Slim Thug Interview
|Label:||Boss Hogg Outlawz/E1 Music|
|Next Project:||Boss of All Bosses|
|Twitter:||Slim Thug on Twitter|
|Website:||Slim Thug's Website|
A few short years ago, Houston, Texas’ thriving underground hip-hop scene exploded into the mainstream, turning quite a few rappers who, to that point, had achieved only regional recognition into celebrities seemingly overnight. One of the subgenre’s most notable success stories is that of Slim Thug, whose first brush with national renown came as a result of his appearance on Mike Jones single Still Tippin’. The major-label debut, Already Platinum, that followed soon after cemented his status as a Houston icon and had fans everywhere waiting with bated breath for his followup.
Though label politics at Geffen prevented Slim from dropping another album for close to four years, his fans continued to anticipate his return. Now, after taking his Boss Hogg Outlawz label to indie E1 Ent., he is preparing for the March 24th release of his second LP. Featuring Jim Jonsin-produced lead single “I Run” and the reader-approved “Show Me Love,” Boss of All Bosses will mark Slim Thug’s triumphant return to the game, and, along with releases from a few fellow Houstonians, help restore his city to its former position of prominence.
In an exclusive interview with our own DJ “Z,” Slim Thug steps into the Booth to discuss what went wrong at his former label home, why you won’t see him taking off his shirt in any music videos, and why outsiders (especially New York natives!) can’t seem to understand Houstonians’ passion for candy-painted cars.
Listen to the Interview
Slim Thug Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is a Houston emcee who, later this month, will prove he is the Boss of All Bosses. Please welcome my main man, Slim Thug – how you doin’?
Slim Thug: I’m good, man, I’m good—just on the road, tryin’ to promote the album that everybody knows is gonna be in stores March 24th. That’s about it.
DJ Booth: The one thing about going on the road to release an album in the wintertime is you have to deal with the weather. Has that been a problem at all on your promotional tour?
Slim Thug: Nah, it ain’t really been that bad. There’s been a little rain and a little wind out here in Chicago, but we’re all right. We’re not that bad, there wasn’t a lot of snow or nothing like that.
DJ Booth: So, being from Houston and going through cold weather cities, do you have the right gear? I mean, how many coats do you own?
Slim Thug: [laughs] I own a lot of coats, but I only actually brought one. It’s gotta be, like, 65 today; it’s not that bad.
DJ Booth: Absolutely—you came on a great day. Slim, last we spoke was in March of 2006, and it was after you jumped on board an Energizer Batteries promotional campaign. Do you still have your lifetime supply of batteries?
Slim Thug: I remember that; that was a while back, when I was doin’ the Dub Tour. I had fun doin’ that.
DJ Booth: A lot’s happened in your career, obviously, over the last two years. What do you feel has been a highlight since 2006 for you?
Slim Thug: Oh, man, the highlight of my career… I feel like I’ve got a lot of highlights. I think the most important part of my career was the beginning of it. We broke a lot of ground in my city. I was one of the first artists to rap on the South Side. We brought the city together. I feel like that was the most important part of my career.
DJ Booth: Well, at the time of our previous interview, Slim, you were signed to Geffen, and, as everyone knows, you’re no longer with that label. Had you not made the move to E1 along with your label, Boss Hogg Outlawz do you think the public would still be waiting and waiting and waiting for a new album from you?
Slim Thug: I don’t know. I wouldn’t expect them to, but, at the end of the day, it had been four years and they were still waitin’, they were still asking me about it. Everywhere I was going, people were asking me, “When’s the album comin’ out? We’re waiting, we’re waiting!” I do have a lot of fans that’s down with me, though, I will say that.
DJ Booth: Was it just the fact that your patience had run out, or was it just “Enough is enough—I have to go in a direction where my music will be heard?”
Slim Thug: When I signed to the label, I had an A&R, I had [a relationship] with the President, a relationship with the marketing team, everybody, and then they fired their whole staff. Then the new staff came in, and we never got on the same page. It was all downhill from there. I did a lot of records, recorded a lot of records, I had a few meetings and was ready to go, and they kept delayin’ and delayin’. They’d put a song out there and not work it. Nobody ever got on the same page, so I was like, “Look, I’d rather just go away and do my own music. I don’t wanna do it, ‘cause y’all are holding me up.” I had to give them some money, I had to give them some money off this album, too. I had to go through a lot to get out of the deal, but I’m happy I did do it.
