Soulja Boy and Bow Wow Explain Why They Had to Go Hard or Go Home on ‘Ignorant Shit’ Album
When Soulja Boy and Bow Wow revealed they had a joint album in the works, it was almost as if the internet erupted into utter chaos. Not only did the rappers begin trending worldwide on Twitter but word of their collaboration made headlines everywhere. While some critics were quick to adopt opinions about the material— even prior to the project's release—Soulja and Bow Wow weren't up for games, preparing to go extra hard and erase all room for doubt.
In a matter of a few days, the foes-turned-friends created Ignorant Shit—an 11-track effort that includes production from London on da Track and a sole feature from Rich The Kid. Little did everyone know, after their 2009 beef, Bow Wow and Soulja extended the olive branch six years ago and have maintained a close relationship for the past three years. They've always shared a desire to drop a joint album and finally cracked the mic this fall for one of Bow Wow's last projects before he ultimately hangs it up—his final LP, Underrated, will arrive around the time of his 30th birthday in early 2017.
Soulja continues his streak of solid material this year with the collaborative album garnering a noticeably favorable reception within hip-hop -- Snoop Dogg, Post Malone and Bryson Tiller all acknowledged the rappers' efforts on social media. As Soulja has released over five projects in 2016 alone—most recently King Soulja 6 in early October—he was destined to keep his buzz blazing with the collaboration as he plans to drop another mixtape, Real Soulja 4 Life, on Nov. 18.
XXL got the chance to chop it up with the Ignorant Shit creators to get the story on how the project went down and what's up next. Check out what Bow Wow and Soulja Boy have to say below.
XXL: How did the project with you and Soulja Boy come about?
Bow Wow: It was an idea I just came up with one day. I was basically just like, "I think we should do something. Fuck it." I got like one more album before I’m hanging it up anyway. We might as well just come together and do something collectively. Besides, we always had a little cool big brother-little brother relationship even after the whole, I guess if you want to call it, a beef. I wouldn’t even call it that. The little immature ass disagreement we had back in the day. It was kind of just making up for lost time and I just told my young, "Let’s do some shit. Let’s just throw some shit together and throw it out there." That’s how it all came about.
Soulja Boy: I've been doing my thing. I've been killing the internet, killing the streets, you feel me? I've been going crazy and just dropping hella shit. King Soulja 6 is going crazy. I guess big bro just seen me working. Big bro just hit me. I just did five songs with Boosie and five songs with Post Malone. I got some new shit coming with Young Dolph. I got some new shit coming with [Young] Thug. Me and Future got some shit coming. I've just been working. I guess the industry has just seen how I've been working and everybody has been calling like "I need a feature." Bow Wow, that's my big brother.
That’s interesting because a lot of people didn’t know that you guys patched things up. So you guys have a brother-to-brother relationship?
Bow Wow: We haven’t had an issue in like five or six years. We’ve been cool. It’s because of that the idea came about naturally because we’re always around each other. A mutual friend [made] us cool again and we were cool before that. It was a time in Atlanta that I was on my way to his crib to chill and smoke or what not—I caught a flat on the side of the highway. It was like 6:30am—he came on the side of the highway and picked me up. We rock like that. We’ve been cool for a few years so it was like, Fuck it. Let’s do some shit.
Soulja Boy: We've been cool for like three years now. We got back cool because we were beefing for a long time. I think it was just growing up. I've got my daughter—my step-daughter. I've been taking care of her and he's got his daughter. I think that kind of brought us together. It made me grow up a little bit. That beef shit ain't bout nothin.'
Damn, people had no idea. So, how long did it take you to record Ignorant Shit?
Bow Wow: Like two days, that’s how quick it was. We would just throw a beat on -- knock it out. Then throw the next one -- knock it out. We looked up then one day we had like six done. It was like, Alright, we going to come back tomorrow and we might knock out like seven. You have to make sure everything is knocking. I don’t even like to waste my time so for me, when I go in there, I don’t like to be in the studio all day. I like to get in and get out. I like to do what I’ve got to do and keep it pushing. But yeah, it took us two days. The energy was being put up and the production was right. We were just rocking and we came up with some ignorant shit.
Soulja Boy: We just got in the studio. Really we were always going to do an album. So, he called me like, "Yo, let's do an album." I'm thinking let's do a song but it was a good idea though. I was like, "Let's do it." So, we got in the studio and we recorded the album in LA. London on da Track came and he dropped me off a whole bunch of beats. I probably used like three of his tracks on the album.
You guys describe the album as the soundtrack to a young rich nigga’s lifestyle. Can you discuss more of what you mean by that?
Bow Wow: Yeah, it is. It’s like a soundtrack for that. We’re celebrating life, we’re wildin’ out and talking ignorant. It’s like any young cat out there who dreams of getting money—that one young man that’s out there like, “Nah, I want the fastest car and the hottest chicks.” When he gets it, he’s going to act a fool. Look how many celebrities we’ve seen have so much money then when they get all the fame and fortune they start cutting up and the good story, they turn to a bad one. It just shows you what can happen if you put the money in the wrong person’s hands. Soulja was throwing money in his pool from off of his balcony. That’s just ignorant as hell. That’s shit that he really does. But, as a kid who’s to say if I hit the lottery that I wouldn’t just take a million dollars and throw it off the roof like I’ve seen in the movies. Who’s to say I wouldn’t? So, we’re just celebrating that and having fun.
