Problem – Like Whaaat
Interview by Lucky Smith.
Tell us who you are and where you’re from?
My name is Problem from Diamond Lane Music Group out of Compton , CA.
How long have you been in the business?
I’ve been rapping “professionally” since 2008. That’s the first time I got a check so that’s when I count it. I’ve been rapping since 2001.
You have a serious track record. How did you get into the business?
My first break came on a song called, “Be Thankful” that I did with Snoop. Then, a lot of other people just started piggy backing off of that. I was out just messing around, making beats and things and I found the right team (Diamond Lane). We’ve just been writing and producing, working and having fun.
We know a lot of people really got to know you from the remix of “Function” with E40. Would you say that’s when things really opened up more for you?
Yeah, that’s when people opened their eyes like, “Yea, who is that?” I didn’t want this song to be bigger than me so I dropped my mixtape, “Welcome to Mollywood” right around the same time and it took my city by storm. Then, I followed it up with, “Welcome to Mollywood 2” and that’s what I would say triggered everything and made people listen. Then we just put our foot on the gas, did the song with Wiz, and came with “The Million Dollar Afro” project. It’s been on since then.
How many projects do you have out right now?
We just put out one called, “The Seperation”, that’s going crazy and doing what I thought it was going to do. Then there is the, “Ain’t Nobody Hotter Than Me”, then “Million Dollar Afro” was before that. All together I’m going to say there is about six of them you can find on me.
Out of all the collaborations you have done, who has been the most fun to work with and the most educational one?
Snoop and Wiz. Snoop is easy, who better to listen than him? Wiz, because he’s younger than me and I knew him before he was big. So, to be able to watch somebody I know do what he did, it was easy to ask questions and he was very informative. Pretty much everybody I worked with I had fun. If it isn’t fun, I wouldn’t work with them.
How does it feel to be compared to some of the top names from Compton?
Well, to see what Game did and what Kendrick is doing and I haven’t any sold any units of a major release, I’m honored to even be mentioned like that. But at the same time, I am not going to offend what them brothers are doing. When I get things right and it’s my turn, I will wear the title proudly and run with it. Shout out to both of those brothers. Let’s revisit this in about a year and this conversation with be different because “Diamond Lane Music” is here to stay.
Speaking of Kendrick, he stirred up a lot of controversy with his, “Control” verse. How did you feel about it?
It was a dope verse. He did exactly what he was supposed to do. Me and him are from the same hood so we discussed about when this time came and what we was gone do. So he did what we discussed. He didn’t disrespect nobody he just let niggas know that he feels like he is the best. He was suppose too. I didn’t take no offense to it because I feel I’m the best. I felt it was well executed and well planned. It feels good to see someone from my side doing it. That’s what you suppose to do once you reach the accolades that he has. You suppose to be to show your ass a little bit.
The west coast held the crown at one time, then it shifted and the south has held on to it for awhile. Now, it seems that it is coming back west. What is your take on that?
I’m just honored to be involved in it now that the shift has changed. I watched it be the way you just said for a long time. Now we are just establishing our own sound and our own brand again. That’s why people are saying the east coast is having an identity crises right now. I don’t think so, there are just not a lot of hip hop heads so maybe that’s the reason. The south had it for a long time and I don’t think they don’t have it now cause they still got a lot of hot people still in the game. It’s a lot of us out here now that’s working hard for the same goal and we understand that it’s a real powerful time so everybody is trying to plant their flag and rep their coast. We’re going to do what we got to do. Diamond Lane Music is gone be amongst the elite if I got anything to do with it.
Who are some of the other artist on your label?
Bad Lucc, who is one of the best in the world in my opion. Then there is Casha. She is a singer that was over there with Dream and she had a song with Yung Berg called, “The Business”.
Once a song is a hit, it will always be a hit, even when it has been remade. What made you remake,“How Ya Do Dat” by Young Bleed, Master P., and C-Loc?
Me and Bad Lucc were working on my records so we were going through songs we used to fuck with. I’m big on the history of this shit and reusing vibes. So, I was like when we get back to the studio, we’re going to fuck with this shit and have it cracking and that’s exactly what we did. I knew in some way, shape or form, it was going to be my single. At the time, I was still pushing another record, but it has turned out to be my biggest record to date.
Have you spoken with Master P or Young Bleed about the record?
Master P actually reached out to me. He is on the remix. I had the chance to talk to Young Bleed on the phone and I also spoke to the original producer of the track. They all gave me their blessing and said they really like what I did on the record. They said a lot of people tried to redo the record but they really loved my version. The only one I haven’t talked to is C-Loc. He had the third verse on the original.
Who are some of the features and people you working with on your new project?
As of right now, just me, Bad Lucc, and Casha. I don’t know how many other features we’re going to do just yet, if we do any. We’re going to give y’all the best of Diamond Lane so you can see what we’re working with. I can’t really say to much more about it, but you’re going to know who we are when its done. As for right now, go get that “Seperation”.
People can visit the website at www.DiamondLaneMusicGroup.com or follow me on Twitter @ItsAProblem or Instagram @Problem354.