Dubcnn sat down with Aftermath signee and Dr. Dre protege Slim The Mobster just in time for the release of Slim’s new street album “War Music”. Slim explains that this project was solely put together by his label Gang Module without any Aftermath involvement and why it is important to him to stand on his own two feet.
We talk about his connection with G-Unit, working with Kendrick Lamar and at what point he’s hoping for the Interscope machine to get involved in his process. We also ask him about his Aftermath tattoo, surviving in this oversaturated market – and a few words about Detox, of course.
Read on and enjoy. As always feel free to hit up
firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.
Interview was done in November 2011
Dubcnn Exclusive – Slim The Mobster
By: Nima Etminan
Dubcnn: What up Slim, we’ve interviewed you for dubcnn a few times in the past, so it was only we caught up with you to talk about the new street album “War Music”.
Slim: Yes sir! It’s going good!
Dubcnn: The first time I came across your music was a few years back via Chocolate and DJ Silk. Throughout the past years, a lot of the work you’ve been doing has been under wraps and everything has been pretty secretive. In this day and age, where rappers leak new songs on a weekly or even daily basis, what was the reasoning behind not flooding the market? Was that a decision from Aftermath?
Slim: Nah, everything you see going on right now with Slim The Mobster is from Gang Module. This is no label doing nothing, it’s me, all me. I hope nobody tries to take credit for it. It’s all me.
Dubcnn: So this is not the Aftermath machine?
Slim: Nah, this is Slim the machine. I’m a machine, too! *laughs* It’s easy for me because I’m really in the streets, I’m a street dude. That’s why I labeled this a street album, I didn’t want it to be confused with anything different. Everything that you see going on with Slim right now is me and my team. It ain’t no outside entity, everything you see right now is us. All the videos, all those things is all me. It ain’t no outside help, nothing.
If you noticed, on my mixtape there is no other label on there than Gang Module and we made that a point. Sometimes I feel like me being in the position that I’m in, a lot of people expected me to fail or get dropped or whatever the situation. But I’m still here. And I have a song out with Dr. Dre out right now too.
Dubcnn: That’s interesting, because a lot of people are looking at you as Dr. Dre’s new protege. And with this being the first official street album and you dropping all these videos, everybody was expecting this to be the time where Aftermath/Interscope turns on the promo machine. But I know Dre gotta give the green light for all this to go down, right?
Slim: I mean, he got some say, but at the same time, this is something that I believe in. And he got this thing where he says “Nigga bet on yourself, if you believe in it, do it!” So I’m betting on myself and I think I’m the #1 mixtape so far this week. We making some noise on our own!
Dubcnn: Let’s talk about “War Music”. Before it came out, we saw a lot of studio pictures, of you working with 50 Cent, and Sha Money XL is executive producing the project. How did the G-Unit connection come about?
Slim: Actually, it was a point in time where that was a situation, but I think it was just too many people involved so things didn’t go the way we planned. So now I’m just strictly Aftermath/Gang Module. I fuck with them, and me and Sha Money got our own thing going on, Gang Module. That’s what we’re pushing. We ain’t stepping on nobody’s toes, but that’s what we’re on.
Dubcnn: As far as the collaborations that you did on “War Music”, you got Kendrick Lamar, Prodigy, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre… I wanna talk about the Kendrick collabo specifically, because you’re both artists that Dre is apparently endorsing right now. How has the chemistry been between you and him, cause you guys have different styles?
Slim: Good music is good music. It don’t matter where it comes from. It’s all about good music. I’m not really fascinated with punchlines, I really listen for what you are saying. Kendrick is saying something and that makes it about more than just who we’re signed to or how good our connection is. If musically we ain’t tuned it, it ain’t gonna work. But that’s one thing that we got in common, he got his lane and I got mine. I never want anybody to get this confused about me. I don’t wanna be the greatest, I just want to be great. I only say that in the light of the greatest meaning that you’re better than everybody else. I’m no different than nobody else. True, I’ve done some things that pushed me in a different space than a lot of other people, but I’m no different. I went through the same struggles that they came from. So I never want to be known as the greatest, I just want to be great.
Dubcnn: Gotcha. I was going to ask you what your personal goal is with what you’re doing in music. Are you trying to be #1 on the billboard, or just trying to feed your family? When you think about where you want to be in five years, what’s the main thing that motivates you?
