During September’s Feature Night Thursday show Columbia, SC’s Snook Da Rokk Star called into the show for an interview. During our chat, we discuss his double South Carolina Music Awards wins and the controversy around their validity, selecting and working with World Star Hip Hop for all of his video work (his current video "Grown Woman Lovin" is currently at 4 million+ views and counting), plus early beginnings working with Boss G.
Snook also gives his picks for the two teams he thinks will make it to Superbowl 2012.
Check out our talk below. You can also listen to it after the jump!
Nanci O: What’s going on Snook?
Snook Da Rokk Star: You know me, grinding, on the way to the studio as we speak!
Before we get into our chat, I just want to take a moment to thank you for your time. I know you’re a very busy man, so I appreciate you taking some time to talk with me.
I want to thank you for having me.
You’ve had a very busy year. You’re fresh off of double wins for the 2011 South Carolina Music Awards. One award was for Male Hip Hop Artist of the Year, and also, Single of the Year for “Grown Woman Lovin” with Torica. So how did that feel?
It was an unbelievable feeling to be honest with you. I look at it that’s my BET award, that’s my Grammy, this is a stepping stone. To get anywhere you’ve got to start from somewhere–there’s no end without a beginning. This is big to me.
You what’s real interesting Snook? Quite a few artists, producers and other people in the industry in South Carolina say those awards and wins don’t mean anything. What do say about that?
You need to do your research. At the end of the day, everything in life that you do means something, regardless however you may feel about it. When people see you’ve won Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, it’s still something that brings attention to your name. Everything negative has something positive to it, anything that’s bad has something good to it. It’s a double edged sword.
With me, I don’t look at like it doesn’t mean anything, it means a lot. Because first of all, you have to respect were you’re from to get anywhere else. Before you get big anywhere else you’ve got to get big in South Carolina. So to me it [the South Carolina Music Awards] means a lot.
You mentioned it definitely brings attention to your name. Your name is buzzing up here in North Carolina too. So what were you doing over the past 6 months to get that attention?
Honestly I was just grinding. Putting the music out, putting the single out, meeting the DJs. I did a luncheon with a couple of DJs out in Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville and here in Columbia, just to get them familiar with the music. Rocking with a lot of online sites and bloggers such as She Bloggin and The Mic DVD, and with people who might have a situation.
You also might have a situation where this DJ doesn’t rock with you or this person over here doesn’t rock with you but this person right here in the middle does. And this person in the middle can make you boil out the pot enough so that it makes the person to the right and left of them want to rock with you too. But you’ve got to keep going, regardless of what the situation is. Everybody is not going to like you, everybody doesn’t like Drake or Wayne so it’s just about being out here, getting on your grind with your own.
Definitely! The last time we spoke, you had just changed your label over to Lavish Entertainment and were in the process of building the label and brand. So what’s new with your business?
Lavish is making it transit too. We had a couple of situations where it was like are you Southern Dynasty or are you Lavish? So we just made it one brand: Lavish. As far as the business we have my label mate Lotto Lambo that’s coming up. We’re about to drop some music real soon.
Young Gunna the Greatest is about to drop some music real soon; he had the single out “Tiger Woods” last year. Me and Lotto about to drop a compilation, The Lavish Boys: The Saga Begins. Be on the lookout for a lot of different videos, visuals on me and the rest of the label. Look for the grind!
I gotta ask you about this. If you’re not comfortable answering, I’m cool with it. From a fan perspective—not that you guys were beefing—you and this other guy had the biggest buzz in Columbia and the state. So now that Boss G is in a situation right now, how do you feel about it?
Well it didn’t affect my grind at all. Me and Boss G, we good. When he started rapping, I was one of the people that was side by side with him, teaching the ins and outs. That’s my dude. So at the end of the day that’s just going to make me grind harder for him as well. It is not a competition, I don’t compete with anybody from South Carolina. I compete with the heavy hitters out there in the industry; I don’t want to compete with anyone that’s from where I am. I want to be beyond that, you feel what I’m saying?
So if there’s anything I can do to help someone in South Carolina, I’m going to do that. It’s not like I’m going to look down upon anybody or say I’m better than this person [from SC]. No, I want to be better than Wayne, Jay-Z, Kanye. And his situation [Boss G’s] really makes me want to grind harder for me and him.
Your “Grown Woman Lovin” video, which was shot by World Star Hip Hop, how many views is it right now?
