Drug Money USA

Drug Money USA

R.I.P. Mike Brown. ACAB.Mural by Ratfag OFB. Real St. Louis graffiti.

R.I.P. Mike Brown. ACAB.
Mural by Ratfag OFB. Real St. Louis graffiti.

Anonymous asked: really appreciate u big homie!

Whoever this is, thank you. And thanks to whoever upstairs saw fit to shower us with us Young Scooter’s "Hector" (which is almost “Colombia”-like in scope), Scooter & Young Thug’s "Drugs," Lil Silk’s "I Know," and Johnny Cinco’s Popi mixtape all in the same day or so. Something hopeful is in the air right now. We’ve got Kevin Durant’s MVP speech, summer weather, and even another elusive Slime God Mondo feature on Yung Mazi’s Trapanomics, perhaps Mazi’s most potent effort yet.

As for Drug Money, in the coming days, you can expect an exclusive leak of a frenzied Lil Silk verse that didn’t make the final version of Redd Coldhearted’s "Luh Bitch" with Lady Murk and PeeWee Longway. You can also expect a live Thugger set filmed by my friend Diaz, edited by my friends at Priz Tats, and experienced by yours truly. Here’s a preview where his highness skanks just like H.R. in the Live at CBGB 1982 video. I’m also going to post my musings on Young Thug and Skooly’s “Way,” originally from an article I wrote for AJ from Stop and Think's zine, Gratitude. Just mentioning Thug and Skooly in tandem has me jonesing for "Every Morning," their upcoming collaboration produced by Metro Boomin and other members of the 808 Mafia. Which brings us right back to that buzzing promise in the air.

The history of Slime as told by Ola Playa.

In the middle of March, one of Atlanta’s shadowiest and most quietly influential figures oozed out one of the most impressive releases of the LiveMixtapes era- Slime Season (Year of the Slime).

Even though Ola Playa’s music, until now loosely chronicled across a fragmented discography of scattered mixtapes and compilation appearances, stands on its own, it’s still imperative to recognize just how important he is in the context of figures like Young Thug and Bloody Jay who are beginning to receive serious mainstream media attention. Although the entity known as Black Portland is still shrouded in mystery, it’s safe to say that Playa can be counted among its members. His street affiliations run long but most recognizable to rap fans is probably his status as one of the founding fathers of the Young Slime Life (YSL) movement championed by Young Thug and company. It’s impossible to fully understand or appreciate the YSL culture without first understanding Ola Playa, one of its key figures.

When I sent an Atlanta rapper I’m friendly with some initial excerpts from this interview, he responded with an anecdote that perhaps more vividly distills Ola Playa’s essence than I ever could as a remote observer, “I remember I was at a Sonic restaurant on Moreland here in Atlanta and that nigga walked up from behind me, I swear I saw the ghosts of every nigga he ever slimed crawling on the ground behind him, nigga didn’t even say none, he looked at me, then looked at the menu, then a white Porsche pulled up and he just got in the passenger seat and they pulled off. I imagined that’s what death looked like, either that or a real fucked up day that’s about to happen.”

Ola Playa doubtlessly has an unquestioned street pedigree, but you wouldn’t need to know that in order to sense the honesty and credibility dripping from his every word. You really get the feeling that Ola Playa isn’t fucking around about, well, anything at all. Although I discovered in the course of this interview that Playa’s recent song with Cartel MGM, “The Last Kingpin,” was not a self-congratulatory boast but instead a paean to the incarcerated Jerry Chester a.k.a. Poo Tang (also saluted by Young Scooter in his and Gucci Mane’s “Faces”), who successfully evaded authorities despite an appearance on America’s Most Wanted until getting arrested under a false name in conjunction with a separate drug investigation into 10 kilos of heroin, it’s still a fitting title for this stalwart of a foregone era of bona fide hustlers and street kings. Ola Playa, 26 years old, is an old soul. When he talks, he intermingles fast-talking slickness with careful moments of street wisdom. His raps are guttural and his every syllable coated in bile and ooze. There is nothing disingenuous about him.

One thing that makes Ola Playa so damn compelling is his contentment to operate in the shadows. He doesn’t obnoxiously self promote. His peers borrow and adopt his lingo often without credit, but you’d never hear him protest. Playa’s motivations clearly aren’t limited to success or recognition. Instead of cheaply peddling his talents like a commodity for sale, Playa seems satisfied to remain a regional influencer behind the scenes until the outside world discovers him. With his first official release, Slime Season, under his belt, Playa seems poised to finally start receiving some of that long deserved attention from the rest of the world. Riddled with Young Thug features (who is credited simply as “YSL”), as well as appearances from Bloody Jay, Playa Fly, and Young Scooter, Slime Season is as vital and significant a document as Atlanta has produced in years. It’s album-like in its cohesion and the consistency across the mixtape is second to none. It’s on par with 1017 Thug and Street Lottery in those respects. With two titles already planned after Slime Season in a trilogy of sorts, we can rest assured in the fact that Playa will continue providing us with painfully real and compelling artifacts of Atlanta culture whether mainstream media pays attention or not. What follows is a raw, unabridged interview with King Slime himself.

Ola Playa: Say, say, say.

Drug Money: What’s up? Playa?

Ola Playa: What’s up, boss?

Drug Money: Not much, man, you ready to do this little interview?

Ola Playa: Shit. Let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it. I was ready for you.

Drug Money: First of all, are you from Atlanta originally?

Ola Playa: Yeah, yeah, yeah, originally from there. Exactly, homie.

Drug Money: What was growing up like?

Ola Playa: Growing up, man, you know, man, just normal shit, man. You know, just trying to make it, man. Trying to let this rap shit free me. You know what’s going on.

Drug Money: Does growing up influence your music? Like shit you went through then. I feel like you speak on experience really well.

Ola Playa: Everything I said, man, my raps is real, you know what I mean? It’s the truth, man, you know what I mean? It’s reality, man, you know? Like I said, I’ve been through a lot, man, you know? 7 years old, I seen my first funeral, man, you know? I seen my first cousin, man, in the casket, man, so that really opened up my eyes and made me realize how real this world is, man. Like, then right after that, you know what I mean, a few years down the line, you know what I mean, trials and tribulations, man. I seen my older brother in a casket then. Recently, man, I took another loss, man. So everything real me around me, man, everything real, man. Ain’t no façade.

