Interview with G-Side (part two: ST 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova)

ST: His city, Athens, is maybe 15 minutes down the road, they had lights. But the biggest city, Huntsville, had no lights for a week. So everybody was going to the nearby bigger cities, but a lot of people were stuck. I was stuck in Amsterdam and heard what was going on, and it was so heavy in our hearts. When we finally came to Oslo a day or so late and got settled we made the song about it. Over 300 people died, a lot of friends lost their houses. It was a learning experience. It let us know that our family can provide, whatever the circumstance is. The only thing we could do is make a record about it. We put it out, it’s free for download, but if you want to donate, you can donate money and that goes to the Red Cross. And when we come back we’re gonna help people to rebuild and clean up.

With that song Aura, do you use the term in a religious way?

ST: Nah… it really wasn’t religious. We all pretty much know what the aura is. It’s you, your inner glow, what you give off if you feel a motherfucker when you walk up to him. Another way to say swag. Swag! Swag! (*everybody starts laughing*) That was even before Lil B and I don’t know how the hell he resurrected the word swag. It died and he resurrected that bitch. We were just trying to find an alternative. I mean the song has that Outkast, divine sense to it. I’m not so much religious, but very spiritual.

YC: I consider myself a Christian. In my city, Athens, where I’m from, it’s so small, and there’s a church on every corner.

ST: It’s what you would call the Bible belt, where they still pretty much base their laws and society around the Bible. It’s a huge part of our upbringing. I was a very religious person, but the more I educated myself on the world and things around me, religion seemed to be more politics and business oriented.

YC: It aint that, it’s the preachers. They’re turning it into a job. They use preaching to make money now. It’s all about money back home now.

Many people would think that the Christian community in the South is extremely conservative. Do you think they are more so than other parts of the country?

ST: Not so much. We clung on to religion as hope, because we were oppressed for so long. Especially being in Alabama. That was pretty much our only equalizer. The fact that we had God and that there was a heaven after this. That’s what they use if for, whereas more of the white Christians use it more as a way to control the people. It’s more politics.

What would you say were the biggest difference between you and New York.

ST: The 808. We make our music more for cars.

YC: One thing with New York – they walk around with iPods and what not. Can’t put too much bass in them.

ST: In the South you don’t walk anywhere. Atlanta make their music more oriented for clubs than for the car culture, but then you have places like Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas, and a little bit of Florida; they pretty much make it for the cars, some shit you can ride and vibe out to.

When you rap, whose footsteps do you feel you are following in?

ST: With the way we formatted our company and our business plan, we feel like we’re trailblazers. Nobody came from Alabama and did what we did. Even those that took the major route, they didn’t do what we did as far as coming to Europe and making a name here. Musically, we have the basic forefathers, like UGK. Outkast and Organized Noise inspired us doing a producer and rapper combo. But we tried to break away from all of that.”

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