With the release of his upcoming album Savage Life 4Ever set to drop September 1, Louisiana rapper Webbie is doing all of the customary state-to-state promotion that most artists would gladly trade in for a recording booth or the stage. Yet the 27-year-old, who has found himself on the airwaves again with his latest single “This Is What I Do,” says he has no complaints.
“I’ve been living, man,” a jovial Webbie told VIBE during a press run on the east coast. “I’m in New York just living up.”
By now Webbie has become a master of shaking hands and kissing babies. A veteran in the game since he joined up with Lil' Boosie on the well-received 2003 collaboration album Ghetto Stories and enjoyed a crossover hit with the 2007 club anthem “Independent,” the rapper claims fans will hear artistic growth on his fourth installment of his Savage Life series. But more importantly, Webbie—who is signed to Trill Entertainment, an imprint that was founded by late UGK member Pimp C—points to a newfound maturity in his private life following a series of legal scrapes and arrests that included a late 2012 charge of battery and robbery.
“They can expect me—just me,” he says of Savage Life 4Ever. “The album is going to be big. It’s just me…no guest artists…just Webbie. I can make words rhyme forever, but I’m trying to master the other part of staying out of jail and all that.” As for the Savage Life title, the rapper points to his volatile past as an inspiration. “When I was young I had my share of savage life,” he says. “That was a name my uncle came up with…We are going to name this album the Savage Life. It was like I was representing Tupac…thug life…that savage life.”
But even during the drum up to his new release, the trial of slain teen Trayvon Martin was still heavy on Webbie’s mind. Just like most observers the rapper was shocked by George Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict.
“I was in Chicago when I heard the verdict,” Webbie recalls. “I was like, ‘Huh?’ I don’t think Zimmerman got what he deserves. But if I was in Zimmerman’s shoes I would not want to go to jail because nobody wants to go to jail. But we know the murder was done and they just said go home. Meanwhile, there are people in jail that didn’t even do anything. My brother been in jail a few years now and he ain’t even do nothing. That’s the kind of stuff that I think about when I think about Trayvon. God bless him and his family.”—Keith Murphy (@murphdogg29)