Via Ozone Magazine
Life has been hectic for Slick Pulla over the last few years. He was found in violation of his probation back in 2007, now, after serving a 30-month bid, he was released from jail earlier this year, and he’s back on the rap scene full force. Within those two-and-a-half years Pulla was away, Hip Hop changed immensely, but that fact isn’t enough to deter the USDA member from carving a spot out for himself. He was planning his steps from behind bars. He’s already dropped several mixtapes including Cloverfield and Bobby Drake Chronicles. He’s working on a t-shirt line called Slick Prints and yet another street album. When we spoke to Slick, he excitedly talked about changes in his thought process, staying out of drama, and executing his master plan.
You’ve been going pretty hard since your release earlier this year. Was all of this building in your mind while you were away? Or did it all hit you once you got out?
Oh nah, this was the plan I was formulating all the while I was doing my bid. It was like, I was sitting back and analyzing the game to think, “What I gotta do to get myself where I need to be?” It makes no sense in taking that time to think about what needs to be done, you should take that time to make it work for you, you should put yourself in the position where you’re coming back before you even get out. It’s like, if you in jail and you don’t even know what you gon’ do when you get out, more than likely you’re going back.
You were gone for less than three years but a lot has changed. What has Hip Hop become in your eyes?
It’s gotten a lot more creative. I’m feeling a lot of new cats coming into the game making good songs. I like the way it’s going, that’s more pressure for me. Now I can test different sounds and do different things and people won’t be like, “Aw, Slick trippin!” ‘Cause everybody’s trying to be creative and do different things now.
Why do you think the change occurred so quickly?
Just the repetition, man, and everybody’s trying to change the monotony. It was just like, everybody was doing the same kinda thing, so I think it took the new cats to start doing new stuff, so everybody else could realize what was going on.
What’s your priority these days, with all these projects you’ve got going on?
Shoot, man, family. My little ones, my kids and CTE.
We hear you have a tee shirt line coming out too, Slick Prints. What’s happening with that?
I’ma get with the people and we’re gonna hopefully get something cracking by fall. We gon get a couple sample shirts and start planting the flag. But right now it may not be as successful without this music getting right.
Your next big music project is New Beginnings right? What can we expect from it?
Right. New Beginnings is gonna be like my mindset… People haven’t heard my first album yet, so everyone has an opinion of me based on the work that I did. But by me doing that bid and I’m at home, it’s like I’m new again. So it’s like a new beginning, a new chance at life, a new chance at everything. A new chance to make things right that were wrong, I’m just coming in with a whole new thing.
How have you grown musically since 4th Ward Day?
I think I’ve gotten better with my delivery. I think my lyrics have gotten better, I can switch my flow with different tracks. Just my whole method of working and then also with 4th Ward Day I wrote all that stuff down, but now I can feel a beat and put it together without even having to use the paper. It sounds like a complete thought but most cats, they go and they do that, it sounds like rambling. I can do it and remember it still in a song format.
Did you do a lot of writing while you were away?
I did most of my writing before I got shipped off because I was really using the writing just to keep my skills sharp. Some of that stuff I used when I got home but a lot of it, I just have. I just did that to keep my mind exercised.
Does CTE have another album in the works?
Yes, most definitely we do. Jeezy bout to knock out that [TM] 103, then we should be finishing the USDA project.
How long does everyone have to wait to hear that new USDA? When will it be done?
We can go ahead and knock that out… That’s family there, you know, we can just get some liquor and some pretty women to come through and we can just pop it out [laughs]. So it’ll be done soon. It’ll be done fast.
Were you happy with the debut USDA album?
Yeah! That was a classic one. I went to prison and I ain’t realize the impact it had until I went to prison and I saw how many people had the CD and how many people was like, “Man, this getting me through my bid.” Especially for a project that didn’t have that much promotion behind it, I think we did damn good.
Almost as soon as you got out, your name was wrapped up in some static involving Waka Flocka. Why do you think your name is always in the same sentence as his nowadays?
I don’t know, man. I feel like people feel the pressure. They feel the pressure’s on but you know, I’ve just been grinding, working. I got my tunnel vision on, man. I’m from an era where the way cats are talking… If it’s a problem then it’s a problem and I’m like, it can’t be a problem because I’m right here doing the same thing I do everyday. I think what happened was… People use a catalyst to kinda get their things going. I feel like the word ‘beef’ has really gotten… “friction” or whatever, like I know where I’m from, if it’s like, “friction,” you can’t go where you normally go. I don’t know, man, I just got my tunnel vision on and I’ma keep doing what I do.
How’s your relationship with Jeezy?
Oh yeah, it’s a great one. I told you that’s my big brother. Taught me a lot about life, taught me a lot about this game. I learned a lot of this stuff first hand so now it’s time for me to implement what I’ve learned and pass it down to my troops. And we keep the CTE brand going.
Have you guys worked together at all since you got out?
It was kinda hard to get around cause I had an ankle bracelet but we went to Opera for the first time last night!
Are you cool with the new USDA members? JW, Boo, and 211? What’s your relationship like with them?
Yeah. I already knew Boo and 211 prior to them being in the group. JW is new, he got signed while I was locked up but it’s all love though, we all share the same mind. Everybody’s cool.
Is Blood Raw still a USDA member? Have you spoken to him at all?
I spoke to Blood Raw since I been home. He’s just doing what he do. It’s always gon’ be love for Blood Raw. I don’t really know what the situation is, know what I saying? But it’s still all love though. You know? Raw just working.
There seems like tension brewing between Rick Ross and Jeezy over his “BMF Freestyle.” If things escalate to diss songs, is that something you’d back Jeezy on?
It’s gotta be something I’ma back Jeezy on [laughs]. But I feel like, people taking that to a whole other level. Big homie just stated his piece, he was just freestyling to the beat, now if there was anything he said that rubbed people’s shoulders the wrong way, then that’s something they got going on with themselves. But of course I’m backing Jeezy if something escalated. Believe me, I don’t think nothing’s finna happen out of that, man. Cats getting money, I don’t think cats tryna risk all that about that. It’s CTE for life, so you know if it’s something, it’s something. If it’s nothing, it’s nothing. That’s how I look at it.
-Interview by Nadine Graham