“Welcome to my world, where there’s vice everywhere. Where the bullets have no name and your Christ don’t care. Welcome to my world.” – James “Big Lo” Lopez “Welcome to My World”
In one of the most brutal genres of music, James “Big Lo” Lopez stands atop the Pensacola hip hop scene as one of it’s most unifying forces.
One week before his CD release show at Vinyl Music Hall, I met up with James Lopez and his wife to discuss his art, the new album “Magnum Opiates” and more for my Music Matters column in the Pensacola News Journal.
One of the most visible artists in the region is also one of its most private. His face isn’t found on the posters promoting the album release party, only the back of his head. A private figure in a public arena, Lopez speaks through his music as in his portrait of the real struggle behind the America Dream with tracks like “Proud American”.
Like Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, Lopez lives for the fight, not the politics of the game.
—Full Interview with James “Big Lo” Lopez—
MS: First time I saw you; Sluggo’s, right down the street. That first show and every show I’ve seen you play, you’ve been on fire, you have this passion. What fuels that fire?
JL: I mean, honestly, I’m just a blue collar kid, a hard worker and I want to do better for myself and my family and I just love performing. Typically, I’m kind of a shy person when I’m not onstage. So that’s my outlet, that’s the ultimate high.
MS: I have to ask you about the new album “Magnum Opiates”, what does this mean for you as an artist?
JL: It’s a hip hop album through and through, from beginning to end. Every track stands alone, but it’s also my first conceptual joint. And essentially, what I did was, like say Guy Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino, and John Woo all sat down at a pub together and had a few drinks and they’re like, “You know what? We’re going to make a hardcore American hip hop album.” Bam! That’s what it is?
MS: Who helped create this album?
JL: Production wise, myself, my dude Alkota, he’s from Alaska, DaShin, he’s out of the Netherlands, Inferno, Jay Glock, that’s like my right hand, he’s originally from Pittsburgh and we just became brothers by circumstance because neither one of us are originally from here, so we kind of had that in common. And Vlad Kush, he’s out of Pittsburgh as well, but he’s in Chicago now, so production wise it’s kind of all over the place.
Timeless out of Tampa and then as far as lyrically, it’s my album, so most of all it’s me rappin’ on there, but as far as features, once again, Inferno, 14th Century, he’s out of Chicago. He’s crazy, Junky Goods, Mel Funk, Tommy 2 Face, that’s like all my New York family. I link with them. I’ve been cool with those guys for years, so they’re all a part of the project. Stess the Emcee, he’s a cool dude. He’s a radio personality out of Tallahassee on Blazin 1023, that’s their big FM station there, so he’s on there. Of course Bodyslanga. He’s got some cuts on there too and he’s been holding me down as my live show DJ for the past four years. And J. Sands the lone catalyst and that’s pretty much the big underground name that’s on there.
MS: What inspires your songwriting?
JL: What all can I say in the paper? What all can you record?
MS: Whatever you want to put. I’ll put the stuff in the paper, but then also on my website, Take Cover and Shoot, I’ll put everything on there. So…don’t censor yourself.
JL: (Laughs) Honestly…chronic inspires me…a lot you know. When I was in my youth, I’ve done quite a few drugs in my lifetime to say the least. My life is an open book. Like real-life experiences, there is a song on there called “Proud American” where I talk about our struggles right now and stuff that’s going on in the family life and dealing with marriage and stuff like that. Just being a hardworker, I think that’s going to be the track that a lot of people really relate to like, “Damn, I feel that way too.” So a lot of real life situations and I watch a lot of flick, so I’m in to all sorts of different kind of like indie films and a lot of foreign gangster flicks like “City of God” that Brazilian joint, “Amores Perros” it’s like a movie that’s kind of centered around dog-fighting in Columbia, and all the Guy Ritchie movies, “Snatch”, “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” all the John Woo movies like “Hard Boiled”, and all the big shoot em’ up Hong Kong flicks and stuff like that. I’m a movie guy, so definitely you got the movie experience in there, all the Tarantino films, so it’s that, real life, and then you got my hip hop influences and stuff like that, your Wu-Tang, your Jedi Mind tricks, your Yukmouth and that kind of stuff.
MS: I know when I listened to a couple of your tracks from the album, I told you that it has a cinematic kind of feel to it, like watching a movie, not just the lyrics, but the sound and everything.
