From back in the day with Three 6 Mafia, LA Chat has grown as an artist and as a woman and with the release of her new album just around the corner I decided to catch you with the Hood Home Girl herself and find out what’s been going on the last few years.
You have been associated with Hip Hop music for as long as I can remember, when did you first step into the world of music?
LA Chat: Well I did a lot of underground Memphis rapping since the age 13, I majorly got introduced round 1998 to da game with 3-6-mafia.
You have your own label now “Dime A Dozen” why did you decide to create your own label and what is the meaning behind it’s name?
LA Chat: Because I been doing this so long and really I have no room for no more mistakes in my career, I give 3-6 da recognition of putting me out here, but honestly I've never seen a royalty check from them, so I left and really made mistakes of dealing with other artists who have no way near accomplished what I have, and they really didn’t care about me as an artist, they was getting big advance checks off what I have done and putting my music out and letting my name work itself, so I've never stopped rapping. I have dropped two more CD's since 3-6, titled "Dramatized" ft.Mike Jones and Juvenile and "Bad Influence" featuring Guccimaine and YoGotti, the albums are in the stores, but they had no promo, so I decided I can do that, so I came up with my label called Dime A Dozen, cuz its nothing, whatever you got you can keep cuz it come a dime a dozen over here. I got plenty more albums build up to give, yeen no.
Your newest single “Do Ya Dance” features Murphy Lee, give us a breakdown of what the track represents?
LA Chat: Its a dance song, I figured since everybody dancin, I can dance too, Im just keeping up with the trend the rap game got going, thats all radio friendly, but those that know me, please believe I still did me on the albums and all the other albums, so you know even though I haven’t received any royalties off neither album my real fans can still go cop it cuz I do get the soundscan and that what really counts cuz at the end of the day its still me and threw my record sells that what lead me to get my own situation now, its independent but its me, the checks. The publishing it’s all me, so thank yaw!
Your new album features the likes of Pastor Troy, Gangsta Boo, Criminal Maine and Yung Kee, that’s a varied mix of artists, what can be expected from the album?
LA Chat: Its self explanatory, HoodHomegirl, I’m in the hood with this one, all know me, I keep it gutta, I don’t sugar coat shit, I say what I want and I speak da real and say a lot of shit these bitches wanna say, but can’t or won’t, so don’t worry I got'cha "Imma say it 4 ya", I represent for the women all day. I make these niggaz mad, y’all know me DA BITCHY THEY LUV 2 HATE…
You have worked with so many artists over the years but who has influenced you the most?
LA Chat: I gotta say I fucks with Lil Boosie, I feel his struggle cuz he been in the game a long. long time and he just now really getting his recognition and I feel dats the way I am. I been in this shit so long, but if I keep coming I can’t be denied, I know for a fact I got die hard fans that love me and wanna see me when I do shows every weekend everywhere still to prove dat, so you know really my fans influences me, they keep me going… But big up Lil Boosie you know you my nigga, nigga…
You won an award at the SEA’s for Best Female Mix-tape artist, how does it feel to be recognised on that level?
LA Chat: Maine, that was crazy cuz that was my first time even doing a mix tape. I really didn’t like the mix tape shit at first, I'm like, "dat's some bullshit, mothafucas rappin on other folks beats, dats bull”, so finally I do one and the streets loved it, and I was like dam… so I was proud of myself, I just did another one, "Southern Smoke”, with D.J.Smallz and its eating the hoods up, if you lookin for one go to my myspace and get ya one…csend me ya address I'll mail you one,cuz its that hot….
You started out back in the day with Three 6 Mafia. That must have been a great learning process for you? Did your time with the group shape you into the artist you are today?
LA Chat: Yes I have learned a lot with and without them you know. I love'em, I thank them for helpin me start my career, but honestly I say again I never received a royalty check off nothing, so why will I stay? I hate that it happened that way, but it did, I never plan to rap and become a famous rap star and don’t get paid for it, a lot of people don’t believe my story and a lot do, but who cares what you believe, I’m the one living it, its my life, its easy to judge when you're not living it, but I must admit, every one after them was a waaaaaayyyy worse situation than when I was with 3-6. But that’s the past, time for the new Dime A Dozen, rather I sell 10-10,000 my nigga its all me, and that’s the best situation ever…
Your first solo project back in 2001 moved more than 150,000 units, did you expect such recognition?
LA Chat: I didn’t have a clue I will sell that much, especially as I dropped the same month Choice's the movie and soundtrack came out, so really I didn’t expect to do that good, but I did and the streets embraced me. I was gettin three to four shows a week packed really letting me know what I was worth. the streets fed me, shows, verses, etc. For three years I asked about a check before I left.
You move a lot of your CD’s and Mix-tapes independently and without Promotion, how do you manage to push them on still a successful level but without the major Promo or label behind you?
LA Chat: I gotta say grace of God I’m going through a learning process right now, but I’m learning I was blessed with a talent to get paid off of, and I feel if I was going to fall I would've been fell a long time ago. Cuz I'm good, the streets still feeding me, I’m still eating off my name, I still gotta a crib in one of the nicest part of Memphis, I still got 3/4 whips sittin on chrome, all street made and I love dat, they gotta respect my hustle, I’m a mother of an 11yr old son, dats all he know, "My mama she rap", and I’m going to keep it that way…
What other projects are you working on right now?
LA Chat: I just finish my new project Da HoodHomegirl which will be in stores hopefully April, no later than May, so y’all fuck with ya girl like you did when I was with them niggaz cuz this me right here. I’m focused on pushin that right now, but I plan on working on future projects and gettin my own artists, but I’m focused on me right now to be the gateway cuz I’m already in, I just need a lil tap on through there, so gates open up cuz here I come…
You also write a lot of material specifically for Movie and TV shows, do you change your style or mind frame when doing tracks for this? I mean a TV show track can be the total opposite of an album track right?
LA Chat: Really most of the music I write be already written, a movie will hear it and feel it fits their movie and automatically loves it, but yes I can write about any situation, that’s mainly what I rap about – life situations…
LA Chat: I just wanna tell my fans thanx for not giving up on me, the ones who never left and the ones I got to get back and the ones I got to gain, go cop the new La Chat album "Da HoodHomegirl” when it hits the stores, I’ll keep you posted. Contacts for booking 901 691 4437 and Myspace/LaChatrap get at me… and whatever you say I hear ya hater, but like ‘Pac said years ago, ‘you tell ya folks whatever you want, but you and I know what’s going on’… Da Real. Hal at ya girl. Thank you Danielle for this interview, they try to make it hard for the females, but they gone see and hear me…
Interview for British Hip Hop courtesy of Underground Promotion UK.