Interview with Redneck Souljers (@RedneckSouljers): Join The Tiller Gang
“Join The Tiller Gang”
By Jesse James
Redneck Souljers are crafting some of the most infectious country rap that has been unleashed in quite some time. Rebel Row has been doing everything in their power to wake fans up to one of the best kept secrets in country rap. Fatt Tarr & C-Hubb have one of the sickest flows in the entire country rap scene, and on their latest full length “Tiller Gang” explodes from the speakers like Tannerite. Rebel Row caught up with Fatt Tarr & C-Hubb from Redneck Souljers to talk about their rise through the hick-hop ranks, and get the inside scoop on their new album that they are in the studio recording as we speak.
Rebel Row: Tell us how you a pair of country kids from Tennessee started rapping and mixing it with your country roots?
C-Hubb: To be honest we just started messing around making funny parodies of popular rap songs and doing them with a little bit of extra country flair. After we figured out there was a demand for us to do some real heartfelt stuff, we came up with an album.
Fatt Tarr: Hubb pretty much summed it up. We got drunk one night and decided to do a bunch of crazy songs. After that we put em on YouTube and realized there was an actual demand for these type of songs. We made more from there, and they all just genuinely reflected our southern roots because that’s what we knew.
RR: What are the records that made you want to become a rapper and start creating music?
C-Hubb: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14 but I always listened to rap, just not as the only genre I got into. For me it was Eminem, Bubba Sparxxx, Ludacris, Outkast, and a few other southern artist that made me think it was cool to be southern and rap. But I didn’t honestly really get into it until em dropped relapse and Tech N9ne put out KOD. I was already in full swing by the time Yelawolf put out Trunk Muzik 0-60, which was another big influence to me
Fatt Tarr: Me and C-Hubb have tons of different musical influences so it is difficult to summarize it. I’d say Eminems first few CDs really got me into a lot of the modern rap world. I also listened to a lot of TI and Haystak growing up, because it was a big thing for Tennessee (or the south), and it was rare for an artist to become that big locally. So I would memorize those albums and listen to the songs all the time, and eventually went on to start writing my own. Rap was really the first music that made sense to me & made me feel a certain type of way. I remember writing my first rap with a good friend back when I was like 11 or 12 years old, so whatever I liked then, I stuck with.
RR: Ed Pryor is sort if like another member of the group, handling the production and shooting your music videos. How did you hook up with Ed and what does he bring to the table that makes him your go to production guy?
C-Hubb: Man we’ve known Ed since high school. We all kind of went our separate ways as we graduated and then got together later in life because he saw potential for us to grow by having a music video. As far as what he brings to the table, go look at, or listen to anything he puts out, and you’ll understand exactly what that is.
Fatt Tarr: Our relationship with Ed Pryor is something that you don’t see too often in the music these days. We’re from the same town so, we met him back in high school like Hubb said, and we were all doin our own independent music projects. When me and Hubb started Redneck Souljers, it got the attention of Ed, and he approached us saying he’s beginning to film music videos, and that he’d like to do one with us. We really wanted to do that to see what could happen, so we done “Fish” – and the rest is history. After that we spawned a whole slew of original works that evolved into the Tiller Gang project, and he is now our in-house producer, director, & best friend at same time. Tiller Gang is both of our creation. So we all had a similar vision for the goal and he definitely brings a lot of that to the table. It’s more than just music and videos, it’s a whole vision that we all collectively want to see through. The Em/Dre effect if you will, Bubba/Timbaland type deal, we make a unique unreplicatable sound together that we will grow to be unmatched.
RR: Despite your success and interest from labels you’ve stayed independent and still do everything yourselves. What does it mean to be independent in 2014 for Redneck Souljers, and would you ever sign with a label?
C Hubb To me being independent means doing twice as much bullshit but getting twice as much profit for it. Honestly we would sign with a label, it’s not that we’re anti- label, but if the label doesn’t have anything to offer us that we can’t go out and work for to find on our own ,then what’s the point? We’d just be giving someone a big ass cut of what we’ve built on our own to do something we could also do on our own, with a little extra hard work? I highly doubt many artists who have dove as deep into the business as we have so far enjoy it. We’re barely knee-deep and it’s already a hassle, but that’s part of it. Hard work gets you where you want to be. And that’s bottom-line cause Stone cold said so.
Fatt Tarr: For us to be independent means a lot to me personally, and I’m sure C-Hubb as well. You get this mindset after a bit. It means to me that we’ve achieved our current level of success by ourselves with no outside help, other than this or that, to do so. We feel good being able to look back at all of our stuff know and we done this independently so far, and that it can be compared to those doing things on a much higher scale. That feels great. What is not so great about it is the stuff you do not see. The stuff that goes on behind closed doors that all artists have to deal with. Truthfully the music business is 90% business and 10% music. As of right now we’re our own managers, so we gotta do all this business stuff usually reserved for professionals of that field. We still handle all of our merch ourselves from production to sale. For all the time that we are making music, we’re even more-so the time discussing how to make the music, where to get the music, how the music needs to be delivered, how it needs to be crafted, who to give it to, Why.. Lawyer meetings, label meetings, strategizing, figuring out the market, what have you.. You don’t see any of that, but like Hubb said, it’s part of it, and we’re willing to do any of that to get where we need to be. There comes a time in every indie artists career though, that you realize you really do need something more at the end of the day. You can’t do EVERYTHING on your own forever. And we aren’t against that. As far as signing with a label, I’m not opposed to it, but I refer exactly back to what Hubb said. There would have to be something offered that we can’t do ourselves; Or an extremely higher pay raise than what we currently make, which also allows us to still do what we want to do, and that’s rare. So we’re content where we’re at with that.