JL: I appreciate it man. That’s what’s good about having a good right hand. (Lopez looks at his wife) she made sure I didn’t stray. This album is the first album I’ve mixed in a studio that’s fully-we’ve got all the acoustic tiles up everywhere and the sound in there is beautiful-I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I probably got the best sound on the Gulf Coast, especially for a hip hop studio, and it’s taken me ten years to build that studio, piece-by-piece, to get it to where it’s at now. I definitely have a good peaceful space to create now, which is really dope.
MS: Let me ask you since you mentioned it; how do you keep the family going, working, how do you juggle it all?
JL: I have no idea. Honestly, I think the family thing works and working a lot is because she works harder than I do.
MS: And you work hard, so hats off to you (to Lopez’s wife).
JL: Yeah. When you got somebody next to you that’s hustling just as hard as you are, they understand the grime more so than somebody that’s just sitting at home and doing nothing. It’s an understanding and a trust factor. And she knows how happy I am when I’m on stage. I’m more comfortable onstage than I am in the studio.
I hate the studio to be honest with you. I feel like music has to be performed live and if you can’t rock live, you shouldn’t even be making music.
MS: That kind of draws me to another question I thought about because when you perform, like I said, I wrote “it’s very minimalist.” I know a lot of guys, not just in hip hop, some guys in metal, some guys are all flashy and stuff. I saw your poster and I think it says it perfectly, your poster, you don’t even see your face, it’s just the back of your head and a lot of guys are mugging and cheesing, but you’re just straightforward. Is that something you’ve developed or is that just you and your personality?
JL: I think it’s my personality because I’m shy. My cover’s animated too.
Lopez’s wife: I think a lot has to do with this new album. Because this is such a turning point for him and he’s looking more forward and the vision of seeing the back of his head was more him moving forward and this is the biggest album for him. Does that make sense?
MS: That makes total sense.
Lopez’s Wife: There’s so much more symbolism into just looking at the back of a head. There’s simple little messages by just not saying , I’m looking at you forward. Like “No. I’m looking in my future instead of what’s behind me.” All the stuff that’s happened in the past.
JL: And there’s a sharing quality to that too, so it’s not like I’m turning my back on people, but it’s sharing my life with you because you’re looking over my shoulder so you can see what my eyes are seeing. So you’re looking with me. I didn’t even really ever even think about it deep like her. I just thought it was a dope picture. (Laughs) You know what I’m saying’. You can include that in the interview (We all laugh)
That’s the P/R lady, she makes it sound good. She made it sound great. Yeah, I’m like “That’s what it is. Right there” (Laughs). That’s exactly what happened.
MS: How would you describe your show for someone that has never seen you or heard your music before?
JL: Its high energy, call and response. It’s a real hip hop show so we’re up there. It’s just me and a DJ and Inferno. There’s no gimmicks. We’re not going to be up there singing. We’re not going to be rapping over our lyrics, we’re not karaoke. And you can print that too. That erks me and it’s been accepted across all genres now; people are lip-syncing so much now or rapping along to a vocal track. It’s sickening.
As a live performer, it’s a cop-out. So you’re going to see a high energy, good show. We put our heart into everything. When I come offstage, I don’t take my shirt off because I’m some Mr. Spartan, I take my shirt off because I’m hot! We’re sweating…you’ve seen me come off stage before. Like, we don’t have any breath. Every show, I just try to pretend it’s my last and then maybe it’s the rock star in me. I feel like maybe I’m at the Palladium in London or something, maybe I’m at Red Rocks rockin’ in front of 40,000 people. It’s just something whether you’re in front of 20 people or a thousand people, you have to put your heart into it and people see that and that’s how you connect with the crowd.
MS: What’s the biggest thing for you when you perform?
JL: I’m nervous every time. I practice so much. I’m nervous before every show, whether it’s at The Handlebar or Vinyl. I’ve done Florida Music Festival alongside Blue Man Group and stuff like that and every show I do…they say a lot of the young artists in the community look up to me and stuff, but I’m nervous. Every show feels like my first time performing onstage. I’m so nervous before I get onstage and that’s the biggest thing.
MS: That’s good though because they say when you’re nervous, that means it’s important to you.
Lopez’s Wife: He’s nervous before everything. He’s nervous to come here (everybody laughs). I’ll tell you the truth. He gets nervous.
MS: How do you get over it though?
Lopez’s wife: (Points to his CD Magnum Opiates) The title. (Everybody laughs)
JL: There’s medicines that help me with my anxiety issues.
