24: Introduce yourself to
everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
What it do world? This ya dawg Wes Fif,
broadcasting live from Orlando, Florida.
24: What have you been up to
regrouping, if you want to call it that. Legalizing shit on the business end,
doing a lot of recording, recruiting both talent and staff for my Street Smart
Music imprint. Aside from that spending time with my jit, my niggas, my family
– getting my head straight before I go back in.
24: Before we get into your
music, can you describe your history about how you got into the industry and
what inspired you?
basically “got into the game” just by realizing I’m good at this, and then
taking the initiative to learn what I
was getting into, then diving in. What inspired me the most, and still does is
the impact music can have on a person. The emotion that music can evoke is dope
to me. I know how good music makes ME feel – so to be able to make somebody else
feel that way is special. As for my history, started in late 2003 – just me, my
nigga Sami and 100 CD-Rs w/ labels from Best Buy….now I’m here. There’s a lot
more bullshit in between but that’s how it started.
was the Hip hop scene like growing up in Orlando?
was born in Orlando, and was here for several years as a jit then we moved
around. My momma jumped in the military in order to provide for me. I returned
in the early high school years – back to my neighborhood Malibu/Ivey Lane, as
well as in Apopka and over on Texas Ave. In between time I stayed in Hawaii,
Texas, and Maryland before coming back home.
The hip-hop scene was on point w/ shit like the Underground Station, all
the parties that would come through. As for the local scene, my OGs like Chubby
Relle, Warhedz, White Dawg, and a few more ppl were holding it down when I was
24:When people who are not
from Florida think of Orlando hip-hop, usually the names that come up are Wes
Fif and Smilez-N-Southstar. What do you attribute that to? Who are some other
artists in your opinion that we should look out for from Orlando?
mainly attribute that to the fact that Smilez-N-Southstar, and those are the
homeys, had a CRAZY outlet in Transcon, Lou Pearlman’s label. On top of that they
capitalized and delivered a legit hit record in “Tell Me”. I don’t feel like
them niggas get enough respect for the fact that have had a REAL hit. As for
myself – I attribute it to the way I used the internet to my advantage early
on, how I went out of town, to Atlanta, to Miami, places like that to expand my
brand. It was never my goal to ONLY lock down Orlando. The goal has always been
to bring Orlando to the world. As for people you should look out for – there
quite a few doing their thing, it’s not my job to promote them though. Come
through and you’ll see who’s doing what.
24: For fans who don’t
remember your Slip-N-Slide situation, what went wrong over there?
signals, miscommunication, me going hard for them and them not going hard for me
– whatever you want to call it. I
couldn’t even give you a full paragraph about that whole situation, because it
wasn’t much of shit.
24: Since your departure
from the label, you’ve seen the major label side and you’ve been working
without a label for a while. Do you like
doing it all yourself? Do you ever regret your decision to leave after seeing
the success of some of their artists like Plies or Rick Ross?
I wouldn’t even say I’ve seen the “major label” side – for the simple fact that
the machine was never behind me. That time frame I was with them was no
different than when we were rocking dolo.
So I can’t say I’ve experienced that as of yet my g. As for working
without a label, it has its perks, and it has its setbacks. I think you can
find pros and cons in both. I don’t
regret my decision, because why would I want to be somewhere where I wasn’t
wanted? I’m cool on that. In regards to Ross and Plies – anybody familiar with
their situations knows who/what was working to make them pop off, read between
the lines on some of them niggas records and you can see for yourself their
stance on that. When the last time you heard either of them scream that
imprint? Who popped off since them? Nah I don’t regret it. The only thing I
regret is not being able to get some of that knowledge from Ted – I’m always
looking to learn.
24: Has it made you more
business-oriented according to the future of the Wes Fif brand?
I’m always weary of what I choose to cosign or align myself with. Which is why
I watch who I endorse, who I promote, things of that nature. If it’s not
somebody who genuinely fucks with me, if we don’t get money together, or if
you’re not under my Street Smart umbrella – I got nothing to say.
