Big Scoob is coming into his own. The Kansas City Rogue Dog Villian had his music career on pause for years prior to signing with Strange Music and releasing Monsterifik. After shaking off the rust in the studio and on the road, Scoob is ready to step into his own with his sophomore album Damn Fool, the album that he promises will show everybody the Scoob that he was hesitant to reveal on his debut. I sat down and talked to Scoob in between studio sessions for the upcoming release and we discussed his plans for Damn Fool, the up-and-downsides of being signed to Strange Music, and what he hopes to accomplish in his career.
Strange Music Blog: Since your time reuniting with Tech and being labelmates, how has that been for you?
Big Scoob: Aw shit, it’s been cool man. It’s been like–I didn’t know what to expect signing with Strange because it’s a different fan base than I had when I was doing my Rogue Dog shit. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know how the fans were going to take to me. Overall, I’m getting big love from the fans–way more than I expected. There’s still a few out there that don’t even give me a chance because they say I’m on a whole different style of music. I do street music so they’re not fucking with me, period–not even giving my shit a shot. But you know, you can’t make everybody like you, you dig?
SMB: It’s usually a pointless exercise to even try. The crossover you made from the Rogue Dog villian stuff to signing with Strange, have you gained more fans that you otherwise wouldn’t of had?
Scoob: Yeah, but at the same time I lost some people too. It’s like a double-edged sword fucking with Strange. The following that Strange Music has built over the years–the die-hard following believes that Strange is like the underground movement of all-time. They’re paying attention and they’re up on everything that Tech does and they love him to death. They know every move. They’re Internet-savvy, they pay attention to our lives–it’s like Strange fans are part of our lives, you dig what I’m saying? The fans I had at first, I lost a lot of those fans, because they don’t stay in touch on the Internet. They’re mostly like: if your song is bangin’ in the club, they’re fucking with you. They really don’t go to shows or pay for concert tickets and shit. It’s basically: if your shit’s bangin’ in the club, then your shit is bangin’ on the streets. Strange is like a movement. You got to stay up on what’s next, and that’s what Strange fans do.
SMB: Are you trying to appeal to both worlds as you do this? Are you seeing a response from the streets with the songs you’re putting out?
Scoob: Slowly. I’m seeing a slow build now. Just recently I’ve been going back to clubs personally, taking my CD. A couple of DJs that I hadn’t seen in years, I gave them cash out of my pocket to go to the store and buy my CD. It’s like “I know ya’ll not up on it. I’m not knocking you for not being up on it because I know ya’ll don’t follow artists on the Internet.” It’s like two different worlds, you know what I mean? It’s like a double-edged sword. There’s great things coming from being with Strange and also there’s a downside. So what I’m trying to do with my new album Damn Fool is tie all of it together. I’m an independent artist. Strange is like a juggernaut right now but it’s still an independent label. So the only way to get what I’m after is: I’m gonna have to get up and put in the work like I used to when we was doing the Rogue Dog Villain shit. I gotta show my face in the clubs. I gotta hit the road. Like, one night I’m gonna have to be in Chicago, the next night I have to be in a club in Minnesota, the next night I have to drive my big-ass down to Texas. That’s just how it goes. You gotta get out here, show your face, and fuck with the people.
SMB: Out of all the artists on this label, you seem to be the most integrated into the streets, it must be important to you to reach them.
Scoob: That’s where my roots are. Those are my people. I relate to the struggle. The only reason why I came back to music to be honest with you–with the Rogue Dog shit and Tech how he left and now with Strange–it was like unfinished business. We had a movement started. I sold a lot of units on the Hogstyle Records. It was like a movement had begun and I got fed up with music and Tech went and done his whole thing and I just totally left. I was fed up. I left it alone. But the streets still love that grit-music. Now that I’m fucking with this Strange Music it’s like–these kids fucking love everything we do. I call it “Rap and Roll” man because these fucking fans–
SMB: They go insane.
