Interview with Atlanta based artist, Scramn
After my review of Scramn’s album Pay Dirt, he was interested in conducting an interview with me. At the time of the interview , I was only publishing on a few sites. Needless to say, he wanted to know why I gave his project 5 stars. So, the interview started with a breakdown of why I gave it 5 stars. After that we went else where. We talked Bubba Sparxxx, we talked Struggle Jennings, we talked Real hip-hop.
I pride myself on the beat selection. One of the things about it, I got tired of the shit that was coming out of Atlanta here lately, not even on some hater shit, just on some shit like people that like real hip-hop. A lot of people loved it, but I don’t do that radio rap shit. We wanted to bring some of that southern boombap sound back with this one, and I think we did a good job at that.
I’m a hip-hop head. Been listening ti hip-hop my whole life. It’s a lifestyle to me. It’s not just music. It’s an entire culture.
Wow, that makes it mean a lot more that you like our album so much. I rerally appreciate the love. Because you like hip-hop that much. I knew what I had when we did this album. After production, Bubba, who executive produced it, looked at me and said “,This is better than my last two albums.” And I agree with him, besides the Bubba Mathis CD, I loved that album. The thing with Bubba that a lot of people don’t get, I don’t want to say he was over shadowed by Timbaland when he first came out, but with Timbaland was so big at that point, Bubbas lyrics are so deep that if he wouldn’t have had those Timbaland beats, he probably wouldn’t have been heard. There’s still lines that I catch today. He’s literally one of the most genius writers I know in the game..
This is just my opinion, and it really doesn’t matter, but nobody gave a fuck what he was saying. Everybody at the time was on Timbalands dick as far as beats go. It was the beginning of the downfall of hip-hop. The era Bubba comes from was the end of the era of lyricism in mainstream hiphop.
Alright That’s enough of that, let’s do this. You ready?
Yeah, let’s do this.
Alright, so how did you end up linking up with Bubba?
One of the first producers I ever worked with, his name was Shannon Houchins, we lived in a small town called Valdesta, Georgia. That’s where I went to high school, I played baseball and football. And I kept hearing about this famous producer, I’ve been rappin since 10th grade. So this was a long time ago. So one day at school, there was these two black guys, and they were really good, well they challenged me, and I crushed it. And then they came up to me and they invited me to this studio. To make a really long story short, I ended up moving to Savanah, Georgia after high school, and I was still rappin and recording. And then I got into emceeing over drum and bass. I wasn’t doing to reggae type. And then I moved to New York. I was up there for about three years. I was selling dope. Got caught at Grand Central Station. I was at Rikers for 5 months. My parents got me a lawyer. And they got me out of it. So, when I got out, I stayed in Long Island, and I talked to one of my homies down home, K. Hype, he was the first person I ever recorded with. He said “Shannon is trying to get a hold of you. He’s got this guy coming out, his names Bubba, kinda like the south Eminem. “ So I called him, he had me spit for him over the phone, he liked it. He said they really want us at Interscope because they were automatically going to sign a group with Bubba. So Shannon shot me a 25 page contract and a copy of Bubba’s album.
And I knew how good I was, I was a battle rapper in New York, been in the game for sometime already and had established myself. You know, so I already knew I was talented. I already knew I had some worth as a rapper.
He invited me down to Atlanta, me and Shannon drove to Athens, to meet Bubba, you know, we had to make sure everyone meshed. Me and Bubba ate three hits of acid and sat back. We had a blast. It wasn’t even about music because of, well the acid, but needless to say, we meshed. And here we are today, best friends.
Wow, holy shit, that’s a lot of acid.
Yeah, that’s a good fuckin story isn’t it?
So how long have you been making music now?
I’ve been rappin since the 5th grade man. And according to Myspace I’m 28.
Wow that’s a long time. So give me some background on you. Who the fuck are you? Who is Scramn?
Well, I’m a fuck up. I’ve been fired from every job I ever had. Guys like us ain’t cut out for regular jobs. I’ve sold dope and made music my career. And it’s really the only thing I’m good at besides fuckin’ up. I knew this was the one thing I could do. I never took other stuff seriously. I went to college, but that didn’t last. I took classes but I never got in to any core classes. And I got fired from Taco Bell, fired from Wendy’s, and that’s because I never really gave a shit. I never wanted to do anything but music. I did try to sell Kirby vacuums one time.
I did sell trucks recently. Got involved in that through Colt Ford. I was signed to his label for a long time. He’s one of my best friends. I obviously didn’t fit the country mold. So there wasn’t too much they could do for me
That’s the only problem I have with your career at this point. I don’t think you fit the country rap sound at all. You don’t have that Colt Ford/Struggle Jennings sound. I don’t think at least.
