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BG
THE FRANCHISE
interview by Meshack Blaq
photos by Tiger-Bomb

KRON:
From your first album, True Story up to Chopper City In The Ghetto (his fifth), all your albums ring with a sense of personal experience. Is this true?
B.G.:
Fa Sho! All my songs are based on a True Story. That's why when I first came out, that was the title. But just cause I had an album out an made a lil' change don't mean that the shit stopped hittin' in the streets. Matter of fact, the second album Chopper City is when shit got Real. It just blew up and sold over 100,000 copies. And people was just up on it; they really felt me how I was comin' straight and keepin' it all the way Real. So a couple of months later Baby & Slim asked me to come back out with It's All On U Vol. I. First it was gonna be a double album. Then they wanted to break it down. I had done about 30 songs in about a month. So they broke it down and put out Volume I. Then I just kept on Hustlin'. I wanted to come out again and Blow Up and let `em know it ain't gon' stop! I come out again with It's All On U Vol. II. Then we put the group together; the Hot Boyz. We came out with Get It How U Live. We just stayed in the studio; stayed tryin' ta get ours. Tryin' to get our Shine on. That's how it works around here.
KRON:
So when the whole Cash Money thing first went down, were you the first artist to come out?
B.G.:
Nah, nah. I wasn't the first artist. The first artist to come out on our label Cash Money Records, was Kilo G. He's dead right now. God Bless the dead. Kilo G was the first artist to come out on Cash Money Records.
KRON:
And then B.G.'z? [everyone in the Clique calls him Geezie]
B.G.:
Nah, they had a couple more artists. But I care not to discuss them.
KRON:
Right, right. Well how did you get down with Cash Money? What brought you into the door at 11 or 12 years old?
B.G.:
Well it's like this here. Alright me, Baby & Slim (Brian & Ronald) are from the same neighborhood that I'm from. Off Alice & Magnolia. So I used to be runnin' thru the barbershop, just runnin' around the area. That's where they come up at and done they dirt, or whatever. So they knew me. They been knew my Momma since I was like 7 or 8 years old. So the dude who cut our hair used to hear me Rappin' and all that-there, and they used to come thru like twice a week just to hang out or whatever. So old Boy said he was gon' tell Baby & them that I Rap, and whoo-whoo-whoo! So I'm like, "It's all Gravy! It's all Gravy!" I used to see `em and holla at `em, and ask `em for dollars an' shit. But I ain't never told `em I Rap. So they found out I Rapped and come to me askin', "Bust somethin' Lil' One!" They pulled me to the side and I just spit up a little somethin' for `em. And Baby was like, "Man look, I'ma come get you tomorrow. Ya heard me? We gon' make it happen!" He come get me, and the rest is History. I been under his wing ever since then, and we rolled from there.
KRON:
Right now there's been massive success for another member of your camp; Juvenile with "Ha!" and "Follow Me Now" blowin' the Fuck up! Everybody knows Cash Money's name all over AmeriKKKa. And bein' that you're Tha Franchise member of the Clique, how do you feel about your project goin' in on top of the success of Juvie?
B.G.:
I mean, that makes it all Gravier for me, you know? Cause we don't come individually. When you see Juvenile, you know you gon' see the Hot Boyz. When you see B.G., you gon' see Juvenile and the Hot Boyz. When you see Big Tymers, I mean we come as One!! We come as a Clique! It's like, when he Shine - I Shine! When he Shine - our whole Clique Shines. So he done got his Shine on, and he done Represented our whole Clique. So now on my go `round, when I come on I'ma Represent the whole Clique. And it just goes on and on. He just bust the doors wide open for me. So now when I come through and let `em know that it just don't stop, then they gon' be whupped. They'll be like, "Damn, what they got next, right there? I thought they was just... Damn Man, they workin' with some talent ova there." So it's just like that!!
KRON:
The new single of yours is called "Cash Money Is An Army". Talk about that.
B.G.:
"Cash Money Is An Army", Fa Sho!! One night, it wasn't even much to it. I just got in the studio. You know, I come there with no Rap or no nothin'. Fresh was in there and I heard this track. I was like, "Now who `dat fuh?" He was like, "That ain't for nobody. I'm just fuckin' around." So I went and grabbed my pen right quick and wrote me three sixteens (verses), come up with the choruses. And on a spur of the moment I went in there and laid it in the cut. I was likin' how it came out. My album was finished, but I was like, "Man we need to add that-there!" So we added that-there and when we all listened to it, that's when we decided that we had to roll wit' that. I felt though, and everybody around here felt like that'd be a good Single.
KRON:
And then we also found out that recently when you visited L.A. for the first time, that you had just gotten free from bein' on lockdown.
B.G.:
Heh-he. (laughing)
KRON:
How did all that start for you?
B.G.:
Man, indulging in illegal activities. And getting' off into shit I ain't had no business gettin' off into, tryin' to live that life. And I just got caught up.
KRON:
Does it go back to again, when you were 11 or 12 years old?