MS: We’ll, you see some dudes that do that and they just don’t perform.
JL: I think that’s where the practice comes in. And you can ask her since she’s known me. I spend at least a half hour a day to an hour practicing my set, practicing my live show. That’s not including in the car because I always keep my instrumentals in the car. I’m that guy in traffic; I’m always practicing.
MS: Like sharpening the sword. No matter how sharp that sword gets, you…
JL: Get sharper. And then you look at-Alabama didn’t get to the National Championship by not practicing. You don’t get to be the best and get the rock and do that stuff without practicing. And you can see that too in some people’s shows. And like I said, I’m not knocking anybody’s hustle; everybody’s got to make money. Everybody wants to shine, but practice your craft. I feel like if everybody practiced their craft, we’d have a stronger scene. Because, it’d be a more…”Hey, if I’m going to throw a hip hop show, wow! I know Big Lo’s rockin’, I know so-and-so’s rockin’. Wow! They got all five of these acts.” Instead of like “So-and-so is dope and the rest of these cats is whack.”
MS: That kind of leads to a question I had later on; I grew up in this town and we had to go to Mobile and Tallahassee to see hip hop shows-this was back in the 80’s. What can the Pensacola music scene do to, and not just help out music in general, but help out hip hop as far as growing it in this town?
JL: The Pensacola music scene can do more as far as embracing the fact that we’re a live music town. There’s a lot of talent in this city. And this is a live music town. We don’t have a radio outlet, especially with hip hop-there’s 93 BLX, it’s a Clear Channel Cumulus station, so they don’t even have DJ’s no more.
Everything is pre-programmed, so we don’t have a radio outlet. Whereas when I was staying in Tallahassee, I was involved in the Underground Railroad on 89.7-that’s Florida State’s station and that’s more of a radio, college town. You got three outlets that all catered to us. We got play on 89.7, 1023 and 90.5, that’s the FAMU station. Here we don’t have that and maybe UWF needs to look into that because there’s hip hop heads everywhere. Maybe UWF needs to pick up a college radio hip hop show on their station. There’s not that massive outlet, so I think that if we had more of a radio presence here, more people would come out and if people actually studied their craft a little bit better and actually practiced-going back to what I was saying-more people would come out.
MS: I see some young kids come to the shows, like teenage kids, you know there’s that point where they listen and something tells them they want to give it a try. What advice would you give them if they want to try? I know they have open mics for singer/songwriters, I did that open mic thing a long time ago, but I can’t imagine trying to work your craft in hip hop.
JL: I took a jazz history course and we had a guest speaker come in and talk to us and he was comparing hip hop to gladiatorial fighting.
MS: That makes sense.
JL: And he was like the most cheeky, British, like the whitest British guy you could meet in your whole life and this was what his dissertation was on; the comparisons between hip hop and gladiatorial fighting. So, I don’t know how it is with other genres, but hip hop is real competitive like that, and that’s for a good thing and as a community, if we’re going to get stronger, people need to start calling out the wackiness. Like “Dude, your set was kind of subpar” and I found politically correct ways to do that.
Telling kids, the advice I try to give them is “Have more energy.” I said there’s no way my 30 year old ass should be onstage moving more than you are. There 19 years old. Shoot when I was 19 I was running around everywhere. There is no excuse for that. And that’s my main thing, “Have some energy.” Like believe in yourself.
MS: What brought you to Pensacola, Florida?
JL: I ended up here, I did my first two years at Tallahassee Community College and I had family down South as well, and I was just looking at my different options; it was between UWF and FIU and I just fell in love with UWF, but then after I graduated, (Hurricane) Ivan happened, so my mom was living in Tallahassee. So after Ivan happened, all my possessions were destroyed. So I moved back to Tallahassee and I didn’t move back in with my mom, I got a job there and that’s how I linked up with everybody with Underground Railroad and I learned a lot of the stuff that I brought back when I moved back here to the hip hop scene in 2008, stuff that I learned in Tallahassee when dealing with everybody on the radio there. And that’s how we tried to establish a scene here so as far as going to school and stuff like that, I’ve never been dumb but I’ve been “dumb”, does that make sense?
MS: That makes sense. I know what you mean.
