KillerHipHop Exclusive: Big Sloan Interview
Ladies and gentlemen I present to you, Big Sloan aka Sloan Bone. Sloan is born and raised in Long Beach, California and is the brother of Layzie Bone, and Flesh-n-Bone from the legendary Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
A couple of days ago I had the privilege of talking to him about about being Layzie Bones little brother, his album Khakis-n-Chucks, Ron Artest, and the emergence of non-gangster rappers in the West Coast. Full interview after the jump.
QuezKHH: Who is Big Sloan?
Big Sloan: Big Sloan man, representing Long Beach, California. Representing Mo Thugs Family. Also the little brother of Layzie Bone and Flesh-n-Bone of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
KHH: How did you initially break into the Hip Hop scene?
Big Sloan: Actually I got into it ’cause my brothers were already in the game. When they came with “Thuggish Ruggish Bone”, and “1st Of The Month”. Just watched them growing up. Plus being in my city of Long Beach, California. You know I [listened] to Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Warren G, Nate Dogg rest in peace. You know it was watching that growing up, and Crooked I from Long Beach. Just watched them growing up and just being in that pattern. And I always liked Run DMC, and Nas. I was good at words, I was a great English student, I could always put the words together. So that’s how I got into it, by just listening to those great people.
KHH: What advice would you give to up and coming rappers?
Big Sloan: To make it big, the only advice I can give you is to stay consistent. And believe in yourself, ’cause if you don’t stay consistent and continuously give out good product, the people will forget you fast. Believe in yourself, ’cause there is going to be all kinds of people that’s not going to like you, or say you’re wack, or you’re not this. Just stay in your own lane, pick up the positive energy around you, and it’ll come back to you just like that. That’s how you get big in the game, it’s a lot who you know too, but a big part of it is keep that positive energy around you, and it’ll come back to you in real great force.
KHH: Why and when would you recommend an artist to hire a manager?
Big Sloan: When to get a manager depends on where you’re at in your career. ‘Cause as you’re starting out, you want a manager, but you don’t want to be exclusive, because you want to be able to do other things and not just stick to what they say. You want somebody that’s going to help you and be loyal. I’m not saying that. But you are not exclusive, you’re going to meet a lot of people when you go to all these clubs, and shows. Sometimes the manager only has their interest not yours. They have their interest, like, “ok why am I telling you if you’re not going to get money, I’m going to leave you alone and try to get to the next level.” Or whatever the case may be. So get a manager when you feel like you can’t handle all of the responsibilities on your own. Because nobody has the best interest in you, but you. And then why you get a manager? Because they handle your schedule, everything you have to do, and it’s more professional when you get to that point in the game. And they’ll keep you on point, ’cause when you’re a full blown artist and everything starts getting hectic, and you start booking more shows, interviews, and things like that. You need somebody to keep you on point. Like, “yo you got that interview today, yo you got that interview today”. That’s why you have one, to manage what you’re doing, and have someone that has your best interest. Like my manager, Lamont, which we call him L-Mac, he’s got my best interest. Why? Because I molded him into what I want. So when he’s talking, it’s like I’m talking. Like when he says we got a show hooked up, or this hooked up, or this hooked up, I already know what he said because he would’ve said the same thing I would’ve told him. That’s very important bro.
KHH: Musically there are probably tons of advantages of being Layzie Bone’s brother, but what are some disadvantages?
Big Sloan: Ummm, there are really no disadvantages. The only way that Layzie could hinder you is that, how people can be like, “oh that’s just Layzie and Flesh’s brother”. They try to hate, like “oh you only got this far ’cause you’re Lay’s brother”. That’s the only “disadvantages” but to me it’s not a disadvantage. ‘Cause you’re what they’re talking about. ‘Cause if you’re hating on me in front of 15,000 people, they’re going to go check me out to see why you’re hating. Ok well let’s see what Layzie Bone’s brother got to do. Why is this guy talking about him so much. There’s no disadvantages, what disadvantages do you have when your brother is in the group? And you’re part of the family that sold 50 million records? It’s great to be a part of that. So only disadvantages I could see is the hate.
KHH: What are you currently working on?
Big Sloan: Right now, I just finished with Layzie Bone’s album called The Definition & The Meaning; I worked on that project. Now we’re doing Flesh’s project that [came] out September 13, called the Blaze Of Glory. We just finished that. Now it’s my album which is called, Khakis-n-Chucks. But before that I got a mixtape coming out real soon with the Warrior DJ’s called Exacta Standards. That’s brand new right there.
KHH: Are you going to be working with Ron Artest?
