They followed in 2003 with their second Lp, "From The Roota To The Toota", which featured the breakout smash, "Sick Of Being Lonely". Still, even with the success of their first two albums, they never garnered the proper amount of respect and just-due they deserved. Times definitely reached a low, and they were contemplating giving up. It was then that DTP head Ludacris came in and saved the day. Luda scooped up Shawn Jay and Smoke, and neither of the three looked back.
Field Mob, now happily signed to DTP, are gearing up for the release of their third LP, "Light Poles & Pine Trees". Led by the unofficial single "Georgia" and lead single "Friday Nights", this album is set to be their lucky charm. Already, they're beginning to get some of the praise that has been long overdue in their career. We recently sat down and chopped it up with Shawn Jay & Smoke to talk about their new home in DTP, the new album, and the struggle they dealt with to make it to this point.
MVRemix: Good looking out to y'all for taking time out for today's talk.
Shawn Jay: Oh no doubt man, thank y'all too. We appreciate y'all. You know what's funny. They really don't be putting it out there where we stay, but every time somebody done talked to us, or had a story on us, we done ran across it. So we appreciate that.
MVRemix: You guys have made so many changes throughout your career in regards to standing out. More recently, you've aligned yourselves with Ludacris and DTP. How did this union come about?
Shawn Jay: First of all, it feels really good that we finally have a real company behind us. It's basically, during the first two albums, or right after the first two albums, we ran into Luda when he was still Chris Lova Lova. He was cool then, and we ran into him a few different times, and he would holla at us. Our contract was real fucked up, so he really couldn't fuck with us at the time and he had to play the cut, but he basically kept looking out for us. Eventually, the day came.
MVRemix: What was it about Ludacris and DTP that made the two of you say, "We need to be here". What struck the deal in your mind?
Shawn Jay: Nobody else really liked us [laughing]. Rappers don't like us. They're intimidated by us. Then, they feel like they got more money than Field Mob. It's so much competition out here right now, and we were competition. Everybody wanna be the King. They loved to hear the rumors and stories about us breaking up, because they feel like that means they still have a chance. People look at us and see what we got, and what they don't got, and they hate. They smile at you and front like they happy, but they hate on you. We ain't from Atlanta, we're from Albany. So when we meet these rappers that we listen to, we look at them like, we like your shit, but they look at us like, we sold this many more than you. Chris wasn't like that with us. And the best thing was that we was able to watch him come up. So you know, DTP, that what it was meant to be.
MVRemix: So you definitely feel like this union will move you guys to the next level?
Shawn Jay: Oh, we're already at the next level right now. It's too bad everybody don't know. When this video drop, and then the next, you'll really see. We are the future of this southern movement. We was here when this shit started. We did the first Gangsta Grillz, before anybody else. Field Mob was the first niggaz to do Gangsta Grillz. We was the first motherfuckers to come out and say, "We country, and we proud of being country." Everybody else was talking about bling bling, and we came out with a song about being poor. The first niggaz to do that shit. It's sad that we been so slept on, but I think this shit is going to make for an excellent Hollywood story. We're in a movement right now.
MVRemix: I like how you mentioned that you guys were on another level while everyone else was on the bling bling.
Shawn Jay: We had to. We had to keep it real. We talk about that now because we have that shit. We was keeping it real, like, we broke.
MVRemix: That's just a sign that your style is different and more relatable. Be that as it may, why do you feel that you still don't get the respect that you deserve? Even Ludacris said himself that you are underrated.
Shawn Jay: Because of where we are from. Because we ain't from LA or New York. It's because we ain't from no popular place. If you watch the movie Ray, they tell you that he's from North Royal or somewhere. They never say exactly where he's from. Ray Charles is from Albany, Georgia, but because it isn't a popular place or a Metropolitan city, they decide not to use the real place. The same way they do him in that movie, that's how they do Field Mob in the rap game. If we was reppin Atlanta, we'd be bigger, and our lyrical content wouldn't matter, but since we're from elsewhere, it takes a toll on our career.
MVRemix: So do you have relationships any of your rap peers?
Shawn Jay: Not really. We don't speak to them like that. When we used to speak to em, they was hatin'. We not speakin' to them niggaz. They need to come holla at us. I deserve for them to come see us.
MVRemix: In what ways have you grown since the last album? What's the biggest difference?
Shawn Jay: We done been through shit. You got to go through things, and God test you to see if you stay down. Niggaz was saying leave God alone, but we stayed down. We kept struggling, but stayed down, so now things are better. The maturity level has grown. We're more sure about ourselves this time. On our first album, we was Boondox and Kalage. Then, on our second album, we was Shawn Jay and Smoke. We recreate ourselves everytime. Now, we grown for real.
MVRemix: Where does the title, "Light Poles & Pine Trees" come from?
Shawn Jay: It's coming from Albany. That's the best explanation I can give you about Albany. You go to New York, and you got the Statue of Liberty. You go to St. Louis and you got the Arch. If we was in Miami, we'd name our album Palm trees and Beaches because that's what you see in Miami [laughing]. Albany is just light poles and pine trees.
MVRemix: Any album favorites?
Shawn Jay: Every song on there is our favorite. Our favorite rappers are on there. We got guest appearances. We got Ciara, Bun B, Bone Crusher, Jazze Pha, and Bobby Valentino.
MVRemix: Are there any final comments?
Shawn Jay: We the baddest. I don't know if an artist ever said this, but we guarantee that if you give it six month, you won't mind waiting on an interview with us. We'll be that big. Shout out to DTP. Field Boyz Incorporated. Albany, Georgia. "Light Poles & Pine Trees" coming. That compilation coming December 13th. Tell these motherfuckers we the greatest rap group. Period.
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles