Interviews

Published on December 24th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Catching Up With New Orleans Legend, L.O.G.

L.O.G.’s “G’s & Soldiers” came in at #16 on www.whereyat.com Top 20 in 20: Nola Hip Hop Playlist.

In 1996, L.O.G. released one of the more successful debut albums on the New Orleans street level, “G’s & Soldiers.” An instant classic locally, L.O.G. provided real gangsta music for an area that literally reveled in it. Coming from the 9th Ward, one of the roughest areas in New Orleans, L.O.G. brought his everyday life to life through his music. He repeated the efforts of his first classic in 1997 with his sophomore album, “Camouflaged Down.” Another street banger reflecting the life of everyday New Orleans living. His, “Livin’ off Game” album proved that he could still go blow for blow with the best of them.
Although his legacy is cemented, during my recent conversation with, L.O.G. he reveals some other New Orleans legends he would love to collaborate with.

How have you been?

L.O.G.: It’s all good, man. Living life and working; that’s all. Getting it in.

When you dropped, “G’s & Soldiers,” track. I remember the word on the street was that you had a rebuttal to, Tupac’s “California Love.” When Tupac says, “In L.A. we wearing Chuck’s not Bally’s.” Was your line in, “G’s & Soldiers,” a reply to that?

L.O.G.: Yeah, there is truth to that. That was a response to that line. I thought he was talking about New Orleans, so that’s how it sparked the, “G’s & Soldiers.” He was talking about New York. I realized that later, but when I first heard the song, I was like, “Man, he shittin on the N.O. with that? What he talkin bout?” So, I had to take it there with it.

You have always been tight with your lyrics. That’s kind of what separated you from everyone locally for a long time.

L.O.G.: I tell some people, nothing wrong with bounce because bounce was really our foundation. In the beginning when bounce first came out, it was simplicity. We kind of didn’t like bounce then; the rappers didn’t. We felt like it was too simple for us to even try to catch on to. As time progressed, we learned how to embrace where you from and what you came from. We are a part of that. Bounce is what it is. It’s just like everywhere else and how hip-hop started. Bounce is what started our hip-hop and we just took it and added to it and tried to combine some things to that. That bounce sound with the realness of what everybody else listen to; something that was diverse.

Did you have any influences coming up?

L.O.G.: I’m an old head, so I come up off the [LL] Cool J’s, Run DMC, Tupac’s and all that. I’m an old head. A lot of locals from our city inspired me too; Ninja Crew and Sporty T. There was a lot of inspiration from all over that inspired me and rubbed off. But some of my favorites back then were, Tupac and Mobb Deep and shit like that. That’s the shit I used to listen to. People in the city wasn’t listening to that type of shit, that’s the shit I used to listen to.

I love the way you and Fila Phil still hold each other down. That’s real, man.

L.O.G.: Most definitely! That’s my lil brother, man. He inspired me in a lot of ways too. A lot of them inspired me; young and old. It’s a movement. When I talk to, Phil a lot of times I’m like, “Man look, when you got a lot of brothers moving in the same direction and talking about the same thing, you get a movement going.” It ain’t just your things or my thing, it’s a movement. That’s what happened in New Orleans. We all just started bonding and vibin off one another to see who could come with it first. We wanted to see who could come harder than the next one and this, that and the other and New Orleans sound just picked up as a whole.

It would good to see you collaborate with, J Dawg from Black Menace and Kangol Slim from Partners-N-Crime. Sometimes we don’t get those New Orleans collaborations that seem to only make sense to happen.

L.O.G.: We had a good feel for it. In the beginning of New Orleans era of music, everybody was just trying to get their feet wet and get their feet in the door, you know what I’m saying. A lot of times everybody was going for self. And that’s how New Orleans is too. It’s more of a selfish like city. They didn’t have the gang bangers… I’m not saying there is nothing wrong with gang bangers, because honestly gang banging could be a good thing because it brings unity in a way. We’re supposed to ride or die for our brothers or whatever. That’s the type of things that we didn’t have in the beginning, but you know as you get older, we started driving the bus. As I got older you had, L.O.G. the artist to the executive producer. You got, Kangol Slim from the artist to executive producer. So, we driving the bus now and we can do things that we didn’t see back then. We can see clearer now. And see that the unity could really bring some things together. And at the time, we needed unity because that division and separation was kind of our downfall in New Orleans as a whole.

Something else I noticed now that I’m older and looking back, ya’ll were so young back then, man. Ya’ll were so raw and young that I’m sure you didn’t even know how to reach out to other labels for a collaboration with one of their artists.

L.O.G.: I have to agree with you on that. We were all young and ignorant, again, we were just trying to get in the best way we could get in. I can’t knock it because it’s what built the foundation New Orleans. But at the same time, we could have did better when we were younger, but we didn’t know better. Once we got older and started understanding what we could do together, that’s when we started working together.