DJ Booth: Knowing what you went through after the first album, would you ever go back to a major label to release an album?
Slim Thug: I doubt it; I really ain’t interested in it. If it was a situation where I believed in it, I’d probably do it but… it ain’t that I hate major labels, it’s just that that wasn’t the right situation for me. So, if another situation came across and I felt like it was right, I probably would do it.
DJ Booth: Hey man, you went Platinum without the help of a major label, so you could definitely do it again.
Slim Thug: Yeah, I definitely can. At the end of the day, I don’t think I need a major label; I think I work better in an independent atmosphere. [E1] has been doin’ a good job, so I don’t see me leavin’ there. I’m just doin’ me.
DJ Booth: The reason we have you on the phone is clear: the new album drops March 24th. Slim, describe how this new body of work will both help keep your loyal followers by your side—the people who have been riding with you since day one—and entice new listeners to jump on board that Slim Thug bandwagon.
Slim Thug: I’m gonna be Slim Thug on any beat I ever get. The style is gonna be the same, pretty much. But at the end of the day on this album, I kinda went back to my roots, as far as the production and the other artists I worked with. I really just made [H-Town anthems]. I want to bring the city back. I really tried to cover all our bases, though. I worked with almost everybody in the city. I’ve got one song called, “Welcome to H-Town.” I’ve got everybody in the city: new artists, old artists, all kinds of people. I got to work with legends like Scarface and UGK. So it’s good, man.
DJ Booth: Considering all the success that your city saw in the middle of this current decade, do you feel like it’s declined at all, or it’s just in a lull and on an upswing?
Slim Thug: It was like, we definitely went up to a higher level, and we’re not on that level right now. I’m not gonna lie and say we are. I think, after we drop this year, after my album comes out, and Mike Jones and Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, I think it’ll definitely bring the Houston movement back.
DJ Booth: What do you think contributed to the lull over the last two or three years? Why wasn’t Houston able to stay at that same plateau it saw in ‘05 and ‘06?
Slim Thug: I blame a lot of that on the major labels. They began to get greedy, and they stopped lettin’ us work together—like, I couldn’t get on the Mike Jones album, they wouldn’t clear it, I couldn’t get on the Paul Wall album, they wouldn’t clear it. It was, some kind of inside beef that they have, and that ain’t cool. We all came into the game workin’ together—why would you want to stop that? As long as the movement is there, everybody should able to eat, know what I’m sayin’?
DJ Booth: So, basically, they didn’t want to make any money off of you all collaborating. That makes no sense at all.
Slim Thug: Like, say I do a song with Paul Wall or Chamillionaire, and they had a hit song—they’re just like, “No, we want it on this album!”
DJ Booth: They didn’t wanna share.
Slim Thug: Yeah, they didn’t wanna share. [laughs]
DJ Booth: Well, sharing is caring, and it’s their loss and your gain, ‘cause now you are on an independent level and doing big things. The lead single off the new album, “I Run” produced by Jim Jonsin, it’s garnered an overwhelmingly positive response at DJBooth.net. So I want to roll off the title of the song, Slim—divulge one thing that you’ve always been running after, and one thing that you’ve always been running from.
Slim Thug: Oh, man… I’ve always been runnin’ after success and money, and I always run from haters and leeches.
DJ Booth: Now, I’m gonna get creative here, I want you to be open to this idea: with the name Slim Thug, I’ve long thought you should consider branding and marketing a line of exercise videos, and finally you released “I Run,” and I thought, “That is the perfect song to kick off this promotional series.” What do you think?
Slim Thug: [laughs] I think that that’d be going too far, man, ‘cause I’m definitely not slim no more! That’s just a name right now; it don’t describe me!
DJ Booth: You could put yourself through the videos also, and you could lose the weight with everybody. I think that would be a great idea!
Slim Thug: I mean, it might be a great idea, but I don’t even think I’m up to it—I hate working out!
DJ Booth: Well, if you have some off-time after the album’s out. It’s just an idea, just wanted to run it by you.
