Plies is really a down to Earth type of dude. At least in the interview he gave to BallerStatus.com. Although he’s got a hit single getting a ton of ringtone sales and radio play, he told us that he’s just an artist who keeps it real with everybody, especially the fans (which he doesn’t even like to call fans).
The Ft. Meyers, Florida native came up in a small town and the hospitality trait generally present in individuals from the South, is evident right off the bat with Plies. In his music, he says that he will never talk down to his audience; instead he likes to make sure people can relate to his life experiences. “I’m not finna tell you about all the cars I got and this that and the other to beat you in the head with that and make you feel beneath me; I’d never do that to my consumer,” he tells us in this interview. “I take pride in that sh**.”
That kind of humility will take him a long way. In this honest interview, Plies tells us about dealing with major labels, the pitfalls of being from the hood and why Ft. Meyers helped mold him into the individual he is today.
This will hold people over until he gives his Real Testament (his debut album) on August 7th.
BallerStatus.com: Whats up man? For the people still unaware of you, tell us a little about yourself, so people can get to know you a little better.
Plies: I’m a person that stands for something. Me, I take pride in being — not different, but different in a way that my decision making will always be valued. I think I’m like what I like to call the realness. I talk about sh** that motherf***ers in my situation is faced with. I just always try to bring to light situations that I feel are important in my life like talking about homies that is locked up and how motherf***ers forget about you when you do become incarcerated. I just talk about something on a whole different plateau like in the record “Shawty,” just bringing people in the mind of who Plies is as an artist.
For me, as a person I should say, I don’t feel the pressures of the music industry. Like motherf***ers tell you if you do this type of record, people are gonna perceive you differently. If I feel it, experienced it and been through it, it don’t affect me. Doing a record like “Shawty” or “Chopper Zone,” them two is totally different records, but it’s me on both them records, so it don’t apply pressure to me like that. I don’t let this music industry make me scared of making the type of records I like to make. I don’t feel like I should not do what I wanna do.
BallerStatus.com: You’ve been buzzing for a minute, what do you think was the one thing that got you noticed from the majors to jump aboard and help you push this new project?
Plies: I think any time you f***ing with the majors, the majors is all about black and white. If they can’t pull it up, they can’t respect it. What I mean by “black and white” is … BDS, you can respect BDS, but they respect BDS because it’s factual information. They can logon and go get it. CD sales are factual information; that’s black and white information. They can go pull and see how many records you done sold. It’s that type of sh**, ringtones… that’s black and white information.
For me, a n**** with no video on TV or no major radio to get 15,000 a show, people don’t really respect that until they involved with it. They saw the magnitude of it. For me to debut at no. 31 at the top 200 ringtones and don’t got a video on TV or a record that has impacted yet… to be doing 30,000 ringtones just off the foundation I done built up until this point, that’s a hell of an accomplishment.
BallerStatus.com: The new album, which is your major label debut, is titled The Real Testament. Tell us a little about the titled and what message you’re sending out with that title.
Plies: Actually, that’s the backup name we had at first. The name of my album was gonna be titled The Real N**** Bible, but retail kinda f***ed us up with that. Everybody didn’t wanna be a part of that situation for various reasons, but I feel like The Real Testament, August 27, that’s my day to bring the world into the mind of Plies. For me, I think some of the sh** that I’m talking about on my album, it’s not “real” music, but it’s “reality” music. That’s has separated me up until this point since I been doing this music sh**.
BallerStatus.com: Is records like “Shawty” more of what people should expect from the rest of your album, or is it more of a variety of your life experiences?
Plies: Honesty is so thin. For motherf***ers to be intrigued by what you see on BET or MTV, that’s misleading to a lot of people. I done been around some of the females that with all that makeup on, they don’t look like that. Motherf***ers who be ballin’ on all the videos, but I catch you and you don’t be really living like that. I just stay true to you from what I believe in and give it to you from a perspective of where the consumers can grasp what I’m saying and related to stuff on a day-to-day basis.
