Yung Joc Shares Memories of Shawty Lo and Details His Impact in Atlanta
When news spread that Shawty Lo's final moments were spent celebrating his longtime friend Yung Joc's birthday, people immediately wanted to hear from the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star. A group of friends gathered at the Blue Flame Lounge in Atlanta to take part in Joc's born day festivities on Sept. 20 and a few hours later, Shawty Lo was killed in an unsightly car crash after leaving the party. Since Joc was thought to have shared the last moments alive with Lo, fans wanted to check in with the fellow ATL rapper.
Unfortunately, although Shawty Lo did attend Yung Joc's party prior to his untimely death, the New Joc City creator never got the chance to catch up with the deceased rapper that night. According to Joc, the Blue Flame gentlemen's club, which isn't too vast in size, was packed with people and he didn't get to chop it up with Lo before leaving. He missed out on his last chance to catch up with his dear friend.
Once Joc was made aware of Lo's tragic passing, he was in utter disbelief. In true Joc fashion, the "It's Goin' Down" rapper did everything in his ability to uplift the name of his fallen partna, someone he's known since childhood. XXL caught up with Joc to get the details on what happened that night, their friendship and Shawty Lo's legacy in the city of Atlanta.
XXL: How would you describe Shawty Lo's legacy?
Yung Joc: Lo was a hustla by nature. He was a hustla by trade. He'll hustle anything. If you give it to him, he could hustle it. It's crazy because before he ever got in the rap game, he was still getting money. So once the rap game opened up to him, I really feel like he had that extra edge for Atlanta. He added that extra sense of nothing from something. I'm really just heartbroken because I just felt like my dog was not supposed to go yet. But, God don't make no mistakes. I really feel like he is a part of that true Atlanta sound, the culture of music from Atlanta. I feel like the world embraced it because it was so real. It was so raw. I just feel like we took a real big L on this one.
There's such an outpouring from the hip-hop community. You go on social media and it's all you see.
That's Mr. Dunn Dunn, it's expected. Lo, that boy was feeding a lot of people. He fed a lot of people and has been feeding a lot of people. When you see Lo, Lo was a real cat from the projects so, when he move, 150 might move with him. Them 150 would go to war about that man. That's how strong his roots to the hood is. Like if you might go to Lo house on the holidays, he would have about 200 folks. And that's just at the house. Then you might go downstairs and it's 50 folks in one room shooting dice like we in the hood. He in a big million-dollar-plus home and it's cats in there from the hood shooting dice. You gotta love it.
So he spreads his wealth with everyone? Everyone reaped the fruit of his labor?
Yes, man! Lo was sharing. He would show you how to get a check.
How would you say he's influenced the Atlanta sound?
I feel like Carlos figured out that it was about the feeling in the music. It's the feeling of his music. He captured that real Atlanta feeling. When you hear the music, it feels like Atlanta. He had some radio smashes but his radio smashes didn't sound like they were from no where else. It felt like a party in Atlanta. When you party with Lo -- when you come to Atlanta and see Lo in a club, his music would come on -- Lo would just sit back and smile with those little squinty eyes. Lo was the type of cat that would hold his head up and look around and smile. That's when you know the love is real.
What's one of your fondest memories with Lo?
I'll tell you one of my fondest memories and this is why I respect him as a business man, as a hood gentlemen and just as a man. I'll never forget standing in Club Vision back in BMF days and Shawty Lo was doing "I'm Da Man." The whole club was saying, "I'm the man, I, I, I'm the man. Got no wife but the white be my girlfriend." I sat back and I heard that song. I said, "Aye, I want Shawty Lo's song but I just want to jack the beat." I jacked the beat and did "A Couple Grand" and it took off.
Me and Lo had to come to a head one day. We were out of town. We were at a radio station and he was promoting his record "I'm Da Man." I was promoting my record "I Know You See it" at that point. It was that moment when he was playing his record, when he played "I'm Da Man" and I played "A Couple Grand," everybody was in the studio scratching their heads like, "Well, hold up. Is it finna be some drama?" Shawty Lo looked at me and said, "Joc, you a real Westside Atlanta cat." He said, "Man, it ain't nothing but love. You take this shit and you run with this shit." I said, "Damn," because I thought he would be upset that I jacked the record and the record started doing so well but in turn, he was just happy to see another one of us eating.
So, I'll never forget picking up the phone and calling Lo saying, "Hey, man, you got one," with "Dey Know." I'll never forget calling him and saying, "This is your 'It's Goin' Down.'" He just laughed and laughed. We talked for about 20 minutes on that phone call but laughed 10 of them minutes because we were just talking about all of the stuff that we were gonna buy and all of the stuff we were gonna do. When I heard "Dey Know," I said "Boy! Dat's it. You outta there."
How long did you guys know each other?
Shit, man, Lo was really Mr. Bankhead for real. He was one of the real kings of Bankhead. I used to play for A. D. Williams. A. D. Williams is a school, it's an elementary school that all the kids in Bowen Homes went to. So, I was playing for A. D. Williams when I was 12 years old. Lo was getting money already. Lo was already getting money. My granddad, before I even started playing for A. D. Williams, my grandaddy was the candy man out there in Bowen Homes. My granddaddy, God rest his soul, had the big school bus store on wheels basically, him and my grandmother. So, I used to be in Bowen Homes as a kid. I've been knowing [Lo] for a long time. I brushed elbows with them boys for a long time.
You guys saw each other from childhood to adulthood through the come up. Y'all saw each other through life. There were reports that said you were with him before he passed too. If that's true, what were your last moments like together?
Man, to be real with you, it was my party. Lo was in there. When I was walking in the door, they were playing Lo's music. A person came out and said, "Lo in there." I said, "Bet," and turned over to my partna. And it was such a rush of people when I came in there. I went to school on the Westside and the Southside. So, you had so many people in there from the Westside and from the Southside that bombarded me that for real, for real, me and Lo only made eye contact.
I couldn't even get to him. We never got to each other. My cousin and my brother went other there and hollered at him. They said he said, "Happy Birthday," and that he was finna come over there and rock with me. But, it was too many people in my section. So, by the time I got out of my section to come holla at him, I ain't know if he was in the back on the pool table -- I ain't know where he was at. I ended up going back to my section and I didn't see him no more.
Any final words on Shawty you want to leave us with?
Let me tell you about my city, Atlanta, Georgia. Let me tell you why the world loves the movement from this city so much. We uplift each other. We embrace one another. We know how to say, "Hey, you're up next." We know how to do that and that's what made Lo so special. If you had something going on and Lo was in the city, he would come out and support you. That's why he had so much support. He supported a lot. We have real gentlemen where I'm from. We have true soldiers where I'm from -- not saying nobody else don't. In the world of music, we got that and we do that.
To be real man, we can't even replace a fallen soldier like that. That's Carlos man. I just drove up Bankhead, stopped in front of the barbershop. Let me tell you what's crazy. My people bought me a bottle of Hennessy for my birthday yesterday. I stopped in front of the news crew and everybody at the barbershop and I just poured out a whole half gallon of Hennessy for my partna. I loves Carlos. I loved Lo. I loved Shawty Lo. We loved Shawty Lo. We stood behind him. It's so sad that my boy gone but may his legacy live on. May God watch over his family and his kids. Real talk.
See Hip-Hop Reacts to Shawty Lo's Death