Roughly a little over 4 million.
Wow, that’s pretty amazing. I think you’re the first Carolina artist that I know to shoot a video with World Star Hip Hop. So what was that whole experience like?
It was an experience! They came down on a Wednesday and they stayed until Monday. They were real professional about everything that they did and do. It kinda taught me to be on my business and not be a procrastinator and keep everything on a tight schedule. They shot the end of the “Grown Woman Lovin” video, because I [had already] shot most of it out in Atlanta. So they shot the end [of the video] on a Wednesday and then they came to my crib and shot a video for “Kink” on a Thursday. Friday we shot “Money Right”. Saturday, “A Day In The Life of Snook Da Rokk Star”, they followed me out to Augusta, Georgia where I did the Power Fest, then on to Manning, SC where I did the Bike Show and then back to Columbia where I did a prom for one of the high schools.
World Star taught me a little bit, I taught them a little bit and the rest is history!
4 million views on any video is pretty major! Do you see yourself working with them again?
Oh yeah. We shot three videos so there’s two more left to come that you’ll see which were shot by World Star. They also did the in studio of me, that will show freestyles plus the other videos. So just keep your ears to the street and your eyes to the computer and you’ll be good.
I want to switch gears up a little bit and ask you about some sports.
The lock out is over and NFL season is about to start. A lot of girls are going to have to compete with the second girlfriend of football.
So Snook who are your two team picks that will take it to the Superbowl?
To be honest with you I think the Eagles might do it this year, they look real good. But I’m a Wesley Saunders fan. That’s my dude, he went to USC and couldn’t play last year because of some injuries and violations. Wesley Saunders is from Durham, NC but he’s a Duke fan and I’m a big Tarheel fan [laughs]. He’s out there in Pittsburgh with the Steelers so I gotta rock with him, but I really think the Eagles are going to do.
We’ve got it on the record so when the Superbowl rolls around in January we’ll see what happens!
Yeah you already know! I’m thinking those Eagles are real strong!
At one point you were working on a mixtape with DJ Scream. So can you tell us when we can expect some new product in the streets?
Oh yeah. Right now the first package [The Fresh Pack] is in the streets right now, it’s a mixtape that’s like the album before the album. I have about three or four new mixtapes that about to come out, one in the next few weeks, that’s the The Lavish Boys: The Saga Begins with Lotto Lambo. Then I have The Underdog/The Smokehouse Volume 2 with DJ Sean John. I have one called Turn Off The Lights, that’s strictly for the ladies. I’m just grinding, and I’m working on my album at the same time.
Do you go to the studio everyday?
What is it about the work ethic of going to the studio everyday? What does that do for you?
It’s like a hit and miss. You’re not going to record a great song everyday, you’re not going to record a hit everyday, you’re not going to record a single everyday. So it’s just like exercising. If you do ten pushups the day you can’t do twenty, if you do ten everyday for a week, the week after that you’ll be able to do twenty. The week after that you’ll be able to do forty pushups, [then] the week after that you’ll be able to do sixty. It’s about grinding and keeping yourself working and exercising so you can be right there on your level everytime.
Much respect to your work ethic. I knew you were buzzing in your state but I didn’t know your work ethic was like that.
If I’m not in the studio, I’m in the streets selling my CDs. The Fresh Pack is in the streets right now, it’s going for the five [5 dollars], y’all come shop with me. It’s the freshest pack in the state.
Before we end, I know you’re heavy on social media and have a new website [coming]. Can you drop your Twitter, Facebook, all of your online connects? Also a phone number or email if someone wanted to reach out on some business.
All-right check it out. My twitter is @SnookDaRokkStar, my Facebook is: Snook Da Rokk Star. I can’t add anymore friends right now, but you can check out my fan page which is: Snook Da Rokk Star as well. Get in contact with me, google me Snook Da Rokk Star or you can hit up my manager Kyle Green at 803-413-7128 if you want to book me. Just look for me out in the streets man, I’m out here grinding. My new website is coming soon, it will be done within the next month or two. Just look me up, I’m out here. AND you can check me out on Nanci O’s site.
School is back in at UNC-Chapel Hill, the campus is flooded with students, plenty of people are tuned in tonight. Is there anything else you would like the listeners of Chapel Hill and beyond to know?
I’m a Tarheels fan, ten toes down, all day everyday! Y’all rock out with me, I’m gonna rock out with y’all!