Tennessee-based rapper is not your average Hip-Hop artist. Born Lawrence Johnson in Alexandria, VA, Lil’ Trouble grew up in Memphis, TN, where he gained his love for Hip-Hop music. He realized his immense talent and started honing his craft at an early age.
His career began at age 11 with his mixtape “Cruel To The Game” and later got a boost with the release of his first album entitled “Situation Of A Hustler”, produced by Richard "Enigma" Harvey.
At age 15, Lil’ Trouble’s career got to the next level when his music caught the attention of Rob-E-Rob Devine who was the A&R for Image Records. Rob-E-Rob was so impressed with what he heard and amazed by Trouble’s fresh and dynamic style so he decided to sign this next star in the making to his newly formed label. Nikhil Sharma caught up with Lil’ Trouble to find out more.
How long have you been involved in Hip-Hop and how did you get involved?
Lil’ Trouble: I have been involved with hip-hop since I was 10 years old. And what made me get involved was listening to a lot of artist at the time like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Biggie Smalls and Tupac. Growing up I always had difficult situations that I had to deal with. And music always help me find peace and it was my drive to have a better life.
How did you get the name Lil’ Trouble?
Lil’ Trouble: I was always in trouble when I was younger so I transcended that into my music, building a foundation for myself to be destine for success.
Explain your sound and style…
Lil’ Trouble: I can say my sound is very unique I wanted to create something that people would find very different in so many ways. I have a diverse flow meaning I can rap on any kind of track from country to classical. And I have a deep voice which gives me and edge to throw people off on certain records when I rap with highs and my voice because in a lot of my songs people know that I deliver a deep flow with a southern bounce.
How do you feel about Hip-Hop these days? Is it more commercialised than back in the days?
Lil’ Trouble: I feel that hip hop is more commercial. But back in the days hip hop was more heart given. Meaning that music was more of this is my life and here’s my story, but now a lot of rappers come in with the same story. Drugs, cars, jewels and truth be told half of them never lived it. So I can say it is more commercial. But you do have artist that do give their heart to this game. And can tell it like it is about their life.
You are currently gearing up for the release of your album “Iron Chef”. Explain the title?
Lil’ Trouble: Yes Iron Chef is being finished right now. And the title came from a gimmick from a song entitled Got Work that I ran with in my last mixtape, (What’s Yo Status?). And people started to like the Iron Chef name when I stated it for myself saying that I’m always cooking up some heat for the streets. Meaning my music. So I thought that would be a perfect title for my next record.
What can Hip-Hop fans expect? Any collaborations on there? When will it be released?
Lil’ Trouble: Hip hop fans can expect a lot more of me telling my story as straight forward as it can possibly be told. It is a very universal record. And the record is real creative like a show. The whole chef gimmick will be used throughout the record, so it’s something that’s never been done before. Collaborations throughout this record are held down from my GME artist, such as KG, Jr, Priscia, and Shallo.
What artists inspire you to keep making music? Do you have any idols?
Lil’ Trouble: Artists that inspire me are people like Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Kanye West and my idol I can honestly say is Michael Jackson (RIP).
I understand that you don’t rhyme about the usual stuff such as guns, drugs, sex etc. Do you think these sell music or do you think record companies want to push the “Gangster” rapper?
Lil’ Trouble: I think that music that involves those certain subjects do sell with certain crowds. But I would say labels now look for artists that can go there and take you other places as well because eventually your life will change and people will want to hear a new story from you.
Are there any artists you’d like to work with who have passed away?
Lil’ Trouble: Yes I can say Tupac, Dolla, Michael Jackson and Biggie.
Tell me about some of your projects.
Lil’ Trouble: Projects that I have in the works right now is my artist’s projects like KG’s debut mixtape Hustla’s Mentality, my R&B singer Priscia her new record which is doing well “All Night”. And my debut album Guerrilla Status.
What does the future hold for Lil’ Trouble?
Lil’ Trouble: The future I can say holds hard work and much dedication to be the best at what I do and that’s making great music. And making sure that my family is well taking care of, and that GME becomes a successful independent label.
In the end, let the people know where they can find you online…
Lil’ Trouble: 4936639 –