Young Scooter Talks New Album, Shooting A Movie, And Weird Rappers
During the early stages of hip-hop, many artists delivered gripping, socio-political songs about the horrors of drug use. For instance, Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, Public Enemy and MC Shan depicted the downside of the dope game with songs like “White Lines,” “Night of the Living Baseheads” and “Jane Stop This Crazy Thing,” respectively. Then, the game flipped when gangsta rappers like Ice T and N.W.A came through with vivid and violent dope boy stories. Following that, groups Geto Boyz., Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep and more gave us real life tales of trappers desperately trying to escape the dope game for the rap game. Not long after Southern Dopeboys Young Jeezy came through with his trap or die mentally that flamed the streets and motivated go-getters to ante up on their hustle. But now it's time for the next generation of ATL's trap scene to really take over the game.
Atlanta's Young Scooter has created his own lane with his southern-trap-a-listic-jug-music. Over thumping backdrops, Scooter spreads the dope dealer's word to trap spots across the world. "A lot of people putting out music for something else. I’m putting out music speaking on the struggle and what’s going on today. I’m not even really worried about nothing else," Scooter tells VIBE.
He continues, "If you want to make money, listen to me. If you don't want to make money, don't listen to me."
Scooter's laser sharp focus on Dead Presidents comes from the agony and torture of being broke. "Being broke, that’s the worst struggle that you gon’ go through," Scooter says. After a few stints in jail, Scooter was a witness to his childhood friend, Future, becoming a star. With the same goal in mind, Scooter found his flow with the release of Street Lottery and established himself as one of Atlanta's hottest rising street rappers. Since then, his die-hard hustle has garnered him a loyal fan base and co-signs by hip-hop heavyweights such as Bun B, Cam'ron, Future, Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Jeezy and more. With his debut album, Count Music, set to drop in March and a movie in the works, Scooter is ready to take Juuging to new heights.
VIBE caught up with the 30-year-old MC to discuss his forthcoming album, rappers getting old, why he doesn't open up for other rappers and much more.
VIBE: What sparked the idea about your movie?
Scooter: I’ve been wanting to do it. Being in jail, you ain’t got time to do nothing but think. ‘Cause the walls ain’t gon’ move.
What's the movie about?
We ain’t finished with it yet. It’s really just based on the streets. Just mainly hustling. If you listen to "Columbia," my whole music is around the streets. Hector (Hector is the title of Scooter's movie), the name by itself means something. To me it’s gon’ be one of the craziest dope boy movies to ever come out.
Are you working with screenwriters?
I wrote the whole script myself.
How long did it take?
No time. Like I told you, you got 24-hours and in Georgia you ain’t leaving that jail. You gon’ be right in there. It wouldn’t take you a month to write two movies.
Do you have a release date?
I want to release it close to the summer. Or around March or April.
Are there any actors in the movie that we'd know?
I got Future and Waka in there. But no actors that you’d know.
You haven't been rapping that long, since 2008?.
Yeah, I started rapping in like '08. I got into rap by being with Future. Future was rapping when we was in high school. He worked to get to where he at and that motivated me. He a street nigga’ himself. We ran in the same neighborhood everyday. For him to go all the way up made me say, ‘Damn, I might need to do the same thing.’
You make it sound easy.
Nah, it can go both ways. They gon’ either like your music or they ain’t. It’s gon’ take a long time for people to really like your music. Folks think it’s easy, but it ain’t really that easy.
Talk about some of those obstacles.
You know how people just add people on the tour and they say, ‘Ok, you gon’ open up for him.' You gon’ go out here open up and these folks don’t know your songs. So they just really standing there looking at you. I never did that. I don’t do that. I ain’t doing it.
If you gon’ bring me out then we’ll do it. If you bring a person out into your show, introduce him to the fans, then it’s different. But, as far as you going out there you gon’ be doing that forever.
You've created your own lane.
I don’t know a rapper out now that rap about money. Well, folks rap about it but mine different.
A lot of rappers just think about it. I’ve been in the studio with a lot of people, not calling names, but I be like, ‘Damn, bruh, it took you twelve hours to write that verse, is you crazy?’ It be like that. A lot of rappers sit in the studio for weeks and don’t come up with a verse. And they change their verse five times. That let you know right there that it's too much fiction. You thinking about it too much. That’s why I don’t write. If I think about it it ain’t gon’ come out right.
You don't write. Is that how you bang out so much material?
I can do five to ten songs a day. At the end of the day I love the studio ‘cause that’s how I make money.
You're very independent.
It came from the streets. I got the right attitude. I guess it’s just a blessing. I know a lot. I see through stuff.
You got to watch these rappers. A lot of older rappers right now, they want to be in the streets so much right now that it’s crazy. They’ve been rappers so long that they feed off what’s coming to them. They don’t know what to say next. They've said everything they can say. If you’ve been rapping for ten, twelve, fifth-teen years you’ve said everything that you can say. You got to pass the torch.
Do you think you’ll ever get to that point?
Nah, I wouldn’t even reach my hand out to do that. When somebody got the upper hand on you, they’ll play with you like that. Like, ‘Oh, yeah he need me.’ But really he waiting on the next song. If I made a hit right now and it was on the radio playing everywhere, they gon’ go jump on it anyway. And, tomorrow everybody gon’ be calling my phone. At the end of the day, every rapper want to be a street nigga. And every street nigga want to be a rapper. That ain’t the situation I’m in but I’m both ways. My music 100 and lot of people rap just to rap and it's sound good. But that’s what this is. This is the entertainment business. So, you gon get a lot weird ol’ rappers.
So, lets get into this album.
I’m dropping Juug Season, but I don’t know if we doing a mixtape or EP. But, my album Count Music is dropping sometime in March.
Who you working with on the album?
Right now, I got Future, E-40, Kid Ink and Waka on the album. On my EP, dropping this month, I got Boosie and Future. That’s it. I got a song with Wyclef too. But we ain't gon' put it out.
It ain’t the right time.
Respect. How did you two link?
I seen him at Kay Slay's, and he said that he wanted to work with me. We went to the studio and worked.
You have a lot of songs, what's your favorite song and why?
"Made Threw The Struggle." Soon as I do that song at the shows they go crazy. You know how many people who have struggled? Everybody struggled.
What's the most strenuous struggle that you've encountered?
Locked up with no money, lights off, no money period. I’ve struggled as much as you can.
No doubt. Do your kids know that you're Young Scooter?
He know. He know every word to my songs. It get stressful sometimes. My son is 8-years-old, and I really be there with him. And, it be throwing a twist with me and his mother. My son really want me to be there. This is his first year playing basketball. His momma be on me about that. I got a little girl and she's two.
When was the last time you spoke to Gucci Mane?
It been like a month. But he always good. You know when you went through it before… like I said, them walls ain’t gon’ move. So once you get that time you just got to know how to maintain through the system.
What did he tell you?
He was just telling me to go hard.
Plans for 2015?
I’m doing the Young Scooter foundation. We start it Jan 1. I’m picking like fifteen kids and help them with career. We gon’ pay for all their expenses. I got two kids from Memphis, Some from South Carolina, some from Georgia. We doing this every year. Until I die we gon’ do this.