EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: We talked to the rapper about his smash Low, Timbaland and strip clubs
24 year old Flo-Rida has recently taken over the US charts with his massive hip hop single Low and the follow up Elevator- which is produced by Timbaland.
He started off working with Rick Ross and Trick Daddy in his native Florida, but for his debut LP recorded with superproducers like Timbo and Will I Am.
Low is taken from the soundtrack to Step Up 2 and has topped the Billboard chart for ten weeks running. His album Mail On Sunday comes out on March 31.
MTV: Where are you from, where did you grow up? Im from, Florida you know. I mean I grew up in a project I mean, normally you hear about South Beach, you no everything, the glitz the glamour of there. But I grew up on the opposite side- Carol City. I mean in my project its the typical drug dealing, a lot of killing but I always kept my eye on the prize.
What music where you listening too when you where growing up? I was bought up in a single parent home but my dad used to come up maybe, once in a blue moon. But when he did, he would play like, almost any instrument and he could sing. And I would listen to Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix- I have him tattooed on my arm.
When did you decide that the music career was right for you? I mean early on my cousin collected a lot of mixed tapes and a lot of the time it had instrumentals on it and I would go in the garage and record over them. And then I found myself listening to it, the lyrics werent quite as dope as they are now but the flow was there so I guess it gave me the drive to want to keep rhyming.
Have you ever had any regular jobs? Did I have a regular job!? I had the worst jobs ever! I lived in Las Vegas and worked at the MGM Grant- I got paid like three dollars an hour you no working a night shift. And I had to go through the trash, dirty food and whatever was in the garbage just to get these silverware recycled. I remember working in a construction job too but I was still getting paid three or four dollars an hour.
Could you talk us through the track LOW, how did you come about writing it? I actually got the track from my A and R at Atlantic records. It was produced by Monte, hes a radio DJ. I remember when I first herd the beat it reminded me of Miami and the bass music. I mean, me and T-Pain being from Florida it wasnt too hard for us to get together and come up with this record. I was in the studio and at the same time there was like a great vibe going on we had bottles popping and members of my group in the studio- it was geared towards the record. That vibe, actually came across on the record, it was the fastest I ever recorded like it took probably about an hour. I mean as soon as we finished I took it to the strip club because a lot of times, thats how we test our record, and the girls instantly where just like, moving and asking for copies of it.
How did you capture the Miami sound? The Miami sound was like bass music, back in the day. I just you know, I do music for the love and I have Jimi Hendrix on my arm so at the same time you might here a little bit of rock type stuff from me. Im inspired by country and techno too. So I mean, down in Miami they got different cultures and everything so your not going to hear just one sound from me.
How does it feel to be number one for ten weeks? Oh man- its like a dream come true. I can remember sitting back and watching like different, MTV awards and now Im in the same shoes they were in. And now to have that number one record its just amazing. At times i'm just like- wow!
Tell us about who you worked with, artists and producers? Yeah, the name of the album is Mail on Sunday. I mean, it just a metaphor for getting your cake every day, or you know whatever you prized position may be. On this album Ive worked with T-Pain, Timbaland- hes a genius, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, Young Joc, Lil Wayne, Sean Kingston and Roger Troutman.
Do you have a chance to reply to people on MySpace? Always, always! I mean a lot of times I always carry my laptop wherever I go so, I might be on the plane before I take off and, here and if Im waiting at the airport, and Ill talk to different people. Its definitely a good way to reach your fans and feel that one on one vibe.
What are you ambitions still unfulfilled? You know I mean I look forward to opening a library up in my neighbourhood or something like that. I feel that knowledge is the key. A lot of times youd be surprised what you can find in the library. I mean in my neighbourhood I feel like the kids need something positive like that to brighten their horizons.