Scotty ATL fell into music, almost on accident, when one of his best friends went to pursue a career in the Navy and left his production equipment with him. Little did his friend know this would turn his life into a career in music.
While the average rap fan may not be familiar with him yet, mainstays like T.I., Big K.R.I.T. Jarren Benton, B.O.B. and many more have toured and made music with Scotty. His latest project Daily Bread has been receiving high praise for being more full of substance than the average trap music coming from Atlanta.
His latest music video “The Ruler” showcases that fact perfectly. The content matter might sound like something off any ATL song, but the production and authenticity of the rhymes is a stab in the gut to many people around the country that identify with the struggle. After being schooled by big players in the game like Big Gipp (Goodie Mob) and more, Scotty is ready to take the world by storm and also released another video today “Stupid Rich” produced by Houston’s own Cory Mo. We caught up with Scotty ATL to talk about his past, tour life and much more.
Source: Why don’t you tell the people where you got started with music.
I got started in ATL. My partner King J introduced me to the rapping and actually when I first started out, I was rapping and making beats. He went onto the Navy and left his equipment with me, so even as a young nig*a I put together my own label with artist from the neighborhood, s*it like that, just built it out to something then. Then even in high school, people knew me just for regular s*it. I kind of stopped for a minute, got caught in the streets and started back rapping a couple of years ago and you know, the shit’s been going good
That’s what’s up, so it’s full-time now?
Oh yeah we full-time now, amongst a host of other things, you know businesses that I’ve got going on.
So obviously the comeback to do the music…the money’s cool but obviously music inspires you so, who inspires you musically?
Man I’m inspired by UGK and Outkast, Goodie Mob for sure, holding down the family you know what I’m saying, just the south in general but then, I like a lot of West Coast music. Like, I f*ck with Kendrick Lamar, I f*ck with Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg and the sound that him and Dre created, so I’m just a fan man of music in general for sure.
What’s the hardest part about the music business that you didn’t expect to be so difficult, That maybe is difficult?
I think the thing for me is I had to learn the actual business, you know what I’m saying? It’s one thing to be in the music industry and it’s a different thing to be in the music business. When you get in the business, you learn how to get checks, you learn how to get money in different areas that some other people might not even know that they’re supposed to be getting money in. Whether that’s your publishing for certain things that you have going on or whatever.
I just studied the business and I made it into a business for myself with my own merch line, my own label, I sell gold grills in ATL (A Town grills, you feel me?)…So it’s just really about learning the business. For me, at first, it was just trying to learn that part. A lot of kids get into the game and they don’t know that even with a hit record, you’ll fuck around and be screwed in your contract if you don’t know the business.
That’s real knowledge. So you obviously from alt you got the crunk music, you got the party music but after listening to a couple of your tracks it seems like you make a lot of Music about the struggle and especially with the current issues police brutality and things like that. Why do you feel so connected and pulled to do that?
Well you know my music is for the hustlers, it’s for those under dogs, it’s for those in the trap and it’s for those that work 9 to 5. I’m just an inspiration in general, I feel like this is what I’m on earth to do. But I just tie in real life period in everything that I do with my music. Like for me, I tell people that I never get writers’ block, you know what I’m saying? I feel like you get writers block when you go into the studio and you try talking about something that’s different from what you’re actually feeling. You know if you look at Jay Z or Biggie or Pac, Outkast, UGK…look at these artists and how they like, they built legacies, they’ll always be remembered. But they talk about everything they went through. It was their real life. If they went to the studio one day and had a bad day, they would rap about that. If they had a great day, they’d rap about that, too. So I think, in general, for me, I just try to follow their mark. I want to be known as one of the greats, you know what I’m saying? ATL is the city, we’ve just been known for one hit wonders and sh*t like that. As an artist, I never really want to follow that pattern. I’ve wanted to always pave my own way and be one of the greatest…be legendary with this sh*t.
Speaking of that, because it seems like you aren’t afraid to try new things, new sounds and stuff… your latest video that you put out, “The Ruler”…Although the content is still street, still real to the ATL, the production is a little bit different. I think some people might be surprised with that. What drew you to that different style of production?
When I was in the studio with my man John–I actually recorded that song in Denver– we recorded that one and “Destined” on the same night and his partner was in on that– Khalil–he played a beat that his other homeboy HK had made the s*it was just crazy when It came on I was like whoa that sh*t is hard. We recorded the whole s*it right there and it probably took me like 30-45 minutes to record. When it flows like that and the vibe’s catchy, it don’t take no time to record, it comes to you, know what I mean? I did that record man and people fell in love with it. People saw the video and got a chance to see the grind. A lot of people don’t know that some of those artists in the video f*ck with me like that. A lot of people don’t know some of those crowds that I’ve rocked. It gave people a chance to get in my world and really see what I do on a day to day.
Speaking of that, in the video you’re rocking shows, like you say, you’ve got cameos from everybody, you know T.I., Ritz, I saw quite a few in there… what did it take to obtain that footage and what was the journey like doing that whole thing?
Well I’ve been on three tours in the last year and a half. I went on tour with my boy Jarren Benton as a part of tour, Iamsu— that was like 24 dates. Then I went on tour with Big K.R.I.T. and BJ the Chicago Kid— that was 39 cities. I did my own tour, called it No Handout Tour–that was like 12 cities and then I went on tour with B.O.B.— that was 44 cities. My boy Andrew was with me a lot of that time (CMK Productions) and we caught a lot of that footage, you know what I’m saying? It’s just so raw and so real. Like, when we talk about doing it, when he put it together and just showed me everything, I was like, ‘Whoa this is one of the hardest videos I’ve done period.’ So again, as an independent artist, I’ve done a lot for myself and people get a chance to see that shit. It’s like REAL reality TV–not that scripted sh*t. I’m not on that motherfu*ker counting no money, ain’t no guns being pointed at the camera, it’s just real life, people you fu*k with, legends, fu*king with me in my campaign. So salute to everybody in the video, the whole South, everybody that was in that s*it, salute.
That’s a dope video, so people are definitely going to check that out. Obviously, you’ve been rooted in the game, met some players, everything… what’s one piece of advice that someone gave you that’s stuck with you to this day?
Big Gipp told me, ‘However you is, don’t let em change you. If you’re an ass*ole now, be an asshole then.’ He gave me that advice and that s*it stuck with me because, in the game, people try to change you. They’re trying to get you to be how they want you to be, instead of how you feel. You need to do your own s*it, so that just always stuck with me. I’m like, ‘Nah bruh, I’m gonna always do my own thing and choose that path over the money.’ You’re gonna fu*k around and be face down in the mainstream.
What do you want fans to get from your Music?
You can be anything you want to be. You can achieve anything that you want to achieve. If you work hard, if you hustle, if you dream, if you create, you can do the sh*t. I came from nothing, so you see where I’m at right now, I’m doing an interview with you. (Laughs)