Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
2/27/2006 10:16:22 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Lil Rob. Hip Hop, Rap and Music Videos.
Chicano rap hasn't reached the plateau to that of most Billboard charttopping hip-hop music from the likes of a 50 Cent or even a Jadakiss, but the Cali-birthed subgenre has made strides in reaching other audiences outside the West Coast.
In the early '90s, Southern California groups such as A Lighter Shade of Brown and Spanish Fly, helped catapult the Latin rap scene to new heights and sparked a chord in the brain of a young Lil' Rob, who began to record songs with neighborhood friends.
Since '92, when he released his first tape locally, Lil' Rob has created a strong following throughout Cali and other states in the Western region. With the release of his latest album, Twelve Eighteen, the Mexican rapper has broken through barriers, garnering heavy radio play in several markets outside his native Cali.
With a video filmed for his latest single, "Bring Out The Freak In You," Lil' Rob got up with BallerStatus to discuss how success hasn't changed him and how he's still shocked about how far he has come.
BallerStatus.net: First off, let's talk about the new video. What's the new single?
Lil' Rob: It's for "Bring Out The Freak In You." Actually, that jam was something that was kind of different for me because everybody is used to the neighborhood music from me. John Lopez from [Upstairs Records], just working with him and trying to make hits...not everyone wants to hear the oldies music on the radio, man. I gotta kind of work on a little bit of everything, different kinds of music. I like everything, so it doesn't really matter. Mooks out of Austin, Texas made that beat for me. I just locked myself up in a room and that's just what I heard to it, you know what I mean? That's one of those nasty kinds of beats, so I just [went with what you hear on the song].
To tell you the truth, I didn't even like it enough to put on the album. It's kind of a trip when you work with the label and they put it out there and all of the sudden it becomes 22 on the rhythmic charts. So, because of that, you gotta throw in a video for it because it's working so good. It's a trip 'cause I didn't choose it, so shouts out to John Lopez for choosing that one.
BallerStatus.net: Are you happy with them choosing that song?
Lil' Rob: Yea man, I mean, it's working bro. It's just... I'm neighborhood homie. I was brought up in the neighborhood, but I like to have fun too bro. I like to...it's not about gangbangin' and stuff no more, that's part of my past. Now, it's about paying the bills and living life and trying to make something happen. I'm trying to keep up with the big boys. I mean, that's still me right there, but just a different side of me.
That's why with the video, I had to let people know it's still Rob coming with that. That's why it was a tire shop and I'm wearing the workshop clothing. We were just trying to make the concept seem like I was dreaming. I don't want people to think that Rob went a different route homie. I'm not trying to do it just to make it; it's just kind of working. Just like "Summer Nights," it came out and it was working, so I don't even know.
BallerStatus.net: The track is off your album, Twelve Eighteen, which is out right now. What's the title of the album all about?
Lil' Rob: Twelve Eighteen stands for my nickname. Back in the day, I used to tag numbers instead of letters in the neighborhood, and it just came from that. The 12th letter of the alphabet is "L" and the 18th is "R," so you get Lil' Rob. I got it tattooed on my arms, so I was always like, "I'm gonna put an album out called Twelve Eighteen," so I did. Luckily it happened that way though, 'cause at first, the label wasn't feelin' Twelve Eighteen. I liked the way it sounded, and it's me anyways, you know?
BallerStatus.net: For people who haven't heard the album, talk about what kind of things they should expect from it?
Lil' Rob: Well, you got the neighborhood music for the ho
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