Kidd Kidd has come some way from his violent street days in Downtown, New Orleans. Born Curtis Stewart, he was signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint a few years ago, making an appearance on his Billboard hit ‘Mrs. Officer’ which also featured Bobby Valentino. Things didn’t really work out after that and he went indie for a while, releasing his album The Reallionaire with the support of music mogul Sha Money XL in 2011.
A few months later, he connected with 50 Cent while he was in New Orleans shooting an upcoming movie. Soon after, 50 announced that he’s signed Kidd to his G-Unit Records imprint. The rapper is currently prepping the release of his new mixtape Street Fame which is due later this month and I had the chance to talk to him about the project, how he plans to bring G-Unit back into relevance, his current relationship with Sha Money, how he felt about being left out of final version of ‘We Up’ and more.
HHNM: So you’re finally ready to drop your new mixtape Street Fame this month. How’s the promo run going?
Kidd Kidd: Yeah man, finally. The promo run is going good man, been to a couple of spots already and I’m happy I’m with you today. I’ll be heading to other cities as well in the coming days. Promo run is important, gotta do the groundwork.
HHNM: What sound can we expect to hear on the project?
Kidd Kidd: Just real music. Just look for real music. Don’t look for usual “south” sound. People sometimes mistake our music for just club, hard beats. I’m very particular about my music. I rap about things I honestly feel and it comes from my heart.
HHNM: How different is it going to be from your last album The Reallionaire?
Kidd Kidd: Very different. I’ve grown as an artist, I just think I’m better now and understand my strong points. Around Reallionaire phase, I was just trying to find myself. Now I have found myself and I know what the fans want from me now. I’m trying to give it my best. Street Fame is my story, my life.
HHNM: Yeah, the tracks that your team made me hear from the tape were pretty good. I like how you’re incorporating soul in your music.
Kidd Kidd: For real man, thanks. Music is an emotion to me, you may hear an artist talk about a female or a fake friend but I have a lot more to rap about. This is my story, what I’ve been going through.
HHNM: Have you collaborated with other artists on your label like 50 Cent and Precious Paris on the mixtape?
Kidd Kidd: Yeah, I have a few collaborations but the focus is on me. I want the people to hear me. Some artists put too many guests on their projects and it takes away the whole point. When a project comes out, you want the people to know you and like your music, not the guests.
HHNM: True. I like that ‘Downtown’ track with August Alsina. Do you have more material recorded with him?
Kidd Kidd: Yeah man, that’s the homie from my hometown. Even he’s not the average R&B artist, he has a lot of pain to sing about. Yeah, we have a few joints together which should be coming out soon. Just like me, he has a lot of stories to tell.
HHNM: G-Unit isn’t as hot as it once used to be. Why do you think that’s the case and how do you think you can turn that around?
Kidd Kidd: Just by giving fans real music, like the old G-Unit used to. When Fif came, he made such an impact by giving you real music, real stories. When he rapped, he was telling stories about what’s going on in his neighborhood. It was like roll with him or get rolled over. It’s the same thing with me — when I’m rapping, I give you stories about what’s going on with me and what’s happening in my neighborhood. I want to bring back the essence of the old G-Unit era. But it’s new times now, I have my own moment, the Rida Gang movement. I just want to work hard and start from the ground up.
HHNM: Interscope decided to leave you out of the final version of ‘We Up’. Were you mad at that?
Kidd Kidd: Not really. I wasn’t mad at it because the version with me on it came out first. What made me humble about it too is that Fif is so much of a real dude. He made me sit down and explained the situation to me. It wasn’t his call so you can’t be mad at that. You still gotta be grateful of the opportunity, there are artists that don’t even get that chance. I can still say that I was on that song, you can still watch our video, we shot our own little video for it. So everything is a blessing for me. I don’t take anything for granted. Everything is a blessing or a lesson, it’s how you take it. Definitely blessed that I was on a dope song like that.
HHNM: I like that attitude man. So lastly, what’s your relationship with Sha Money XL now? I remember you used to work with him.
Kidd Kidd: Nah, after the Reallionaire project, I just haven’t talked to Sha. I tried to reach out to him and let him know that me and Fif was doing business. Like I’m a real dude, I don’t do snake shit. But I didn’t get a response back. So I’m not going to just sit around. He was busy too, with Big K.R.I.T. and few others. So we just moved on. I still wish him most success. I ran into him a couple of times at events but haven’t spoken to him. There are no hard feelings though, it’s just industry shit. This ain’t no real beef. I know what real beef is — I’ve been shot 6 times so it’s all good.
HHNM: I see. That was nice talking to you Kidd. I wish you all the best and I look forward to hearing Street Fame.
Kidd Kidd: Thanks for the support homie.