Drug Money: Your friend Lil Gangsta just passed. Is that right?

Ola Playa: That my little brother, my lil round, my lil whodi. Yeah, yeah, yeah. R.I.P. B.I.P. the homie, man. That’s like a major part of me, man. That’s like a part of my heart and brain, you know what I mean? That like my lil homie, man, you know what I mean? That like a major, major, major loss.

Drug Money: Seems like everybody is feeling that loss pretty tough. I liked… You guys had that song “Trap Life.” I loved that song.

Ola Playa: “Trap Money,” yeah, yeah. I was just trying to wake the streets up, man, like everything ain’t sweet, you know what I mean? You might see the glitz and the glam, you know what I mean, but it’s always other sides to this, you know? That’s really what I was trying to wake people up on. Let them people know like sometimes you gotta know when to pull out, you know what I mean? Money is the root of all evil, man, so sometimes, you know what I mean, you gotta know when this shit come to an end, man, you know what I’m saying? You know what I mean? You can’t…. I was always taught any hustle is a good hustle, man, no matter what you’re doing. You’re working, robbing, stealing, or just goddamn just trying to make it accumulate, man. But everything got a time limit on it, man. That’s all.

Drug Money: My condolences on Gangsta, man. That’s tough.

Ola Playa: I really, really appreciate that, man, ‘cause I don’t think nobody know what lil homie means to me, man, like, know what I’m saying? Like a New Orleans refugee, man, you know what I’m saying, like… I ain’t gonna say he was a Katrina victim, because they came a little bit before Katrina, but it was just his mama trying to find a new way of life, you know what I mean? So they came from New Orleans, moved to Atlanta. They really ain’t had nothing or nobody. See, I met him… See this is why I tell you he’s my little brother. I met him when young’un was 12 years old, and he come to me and say… I ain’t even know him. I know him from my other lil partner, named Derrell. He passed away too. R.I.P. Derrell Williams. He died too. But he somehow took a liking to lil homie, man. Homie was 12 years old and he come to me, right? And he said, you had to respect this, now listen to this, man. That man told me, “Hey man, my back was against the wall, bruh. I had to go hit at some people. And I milked the clip on my TEC.” He had a little TEC-9 and he milked the clip on that motherfucker. And he told me, he said, “Aye big bruh, man.” He said, “I can’t be out here naked, man. These people gonna kill me.” So he said like, “I need something! I need something.” Straight up. So you gotta respect somebody that young with so much heart.

Drug Money: Just him being so straight with you.

Ola Playa: Just straight about it, but for real, about it but ain’t really got nothing, you know what I mean? Trying to be the breadwinner for his family and his mother and stuff, man. Just him and her, you know what I mean? And how much heart he had at that age, man. Like, I knew, it wasn’t the right thing to do, but at the same time, he came to me, man, and I’ve been in positions and predicaments where, shit, I needed mine. No doubt about word, man. It’s a concrete jungle out here, man. You got to have a pistol out here, man. You got to have your draws, man. Bottom line, man, you know what I mean- it’s kill or be killed out here, man. Homie said he milked the clip on the TEC, man, and “Big brother gon kill me,” man, and we just go with TECs ever since then, man, you know what I mean? Homes was just out going, you know what I mean? I tried to do whatever I could for lil homie, man, and he really finally got himself together, man, and really turned the fuck up on these people, man, and people had they nuts on lil homie, really soldier hated him.

Drug Money: I actually posted a song for A1 Reedup the other day that was him and Gangsta right after Gangsta passed.

Ola Playa: Salute Reed, man, but hey man, like bottom line, boy, like as far as the realest, as far as talent-wise, ain’t nobody was fucking with Lil Gangsta. Ain’t nobody was fuckin’ with him, man. Homie wasn’t nothing but, when he passed away, nothing but 23. Homie was a real baby, man, had a real future.

Drug Money: I got excited every time y’all would do a song together. I thought y’all just had great chemistry on record.

Ola Playa: You know why we had great chemistry?

Drug Money: Why’s that?

Ola Playa: ‘Cause hey, me and lil homie the dumb way for real, man. We out here… Man, listen, man. Reality, like I said, man. Me and lil homie the dumb way for real, man. Like, me and… I’ve known him since like 12 years old, man. So I mean, homie went to prison at like 17, know what I’m saying? Like, me and homie, we got a long history goddamn of this street shit together, man. Like homie, yeah, he the dumb way for real. All the way retarded, for real. Straight up.

Drug Money: What about Slime Season? It’s an amazing tape.

Ola Playa: Oh, Slime Season, man? I ain’t gonna tell you no more fuckin’ lies, man. That shit there, man, it been in effect. Like Slime Season, man, that shit came from the bottom of my ribcage, man. From the stomach, man, like, niggas don’t know, like, the bottom of my motherfucking heart, man. Let me tell you the history on this motherfucker. I really came up with that shit in the penitentiary, man. It was a slime ass nigga, man. It was an old school nigga, man, I called him “Slimeball.” His name was Deck, from 2nd Ave, from Atlanta, man. He’s just a nigga used to steal the kitty out the poker games and shit, you know what I’m sayin’? Just a nigga like that, when you a real motherfuckin’ slimeball, you know what I’m saying? [laughs] Like real sticky fingers, like real conniving, you know what I’m sayin’? So, you know what I’m saying, I went to the penitentiary at 18. I got out when I was 20. But, you know what I mean, like, so homie showed me a whole ‘nother way of life. I’m 26 now, so I been screaming this Slime shit. This like ain’t no shit like, you know what I’m sayin’, I just came out of nowhere. This shit been predestined or planned, like, homie, this shit- we been screaming Slime.

Drug Money: Yeah, I was gonna ask you about Slime and YSL and all that.