Big Sloan: Definitely, that’s a good buddy of mine. Him and the whole Tru Warier’s. I met them on tour, about 6-8 years ago when we were doing a tour. Somebody didn’t pay for our bus, so our bus wouldn’t go to [inaudible] city. So my boy, got me and my cousin, and was like, “yo y’all cool, we love y’all, we respect y’all, ya’ll can ride on our bus”. So we rode on their bus for the rest of the tour, and I got cool with them. And we just started traveling, doing things, and when he came to play for the Lakers, I’m in LA, so we started working doing music and all kind of stuff. I’m working with him. Now he’s on Dancing With The Stars, and we got a video called G’d Up, it’s on ThisIs50.com , it’s all over YouTube. But we’re doing some other stuff, he got a reality show called “40-40″. But all in all that’s a good friend of mine. Him and his camp of Tru Warier’s and Ron which is Metta World Peace now, you know what I mean. So he’s a good friend of mine, not just a dude I met. We became real good friends, and we always kick it, travel, and do what we do.
“I love The Game right now, his album doing good, and it’s a good album. No matter how much people hate on him, you can never hate on the music.”
KHH: Being part of a group yourself, what’s your favorite group right now?
Big Sloan: Well groups…no. I’m going to say the artists period. You know dudes I like listening to. Everybody is hating on him but Drake, I got much love for Drake. I got much love for him, I can’t hate on the dude. He’s talented to me. Meek Mill, he’s kind of cool, I like him. Of course, I like Lil’ Weezy now after he got out of jail. He was dope, but now that he got out he’s way doper to me. But [Layzie] Bone is my favorite along with Crooked I from Slaughterhouse, and I still listen to the Wu-Tang, Red Man, Nas, old school LL [Cool J], Run DMC, Cannabis and dudes like Warren G, my boy [Ice] Cube, a lot of West Coast. I love The Game right now, his album doing good, and it’s a good album. No matter how much people hate on him, you can never hate on the music. I’ll never hate on good music. I don’t know dude that personally, met him a couple of times. I don’t know him personally, I don’t hate him, dislike him or whatever. I just know he has good music.
“Communication flat out, and trust is the key in any company, group…”
KHH: What do you think is the most important thing for a group to stay together, and be successful?
Big Sloan: Communication bro. Communication is the key to life. You’re going to have your arguments, your disagreements, your ups and downs, 1 person is mad at [another] person. But you have to communicate, and let them know what’s going on. Everything doesn’t have to be public, sometimes things do come out public, but [the] majority of the times you have to keep it in-house and work it out. Get an attitude it don’t matter whatever. But communication is the key, that way everybody knows what’s going on at every time. So when somebody is doing something over there, and you’re asking them over this, you’re not looking stupid. Like, “what about this record?”, And you’re like, “what record?” Like, “I just talked to such and such, he said you guys had a record” and I’m like, “what record are you talking about?” You know what I mean? Communication flat out, and trust is the key in any company, group, anybody.
KHH: Recently there have been a lot of artists coming out of California that don’t necessarily portray the gangster image of their predecessors like Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg. For example, Lil B from Berkley, Tyga from Compton, and Kendrick Lamar that is also from Compton but doesn’t claim any gang affiliations which is very unique for a California rapper. What do you think of the change that is currently going on in California?
Big Sloan: I love it, because if you’ve never lived that life, why portray it? The crips and bloods wasn’t something that was supposed to be highly publicized. You know the history of crips [vs] bloods, it was never a thing. It was never a thing to go against each other. It was never supposed to be blue don’t like red, red don’t like blue thing. The word “crip” means Community Revolution In Progress. It was really some Black Panther type of thing. It wasn’t like oh crip and blood bang bang shoot ‘em. I became one, and I am from Long Beach. You know I’m a crip. But at the same time I’m from my city, and I don’t portray myself as the biggest baddest gangster…ever! And you’re not going to catch me running around crip, crip, crip, crip this, crip that, blue this, blue that. I even know some blood dudes that are real real blood dudes,that don’t just run around blood, blood, blood, blood. You know what I mean? So I mean we argue, and get along. It’s not that it’s a problem, it’s just that certain people don’t get along with certain people and that’s just what it is. But now you have them dudes coming and its cool, because its showing the community and people around the world. Because everybody knows that LA started this crip and blood thing. So regardless, the fact is that I’m glad that they’re doing that; they’re not gang-banging.
