Littles is proof that hard work and determination pays off. While some doubted his talent, the Q.B. native never stopped believing he could make something with his life. Upon his release from prison, Littles sought a career in Hip Hop, and with the initial help of Nas and Mobb Deep, got his foot in the door. However, Littles knew in order to fully reach his potential he would have to make a name for himself on his own. He then started releasing mixtape albums and DVD's such as The Feeding, which he would personally shop to mom and pop stores across the country. Now all of his hard work is starting to pay off. Reloaded is Little's latest release, and acts as a precursor to his official debut The Streets Will Listen. Littles told his story of success to MVRemix.com before the release of Reloaded.
MVRemix: I just want to start with your history in this game, so the readers can get to know where you have been and the things you have gone through. So can you tell us what it was like growing up in Queens Bridge for you?
Littles: Well, I think if it wasn't for Queens Bridge, I wouldn't be who I am. The experiences that I have been through from living in Queens Bridge, I wouldn't wish on my enemy, and for me to have lived through it was a blessing. Q.B. is the same as any other project in the world. Itís a place where the fences keep getting higher and higher, and its not to keep crime out, it seems like its meant to keep us in. So it was tough growing up in Queens Bridge. Its like a prison inside of a prison, but you are able to move around, go to the store, hop on the train - then its back to the prison again. I had a harsh life, that would be compared to someone living in Alcatraz.
MVRemix: What is your first memory of Hip Hop?
Littles: My first memory from a Queens Bridge stand point is Hot Day, who was a DJ who had snatched Cormega up. He was one of the biggest DJ's in Queens Bridge at one time. And my other biggest memory is LL Cool J when he came out with "I'm Bad". That is when I first broke my brothers 1200's (Technics Turntables), I was scratching up his record of "I'm Bad". I remember watching Video Music Box, or The Box, and seeing LL with the red kangol - that was what's up! Q.B. had MC Shan, but when I first saw LL with that big rope chain, and kangol hat, it was crazy. He changed the flavor of Hip Hop!
MVRemix: Do you think LL gets the credit he deserves today? Because the younger generation hates on him, but I don't think they understand what he did with his first four albums.
Littles: Na, I don't think he gets enough credit, but I think his bank account has earned enough to take his credit. So he is probably satisfied with that.
MVRemix: During those early years on the streets, how long did you think you could succeed at it?
Littles: Forever! Forever, I swear to you. It wasn't until I did my five year bid that I got slapped in the face and realized that the lavish luxuries in life that I thought I was going to accomplish by selling drugs was going to come to an end. Once that steel gate closed on me, I realized that what I was living was just a fantasy. There was no way in the world that all of the dreams I planned to accomplish in life were going to come from sitting on a milk crate, hugging a block, and selling drugs. So I thought it would be endless.
MVRemix: So jail really changed your life?
Littles: Yeah, thatís what really woke me up. I used to act, then think. Now I try and do the opposite. But when we were younger we would act first, then think about the drastic measures after, so you already knew what type of situations we put ourselves in. But when you are in prison you don't have any other choice. See, there is a difference between jail and prison. Jail is when you are locked up with people that are coming home, but prison is when you are incarcerated with individuals that are never going to see the daylight. I have been in both during my five year term. So you can't do anything else but think when you are locked up. There is no movement, there is nothing else you can do but think! You are forced to be patient, so thatís what really changed my life. I think I am patient now because of that.
MVRemix: I noticed you started getting a real buzz when you dropped your mixtape joints, like The Feeding, as you said.