RR: A lot of country rappers have been rejected by the mainstream country people in the industry who just don’t understand the country rap movement. What’s the craziest thing or the worst advice you’ve been given by someone in the industry?
C Hubb: I haven’t personally met any of the mainstream country people in the industry , so I don’t really know what their opinions are, but I do know that this Genre is growing and They should probably just go ahead and accept it. That’s some advice. Especially if dudes like Florida Georgia line are an accepted form of country music, because those dudes are definitely rapping. It’s got a more industry studio produced country sound than a lot of what we and the guys in our lane are doing. But those boes are still rapping at the end of the day.
Fatt Tarr: There’s always going to be a ton of people that don’t understand or accept something for some reason or another, but when you’re in this business you don’t really pay attention to that. You just look at the good side and who is accepting of it, and that’s where you go. But as far as advice, there haven’t been too many people to really give us advice. We’ve only recently begun meeting with some good people who have given us a little advice as far as marketing strategy, and getting into certain markets, but we haven’t had too much advice on that and we just followed what we known to work for us, while trying to blaze a trail.
RR: How do you respond to critics that think country rap is just a fad, and that the two shouldn’t mix?
C Hubb: Fuck em’. We like it. A lot of people like it. Anyone can see how much it’s grown. Anyone can find somethin to like about it. Just give it a chance and don’t downplay the whole genre over what little you may have heard or seen so far.
Fatt Tarr: Well there are different levels to this answer. It just depends what you want to talk about. It really all depends on how accepting you are as a person, and musically. There’s always going to be things you don’t like, like I said in the question before this. Then there are always the things you do like for one reason or another. Everything isn’t for everybody, so critics are with our genre just as they are many other music genres out there. They’re not going away, they actually make your job a little easier, if they want to write up a report on how bad you are, and somebody finds out you’re actually good to them. That’s just more publicity. So we don’t keep our mind on critics too much. As far as it being a fad, you know, music preference comes and goes. One week you’ll have William Hung doin really well, the next week you got Willie Nelson’s 4th cousin who popped outta nowhere. There’s popular times for everything and hopefully Country rap “Hick Hop” Will get its chance at the top one day.
RR: Fatt Tarr recently had his picture used on a advertisement for Copenhagen chewing tobacco, can you tell us how this come about and at how you developed a relationship with them?
C Hubb: Well it mostly came about by the fact that Fatt Tarr dips, and if you read the advertisement you know that he’s a real man here to represent dipping. I guess they knew they needed a face for dip or something I don’t really know how it works. Aside from that I actually have something in the works myself with a lesser known adult website.
Fatt Tarr: Well I can’t disclose fully the details of that, but it come about because I’ve been representing dip for a good time now, and my choice of dip is Copenhagen wintergreen. So you know, they said they need they need a real man to potray the new face of dip, and if you seen a dip ad lately, they haven’t been that good. Outlaw Dipper actually called me up two days after, sayin he wonders why it wasn’t him. Haha, but I think he’s got a good shot for next quarters ad.
RR: The country rap scene has been in the spotlight lately with Big Smo getting a new reality series and big releases from Colt Ford topping the charts. What do you think about all the attention the scene has received lately and where do you see it heading in 2015?
C Hubb: I’m extremely glad that Big Smo got that show. I feel like he was the best person to be on A&E specifically but also to represent the genre, because he’s a good crossover between a solid rapper and a person who is more relatable to a larger portion of the country music listeners. The same goes for Colt Ford. I feel like Smo is gonna turn a lot of the older, less accepting crowd onto the whole country rap genre through his values and charisma aside from just the music. 2014 has been a good year so I’d say 2015 can only be better.
Fatt Tarr: Big Smo and Colt Ford have definitely been at the forefront of something Bubba Sparxxx pioneered years ago, and they helped bring it into what it is today. Which is a growing sub-genre of hip-hop/country music, but Big Smo is great representing it and so is Colt Ford. But I feel like there’s a new generation coming right on their heels of that, of the country rap movement that we’re involved in. Not to downplay what they’re doing or have done, because it’s been great and they’re still doing well, and we would love to work with them one day. 2015 could hold a lot of things for the country rap genre, my vision personally would be that country rap becomes more accepted in the actual hip-hop and rap world, and as well as crossing over into whatever they call the real country world to these days. We’d like to help drive that boat.
RR: You guys are currently working in the studio now. How is the new material shaping up and what direction is the music moving on this upcoming record?
C Hubb: All I can say as far as consistency about the music is it is sounding good. As far as writing we are all over the place, in a good way as usual. we just did a song that’s extremely turned up kind of like a summer jam. Shit just makes you wanna dance and throw chairs, but we’ve also got some stuff that is extremely laid-back and introspective like some of our tiller gang work was. Again, there WILL be something on this album for anyone out there who gives it a listen.
Fatt tarr: The music is coming together decently. Like Hubb had said it’s all over the place, but that’s a good thing when it comes us. We like to do a bunch of stuff, and get a lot of music recorded, and then go back and look at what we have, and shift direction for the album. The production from Ed is crazy as always, we’re gonna try to line up some cool features, and maybe bring in a few interesting surprises! I’d say we are probably halfway through a new project right now, and we have new videos planned also. This new project should help expand what we started with tiller gang & hopefully break new ground for Redneck Souljers as a whole.