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Joe Scudda - conducted by Dale Coachman  

Joe Scudda

September 2006

Comparing himself to a shooting guard if he played for the North Carolina Tar Heels, Joe Scudda has been on his grind ever since he ran into 9th Wonder. Along with the Hall of Justus, J. Scudda is trying to break the traditions of North Carolina artists and put as he calls it, "the state you drive through to get to Atlanta" on the radar screen and keep it there. With a little more optimism than his cohort Phonte, Scudda believes North Carolina will blow but until then he will stay on his grind before and after it does.

MVRemix: How did the combo go down with you and 9th to make you apart of the Justus League?

Joe Scudda: Well actually Dho brought me in and kind of introduced me to everybody, and you know being my manager put me down with the Hall of Justus and that's how that got started.

MVRemix: How did that go down with you and Big Dho?

Joe Scudda: I mean Big Dho being my manager it was just like family and I was like yo, you managing me, and he was like yeah alright.

MVRemix: You have the Soldiers of Fortune coming out but other than the North Carolina Tar Heels NC gets no love, do you feel when you come out with your solo album you guys will be stuck in the middle and never get that respect you deserve?

Joe Scudda: Yeah, I mean it will happen it's just taking a little longer. As long as people keep coming from North Carolina making dope music then sooner or later it will happen. Like there's a lot of dope cats in North Carolina that are getting overlooked right now and once cats start coming out people will be like ok. I mean there are mad people from North Carolina coming out and there is a lot of people from North Carolina that are out. A lot of them don't really rep it like that, that's why I rep it extra hard because a lot people don't. Just like my man Peety Pablo came out reppin' it hard but it kind of stopped so we're just trying to pick up where he left off. Everybody just put in their own work and it will happen one day. I think if we make dope music it will happen.

MVRemix: So what was it like collaborating with all these people or were you in the studio by yourself?

Joe Scudda: Well it was everybody at different times in the studio and it was just like recording with family and that's how we get down. We just be in the studio like lets do something and we'll be like alright, there is really no rhyme or reason. Its just like we be in the studio and everybody is kickin it, and that's how it all came about. We started doin joints and other people started doing joints and we started bringing people in and we developed this HOJ album.

MVRemix: If the Hall of Justus was compared to the UNC Tar Heels what position would you play and why?

Joe Scudda: I'd say I'd be the shooting guard, because that's what I feel like right now and whenever I get the opportunity I got to go for it. Whenever I get my shot I'm lightin' one up. That's how I feel because I've been on a lot of features, so I'm like if you through me the ball I'm lights out from wherever.

MVRemix: So what's that hustle like being on a whole bunch of mixtapes and doing your own mixtapes, doing guest appearances on other people's album. What's that grind like?

Joe Scudda: It's fun man, I have a ball. I love doin' music and working with cats and jumping on other people's album or have them on mine I just like doing music. It's a grind but it's a lovely grind and I wouldn't change it for nothing.

MVRemix: So when is your solo album coming out?

Joe Scudda: That'll be next year sometime, right now we just focusing on the HOJ Soldiers of Fortune album.

MVRemix: So with that album I was talking with Khyrsis and he was saying you will find out everybody's identity on the album, and I think people get the misperception that since Little Brother came out and put North Carolina back on the map that everybody that comes out after them will sound like them?

Joe Scudda: Exactly and that's why we did the album. Little Brother is Little Brother and they are wonderful at what they do but that's what they do. If we all did the same thing that they did then you wouldn't want to listen to us. You would just listen to Little Brother. If I did the same thing they did then Big Dho wouldn't need me. Everybody got they different identities and they do different things and talk about different stuff so it's a chance for everybody to get they thing off.

MVRemix: I read that you said college wasn't for you so at what point did you decide that hip-hop was the career you wanted to pursue?

Joe Scudda: Probably around the time I met 9th. Before I met 9th I wasn't really serious about it. I was just rapping but I didn't know anybody that made any beats, I had nowhere to go and record at and the other thing was that I'm in North Carolina so it wasn't like you could go out and see people, this ain't New York or Atlanta so I was kind of just stuck. So I met 9th and saw what he was doing and I was like yo, I should really try this because I definitely don't want no regular job. So I just started going hard.

MVRemix: What have you seen as the pros and cons of being affiliated with such a large camp or are there any cons to it?

Joe Scudda: It's nothing but positive I don't really see anything negative about it because were all a family. If you already on and then a whole team of people come and you're already on then its going to be different. We all came up like struggling together, like sleepin' on the floor and tryin' to scrounge up money to go get some food so I see no cons to it everything is all pros.

MVRemix: So with this grind and hustle I read that family is really important to you, has it been hard trying to balance that while trying to get your name out there?

Joe Scudda: Yeah it has been, like I'm real big on family and me and my family are real close. We moved from Georgia, and all my dad's side of the family lives in Atlanta. My moms side of the family lives in North Carolina so I'm not really close with none of my cousins no aint's or uncles or nothing like that. My grandfather's both died and I didn't know either one of them and I had one grandmother pass away so I'm really not close with none of my family except my mom and my dad and my 2 brothers. So we all real close and me doing this music I'm out of town a lot and my brother lives in D.C. in the army and my youngest brother is in school. So its hard to see each other. The one thing that I wouldn't say holds everybody together but thank God for football because of football I probably wouldn't be able to see my family as much as I do. Every Saturday we try and get together and watch the game or go to the game.

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"Before I met 9th I wasn't really serious about it. I was just rapping but I didn't know anybody that made any beats, I had nowhere to go and record at..."