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Feb 23, 2003
Skinny, What’s happening mane?

Nothin’, just rap hustlin’.

Okay, you’re from North Memphis, right?


What part?
Well, I was born and raised in Dixie Homes, which is like right in the alley by the projects.

What was life like growing up in Dixie Homes?

It was kinda hard because my mama and my daddy used to stay out trying to get their money, just like how I be doing some times. I was raised by my granddaddy. And he was real strict. He raised us the old fashioned way.

What kinda music did you grow up listening to?

Back in the day, I used to listen to Michael Jackson, Prince....stuff like that. As far as rap goes I was listening to some LL Cool J, the Skinny Boys, the Fat Boys and stuff like that.

Living in Memphis I imagine you heard a lot of that old 70s music such as the Stax and Marvin Gaye, which is commonly known in Memphis as “that Pimpin’ Mane.”

Oh yeah, man that’s all I used to listen to. We listened to stuff like Marvin Gaye, Willie Hutch, Lamont Dozier, Isaac Hayes, and the Isley Brothers. You know that old pimp music.

How did you decide to get into rapping?

When I was at school at Herman Junior High we all used to be in the hallway beat-boxing and rapping. It was right by the projects where I had moved to. It was like a ten-minute walk form there. Anyway, a lotta people used to come doing other peoples raps. I had a homeboy who is a famous Memphis rapper right now who used to do those old Skinny Boys routines. He used to get their tapes before they’d come out and he’d come kicking their raps like he wrote them. That was back in 1985, which I when I started rapping.

Now most people know you through your association with 3-6 Mafia, but you were rapping with a crew before that….

I’ve always been Kingpin Skinny Pimp. I tried to bring along one of my friends from the neighborhood named 211. Right now he’s not like he used to be –he used to one of the hardest rappers out there, but he let the streets take him under.

So your association with 3-6 Mafia started with King Of Da Players Ball….

Well, King Of Da Player’s Ball wasn’t our first album. My first album was called Pimps & Robbers. That was the first album that I ever put out with a tape cover. I sold 10,000 units with no radio what so ever. That was when I was on this company called Outlaw Records.

Back then we were just making records. We didn’t really care about the business. We were satisfied just making rap music. You could’ve gotten us to make a whole album for beer back then. This is back in 92.

So that record did pretty well for you?

Well, it did okay, at the time we were putting out albums some kinda way we were always in the hole. But I really didn’t understand the music business the way I’m understanding it now. Like I said we were just more into it for the fun and the enjoyment. It was all about the money then.

How did you hook up with 3-6 Mafia?

Well, me and DJ Squeeky, we used to do a lotta underground mix tapes. We were doing stuff before the Squeeky album. Back then it was more underground tapes than anything. I was doing an underground tape, Squeeky was doing underground tapes and DJ Paul was doing underground tapes. After Squeeky and I had got into it about something at the club, I struck out and went to Paul because Squeeky always wanted to jump on Paul because they were always putting his stuff on their mix tapes without his permission. So I went over Paul’s house and we started doing stuff, talking bad about Squeeky and nem, The next thing you know we were all into it and starting scrapping in the mall and stuff. It got real deep on that. After that everybody knew that we had real beef on the street and they started buying our underground CDs just to see what we were saying about each other.
After that Paul and them…we all started to get so close that they were working for me in my club that I used to own. I used to pay them to DJ and stuff. When I was 19 I had got married and I was doing well. I had a club and a studio. But when me and my wife got into it and we divorced. I was doing real bad. I was living with my auntie because my head had got really messed up and I wasn’t really focused on making money. I lost my club and my studio and I was doing real bad. Paul and them, knew that I was messed up and so they came on through and said, “hey man, let’s sign Skinny,” which I was ready to do because I was really messed up. Plus I figure that these are my dogs. They wouldn’t fuck me. But by the time the album Mystic Styles came the distributor had given them 100,000 dollars for them to make a video, but instead of doing that they all bought new cars.

What had hurt so bad was I wasn’t caring about the rap or nothing about that, all I cared about is having some money in my pocket, a place to stay and a little ride to get around in because I didn’t hardly have nothing, but a pair of shoes and a couple pairs of pants.

So Paul came over and said, "Skinny man, I know you want this ride man, I really don’t want to do it but I’ll give you $10,000 if you sign all your rights away to us right now"

Me, I ain’t never seen 10 Gs all at one time. And he was like I’m serious. I’m I was like I’m serious, let’s roll.

So when did you start to realize that something was wrong?

When I realize how easy it was to make $10,000. that kinda messed me up. And I realized what I had given up. They was supposed to be my dogs. He was like Skinny, go on and get you a ride. I know you want you a ride. So I spent about 8 thousand dollars on a little ride. Then Paul would say go on and get you some rims, mane. Just be clean, mane. I said man, I ain’t gonna spend my last muthafucking $2,000 for rims. Instead, I went and invested in a record store. And some kinda way I ended up coming up on a studio again. I bought it from MVP. So Paul and nem were still coming around me, playing it cool. They knew that I was still mad at them but they were playing it cool.

I had recorded an album King of the Players’ Ball and was selling it outta my own store.

That’s when they came at me and got me to sign away my rights. King of the Player’s Ball sold almost a hundred thousand copies. It made Paul and Juicy J rich and I got nothing except the 10 Gs they gave me up front. I couldn’t be mad at them because it was business. I had signed a one-year contract with an option year and I decided not to exercise my option.
Then you hooked up with 40th Streets Records, and did the New Beginning LP. What happened with them?

40th Street, they started out cool until they stop taking care of their artists. It had gotten so bad that artists were sleeping all up in the studio. One man who had a wife and kids started sleeping all in the studio. It had gotten so bad that I had started carrying my pistol to the studio. In fact that started toting pistols. It had gotten that crazy.

But the dude that owned the label was pumping us up. He did take us out on tour and stuff. I liked that because people did get a chance to see my face and stuff. And it did help to get me out there. He did put some money into the project. The only thing about it was he didn’t know what he was doing. His A & Rs didn’t know what they were doing.

But the album did ended up selling 20,000 copies, once again with no radio. My last album, Da Product sold over 40,000 copies with no promotions or radio.

How did you hook up with Rap Hustlers?

I been knowing Dre for a minute. I’d known him since 93 because he used to do little shows. He was about to do a compilation album and I was telling him man you need to go on out and put out my album. My album is going to sell, you’ll make some money off that joint. So he said okay, I’ll go on and try it. And he put out that 2000 Dope Game.

Me and MVP had already been working on that album, but we needed an investor. And came on in and we split the money three ways. And that’s when I really started to see some real money.
Feb 5, 2005






- GEEzUz