Read our interview with Memphis rapper Snootie Wild.
Memphis rapper Snootie Wild burst onto the scene in 2014 with a volley of back-to-back regional megahits in "Yayo" & "Made Me". His rapid rise to prominence was the consequence of talent and hustle after years of struggle. Growing up in a rough neighborhood of North Memphis, Snootie was stabbed in the leg during a basketball game when he was 17 and served multiple stints in jail for aggravated robbery.
Now, things are looking up for ol' Snootie. He's signed to Yo Gotti's CMG and working on his debut album. We had the pleasure of speaking with the affable rapper on the phone earlier this week and premiering his new single "Beetlejuise" this afternoon.
You've said that you are a less angry person now than you were 10 years ago. Why is that?
First of all, it’s a blessing to do something that you love to do. When you see kids look up to you and reciting the words that you write down, it makes you want to be thoughtful in how you move. Because you have kids that are mimicking you and look up to you.
And at the same time, it’s just being out there on the road. You gotta be able to turn it on and turn it off. You don’t have to be the angry guy all the time just because you’re a gangster rapper.
You have four kids. How old are they now? What do you do with them for fun?
The oldest one is Laterrion, 13, the second is oldest is Lanya, she just turned 10. I got Lapriencia, she’s the little bad one, she just turned nine. And Lakirra, he’s 7.
I do my best to spend time with them instead of just spending money. With my boy, he's like my shadow. I play basketball with him when I can, I conversate him, I always kiss him and tell him things he needs to know, because he’s getting that age where he’s about to be a teenager. I don’t want to be a granddaddy any time soon!
What was it like the first time you met Yo Gotti? Was it an opportunity you were trying to seize in that moment, or was it more casual?
It was more casual. My DJ called and let me know, “Gotti wants to meet with you.” We went to a restaurant we go to out here. I guess he was just trying to feel me out and see what level I was on. Him being the King of Memphis, he was hearing my name everywhere. "Snootie Wild this, Snootie Wild that. Snootie Wild came to the club 100 people deep and turned the club down."
At the club, we entertained the crowd, rocked the crowd, had everyone going crazy. He realized that I had other music [besides the two big singles]. I think that’s when he felt confident that he could sign me.
When you were starting out, you were performing at open mics, getting feedback, and trying to get your music playing your music around Memphis,. Now that you're signed, is it still important to operate on that grassroots level?
Oh, definitely. Everywhere I go to, I try to go to a new neighborhood, because every hood is different. I’d just like to be a walking testimony. I been incarcerated, I been at the bottom, and you don’t have to give up. Anything is possible if you believe in it, it’s all up to you on how you feel about yourself and how far you can take yourself. And that’s really it.
I went to a Boys Club in Alabama and I told the same thing to those kids. “You can choose to sell drugs, you can choose to play basketball, you can choose to be the man on the corner robbing people, you can be whatever you’re gonna be. Life itself is gonna show you what’s wrong and what’s right. I just told them, "I’m not here to tell you what to do. But I’m telling you how to do it.” Be the best and let it start from your heart and your mind.
How your new single "Beetlejuise" come together?
I don’t write anything, I really just go with the flow. Me and my engineer and my producer, we were just floating around. We were dancing around, we were enjoying ourselves, we were vibing. And next thing you know, boom! The concept came up. We rolled with the track for a minute. I put in the sample from the Beetlejuise soundtrack and chopped it up myself. I just changed the sound to my flavor that matches my voice.