When it comes to work ethic, this artist is second to none. Chicago native, Paypa, by way of L.A. has developed a pretty impressive catalog of both songs and features. His debut Gangsta Grillz mixtape landed him on the map, as well as provided critical acclaim. Reading through the credits, it is a virtual who’s who of the music industry today. With expectations accompanying the success, and buzz, what will he do next? His Henny on the Rocks mixtape series is well known, and with each passing day the stakes raise. Gone for a while, but not forgotten, there is certainly a recipe he is brewing going forward. I sat down with SRC Records representative Paypa to talk about his interesting project titles, musical influences, and more; Parlé with me as I get you caught up with everything that is the artist known as Paypa.
Parlé Magazine: You recently dropped Vol. 2 back in April to the Henny on the Rocks series, and going forward you have announced an early July release for the 3rd installment. What’s the motivation for dropping projects so close to each other?
Paypa: What I have learned is that the public’s attention span is very short. I had tremendous success with my mixtape Tunnel Vision which was a Gangsta Grillz mixtape hosted by DJ Drama and DJ Khaled. On there I had Rick Ross, the Game, Jim Jones. After that I fell into a couple situations, and I had to step away from the music. When I returned a year later, no one even was checking for it like that. I had to realize that the truth is that you are only as good as your last offering. Everyone asks ‘whats next?’ That’s the inspiration to consistently drop projects and prove to the world that I am a force, and you can not get rid of me.
Parlé: And I must add the title, Henny on the Rocks Vol 3: Kim Jong IL where did you come up wit that? Any special significance?
Paypa: Well most people are only familiar with the negative, as far as him being a terrible dictator and such in North Korea. But on the flipside, if you research you will find out that Kim Jong IL is the #1 consumer in the world of Hennessy, so for me it made perfect sense in branding the mixtape series, and closing it out with a bang.
Parlé: You’ve worked with everyone from Jim Jones to Game, Khaled, Ross, in such a short period of time you have made a substantial splash. What do you envision as being the next level for you in your career?
Paypa: Well for me I work with people who I am a fan of, and that’s how I try to keep it. The people you mentioned I am a fan of their music, and their work ethic. For me that’s what it is all about. My mama used to tell me a lot to “stay down and show God that you deserve his blessings,” that’s what I’m doing. I’m working hard, and showing God and everyone else that I deserve what comes to me in the success category. I am all about being consistent, and again like I said showing the world that my brand is a force, one that will be around for a long time to come. Through my work effort and progress, I want people to understand that I am worth the support; I am worth that download, that iTunes purchase. Beyond that, as well we are going after radio play now, thats the next plan. I have my new single which dropped today (June 19th) featuring French Montana. It’s tearing up the internet, and the plan is for the radio to pick up on it.
Parlé: You are signed to SRC correct? How is it working with a legend like Steve Rifkin?
Paypa: Well just as you stated, its a good situation being associated with Steve Rifkin. Steve is great! When he believes in you, he does whatever it takes to help you win. For the most part, I feel like my executive is down, and he is accessible. I could call him up right now and if he can, he will make time. In this business, you have the good guys and unfortunately you have the bad guys. He’s definiltely one of the good guys.
Parlé: You were on the West Coast leg of Slaughterhouse tour and you’re going back on the Smokers Club Tour with Big K.R.I.T., Juicy J, Smoke DZA, how is it on the road with those caliber of MCs?
Paypa: Being on the road with them guys forces you to keep your bars up, and to stay in your bag like you’re supposed to. For me, Joe Budden of Slaughterhouse, he’s always been major; I look at him as being one of the first rappers to put his life on record, good, bad, or indifferent. He gave the people himself and pulled no punches. You have the Drake’s and the J.Cole’s of the world who are very popular for doing it at this point in time, but I feel like Joe Budden was ahead of the game with it, when I was growing up. Also, Royce Da 5’9″ is a person that I have always had respect for. Also with me growing up in Cali, Crooked I has been a legend over here even without the commercial success. Joel Ortiz’s talent is undeniable. Big K.R.I.T. is one of the best LIVE performers that I have seen personally. The rest of the guys you named, all remind me of the importance of working hard, and not taking my foot off the pedal.
Parlé: Being from Chicago, who would you say has been some of your influences musically?
Paypa: My influences are a no-brainer. I have a list of MC’s that I can draw from. Jay Z is absolutely #1 for me. I feel like in order to be incredible you have to know what incredible is. He has always had the dopest swag, the realist stories, and was very versatile. Also his track record stands for itself, you’ve never heard of someone coming forward and questioning his resume in terms of what he speaks on and represents, and to me thats what an artist/ solid person should be. Of course you have to throw in Nas, Andre 3000, Scarface, Kanye West; no one has ever done it bigger from my city. On the west, I respect Nipsey Hussle, I feel like he epitomizes that same authenticity as well.
Parlé: Where do you see yourself fitting into that mold of artists?
Paypa: I was telling my partner the other day that if I can land in the conversation of the Top 5 alone I feel like I have served my purpose and done my job. When it comes down to it, I feel like I will be one of the greatest that will ever do it. There are clones everywhere, but my thing is to stand out and I dont feel like that is hard. You just have to be yourself, and thats what I pride myself on. There was no Paypa before me, and there will not be one after. Great artists can not be duplicated, and they’re not comparable. Of course in life there will be a common ground, and stories/ things you can relate to but I feel like my perspective should be unique, therefore how I carry myself is.
Parlé: Do you consider yourself part of the “New West”?
Paypa: Thats a tough one. One of the hardest things about the Pap game is that it is very “clicky.” Between the New West and New Chicago movement, I don’t feel that I am necessarily a part of either one, I feel like I stand alone and I do my own thing. People in Chicago have a feeling that I wasn’t there with them long enough, and some out here in L.A. feel like I’m a Chicago-an, but at the end of the day the product is speaking for itself, and people are coming around. They have no choice. The Nipsey Hussle’s, the YG’s, the Dom Kennedy’s, I respect them all and they’re doing their thing.
More than anything, I am part of the Paypa Movement. With my B.C.C. (Blue Collar Coalition) I represent the Blue Collar worker, the people who haven’t been given a handout, they work for what they have.
Parlé: Is there anything you want to leave the fans with that they should look out for the rest of 2012 and beyond?
Paypa: Make sure to go and get that Kim Jong IL mixtape its out July, 1st week, support the new single “Time Zone” featuring French Montana and stay tuned, I will not miss I guarantee. I have a solid fan base, and I appreciate them for staying down with me and watching one of the next greats grow. I get better with every thing I do, thats my motto.