On the eve of releasing his fourth medicinally-themed mixtape, The Diagnosis, Pill has little to prove to an audience that was largely unaware of his contemporary Tupac Shakur stylings back in 2006 when he made his informal introduction to the Hip Hop nation as part of Killer Mike’s Grind Time Rap Gang.
Thanks to his inclusion in a new crew, as part of Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, the Atlanta street reporter has blown past the blogs to become a commercially viable star-in-the-making. But before he unleashes what will surely be one of the most anticipated solo debuts in recent memory, the Medicine man is first providing his Diagnosis of what is ailing today’s sickly Rap game.
On Thursday (July 21st) Pill spoke to HipHopDX about his latest unofficial offering featuring appearances from Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, Tech N9ne (for their All 6’s and 7’s union, “Ya Killin’ Me”), Trae Tha Truth and more. During his quick Q&A with DX, the man who made “goin’ ham” Hip Hop’s most ubiquitous catchphrase since “bling bling” also discussed why he firmly believes that Rick Ross identifies with his stories of struggle and revealed if a Curb Your Enthusiasm themed project is in his future and if Gangsta Pill is “still homies” with Gangsta Gibbs.
HipHopDX: This first question I have for you [is] regarding a tweet you sent on Monday (July 18th): “Bitch I’m Larry David!!” [Laughs]
Pill: [Laughs] I was watching Curb Your Enthusiasm….I was actually supposed to be on an episode of that. I kinda like tied some strings together and almost made the cut to be on an actual episode as a performer. Everything just [fell] through because of my schedule. But I’m a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm. That shit is dope.
DX: Does Larry David know who you are?
Pill: Yeah he do, because he requested a meeting with me when I was in L.A. I got a movie coming out, [96 Minutes], so I’m in the Hollywood realm as well.
DX: I was curious as a fellow Curb fan if you might follow in your MMG brethren Wale’s footsteps and do a sitcom themed mixtape, this time inspired by Curb?
Pill: I mean … what would it be called? Trap Your Enthusiasm …
DX: There you go. I’ve just been waiting for a rapper to make the song “Big Vagina.” [Laughs]
Pill: [Laughs] That’s funny. Hell nah. [Laughs] Yo! You’d get so much hate and so much love at the same time for a song like that. I don’t know what I could possibly do to like smooth the fucking playing field if I put out some shit like that.
Pill Breaks Down The Diagnosis
DX: Let’s talk about your current Curb-less mixtape, The Diagnosis. In your unbiased opinion, is this new Pill collection on par with your certified classic street release, The Refill?
Pill: Of course it is. But it’s more…It’s versatile. I put a lot of tracks on there for the chicks. I put that real shit on there. So it’s the same way I did with The Refill. People always be like, “Is it gonna be on the same [level] as the classics that you put out?” And I be like, “Yeah. It’s still me!” Like, I’ve only made a little bit more money, and got a little bit more pussy…but it’s still me. So it’s still gonna be dope shit, it’s gonna be heartfelt shit, it’s gonna be like … real-life stories and actual things that have occurred, as well as things for the ladies, and freestyles – just, along the same lines [as my other tapes]. I don’t wanna lose touch with my fanbase and miss out on that formula that I put out there for everybody else to bite off of. Shots fired.
DX: Yeah I noticed “Send One Down” with Trae Tha Truth is that pain medicine music you’ve mastered. So you’re saying The Diagnosis [is] more “Pain In They Eyes” than “Pac Man”?
Pill: It’s a collage of everything. I got shit where I’m singing on hooks. I got shit where I’m just reciting hooks. And it’s just real shit, it’s shit for ladies, it’s freestyles. So, the same way all of my tapes have been, it’s basically all of that incorporated in The Diagnosis. It’s a mixture of all of it.
DX: I asked that question to ask this question: Do you in any way feel like you have to compromise your more soulful approach to making music – with those more meditative stories of struggle – when you’re with Ross making that Maybach music?