“Just because you’re from Compton don’t mean you have to gangbang”
People that grow up listening to them think that they don’t have to join [gangs] to be accepted in their communities. Just because you’re from Compton don’t mean you have to gangbang, Watts you don’t have to gangbang, Long Beach you don’t have to gangbang. Now they’re showing that we can [rap] without [gangbanging]. I don’t condone it, because they publicize it to where it’s cool to [gangbang]. It’s not cool, people actually die for that. There’s people that really die for wearing red. There’s people that really die to wear blue. In a lot of these communities outside of California [such as] New York, Atlanta, Detroit, everywhere, Indiana, Alabama, Little Rock, people really die for this red and blue stuff. So the best thing we can do is chill out, and stay together. It’s not all about that. The people who publicize this know who they are , thinking it’s cool. They know who they are. I don’t have to say nothing. I don’t like that. It’s not that I have anything against them personally, but the way they portray that [gangster] image is not cool. Sometimes when you portray that image and go to other cities there’s people that really die like I told you before.
“A lot of Blacks and Latinos do get along now because of music”
I’ve been shot 5 times over that same issue. But I didn’t get shot by a blood, I got shot by a cholo in my neighborhood. See in Long Beach the Black and Mexican people don’t get along that great. I mean we’re trying to put it together and be cool through music; a lot of Blacks and Latinos do get along now because of music. I got shot by a Mexican gang. It wasn’t by no bloods. So that’s why people go to towns and you hear about people getting shot at. Why? Because they portray this image so hard, that these dudes are like, “hold on, lets show them how we get down over here”. Everybody got something to prove. That’s in every city, state, country, continent, where ever you’re at it happens. It’s not just crips and bloods, there’s all kinds of other things out there. All kinds of gangbanging, nations, and all that type of gangster shit that goes on. So you have to be careful of what you say, if you’re not really with that type of business. And real killers move in silence anyways. People who are out there banging and killing people, nobody is talking. This is a new era where everybody is snitching now, and they go back to their hoods like it’s cool. I don’t get that, people don’t do that in my hood. People just have to chill out [like] the tigers, and kings of the lords, and them types of cats. They do what they do without banging. I give them much props for that. I support them.
KHH: Is there anything else you want to tell the people? Anything to look out for?
Big Sloan: Yea, lookout for Big Sloan aka Sloan Bone, my brother gave me that name. Lookout for that new mixtape I got called Exacta Standards, it’s going to be by the Warrior DJ’s. I’m trying to get Dj Kay Slay to host it for me with the Warrior DJ’s. As a co-host type of thing. And my album Khakis-N-Chucks, that’s the main thing. I got Pretty Ricky on there, Crooked I, the whole Bone family, Layzie, Bizzy, Wish, Kray, Flesh, I got them on it. I got a collab I’m ’bout to do with Snoop. I’m trying to get Cube on the project. I got one of my Detroit Mo Thug Family members John Drama. I’m just trying to extend to family. Then I got some other features here and there. I’m trying to get this feature with me, Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes, and Layzie Bone. I’m trying to get that together. That’s what I’m working on. But don’t forget about Flesh-n-Bone’s new album after 11 years called the Blaze Of Glory. Layzie Bone’s album is out right now called, The Definition & The Meaning. My other new artists, D-Rado from Mo Thugs, he’s from Long Beach, California too. Other than that, I just want to give a shout out to my boys. All my homies in the city of Long Beach, California. Baby Meeks, Tiny Meeks, Lil Meeks rest in peace, Lil Will, Masta Ace, the homie Gator, Big Cross, Little Dirty, my Mo Thugs family, L-Mac my manager, G-Rado my artist, from my Detroit Mo Thugs family John Drama, my homeboys you already know what it is, Layzie, Krayzie, Bizzy, Wish, and Flesh. The whole city of Long Beach, the whole city of Detroit, the whole universe, my south dudes in New Orleans, my boy Boss Player down there. Everybody everywhere in Phoenix, New Mexico, Tech N9ne, and if I didn’t mention you my bad. I just want to say a very special shout out. Rest in peace to my mom Renee, rest in peace to my father David, rest in peace to my stepdad Wendall. What up to my brother Wendall, my sister Rhonda, and rest in peace to my late uncle, and my grandfather. Last but not least, which is always first, much love to God for making it possible for me to be here on the phone with KillerHipHop.
It was a pleasure talking to Big Sloan. He’s a really talented rapper, so be on the lookout for his mixtape Exacta Standards, and his album Khakis-n-Chucks which is scheduled to drop in 2012. Get his newest tape, From E. 21st To E. 99 here. Follow him on twitter @SloanBone_MTF.
Don’t forget to support the rest of the Bone family as well. Buy Layzie Bone’s The Definition & The Meaning here, and Flesh-n-Bone’s first album in 11 years Blaze Of Glory here.