Maybach Music Week: Pill Opens About Signing With Ross, New Beginnings And Not Beefing With Other Crews

Atlanta-based rapper Pill first had a spark with his ’09 mixtape 4180: The Prescription, catching listeners with his rambunctious cut “Trap Goin’ Ham.” Following the release with two additional mixtapes (4075: The Refill and 1140: The Overdose), the Southern MC was able to secure his status as one of the most promising talents to rise from ATL’s underbelly, within the last few years. While Pill’s impact was slowly felt on the underground realm, it never fully materialized into a package that could tackle the mainstream audience. But the stalemate has come to an end with his newfound affiliation with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group.

When Rozay decided to create his own imprint, he accumulated a list of the hip-hop industry’s self-developed rap names, including Wale and Meek Mill. Though, he’s been living on the road in support of his clique’s debut album, Self Made Vol. 1, his forthcoming solo mixtape The Diagnosis, along with his debut The Medicine, and an EP titled The Epidemic aren’t far away. Days before the group’s LP dropped, Pill caught up with VIBE and opened up about his newborn career under Ross’ tutelage, acting in an indie film and his views on getting along with other crews. Jaeki Cho

VIBE: You guys just released Self Made Vol. 1, but I know you have solo projects coming very soon. What correlates them all? Is there a theme?

Pill: Yeah, when I first took rap seriously I said I was the medicine. One of the reasons for my name Pill is that I’m the cure for rap cancer. Therefore, it’s The Medicine for my debut LP. That’s why you got The Prescription, that’s why you got The Refill, you got The Overdose, but The Medicine to cure it all, you feel me?

I want to go into your newfound relationship with Maybach Music Group. Can you elaborate on how you first linked up with them? How did you first meet Ross?

I first met Ross last year when he was down here in Atlanta doing a video for the remix of “Super High” with Curren$y and Wiz. A friend of mine, Tuki, owns a tattoo shop on Peter Street in Atlanta. I’ve known Ross, but that was the first time I met up with him. We chopped it up, and exchanged info, and we did what that song was about—got super high [Laughs.] It was Ross himself offered the opportunity. So I thought, “Yo, what better opportunity is there?” I needed that mainstream push. I was at the underground level, and I had a little taste of mainstream, but I was never on the platform that [Ross] is on. And with him snatching up, me, Meek, and Wale, and actually putting us out there, I applaud that. That was everything that we discussed, and he actually did it. Like other labels will get guys who are talented, and have the capability to be mainstream, but don’t really have that push. Or the label executives don’t really get it, or don’t really understand what they have on their hands, because a lot of us are looking for a quick buck. When you got somebody like Ross, he actually understands this because he actually been through it, and he’s been in the game for 10-plus years. And he’s fully capable of establishing other artists because he established himself in a higher plateau than we are. So by combining all forces, it’s even better.

I’ve heard you say before you never wanted to be in anyone’s shadow, how do you feel about that now?

With this particular situation, it’s everybody doing them. Nobody’s switching up anything. Ross is basically just giving us the opportunity to shine. Using his outlets to make a way for us, which is basically some brotherly-love-type shit. I’ve already established myself, I’ve already garnered a fan base, and showed people what I was capable of doing solo. I didn’t come out the gate with a co-sign. That’s why the title of the album is called Self Made Vol. 1.

But Ross is still the key figure in this label. Do you think signing with Ross’ imprint might shadow your presence in the limelight?

Nah, I don’t think that at all because I know how to rap. [Laughs.] So that kills everything. You see someone like J.Cole he raps his ass off. People might think of Jay-Z, but [J.Cole] can rap. Drake’s with Wayne, but Drake makes smash hits because he knows how to rap. So I don’t think people who are talented actually have those problems.

Growing up, what rap label did you want to get signed to?

The one I liked the most was Rocafella when I was coming up, because I was a fan of Jay-Z. But ultimately my favorite movement was OutKast and the Dungeon Family. And people don’t know I started out with Killer Mike and OutKast at the age of 17. And now I’m about to do an album with Big Boi and Killer Mike. And Andre’s still good friends. Coming up, that’s who you looked up to, and that’s not because I’m from the South, but that’s just who everybody looked up to. Nobody was making records like OutKast.

Is your new affiliation with MMG your first chance to prove yourself to the mainstream?

I look at it as another blessing. And put every side I ever lived in on the map, and speak for people who can’t speak, and be a voice for those who aren’t heard. And be somewhat of a role model to some kids as well. So I just see this as another opportunity, and another blessing, and I look at it as kind of a second go round, but then again, like a new beginning.


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Lil Uzi Vert Returns With "That's A Rack" Music Video: Watch

Lil Uzi Vert is back! The rapper just dropped the music video for "That's a Rack" on Wednesday (April 24).

Nudity must be the theme of this video. The visuals open with Uzi weaving through rows of naked violinists and cellists. As it progresses, the camera shifts to naked women bathing and posing in blue paint.

"That's a Rack" arrives shortly after Uzi decided to come out of retirement. It follows "Sanguine Paradise" and "Free Uzi." "Free Uzi" was reportedly removed from streaming services, however, due to "licensing issues and copyright concerns."

Lil Uzi Vert is prepping for his next album, Eternal Atake. It's unclear when the album is slated to drop as Uzi has previously cited scheduling and production issues.

Watch the video for "That's A Rack" above.


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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella

Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas Southern University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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Sunshine Sachs

The O'Jays Provide Political And Spiritual Grooves On 'The Last Word'

Love is the mission and message on The O'Jays final album, The Last Word. The legendary group comprised of  Eddie Levert Sr., Walter Williams Sr. and Eric Nolan Grant feels fresh and nostalgic at the same time as they take on the thrills of innocent love from yesteryear and the sociopolitical metal clouds of today.

The group previously released the lead single "Above The Law," a righteous track that highlights the state of the nation to a tee. The rest of The Last Word is noticeably lighter with songs like "Do You Really Know How I Feel" and "Enjoy Yourself" bringing out the flower power child in all of us. The latter of the tracks bridges today's funk and soul rhymes as it was co-written by Bruno Mars and Patrick Monahan of Train.

“I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)," a reworked version from the 1967 album Back On Top closes out the album gently, embodying their full circle journey.

But the party isn't over for The O'Jays. On Tuesday (April 23), the group will perform their new single "Stand Up (Show Love)" on the TODAY show in New York.

Stream The Last Word below.

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