Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Classic Interview - T-Lowe


Interview by Doxx...

This interview originally appeared in Issue 2 of Strivin' magazine.

So how's your new album doin'?
It's doin' pretty cool. It's been out like a month. Got my boy Rappin' 4-Tay on there, Black C from RBL, Hitman, Tayda Tay. It's kinda fat.

You got Herm on there too?

His debut rappin' appearance. He ain't never rapped in his life.

What would you say the difference is between the first album, Keep It Real, and the new one, Mack-A-Flama?
My matureness. My last album I was like eighteen and didn't really know what I was doin'. This one I got to do more of my own thang, create beats and do a lot of my format. It's really a continuation of Keep It Real. Keep It Real was just one book. This is book two.

Talk about some of the songs on there.
I got this bomb joint called "Don't Smoke Up All My Weed." That's the first single off the album. I got another one with 4-Tay, it's called "Real Playas" and 4-Tay droppin' that ol' shit as usual. Then I got one with Black C of RBL and he ain't rapped since our boy Mr. Cee died. I had to bring him up outta retirement. Me, Black Chris and Tayda Tay got one called "Kick It Wit Us." Then I got a track that was inspired by Mr. Cee. Me and him was probably gonna do that on the new RBL album if he wouldn't have got deceased. "Momma Used To Say," that's the track I dedicate to Mr. Cee 'cause he insprired that song in me.

How did him getting killed affect you?
It hurts. I grew up with him. I got a baby by his sister. He was practically like my brother-in-law. I been around him since he was ten, eleven all the way 'til he turned twenty-one. I'ma always have love for him. That's who I dedicated my album to, him and Herm's brother, Rodney Lewis.

How would you describe your style because your voice really sets you apart from other people?
The ill flow. That's our motto. See a lot of people fail to realize that I'm from RBL. It was just that I kept gettin' incarcerated. The first (RBL) album-incarcerated. The second album-incarcerated. People never even got to witness me. That's why on the new (RBL) Posse album I'll be settin' it off. I'm on like six tracks on the new RBL. The new one is called An Eye For An Eye. Like Black C say, "We just some niggas with the ill flow." I can't even explain it. Some people be like, "You got some old Busta Rhymes, Redman type of sound. Where you get it from?" Just about anybody can rap. They might not be good at it, but just about anybody can rap. When you take rap and make it into an art, then you're a rap artist. That's what I am. I don't wanna be sounding like this brotha over here or Mr. Cee or my boy Hitman. I wanna be distinguished like Eddie Murphy. I studied this. It ain't like one day I just woke up and I started rappin'. It took me years to perfect this art of rappin' with my voice 'cause I kinda got a scratchy voice. I know how to work it by doin' my doubles and people talk to me on the streets and they like, "Damn, you sound way different on wax!" That's the artist part.

What do you think it takes to be successful in the Bay Area rap industry and make a name for yourself?
Hard work and like Too $hort say, "Don't stop rappin'." I feel like this, and 4-Tay told me this, the more you (are) heard... Like you keep doin' things like workin' on your own albums or compilations or networking with other artists such as 4-Tay or Black C or Richie Rich, the main thing is you wanna be heard. As long as people like what you sayin', you gonna be felt. Some people luck up and it happen overnight. I prefer to work for it. I can picture me workin' six years and havin' my meal ticket. It's major labels jockin' the hell out of me, but I'm not ready to make them decisions like that. They make you look successful, but that shit be a hype. Y'all could blow me up, but I don't want no label tryin' to make me look more than what I am 'cause then people see me in the videos flossin' and they like, "Damn, I seen Lowe drivin' a Toyota. I thought he had this." I just prefer to work. I prefer to put in my years. I'm a young man. I'm ready to just work hard, be like twenty-four, twenty-five and have paper. You'll feel much better workin' hard for it than somebody handin' it to you. Like how you started your magazine independently. I'm pretty sure with your ideas you could have went to a few investors easy. You work hard and your reward's gonna be grand. That's the definition of success-workin' hard and puttin' it down.

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