Slim Thug: All right, I appreciate it.
DJ Booth: No problem. Now, I don’t want to start any beef here, ‘cause lord knows this other man doesn’t need any, but Rick Ross has long claimed that he’s the biggest boss that we’ve seen thus far. So, how do you feel, ‘cause you’re the Boss of All Bosses?
Slim Thug: [laughs] At the end of the, I’m not actually saying that I’m the Boss of All Bosses. We’re cool, there ain’t no beef. I respect him—he’s a boss in the game, he raps good, I like his music, so there ain’t no beef there. There are bosses everywhere, even at McDonalds.
DJ Booth: You’re willing to share the “Boss” title, Slim?
Slim Thug: Yeah, yeah, I’m not hatin’. I’m not that deep into it where I have to be beefing over a name.
DJ Booth: Okay, let’s get into some reader questions. We took several over over the last two weeks. The first comes from Teleport; he’s from Las Vegas, Nevada, and he wants to know, “How much can you bench press these days?”
Slim Thug: Oh man, I don’t know. Last time I did, it was 325.
DJ Booth: Good lord!
Slim Thug: I was good, but that was when I was in the gym. Right now, I don’t believe it. I don’t think I’m there—I know I’m not there. I ran for my personal trainer, he was proud of me and everything. I just stopped one day, I think it was December, I just quit. I just stopped workin’ out. I was doin’ good for a minute, but in January or December I just gave up on it.
DJ Booth: Would it be safe to say that we won’t see you shirtless in any of your new videos?
Slim Thug: [laughs] Nah, I don’t think I’m goin’ for that look. I’m gonna just keep it thuggin’. There’s no tellin’, though. I ain’t just all the way, out-of-line out of shape or nothing like that, but I’m not gonna be on there tryin’ to be LL Cool J.
DJ Booth: Next question comes from Reese of Leeds, England, and he wrote, “Rumors have circulated around the net that you’ve logged studio hours with Dre. Is there any truth to this allegation?”
Slim Thug: No, I actually never got in the studio [with him]. He had been to one or two of my sessions before, when I was workin’ on Already Platinum, but as far as working with Dre in the studio, I never have. I got a Dre beat, but I got it from my old A&R—I kinda jacked it out of his computer.
DJ Booth: [laughs] Okay, so technically you did collaborate, just not in person, in the same room.
Slim Thug: Yeah, that’s it.
DJ Booth: Last question comes from SBHS of Eureka, California, and he wrote, “Will we ever live to see the day where Houston rappers are no longer criticized for what they talk about in their material?”
Slim Thug: I don’t think so, ‘cause we’re gonna keep doin’ it, and they’re gonna keep hatin’ on it. It’s just our culture. A lot of people from New York, especially, don’t understand why we talk about candy cars and all that stuff, ‘cause they probably don’t even drive! If you ain’t got no car in Houston, you ain’t got nothing. It’s a way of life—you’ve gotta have it.
DJ Booth: I’ve long wanted to ask you this question. Obviously top-down is the way to roll, but it gets so humid in Houston. How do you live without the air conditioning on long drives?
Slim Thug: I don’t! [laughs] If you ain’t got no AC, you ain’t got nothing—you’ve gotta have it. It’s mandatory in Houston, due to the hot weather. If you don’t have no AC and you try to move around in Houston, you’re outta there, man.
DJ Booth: Slim, let’s say someone listens to our interview the day before your album drops, and that’s the last time they have to really decide whether or not they want to invest their hard-earned money in your new product—give them a reason why they should.
Slim Thug: It’s definitely a record worth listening to, man. I’ve been gone for a minute, so I’ve had time to work on some quality music. It’s just the whole visual of Houston, man; it’ll be beautiful to see that. And at the same time, I’m on the record doin’ a lot of songs myself, and I really took my time with this and picked the best 15, so I think they’ll enjoy it.
DJ Booth: I certainly hope so, my man. Give everybody a website or a MySpace page, something so they can find out more about yourself.
DJ Booth: Beautiful. Slim Thug, thank you so much for joinin’ me inside the DJ Booth. It was my pleasure to have you, my friend.
Slim Thug: I appreciate you having me.