24: What do you think has
made Wes Fif relevant as an artist from many other rappers that Orlando?
Aside from the fact that I’m better!? The fact
that I study the game. The music and the business aspects. I watch trends, read
up on what’s going on in the business, when records come out I find out who
wrote it/who produced it. I stay up on staff changes, etc. Sonically, I’m VERY picky what tracks I make
records too, if I don’t feel like it can compete with or surpass what’s
currently out – I won’t even write/record it.
24: You seem to have a very
loyal fan base. How would you describe them? Are those fans becoming a rarity
I would describe them as the best in the
world. It blows me to this day when people from across the world reach out, via
MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and tell me they still jamming shit I did in
2004. There’s no better feeling in the world. Nah I don’t think those types of
fans are becoming a rarity. I think the type of artist worthy of those types of
fans, are a rarity. The “song” is in the forefront in the game now, not the
24: How do you think fans
see you today?
anxious man; they want this shit to pop off as bad as me, if not more. It’s
inspiration to keep pushing, because all the bullshit, and all the people in
power that have NO CLUE, will make you want to stop.
24: Because you are a
lyrical rapper, how have things like books, movies, television and other media
outlets provide inspiration when writing?
draw my initial inspiration from everyday things, life experiences. What I see,
what I hear, what I go through, what I hear of other people going through.
Things like movies, books, allow me to throw a twist on it, be more creative.
Once you learn to incorporate those things in the music – you can continue to
grow. Every day something different
happens, you should never run out of shit to say.
24: Why do you feel rappers
hide their intelligence when they spit, and dumb down their lyrics?
think niggas still have the misconception that being smart makes you appear
“soft” or whatever. But when you look at all the people that ran shit, be it a
drug kingpin, a gang leader or a hedge fund broker. What separates the winners from
the losers in the long run – is smarts. Lyrically you can still show
intelligence without getting into that “dictionary” rap shit, I don’t go
overboard with big words or anything but you can still tell I’m not a idiot by
what I say, never have been.
24: You have a buzz slowly
building now with I’m Tellin Ya, I’m Goin In, Tiger Woods and your new
street -single Beep. How are you
going to keep it going?
and consistency, I refuse to stop. One thing we take pride in my camp is the
quality of the music. I refuse to be associated with bullshit. You’re about to
see like 7-8 music videos. I’m Tellin Ya
video is already out, it’s a monster. I got Tiger
Woods, Beep, Blow Dem Away w/ Viper and eventually a Goin In visual all on the way. In addition to video blogs and shit
like that, the new mixtape It Aint Hard
To Tell dropping soon too. I got the legendary Outlawz, Schife, Young Joe,
Boosie, and a few more on there.
24: Does it inspire you to
continue pushing forward when you see people making YouTube videos of original
dances to Tiger Woods?
Definitely, it lets me know I’m on the right
track and that people are not only paying attention – but vibing to what I’m
doing. Inspiration isn’t a big enough word for the feeling I get.
you happy with the feedback you’ve been getting from the songs so far?
Yes sir, more than satisfied.
24: Does it bother you at
all that you’re giving out the music for free or do you look at that as
something that you have to do at this point in your career?
Well we did amicable numbers on I’m Tellin Ya on iTunes, so not
everything is always free. I have no problem giving away music though –
especially knowing my fans will support when it’s time to. You have to take the necessary steps in order
to create the demand when it is time to sell product.
24: Everyone knows about
your past history with B.O.B. and the situation with the song “Haterz”. What is
your relationship with him like today?
I’m very happy for dawg, his success with the
current “Nothing On You” record is phenomenal and well deserved. There was
never really a “relationship” outside of business/music. We’ve never really
held a full conversation. I wish him the best, and hope he does crazy numbers;
he’s talented and is a star. The homey Playboy Tre, his big brah – is a homey
of mine and has given me great advice.
