Nach seinem 1997 gedroppten Debüt über Unlimited Records wurde es für lange Zeit ziemlich still um Big Love – bis der Houstoner kürzlich wieder auf der Bildfläche auftauchte. Don$P hat sich nach alten und neuen Projekten erkundigt…
I’m proud to present a real down south legend! What’s up Big Love – glad to have this interview with you. How are you doing?
I’m blessed homey. Focused and concentrating on the music. A pleasure to correspond with you as well.
Let’s talk about the past a little bit. Can you tell us something about your youth, how was growing up?
I was born in the roughest project building in Houston. They were called Northtown apartments in the Studewood neighborhood. Late 70’s early 80’s is when the crack cocaine epidemic was in full blast. They were infamously known for being the first raided by the Houston Police Departments City Under Seige news crew. One of my half brothers got arrested on the first episode. My mom usually worked two jobs to support my older brother, younger sister and I. Dad was in the streets hustling in and out of jail for selling drugs and gun possession.
What about your musical roots?
Music was always my outlet. I was writing entire rap songs in the 4th grade. I was inspired by the likes of Soul Sonic Force, LL Cool J, Rakim, Stetsasonic, NWA, BDP, Biz Markie, Steady B, Big Daddy Kane and a host of others. Music is in my genes, one grandfather owned a nightclub for years in Topeka, Kansas the other was in a music group here in Texas.
In 1997 you dropped your debut album “Representin’ Real”. Tell me about this time, how did it go down?
In 1996 I was two years removed from graduating high school. My parents had recently divorced. I chose to move with my mom. I had a neighbor named Dougie Doug I met while putting the trash out one day. He would notice me moving small amounts of drugs around the apartments. He asked if I would like to make some real money. I began taking rides with him to Louisiana and spitting verses in the car during the ride. He was so impressed he vowed to introduce me to people in Houston who could do something with my talent. I believe it was Walter D from 97.9 The Box he introduced me to first, but Walter was busy trying to promote Street Military. I met with a few local hustlers with the money but not the knowledge to attack the industry. At this time my Uncle Cush out 5th Ward is hearing the buzz around town about me and the rap. He steps in and has his homey Woo come scoop me up in a limo and take me to Rap-A-Lot to meet J. Prince. I ended up shooting basketball with Scarface and some other artist but the meeting with J. Prince never occurred. In a last attempt Dougie Doug tells me about a guy named Boxx who pumped a lot of money into a group to only have one of the artist incarcerated before completion. So I meet with Boxx, let him hear a few records Dougie and I had got recorded out our own pockets. We exchange information, he lets me know he’s flying out to How Can I Be Down in Miami and when he gets back it’s on! When he returns he blowing the horn in front of my house. Before you know it I’m having an album release party with celebrity guest like R. Kelly, Aaron Hall, Flavor Flav, Larenz Tate etc.
How did you come up with the idea for the cover of “Representin’ Real?
Boxx and I were riding having a conversation. He was telling me how everyone says or think they’re real. I’m like yeah they all say that but we represent it. We owned Harleys and foreign cars way back then. I’m like that’s it! Representin’ Real. We take his boat out and get Black Kat graphics to come out and shoot a live pic of us out in the water.
Your first album is now very rare and expensive. How many copies have been pressed up back in the days?
Yeah, “Representin’ Real” has been considered a Houston classic. We initially pressed 100k and independently sold half of them before we even hit the road. The demand is always good to do additional runs but with the advances in technology the album can be purchased on iTunes. I get good looks from Germany and Japan on this album as well.
Your second solo record came out in 2009. Why such a long break?
There were several contributing factors to such a long wait. During the success of “Representin’ Real” and touring the region with D of TGC my label got caught up in a federal investigation called Operation Rap Crack. I signed a 10 year contract in 1996 that didn’t free me until 2006. My brother who became a big supporter was given a life sentence in 2000 shortly after we formed Candy Sto’ Productions. This basically left me at a stand still. I worked the underground market making appearances on both DJ Screw Tapes & Swisha House. In 2006 when the agreement with Boxx & Unlimited Records was up I was ready to release all my frustrations only to lose my sister in an auto accident. I lost all desire to perform after that. I had lost the label I was signed to, my brother, and my sister. In 2009, I did what my brother encouraged me to do from behind prison walls, and my sister told me from heaven, COME BACK! Houston’s Best Officially was to introduce me back to the city I carried on my back before the major labels came giving out deals. All of the recipients of the deals were once fans of mine. H.B.O. was getting the chip off my shoulder left by the industry. It was frustrating to see artists I had nurtured get interviewed and always mention Tupac as their inspiration when they had personally told me I was. So now just as a submarine does I emerge to the surface as impressive as ever.
My favourite track is “Dues Paid Change Owed”…
Simply put, “Dues Paid Change Owed” is one of the most personal tracks I’ve ever recorded. It in essence lets listeners know what was going on in my life personally during the absence. I knew there would be questions and figured I’ll answer on a song accompanied by a video.
Let’s talk about your current and future projects such as “Music Over Bricks” featuring PC Gz.
M.O.B. is me reaching out to the city of Houston saying hey, a few of us have attributed wealth through music and the streets. I don’t want to lose any more friends to incarceration. Let’s focus on music and put Houston where we really belong in hip-hop. PC Gz are the same Pimp Click I been representing since 1996 on Representin’ Real with the addition of a few more. I truly consider anyone choosing music over drugs a PC G! The core members however are me, and the upcoming artists on Candy Sto’ Productions.
Who is doing the production and who will be featured?
Production is being done by Mike B, Pelon who did work on H.B.O. and Candy Sto’ Productions. Handling business on the features now, ESG, Ronnie Spencer already done, more to be announced in the immediate future. Expect a who’s who of Houston talent.
Do you You have got an release date yet?
Coming this year 2K12, once the features are in I’ll post tentative release. I’m positive it will be on iTunes as well for overseas purchase and for physical cd sale.
What about some new solo heat?
I record new material daily, I stay cocked and loaded to give the world some Big Love! We’ll buzz this M.O.B. then come to the table and see what fans want.
Alright, let’s get a little more personal. How would you describe your own character?
Anyone who follows me on Twitter @BigLovemusic knows that I am down to earth. I lost those close to me so I open up more than the average to friends and fans. I’m caring and loyal to the end.
Describe a regular day in your life.
I get up during the week about 6 am. Shower, get dressed and come into the office. Then I’m reading and responding to emails. Promoting on various sites, reviewing submitted tracks and recording new material.
What has been the greatest experience until now and why?
Having kids has hands down been the greatest experience in my life! It’s given me a sense of responsibility and reason to continue pushing on for those who depend on me.
What do you think of rap today?
I think it’s more diverse. You have alot of dance music. You also have a lot of people rapping about drugs which would have got you indicted years ago. I guess the difference is these guys are just rapping opposed to it actually being done back then. I think the game needs me. Someone who was not created by a label and/or machine. Just a lyricist that has been spitting bars since I entered the game.
I wish you big success for the future! Real recognize real! Just one more question: What do you know and think about Germany?
I know that Germany has been supportive of my efforts since 1996. I think the German people know real music when they hear it! I also look forward to working with some german artist in the near future and performing in Germany as well.
Thanks a lot for taking the time – any last words or any shoutouts?
Big shoutout to Charles Cosby from Cocaine Cowboys 2 for a being a brother and supporting my music! Also to my boy Don P for an appreciation of real music. One Love Germany, Big Love !