Along with Yelawolf, we got a chance to sit down with fellow quick-spitter/frequent collaborator Rittz recently for a in-depth interview. What ensued was a discussion on touring, his White Jesus mixtape, working with Yela, starting up the Slumerica movement, and what’s next for the shaggy-haired MC.
Hit the skip to read the interview.
PIMB: It was impressive to see, this is your first nationwide tour, and the fans were rapping along with the words.
Yeah man, it’s been a guessing game as to where the stronger areas will be for me, but tonight was dope.
PIMB: Talk about the tour experience.
It’s been amazing to find out where I am appealing to. It’s been real good to me so far. But it does show me to, how many people, by the number of CDs I’m selling, how many people haven’t heard of me either. It’s crazy. I’m just trying to get more people into the project, and the people that do know who I am, for them to see me and get a feel for me. They see pictures or a video, but they just think it’s Yelawolf’s homeboy. But to get out here and be like, ‘I’m real, this is the real deal.’ It’s great to be face to face with people.
PIMB: How is the relationship with Yelawolf?
Touring is cool, the relationship right now, I realize that if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t even be here. So I just constantily look at him and say ‘thanks’. But on another level, we’ve always been cool, been homeboys, and respected each others craft and skills, before the situation for him to even put me on. But that role will never be reversed. I’ve been rapping this whole time, and fuckin with people for 10 years, I never thought this is who I’d get on through. It’s just such a great fit, it’s perfect.
PIMB: How did you get connected with Yelawolf?
I met Yelawolf through my manager Transcend, who had introduced me to him at one of his shows. Yelawolf and Transcend had been in a group together called the Dixie Mafia, they were doin shows in Atlanta, on some underground shit, and I wanted to get into that circle. Transcend moved to Gwinnett County, where I’m from, was looking up local rappers, and found me and liked my shit, so he invited me out to Yelawolf’s show.
After we met, he put me on a show and started listening to my music. The next thing you know, Yelawolf and I just started kinda kicking it. We did a song together, called “Double Barrel”, he laid his verse and I laid mine. Several months later, he heard my verse off the track, and he hit me up. At this time, he was on the verge of doing Trunk Muzik. He had a vision for a crew, so he came back and got me and we did “Box Chevy Part 3”. Soon after, he took off and blew up, but he came back and got me and made the whole Slumerican.
PIMB: You’ve been riding White Jesus [mixtape] for a while now, what’s the response been like?
Been getting great responses, and it’s a toss up between some people having heard it, but a lot still haven’t. I’m gunna push it for a while, because I think it’s a great project, and people just gotta hear it. To put something else out too quick without fully pushin’ it would be wrong, and here it’s clear that there’s so much work I gotta do for that project. It gives me time too, because Yelawolf’s about to take over the game with Radioactive, so I can keep pushing White Jesus and start gathering music for the next project, so when it does drop, it’s perfect. Gotta let people know I’m here.
PIMB: Have his fans been receptive to your music? It seems like you two share a common fan base.
Yeah, his fans have been super receptive of it. You know, I automatically assume that all his fans know who I am, but they don’t, that’s not the case. Some of them do, but that’s why this is a great opportunity for me.
PIMB: Going back, how did your career get started?
I’ve always been a songwriter, I’ve always had studio in my basement. Back in the early 90s, I was that kid before anyone else. I’ve been writing songs since like ’95, and before White Jesus, I put out probably 10 projects locally, before anyone ever heard of me. That’s from 1995-2006, and each project had like 20 songs on it.
PIMB: And you won a competition called Battlegrounds, right?
Yeah, it was a song competition. It’s in Atlanta, they have Battlegrounds, you go up and the fans vote on the tracks. I won five nights, four weeks straight and got retired, which doesn’t happen much. Shit took off and started happenin’ for me then. I flew out to LA, had a few meetings with Interscope, but as soon as I got back from that, it all went flat. Everything got fucked up. That’s the time I started going with my shit and thinking about quittin’, then Yelawolf came around.
PIMB: But sticking with it paid off.
Yeah, it’s been worth it, it shows that everything happens for a reason. In the long run, you get put on in the weirdest ways. Anyone else who would fuck with me would be tryin’ to ride off my coattails, but he doesn’t need me. All I can say is “dude, thanks.”
PIMB: What’s next for you?
Just touring constantly and getting new shit together for the next project, which will possibly drop next spring. But really just focused on touring. I got a bunch of features coming out, the video for “Wishin’” is comin’ out (Editor’s note: you can watch it below), it’s a viral song, and just a bunch of stuff. I’ll constantly leak songs while I work towards the next project, and really just building a fan base.