Slim: In five years? I want to be retired! *laughs* I want to make a whole lot of money and retire – fast. *laughs* Nah I got a lot of things I want to get into, I’m working on the movie thing. The music definitely, I got my artist Black Friday, those are things that I’m working on right now, things that I feel good about.
Dubcnn: When I compare “War Music” to your earlier material, you sound a lot more polished. What has the process been of working on your craft and the way that you put songs together? I feel like I see an evolution in the way that you rap compared to a few years ago.
Slim: I’m glad that you see that. It only gets better! Some dudes is still stuck with the same style that they had for years and it ain’t never went up or down. So to be moving forward and to hear people say that I sound so much better over time, that’s what I’m hear for. That’s what my job is.
Dubcnn: How tired are you of people asking about Detox?
Slim: I’m never tired of it! That album is like my little brother. I got a lot of faith and belief in it, I love it. When we get it all situated and we figure things out, it’s coming. It’s not like it’s not going to come out! It’s definitely coming out, it’s just about the strategy, the plan and making him feel good about it. That’s part of the reason that I stepped up from behind and just playing a low key role to me giving him some motivation by seeing me out here doing it and make him want to get back in.
Dubcnn: You said that right now, everything that we see going on is coming from yourself and Gang Module. Are you hoping that at some point the major label machine kicks in and propels you to the next level?
Slim: Oh nah nah, they’re going to kick in! They’re definitely gonna kick in, because I’m doing things that they got to pay attention to. They got to pay attention to me, because if you go to any Hip-Hop website, you’re going to see me. So they got to be paying attention to that. We’re just going to let the music speak for itself and let the people speak for me. That’s all I need. And my shit was downloaded like crazy over these past days. We’re just proving our point.
Dubcnn: Okay so “War Music” is out now, what’s the next thing you’re focusing on?
Slim: I just see me and my team. That’s it. I’m not saying that to diss nobody, but I don’t think a lot of West Coast artists have been on what I’m on. It’s always been a higher person involved, but I’m the man in my company, I’m a CEO, not just a rapper. That’s what we gotta start doing as artists, we gotta figure out how to make these people pay us attention, without being negative. We tend to lean towards the negative to help boost our career, but it really hurts us in the end though.
Dubcnn: How much of a challenge has it been jumping through the hoops of the industry, trying to get noticed in this oversaturated market?
Slim: I apply the same ambition that I had when I was hustling in the streets. If you’re selling drugs, there’s a million different hustlers, but you gotta have something different that you build with the people that you’re hustling with or your customers. I go places where most rappers ain’t gonna go. I’m there. When I’m in Brooklyn I go to Marcy, I’m on Nostrand, all these places where they want to see me. Other people don’t come post Midtown Manhattan when they out there. Or when I’m in North Carolina, I’m off Albermale, when I’m in Dallas I’m in Bonton. When I’m in Houston, I’m in 3rd Ward, 5th Ward, Acres Homes, Sunnyside. These are places that they know me in! That’s where I’m at! It’s cool when people like your music, but it’s different when they like you as a person.
Dubcnn: One of the first pictures of you that was released online was the one where you show off your Aftermath tattoo on your entire back.
Dubcnn: This was years ago. Where did your faith in your situation with Aftermath come from, for you to permanently ink the label’s logo on your skin – considering all of the artists that have come and gone through those doors? What made you be like “I’m putting this on my back, for life”.
Slim: I felt like I really made this happen, because there were a lot of times when it wasn’t supposed to happen. Right now, a lot of dudes are like “Man, Dre ain’t gone never do this, Dre ain’t never gonna do that” I prove them wrong everytime! Everytime they say it! That’s what makes me so confident about this whole thing. It’s hard when you can’t call your boss. But I’m not in that space! I talk to the label at the label, but if I got a problem, I call Dr. Dre. That gives me a different confidence, because it’s just me. Everything you see going on right now, it’s Gang Module. Slim The Mobster/Sha Money XL, period. My team, my agent and all that, that’s what you see. No outside nothing. That’s what making these things happen. Snoop Dogg has also been giving me all kinds of support.
Dubcnn: Sounds like you know what you’re doing! We appreciate your time, let them know about “War Music” again before we get out of here.
Slim: This is your boy Slim The Mobster chillin’ right here on dubcnn. I hope ya’ll tune in and download my street album “War Music” on DJBooth.net, but you can probably find it on all the other websites too. Download it, hit me up on my Twitter @SimTheMobster. Give me your feedback, I’m listening.