One of the original members of Houston’s legendary Screwed Up Click, E.S.G. will be redefining the “street album” on February 10th with the release of Digital Dope, the Everyday Street Gangsta’s first online-only effort.
“Slangin’ CD’s out the trunk ain’t goin’ nowhere, but the bootlegging game is so ridiculous nowadays you gotta corner every market,” explained E.S.G. to HipHopDX last Friday. “Instead of just steady [selling street albums] out the trunk all the time, shit, might as well do [all new songs] to some original beats and sell it over the Internet.”
Digital Dope features E.S.G.’s new solo single, “Actin’ Bad,” as well as a cameo from fellow S.U.C. spitter Lil Keke on “One Hundred.” The album also boasts production from Sean Blaze, whose credits include 50 Cent’s “Blood Hound,” and the hypnotic outro to Chamillionaire’s platinum major-label debut, The Sound Of Revenge [click to read].
Partnering his S.F.L. (Screwed Fo’ Life) label with Gracie Productions/EMI, E.S.G. is looking to use Digital Dope as a setup release for his next offline, physical CD offering.
That effort, the self-titled Everyday Street Gangsta is already under construction. The album will sport high profile guest spots from some of Houston’s finest: Bun B [click to read], Chamillionaire [click to read], Slim Thug, Trae, and a posthumous appearance from Big Hawk, the unofficial leader of S.U.C. following the passing of the crew’s founder and namesake, DJ Screw, eight years ago.
“I didn’t really wanna put too many of my features on [Digital Dope],” E.S.G. explained of the primary difference between his forthcoming digital and physical releases. “I [wanted to] save more of that for the big album…It’ll [also] probably be more street work with the regular album opposed to the Digital Dope.”
Everyday Street Gangsta will also include one very special guest appearance, that of E.S.G.’s eight-year-old son, Killa B.
“He’s a monster,” E.S.G. exclaimed. “And when I say a monster, I’m talking about can [already] freestyle. It’s just in the jeans…He on two songs on the new album. He done been on my mixtapes. He done been to the radio station out here, and just shut it down. Talent shows at his school…His swag is just retarded for him to be so young. We call him Killa B, ‘cause he’s a killa on the mic.”
Almost a decade before he began guiding the career of his young son, E.S.G. was instrumental in aiding the early development of several future H-Town stars, including Slim Thug – the two released a collaborative effort in 2001, Boss Hogg Outlawz, on E.S.G.’s then label, S.E.S. Records – and Lil Flip.
While friction between E.S.G. and Flip developed shortly after their initial work together (reportedly over Flip’s claim of being the “Freestyle King” of S.U.C., and other issues between the two), E.S.G. recently joined his former foe in demonstrating some much needed unity between Houston’s Hip Hop community at the “Best of Texas” concert, held in the wake of numerous conflicts between local artists (most notably the fist exchange between Trae and Mike Jones at this year’s Ozone Awards).
In addition to bringing H-Town’s most noteworthy artists together on one stage, the unity concert also helped to remind that while the national spotlight that was focused on Houston back in 2005 has since disappeared, the local scene is still faithfully supported.
“We did that [show in front of] 28,000 people,” E.S.G. noted. “No other artists was on the [bill] but Houston artists, and we had 28,000 people there. So that just goes to show it’s still some unity in the city. But the spotlight has dimmed. And you just got to blame that either on the economy, or the music that the artists who had the spotlight was making.”
E.S.G. is determined to not let the faded national interest in his city’s signature screwed and chopped brand of Hip Hop, or even a slumping economy, be reason to hold back on expanding his personal movement.
“A lot of people [from outside Houston] may not have heard of E.S.G.,” he explained. “But over a million records sold independent. Down south we steady touring, year after year it never stops. So, I’m just trying to cash-in, man, and keep it going before the recession just totally kill everything.”
Digital Dope is due for release February 10, 2009 via SFL/Gracie Productions/EMI.