Yo! Raps caught up with Lil Chuckee to talk about how he got into hip hop, what it’s like working with Lil Wayne and how a brotherly joke turned into a viral controversy. You can read the interview below, and also view some pics of Chuckee and Bigman at the 2520NYC photo shoot!
State your name and where you’re from?
Lil Chuckee and I’m from New Orleans, Calliope.
What was your first encounter with the hip-hop culture?
Before I was born, my mom was rapping. My dad was into rapping too. By the time I was here, I was surrounded by music.
What made you want to pick up the mic?
Before I started rapping, I was into dancing. I felt like God put it on my mind to rap. When I first stepped into the booth and grabbed the mic, it was like he was reminding me what I was put onto this earth to do. I knew then that this was gonna be my career. I sounded good on the mic and all the feedback was great. I just knew that this was supposed to be my life.
Growing up in New Orleans you must’ve had a ton of musical influences. Who were some of the local acts who inspired you?
Of course Cash Money and the Hot Boys. I’m from the Calliope so Master P, C-Murder and No Limit. On the local side, I was a fan of PNC and Magnolia Shorty (R.I.P.). That was when it was all about bounce music. When it comes to my influences though, I gotta say Cash Money and No Limit.
What sets you apart from other rappers your age?
I’m not afraid to step out the box and be different. The way I spit is different than someone my age. They may say something similar to what I would say, but they couldn’t spit it like I would spit it. My delivery is way different than most people. And when you see me I look different. My dreads have colors on the tips. I feel like I just stand out.
How did you meet Wayne and become a part of Young Money?
I met Wayne at a video shoot. It was the first shoot where I was featured. He was a feature in it too. I met him and spit a few bars for him. He said he liked me and wanted to work with me. Then the storm came. We reunited in Atlanta at the Dirty South awards in Atlanta. Even before that moment I was still on my grind, putting out music and videos. He saw me at the show and told me that he still wanted to work with me. Everything has been to the money since then.
What’s it like working with Wayne?
He’s crazy! He’s amazing in the way that he works. Wayne will take a whole day or week to come up with something different, just so he doesn’t sound like the next rapper. He’s different and he’s proof that hard work can pay off.
What is it like being surrounded by talent like Wayne, Nicki and Drake? Does that put pressure on you to blow up?
No pressure at all. Everybody over here has there own lane. I got my own lane, Millz has his own lane, Gudda has his own lane. That way, we never crash into each other and there’s no feeling about having to keep up with the next man. As long as we stay in our lane, then we will all get to the finish line together.
Everybody is talking about the incident between you and Wayne on 106 & Park. Can you speak on that some?
Man, that’s my big brother. People look at us because we have all this talent and we’re in the spotlight that we have to be different than regular people but that’s not the case. We are the same as everyone else. We were just playing like how you might do with your little brother. If people would’ve seen the whole clip rather than the edited version, then you would’ve saw he was smiling.
So everything is good with you and Wayne? There’s no truth to you leaving Young Money?
I don’t even know how people could get that! What happened didn’t mean anything! There ain’t no way I’m leaving Young Money over that. This is Young Money/Cash Money over here.
So what are you working on right now? Do you have a mixtape dropping?
Yeah, I do. It’s called Rappers Market Pt.2. If you had the first Rappers Market, then you know what you can expect. I’ll be spitting freestyles over other people’s beats. It’s gonna be great. And I have a mixtape dropping on Valentines Day called Bride Of Chuckee. Just know that I’ve stepped the bars way up, so be on the look out for that
If you could give words for a young rapper coming up what would they be?
I would say be patient and stay grounded. Everybody gets a chance, but you have to stand out. If an executive was out looking for new talent, there looking for someone who stands out from the pack. Never be afraid to step out the box.