Soulja Boy: Just living this lifestyle, it's motivation. I brought that savage mode out of [Bow Wow]. He's been having money since I was broke. When I was in the hood I was watching you stunt on TV. You've been having paper. You had money before I had money. So we just put it together—that's what we do though. This is a young nigga's dream where I come from. This is that soundtrack to getting money. If you ain't getting money, you're still going to feel it—it's just ignorant shit, man.
It was hilarious on Instagram when Bow Wow said, “We used to pick up money. Now, we got niggas that pick it up for us.”
Bow Wow: Oh yeah, a lot of people be taking it as “He cocky," but, they be forgetting that I’m an actor. When it comes to this ignorant shit, we’re just playing—having fun and being ignorant. It’s no different than when I was in the movies. I must have done a good job as the character that we’re playing—we’re playing these characters just having fun with it— talking like we’re talking to club promoters. I’m seeing these blogs really reporting that rumor like it’s true. We’re requesting $250,000 for a club appearance. I saw that dumb shit on Bossip. I’m like, Y’all motherfuckas really believe that. We were talking with [money phones]. We weren’t even on the phone. People were really running with that $250,000 story. So, like I said, we’re just having fun and seeing how far we can take it.
Soulja Boy: Yeah, we had put that out just to promote the album—to promote some ignorant shit. We had a whole bunch of money laying around because we were doing a video shoot so we just put that out.
Did you feel that even though you were playing around that you wanted to prove something with Ignorant Shit?
Bow Wow: We just went. It was no direction. It was just whatever comes is going to come. When it was my time to [get in the studio], of course I took my time. I was mad strategic but nah, the chemistry, the way I was going, he was going. We just let the music speak to us and we just went from there. We just went in there and handled our business. It’s not like we’re R&B singers and it takes multiple stacks and different things like that. We’re rappers so we can finish an album that fast and get it done.
But, we definitely spoke. I told him that we can’t be fucking around because automatically when people hear what we’re doing, they’re going to automatically write it off anyway. But, nowadays with music, whatever is trending and whatever is the most talked about, people are going to check it out no matter what. So, when they do check it out, we have to make sure the shit is right. So, when they hear it, they’re shocked. People are going to be talking about it and that’s going to make the next person check it out and it’s going to be like a domino effect type of thing. That’s exactly what happened. Snoop FaceTimed us and was like, “Man, I was on the airplane today listening to that shit. The shit is hard as fuck.” It just did what it did and it’s crazy. We’re really going to ride the wave and just push it.
Soulja Boy: People just have this perception of me and Bow Wow. We have to go extra hard for our shit. If another artist do it, they'll probably fuck with it off top but us, I don't know [if it's] cause we're young and have money, I don't know. We share that same theme—the media just be hating and shit. And I ain't went no where. My flow ain't never left. I've enhanced my shit. I've been going crazy for the last three or four years—"We made It" with Drake, "Yasss Bitch" with Nicki Minaj. Bow hasn't really dropped nothing in a little minute so I told him, I was like, "Look bro, you're going to have to go hard now cause I've been doing this shit. You're going to have to go hard. I have to try to kill you and you have to try to kill me. We have to deadass make some hot ass shit. We can't drop no wack shit. We're going to play ourselves." So, we just went in the studio and went hard. "Fucking Up A Check," we just dropped the video [yesterday]. Check that out on Vevo and YouTube. We're shooting the "My House" video next. I really like the whole album. You have to listen to it and take it in—pick your favorite joints.
Bow Wow, did Soulja Boy really have you take lean for the song “Lean” on Ignorant Shit? If so, you have to tell us that story.
Bow Wow: That record was my idea. It just shows you that I don’t give a fuck. I always tell people that I’ve been doing this shit since 5. When it comes to hip-hop records, I’m really creative. I come up with concepts and I told Soulja, "Look, I know you sip lean but it has to be a way where I can get away with doing the lean with you because it’s not going to be believable [upfront]." Our sessions, this is how well-thought out it was. It’s ignorant shit but we were really taking our time even though it took two days.
[I told Soulja], "It’s gotta be a way where we can come up with a lean record because this is what you do. We need to join each other’s world in some sort of way but it has to be a creative way." I said, "For instance, being that people don’t associate me with the lean culture like that, maybe we can write a record with [Soulja] getting me fucked up off lean for the first time. [Soulja] telling me to chill and that everything is going to be alright." He was like "Right, right." He was just thinking and was like, "Let’s do it."
He pulled up the first track which is the London on da Track beat which is that one. I just started mumbling and doing the melodies then I said, "Oh shit, here it go." Then once I locked in and it was flowing, I said, "Ah yea, this is going to be it right here. That’s dope." Then, it was easy to do it from that point but nah, I didn’t even sip lean in the studio. Like I said, I’m an actor. I can watch and see how Soulja be in the studio. If I’m writing and he’s up next, he’s nodding off in the studio. That’s what that shit makes you do. That’s how the record came about though—just like that. That’s going to be the funniest video ever. We’re definitely going to do a wild crazy video for that one.
We heard you guys were going on tour too?
Soulja Boy: Yeah, we're going tour—that's true we're going on tour real soon. It's going to be me and Bow Wow. We'll probably bring out some guests like Rich The Kid—some of my little rap homies. It's going to be hard. We're going to do a big tour. We went on tour before but it was me, him and Chris Brown—on the UPC (Up Close and Personal) Tour. Now, it's going to just be me and Bow Wow.
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