|Next Project:||The Real Testament (Available Now)|
|Twitter:||Plies on Twitter|
Some artists say that shortly after they were born they knew they were destined to become a rapper. Although they didn’t know of rap music as an infant, the point is well made. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Florida rapper, Plies; a man who doesn’t claim destiny as his reason for rapping because he still doesn’t consider himself a rapper. Featuring the breakthrough radio hit “Shawty,” Plies debut album, “The Real Testament,” was unleashed to the masses last week. With a feather in his cap and the possibility of more on the way, Plies sat down with DJBooth’s DJ “Z.” In their interview, Plies discusses why he isn’t bothered by the plethora of false information about him on the Internet, what type of tour he plans on taking to promote his album and how his collaboration with Akon should clear the air of any uncircumstantial rumors flying around.
Listen to the Interview
Plies Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an MC from Fort Myers, Florida, whose take on the Bible might be a tad different from yours. Please welcome, Plies. How you doin?
Plies: Pleasure all mine, man. I’m glad to have the opportunity to share my story with you, and I appreciate it.
DJ Booth: Sure thing. New album, “The Real Testament,” is in stores right now. Are you a religious man, Plies?
Plies: I’m not a big churchgoing guy, but at the same time I do understand that there is a higher power, and I believe wholeheartedly in a higher power, so to me I don’t think I’m as responsible a man all the time as I need to be in my religious situation, but at the same time I do believe in a higher power.
DJ Booth: Your album doesn’t boast a single rap feature – it’s all about you. Did you not want any features, or do you feel you didn’t need any features?
Plies: I think it’s a little bit of both. For me, I never allowed myself to get beyond myself, but at the same time I got to where I’m at currently believing in a higher power, making good music and sticking to my values and my beliefs. I didn’t think I needed to ride the coat tails of the major heavy hitters in hip hop, so I just work with people that I respect – not only that, that can survive me, do stuff that I couldn’t do myself.
DJ Booth: Plies, most MCs, they come into their game in their late teens and twenties, yet you are here releasing your debut album at 27 years old. What are some of the advantages or disadvantages of coming into the game at this point?
Plies: I take it for what it’s worth. Me personally man, I know that God doesn’t make mistakes and he has me where he want me at, and like I’ve said, it’s that point in my life where ten years ago I don’t think I would have been ready to handle the magnitude that it takes to deal with making a hit record. I think my life was planned out the way in which – I love it at this kind of times. For me, man, it’s a true blessing, and I treat it as such.
DJ Booth: At what point over these last ten years when you were getting things together did you realize your purpose was to be a rapper?
Plies: I never actually thought about it. I just try to keep an even keel on the situation. I don’t never try to allow myself to get too high, to get too low. Music is only a small part of my life, man. I feel like I appreciate that everyone embraces the type of music it is that I do, but for the most part, I kind of take it for face value. When I started getting feedback from the streets, and it was a magnitude like I knew, this probably was a situation that was worth fulfilling, and livin’ all the way up.
DJ Booth: Like I said in the opener, you rep Fort Myers, Florida, but that’s not a city in Florida that’s really been represented well within the hip hop circles. Describe what differences, if any, exist between a city like Fort Myers and other Florida hot spots such as Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando…
Plies: For Fort Myers, I feel like the whole Florida situation is a good look right now, man. I think Fort Myers and being the face of Fort Myers has always been good for me – to kind of grow up where I grew up in the conditions and the environment that I grew up in, it’s a real, real good look for me. And so to be selection and face of the city, I feel like we got our own style a little bit, but at the same time the things that go on in the hood area or the ghetto are the same as everywhere around the country.
DJ Booth: It’s well-known that you were supposed to be on the original version of, “I Wanna Love You,” but Akon ended up taking the song; he saw a lot of success. I read in an MTV News interview, that you say things are cool between the two of you. Is the new collaboration, “Hypnotize,” an attempt by Akon to say, “Listen, I’m sorry, Plies, about what happened?”
Plies: One thing about information that I love most about it is that anything is going to be perceived how the person who posts it want it to seem. To say that Akon took a record from me, I let people think about whatever situation that it comes to me, whatever they want to think about it. I don’t try to this and that too much, and I feel like it’s a blessing, man. I feel like me and him had to have a good rapport for him to be featured on my album, so with that being said I feel like he got a hell of a successful career that he’s established, and I take my hat off to him for that. So, I always be that type of person. But information – it’s always funny to me, whether it’s a government name or a quote unquote, “beef issue,” it always be what people want it to be and it always be mis-opinionated in my opinion.
