FEATURE: Slim Thug, The Re-Up
When you speak Texas, you speak Slim Thug. Long waving the banner for his state and his hometown of Houston, the Boss Hogg has carved out his niche ever since the days when he pushed underground mixtapes in the late 90’s as part of the SwishaHouse clique. After making waves with his long anticipated solo debut Already Platinum, Slim seemingly fell back for a minute. Now having recently fed the streets with his I Represent This Part 2 mixtape marking his 10 year anniversary in the game and just releasing his official sophomore LP Boss Of All Bosses, Thugga is back on track. XXLMag.com caught up with the TX MC to discuss his new disc, going back to his indie hustle, the state of Houston hip-hop and going his entire career with no manager.
XXL: It’s been three years since you dropped Already Platinum. What’s the reason for the extended lay-off between albums?
Slim Thug: It was more than one reason. The number one reason was I was going from one label to another. I started out working on an album and expecting to drop it way sooner through Interscope but they changed the staff up over there from when I originally signed and the new staff, I never got on the same page with them. At the end of the day I had to get away because it was time passing and they weren’t moving so I was like ‘I’m tired of playing with ya’ll.’ So I had to get off the label. But in the mean time in between time, I was putting out independent records with my Boss Hogg Outlaws, trying to get my artists on. So it was just both at the same time.
XXL: You’ve done the major label thing and now you’ve taken it back indie for your latest album Boss Of All Bosses. Is that like going backwards or is the indie route a plus?
Slim Thug: It’s a plus for me. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes [at major labels.] I’ll give you an example. Me and Mike Jones and Paul Wall might have did a song together and the label wouldn’t let me get on it, know what I’m saying? The majors be on they politics shit, be beefing or whatever. So I can’t get on my boys’ albums because they wouldn’t clear it. That’s hoe shit to me, especially since like these three dudes, we the ones who broke the movement in, me, Mike, Paul and Chamillionaire. Why would you wanna stop that? That way we keep all the doors open and we can all get money, but they was trying to stop all that by being greedy. At the end of the day, I like to be in control of my situation. Now I’m on an independent, my single “I Run” has gotten more spins than any of my other records I had on Interscope. But I’m not salty. I thank everybody over there, especially Jimmy [Iovine].
XXL: The South is still arguably on top right now and East or West coast artist have recruited Southern producers to help them appeal to the bottom states. Would you ever try to specifically make records to appeal to potential East or West coast fans?
Slim Thug: I aint never trying to high side on the East or high side on the West like I’m not trying to grab [those fans.] I like a lot of the music that they put out. But at the same time I’m not really trying to whore myself out like ‘let me do a record for the West coast or for the East coast.’ Nah, I aint do that either [on this album].
XXL: Your last solo LP obviously had a heavy Neptunes influence, production wise. What can people expect to hear this go ’round?
Slim Thug: It’s definitely not like that because I did a lot of records with Pharrell on the last record and he’s not even on this one. We just couldn’t get together and put no shit together fast enough. This record is me doing me. The last record the A&R’s influenced it a lot, but on this one, it’s just me. I picked all the beats out. I picked the artists I wanted, everything. So this is that real Slim Thug, before the deal. And a lot of motherfuckers think they know my style, but honestly I don’t even know my fucking style yet [laughs]. It’s going to be all over the place.
XXL: So would you say this record is more of a true debut for you?
Slim Thug: I would say that. And let me just make this be known, I love the first record. I love having worked with Pharrell. But this is basically just me doing the whole thing myself.
XXL: A few years back, it seemed like Houston had a rebirth and appeared to have a lot of unity but it doesn’t seem like that anymore from the outside. What’s up with the scene now?
Slim Thug: It’s getting back to being like that, but it’s still a few people who don’t get along at the end of the day. It was unified, but I aint gonna lie, when we got all that money everybody aint really kick it as much. But I’m cool with everybody. Yeah, we all need to be together a little more and that’s what I was trying to do on this album. I’m reaching out to everybody. It’s about Houston. I want the movement to be strong.
XXL: What other things are you getting into outside of just rap?
Slim Thug: It’s a lot of things that I had been planning to do or whatever but I kinda had to slow down for a minute and just chill out because of what the deal is, because of the recession. I just been chilling man, trying to wait this storm out.
XXL: I heard you’ve gone your entire career without having a manager. How does that happen?
Slim Thug: Yeah, I just got a manager for this album and he’s part of the reason why I’ve got as many fans as I do. I’m so used to handling everything myself and plus, I don’t trust nobody. Everybody that know me say ‘that’s a cheap ass nigga, he stingy, he don’t give nobody shit,’ I’m just being real. And when you talking about getting a manager…I’m already getting to the money, and I gotta give you some of the money I’m already making? I done got a deal, I done did everything I’m supposed to do. What the fuck I need a manager for? That didn’t make sense to me. Show me you can do something for me first, then I’ll fuck with you.
XXL: Damn, that’s definitely a credit to your hustle…
Slim Thug: And that’s what I’m trying to tell people. I’m a different type of artist. I’m not the normal type of artist that you run across. – Anthony Roberts