EXCLUSIVE Interview With Big Scoob: ‘I Miss That Street Money’

May 3 2011

iTunes and in stores, we wanted to talk to Scoob to get his perspective on the album, where he’s going, and where he wants to be. Scoob expressed his conflicts between the expectations of Strange Music fans versus those of himself and his hood. To juggle these two ends of the spectrum is a willing act of schizophrenia, but Scoob finds himself without a choice. Unless he wants to go back to the streets for his paper (which he says he’s willing to do), the rap game is his primary option. Here’s Big Scoob

SM: Now Damn Fool, as far as the album, how do you feel about it?

Big Scoob: It’s right, man. I mean, what I did was I kinda tried to find my niche with the Strange fans. It’s like Strange fans, the majority of them aren’t really rap fans. They’re Tech N9ne fans. Because he gives you so much energy, so much style that it makes you be like, “damn, did you hear that?” So that’s why they love him. My music is not like that. But what i found out was on the road, everybody i would meet, including people like Tech and Trav, everybody is always like, “damn boy, you a fool.” “Don’t say that. Don’t do this. Why you gotta say that?” So everybody I meet is like, “Scoob is fuckin’ hilarious.” What I did is say that’s the part of me that people in this walk of life are taken to. I tried to put a lot more of that into the album Damn Fool. I still got my street shit in there, still got my heartfelt shit, you know talkin’ to the partners I’ve lost. You know and with my struggle between should I do music or go back to the streets, all that’s in there too. But I put more of that damn fool personality [on the album]. I get people that hit me everyday on my phone because I put my number on Twitter. I get people that hit me and say, “how much you charge for a verse?” And I hit ’em back and say, “two stacks.” They’ll hit me back and say, “what’s a stack.?” If you don’t understand basic slang like that, when you listen to my album, you [will] probably be like what the fuck is he talkin’ about. So on this album, I came with “Dickie Mouth” bitch. Everybody knows about a whore bitch. Everybody fucks. I got songs like “Drunk and Stupid”. Everybody drinks. What I did was, I just tried to go back in, and I tried to do songs really with comedic value. But at the same time, it’s a part of me, it’s how i live, it’s what i do. Hopefully this time I’ll get more people to connect with it. Because when I do features on Tech’s albums, they love that shit. But getting them to buy my album is a different story. Hopefully I can get them to connect to this damn fool persona that I’m giving them and it’ll be a good story. That’s what I’m hoping I can do with Damn Fool.

SM: Anything as far as producers or guest appearances to look forward to?

Big Scoob: I got my folks on there, people I fuck with. I got Skatterman, OG Bumpy Knuckles out the East. I got a few people on there that i fuck with, that musically I like. I tried to get E-40, but actually him coming out on the Independent Grind Tour made me miss getting a verse from him. It was like, he was working on his album at the same time. His deadline was while we were out on the road. I was trying to wait on a verse, but while we on the road he was workin on his album. Every city we stopped in, we [got] a hotel room. We got a little portable studio. We working on his album, trying to get his shit done. So actually I didn’t get E-40 on it. That’s the one I really would have wanted, but it’s cool. We’ll do somethin in the future. Other than that, I got Big Rich from the Bay, guys I fuck with.

SM: Bumpy Knuckles. Isn’t that Freddy Foxxx? How do you guys know each other?

Big Scoob: Through Inglewood Mugs. Mugs knows every-fuckin’-body in the world. Through mugs I’ve met Fat Joe and Red Café. That’s how Tech got to sit down with Wayne in Rikers. Mugs put it together. He’s a beast out here. He knows everybody.

SM: How is that exactly?

Big Scoob: He’s been in the business for a while, and in his town, he’s well respected. He comes from gang bang, from the streets. Suge Knight is his homie. Every time we go to San Diego or Vegas, Suge comes out and checks out the show. Everywhere we go, this guy is well connected and very much respected. He’s a good guy to know.

SM: Some of the guest spots that you’ve been on since last summer – the Jay Rock Black Friday mixtape and “Down for the Block” – how’d you like how those verses came out?

