Lil’ Flip Interview
|Label:||Clover G Records/BCD Music Group|
|Next Project:||I Need Mine|
|Website:||Lil' Flip's Website|
Lil’ Flip has experienced a rebirth and he didn’t even have to go to church. After leaving his former label Columbia, last summer, Flip embarks on the official release of his long awaited album I Need Mine on March 27th. The difference this time around is a 35-track double disc with 27 new songs and the backing of his new home, Asylum/Warner Brothers Records. Already given props for his work in landing Houston a permanent Hip-Hop home in the minds of many, Flip is looking to further establish the South as a region that has and will continue to be lyrical. During an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJ ‘Z,” Lil’ Flip discusses why he made the major label move and how it will pay off, why DJ play lists are dominated by the South and will continue to be, and what piece of advice Bun B (of UGK) gave him that he will never forget.
Listen to the Lil' Flip Interview
Lil' Flip Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s up everyone, its your boy ‘Z’ doing it real big, as always, on DJBooth.net… and on the phone with me is a man who needs a lot more credit than he gets for the rise of Houston’s Hip-Hop scene… please welcome to the show, Lil’ Flip!
DJ Booth: How are you?
Lil’ Flip: Hey man—I’m doin’ great, up in the studio right now—grindin’.
DJ Booth: So you have the album droppin’ on March 27th, and you’re still in the studio currently working on your next album?
Lil’ Flip: Yeah-yeah that’s how I record. Then later on l listen to a whole bunch of songs. I pick what I want. Then I put some aside, so when people want a bunch of tracks or they say ‘we need a soundtrack or a street sound’, I can just go to my files, and see what I got. If I don’t wanna give none of those up, I’ll just create somethin’ new.
DJ Booth: So Lil’ Flip has the biggest catalogue in the industry. Is that right?
Lil’ Flip: Yeah man, a lot of rappers brag like they got a lot. But honestly, right now—honestly, I can say I got more songs than 2pac. Remember when Pac died he came with Macavelli 1 through 13? Well I got double the amount of them songs.
DJ Booth: Yeah, but I’m sure you wouldn’t want any of that material released postmortem… wouldn’t you agree?
Lil’ Flip: Yeah, I agree with that man!
DJ Booth: Okay, Flip let’s talk about the transition. You left Sony Urban/Columbia, because as you would put it, they didn’t promote your last album like you wanted it promoted. At the same time, you were still able to go Platinum. Now you’re over at Asylum. What has it been like?
Lil’ Flip: I got Asylum but then I also got Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers is the big machine, while Asylum is the one that knows how to take $100 grand and make it look like a million. I can play both sides of the fence. Record companies think they know everything. When something messes up, they fall back and blame it on the artist. Right now the fans don’t know the politics about what goes on behind the scenes. The first album I did was called “Underground Legend.” I only shot one video for “The Way We Ball.” The album still went Platinum. They didn’t want to listen to me and threw out my ideas like I was stupid. You know I sold a lot of records before I got with them. I write my own video scenes. I design t-shirts—I draw my own album covers. With everything that I do, I put my own hands into it; and I direct my own videos. In this business, you gotta have a hard drive and motivation. You can’t just depend on a record label to do all your work for you. I even got my own personal production team, a radio show, and street team.
DJ Booth: Beautiful! So the album,“ I Need Mine,” out on March 27th. Originally Flip, some of this material leaked to the Internet over the summer. Will a majority of that material still be on the new release, or was it all scrapped in favor of new stuff?
Lil’ Flip: Okay, see when I was droppin’ the album on Sony it was 26-27 tracks, so I went back into the studio and started over. I took 19 songs that got leaked; and I literally kept 9 of the old songs. So now it’s 35 tracks! Now, I got videos, and so much footage around, and I know the fans want to see the process of recording and concerts. So for this year and beyond I’ll be showin’ fans what they want to see…
DJ Booth: Your current single is ‘Ghetto Mindstate’ featuring Lyfe Jennings. In your own words, describe for me your current mind state. Where are you at in life?
Lil’ Flip: More relaxed—more reserved… You know when you go through a lot of stuff in life, you learn who are your real friends. I’m enjoyin’ life. In the music industry there’s a lot of pressure. Man, people wanna rush you here— rush you there. By the time you look up—time flew by, and you’ve been gone. It’s like now, I’ll be out so late at night I don’t even know what day of the month it is— My mind state is work as hard as I can and take advantage of the situation.. not to be a puppet.
DJ Booth: As you know, that’s nowhere to be…
Lil’ Flip: Yeah, some rappers be a puppet and don’t even realize they are a puppet. It takes a lot of people screwin’ you over and you have to learn from it.
DJ Booth: For an artist like yourself, making a new album, there’s been a lot of stress considering you sold albums independently before you moved to a major label. Right now, are you de-stressing at this point in your career and content? Or would you like to be somewhere different?