Littles: Yeah, thatís the first move I did. After I left Nas, I went to Havoc's crib, and got Mobb Deep on one or two songs. I found Nature and did a joint with him. All of the producers I was dealing with, I was having all these artists come to their house to lay their verses. During all of that I was filming everything for the DVD. I also got some old footage of Nas from like '91 - packaged it up, and The Feeding took off. Distributors started calling me wanting to buy the masters, and I started to get a lot of press. What I did though is, I went out and found all the mom and pop stores. I would rent an Excursion, my brother Bandana and me, we would put our money together and get flyers, we had hot sauce and toilet tissue with our name on it, and we would drove all the way from New York to Miami finding every mom and pop store. That was our first trip, and we would just pull into every state - not knowing anybody. We would pull into Richmond, Virginia, on a Friday night and ask cats, 'Yo, we are at this hotel, do you know where the mom and pops stores are? We'll smoke some weed with you, give you some CD's, whatever'. Then the next morning we would link up with the people and they would run use into every mom and pop store they had in the town. Shit, after years of that, now I got over three thousand stores! I got stores that Kay Slay and all of them can't even get into, because they put out slim cases, and I put thick cases out with barcodes on them. But this trip I'm on now is my most focused one. I never focused on Soundscan before, I would just put them out and get money. But this trip, I'm banking on all of the stores I deal with to submit my numbers to Soundscan.
MVRemix: What do you attribute to your savvy business sense then?
Littles: Its just my life man! I came up selling drugs, and I had a business mind then. Like I said, I had good schooling, so I'm no fool or punk. I'm just a regular individual with a business mind trying to create some bigger situations in the future for my kids and my family around me. I put it like this, a dummy keeps his mouth closed, and a closed mouth don't get fed. I look, watch, observe, and speak. And I'm hungry, so my mouth is always open and my hand is always out ready to accept whatever can get me to that next level. I just refuse to lay down. I could get a regular day job if I wanted to, but I refuse to settle for that. When I first came home from jail I was actually working on elevators. I was getting something like $38 an hour doing elevators, and they wanted to put me through school for the electrician stuff. If I would have stuck with that for six years, I would have probably made more money than drug dealers. A top paid conversion guy for elevators makes $65 an hour, and thatís only after three years of school.
And nowadays, its not about being a gangsta or a thug. That is wack! I've been there and done that. Force doesn't get you heard, it puts you in prison or six feet under. So people who are always edgy got it all wrong. I don't walk around bobbin' and grillin' people all day. If you met me, you would probably think I'm the most humble person in the world. But then again, there is a flip side, because if you cross the situation, I'm probably one of the worst people you ever want to bump heads with. So I try to protect my territory, but as far as business, I love to handle it. I'm ambitious, thatís the best way I can put it. I'm used to having money, and being involved in things. I'm used to being in the limelight, not on a national level, but in my hood. Now I'm just trying to create opportunities for other people, because there are plenty of people under me from Queens Bridge that are much more talented than maybe I am, not overall, but maybe musically. But everybody deserves a chance. There are two types of people in this world when it comes to business. There is one who can create on his own, then there is the other who needs others to create the opportunity for them. I'm the person that creates opportunities for themselves. Because when I was young, I didn't know what life was about. I thought hangin' around in Queens Bridge, driving around in circles in an up to date Acura Accord with rims on it, with two 15's in the trunk, and four 12's was the life. That was until I came home from prison, and I started traveling around the world. Through going to places like Amsterdam and Paris, I realized that there is more to life than just being in the projects. And thatís what I'm trying to show other people in the projects, and those still stuck in the hood
MVRemix: With the new mixtape/DVD Reloaded, is it all new material? Or is it freestyles and things like that?
Littles: Not one song on there has been heard before, itís all new material. I did 30 songs in three weeks, and I picked the best 15. I'm calling it a mixtape, but when you hear it, the mixtape is probably hotter than a lot of peoples albums. From the production to the subject matter. Because no two songs are about the same thing, no subjects are repeated. Every song was carefully picked, so its not all about poppin' somebody up. Its like seven days in a week, and every song on the mixtape will take you through my seven days.
MVRemix: Let me ask you about Q.B. Because no other borough has such a distinct sound. People can hear an artist and immediately tell they are from Q.B. And I don't know if this question has an answer, but why do you think Q.B. has that distinct and recognizable sound unlike any other?
Littles: I donít know, but I have to disagree with you. Because a lot of people that hear me, don't know I'm from Queens Bridge until I tell them.