Big Scoob: “Down for the Block”: my voice was actually tore up. My voice was gone, but it’s cool. I only heard it once since i laid it, which was the other night actually. I didn’t even know, but I thought my verse was still on “Hard Liquor.” I didn’t know my verse wasn’t on that motherfucker no more. That’s what i was looking for [on YouTube] and i found the other one [“Down for the Block”]. I haven’t heard that shit since we laid it. But it’s cool. I got one with Young Bleed too. It’s on the internet right now. It’s on the album called The Committee. Young Bleed used to be signed with No Limit Records. Me, him, Kevin, a cat named Chauncey Clyde, and a broad outta here named Sunday on the track I believe. I haven’t heard it finished yet.

SM: Were getting extra attention because of those mixtapes?

Big Scoob: That’s basically what the fans take to. When they hear me on other shit, they love it. So that’s like the talk. And really, I don’t read much but Twitter and every now and then sometimes I don’t really read my Twitter. I don’t go on the computer. I’ve never been on Twitter on the actual computer. I just do it on my phone. My list only holds 99 at a time. Sometimes my list fills up, and I’ll just let it fill up again so I miss entire conversations. I don’t go to the message boards. It’s like the negativity ain’t gonna do me well. The point I’m making is–like how Tech has these little kids [who] say what they wanna say to [him]. They talk about his daughters, and he doesn’t take it well. He’s on Twitter arguing. It’s really not a good look–and I know how my attitude is. It’s not a good thing for me. I really don’t read the message boards. I just do me, man. I get some of the direct messages to me. Like i said, I put my number on Twitter, so people text message me all the time. Sometimes I answer, sometimes I don’t. I read the messages on Twitter that’s directly about me. Other than that, I really don’t get in that shit. If you ain’t fuckin’ with me, don’t buy my shit.

SM: We did a poll of the fans’ favorite drinking song. “Salue” beat out “Caribou Lou” and “KC Tea”. How do you feel about that?

Big Scoob: That’s tight man. The only thing is, it beat it out on that poll. But “Caribou Lou” is about to go gold. “Salue” ain’t about to go shit.

SM: Do you think that goes along with your hypothesis of what Strange fans are looking for from you?

Big Scoob: I think, yes, you can tie into that. Everyone can. At the same time, I believe that song took on a whole different life when we decided to do it on stage. The first tour I ever went on was K.O.D. And the first 10 shows, I was so nervous because I don’t really like to perform. That’s not my thing. I really don’t like it to be totally honest with you. I was so nervous before I went on stage the first seven or eight shows, and I can remember like the seventh show was in Columbia. That’s when Kutt Calhoun, without knowing it, [started] how we do the bounce on “Salue.” Kutt did it, just doing it. So I seen him doin’ it, so I did it with him. First we was bouncing to each others backs, just me and Kutt. So the next show, Tech seen it. We got the show recorded that night and went on the tour bus and watched it, and we all looking like we should bounce the same way, and shit just came out, and once it became a routine. It was like the song took on a whole different life. If you just hear it on the album, it’s cool, but if you see it live, it’s like “that’s a bad [motherfucker]”. Performing it live–and now I’ve performed it over fuckin 300 times–it’s like the fans love it now. It’s a fan favorite. I love that. If thats what it takes to get them to listen to me, you know what i mean, that’s good shit.

SM: What’s more important to you: pushing that gutta movement that you wanna do, or reaching the established fans of Strange?