Yeah man I agree, Neither does Bubba really. It’s more of an eclectic line up. Nobody else is doing country rap except Struggle. We all bring something different to each of our shows. It’s not really a country rapper tour.
I dig it. I was just noticing the difference in sounds. Not that one is better than the other. So’ let’s continue. When did you start recording professionally? When did you learn how to actually construct a song, and start getting away from the battling rapping?
I was in the 9th grade when I got in a real recording booth. But I didn’t really get professional and learn how to write a song till I started working with Bubba. He really guided me and mold me into the artist that I have become, and I’m grateful for that.
So is this your first tour?
This is the first tour I have been a main act. I have toured with Bubba, you know, I’m his hypeman, so I’m always on stage with Bubba. And he let’s me perform my songs that I have with Bubba, so it’s like he cosigns it for me, and that’s huge in the music game. And I’ve paid my dues with Bubba, I think I’ve been to jail for Bubba 3 times.
Oh shit, that’s love.
Yeah it is, hahaha. But we’re all older now and we’ve all grown up. I’d like to think that we have gotten past that stage. But, you know, it was one of those respect things. If you’re talking bad about my family, you’re disrespecting me, and we wasn’t on that. We handled it. But, like I said, I’d like to think we out grew all that.
So what’s it like working with Bubba? Is there any pressure? Do you ever get star struck?
Well, because of our history, there’s no pressure. We really are best friends. The only time I did feel pressure was one time working on the Bubba and the Mudcats album, Timbaland produced it. I was in the studio with Timbaland, and I was honestly, a little star struck. That was at the height of his career. I’ve been with Bubba since 2000, so we have developed a real bond.
So you’ve been in the game for a while then.
Well I was signed to Average Joe’s, and they had two sides to the label, country and urban. I was in a group called Animal House with my best friend Jabbajaws, and we put out a record called, Get Drunk or Die Tryin. And shit just worked, so we went with the whole party scene thing. We opened for Bubba at frat houses and did the whole beer bong thing on stage, keg stands, the whole thing. And then I went to prison for a couple years, Colt Ford and Average Joe’s stopped doing the urban side. So that left me and Jabba out. So my landlord built me a studio in my backyard, it looks like a little meth lab in my back yard, but it’s my studio, and I love it. It’s called Geekin’, and you can look that up, literally looks like a shed.
Where did Pay Dirt come from then? The whole concept? Did you have the concept first or did that kind of just develop as you went?
Well one day I was out there, I was worried about how I would feel writing out there. And I wrote the whole album in six weeks. And I was playin Madden one day and I heard the announcer say “He’s ten yards from pay dirt,” and it hit me. You know pay dirt means he’s scoring, he’s ten yards from scoring. And the concept for the cover art was simple. It was a door with my muddy shoes on the door mat. And the back of it was the same door, but my shoes were cleaning. Everybody loved it. They were all like bro, that’s deep. Like I have been walking through the mud my whole career, and now that I’m with New South, it’s like I’m home.
As the interview continued, we laughed and talked about music in general, we got more in depth with some other topics. It was a pleasant conversation. We both seemed very comfortable with each other and information just kept flowing back and forth between us. We talked about the first rap songs we had heard, the first music video we saw, real history. As the conversation dwindled, I asked him for a funny story that has happened on tour, because we all know so dumb shit always happens on the road.
I was with Bubba on the MTV You Hear it First tour, It was Blink 182 and Bubba Sparxxx. So, these venues they chose for this tour, weren’t small, but they were intimate. They all had balconies. And we did a show in Manhattan, and Everlast was at this particular show. So this venue had an actual stage and they had a guardrail set up about 10 feet out to keep people away from the stage area. And the beat dropped, I looked at Bubbas manager and said, I’m about to stage dive. At first he told me not to, then he checked with Bubba and they said it was cool. So I ran. I took off flying and I jumped……..and then. I hit the fuck rail. With my chest. I landed directly on top of the rail. HAHAHA, I would have been embarrassed if I gave a fuck, but the bouncer just pulled me back and got me on stage and we went on with the show. But yeah, that was my first and last time trying to stage dive.
In closing, Scramn is dedicated to his craft, a down to earth kind of guy, and a momma’s boy at heart. If you haven’t yet, head over to The Write Reviews to check out the review on his album Pay Dirt. It’s worth the read, and purchase. Scramn should definitely be in your catalogue just on the strength of his personality. Follow everything New South, right here. And follow him personally at his page Scramn.
If you have question, concerns, or comments, please feel free to leave them. You can also send them direct to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow my Facebook at Annexx. Thanks for the read. Hope you enjoyed it.