JL: I was acting up for no reason. It was a single mother household and we were broke, but at the same time, I got no excuses why I was acting up. We had food, clothing and shelter. I was just a knucklehead for no reason. And then I got caught up and got into trouble. Messed up any athletic possibilities, messed up everything and I’ve always been a good academic too. When I was locked up I just said, “You know what, let me get my GED” and I got out when I was 17. Just started college then and I was like, “You know what, I’m going to prove everybody wrong that said I was going to fail in life.” And that ended up right after I met her (his future wife) a year later. I went back to PJC to start doing some graphic design stuff, but she was like, “You already got your bachelor’s” and I was thinking about, “I already got my bachelor’s, why am I going backwards?” and that’s when I got into grad school and decided to do that and finish my Masters in May.
JL: Thank you.
MS: Any possibility-I’m thinking KRS One-like maybe being a professor or lecturing?
JL: That’s the goal. That’s the goal in life. I can’t run around traveling, deal with the drama and deal with the younger kids too much longer. Music wise, as a live performer, I don’t want to put a dogmatic deadline on my stuff, but if nothing happens major within the next three years, my main focus is going to be getting my doctorate and teaching somewhere.
MS: When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
JL: I fell in love with hip hop-I’m old-1988, 1989 Kool Moe Dee “Knowledge is King”, that’s when I fell in love with hip hop. My mom would let stuff like that fly. Especially when 2Pac came out; my mom loves her some 2Pac. My mom would have married 2Pac if he would have showed up at the door probably. She knows that too. And I’m talking about going back to “Brenda’s Got a Baby” the old, even Digital Underground 2Pac, so with that, hip hop has always been a part of my life and she would let all that fly and originally being from South Florida, there was all the Miami bass music Poison Clan and Luke and stuff like that, that was not flying in the house; I could listen to Brand Nubian tell me how much all white people need to die, but I couldn’t listen to “Pop That Pussy” that shit wouldn’t fly. So, it’s kind of funny.
Since then I’ve been in love with hip hop. I started taking it seriously and writing in my early teens. I’ve always been shy, but I’ve always liked the stage. I remember one of the first talent shows we did in the fifth grade, me and my boy Chris, we came out and we did Snoop and “Nothing But a G Thang” with Snoop and Dre’ and we performed the whole track, we had a little dance routine and everything.
Lopez’s Wife: FYI. If you could put this in there; my husband….
JL: I cannot dance.
Lopez’s Wife: cannot dance.
Lopez’s Wife: I promise.
JL: I have no rhythm whatsoever.
Lopez’s Wife: I put it on everything. My husband cannot dance.
MS: But you try though?
Lopez’s Wife: He tries.
JL: Oh, I still do. On our honeymoon…
Lopez’s Wife: Oh my God!
JL: I know I can’t dance, but I still do dance.
MS: Was alcohol involved?
JL: Yeah, lots of it. We were in Germany. We were at the Beer Garden in Germany at Epcot.
Lopez’s Wife: We were in Epcot and in the Beer Garden, they play these awesome instruments and this big dance, so…I hate dancing with him, so he drags me down there and I’m like, “Crap! He’s wasted.” And he drags me down there and it’s horrible. It is the worst thing ever.
JL: And they’re playing traditional German folk music. And a guy with an accordion…
Lopez’s Wife: They say white men can’t dance, but Hispanic men…
MS: Did anybody record this?
Lopez’s Wife: No, no, no. Thank God.
JL: I still dance now. I just played a little “Just Dance” game with her and stuff. I like dancing; I’m just horrible at it.
Lopez’s Wife: He has played “Just Dance” with me and Zumba.
JL: And Zumba. I’m man enough to say that. That’s what you do when you’re married.
MS: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at one of your shows?
W: Oh gosh.
JL: Aw man, I’ve seen…some of the stuff, she don’t even know about. I’ve seen crazy stuff at our shows. (Long pause as Lopez looks at his wife) I don’t even know.
The craziest thing we’ve ever seen at one of our shows; we were performing in Key West and this is why I don’t even know if I want to tell this story cause we were already together…she might already know. I didn’t do anything wrong, by the way, but we were performing in Key West and the girls in the pool where we performing at, it was a big outdoor pool party in the middle of Bike Fest down there, and the girls in the pool swimming were butt-ass. Like it was some damn rock n’ roll, you would think Guns’ N’ Roses 1980’s Axl Rose was there. These girls were butt ass in the pool while we were performing. That shit was crazy. That’s the craziest stuff I’ve probably seen. I’ve seen more crazy stuff driving a taxi than I ever have performing.