Big Scoob: The most important thing to me is making a living to be totally honest with you. Everyone says “chase the dream, chase the dream.” My dream is to be able to make a living. My dream is not to worry about if I have to get back in these streets to pay the bills. I take care of a lot of people. I take care of my moms. I do a lot of shit where i have to be confident in my head that this money is here. I can’t just let loose and just do music–I got a lot of shit that i’m worried about. I know the average fan thinks Strange Music is rich. That’s not the truth. Tech’s album is the only album that really sells over here. My whole thing is: I’m gonna be me regardless. Let me say this too: it’s being able to make a living at this, without compromising my morals. You dig what I’m saying? The hardcore, diehard Strange fans wanna hear dark shit. The response to Krizz Kaliko’s album was: “I’m glad you’re doing better, I’m glad you’re living well, but I’m not there right now. My life is not that right now.” Actually, for real, I got a fucked up mentality where for 60 days or 40 days, I look at the bright side of everything. Then for a month or so, I’m fucked up. Like it ain’t worth shit to me. That’s just what I do. That’s the type of individual that I am. I could write songs from that side of me and sell out. When I mean sell out I mean just to get a check, just to sell records, I could write all dark music. People might not want to admit it, but everybody looks at the bad side of every situation. Sometimes I’m stuck on the bad side. I could write music from there if I wanted to. That’s what the diehard Strange fans would prefer. But I feel like I would be exploiting the fans. I don’t think that would be right. That’s what I’m proud of with Damn Fool. I could have written a whole album about being fucked up, feel this bullshit. I don’t think that’s the type of shit that I should do. But, with that being said, I am working on an EP called No Filter. It’s more along those lines. It’s like I say what I want, what I really feel on this project. It will be a little different. To answer your question, I’m most proud on Damn Fool that I stuck to what I’m pushing, what I’m moving, what I’m about, where I came from; but at the same time, I tried to tie more with the fans. I guess the most important thing to me is just being true to myself. If I truly, honestly feel fucked up at the point where I’m sitting down writing a song, [I’ll] be honest about it, but don’t make it a stretch. [I] don’t stretch to do dark shit when that’s not what I’m feeling. I feel that would be bullshit. Really, I do, but this gutta movement that they don’t understand, it’s me for real, but a lot of them dig it, a lot of them try to fuck with it just because I’m Tech’s big homie. At the same time, there’s a lot of fans that aren’t into that shit, and I don’t blame them. That’s just like you bringing me a heavy metal album. I can listen to it with you, and I can tell you if I think it’s good or not, but is this what I’m gonna go buy? No. This is how the fans are. While they’re listening to Tech N9ne, here comes this Big Scoob guy and that’s not what [they’re] into. They just wanna hear Tech. I don’t blame them for that. That’s how they live. But I have to reach the fans that live like I live, and have seen what I’ve seen. That’s the struggle I’m going through right now. That’s not in the Strange market plan.

SM: How do you reconcile with that? Does it fuck with you?

Big Scoob: Very much so. The only way to really get through it, is to do what I’ve been in here talking to y’all about. I just built my own studio because going back and forth to Chapman’s, where we record at, only using one engineer, it will take two years in between projects. People forget about you in that time. The name of the game now is volume. [It’s] the more shit you got on the Internet, the more videos you got, the more songs, the more different shit people can hear from you to know your versatility. However, if you wait two years between projects, you don’t know if I’ve grown, or if I’ve been through new things. You don’t know shit. All you know is last time you heard me I was talking ’bout gutta butta. You hear me again [talking ’bout that], you think I’m on the same shit. You don’t know what I’ve been through in all that time. So, the only way to rectify the situation is to take matters into my own hands. I’m learning how to engineer my own sessions. What has to happen is [that] I need to get more involved in my websites. I was gonna create my own website. I need to get involved in bigscoob.com. I wanna do “Free Song Friday.” Every Friday, we throw up a new song. If I just hear a beat, and wanna go in and do something with it, we just put it on the Internet for free. Let motherfuckers know I’m constantly working, I’m constantly going. This is what I’m trying to do for a living. Strange is a powerhouse right now, but if I go to my neighborhood and mention anything we’ve done, nobody knows. Where I’m from, people don’t sit on computers all day. Strange Music is a movement through the Internet, basically. My people don’t have Twitter or Facebook. When I’m on tour, I get calls from my guys who say they’re about to swing around. They say: “Where you at? When you comin’ home? 40 days?” Nobody knows. That’s the part that bothers me. Let me say this, I’m not just a complainer. I know for a fact, y’all trying like a motherfucker. I’m just saying, I don’t have a plan either [as to] how to make these motherfuckers see what we’re doing. In order for my movement, my projects to work, it has to bleed over. The next step is to try to pump volume, try to put shit out. You know, do a mixtape, do an EP. Just put out free songs, man. I got a guy right now, I don’t know if people are up on him, but Icy Roc.

SM: I wanted to ask about him.

