He brought us one of the hottest hip-hop records ever made, yet when you ask him he says he can’t rap. His name is Carlos Walker, but we know him as Shawty Lo…
Born and raised in Bankhead, Atlanta, Shawty Lo grew up in Bowen Homes projects. He was surrounded by drugs and violence, and even spent time in jail for drug charges; but that didn’t stop him from succeeding as a hip-hop star. Although he’s one of many rappers in the game, Shawty Lo will never become what he calls a ‘manufactured image,’ saying, “I’ve been my own man and had a mind of a leader since I was young. I’m unique as an artist. I’m my own man.”
His first album Units in the City sold over 300,000 copies to date, and his single “Dey Know” won BET awards and has been remixed by dope rappers like Ludacris. In 2010, it’s all about album number two, titled I Am Carlos. This album, Lo explains, will be a lot different than the debut. “I’m doing real music. I feel like I’m getting better with my craft. People know Carlos as the guy from the streets. I’ve been convicted four times. It’s time for me to tell my story.”
He says a release date hasn’t been set just yet so until then you can listen to his mixtape with Gucci Mane titled Fright Night; “Gucci Mane is my brother from another mother. He’s a real hood guy from the streets that’s been locked up too.”
Gucci Mane didn’t just team up with Shawty Lo to create their mixtape, he’s also one of the artists featured on I Am Carlos, along with Lyfe Jennings, Lil Kim, Rick Ross, and T-Pain.
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Having grown up in the projects, Shawty Lo has made it his job to give back to his community. Just a couple months ago he participated in the “Bike for Life” event where he gave away bicycles to children. “The kids had joy in their face. It was very great. I gave a speech and had a lot of fun,” Lo recalled.
Besides helping the children at the “Bike for Life” event and having his very own foundation called Loving Our Little Ones, Shawty Lo wants to give other hard working kids some advice, “whatever you do give it 100%. People won’t give you nothing these days, you have to go get it yourself. Give it your all.”
Like most celebrities Shawty Lo has ventured outside of music and started other projects, “I have a book in process. It’s called Down for Life or D4L (he was an original founding member of the group). It’s about how I came from being poor, my mom being on drugs, life in the streets, and how I came to be successful in music. I’m also coming out with my own cologne this Valentines Day called Lo Seduction.”
A new album, cologne, a book, street singles and videos with Gucci Mane, Ludacris and The Dream (“Atlanta”) and Lil’ Wayne (“WTF”) and a new video for his latest single “Blenda.” “There will be girls featured from all around the world (hence the name Blenda). The video will be very huge.”
Multiple mixtapes and hit records under his belt, yet Shawty Lo still feels like the underdog, “I’m getting better but I’m not there yet. I’ll know when I’ve reached my peak.”