Ola Playa: But Slime Season, know that shit came from the bottom of my stomach, man. I really, I really- you know what I’m saying, that’s just how my neck of the woods do it. That’s how my neighborhood do it, man. You got real OG’s who really mastered the game of finesse, like OG Major Grams, White Boy Marco, you got DT, you know what I mean, a.k.a. Swaggerific. You go back on they music, man, them people really, really the definition of the Slime shit. They mastered the game of finessing and remixing and bein’ real manipulating, you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s them, you know what I mean? I’m just saluting my homies, man. But the actual word Slime came from an old school nigga named Deck. So I’m putting all this shit together in my formula and my way of life, you know what I mean, and that’s how I came up with Slime Season, ‘cause look around you. Everybody got a slime ass nigga in they neighborhood. You know what I’m sayin’? That just ain’t my neighborhood. You can go damn near any neighborhood, any country, town, you gon always have that youngsta, that dirty motherfucker, you know what I’m sayin’?

Drug Money: [laughs] That conniving…

Ola Playa: Everybody got that dirty motherfucker, go to the goddamn—you know, I don’t give a fuck—dice game, poker game, stealing, goddamn, stealin’ the kitty, you know what I’m sayin’? Shit like that. That really manipulative motherfucker. With the trickery, man.

Drug Money: Like every trick in the book… the finesse shit!

Ola Playa: And anybody know, like, Atlanta, especially Summerhill, man, you know we big on finesse, man, you know what I’m saying? We big on it. So, you know, that’s just another lingo, man. Slime Season, man. That’s a shout out to my real crooks.

Drug Money: So Slime Season is kind of your debut tape, but there was also Slime Boss that was kind of on the internet. Would you say Slime Season is your first tape or do you think Slime Boss was?

Ola Playa: I didn’t, I mean, Slime Boss- it definitely ‘posed to drop, but I ain’t never officially dropped it, man, you know what I mean, just because all the shit I was going through, man, you know what I’m saying? You know what I mean, I was fighting a lot of cases, you know what I mean, [laughs] just goddamn… life, life, life, man, you know what I mean? I was going through it, so it never actually dropped. So Slime Season was really like, you know what I mean, that was I would say my first tape, man. I been working on that shit for damn near, I been working on that like a year and a half ago, a year and a half ‘til now, you know what I mean? I mean, it’s really like a album.

Drug Money: I love it, man. You’ve had so many loose songs in the meantime… I was so glad to see an official mixtape. What’s up with just listing the features as YSL?

Ola Playa: YSL really… [laughs] See, YSL, man, you know, YSL is YSL, know what I mean? That what it stand for- Young Slime Life, know what I mean? And it was just featuring one of my Slime little bros, you know what I’m saying?

Drug Money: [laughs] That’s cool.

Ola Playa: You know what I’m saying, but you know, they like 100 deep out here, man, you know what I’m saying?

Drug Money: That’s what it seems like! Like 100 Slimes on Instagram alone!

Ola Playa: Yeah, it like, it really has took effect. The shit took me by storm, you know what I mean? I’m screaming Slime and these people just really started goddamn just living and dying ‘bout this shit, you know what I’m saying, and this shit just took effect, you know what I’m saying, but that’s just one of my young Slime bros who, you know what I’m sayin’, livin’ and dyin’ ‘bout it, so I had to put him on there. You know everybody know him.

Drug Money: That’s what’s up. Speaking of that guy, what can you say about Black Portland?

Ola Playa: Black Portland? That my brothers, you know what I’m saying? Everybody knows what goin’ on with Black Portland, man, you know? Everybody know we blazin’, man, you know what I’m saying? We pull up. We trailblaze ya. We on your bumper, man, you know? Black Portland, man, you know? That Bloody Jay and Thug, you know? Everybody know what going on. That’s real successful lately too, man, just like, you know what I’m saying, I salute them boys ‘cause I done seen them people come from like no-thing, so, you know what I’m saying, I gotta salute somebody who really come from the bottom, know what I mean, ‘cause that where I come from. But yeah, yeah, that Black Portland, that bros, you know what I’m saying. I been recording with ‘em.

Drug Money: Yeah, ‘cause you and Lil Gangsta are both on there.

Ola Playa: Say me and Lil Gangsta? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, you know that I gotta put him on everything, like we got mo’ music, mo’ and mo’ music, you know what I’m sayin’. His legacy gonna live on for a long time, man. I got plenty more to drop with Lil Gangsta of music they ain’t heard.

Drug Money: Speaking of Thug again, Slim told me you introduced Thug to Gucci. Is that right?

Ola Playa: I mean, yeah, yeah, yeah, fuckin’ right, you know what I’m saying? I remember goddamn we goin’ in there, Guwop say “Man, let’s go pop a seal.” It was really, it was Rocko’s session. It was actually Rocko’s session. Boo Dirty was in that motherfucker. Bloody Jay was in that motherfucker, know what I mean? One of them lil DC cats Gucci was fucking with real hard, you know what I mean. And we actually had dropped, know what I’m saying, that “Cold Heart Cash.” Like, I fuck with Gucci long way, man. I remember back when my little bros was in that motherfucker, he said “Hey Playa, hey man. Y’all gotta go, man. Y’all know I can’t be around all that shit.” I done brought too many choppers to that nigga’s spot, man!

Drug Money: I ask because the first time I ever heard you was on I Came From Nothing 3 and Blatlanta. Those were the first times I heard you rap.

Ola Playa: Ah yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember that like yesterday, man, you know what I mean, real good vibe, man, you know? We runnin’ around like a motherfucker, man. We was with Rocko, man, and we was on 11th St., ya know what I mean. Big shouts out to the engineer Steve, man. And we came out with what really was a hit. It was a real fuckin’ hit.

Drug Money: “Sex Money Murder” is one of my favorite songs ever.

Ola Playa: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was like a lot of shit that got overlooked, man, you know what I mean, and people starting to come, you know what I mean. Salute it now and pay homage to the shit now, know what I mean? You know, it’s all about that lil recognition at first, man, you know what I mean?

Drug Money: Oh yeah, I actually posted about it back in 2012 when Blatlanta came out! That song. That song, man. Y’all went crazy that on that one.