Big Scoob: He’s doing videos now. He produced a track on my new album. It’s called “All I Kno is Hood.” I’m gonna start working with Icy Roc, and I wanna shoot, like, six videos. With Strange in my budget, we make the high-priced video that’s ready for MTV and BET. It’s that quality. At the same time, BET and MTV ain’t checking for me. In reality, I would rather shoot straight-to-YouTube videos. We bring the cost down from $15,000-$20,000 a video to $1,500 a video. Let me shoot six or seven of them. That would mean I have to go in my own pocket to do it. Tech is doing so much new shit around here that everybody’s focused on moving to the next step, but me, I’m hustlin’. I come from the streets. I come from money, man. I see money being left behind. I’m not trying to be a superstar. Tech is gonna be a superstar. It’s a given. That’s what he is shooting for. That’s where they headed. It’s coming. I’m just trying to make a living at this shit. I see a lot of angles and avenues where I can be good. That’s what I’m on. But at the same time, I’m torn between is it worth it. That’s where I’m at right now. Do I dig in my own pockets to make this movement take off to make money, or do I just sit back and let the office take care of it and do it their way? If I was 25, this would be a wonderful position. But being 20 years older than that.. I don’t know, man.

SM: So you are gonna start working with Icy Roc? He is a great producer.

Big Scoob: I been knowing Roc forever. Prolly since ’91 or before.

SM: He seems like an unsung hero behind KC rap.

Big Scoob: He had Tech. I don’t mean on a label deal or nothing like that. But they was partners and Tech lived with him. A lot of people found out about Icy Roc through Tech. It’s like everybody was fucking with Roc, but Tech was putting out what they weren’t putting out. Every time they would hear their songs or see their shows they was on dark music. Harder music, basically. People was skeptical. You would go in the studio with black lights and skulls. If it wasn’t for that, a lot more people would have fucked with him. I would have to say he is one of the founders, and Black Walt. I would have to give it up to him for sure.

SM: Is he going to be doing videos or music?

Big Scoob: He produced a track on Damn Fool like I told you, so he’s doing both. I don’t have new production from him for this new project I’m working on now. I need to call Icy Roc and see if he’ll send me some new shit. But, I really wanna fuck with him on his video game. He just shot a video for Txx Will. It’s cool. It’s nothing special, but for YouTube that’s what I’m talking about. Mine is gonna be grittier. I don’t need special effects and shit. We just throw a motherfuckin’ barbecue together or whatever. Go to Gates and shoot it, the Royals Stadium, the Chiefs Stadium. When you look at it, you say that’s Kansas City. [We’ll] probably take a few shots at the Plaza before they run us off. That’s all I’m on. I’m trying to make my content more solid, make it mean what I want it to mean. This is Kansas City shit. Everybody ain’t gonna feel it, but this is what I’m on. It’s the same thing I did with the RDVs. My videos were shot at landmarks. I would press up units, give away 2,000-3,000 units. We did two or three shows a day. Strange shit is elaborate. You can bring in light men and sound men. You bringing so much shit. When we was doing our thing, we just jumped out of the van and we’d just go. Tech used to be with us too. We would do the skating rink, do the club, then after that the after-party shit. That’s how we was doing it. People respected it. I think that’s what’s missing with my character now on Strange. I’m not fucking with the people. To the people, it’s like I’m already established. They look at it like I’m already getting money. That’s how it is in Kansas City. There’s a big divide in Kansas City. I’m not digging it. I’m trying to figure out how to get across that.

SM: What is the best barbecue in Kansas City?

Big Scoob: People are probably gonna be mad at me. They are gonna say I’m on some uppity shit. I don’t eat pork, and I don’t eat beef. So I’m not a real good judge of barbecue. All I eat is chicken and turkey. Gates [Bar B.Q.] turkey: the texture and thickness of the slices is the best turkey. Jack Stack [Barbecue] firekiss wings are the best shit ever. Them little motherfuckers gold. I can’t eat cheesy corn because there’s ham and onions in it. If I was telling people out of town, Gates, Jack Stack, and probably LC’s [Bar-B-Q] are on my list. The burnt ends are what everybody talks about. People come to town, and I will take them. I’ve never tasted them [LC’s]. But I would take people, and they be like that’s the shit. Oh shit, I forgot Big Greedy’s. Greedy Man’s BBQ: they got everything in there, man. His little smoked wings: amazing. Big Greedy just got signed by Bun B, too.

SM: He got signed to rap?

Big Scoob: Yeah.

SM: Wow, a renaissance man. That’s tight. Now let me ask you, are you happy where you’re at? Is this a prime spot for you with what you want to do with your music?