Scoob: Yeah. Man, I tell everybody. I talked to Red Cafe, I talked to Fat Joe, Glasses Malone, Messy Marv–I tell these guys “man, ya’ll don’t have real fans.” Glasses came on tour with us so he knows. “Ya’ll haven’t seen what we see night to night. Your fans don’t go hard like this, ya dig?” My point is: me being from the streets, me missing that opportunity that we had, I want my people on the other side of the coin to come together and see this with me. Like this is some amazing shit!
SMB: I know a lot of Strange Music releases have a certain sound because they mess with a lot of the same producers. Do you have to go outside the box to achieve that street sound? Do you tell these guys “listen, I need some shit like this. I need it to have that Rogue Dog feel” or how does that work?
Scoob: That’s how we all do the production. I use a lot of the same producers. The only producer that I use that they don’t is my guy Boogie Man. That’s how you choose production though. When I talk to Seven I let him know like “I need my beats slappin’ man! I need my shit in the pocket.” That rough, raunchy–a lot of french horns–like we sit and talk to build the beats. I lot of them sounds I hear in my head when I set out to do a project. On this album here, Damn Fool, what I’m setting out to do is show a lot more of my personality. On Monsterifik, I was all…actually I was nervous to tell you the honest-to-God truth. I’d been gone from music for eight years, it was my first solo project. I came and had meetings with Trav, meetings with Tech, meetings with magazines telling them that I could do a solo project that somebody wants to hear, but in actuality, I didn’t know what the fuck I was going to come up with. Now I got a little more confidence. I’m having a little bit more fun so I feel like, the Scooby that Tech knows, the Scooby that Trav knows, the damn fool that gets on everybody’s nerves with jokes, the damn fool that will say anything when he out in public, the damn fool everybody on my block loves, the damn fool–I want to show him to everybody. That’s what I’m shooting for.
SMB: Have you talked to anybody for collaborations or anything like that?
Scoob: Yeah man I have but I really don’t like to talk about it because every time you talk about it, it really don’t come true.
SMB: It fucking jinxes it.
Scoob: Yeah yeah but I will just say: Glasses Malone is my partner, Messy Marv is my partner, my guy Inglewood Muggs he fucks with Red Cafe tough: he fucks with Fat Joe, he fucks with Mack 10. I’m kind of digging this nigga Snoop’s music. I’m liking how he did his whole career: he can do his gang bang talk, he can do his grown-man talk, he can do his pimp talk–it doesn’t matter, the media fucking loves this guy. So, if I could mold my career after that nigga I’ll be more than happy. Those are some people that I love. My guy Scarface down at Rap-A-Lot, my boy Z-Ro down at Rap-A-Lot. Slim Thug. That’s just some of the people that I’m into so I’ll just say it like that.
SMB: I’ve heard you say things like “I’m not the rapper, Tech’s the rapper.” Do you feel like you’re honing your craft as you move along?
Scoob: I was just speaking about this last night. I just did a song with my guy Txx (Texas) Will, one of my Rogue Dog Villains. We just did a song last night called “Five Six”, just a glimpse back to where we’re from. He was kind of struggling with it and I was like “man, every time we do a song it’s like you’re nervous all over! Nigga what you nervous of? Man, you fucking Txx Will! Nigga do your shit!” We all laughed and I thought about it like, that’s the same way I was! You gotta have that confidence on the mic in order for that confidence to come through. It’s like: naw I don’t rap and spit like Tech, naw I aint got a million styles like Tech. It’s not my thing. But you know, my all-time favorite rappers is dudes like Chuck D, Ice Cube, Scarface, 8Ball. They don’t use rapping styles but they paint you such a picture and give you such a message that you just love their fucking rap. That’s what I’m trying to do in my music. I’m trying to get more comfortable now to where if I write something then it’s not about the style of how I wrote it. It’s about: what did I leave you in that sixteen bar verse?
SMB: Right, and the style is just going to come out on its own. You’re gaining that confidence.
