Akon and OG Boo Dirty On Gucci Mane, Memphis Rappers and Black Lives Matter [VIDEO]
OG Boo Dirty is claiming his moment. The Memphis native dropped his new project Billionaire Dreams on July 18, and he's reinvigorated. He took the long way here, through a string of mixtapes, a stint with Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad Records and arrests. With so much baggage, the rapper born Lance Taylor wasn't going to move forward without doing some unpacking.
But it took an unexpected change in direction for him to change his approach.
"When I was signed with Gucci, he really just like me--a normal street person," Dirty recalls. "He do everything 'by the book' [but] the street way. Gucci took care of business, but he did the street way. if I wanted to do it the street way, it was cool with him--pants hangin' to ya knees and everything. He was my type of person."
"But then Gucci went to jail. So, when Gucci went to jail, I ran right into Akon. It went from being the biggest gangster in the world, to trying to be smartest person and being out here for your family."
After run-ins with the law that included possessions arrests, an attempted murder charge that was tossed and once being charged with inciting a riot, OG Boo Dirty had enough. He realized then that he didn't want his son to not know his father because dad was locked in a cell; and he realized that music was going to be a way to turn his life around.
He landed with Akon and Konvict Muzik. Akon himself recognized immediately that the gangsterism of OG Boo Dirty's history was something he wanted to get away from--for the sake of his family. Dirty goes so far as to make sure everyone knows his son's pee-wee football schedule and works around it.
"He will not let a weekend pass without him going home to his son's game," Akon explained. "I don't care [what] important we've got or what we've got going on or what's happening, he's going to be like 'you know I've gotta be there for my son, man.'"
Billionaire Dreams is a testament to where OG Boo Dirty has been but also where he's going. He's focused, and his latest mixtape is all about a hustler's ambition.
"Everybody hustlin' to get a billion," Dirty realized. "How many people you can say in this rap game made a billion dollars? So that's what I'm tellin' you--I just want me a billion. Y'all made this out of it, I want to make this out of it. I come from nothing."
With his own star rising, OG Boo Dirty wants to also be the artist that helps build Memphis as a scene. He's constantly plugging in the talent from his home city and he wants to see more solidarity.
"People get they share and go they opposite way," Dirty says, frustrated with a lack of community. But it reaffirms the need for him to put his peers on.
"Every time I see Akon, I tell him about somebody else," he says. "Even if he don't like it, I feel like I have to introduce and present this because ain't nobody else doin' it from the city."
[CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH OG BOO DIRTY IN THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE STORY]
[LISTEN] Billionaire Dreams streaming NOW