B.G.:
Yea, I caught my first case when I was about 13. And ever since then I just been in and out of Group Homes and all kinda funny-ass shit. Probation, runnin' away from Group Homes, all kinda shit. I went back and forth, you know how it go.
KRON:
What's the deal down here in New Orleans with Truancy?
B.G.:
Oh! If you don't go to school, they pick your ass up and your Momma gotta come sign for ya. All that old crazy-ass shit.
KRON:
That blew me away when I heard that.
B.G.:
Oh yea!! They'll put your ass in jail if you don't go to school. Wodee, if they catch you walkin' around during school hours and you ain't got no identification sayin' you 17 & up... You got to ride!! If like, you get caught out there after a certain time at night and you ain't got the proper identification... You gotta ride!
KRON:
Damn. I don't know... Alright let's talk about the albums. True Story right?
B.G.:
Yea.
KRON:
Based on a true story?
B.G.:
Yes, based on a True Story.
KRON:
Chopper City. Based on a true story?
B.G.:
Based on a true story.
KRON:
What about the track "Hard Times"?
B.G.:
[His face lights up] "Hard Times", that's most definitely. That's most definitely!
KRON:
How is it that you're able to put such Realism down on a song but make it sound like people wanna bounce to it and everythang?
B.G.:
I just try to make sense in whatever I write. I try to put a situation together that I done been through. Or put a situation together where I know somebody done been through it, or they goin' through it where they could feel me. So they can get the vibe cause they know it ain't no... It's just Reality; it ain't nothin' that cain't happen. So if you hear it from me or if you hear it from anybody in my Clique, it's Real! We don't fantasize when we write. We just keep it on how we Street! That's all I know, Me. So I got to keep it Real!
KRON:
Since I know you guys don't smoke no weed, what are some of the Hobbies that you guys are into?
B.G.:
I cain't smoke cause I'm on Probation. So I cain't get high like that. I gotta take urine tests for the courthouse every week. Every month, and all that-there. For me, I just play around with Hoes an' shit. You know, I Shine. I jump in my Benz truck, ride around an' get my Shine on. You Dig? Play wit' Hoes an' shit.
KRON:
Heh-heh-he. (We both laugh) Shine on?
B.G.:
Aww Man, get your Shine on means just... I like to, it's all about standin' out Man! It's all about Flossin'. It's just, Man basically bein' a Hot Boy.
KRON:
What is a Hot Boy?
B.G.:
A Hot Boy? They got so many definitions of a Hot Boy.
KRON:
Yea, but we know you guys made that up in Hip Hop. So as far as us knowin' in the outside world, that's a Cash Money term.
B.G.:
I mean, a Hot Boy you know... They got Niggaz that's Hot that's livin' that life; got the police on `em, Feds on em. He a Hot Boy. Then you got the Nigga wit' tha Hoes. You know what I'm sayin'? He a Hot Boy. Then they got the Niggaz wit' the Fly cars and all that shit. They Hot Boy$. Then they got those head-buckin'-ass Street Niggaz. You know, it's just so many definitions of a Hot Boy. Me myself, I'm an all-around Hot Boy. I cover all angles of `dat. I Represent that to the fullest. Yea, B.G. a Hot Boy!

KRON:
What's the fascination with the Reeboks though?
B.G.:
It's just all about, you know we just stuck on that ever since I could remember. We just Soldier Reeboks. Man, ain't nothin' like a fresh pair of Soldiers. That's all we, you know… Man, we stick to the G Code `round here. It's strict t-shirts, Reeboks and Girbaud. T-shirts, Reeboks, and Girbaud; you ain't gon' catch us in no suits or none o' `dat. Cause I know I feel uncomfortable. I feel like a Bitch in that suit-shit. That shit fuh... I don't know what that shit fo'. I don't wanna misjudge cause ain't nothin' wrong wit' a suit. Yea, it's right for certain occasions. But you ain't gon' catch nobody `round here wit' no suits on. We just don't live like that `round here. We just stick to the G Code; Soldiers, Reeb's & `Bauds. But the Reeboks? We jock the Reeboks.
KRON:
Seems like y'all went and made up a new trend now.
B.G.:
Yea. We just gave `em a name back in the G, and then it built from there. Cause you could hook up a fit with a pair of Soldiers. A pair of Soldiers go with anythang.
KRON:
So what are your favorite Jewelles? Do you have different sets that you rock for different moods?
B.G.:
(By the gleam-gleam in his smile, I know he likes this one!) I got the Baguettes for the special occasions. (showing off the more-diamonds-than-Gold watch he just bought as a birthday present for Mannie Fresh) And then they get the regular watch (handing me the $50,000.00 multi-carat, ice-encrusted Rolie off his wrist) for an office day.
KRON:
Here, take this back! (Hand now shaking nervously) My fingers are freezin'!!
B.G.:
Yea you know how a Nigga be! Ya Dig? It's all Gravy. Like right now we just chillin'. But I still can Pimp the Hoes' eyes with this-here! (Restrapping his wrist and showing off his chili-pepper Cash Money Medallion) Cause I'm just chillin' right now. And then, when it's showtime? I really Shine!!
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