Ola Playa: A lot of these niggas mustard, man, they gotta ketchup! [laughs]

Drug Money: I mean, people gotta figure this shit out, right?

Ola Playa: I mean, you know what I mean, I don’t want recognition for none of this shit, man. You know, like I said, people gotta catch up. They gonna catch up to it one day. It ain’t all about the recognition for me, man. It’s all about just getting lot of people out this poverty, man, you know. We come- a lot of my friends and my family, man, we come from the bottom. Poverty, man, so you know what I mean, I’m big on that Brotherly Love Overrides Oppression and Destruction.

Drug Money: I feel you. Is Bloody Jay still locked up?

Ola Playa: [laughs] I just talked to bruh today, man. Aye man, free motherfucking Bloody Jay, man! You know, he should be home on the 3rd, man. It ain’t nothing real too major, man. Just some people holding they nuts on him, man, you know what I mean? These real police rap ass niggas, man. Duck and dive, man. [laughs]

Drug Money: That’s good to hear. I wasn’t sure if it was a serious case or what. So he’s coming back soon, huh?

Ola Playa: Yeah, yeah, yeah. He comin’. He ain’t facing no L or nothing, you know? He’ll be home in a minute. You know, I know he talk real greasy, man, but ain’t nothing with no M’s in it or nothin’. Unless you talkin’ bout M&M’s, you know. [laughs]

Drug Money: Do you want to say anything about Major Grams, the ABG CEO?

Ola Playa: Oh yeah, man, you know, big salute, man, to Major, man, you know what I mean. Big from the my bottom of my heart. Big from King Slime himself, man. Major introduced me to a lot of shit, man, you know what I mean. Like homes was a real influential person, man, you know what I mean. Big influenced my life and a lot of other people’s lives, man. Like, homes been doing the big jewelry, Jacob watches, 40 pointers on his wrist, man, you know. Ice game amazing, man, you know. They had to soldier hate him too, man, you know what I’m saying, but like, homes… That’s what a lot of shit bum from is Major, man. That’s where this shit come from. Major Grams. Shouts out to the CEO ABG ENT.

Drug Money: There it is. And what about Snake? He’s locked up?

Ola Playa: Oh yeah, man. Somebody had like two nickels, man, and dropped a dime on him, man. So man, you know what I mean, like we been goin’ through it, bro, you know what I mean. Like ABG stamp like an Atlanta landmark, man, you know what I’m saying. It’s like a real landmark, so like homes was real… Like homes got bars for real, man, and he’s an authentic guy, man. So, with Snake, man, it’s like high salute with homes, you know what I mean. It was no limits to what homes was gonna really take it, man. Like, I salute homes. Homes really got bars, man. They need to be heard.

Drug Money: Totally. He’s got those freestyles on YouTube too. I mean, he can really rap, huh?

Ola Playa: Snake can… Snake is a real MC, man. Like, you could call up… KRS-One! You could call up Rakim! And you could call up the Jigga Man! Salute all them, man, don’t take nothing away from ‘em, man, but homes can go with the best of ‘em, man. Like he got bars, man, you know what I mean, and that shit is proven. You go back to all the way back from “ABG,” the little song who put the city on this gangbang shit, you know?

Drug Money: I’ve seen that MGABG video from a long time ago with y’all all in that courtyard.

Ola Playa: Yeah exactly, man. Just go back to that, man. Just listen, man, you know, like the Jiggaman said, man, you know, you can’t just stand through music, man, you gotta listen to it, holmes. Naw, dead serious.

Drug Money: I was also gonna ask you about your songs with Playa Fly. How did y’all link up?

Ola Playa: Big boss Bloody Jay really set it up, man. Because, like, me and Bloody Jay- that what we used to get high to. We used to really listen to homie. Homes really got something to say, man, you know, like as far as this Southern culture, you know what I’m saying? This Southern… you know what I mean? I know a lot of people overlook him, but you know what I’m saying, like any other people like Project Pat, Playa Fly, people like that, homie- them pioneers. Gotta salute them, know what I mean? And know what I mean, like I say, man, like as far as this Southern culture, I really fuck with Playa Fly, man, like that my brother. We done sat and there and sipped plenty pints of got damn lean together, man. And I had did a song. Me and Bloody Jay did a song- “Nobody Needs Nobody,” but we really wanted him on that motherfucker, know what I mean? But you know, the timing, the timing. Everything about timing, you know what I mean? But we ended up goddamn knocking out a whole bunch of them one night with homes, and that’s just out of the respect and you know what I mean, he pioneered this shit, man, that’s Playa Fly. You know what I’m saying, you go do your history and if you don’t know who Playa Fly is, man, do your history, homes pioneered this shit. You know, Juicy J. He came up under them people. Three 6 Mafia. He was beefing with them people at one point, man, you know?

Drug Money: I love that 90’s Memphis and early Playa Fly stuff too.

Ola Playa: You hear my music, you know what I mean, other than that gangsta music, you know what I mean, these streets take a toll on you. We make geek music too. We make music for the geekers. “All Kinda Drugs,” man.

Drug Money: I fuck with that song. Is that gonna be the single?

Ola Playa: Yeah, that’s the single. That’s just something just so, you know what I mean, something that anybody can relate to, who in the streets, you know what I mean? We on it.

Drug Money: Another song I was talking about with Slim—maybe my favorite song, one of my favorite songs you’ve ever done—is “Lo Life” and he mentioned y’all might remaster that and release that as a single some day.

Ola Playa: Yeah… I agree with that, bro. I agree with that a lot. You know what I’m saying, like, anybody who… who comes from the low life, like this poverty level, really not having shit, you know what I mean, and trying to grasp it and really becoming something out here, you know what I mean? And you know, you got a lot of people on your trail, so you gotta live a low life, know what I mean? Anybody who… You ain’t even gotta be from the streets, man! You can just be a millionaire, man! We just got a lot of leaches out here so you know a lot of people gotta live that low life. Yeah, I definitely agree that should be a single, man, like know what I’m saying, like I said, people gonna catch up.