Big Scoob: Strange is a juggernaut, and I know Strange is doing everything in its power to make me a star. I’m really not trying to be a star. That’s the first tug-of-war. The second tug-of-war is you really only make money at Strange Music touring. I really don’t like to tour. I like to go out every now and then, but the constant back-to-back is really not my thing. People can’t believe it when I say it, but I’m just being honest. With that being said, as far as rap goes, this is the best opportunity that I could have being gone from music for so long, but at the same time, for 2011 if I gear up and really go hard at this, I plan on taking matters into my own hands. If I have 4,000 or 5,000 fans that really fuck with me, then I plan on servicing those fans well. That’s what I’m trying to figure out: what does my fanbase consist of. I can’t spend $200,000 on a budget and sell 15,000 units and still owe. Anyone should be able to understand I’m not making a living [on that]. What’s my motivation to do this? That’s where I’m at right now mentally. I’m not a kid anymore. I’ve got responsibilities. Even when I was a kid I had responsibilities. I grew up early.

SM: But it’s not just enough to be a rapper having a good time.

Big Scoob: That’s not my dream–I’ve done all that. On these streets, I partied like a rock star. I’ve had money. I’ve done it all. I’ve done that party life. That’s not what I’m in this for. I’m in this to feel comfortable. I wanna feel like I have $200,000 in the bank and I know in 2012 I’m gonna make $200,000 off of music. I’ll just live in the motherfuckin’ studio like a studio rat putting shit together. Basically I’m on some Messy Marv shit. This guy puts out anywhere from six to ten projects a year. He’s self-owned. He puts it through the stores sometimes, but if he doesn’t want to do hard copies, he puts them on his own site. That’s all I’m on. However, many fans really fuck with me, I need to be servicing those fans, not trying to hunt for 300,000 fans. That’s all I’m on. But at Strange Music, that’s unheard of. We’re getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Period. I understand that and I knew it when I signed on, but you know, something that you say this day, you may feel a little differently in six months. Like I said, right now I’m torn to be honest with you. To end this interview on some truthful shit, I miss that street money, man. That’s as real as I can put it. I miss the comfortability of having that paper.

SM: You knew it was gonna be there.

Big Scoob: Yea. It was always a struggle. Signing with Strange Music was supposed to be me relaxing. That was supposed to be the release vibe. Tech came back, picked me up, trying to make shit right from the past. Wonderful. Trav signed me on board. I’m happy, breathing–I’m cool, but in turn, now that I’m here, I’m stressing again. I’m stressing, wondering, where that dollar gonna come from to handle everything. I got a song about it too. It’s called “Torn”. It’s explaining everything I’m going through right now.

SM: Is this on the album?

Big Scoob: I just wrote it. It’s gonna be on my EP. I was supposed to record my EP last weekend. I wrote seven songs and everything. It’s ready to go. I was supposed to lay it in my studio last week. But the guy I got engineering for me, no call, no showed me. It made me feel like that was another hurdle that made me understand I’m still waiting on niggas. I’m trying to get totally free of waiting on niggas. I’ve been buying tutorial DVDs for ProTools. I need to be able to know, because with Trav, everything has to be top-notch quality. I can’t half-ass anything, as it should be. I’m trying to learn this shit. It’s really a struggle, because I’m not a computer person. I’m kind of frustrated with that right now. I don’t understand people sometimes. Like I say, it’s my dream just to make a living from this. People that have all this talent, it’s their dream just to be in this, and I can’t get you to show up for work? That’s amazing to me. Like, you know I fuck with Strange. You know Strange is hot. You know if you fuck with me, you on. I don’t know if you’re making a living yet, but you’re on. This is your dream. You want people to know your name, your skills, your talent. I don’t get it.

SM: Can we expect DamnFoolTV to be back on the air anytime?

Big Scoob: What happened to Damn Fool TV was we had so many ideas, and nobody had ever really formatted show Ustream like we were trying to do. When we informed the Ustream people what we were trying to do, and they were hearing the Tech N9ne name, they wanted to be bigger than we wanted to be. They sent new software. That’s why there were so many glitches. We were trying to run off of a new program that had never been used. If we’re gonna do it again, I want to do regular Ustream. What I’m on now is, me and Makzilla, we are trying to figure out if we want to do pre-recorded shows. I don’t know how that would feel. We gotta do a couple of them first to see if it feels good, feels spontaneous. That’s what I’m on with that. Yes, Damn Fool TV will be back.