“Hustlin Is The Skills,” was on your album and 211’s album. I always wanted to ask you why?

L.O.G.: 211 was one of the group names we had back in the gap. 211 and Raw II Survive was at the same time. Untouchable Records… literally I started Untouchable Records. Me, Al Rock Capone and two of my good friends. Literally with our own money. And Al Rock Capone, you know that’s my uncle. We had a few lil disagreements. That’s all that was. A few lil disagreements and unc gonna always keep the ball rolling. I was younger than unc. Again, young-hot head, and he was just keeping the ball rolling. He didn’t really know what he was doing either, but he was just keeping the ball rolling. L.O… I kind of picked up at the time and I was helping the Untouchable movement at the same time, so that’s what we did. We were moving both movements at the same time.

I bet you have some hell of a stories and days from them old school Untouchable and Tombstone Record days.

L.O.G.: Man… it was wild, man. You couldn’t imagine. I always had drum machines, beat machines since I was a youngster, man. It all started when I was about 11 or 12-years old. My uncle, Al Rock Capone, J’RO’J from Slaughterhouse and Jam Master used to be in a group called, “The Gold Rush Crew.” Unc took me over there one day, and I was amazed because unc was on the keyboard, Jam Master was on the turntables and J’RO’J had the mic in his hand. They were just running some shit and I was totally amazed how they were just putting this shit together. I left from there and just went and started trying to write raps and shit, ya know. I started my own crew, “The Junior Gold Rush Crew;” we young as fuck. I just started buying drum machines and keyboards. That’s the type of shit I got for Christmas. No video games. I ain’t never had no video games; maybe an Atari 2600 was the only one I probably ever had. After that, everything that came from me had to be on the music front. I got a turntable and a mixer when I was 13. I started doing birthday parties and shit, so I just always had a love for music.

You always had some of the tightest beats from, “G’s & Soldiers,” to, “Camouflaged Down.” The list goes on and on. Were those beats you were picking; did you make some of them?

L.O.G.: Every album is totally different. I produced a track on, “G’s & Soldiers,” I co-produced a lot of tracks on, “Camouflaged Down,” but didn’t do any of the tracks. I was more focused on the lyrics by then and I had a young producer named, Sinister who I had met pretty young. I was pushing for him to grow and do tracks and shit. I met, Sinister when he was like 15 or 16-years old. He had a whole totally different sound too. I was like, “Man, the beats gotta come like this,” and he just kept working harder and harder, and fuck, he just was going in. So, as he focused on the beats, I was just focusing on the rhymes. I always did produce tracks too though. Even on, “G’s & Soldiers,” the S.A.C Mafia for life track, Mannie Fresh was the co-producer on that. I had kind of did something already. He heard what I did, funked it up, boom-boom-boom and you know, Mannie went liver with it. My hands have always been in it on the production side of it, but when it gets to some points, I didn’t do a lot of the beats I had. Other producers would do it. I had a lot of the ideas of what I wanted done.

“G’s & Soldiers” is one of those classics that as soon as you hear the beat, you already know what time it is.

L.O.G.: That fucking song, it took me a month to record that song, man. You couldn’t even imagine. Mannie Fresh did like 3-beats, Ice Mike did like 3-beats, I did 2. It took like literally a month to record that song. And to be honest with you, once I came out with kind of what you heard because what you hear is the finished product, but we came up with it, boom-boom. I laid the whole thing down. I was in love with it. Went home on that vibe and, Fresh went back in there after me without me and did his thing to the beat. I was kind of upset at first because I went home stuck on what I had at first. Fresh was like, “Man, trust me. I got you, man. Trust me.” I had to trust him.

I had to go back and get that, “Livin’ Off Game” album. That’s another, L.O.G. classic. You got some real shit out there.

L.O.G.: Yeah man, I recorded that in ’99.

Are there any other New Orleans artists out there that you would like to collab with?

L.O.G.: Man… they got some people I still haven’t worked with. Me and [Lil] Ya (from UNLV) ain’t dropped nothing, Tec, me and Ricky B. Legendary people who I still haven’t worked with yet. I most definitely would love to. Who else, Fiend. Me and Fiend ain’t laid nothing down yet. There are a lot of people from the city who I still ain’t never put no work in with yet. J Dawg pulled it off with all us on there; the whole N.O. J Dawg pulled that off. He put that together. I loved, J Dawg nem music, man. Them dudes always had something different. Their sound was totally different, they were always enlightening. J Dawg, Mystikal… man I am all about the city, man. I’m right here in Houston, but I’m always N.O. to the bone, bruh. It ain’t no other way.



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