Drug Money: You know they will. One thing I was gonna ask you about is like, I feel like you have a lot in common with some of the Louisana and Baton Rouge rappers, like Boosie and the Trill ENT stuff.

Ola Playa: [laughs] Like, like, like, I already know where you’re going with it, right? You know what I mean, I ain’t even gonna lie about it, man. Ain’t gonna sugarcoat shit, man, like Boosie was my favorite rapper and I thought Lil Phat was gonna be the next him. Lil Phat, when he moved, they had to soldier hate him too, man. That’s the first little young nigga I’ve seen pulling up the Audi A7, man, 19 years old with a hundred pints of lean on him, man. Homes was a real guy. He was a real guy. A real street cat. And then he had meaning to his music too, like you know what I’m saying, I understood to that shit. I could relate to that shit.

Drug Money: I feel like you guys both have a street narrative thing going on. Obviously there’s something more. Y’all, like you and those Louisiana rappers, don’t just sing about molly, you know?

Ola Playa: Yeah, you know, like my little brother, goin’ back from Lil Gangsta, you know, my little round, you know what I’m saying? That’s how I started understanding Louisana culture, you know what I mean? I started to understand them people, man.

Drug Money: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah! ‘Cause that’s where he was originally from, you were saying.

Ola Playa: Right, right. That’s where I started, you know what I mean, understanding, you know what I mean, trying to put this… You know, from Katrina, you know a lot of New Orleans people came up here. You know what I mean, almost like refugees, they was coming down trying to start new lives and stuff, so I started to understand their culture, man, and I started fucking with the Soulja Slims a.k.a. Magnolia Slims and know what I mean, from all the way from up top to the Baton Rouge rappers and shit, man. Like I understand their culture, man, and you know, we got a lot of similarities, man. They just geechie than a motherfucker.

Drug Money: Right. I’m from Houston and we had a lot of refugees.

Ola Playa: They had a lot of em in Houston too, right, exactly. And that’s how I look at myself too, you know what I’m saying, Under Ground King like I’m from Porth Arthur, man.

Drug Money: I was gonna ask if you if there was any other Houston rap you fucked with, actually.

Ola Playa: I mean, you know, I remember their movement reminded me so much of Atlanta movement like a few years when they had the Paul Walls, the Screwed Up Clicks, like DJ Screw, you know what I’m saying? That’s where that shit come from. We sip pints of lean just like they sip it, but you know, I salute it ‘cause like I go back and say, mane, they pioneers of a lot of shit. Them people been sipping lean, know what I mean. But like, my favorite artist out of Texas is them boys from Port Arthur, them men from Port Arthur, and that’s Pimp C, you know what I’m saying?

Drug Money: He had the best Southern sneer.

Ola Playa: And he talked that reality, you know what I mean? I respect Pimp C to the fullest, man, and that’s why I be saying, really man, I’m too street to go commercial. I’m an Under Ground King like I’m from Port Arthur, man, you know what I’m sayin’? [laughs] Naw, for real though.

Drug Money: What do you think about Thug with Young Money and Rich Gang, all that? Is it cool to see him breaking pretty big right now?

Ola Playa: I mean, shit, you know, all that shit is about politics and money. Get your paper. Get your paper, man. By any means necessary, man. Get your money, man. You know? I salute Gucci ‘cause Guwop brought a lot of people in the game and don’t get me wrong, you know what I mean, I done seen Nicki Minaj and French Montana and a lot of people come fuckin’ with homie and Waka Flocka. I know that come from out from let’s not forget Miss Debbie, but Guwop, you know what I mean, was a part of a lot of this history shit coming out of Atlanta, even with Thug. So you gotta salute homes. And he’s a real street nigga who shed blood behind his stamp.

Drug Money: There was a tour Gucci was doing before he went to jail a couple years ago that had Thug and PeeWee and Migos and Scooter and everything that’s kind of blowing up right now. But Gucci called it all.

Ola Playa: He knows music, man. You can call him what you wanna call him, man, but homie’s a fuckin’ genius, man. I mean, shit probably don’t play out like he want it, mane, but you know, everybody just ain’t gonna be loyal. You know how the game is. Shit’s a slimey ass game. Niggas after the checks man, at the end of the day, man. Niggas after the paperwork, man. Get your money, man. By any means.

Drug Money: Are you gonna be touring on Slime Season?

Ola Playa: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m finna go around the globe with that, man. But you know, Slime Season is almost like a trilogy, you know, Slime Season, you gonna have The Return of the Slime, you know, and I can’t give you more, man, but it’s gonna be almost like a trilogy, man. You know, you can’t stop this slime.

Drug Money: One of my favorite lines is when you say “My heart don’t pump blood. It pump alien piss.”

Ola Playa: Right, right. [laughs] Like, like, see, niggas don’t even know how deep that shit get, man. “My heart don’t pump blood. It pump alien piss.” You know, it’s like that’s like some real slimey as shit to say. But at the same time you go back to “I miss my AK!” You know what I’m saying, you go back to Boosie. Boosie said “That heart don’t pump blood. It pump alien piss,” you know what I’m saying? I’m saluting. I’m saluting Lil Boosie at the same time. You know what I’m saying that was all the way in his incarceration and when I come out on “Ooooze,” “I’m bomin’ out like a soldier from Angola,” man, that’s just all like salutes, man. I’m saluting the homie, man, you know what I’m sayin’.

Drug Money: And now Boosie’s out, huh?

Ola Playa: Hey man, I ain’t gonna sign to shit but Bad Azz Ent., man. I’m independent ‘til then, homie.

Drug Money: Yeah, who needs ‘em? No reason to give someone else your money, right?

Ola Playa: Nah, but Bad Azz E.N.T., man. Shout out to Lil Donk, man, you know. I just was up there in this lil night club called Rockefeller, man, fuckin’ with Lil Donk hard, man. They the streets. Fuck with ‘em. I can’t wait to make some money with ‘em.

Drug Money: Yo, what’s your favorite strip club in Atlanta?

