RESPECT. Interview: Rapper Lil Lonnie Talks Music, Fave Artists & More

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Most artists have the intentions to be rich and famous from the music they make. In 2016 artists like Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert proved that they are here to have fun first while grabbing a piece of the industry pie. They might not be everyone’s favorite top 5 rappers dead or alive, but they gained respect by creating honest and catchy music people can enjoy. Continuing that trend, RESPECT. chatted with Jackson, MS native Lil Lonnie after the release of his mixtape TKWGO 2 with appearances by Bryson Tiller, K CampJxmmi of Rae Sremmurd. Check out what he had to say below.

RESPECT.: First things first. Top 5 Rappers dead or alive.

Lil Lonnie: 1. Biggie 2. Tupac 3. Andre 3000 4. Gucci Mane 5. Future

RESPECT.: You graduated High School in 2013 and attended Jackson State University in 2014, are you currently enrolled?
Yes, I’m currently enrolled.
RESPECT.: What were your motives for attending college right after high school instead of putting all your energy into your music career?
My motive for attending college right after high school was because everyone in my family has a degree. It was a promise I made to myself; no matter what this is something I have to do. I put just as much energy in my music than school though. I’ll put [school] on standby if I have to, but I will come back and finish.
RESPECT.: How has college assisted in your growth as a individual and as an artist?
Actually going to college helped my buzz. I met alot of people who are not from Jackson, so they took the music back home and boom there it was.
RESPECT.: What’s your story that forced you to turn music into a professional career?
I was in an environment that was full of drug dealing. I started dealing early and it got serious over the years from 8th grade until around my freshman year of college. I got caught a couple times was facing time, so I just turned my life around and focused on music. I always did music, but after that it was serious.
RESPECT.: One of the most successful hip-hop artists from Mississippi right now is Big K.R.I.T. Describe to me what it’s like living in MS and it not being a major music market? How difficult is it to bring the spotlight to your hometown and to get people paying attention to what you’re doing?
Living in MS is normal like every other state, just alot smaller. It’s very difficult bringing the spotlight here because its just not that type of state. It’s a retirement state matter of fact. For the most part, getting attention is very easy if you just do you and stay you.
RESPECT.: Tell me about the collaboration with Bryson Tiller? He’s pretty much made himself famous from his project Trap Soul. How were you able to get him on your latest project so quickly?
My manager Mal had contact with him before his buzz. The song was recorded way before he had a buzz.

RESPECT.: As a 20 year old, how authentic is your lifestyle based off what’s reflected in your songs and videos?
Everything is authentic. I got my own money, own cars, property too. I’m 21 now actually. I was brought up in a business-minded household, so everyday I was taught to grind for what I want and I did it. Well I’m still grinding.
RESPECT.: This 14- track project features production from Will-A-Fool, Raybands, to Jacari Cameron to name a few. Discuss the production development. Is there creative control for the producers?
No, it’s no creative control. I just go off whatever they send over and I try to find a melody and go with that.
RESPECT.: Name some producers you want to work with in the future.
I really want to work with Metro Boomin, Southside from 808mafia, Zaytoven and Mike Will. They are the household names in the industry right now.
RESPECT.: Provide the best verse from a song detailing the importance of those lyrics. Choose 8-16 bars from a song that best summarized this project.
“Colors Fuck a bitch get some money/I want them 20s and 100s/Run up a check and keep thumbing/All of that hating don’t accumulate nothing/Turn nothing into something/Staying consistent the money keep coming/I done been broke and i aint goin back so im chasin money from Monday to Sunday.”
Lil Lonnie: That part let’s you know I got my mind in grind mode and I won’t let nothing stop me from it.
RESPECT.: What inspires you to keep going when you feel unmotivated?
My family and just knowing where I come from keeps me going.

 

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