Scoob: Right. That’s where I hope I’m at on this project and that’s where I believe I’m at with Damn Fool. I already laid the title track and I’ve already laid probably fucking fifteen hooks. When I’m on and in the studio it’s like I’m kind of smelling myself now. I’m knowing the shit I say is cold. I don’t give a fuck if ya’ll like it or not. This is my shit, my life, my history, my present, my future. This is what I’m on. This is the best I can do. As long as I give ya’ll my best, I lay my heart on this microphone, there’s nothing else I could do.
SMB: So do you think in Monsterifik you were trying to please people where as now you’re doing it more for yourself?
Scoob: In Monsterifik, I was trying to please people but at the same time I was stuck on: these motherfuckers do about 200 shows a year, so I’m not about to go in the studio and punch in no verses, and then I got to do this shit live and tank. I can go ahead and do rap-and-spittin-ass verses, because that’s what I used to do. I used to lay it down like that. Tech knows I can do it but at the same time you do 200 shows a year–can I do this shit live? I didn’t want to rap and spit on the first album so that was really weighing heavy on my brain. How they going to take to this if I don’t do the same patterns like Tech and Kali? Because they love the fuck out of Kali too. I kind of let Kali be my mentor through this whole Strange journey. A lot of people wasn’t ready for that. I don’t think they thought Kali and I would’ve clicked as tough as we have. That’s like my guy at Strange. I’m trying to follow his mold with my personality. I watch him and how he interacts with the fans. We call him Martin Luther Kaliko. He wants to make everybody happy, he tries to fix everybody’s problems–that’s just his personality. What people don’t know about me is that I feel a lot of the same ways. You know, I care if a motherfucker’s feelings are hurt. I care about this, but at the same time, when my feelings are hurt I lash out. You dig what I’m saying? I’ll be on some Damn Fool shit. Like if you watch me on UStream or if you know me, you know if I’m sipping whiskey I’m liable to say any-fucking-thing.
SMB: Yeah I’ve noticed this.
Scoob: To get back to the question, with Monsterifik I kind of supressed a lot of that part of my personality. I pulled it back because I didn’t want to step on Trav’s toes–I didn’t want to ruffle no feathers. I didn’t want nobody looking at me I just wanted to slide through like “okay, I’m here. I did what I was supposed to do.” It was like playing my part to the fullest. All the fans always ask me “why you only do one song when you perform? We want to see more!” I’m like, “I just signed with this label. They’ve been performing for ten straight years!” Don’t you think I would be an asshole if I came in this motherfucker and said “Okay, if Kaliko and Kutt are just now doing their twenty minutes, I want my twenty minutes.”
Scoob: But the fans don’t understand this! So, I’m just trying to play my part, but now we’ve evolved into Damn Fool. With Damn Fool it gives me the pass to be who I am. So I say: people better get prepared.
SMB: It must be a good feeling. It sounds like something you’ve been waiting for.
Scoob: I’m glad that I was able to get to this spot. A lot of people don’t know: I hate it, I hate it with a passion, I hate performing live. It’s not my thing. It makes me nervous as hell. I got a touch of OCD man so if everything doesn’t unfold the same way from night to night it fucks with me. I hate like, when the venue changes: this venue doesn’t have a shower, this venue doesn’t have a room, this venue doesn’t have this, I’m not going to be able to do this. From night to night, I be stressed the fuck out before every show. I be about to lose my fucking mind before I come on stage. A lot of people don’t know that. I’ve been trying to tell people on Twitter. They think I’m bullshitting but in reality performing live is not really my strong suit. I know that’s ironic to say signing with Strange because that’s what we fucking do! But to get back to the question: yes I’m happy that I’m finally at a point where I’m kind of getting comfortable enough to where I can let my personality out.
SMB: Speaking of the tour, we were following that a lot back home on Twitter and what not while you guys were on the road. You got a lot of good reviews. Do you think you improved as a live performer and does it fuel you to want to do more?
