckers. All this Down South shit that’s going on? All that about to be in the background in a minute. There’s a lot of people coming out from down here that’s not up to par. When you come out, you supposed to make a change. I’m finna make a change. It’s gonna be Scrappy music in the A in a minute. I had to cut back for a minute to let everybody get their shine, but now I’m ready to come back.

It seems like folks down South are making hit records, but that very few actually have that star quality that allows them to crossover. Why do you think that is?
All of us from the South, we know what we have to do, but we still got that country shit in us, so we don’t give a fuck. It’s kinda hard to grab a hold of something when you don’t give a fuck. But then you got people like T.I. and Jeezy. They already big, so they showing us another way. It’s like OutKast, showing us another way. Lil Jon, showing us another way. We’ve got songs, but we haven’t had anybody yet who just shocked the system. T.I. shocked the shit out of the whole world with how he be spittin’. The way Lil Wayne spit, people be like, Aw shit, these niggas from the South ain’t playin’. How I spit, I got a whole new thing now where I’m just murdering niggas on the mic. You hear a lot of people saying, “Hip-Hop is Dead” because the South took it. I can do South music and hip-hop at the same time. Can you do it? I can jump around and rap, and I got good lyrics that the crowd gonna say. The whole crowd. And they gonna be tired when they leave.

Do you feel competition with the other MCs from the South?
Nah, we all family. We’ll be on the same side at the end of the day, looking at the other squad. We the new generation, so we gotta hold it together.

I heard rumors that you squshed the beef with Don P from Trillville. Is that true?
I’ll just put it like this man…I’m getting my money right now. If that would make me money, I would probably, you know…take care of it. But it’s not making me any money, so I’d rather just fight and get it out of the way. And if we not gonna fight, then okay, I’m gonna go ahead and do my thing and y’all do y’alls. I’m just trying to make money. I got a little girl at home, her name’s Imani, she one year old.

So then what made you come at him in the first place on the mixtape [Full Metal Jacket], claiming you knew girls who had seen him in compromising sexual situations?
That goes to show people, Don’t fuck with me ’cause I will lose it. I will get real creative on you. I'm the Black Eminem. I will fuck you up. I can make that shit sound so crazy you don't wanna hype me. I try to fit with the nice boy look, I try to be cool, but sometimes people wanna bring that extra shit out of you.

I know that you and Pastor Troy have had your words in the past. I saw on his new album on that song "Whatcha Say" he seems to be sending some pretty obvious subliminals towards you.
Nah, nah. I seen him a couple of months back in the A at Benihanas. He didn't really do nothing. I was like, “Whats happenin'? It gonna be something?” He was like, “Nah, we chill, I ain’t with that shit right now.” I was like, “Okay, that’s what it is” and kept it moving. We was sitting at the same table. That lets you know what it is. If you really didn’t like me, then you wouldn’t let me to sit at the other side of your table. You're going to have somebody remove me or your going to remove me yourself.

scrappy2.jpg You rhyme a lot about blaming the government on this new song “Shake My World.” Are you getting political on the new album?
Actually, I was just doing that song, so I guess somebody got their hands on it and put it out there. But I mean, I am political. Who ain’t political? Nobody likes what’s going on. But the whole thing about that song is, I was saying that we blame everything that happens to us on everybody else. In the song I’m like [sings] “George Bush to blame…For everything.” Like, why? I don’t like some shit that he do, I’m a democrat all day. But at the end of the day, this dude, he a gorilla. He goin’ against these other muthafuckas and he trying to win. He trying to get that oil. But whatever he trying to get, he trying to put it over here. They tell people “The Hurricane is coming.” Is it his fault that you didn’t leave? I don’t understand that. But I am with the people when they say “Fuck George Bush” because of a lot of the fucked up shit that he do.

When you say that people shouldn’t blame the government for their problems, who do you think they should blame?
The government is always to blame, but sometimes you gotta look at yourself like, Damn, am I doing my shit? ’Cause if I was really grinding hard and taking care of my own shit, I’d be a rich muthafucka. Your whole shit could get played, but at least you’d have a bank account. There’s a lot of poor people out there, ’cause that’s where we all come from. But to the poor people, you’ve got to get the hell on. You can either stay there or you can get the hell on.