24: What do you think of how
so many things are digital with labels today, from iTunes to digital-only
sense, the industry has no choice but to change with the times. In the same
breath I think they give the internet too much power. I still think in a way TV
Video shows were just as influential and are missing today. You no longer get a
good idea of what a artist is like these days, because the focal point has
shifted totally to the web without them having a full understanding of how to
use it. People still need to see interview, 2-3 hour video shows allowed you to
see artists which weren’t quite “superstars” yet.
24: Do you feel like the
magazine-type websites or blogs are more valuable today to a new artist?
I wouldn’t say more valuable, just as
valuable. Everything plays a part. What’s goin’ on these days is everybody is a
copy cat. Nowadays one blog doesn’t differ from the other. The thing that made
blogs dope in the beginning were individuality, difference of opinion. Now you go on 6-7 different blogs, see the
same song, video, as the last. It’s been tainted like everything else.
24: How have you grown as an
artist from when you started up until this point now?
more open-minded to what kind of music I make now. I’ll try things I was
initially opposed to – I won’t just too far off the ledge but won’t stay
confined either. In addition to that, my image is more mature if you will, more
universal from when I jumped in.
24: What kind of situation
would a record label have to offer to get Wes Fif to sign at the dotted line?
Aside from a substantial check, lol. Just have
to be on board with what I’m doing and trying to do – and believe. I’m money in
the bank my nig, from the visual, to the work ethic, to the music. It ain’t
hard to tell. They’re going to have to realize they’re dealing with a artist,
not a ringtone. A artist that will generate multiple ringtones, multiple singles,
24: What producers have you
worked with or would like to work with on any of your upcoming projects?
out to all the producers I fuck with man, C.N.O.T.E., Lex Luger, Doughboy,
Inspired Myndz, Sham, Hypnotikz, Shawneci, D-Rich, Yung Fokus, Rahk, BIG shout
out to my dude Vybe, INFO, J.A. aka The
Future, Fatboi, Kane, it’s a few more.
As for the future, anybody with heat who’s willing to work with me and
24: Can you give us an estimation
of a time period on when an official Wes Fif album will (grace the
shelves/available for download)?
You will see a digital album from me before
2010 is over. As for that grace the shelves shit, whenever these people smarten
up and get tired of putting out duds – we’ll be around.
24: What are you currently
Working on It
Ain’t Hard To Tell w/ DJ MLK outta Atlanta – due out in April, as well as hosting
a lot of DJs mixtapes across the country that rock with me. Working on Paperchase w/ DJ Billy Ho, The Empire,
DJ Young Legend, as well as focusing on building my Street Smart Music brand.
24: How do you feel about
the current state of hip hop in general?
Shit needs new blood, all the
ringtones/singles are cool, but it’s missing artists. People have stopped
getting into artists and following careers now, because artists aren’t made
available to them. Once it gets back to that, it’ll be cool. Then you got
niggas running around pulling their own dick too much, crowning themselves the best,
the dopest, etc. What happened to letting the people crown you!? Niggas out
here looking like idiots when the numbers don’t match the claims. Be 100…..
24: When it’s all said and
done, what would you like to be remembered for?
Doing what the fuck I wanted to do – and
providing good music in the process, keeping people entertained, building a
foundation and putting other niggas on.
24: How would the fans go
about contacting you?
24: Thank you for providing
24hourhiphop.com with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for
your present and future fans?
all good my nig, I appreciate you for having me. Shout out to that boy Breeze,
Big Chuck what it do, Smokey Bear what it do. Drizzle what it do, Billy Blue
what it isssss!!! Last words man I thank y’all for staying down – I got you.
Street Smart Music is here to stay, as am I. I ain’t gone ever pretend or sugar
coat nothing, I’m not going to pretend I’m everybody friend cause I ain’t. I
say I’m better cause I am. I’m God’s
favorite – how can I not be yours!? 100.