Our host Jonathan got to chat with Chicago’s buzzing hip-hop star Lil’ Bibby recently to find out his thoughts on the ‘Battle of the Beat Makers’ competition, his mixtape ‘Free Crack III‘, his favorite album this year, Spike Lee‘s ‘Chiraq’, upcoming projects, his collaboration with R. Kelly and much more.
In early 2013, Bibby released his debut mixtape, ‘Free Crack‘ which garnered a huge fan-base and high praises from notable publishers like XXL, Vibe and Complex. He was named ‘One To Watch’ by Vibe Magazine back in 2014 due to his “maturity, rapping abilities, solid delivery and flow”. It was also revealed that Toronto’s own Drake was a huge fan of the young rapper and had spoken to him before the release of his debut mixtape, which helped motivate and fine-tune his skills as an artist. Since then, he’s been named in XXL’s “Freshmen Class of 2014”, collaborated with numerous artists such as Kid Ink, Wiz Khalifa, Jadakiss, Anthony Hamilton and has received critically acclaimed reviews for his follow-up mixtape, ‘Free Crack II‘.
At only 20 years old, Bibby is looking to be Chicago and the industry’s most promising young artist. Bibby has consistently proven his growth as an artist and a person through his heartfelt reality raps and unwavering supply of quality music. Bestfans, let’s me introduce you to Lil’ Bibby:
Hey, How’s things going?
You were recently at the ‘Battle of the Beat Makers’ competition in Toronto this past weekend, how did you enjoy it?
It was nice, I was surprised at all the people that came out!
After seeing listening to beat after beat – how do you personally judge a dope beat?
When I judge a beat I think on if I can rap on it first, the bass, the mix. I really kinda of base it of the beats that I choose for my own projects – for the beat that I like.
Did you end up getting in-touch with producer, Little Sister – she was definitely a crowd favorite and it seems like she grew on you at the competition?
Yeah, I actually got in touch with her at the show!
Pusha T’s “Darkest Before The Dawn” album dropped last Friday and I saw that you were at the premiere of his ‘short film’ in New York, what was that like and how was it meeting the new pres of GOOD Music.
It was a nice event – it was very creative to me. I wish I would have done it – something like that. He put a little short movie together. I wish I would have thought of it first.
You recently released the last instalment to your high anticipated and successful mixtape series “Free Crack”, why did you decide this was it?
It feels like it’s time to start something new, I wanted to get away from that name – because it’s got me into a lot of problems, with sponsorships. I just wanted to start something new and try to be more – global.
I think it’s incredible how much you’ve grown as artist, outside of the money, what was one key moment in your life that helped you take-off to the artist you’ve become today?
It was being around different people. I picked up a lot of stuff and a lot of travelling I’ve been done I’ve been seeing more stuff. I got to see how different people move and how people act in different states. I grew a lot because at first I was kinda of boxed in – all I knew was Chicago and that mentality. I grown and I’m around different people – rich people – all type of people like people from different countries.
Given that this is your last instalment in the series, I felt like you were getting a lot of things off your chest – what’s the realist song you spit on the mixtape?
It had to be from the last song on the project, it’s called, “Killin’ Me”.
You have a record for ladies called “Misunderstood” featuring R. Kelly and Jeremih, how did that collaboration come together?
I actually got like 12 R. Kelly records *laughs*. We on the same label, I was just flipping through all the R. Kelly records that I had and that was probably my favorite one.
Spike Lee’s “Chiraq” is a really hot topic at the moment. I read your article in Fader about your review of the movie, there were things you agreed with and a lot of things you didn’t agree with! Given that you grew up in Chicago and have a deeper understanding of the situation than most people – what would you feel is the best way of approaching the growing violence in Chicago? Do you feel like it will simmer down eventually?
Um, I really don’t know like..
You don’t know because you feel that…
..Like there’s something about Chicago people, man. They hold back shit. They don’t really look at things (the same) and I don’t see it dying down no time soon.
One of my favourite tracks, I just fuck with heavy is “Ridah”, I know you were working on the video but can you give us a sneak peek and tell us a little about the concept for the video and when we can expect it to drop?
We actually shot this a minute ago with AZ Productions. It’s just a regular street video, I kinda wanted to give it a street feel because that was what type of zone I was in when I was making the record so wanted to make the video to reflect the record.
By the way I do want to say congratulations on completing your GED, I saw your interview with Sway a while back and it’s amazing to see you kept your word and did it. It’s nice because it resonates a lot with the fans as a motivation! What’s your next goal? University?
My next big goal is that I’m trying to put out three projects in 2016, two or three tours…
Is one of this projects a collaborative project between you and G Herbo?
If I tell you, I gotta kill ya, man! *laughs*
*Laughs* To close things off – out of curiosity, what’s the last full-length album you listened to from start to finish?
I’m gonna keep it 100 with you, all I’ve been playing lately is Justin Bieber (‘Purpose’) *laughs*
For sure, I mean that album has straight bangers. *Laughs*
For sure, man! That’s my favorite album of the year man!
Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me!
Alright, man! I appreciate you for having the time to chat with me.
With over a million plus plays, views and downloads, be sure to take a listen or download Bibby’s final entry to his ‘Free Crack’ series. The mixtape features 15 tracks with collaborations from Future, R. Kelly, Jeremih, Common, Tink, Lil’ Herb (G Herbo) and production from Pro Logic, Young Chop, Da Internz, Jake One, Metro Boomin, Southside and much more.
Listen or download the mixtape below:
Download: Lil’ Bibby – Free Crack III