Lopez’s Wife: And then those kids…
JL: Oh yeah, I did one of those shows at whatchamacallit? What’s the name of that place? Dolce Vita. I did Saul’s Ball over there and everybody out there was dressed like they was on Waterworld. Remember Waterworld with Kevin Costner?
MS: Yeah. Where he was pissing in the…
Lopez’s Wife: Yeah, where he drinks his piss.
JL: Yeah, it looked like they were all dressed on Waterworld. They had these little leather weird getups, and everybody out there was all Molly’d up and shit, man. And when you’re sober and around that, it wigs you out. It’s like, “Man, these people are trippin’.” Like I swear this was straight out of a Hunter S. Thompson book, it was crazy. That was a weird situation and they were all like way younger and all X’ed out and Molly’d out and feelin’ on each other and stuff and sittin’ there high like, “This is mad weird.” And they were young too. They were like 16 and 17 years old, I remember we were wild when we were young, but I don’t remember dressing like Waterworld and doing all that.
Lopez’s Wife: X and whatever year that was when LSD was really big.
JL: We had regular weed. Weed and cocaine. That was it. Those were the choices.
MS: There was those kids that went shroomin’…
JL: And we had them too.
MS: In your life, what’s been the best advice you’ve ever been given?
JL: Always keep a $50 bill on you.
Lopez’s Wife: Babe, really? You’ve got more than that. (Lopez’s Wife and I laugh. James is dead serious)
JL: No, seriously.
MS: Why so?.
JL: You gotta keep an emergency $50 on you at all times because with an emergency $50 if you get stranded somewhere in your whip, you can get a full tank of gas and a meal.
MS: That’s true. Damn, that’s true.
JL: Well, you can’t even get a full tank now with that… yeah, you can get gas and a meal, or if you need a cheap motel somewhere. Fifty dollars will get you what you need to do in life. You can get a bus ticket to the nearest town for under $50. $50 is where it’s at. That’s the best advice I ever heard. My mom told me that. Always keep $50 dollars on you.
MS: Along that same line, what would James Lopez of today tell a younger James Lopez starting out?
JL: Keep your mouth shut sometimes. I burned some bridges that I probably shouldn’t have burned, I had a shot with G Unit and Shadyville back in like 2007 that I kind of messed up by going flying off the handle. I kind of got like a violent asshole streak in me too.
MS: I couldn’t imagine that. I don’t see it.
JL: Yeah, I flew off the handle…
Lopez’s Wife: I think you’re referring to the old James…
JL: Yeah, I know…
Lopez’s Wife: Part of the assholeness…I mean, you’re not an asshole, but you know what I mean, like the violent part.
JL: Yeah. The violent part and I flew off the handle towards some execs, some DJ’s and some people I probably shouldn’t have at that time in my career. So, the old James at this age would tell James at that age to “Just keep your mouth shut sometimes and play your position.”
MS: A lot of guys could follow that advice.
JL: Well, we see it on Facebook. It’s crazy.
MS: The show; who’s all going to be on the bill?
JL: Me, Unnatural Soundz, Scum of the Earth, What We Do, Gameplan and DJ 3D, he’s part of Scratch-Aholix, Cyborganics, Scum of the Earth is coming up from Gainesville…they’re superdope. Have you seen Scum live before?
MS: I haven’t…
JL: They have a following here in Pensacola too. Like a punk following, they’re hip hop, but they got…they’re dope. The first time I ever saw them, they had a projector screen playing horror movies like Rob Zombie behind them while they performed. DP is coming up from Gainesville as well and that’s like my Gainesville family; they show me mad love down in Gainesville. And then DJ AtotheL, he’s originally from Ireland, he lives in Tallahassee now. And he talks with a fake quasi-New York accent because he’s from Ireland, but it is so funny when you hear him. And you can print all this, please do.
Lopez’s Wife: Because they make fun of him so bad.
JL: And he makes fun of me too.
Lopez’s Wife: They bring sacks of potatoes…they do.
MS: Irish potato famine. Oh damn.
JL: But he gets on because my family’s Spanish, but he’s always calling me Mexican, so he’s always talking about me making tacos and burritos and stuff like that. Queasy, he used to be…you remember when they did stuff at Caribbean Market?
JL: That’s how I first got on the Pensacola hip hop scene was when Poets of the Fifth Element when I was at UWF over at the Caribbean Market…
MS: With Kelsey…
JL: Yeah, KP.
