Interview: Shy Glizzy Gets Serious About His Music And Leaving His Mark In Hip-Hop

If you know anything about Shy Glizzy then you know that he’s a deeply rooted street cat. While most teenagers were swapping basketball cards, stubbornly trying to lose their virginity or playing video games, a then 16-year old Glizzy was becoming a man-child behind the G-Wall while serving a 14-month robbery bid in prison. But behind the cold and gloomy misfortunes of a lonely jail cell sat Glizzy’s way out a life of crime — hip-hop. Turning his grisly street tales into a book, and later raps, the Glizzy Gang shot calla’ found his niche with gangsta’ rap. But as the D.C. rapper found out, spitting that thug language can be a gift and a curse.

On one hand, street authenticity is just as important as moving units, and filling tour dates. On the other hand, if a rapper gets caught the middle of some street sh*t, it could be detrimental to his career from a business POV. And in all honestly, it makes rappers look really stupid. After all, the goal is to garner enough money to chunk the deuces at street life. Now that’s easier said than done. With the money, fame and a constant flow of hardcore lyrics, there’s always some street cat wanting to know whether or not an emcee is as thorough as his raps claim.

As you may well know, recently Glizzy was tested after a performance at a Memphis club. His set was over and some locals approached him about doing a verse. No stranger to beef (Fat Trel and Chief Keef), Glizzy sensed-by the way he was approached– that some mess was about to pop off, which it did, which was followed by a scuffle. And in the midst of the melee, Glizzy lost his chain, and of course the Glizzy Gang piece popped up on the ‘Net in an attempt to discredit Shy’s street cred.

Well, recently Glizzy was in the neighborhood visiting Lyor Cohen’s 300 Ent office, which is just around the block from VIBE’s HQ. So the D.C. native, accompanied by his Glizzy Gang bros, came through to politic with with us. During our interview, the D.C. native discussed the incident in Memphis, Young Jefe 2, his foundation and what he wants his legacy to be in hip-hop.

VIBE: You have a good history with Memphis, so explain what went down?
Shy Glizzy: I got a history with people in Memphis. So I was out there doing that show with the knowledge that I was going to be taken care of. That was the last place that I thought something like that would pop off. I’m always moving correct, I never slip up like that.

You’ve addressed the situation on “Cut It.” But in your words, tell us what happened.
They came up to me and said that they wanted a verse, I told them to holler at my man. The dude said that he wanted a feature for free. He said, “I’m talking like for free, nigga,” with bass in his voice. I told him: ‘Nigga, you better get the fuck out my face, who the fuck you talking to?’ I’m going to stand-up for myself no matter what it is — one hundred niggas, one nigga. Then I pushed him, we was going back and forth, security grabbed me, tackled me on the floor, then I realized that my shit was gone and I’m like: ‘What, them niggas got my shit’. The whole time the nigga I got into it with never got the shit. It was a nigga right there in the mix that got the shit. Then they took that shit to the Internet.

Once stuff hits the ‘Net people tend to forget that the most certified street cats take Ls sometimes. That doesn’t mean that you’re weak.
I’m not even worried about the Internet, that ain’t even my thing. I’m not even an Internet guy. You rarely even see me into that.

You have a tight relationship with Gotti and Blac Youngsta. Have you talked with them about this? 
It wasn’t really his [Gotti’s] issue, so it wasn’t anything he could say. Even Blac, what could we talk about? I mean, we talked about the shit but ain’t really nothing to say about that. Ain’t no going back and forth about no situation like that. It’s either the chain comes back or it is what it is. And as far as my street cred, my street cred is there. My fans know that he didn’t just walk up and take no chain off my neck. I didn’t take my chain off my neck and be like: ‘Here you go.’ I didn’t tell him that I’d give him a feature. I told him it is what it is. The chain came back to me off respect. I didn’t pay $10,000. As long as I ain’t pay $10,000.

You seem to be in a good place mentally behind all of this? 
I’m good. I ain’t go on media and spazz. That’s what crash dummies do. That ain’t what I do. They know what I’m ‘bout. Tell them to come to my city. I’ve taken care of some of your favorite rappers. Everybody takes an L, it’s about how you get back up, and what you going to do from that point on.

It sounds like you’re moving without bodyguards, I hope not?
I got bodyguards but not them type of bodyguards. But we’re getting a little more professional, especially after the last incident. We heavy. I got armed guards. That particular situation I had an armed guard but something happened to his kidneys and he was in the hospital in Memphis, so I was using one of their guys, and that’s where I slipped. It wasn’t an error on my end. I know not to do no shit like that again. Even if security slips, something got to be worked out. I can’t ever use no one else’s security again.

Now that you’re getting rap money, visiting different cities, places, people and things, you’re gaining new experiences. With that being said, will you include these new experiences in your music? 
Yes, I’ve learned a lot just being able to see things clearer.

But with these new experiences will fans get new content? 
The more shit that I go through, that’s just more material for me. I’ve been locking myself in the studio for the past year or two. I just been recording because the next body of work that I drop I just want them to get a feeling of me. I’ve been going hard trying to take it to the next level. I don’t want to be stuck in the same spot, just dropping mixtapes for no reason.

You’re calm and seem more mature in person.
In my hood, I was always with the older guys. Even in this game, I just mess with the older guys like Boosie, Gotti, Jeezy, but I like everybody’s music.

Rappers go to jail often, man. The goal is the get legit money in order to get out of the streets, yet so many people try to stay so connected to that life that they stay in trouble.
But I come from making money in the streets. The streets all I know. All my family is still in the streets. So, it’s going to be hard to pull me right back into that. When I ain’t doing no shows four days out of the week, I may be in my hood or at my grandma’s house in the hood. But yes, I got a kid. I got to get more serious about the music so he don’t get dragged into that life.

Is this what Young Jefe 2 is about? 
Umm, I’m not going to really talk about it. Just going to roll it out, maybe next month. Me and DJ Mustard got something in the works.

What y’all got?
(Laughter) You gon’ see it this year.

Damn homie, you not going to give us nothing?
[Laughter] I’m like 80 percent done. It’s this one producer that I’m waiting on. He low, I don’t really want to blow his spot up until I work with him. I’ve been wanting to work with him. He ain’t work with nobody on the large scale yet.

What does Glizzy stand on?
I’m just a loyal person. I’m loyal to myself