BallerStatus.com: Is there any specific tracks that are really special to you, that are pretty much your favorites on the album?
Plies: I know motherf***ers be telling you the whole damn record, but there’s a record on my album called “On My D***” talking about being broke. It’s talking about not having cash at the time and you gotta figure out how to come up with it. That was a song that was super important for me because a lot of motherf***ers are scared to make them types of records. It’s easy to make a record about “I’m rich.” That sh** come on in the club and a n**** be dead ass broke, but he acting like he rich. I’d never make myself better than my consumer. I take pride in that sh**. I’m not finna tell you about all the cars I got and this that and the other — it may come up occasionally for me to refer to something — but to beat you in the head with that and make you feel beneath me, I’d never do that to my consumer.
BallerStatus.com: “Shawty” is really beginning to blow, so what has changed so far in your career with the new exposure?
Plies: The most exposure that you can get whether it’s visually, radio or word of mouth, the bigger you become, the more the streets try to minimize you. What I mean by that is, being a n**** from the streets, success isn’t always accepted like it is in other ethnic groups and ethnic backgrounds. I’m a part of a culture that getting out of the hood… half the n****s that’s in the hood, don’t wanna be in the hood, first of all. But being a street n**** from an African American background, the way in which we thing and the way we view sh**, it’s so different from any other group I done seen. For us, you never supposed to leave the hood because the hood can’t check on you no more.
For me, I tell people on the time, you got people in the corporate world, White America, them motherf***ers get a job promotion, they take each other out and celebrate. It ain’t like that in the hood. When you start actually getting money, n****s not only envy you, but it becomes a problem because the sh** we call “real” in the hood, society calls stupid. Going to jail 20 times, society calls that stupid; we call it “real.” It’s just that type of sh** that the bigger I become the more I realize that satisfying the majority is the most important thing. Anybody that’s became success and had a part of an affiliation with the streets of any kind, you realize it’s more dangerous to become successful than to just be a regular n****.
BallerStatus.com: Well, how do you deal with that type of thing? The hate and envy?
Plies: I’d rather be the n**** that everybody hating on than the n**** that nobody know. Only success brings hate whether it’s the radio DJ that smile in your face, but soon as you leave, he dog you on the air. For me, that’s a motherf***er that’s not happy with theyself. You not happy with yourself, you don’t want anybody else to be happy. When you with not only your financial situation, but you situation as a whole, it’s hard for you to hate. Just in most cases, the people who are the most vocal about certain issues are the motherf***ers who are a, not happy with they situation, or b, who are not financially well off. That’s the sad part about it, but it’s the truth.
BallerStatus.com: Miami is basically the one city people think of when you mention Florida, but you hail from Ft. Meyers, so tell us a little about that city and its similarities and differences as far as coming up there.
Plies: I only know a small portion about Miami. Unless I’m down there doing some work sh** with Slip-N-Slide, I’m not in Miami unless I’m performing. Where I’m from in Ft. Meyers, it’s a different breed. It’s different because you’re dealing with a city that black, we all on top of each other. In other cities, you gotta drive two miles to go to another hood; our sh** ain’t like that. All our sh** is right next to each other. I think you’re forced to grown up fast where I’m from, but at the same time, I love that sh** because it made me who I am today. Some of things you go through being from a small city is way more valuable them some of the sh** you go through being from a big city.
BallerStatus.com: What else is on your plate right now?
Plies: Right now, I got this prison tour that we’re doing. We kicked off the second week of June and went around the different prisons in Florida, just letting them know that just because they is locked up, I ain’t forgot about em. A lot of times you get locked up, your friends and women, normally they forget about you. I just wanna let them know that on my end, I ain’t forgot about em. I drop some commissary while I’m there.
I also got a verse contest on my Myspace (Myspace.com/Plies) that’s opened up to the whole country. There’s a song on there that’s gonna be on my album. You can write a hot 16 and the best 16 is gonna be on my album. Just trying to help somebody out because I didn’t have that when I was coming up. I just try to be real to myself and provide opportunities to other people.