MS: Oh yeah, going way back. Is there a chance to see you maybe with a band at least one show in the future?
JL: No. I don’t think so, but-I was just telling her-I want to pick up an instrument- and I was thinking, at first I said bass guitar, but I saw Count Bass D do it one time. He came out onstage before he actually did his hip hop set, he came out onstage in a Phantom of the Opera cape on a Hammond organ and just went off for like 15 minutes straight as an introduction to his set. And he was into it too. It wasn’t just like him sitting there playing it or something. And then he had the MPC hooked up on to it, so he could get the drums going on the MPC and then chime in with the Hammond and everything. If I ever do something with the band, it’d be something like that. I don’t know. I don’t play well with others. I could never be part of a big group or big Wu Tang thing or even like Mad Love where they have five or six different people playing instruments. I could never do that; I’m more of an individual.
Lopez’s Wife: He has trust issues.
MS: I do too. I was about to say the same thing.
Lopez’s Wife: He has major trust issues…as far as musically. Not anything like that…working with other people…even the people that he works with now, he loves them-don’t get me wrong-but…it’s very…
Lopez’s Wife: I just wish people would work 80% as hard as I work. I’m not asking them to go as hard as me and everybody to have my energy. Just work 80% as hard as I work.
MS: It’s like the Pareto Principle, like the 80/20 rule; 20% of the people make up 80% of all the work. So if you depend on other people, they won’t pull their end. I know exactly what you mean.
Lopez’s Wife: I think a lot of that comes from…were you born and raised here?
MS: No I was born in Brunswick, Georgia, near St. Simons Island. My dad was military so we traveled a lot before we moved here.
Lopez’s Wife: I think a lot of that comes with being from a city and that fast paced, “Go, Go, Go, Go, Go.” And then you come here and its like, “Stop.” Everybody’s like that. That’s in every industry, I think. Music, whatever industry you’re in, you see it. And it’s just like, they have no…
Lopez’s Wife: You want to stick a piece of dynamite up their ass or something. And you’re willing to pay them and their still not doing what you’re…They call me a Nazi, which I’m a Jew so that’s kind of funny. Its like, “Come on!” I think that’s another big problem in Pensacola, as far as music-wise because everybody’s just “Ok. I’ll get it done whenever. I’ll do this whenever.” A lot more can get done musically if everybody just…
W: Yeah. Worked together, but…
MS: But they stop and complain. They’re complaining and they’re stopping.
JL: We would make way more money too. We would make so much more money because I can’t physically do everything by myself. And if everybody actually played their position there would be more money for everybody, but people don’t look at it that way.
MS: That’s true. That’s a good observation. Crazy questions; the last two, right here; do you like crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
JL: That’s a tough one. Wow…
Lopez’s Wife: Crunchy.
MS: (To James’ wife) You like crunchy?
JL: No. She likes creamy.
Lopez’s Wife: He likes crunchy.
JL: I like the texture better. I like crunchy. What does that say about me? Is there a follow up with that? Is that a problem?
MS: It’s supposed to be a personality question. (I disclose the secret), but I’ve heard all different kinds of answers.
W: That’s really funny.
JL: That’s true. That’s true. That’s definitely true.
MS: Is there anything you want-this is going to be in, not this Friday, but next Friday’s paper-is there anything you want the readers to know about the show, about you?
JL: If you want to come out and see a live hip hop show, with a lot of dope live performances and some people who really put their heart into their craft and have a good time at the nicest venue in Pensacola with great sound quality. It’s just a big celebration and it’s also a “thank you” to Pensacola because here on the underground scene, I’ve noticed that us doing our own thing and not trying to collab with a lot of other rappers has made it where we developed to have real friends and real fans that come out and support us and that what we do it for. So it’s definitely a way to give back to Pensacola. Everybody that attends gets a free copy of the album and it’s a real album, it’s not like a burnt CD. It’s a real pressed like from Glass Masters album…
MS: And art too. Did you do the art too?
JL: No, man. That’s Gabe Lamberty of Hermosa Studios. All he does is graphic novels.
JL: Wait ‘til you open it up. Its dope, the whole thing is dope. That’s it, if ya’ll want to see a bunch of good live performers for some people that really take their craft serious and put their heart into their show, that’s where it’s at. And it’s only, you can get your presales for seven dollars and it’s only going to be $10 at the door. So you’re going to get a full night of entertainment for a very reasonable price.
- Michael L. Smith