Ola Playa: [laughs] See, motherfuckers in music, man. I’m a tell you like this here, man, Motherfuckers gon goddamn flex and say all the fuckin DOA’s, the Kamal 21’s, the Magic City’s, right? You gon find the King Slimers in the Blaze, Foxy Lady, Pin-Ups, you know? I’m gonna be in the Flaaame. I’m gonna be in the sewer spots, man, where the streets at, man.

Drug Money: I hate bottle service spots.

Ola Playa: Aye man, I’m gonna go to a club where a bitch respect a twenty and a kush blunt, man, you know?

Drug Money: I’m with that. I feel the same way! I hate those other spots.

Ola Playa: Oh, so you know about them clubs that I just mentioned?

Drug Money: No, no, but we’ve just got the same kinds here. Getting bottle service and a table and all that. No way.

Ola Playa: Them niggas got those them hos too spoiled, man. Got they head fucked up or something, man. It’s like, I’d rather, I like to fuck with my kind, man. I can’t fuck with too many of those spoiled hos, man. Go to Blaze, man, you know? Let me goddamn pour me a little, let me sip my bottle of lean in that motherfucker, man, and let me goddamn spend a couple hundred. We gon be aight. The rest of it, man, I’m really with some shit depositing money in the bank, man. I ain’t with goddamn throwing my shit around, man. Straight Up.

Drug Money: I’ll cry for every dollar I throw, man. My favorite video you’ve ever done is that “Grind Mode” video.

Ola Playa: Oh yeah, “Grind Mode”? Man, you know, all this shit we do, bruh, we don’t even mufuckin’… We just go in, bruh, however we feelin’, man, you know what I’m sayin’. None of this shit scripted. None of this shit wrote down. None of this shit premeditated, man. We just go in. We were feelin’ like we was in grind mode. We did “Grind Mode.” Found us a fuckin’ cameraman, shout out to Nash. We found us a cameraman and just shot that shit, man, know what I’m saying? Gotta go. Just fresh off one, you know what I’m saying? 20 racks on me, so we just shot that bitch and just turned up off that motherfucker.

Drug Money: I fuck with the end too. That part at the end with you and Thug in the back of the car!

Ola Playa: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Slime-o-nauts, man, with the Slime-o-racks all on us, man. You know? Like I just said, ain’t none of that shit was scripted. That’s just we just had a fuckin’ cameraman and we just fuckin’ shot a fuckin’ video. “Grind Mode.” And I ain’t know the streets liked a nigga like that, you know what I’m saying? I just played the streets. I didn’t do this shit randomly. I didn’t expect that shit. That shit did numbers. I was goin’ inside DeKalb and motherfuckers playin’ my shit, you know what I’m sayin, inside DeKalb Mall all the way up on the East side, Candler Road, you know what I’m saying? Niggas playing our shit, man, I’m like “Okay, this shit real. This shit reality.” Aye, rap game easy, man. Dope game hard.

Drug Money: Yeah, that was one of those moments I was like “Damn, this guy Playa has arrived.”

Ola Playa: Right, like you or anybody could relate to that, man. You could have a regular 9 to 5 or you could just be in grind mode trying to run up some paper, man. [laughs] Just trying to get it up, man, you know. This shit ain’t scripted. That just what we was doin’ right now and no premeditation shit, man, just like this interview, man. Straight from the stomach.

Drug Money: I really appreciate it, man. There’s nothing worse than those boring fucking rap interviews where they just name the single and say it’s buzzing in the streets and that’s the whole interview.

Ola Playa: It bout that time, bro, you know what I mean, to let the streets know what the fuck is going on, man. Life’s too short.

Drug Money: How many Atlanta rappers are lying, do you think?

Ola Playa: Shiiit. [laughs] That ain’t on me to expose niggas, man. You know, I fucks with Alley Boy, man. Shit, I let him do the exposing, man, like shiiit, you know. But you leave it up to me, man… Shit… Shit… 99% of these rappers lying. [laughs] Just put me in the tally of the point one.

Drug Money: I just heard that “Last Kingpin” and I thought that was a really good title for you.

Ola Playa: Oh yeah, ‘cause I fuck with the streets for real, mane, you know what I’m saying? Y’all gotta do y’all research and history, man. A real person who had another influence in my life was Poo Tang, man. I just saluted his grind, man. Poo Tang. They snatched him up, man. And that’s just how they got me feeling right now.

Drug Money: One thing I really like about y’all is all the unity, the brotherhood, you know, this Slime shit.

Ola Playa: We brothers, you know what I mean? It’s unity, you know what I’m saying? But, you know, everyday is slime, man, you know? Half of my homies ain’t my homies, you know? This shit, aye man, this Slime shit is for real in Atlanta, man. These niggas live and die by this shit, man. Everyday niggas step in ooze, man! [laughs] Aye man, we no longer live in no trap no more, man. It’s the booby trap, man. So, you know what I’m saying, you gotta be careful, man. Anytime you’re liable to get ambushed, man, you know? But, you know, I gotta salute all my females too, because they the first, they who invented the Slime. They the ones who invented Triple Cross Kings, you know what I’m saying? You know, you go back in history, man, a woman will put a black snake in your sheets, man. So, you know what I mean, they the breadwinners at the end of the day, you know what I’m saying? That’s just what it is.

Drug Money: What rap did you grew up on? What was the first rap you were really fucking with?

Ola Playa: Like my hometown, you know what I’m sayin’, Scottdale. That’s in Decatur, man. It’s a little local group, man, that came up out of Scottdale called A-Dam-Shame. They were the first people I ever heard call it or say a “trap,” you know what I mean? You go and do your history. They, A-Dam-Shame, had a lil hit song called “Get It.” Like, I had them people on repeat, you know what I’m saying. That’s all we used to listen to back in the days when I was 8, 9 years old doing the “Beef It Up” for real, you know what I mean. That shit’s a real hood dance, you know? But you know, other rappers like Project Pat, you know, I was big on that I’m Serious, you know what I’m saying, by TIP. Shit, you know… Guwop. You know what I’m saying, I’m a fan of a lot of these niggas, man.  You know what I’m saying, like I said, I’m a big Baton Rouge fan. Boosie, you know, that nigga’s on repeat.

