Wed, 01 Aug 2007 18:10:21
Plies has had more than his share of setbacks on the road to his upcoming debut album, The Real Testament (due August 7). The Fort Myers-raised rapper created last year's skeezy smash "I Just Wanna Love You," but when he was arrested following an altercation in a nightclub, his verses ended up cut from the official release with Snoop and Akon.
Now, he's finally getting his with "Shawty," another tune for the ladies with fellow Floridian T-Pain. Plies opened up to ARTISTdirect about losing friends to the streets, relating to "consumers," and how he keeps it real.
It's been a long wait for your album. You must excited.
Kinda bittersweet about it, actually. A lot of times people assume that when you get semi-successful that everything is peaches and cream. For me, it's different. I lost a lot to get where I'm at. I got friends that's locked up, family members that ain't here to fully celebrate the situation with me. At the same time, I'm cool with it because it keeps me grounded and level-headed.
You describe what you do as reality music. What do you mean by that?
For me, man, this whole music industry is to a certain degree a facade. I think if the consumer knew what they were purchasing wasn't factual, they probably wouldn't support it. I always try to be as realistic and truthful as possible. I think it's a part of the game.
So how do you write your rhymes?
Out of personal experiences. I'm not a dude that goes into the studio four times a week. I got to have just experienced something. I haven't been to the studio for probably the last month and a half. It's like a block that I go through sometimes. If I've experienced a situation then I don't run to the studio until I get it under my belt.
What kind of a situation do you mean?
Last time I was in New York, I got a phone call talking 'bout one of my partners just got killed back home. That was an unfortunate situation for me, but it allowed me to break down why I believe that happened, what could have avoided it, and the pros and cons of running in the streets. That was enough for me to be able to create a song off it. And that's just what I try to do. It means more and it has more substance when it's done that way.
I'm sorry to hear that. You give a lot of credit to your brother Big Gates for inspiring you to pursue music. What kind of impact did he have on you when you were growing up?
I like to call him my everything. He was my brother, my father figure, my role model and my inspiration. I never been a person that was scared to show emotion or be educated. He taught me that. He showed me it's risky to believe in who you are as a person, and that it's easy to get caught up in the fashions or the trends. A lot of cats are scared to be who they are because they don't know if they are going to be accepted. People try to buy they gangsta and buy they image. And I beg to differ when it comes to that. Who I am as a person is just who I am, and I don't shy away from that. I learned that early on.
You recently did a tour performing exclusively at prisons. What was that like?
That was totally important to me. To have the luxury to work with some of those cats and talk to people who are at the worst point in their life right now. I'm experiencing semi-success so I think I need to be a support system to the people that need me the most. It's easy to just get caught up with worrying about your immediate circle. A lot of times we forget about the people who need us the most. I want to continue to be a crutch for the people who really need me, not the people who need my money, not the people that need my cars, but the people that actually just need me there for them—emotionally.
You seem to reach out a lot to your fans, your consumers. How do you see your relationship to your listeners?
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