Freddie Gz has built a name for himself in his hometown of South Carolina with infectious tunes like “Quagmire” and “City Going Ham” and after taking a short hiatus from the music scene the Haitian born rapper looks to takeover the industry on major scale.
After performing at a few showcases at this years SXSW festival, the rapper continues to work and promote his most recent project, Respect Money & Power, which is hosted by a couple of his good hometown friends’, DJ Frosty and Charlamagne Tha God. We recently caught up with Freddie in NYC to speak on his latest project, future plans and much more. Check out the interview below.
Tell me about the Hip-Hop scene in South Carolina?
Theres a lot of dope artist I’ve worked with a lot but Its kind of stagnant right now because of the reach and the small market we are , but theres a lot of people making noise right now because of the internet.
Your most recent mixtape, Respect Money Power is hosted by Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Frosty. How did you end up getting them to host your latest mixtape?
Me and Frosty go way back. A few years ago when I was first coming up I was trying to get my name out there and I was going through various DJ’s but nobody was really giving me the shine. I really wanted the opportunity to have a known DJ host a mixtape series I wanted to start called Goon On Deck, so I hit up on Myspace DJ Frosty and we linked up. After he heard the mixtape he said it was dope and he seen the potential. We’ve been working and been friends ever since. Frosty and Charlamagne are best friends and they know each other for almost 15 years, so I met Charlamagne a while back through Frosty and we just been rocking ever since. Charlamagne did my mixtape, Goon On Deck 2 and we’ve just been working on tapes ever since, so its more than music its actually a dope friendship. I’m proud of what both men are doing and have going on, and I support them fully as well as they support me.
Your Haitian culture is very well represented in your music, how important is it to you to maintain the culture alive in your music?
Oh man very important. I love my country – the Haitian pride has been there since I was young. Just the trial and tribulations that Haitians went through in life makes our pride very strong. We get a lot of love in the hip-hop community because obviously theres a group of Haitians that started in Little Haiti and they created the Zoe Pound and they were pretty relevant in the streets and you know that turned into the Hip-Hop scene as well, so I just felt like even though we get a lot of love from the Hip- Hop community theres not really a Haitian artist representing the culture to the fullest. I’m really looking forward to working with all these artist that have a Haitian background in the future and representing for our people to the fullest.
How long did the recording process for Respect Money Power take? and give me some insight on the project.
It was dope! That was one of the main reasons why I moved up North to lock in studio time. I decided to fallback from my last mixtape which was three years ago, so I took time to regroup and put my own team. We got some young producers, got them into the studio and we helped them build their craft. I decided to do everything in house – all the production is in house – all the features on my mixtape is in house. I got the Architectz to produce on the project, I have Mr. Wonder, Wyclef‘s nephew and a great friend of mine on there as well. The project took about 6-8 months to get all the records we wanted – I probably did about 100 records and we just picked the best 12 that we felt was best rounded for the tape and touch every point that I wanted to get across. I reached out to Charlamagne and Frosty and of course we put it together and put it out there
I have to ask you about your previous single, “Quagmire” which received heavy airplay in South Carolina and other states. How did the song come about and is that on your new mixtape?
[Laughs] Nah, its not on there but it is available on iTunes and still doing strong numbers. The funny story behind that song is that a producer friend of mine called me and said I have a record for you called “Quagmire” like the character on the TV show Family Guy. He didn’t want to tell me much about the song over the phone so I went over to his studio and he played it for me. I started rapping the lyrics to it and I came up with the hook. We finished the record in like 20 minutes and I put it out there. Frosty was on the radio in Columbia at the time and he played it on the radio, a week later it was the most requested song that evening and we took it from there. It was definitely my first big record – my first real exposure to the industry because it reached a lot of places from Cali to Texas and even Power 105 in New York played it.
Is it too late to shoot a video for that song?
People been telling me to do a video for it and we were shooting one, but something happened with the footage. I’m in a new space right now so you never know, maybe I’ll do a video for it this 2014.
Whats the next visual and single for the latest project?
We’re shooting a video for two records – “Nothing New To Me” and also “Pricne Akeem” based on the Coming To America movie. A lot of people been hearing that record and giving great feedback on it. I want to shoot the video and try to make it fun and comical, so definitely be on the look out for that. As far as my music goes, I try to drop content every other week to keep my name relevant with the music sites.
You mentioned your New Jersey based record label being a major part of this project and good friends of yours – How did you end up linking with them up North being that you lived in South Carolina?
I’m from South Carolina, but my mother for the majority has always lived in New Jersey. I was up here one summer working a 9-5 when when I met these guys. We’ve been friends ever since – my day one n*ggas. We decided to make our own label and do our own thing. We’ve seen how the game is shifting over to independent movements, so thats something that we want to strive for until the right situation happens. We all have the same outlook in life and our grind is slightly different than most people thats why we last this long.
What else can we expect from in the near future?
We have a short film Respect Money Power, so I’m making my acting debut. We have the next mixtape coming – I don’t know what I’m going to name it yet, but we’ve got some features already from Cap-1 and another one from 2 Chainz. I want my next project to be even bigger and better, so I’m looking forward to working with some big players in the game. I’m dropping that in a few months.
Download Freddie Gz’s, Respect Money Power HERE.