Pill: Nah, not really, because Ross identifies with that as well. ‘Cause he makes soulful music. He makes shit that you can vibe to. Like, just think about the shit he did with Cee-Lo, [“Tears of Joy”]. That shit was soulful as fuck. I listened to that shit like 50 times straight. Like, just think about the music that he’s made thus far over them J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beats, and over them Inkredibles beats. The shit that he’s making, it coincides with the shit that I’m making. So I don’t feel like I have to compromise at all because he basically is doing the shit that I been doing but [with] just like bigger production.
Pill Speaks About Maybach Music Group, “Tupac Back”
DX: Well, just being bluntly honest, in my personal opinion I feel like you the only one in MMG that’s truly bringing “Tupac Back” if you know what I mean.
Pill: Yo, that’s crazy [you mentioned that] ‘cause all my homies was like, “Why the fuck wasn’t ‘Tupac’s Back’ your song?” And I was like, “Because Meek [Mill] recorded it already, before I got to MMG.” I appreciate that [comparison]. I been getting compared to ‘Pac since I dropped my first tape … and it’s a lot of pressure to be up under. I bare my soul and I let people know the real shit that I go through and everything that I [already] been through in life, and I’m totally honest – the same way ‘Pac was. It’s an honor to be compared to dude. He’s arguably the greatest of all time, and to be put up on that pedestal I think that’s why people won’t let me take over mainstream so early.
Pill Speaks About The Status Of His Relationship With Freddie Gibbs
DX: Speaking of ‘Pac’s disciples, when are you and Freddie Gibbs gonna finally bless us with a duo disc? After “Womb 2 The Tomb” and “Run Up To Me” it became mandatory that y’all go-in together for a full-length.
Pill: Right. Me and Freddie been talking about it. We should get it together soon. He’s in Atlanta more due to the recent signing with [Young] Jeezy. I’m just trying to make sure that everybody is on point, because he has his whole thing that he’s doing, and I got my thing that I’m doing, so whenever our schedules free up we’ll do it. Me and him always talking about it. He knows and I know that we gotta do something. People want that.
DX: I’m glad to hear that, ‘cause you know the chatter is that ‘cause he’s down with Jeezy and you’re down with Ross that somehow that was gonna corrupt y’alls chemistry.
Pill: Oh nah, we still cool. I congratulated him on the signing. … We still homies. I seen him when he was in the A not too long ago and we chopped it up. It’s still all love.
DX: I was real glad to see that you blowin’ with Ross didn’t disrupt your relationship with Killer Mike. But how did this trio with y’all and Big Boi come to be?
Pill: It was Big [Boi]’s idea. Like, Big founded Killa and Killa founded me, so it was only right that we came together and get this shit all the way official and record a tape together. We already got shit recorded. It’s history in the making, man.
Big just hit me up one night, and actually met me at Central Station in one of the most hoodest clubs and was like, “I got this crazy idea. I need you to listen to it.” And we chopped it up at Central Station over bottles …. So the album will be out sooner than later.
DX: Y’all got a group name yet?
Pill: Uh … I can’t tell you. [Laughs] It’ll be released soon though.
DX: While we’re kind of on the topic of Mike, any thoughts on BET lifting the ban of his “Burn” video?
Pill: I feel like it’s dope, man. The people have spoken. And for them to actually lift the ban on the video is great. It’s phenomenal. And I think that may be the first time that they’ve done something like that. And that’s showing what people can do if they come together. And Mike is one of those disciples [of Tupac], and one of those people that speaks for the youth and speaks for black people in general. And for them to actually lift that ban, it’s dope.
DX: So, when we gonna finally get that retail solo album from you?
Pill: Aww, probably like next year, man. ‘Cause I’m just trying to push towards that right now.
DX: We need that Medicine in the mainstream, if you know what I mean.
Pill: I’d love to give it to y’all. I’m working on it right now, as we speak.