Lil’ Flip: I can’t complain, but shit… I would have loved to have sold 20 million, like 50 Cent, on my first solo album. But, I take the time to put out quality music. I use live bands, real choirs. How many rappers put out real music that have live bands playin’ instruments and using real guitars?
DJ Booth: Fans of Hip-Hop have noticed a trend in DJ play lists, complaining that DJ sets in the club are too heavily influenced by the current “Southern Sound.” How does that make you feel knowing that you helped to put Houston on the map; and [as you claim] your music has always evolved.
Lil’ Flip: Music is an emotion and it makes you feel a certain way. Some songs make you want to dance, while some make you think. Some songs are positive, while some people see those songs as negative. The way I look at it, the rap game now is one of two ways. A) It’s not a club record and its not for the girls or B) Nobody wanna hear about something positive. They wanna hear ‘Let’s go rob a bank’ and some shit. It’s fucked up that they like that way. But if the records are not club music for the girls, don’t’ nobody want to hear some positive shit like “Go to school.” Even when the old school acts had their hits, some were talkin’ about basketball. They were talkin’ about their Adidas. If people really listen, they know I got whole concepts with stories.
DJ Booth: Who can forget N.W.A. and their single, “Fuck The Police”—
Lil’ Flip: Exactly—Yeah so I just have a problem with them saying that “down south artists” are not lyricists’, and don’t have any lyrics. I have a whole bunch of different concepts. There are not many rappers who write bridges into their songs. That’s my goal, to prove them wrong. It’s not just about diamonds. I’m here to prove that stereotype wrong!
DJ Booth: Are you saying this year is going to be more ‘sold than told’ based on what you have on your new album?
Lil’ Flip: Yeah, when you listen to it for a couple of weeks. When most people listen to an album, they listen for about a couple of weeks. I want them to get more than what they paid for. Fans always know that if they see me and want an autograph, I am not good about that. But that’s why I will just give them the shirt [off my back] or my new hat. It’s all about the fans.
DJ Booth: This is set to be a huge year for Houston. If nobody gets their album pushed back, including your new album, H-Town will offer new releases from UGK, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Devin The Dude. Who do you think, out of that bunch [besides yourself] is reppin’ the City of Houston the best?
Lil’ Flip: I think everybody’s doin’ they thing. I hope that UGK has a good comeback. I hope that U.G.K. gets the recognition that they deserve. When I toured with them [UGK], Bun B gave me some good advice.
DJ Booth: What advice was that?
Lil’ Flip: I was at a hotel party and the music was just so fuckin loud, so noisy. I was in the hallway getting a soda, and we just sat down for about 10 minutes, and he said, ‘Your gonna get tired of that shit [women]. I been doin’ this for a while. I’m just gonna get my money and go’ [while on tour]. So I said to Bun, “Man I’m not gonna get tired of it. I like to have fun.” Now I know it’s true. Here I am.
DJ Booth: Yeah, it’s like when you’re growing up and your parents tell you not to do something because you can get into trouble, and you go do it anyway.
Lil’ Flip: Yes, that’s how it happened.
DJ Booth: Right now, sell yourself to all of your fans. Tell the people who are not all too familiar with Hip-Hop why they need to buy your album, and tell the DJ’s why they need to keep spinning it.
Lil’ Flip: The DJs and fans need to buy and spin my records because I literally go into the booth and I am one of the most down to earth people. You know when DJ’s come to me for freestyles, they ask for one, but I’ll give them two. For DJs that tried to contact me through Sony, and were told that I was too busy, I got a number for them. Call me at 501-960-4649 and if you wanna know about your mixtapes— I’m makin’ beats. All the DJ’s holla at me. On this new album, Z, I got a 32- track guarantee.
DJ Booth: Why not just go with all 35 Flip?
Lil’ Flip: Well, the reason why it’s not 35 is because I got three women tracks. The guys don’t want to hear no girl records but there are only three on there.
DJ Booth: Okay Flip, the reality is that the guys might not admit they like those tracks, but secretly when there’s no one around, they listen to those too…
Lil’ Flip: [Laughing] And I don’t make those songs that go—‘Oh girl I love you.’ My songs are different. I have one song called, ‘Girl I Just Want To Tell You’. I’m just tellin’ the girl, ‘You gotta understand my lifestyle, and if I’m too busy and always on the, I appreciate you’ I got another one with Nate Dogg about tellin’ the girl not to take abuse—just cleanin’ up the house every day. I’m sayin’ to her, come with me, just to change her mind state.
DJ Booth: It sounds like you have a lot of diversity on this album. Go ahead and tell everyone where they can find out more about this album.
Lil’ Flip: www.myspace.com/lilflip. They can go to www.lilflipstore.com. They can catch my radio show on XM Radio, on Thursdays, at 6:00pm EST on 66 Raw.
DJ Booth: Lil’ Flip, I wish you nothin’ but the best of luck on this new album, out in storse the 27th of March and I hope this is a big year for you.
Lil’ Flip: Hey man I appreciate this interview with you. Anytime you want to talk just call me. I’m here.