Littles: Really. Just listen to the music, because my direction and slang isn't the same. You don't hear me talking like "dun" and all of that. Nas and all of them have different lingo. So I have to disagree with what you said, because there is so much more coming that people aren't aware of yet. But why I think a certain era sounded the same? I mean, shit, a lot of us did play on the same monkey bars together. I think it started changing with the Nas and Mobb Deep era though. Because when Shante, Marley, and Shan were out, you really didn't know until you found out they were all Juice Crew. But Nas and Mobb Deep were molded around the different lingo, and thatís what they gave the world. But there is so much more to come son! If Queens Bridge had our own label, and all of us were signed, there wouldn't even be another label, borough, or click that could see us. It just would not happen, but no one has stepped up to the plate to do that. So I plan to go to that next level, but I have to stand before I can pull people up. And right now, I'm standing, but I have to wait until my platform is solid. Then I'm gonna start pulling people up one at a time, and show the world what's really out there in Q.B.. There are 96 buildings and six blocks! Itís the biggest project in the world! When you walk around in Q.B., every block has 100 different rappers. From 12 years old, to 30 - every block! Its like something in the water, and I want to be the gateway to get a lot of that heard.
MVRemix: What else do you have going on in the future?
Littles: I got a movie that we are shooting, which is called The Block. That is coming with Streets Will Listen. The Block is crazy! Because I'm pro Queens Bridge, and sometimes I get a little bothered when I hear so many people from my projects keep using and forcing Queens Bridge in their rhymes to sell records, when they really don't do nothing for our background. Ron Artest and me are the only people that do things for the projects. I'm not where Nas and Mobb Deep are financially or visibly, but I can afford to put up anywhere from three thousand to twenty five hundred dollars for certain things and kids activities, and Ron Artest does the same thing. So this year, from ages 12 to 15, we are having this basketball tournament, and Ron is going to be involved. What's going to happen is, the winners from New York, I'm flying them to Compton. I got a friend over there named Bones, and I think he is on the road with Game, I believe. But we are going to fly Queens Bridge kids to Compton to play the kids over there. Then we are flying the Compton kids to play in Queens Bridge. Its going to be the best out of three for the championship. So I do things, and I'm really into pulling young kids out of the ghetto. When Nas comes to the projectÖsee, this is what the world should know. They are all good dudes, I'm a good dude, but when I even come back to the projects I'm a star to the people who are still there. Imagine if they were to come back, because they don't even come back. People in the projects would look at them like they are Eminem. These people are stars to people living in the projects. But they force Queens Bridge down the worlds throats, and its like they are not really living what they are saying. And what I mean by that is, there is an 11 or 12 year old kid that is in Queens Bridge that wants to do some things with his life, but he or she is trapped. It may take one extra computer in the recreational center that could turn one kids life around. I respect people who give back to where they are from. And its not like its going to cost you your whole bank account, because itís a write off. Whatever artist doesn't know that they can write that shit off is just ignorant and is on a big level for nothing! Any money that I bring back to Queens Bridge, I get back some how. It goes towards some of the taxes I have to pay at the end of the years. If it wasn't for Queens Bridge, none of us would be who we are. Nas wouldn't be who he is. Queens Bridge is the first place that Nas found his rhyme book, and all those ill stories of his life to talk about. (Littles starts rapping) "Cormega was the nicest in the hood when we was growing, Nas used to preach to me when I was blowing up. Telling me I need to pump my breaks a little, slow it up". Its true! Cormega was the NICEST in our project growing up! Then he went to jail, and Nas took over lyrically. And I buy their music - for five years in jail I had Nas and Mobb Deep on my wall. Because I loved them, I respected what they were doing, and I was a fan. Not only were they my friends, I was a fan of their music. Now I'm home and I'm doing me. Littles - Reloaded - May 31.
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"It wasn't until I did my five year bid that I got slapped in the face and realized that the lavish luxuries in life that I thought I was going to accomplish by selling drugs was going to come to an end. Once that steel gate closed on me, I realized that what I was living was just a fantasy."