Smart, focused and motivated are the three things that comes to mind when I think of Slim Dollars. Slim is a talented artist coming out of Harlem and making a name for himself with parties, concerts, clothing, music and any other things he can do to express himself artistically alongside the notable collective Tripset.
When Slim and I linked up for this interview he discussed with me his humble upbringings and how much his Harlem neighborhood played a role in pushing him forward into music and how he gained support making his story truly one to read about. More than ever true art will shine and that’s what Slim Dollars bring’s to the table. With that said, get to know Slim Dollars just a little more and enjoy the interview below.
RESPECT.: First off how and when did you get the name Slim Dollars?
Well, my name has always been Slim and everybody has always called me Slim since I was little. My great grandmother was one of the first people to throw a last name on Slim. She started calling me Slim Long, Slim Salad, Slim Dollars she would just throw so many last names together with slim it was crazy. Around 13 I noticed that many of my friends would do the same thing calling me Slim Jim I even remember one time some girl called me Silky Slim I would be like “yo” and one day after hearing so many variations of my name I came to the point that I was like, “Yo I’m keeping the dollars and giving myself a full name, making my first name Slim and my last name Dollars.” Because I just really wanted to by Slim but then I realized it was mad Slims. So I threw a last name on it.
RESPECT.: For you coming up what was it like growing up in Harlem and the uptown NYC area? Who or what really made you want to get serious about pursuing a career in music?
Growing up in Harlem was so much fun. I don’t even know where to start, I grew up in the early 2000’s. So many of the artists that you know now out of the area did also. For the most part, nobody just came up from nowhere. Since the start, we’ve all been trying to be something for years. We were all just trying to get our names out there and figure out what we wanted to do. Coming from Harlem, we always wanted to be the first on to something and when it came down to it we all ended up showing each other apart of the culture while being luxurious and fly from the hood at the same time. So for me, that’s what growing up in Harlem was all about.
To answer the 2nd question, how I first started to take music seriously was when Pee Wee Kirkland had a basketball program, Riverbank and Nike gave him a program for the kids in the neighborhood. So one day Pee Wee sits us down and at the time he was connected with the Ruff Riders, so during games and tournaments he would ask if anyone wanted to rap I wasn’t the oldest kid so they picked whoever, long story short Pee Wee got some dudes that we’re instructing us on the Ruff Ryders album afterwards I heard it, and from there I made it a point to start talking to Pee Wee more often. One day I told Pee Wee that I wanted to rap and asked for a shot with Ruff Ryders he told me that it wouldn’t be that easy, but he would help me out and give me a computer to do research with. Although I didn’t get the computer that week Pee Wee did eventually leave me a computer and that was one of the first tools that helped me and from there I started to learn how to rap, and meet people. So I thank Pee Wee Kirkland and my neighborhood for making me want to take hip-hop seriously.
RESPECT.: As of 2017 you have a new song out: Tell Em Something: What was the inspiration/main focus behind this song, also is this a single to an upcoming project?
Well, I was just having fun hanging out with friends and I told one of my friends that my weed smells like homeless people. Afterward, my friend told me that his weed smells, like two homeless people f****** then we started laughing. I ended up making the song Let Me Tell E’m and using the line Let me tell em Something I Don’t think they know nothing smoking on a pack that smell like two homeless people f******* we were just joking. I just wanted to make a song that was kind of comical in a way, but also a kind of chill dope joint. This is not a song that’s going to be on my next project, It was just a song to let people know hey; Slim is back making music and working to get to the spot I want, and get the things I deserve for my time and my services.
RESPECT.: So when did you first start working with Tripset can you tell us more about this collective? I know its early but can you let us know anything about the concert series Littfest for 2017?
Tripset is a group of people that I bang with I work with, I chill with, and believe in. We got members that are apart of other things, and we got members that are just family. I got all types of brothers apart of Tripset, Smoke Dza, R.F.C. Asap Bari, Marty Baller, Lit Boys, Trippy Treats, and these are dudes I consider family. We help each other out. Tripset is not just my brand it’s a brand that means something big to the people I care for. We’re just making sure your set is cool and making sure nobody trips on your set which is now our set. For Littfest 2017 first of all, shout-out Sway Calloway. Sway is one of the big homies in the game that’s always held me down, and this year he’s going to be real implement in making sure that Littfest 2017 is going to be the best thing. Other than that, I don’t want to give too much away all I can say is stay tuned.
RESPECT.: What’s been your favorite project you’ve done so far? Do you have any producers that you are looking forward to working with in the future?
My favorite project so far has to be my first project I put out 3 years ago called direct deposit because It was a learning experience and my first official project. I’ve only been putting out music for the last four years, and I’m just saying my sound right now is it. Before I release Underground Jesus I want people to understand that this will be a gem, and when I’m able to put it out I want people to say Slim is on his S***. Here are a few producers I’m looking to work with Slay The Monster, Beat Billionaire, Honorable C-Note, I really want to work with Zaytovan, it feels like nobody from NY is working with Zay. Of course, I want to work with Metro Boomin. I would love to get a beat from J Cole, and work with my favorite producer Pharrell. I’ve met Pharrell a few times, but if I could sit down with him and Chad that would be great. Of course, Sean C and LV. those are my boys I work with them a lot they are Bad Boy producers and did “Roc Boys” for Jay-Z along with Drake’s “Success” and a couple other records.
RESPECT.: So on another note how much has this past election affected you as an artist and a civilian.
As an artist it just makes me want to express myself more towards the things I don’t like. To be honest, I haven’t crossed over into a conscious rapper realm yet; I don’t want to be inciting things. I feel I’m a very proactive person I’m not the type to be thinking most times I’m just going to make an action. I don’t want to be making too much music about it. As a citizen, I don’t like the way the country is looking right now it doesn’t feel comfortable at all, but I’m ok and we’re ok and everything is good but it just doesn’t feel good. The powers that be right now are just incompetent and our president is an antagonizer. After all, we just lost someone who had grace, style, and was respected and likable, now it feels like our president has a snake head. It’s a really uncomfortable time but maybe we won’t have to deal with this for too long.
RESPECT.: Would you vote for Kanye West in 2020 and why?
I would vote for Kanye in 20/20, but it depends on who’s running against him. If Bernie is running against him then I’m all Bernie but I think our next president should be someone qualified and not just a popularity contest. It’s scary.
RESPECT.: What more can people look forward from you as an artist in 2017?
They can look for me to be one of the most dynamic men to showcase their motherf****** abilities in last 20-30 years of their life that’s what they can look for from me first off. I’m about to come out boomin I’ve been working on so many videos and so many projects and helping people do A&R and even helping people song-write, I just did a lungz campaign and I’m about to do champion campaign. I just did a build-board and I’m not even at my peek yet. I’m starting to move at a rate that I’m really starting to be happy with where my career is going and we’re revamping Littfest and about to sell another 2000 tickets independently matter fact we going to double that to 4000 tickets because we got faith in what we’re doing around here. People can look forward to me to be that next guy to help us do something great in the city and not just jump in and out of limos and not speak to people, I want to get on and help make sure we lit.