As I enter the lobby of the Hollywood agency, BIRD, Chicago’s rising rap star and 2014 XXL Freshman, Lil Bibby, looks focused and ready to talk to me about what’s next for him. Since his mixtape, “Free Crack” released, Lil Bibby has not stopped working. And while fans anticipated Free Crack II for a while, he continued to put out music, like being featured on Juicy J’s new hit single, “Low”, joining Nicki Minaj and Young Thug. On the single, Lil Bibby’s verse is reminiscent of the flow of his own song, “For the Low”, where he boasts his title as Mr. Everything For The Low. And although rapping about his hustle is his current style, he hints towards making more ‘soulful’ music in the near future because he’s able to “talk about a lot of more stuff on those type of beats.” On a past Instagram post, Bibby is with his “Big Bro”, Drake, so his route to experimenting with R&B songs may be soon. For now though, fans are just glad Free Crack II is finally out. Since the release date delay, Lil Bibby had received a lot of demand to “DROP THE MIXTAPE” already, with fans posting, “Detox gon’ drop before this do” and “Really wish this would drop. Really anxious to see what Bibby got for this one” When I asked if he paid attention to his fans comments about the delay, Bibby responded, “I pay attention to everything. These are the people that’ll spend their money to come see me. I like to see what everybody’s saying man but I don’t change anything about myself but I like to be conscience of what’s going on.”
Lil Bibby continues his street tales from Free Crack on Free Crack II, and makes it known he just wants listeners to get to know him for who he is, and nothing else. “I take responsibility for everything I write because at the end of the day it’s my life, it’s what I go through. I won’t just lie to you or try to entertain you. If it’s not me or what I go through or what I seen or what I would do myself I wont tell you to do it, so I take responsibility for everything I say,” Bibby states while he begins to laugh a little on the thought of writing about situations he has never been in. The stories in his lyrics are what spark Bibby’s work ethic. Lil Bibby makes it evident in songs like “We Are Strong” and “For The Low Pt ” that his priorities are to stay focused and stack money, and who better to give him advice on maintaining success and staying focused than Russell Simmons? Bibby explains, “Wise words from Russell, man, but…I kind of do that already…like, what’d he tell me…he said, at the end of the day just think, like get some down time to just think about stuff, you know, and I’m big on that too because when I was younger I used to follow my first man and that got me into a lot of lot of trouble because my first man tell me to do the crazy stuff, but now that I’m getting older I’m learning how to think before I do stuff and it just kept me a lot of more trouble man. Now, I’m way more calm and I think before I speak. I think before I act too. If you caught me or years ago you probably would’ve thought I was crazy. But now I’m learning how to think because I just know how to control myself nowadays.”
Throughout our conversation, Lil Bibby continues to mention how his perceptions have changed. Viewing more of what life has to offer outside the streets of Chicago shifted his moral perspective, and when he goes back to his hometown from touring, he views it differently. Bibby states, “Every time I go back I be looking like this is the most messed up place. That’s one of the worst places you could go to man (laughs). I just be riding around my neighborhood I look at the girls sometimes I be like man they look all bad, and then my homies just lost it. Everybody just wants to kill somebody or smoke weed all day and they don’t go no goals no future no nothing so I don’t know. Chicago I think just the kids man, they just all misguided. They just follow after what they see though.” Now that he is a rising rap star, Bibby expresses how he feels about the unbecoming behavior of some of his friends on the track, “Can I Get”, where he raps about the realization of a dog-eat-dog society. He advises to Chicago youth, “There’s more to life than just standing on the corner. I don’t get why all my homies just want to kill somebody… well I kind of get it, because you get a name and people get scared of you and you get praise if you do stuff like that. I just have always tried to be the guy to try to get me some money so at the end of the day all that stuff you’re doing is risking your own freedom and your own life. It’s not going to put any money in your pocket and that’s the whole big goal. To me, it seems that should be everybody’s goal – to get some money, so try to get some money, and don’t risk your life unless you have to. There’s more to life out there than just your neighborhood.”
Almost every song on Free Crack II has an audio sample from the 2002 movie, Paid In Full. The movie is about a young man, Ace, who rises to the top of the drug industry. Much like Ace, Lil Bibby feels the pressure of staying on top of his hustle. On Free Crack II’s track, “Dead or In Prison”, Lil Bibby raps “I gotta feed the fam, I came up with a plan, I need some extra hands to help me move all these grams for real…” Most of Bibby’s songs mention his family as his main motive for hustling. He sacrifices for his family and he won’t stop. “I live with my family and I bought a house for us. I’m used to having my brothers around all the time, my mom nagging getting on my nerves – that’s just how I live my whole life. That’s kind of what I do it for man, like my brother he crazy, so I try to keep him out of trouble man,” Bibby says.
Our conversation ends with Lil Bibby hinting another project possibly on the way soon. “I might do an EP called “The Book”, a little bit after Free Crack II, or I might make it a street album”.
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Written By: @CellyontheTelly