Problem Discusses ‘354: Lift Off’ Mixtape, Upcoming Tour And Working With Southern Artists
Problem continues to enjoy success with his independent movement, Diamond Lane Music Group, and as his name starts becoming more known in the mainstream rap world, the West Coast Chachi looks to capitalize off that success with a brand new mixtape, 354: Lift Off.
After dropping his hit single "Like Whaaat" with labelmate Bad Lucc last year, Problem reached Top 20 status on Billboard this year with Rich Homie Quan's smash hit "Walk Thru." The song is still blazing on airwaves across the nation, and introducing unknown rap fans to Problem.
With a brand new mixtape dropping, Chachi is ready to head on his next solo tour starting Sept. 3, the 354: Lift Off tour will be presented by Diamond Lane and will feature Bad Lucc and Aftermath's own and 2014 XXL Freshman Jon Connor on the bill for all 21 dates.
Before he gets ready to embark on his tour, Problem chopped it up with XXL to give us some insight on his new mixtape, the tour, his work in the EDM world and much more. -Roger Krastz
On his new mixtape 354: Lift Off:
"I know everyone has kind of turned the mixtape scene into their own albums, but this is an actual mixtape so I'm pretty excited about it.”
Problem: Expect nothing but bars man! I really wanted to capture the old essence of the Lil Wayne tapes and the 50 G-Unit tapes, when they used to just bust over my favorite songs, but then they'll have about four to five brand new records that were good just to keep fans waiting. I got Bad Lucc on there, I got Casha, and maybe one other feature on there that nobody is going to expect to be on there. As far as production goes, I have Zaytoven, he did about three tracks, I have EDM DJ and producer Salva on there for a track, and I have this kid from 9th Wonder's camp called Khrysis, he probably has one of my favorite joints on the project. Justin Credible, Sour Milk, and Los Angeles Leakers got involved with the project and they were actually the ones who spawned me to do it. I know everyone has kind of turned the mixtape scene into their own albums, but this is an actual mixtape so I'm pretty excited about it.
On the reason for having more freestyles than new tracks on the mixtape:
I wanted to restore that feeling of the old mixtapes. I just remember when I wanted to hear my favorite rapper rap, and then I remember when some rappers weren't my favorite rappers, but I would hear them just go crazy for three or four minutes and be like 'Oh shit, let me see what this is about' you know what I'm saying. I want to bring that feeling back. I really stopped doing freestyles, but my boy Justin Credible recently got a show on Power 106 and he reached to me about doing a freestyle. After the freestyle went on the air, I got a great response from the fans and I did another one, and another one. I looked up and I had about four or five freestyles done, so I decided to put all of them together and make a tape out of them, which spawned the mixtape and the tour.
On his upcoming 354: Lift Off Tour:
I'm so excited about the tour. I just want to make it better than the last one. I know that's where its at. The performance is where you get the people, and when people come to see me I know they want to come out proper and go get a brand new outfit and a haircut. Ladies want to go get a new dress and get their hair done, so it's like a big event for people, so for that reason I have to leave it all out on the stage. I'll also have my label mate and best friend with me Badd Lucc and Jon Connor joining me on this journey, so it's gonna be a great time and I want everyone to come out and check out the tour.
On crossing over to the EDM:
I mean I feel like Chachi is music, Problem is music, Diamond Lane Music Group is music and that doesn't just mean rap, nor does it mean hip-hop. I'm comfortable with myself and my brand that we can do any type of music without losing my core fanbase, so of course I'm gonna try all type of things as long as it makes sense and it feels natural. I've had a chance to work with Destructo, I've worked with A-Trak recently, I've always worked with UZ. I've always been good with these people, so I can't wait for you guys to hear more of the stuff coming out. I don't know if an actual EDM album will made in the future, but sky is the limit and we Diamond lane Music Group, so we can do whatever, we independent, so that's beautiful.
On working with Southern artists:
Most of the Southern artists that I be fucking with, they all be in that studio and they're beasts. When me and Rich Homie Quan did "Walk Thru" that was like his fifth record of the night. I had an opportunity to work with Young Thug and we did two records so fast, and then I did two with K Camp that were done at a fast pace as well. The new Atlanta is on fire, they don't play no games in that studio and I love it because I don't do no email sh*t I like to be in the studio with people, test the vibe.
On the future plans of Diamond Lane Music Group:
My album is coming, but Badd Lucc's project is really my next priority after my single drops, Casha our R&B artist, she's up next from our camp. I'm making sure I keep her project tight, and the team is right, Diamond Lane Music Group as a whole. My album is 95 percent done right now, I just have to get the actual dates in order and the business as well and I'm ready to rock.
Previously: Listen To Problem’s ’354: Lift Off’ Mixtape