KillerHipHop Exclusive: Young Dro Interview
Young Dro burst into the scene with the Billboard topping “Shoulder Lean.” Believe it or not, that was six years ago and Dro is currently getting ready to release his second studio album titled P.O.L.O. (Players Only Live Once). But don’t call the disparity a hiatus. Dro has been musically active. He recently dropped a sequel to his RIP mixtape. The tape featured freestyles over “Mercy” and “Beez In The Trap.”
During our interview, he talked about freestyling over other people’s beats, the status of P.O.L.O., Grand Hustle possibly doing a group project, Meek Mill’s connection to Grand Hustle, and listening to T.I.’s Trouble Man. Read our exclusive interview with Young Dro after the jump.
QuezKHH: Your RIP 2 mixtape recently dropped. You went in over beats like “Mercy,” “Beez In The Trap,” and “I Don’t Like.” How does freestyling over someone else’s track help you with your own material?
Young Dro: It gives you a sense of letting me know like, you thought it was hot when they did it, let me do it. It gives yourself a chance to asses your position to see if you are able to box with the big guys.
KHH: To my understanding you’re currently working on your P.O.L.O. album. How far along are you?
Dro: It’s pretty much done we’re just getting the best that we can since it’s been an ongoing thing you know. Plus we were working out this deal with E1 and Atlantic, so it’s been paperwork instead of music. It was more paperwork than music because we [had] music like 10 years ago.
KHH: So the music is ready?
Dro: The music is ready.
KHH: It’s been 6 years since your last album, so you’ve had a lot of time to reflect. Is there anything that you’re doing differently on this album that you wish you would’ve done on Best Thang Smokin’?
Dro: Well, actually, no. If it could happen all over again, I’ll let it happen just the way it did because, like I said before, 10 years ago I had like 8 mix CD’s, a lifetime worth of music out. Like 8 mix CD’s with 45 songs on them. I didn’t know the business side of the music, [so] I should’ve been paying attention to the business. But we made a lot of cash. We leaked the album. It was a budget cut after that. We became more independent. We thought we were from the beginning though. But I’ve been having fun. I can’t be mad. I do want to put out more albums but the streets got me still here, so I’m good.
KHH: Since you have a lot of material, are we going to be seeing more mixtapes?
Dro: Yeah, pretty much. And you know, the reason I drop them the way I do is because, at first, like last year, I dropped 3 or 4 in 3 months. I want people to get the worth of the music because if you drop a fire mix CD then you drop another one, then another one, they’re not going to pay attention to the craft. You don’t want to have too much. You don’t want to over-saturate the people. Plus I want them to miss me anyways [laughs].
KHH: Do you feel any pressure to deliver with big singles like you did on your debut with “Shoulder Lean” and “Rubberband Banks?”
Dro: A lot of people think that that’s what I’m going to try again, but I’m not. That was what it was. I really don’t live on, I got to make “Shoulder Lean,” or I got to make “Rubberband Banks.” No, I just got to do what I like doing and that’s music.
KHH: This album is going to come out under Grand Hustle right?
Dro: Yeah. It’ll be out on Grand Hustle. It’ll be on Grand Hustle/Atlantic/E1. You’ll see all type of names on that [laughs].
KHH: T.I. has been signing a lot of young rappers to the label like D.O.P.E., Chipmunk, and Iggy Azalea. Do you ever give any of these young rappers on the label advice?
Dro: All the time. We always try to be leaders for anybody who liked us or looked up to us or wanted to know anything. We always put our arms around them like little brothers. Everybody around the label was actually fans of us so it’s always good when you have someone that looks up to you. We have good advice to tell them. What to buy, what not to buy. Things to do, and not to do.
KHH: Grand Hustle did a group project back in 2006. What are the chances for a new collaborative Grand Hustle project?
Dro: It’s not too far away. So many guys are out doing their thing. Kuntry is still on the road. Mac Boney is still on the road. We’re still here but we’re just in the streets. I have my own thing going on. Tip just got out. We got to give it time to reconnect and we’ll show you a P$C album.
KHH: A lot of people don’t know this about Grand Hustle but Meek Mill was a member of the crew back in the day. Did you ever have a chance to get in the studio with him?
Dro: Yeah. Actually, me and Meek are real cool. When he first got out of jail I flew to Philly to go see him. That’s an old homie. We go way back. Me and Meek got a couple of songs. A long time ago we did this song together when he first got out. Then we did another one. But we got to get some new material down and that ain’t nothing but a phone call away.
KHH: Did you always know that he was going to become this big?
Dro: Yeah we pretty much knew his worth in the beginning. Just like when they seen Dro and they knew his worth. When they seen Tip and they knew. Once you see, like a kid from the ghetto is illuminated, you just start embracing it. Like yeah, Meek got it.
KHH: T.I. is getting ready to release Trouble Man. Have you listened to any tracks on the album?
Dro: Of course I have. We always do that. Like I’m tired of hearing it because we sit around and play it so much [laughs]. By the time y’all hear it’s pretty much old to us. Trouble Man is going to blow your mind. It’s like shawty got these lyrics that have been bottled up, so they better get ready for it. It sounds just like the title you know what I’m sayin’. It’s trouble on their bruh [laughs]! Trust me, two thumbs up.
KHH: So we’re going to hear that Trap Muzik T.I.?
Dro: Pretty much because the only thing that you can get out of trapping is jail and that’s where he just came from [laughs]. You’re pretty much going to hear the trappin’.
KHH: What’s it like being in the studio with him?
Dro: It’s like being with your family, like being their with your brother. Like you might be chillin’, you might be recording [or] playing pranks on each other. Stuff like that is normal days man.
KHH: Does he write his music down?
Dro: Nah he doesn’t have pads. He keep them lyrics locked up inside his head man.
Follow Young Dro on twitter, and keep an eye out for P.O.L.O.