Scoob: I’m happy that the tour went well–and the tour went very fucking well. I really loved it besides a couple of shows where there was 140 people on stage. I loved the love. The screams and the cheers, that shit feels good as a motherfucker. I’m a gambling man so I love that fucking rush. That’s how it kind of feels, like when you hit a jackpot or your number comes up on roulette and nigga you hit 3,600 on that motherfucker. That’s how it feels when you got a crowd and you’re out there rocking it. Motherfuckers are like, “I got your motherfucking ass.” I look at Tech and we got little jokes and we talk–little shit we do on stage that they don’t know about. Me and Kutty be talking doing “Salue” looking at each other and smile. That shit feels good as a motherfucker, but I don’t ever believe I’ll be able to get over the nervousness–ever.
SMB: Any favorite spots on the tour? Any cities?
Scoob: I don’t really get off the bus much man. I really stayed where I’m at. Like I’m saying I’m a programmed individual. Throwing different shit at me day-to-day is not quite right. I like to keep it moving the way it’s supposed to be, but I believe it was Spokane, Washington–that motherfucking crowd was a beast. I loved it. Seattle, Washington we did two shows and the second one was for like 450 people–that shit was amazing. We was parked like two blocks from the water. I loved that motherfucking show. Of course, not only because of the crowd, but you know I love Vegas. I lost damn near my whole tour check. House of Blues, LA. I thought it was going to be uppity industry folks in the crowd. You know how it is: all the magazines want to come out, the radio people want to get in for free, all the executives from the labels. There’s usually an uppity feeling to the LA show–not this time. This nigga Tech had fans lined up all the way around the corner at the House of Blues two or three hours before showtime. I’m talking about straight Latino, white, black, everything. That’s what I’m saying. It was like: gangbangers, fucking Juggaloes, fucking heavy-metal heads, fucking rock and roll kids. Man this shit’s amazing, you know what I mean? I love the shit out of LA too.
SMB: What’s some of the craziest stuff you saw on the road?
Scoob: Yeah I forgot about Worcester (Massachussetts). Worcester is an amazing spot and now that you say that, that’s what I’m about to say. Motherfuckers were climbing the balcony and diving off that motherfucker. There was another town–dude jumped off the balcony man, landed on his side and fucked himself real good but got up and ran through the crowd. Yeah, motherfuckers go hard out here. That’s what I’m saying. I need my guys to see this man. I need my people to see the type of shit that’s going on. Nobody really knows what the fuck is going on out here. I need motherfuckers to know about this man.
SMB: Who do you want to see this?
Scoob: Everybody actually. But my saying this is like–when you turn on the television there’s all these shows about gang bang life, or tough life, the way people struggle to grow up without a father, your brother gets shot, your mother’s on drugs. What I’m saying is that I really come from that. I’m not a fucking actor. I don’t do this shit on the television show and then back home to my fancy little mansion. It’s like I am what those people exploit. So instead of trying to exploit it in my music I’m trying to bring it to life and make a change for it.That’s why I talk about my movement: I’m trying to bring to life the fact that everybody that walks through my life is not a fucked up individual. Yes, we have fucked up individuals where I’m from but at the same time it’ s not all bad. There’s good shit that goes on. Half the people ya’ll love, a lot of those people came from these same gutters. I call it my Gutta Movement. I want the people that the music is about, the people that the movies are about, I want us to stand up and pay attention for once. This shit is going on and I’m here to speak about it through ya’ll, for ya’ll. Record labels say now: “gangsta rap is dead.” I got a song on Damn Fool about this it’s called “My Journey’s Been Amazing”. Stuff about how my father was killed on my fifth birthday, talking about how I was shot and almost died and how I evolved into what I am today–my journey’s been amazing, you know what I mean? Pay attention to the shit I’m saying instead of just putting me in a box like “oh that’s gangsta rap so I don’t listen to that.” I didn’t ask you to put a label on what the fuck I’m doing. So when I say I want my people to pay attention I’m talking about people that’s really in the struggle that all this shit is about but we’re not eating off of it. It’s time for some real motherfuckers to eat off of this shit.