Lil Ya no needs introduction. One of the most legendary rappers of New Orleans along with his neighbors Tec-9 and Yella. Now, 20 years after his debut, Lil Ya meets with us to talk about his history and his new projects in this 2012.
Fans of Cash Money Degreez, hope you enjoy this interview
Lil Ya is the founder of U.N.L.V., I introduced Pimp Daddy, B.G., & Juvenile to Cash Money Records.
Also got them signed. I'm from the 3rd Ward/6NB (Uptown New Orleans).
How did you met up with Tec-9 & Yella?
Tec-9 is my brother, we have different mothers. Yella & I grew up together (literally).
We met when I was 2 and he was 1. We were neighbors.
What are your earliest memories in New Orleans with Tec-9 & Yella when you started rappin?
When we first heard our song (Another Bitch) on the radio (I remember it like yesterday).
It was a (all by myself experience) vs. having 2 or more heads on side of you with just as much input.
Did you release anything before Cash Money Records?
Tec & I released "Another Bitch" on the streets out of the trunk scaling copies on tape @ $5.00 a pop. Someone Slim & Baby knew gave them a copy and found us. They re-released "Another Bitch", by the way T-Bone was the producer of that track.
Lot of people ask us on the website about the early years on Cash Money. Were there any videos or footage from any of your past albums with Cash Money?
A few cats saying their are some unfortunately all the footage that we had from those days were destroyed during Katrina.
Any of Cash Money first roster artist (Kilo G, Mr. Ivan, PxMxWx...) have any videos for those days of early CMR?
Kilo had a video for the "Down Mouth For Ya" on Sleepwalker album.
How do you see the evolution of Cash Money Records and his different stages across the years to become a referent in the mainstream-pop music?
I like what they are doing but I feel like they are reaching the masses and the so the concepts of their songs should be broader.
What experience do you got to release your first solo album "Another Massacre" in Hard Time Records in 1999?
It was a ( all by myself experience) vs. having to or more heads with just as much input.
Why did you release your solo album on a different label as Tec-9 his second solo after you left Cash Money?
Tec was signed to Take'Fo Records as a solo artist prior to going to jail. While he was incarcerated I formed Hard Times Records and released my solo album, when he was released he still owed Take'Fo a album that's why his album came out with them instead of Hard Time Records.
Just three months ago, you released your last album that was a compilation with two new songs. As I remember your last album was very good. The fans are asking after these 8 years... Have you had trouble to release exclusive new material? or what has happened to not hear a full album with new songs?
Thank you Kruze, a lot of people ask on a regular where can they purchase our old material after winning our catalogue from CMR we thought it was only right to release a collection of Greatest Hits Albums with a promise to put of 2 or more new song on each album. We are currently finishing a double cd all new material fortunately we just signed a deal with Black Market Records it will be our first project released by them.
Are you working on any project with Tec-9 or just alone?
U.N.L.V. is always primary but Tec-9 & I are both established solo artist.
I have a new mixtape called "Mr.YaHeardMe"(HoodMac Mentality) soon to be released.
From your perspective after 20 years in the game.. how do you see the hip hop scene in U.S.? What about New orleans?
The hip hop scene in the US is like its always been (music just evolving). All music has a era in my perspective. You have a fun season (dance music) and you have the (gansta music) era etc.. As far as N.O. bounce music will always be the core because thats our roots. Other music can be accepted if its HOT.
What consequences have for New Orleans the Hurricane Katrina in the music or rap scene? Was there a change in global attitude?
The change didn't really affect us, we get and show a lot of love at home and the support has always been crazy but unlike majority of rappers from N.O. we were always on the road anyway.
|Lil Ya & Tec-9 in cemetery. Yella Boy R.I.P|
If they have the love for what the do, talent & hustle it is possible.
How was the experience of recording in your 2004 mixtape with Jason Lyric?
Cool that's the homie. I love fucking with young, hungry & humble artist.
Who's your favorite rapper from New Orleans? And group?
My favorite rapper from N.O. Is Yella Boy & Tec-9 and my favorite group gotta be U.N.L.V.
There's all, thank you Lil Ya for your time!!!