Drug Money: And one more song I was gonna ask you about was “Green Thumb.”

Ola Playa: Oh yeah, my thumb’s turning green right now. My thumb’s turning green right now, I swear. [laughs]

Drug Money: Okay, two last questions and then I’ll let you go. Is that cool? Do you mind two more?

Ola Playa: Man, give it to me, some more shit. You my brother, man, you know what I mean. I just love your support man. I’m here, man.

Drug Money: Thank you so much, man. What would you say are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from the street?

Ola Playa: The biggest lesson I learned from the street? You can’t trust nobody. You can’t trust a soul. You can’t really trust nothing with teeth. Now, I’m dead serious though when I say it though, you know what I’m saying. Like niggas got trust issues, man, when it comes down to it, from just having paperwork to a nigga fuck you over with that pen and paper, man. You can’t trust nothing, man. Niggas real conniving, convincing, real slick at the mouth, man. So you really gotta read in between the lines, man, ‘cause aye man, you know what I’m saying, you can’t trust shit. And you know what I mean, the biggest point, man, niggas will do anything for the almighty dollar, man, but you gotta realize that’s the root of all evil, you know. This money is getting a lot of niggas tricked off the streets, a lot of niggas playing their boys, a lot of niggas go out bad just because a dollar man. That shit don’t make you a man. Like, I grew up in poverty, man. Off Cedar Street, off Reed Street, man, we used to shit in goddamn Cub Foods bags, so I don’t need all that to make me happy. But I’m a get plenty of it just to make sure everybody happy around me. But yeah, like, don’t trust a soul, man. You gotta know the pain and the agony this paper will bring a nigga, man. And the envy.

Drug Money: Isn’t that the fucking truth… Last question- do you think that you, Thug, and Jay will ever do a whole mixtape together?

Ola Playa: Oh, that shit is in the making, man! You know what I’m saying, I’m gonna stay working with my brothers. That shit is comin’, man. You know what I’m saying, the mixtape Black Portland, man, Bloody Jay, man, Thug, man. That shit is on the fuckin’ way, man. Y’all look out for that shit, man, you know. I’m a give the streets what they want because that’s what they keep on asking me, man. Ain’t not a day I goddamn walk across the street and don’t get that same question, man, “Is y’all gon ever drop one?” Yeah, there’s one dropping, we just setting shit up, building the momentum.

Drug Money: Y’all got “Gotta Be Hard,” “No Strings,” “Fa Sum,” “Against Me,” all those, man…

Ola Playa: All that shit, boy, that shit already out, man. Them people own that shit, man, you know? I’m gonna give them fresh material, man.

Drug Money: It’s good to hear that’s on the way. So would you say you’re in Black Portland?

Ola Playa: Yeah, yeah fuckin’ right, I’m Black Portland, man, you know? If you know the definition of it, damn right, you know what I’m saying?

Drug Money: What would you say is the definition of it?

Ola Playa: You know, man, shit, the street know what’s going on. Trailblazing, man. Blatt blatt blatt.

Drug Money: Well, Playa, man, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Ola Playa: Already, already, bro. King Slime. I’m signing out this motherfucker, man.

Drug Money: That’s what’s up, man. You got anything left you wanna say?

Ola Playa: Uh shit, man, you know. Better slime safe, man, for real, man, you know what I mean. Go to sleep with one eye open or you’ll wake up with slime in your face, man. You know what’s going on, man. Blatt!

Follow Ola Playa on Twitter and download Slime Season (Year of the Slime) on LiveMixtapes. Big thanks to BRG Slim for all of his help.

Speaker Knockerz - “You Got It”

R.I.P. Derek McAllister a.k.a. Speaker Knockerz.

First and foremost, I loved this kid’s music. Tragically, the autotune maestro was found dead in his garage yesterday from an "apparent heart attack." No signs of trauma were found and no foul play is suspected, at least. “You Got It” is probably my favorite Speaker Knockerz song, but the last song he released before his passing, "Erica Kane," shows how much promise the young man still had in store. And now I’m getting a little misty eyed thinking about this one Instagram photo he posted some months back. Rest in peace, Derek McAllister.

But don’t let the folkloric aura surrounding Scooter fool you into thinking he is anything but the genuine article. Watch, for instance, him counting $190,00 in bills in a car while blaspheming, “I’m working on Sunday. On Christ day,” before grinning a “Yeah, I know” and cackling with the unknown driver as the video ends.
PURE BAKING SODA | Atlanta (2013)

When Nicolas at Pure Baking Soda asked me to recap the last year of Atlanta rap, I tried my best to distill as many thoughts as I could muster on the subject through the lens of five songs: Gucci Mane ft. Rich Homie Quan & Young Thug – “Chasen Paper,” Young Thug – “Stoner,” Y.D.G. ft. MPA PeeWee Longway – “Money on My Mind,” Young Scooter – “I Wonder,” and Coca Vango ft. Yakki Divioshi – “Who Got Da Keys.” I realize that a couple of those song selections could be seen as somewhat arbitrary, but each of them impacted me. So, I wrote about them.

Praises be.

Praises be.

Black Migo Gang (and Da Runts), 2012.

Black Migo Gang (and Da Runts), 2012.

Young Thug - “Danny Glover” (In-studio performance)

Although I didn’t yet know it as “Danny Glover,” I have been anxiously awaiting the release of “Danny Glover” for a few weeks now, since the moment I saw Young Thug shrouded here in his flecked sweater pensively singing to himself from under his dreads, “Stoner my lifestyle. I’m living too wild. I can’t even make you proud. That money keep her around.” You can tell something about the song is special to Thug. Sure, he can be seen dancing to “Stoner” moments before with a highlighter in the air, but something about his countenance changes when the video cuts to “Danny Glover.” You can see how withdrawn and invested Thug is when Waka attempts to communicate with him at the song’s outset, before just giving up and joining in with him, singing along to the hook. Thug appears far too engrossed in his own music to indulge in any niceties (although they do pose for a photo moments later), but I love that Waka knows the words. On Friday, a finished version of “Danny Glover” was leaked online in anticipation of TM88 and Southside’s exceptional Crazy 8 x It’s a Southside Track 3. Apparently the leak was inadvertent, as the next day, I was kindly asked by Thug’s people to remove the song from my YouTube channel. I of course happily obliged. You can’t really blame Thug for keeping this one to himself for a little while longer, or just waiting until the moment is right.

