21-year old Memphis artist, BIG30 –unloads casual threats and bleak aphorisms with a concussive force that’s beginning to reverberate through the industry. He delivered a crazy verse on Pooh Shiesty’s 2021 single “Neighbors” giving him his first RIAA Gold certification without even releasing his own project. For the man born Rodney Lamont Wright, Jr., the idea of a rap career was fairly new, even if music was always a part of his upbringing. Raised in a rough part of Memphis, he recalls the sounds of Willy Hutchinson, David Ruffin, Betty Wright, and other bluesy musicians echoing around the walls of his household. For her part, his mom would also play songs from crunk icons Lil Scrappy and Lil Jon, and soon, 30 listened to artists like Lil Wayne, Chief Keef, Gucci Mane, and Yo Gotti.
On the song, he fires off devastating lyrics that evoke lost innocence and a survivor’s instincts. “I had a Glock ‘fore I lost my virginity, these niggas envy me / Hundred shots out my Infiniti, my opps remember me,” he raps, pointing to origins of his MC name—he owned a Glock 30 by age 15. On subsequent songs like “Mista” and his Yo Gotti-assisted “Too Official,” he shows similarly cutthroat lyricism, leaving nothing to the imagination and everything on the track. His profile has since jumped to another level, and that’s not lost on 30. “I’m a somebody now,” he says proudly.
At a certain point in his childhood, one of 30’s friend’s saw something in him that was destined for more. “He told me, ‘You know how to check. I know you know how to rap,’” 30 says. Soon, he was in his bedroom cooking up his first tracks with his friend Pooh Shiesty. While he and his crew would offer each other encouragement as they wrote bars, actually recording the tunes didn’t come easy. “When a nigga was writing the song, niggas was comforting as hell,” he says. “But then when I got to that mic, that’s when I got nerves like, ‘I can’t do it.’ I tried to get off the song.” But none of that was audible on “Breaking News,” a raucous, confrontational debut song for which he shot a video. “It ended up getting 100k [views] a month,” 30 remembers. “This shit got us like, ‘Damn, fool, we real rappers now—we got a hundred thousand a month.”
By the time they recorded “Neighbors,” more than two years later, BIG30 had refined his flow, and he’s more confident than ever. That song peaked at No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Until then, 30 had been watching YouTube views and Facebook shares, not RIAA-certifications, especially since he wasn’t sure if the public was ready for the raw content of his bars. “Last folks who rapped like us was N.W.A,” he says. “That era’s gone. We ain’t really think they was gon’ accept us. We ain’t know that shit was gon’ make Billboard. We just was doing it for the hood.”
Before he’d seriously considered a rap career, 30 had never thought of leaving Memphis. Now, as he takes advice from people like 50 Cent and records with the idols he grew up listening to, 30, the father of two children planning to one day have his own record label and millions to his name. After signing to N-Less / Bread Gang Entertainment, he has the chance to reach the potential his label boss saw in him right away.
We got a chance to speak with BIG 30 to discuss his upcoming project, working with Pooh Shiesty on “Neighbors”, his musical inspirations, dream collaboration, Memphis artist coming together + much more. Get into the interview below.
How’s Everything Going On His End.
Working With Pooh Shiesty.
Upcoming Project On The Way.
What RESPECT. Means To Him.
Last Words To End Interview.
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