DJ Booth: Well then let’s use this as an opportunity for you to set the record straight. Is there anything that you’ve read or heard, or even that I’ve said thus far that you think is a misinterpretation of what actually took place?
Plies: For me, it ain’t even important about settin’ the record straight. I’m comfortable about who I am as a person, man. I’m confident in everything that’s happened in my short career, so I always like to leave the doors open when it comes to things that appear to be controversial. I let people perceive and take what they want to take from it. I don’t waste a lot of my time trying to correct some of the misconceptions that are out there about me and my situation, and type of person that I am. I let people take away what they want to take away from it, and keep the door open.
DJ Booth: Okay, fair enough. I took a listen to the entire album, and you seem to have a lot of respect for those who are currently behind bars, as is truly evident in the iTunes exclusive track, “Bid Law.” I heard you plan to someday embark on a nationwide prison tour. How realistic is a goal like that?
Plies: Real realistic. I have some great support people around me at Atlantic – they’ll put a situation together. We’re 99% done at this current time, it’s really realistic. I think, if you look at it from outside lookin’ in, it probably would look like a hard task, or it probably wouldn’t look possible, but spiritually I think God blessed me with the opportunity to go into different facilities and talk to people who currently at the worst point in their life right now, so it would be a real real good look and be the highlight of my career so far.
DJ Booth: How do you feel our current justice system works?
Plies: I think in some cases the system definitely works, but for the most part, any time you’re dealing with particular individuals who financially aren’t fit, or financially not stable, to provide they self with the best legal representation that they can – it puts them in a bad situation, and I think a lot of times the system is definitely not fair when it comes to the less fortunate. So I think the system works sometimes, but sometimes it doesn’t work for the less fortunate.
DJ Booth: Let’s talk about the current justice system for a second. I read an article from an Alabama newspaper about a concert promoter who’s mad at you because you were contracted to appear at a concert and you didn’t show up. And he said, “If Plies attempts to perform any show here, I will have him arrested. He must fulfill the terms of this contract.” What does a threat like that mean to you?
Plies: It don’t mean nothing to me, man. Like I said, this world is full of opinions, and one thing I learned a long time ago is everybody entitled to one. I live my life according to my beliefs and my principles, and I never let a promoter, a journalist – I never let anybody affect me as a person, because if I ever allowed that to happen, that’d mean I lost the battle. So for me, it’s certainly okay with me for someone to state how they feel about me. I don’t know a person in the world that everyone’s happy with, so I’m cool with it, man, I take it for a grain of salt.
DJ Booth: I take it then that this man’s comments and attempts will not prevent you from stopping in Alabama next time you’re on tour?
Plies: Alabama’s one of my A markets, man, and I take my hat off to the whole state of Alabama, who embraced my situation. So for me personally, I continue to grind and continue to do what I feel is right, not only in terms of my career but in life in general. People who feed into negativity, I’m a person that’s totally opposite to that – I try to stay positive as I can, and the people that I feel are negative either towards me or negative in general, I continue to pray for them as well.
DJ Booth: Give everybody a reason why they need to go out right now, as soon as this interview’s done, and pick up ten copies of your brand new album, “The Real Testament,” which is in stores. And you cannot tell me, “Because it’s hot.” You need to say something else…
Plies: Once again, it’s funny how people want to dictate you, I think I have reason to say it’s hot – I definitely feel that way. I’m a showin’ truth type artist, I’m a showin’ truth type person, so I feel at some point, if you don’t get it now, you gonna get it at some point down the line because I feel the album speaks for itself. The things which I talk about are second to none, man, and they’re reality situations. If you wanna be a part of history in the making, and you choose to be a part of history in the making, “The Real Testament,” is out there for you.
DJ Booth: Go ahead give everybody a website or Myspace page, so they can find out more about you, Plies.
DJ Booth: Great. I wish you nothing but the best of luck on this brand new album out in stores right now, and much success into the future.
Plies: Thank you. I appreciate your time, man.