While you wait for a sanctioned release of “Danny Glover,” you might want to check out Thug’s appearances on Bloody Jay’s uniformly great Blatlanta 2 (“Let’s Go Play” and “Nobody Safe”). You could also listen to D-Dash’s "Doorz," the Thugga-featured song that was properly slated to appear on the 808 Mafia mixtape. But what you really have to hear is Thug’s verse on the remix to Young Dunchie Baby’s “Glitter Ain’t Gold,” a song which stands on its own as a thoughtful meditation on street etiquette with a cool neighborhood video. Thug has appeared on several Dunchie Baby songs before this remix (“Thank No More,” “Uptown,” “G-Check,” and “Patience”), but his verse on this one is just out of this world. It starts with a discussion of fellatio that spirals into outright whimsy before Thug regains his composure and underlines the whole affair with a couple of closing boasts: “Got like 50,000 bands inside my garment. Got more weed in the spot than a nigga momma garden.”

And for the truly depraved fanatics, I still have a couple more. Thug recently lent a verse to Snypa Rifle’s “Who da Fuk Is U,” which sees our dreadlocked protagonist bragging coolly, “Bitches know they can’t have me, they want my sons” amidst Snypa’s apocalyptic yowls. Thug can also be heard on Mucho’s “Ain’t Nothing,” which features Yung Mazi as well and bears a dedication to Mucho himself, a fallen friend: “Forever young R.I.P. Jihad.”

One last thingyour life is not complete until you check out Thug’s Socialcam account.

MPA Duke ft. Skippa da Flippa - “Go Left”

Finally, longtime Young Thug-collaborator MPA Duke is stepping out of the shadows and releasing some music on his own. You might know Duke from his appearances on songs by Thugga, Kwony, PeeWee, and most recently, Jose Guapo, or you might recognize him from hanging out with literally every rapper in Atlanta, particularly one Rich Homie Quan. Here on “Go Left,” we see Duke helming the ship alongside Skippa da Flippa, another close confidante to the Atlanta stars, whose trusted role in the Migos’ inner circle has only recently translated onto record with a feature on the trio’s Zaytoven-produced “50 Chicks.” While Skippa’s verse chronicling his rise from jumping off the porch at 10 years old to now working with Scott Storch at 21 is a doozy, the force of MPA Duke’s breathless-but-composed delivery precludes any chance of the show being stolen, with Duke alluding to the already classic “Who’s On Top,” reminding us that he’s “still thinking of a master plan” before finally putting the inquiry to rest: “Who’s on top? Me.”

Now I’m not sure why MPA Duke released his debut mixtape, Got Bars, without so much as a tweet but I’m just thankful the ubiquitous Atlantan found time to release a career anthology before unleashing his Brick Squad debut, 1017 Duke (which, being a theoretical Brick Squad debut, is no fait accomplit). Until Got Bars’ unpublicized release back in June, I had long feared that MPA Duke and his fellow MPA compatriate Wicced might one day be mentioned in the same breaths as such NYHC luminaries as Dmize, Altercation, Trip 6, Krakdown, and The Psychos: tragically obscure artists who managed to shine so brightly on their few existing recordings but never saw a proper release. While we still have no sign of a Wicced debut, Duke at least has seen fit to strike his name from the conversation.

Operating as an MPA primer of sorts, Got Bars spans Duke’s career from his earliest BFPL days until present. In addition to its brand new offerings, the tape includes a sampling of his contributions from Kwony Cash’s Da Voice of the Streets ("Guess What" but not "For Dat Money"), Young Thug’s I Came From Nothing 2 ("Who’s On Top" but not "Above Dem Niggas" or "Fuck 12"), and Gucci Mane & MPA PeeWee Longway’s Money Pounds Ammunition ("Started From Scratch"). Got Bars also includes a selection of Duke’s even more obscure tracks, culled from the the musty corners of Soundcloud, Hulkshare, and YouTube. While fidelity may vary from song to song, MPA Duke’s consistency across the collection of odds and ends is unwavering.

Kicking off this long-delayed debut is the Young Thug and Wicced-assisted “It’s Our World,” one of Duke’s finest songs and a first-rate slice of Thug apocrypha. It is as much an assertion of bravado as it is declaration of alienhood, with Thug singing both “It’s our world, we make it spin” and “This a spaceship, did I mention that I’m an alien?” An effective introduction to say the least.

A disciple of the feature verse himself, it makes perfect sense Duke should include a smattering of memorable ones on his debut. We are treated to not only Wicced’s trademark whisper ever harkening back to Atlanta’s Futuristic era, but a Yung Booke-orchestrated experiment in pure bliss ("Sum I Know Bout"), and even several appearances from the elusive Frunny from BFPL, who appears in this ancient photo, one of the greatest music videos of all time ("Everyday I Gotta Shine"), CRE’s largely unsung Large in the Game, the incarcerated Tay Man’s truly unknown Pillsbury Street, and the most recent installment in the Fake I.D. series.

Although the supporting cast most certainly sweetens the pot, MPA Duke stands on his own merits. From vivid recollections of meager beginnings (“We come from eating noodles, bread, and canned goods”) to the fake crowd roar introducing “Why They Hate on Me,” MPA Duke’s debut feels like a personal and an artistic success. While he may threaten to cut your cocaine with baking soda a couple times on the tape, you owe Duke a listen. Honestly, the man’s work is worth your time if only for the impossibly cool Hey Arnold tattoos on his ribcage.

Although nearly a year lapsed between the photo shoot for Got Bars and its online release, I’m just thankful MPA Duke finally has one in the books. Now all we can do is sit back and cross our fingers in hopes that 1017 Duke materializes, a full version of “Kick It With a Boss” one day blares throughout Lenox Mall, and, perhaps most importantly, the MPA film, Imagine, sees release.