You guys were at the forefront of the whole skater style/movement. Young L: We definitely were at the forefront of that when it was poppin’. And it wasn’t that we rode that momentum. We really did that shit, like skateboarding. I still skateboard. We were really serious about our shit. At one point I was in a skateboard group with a few other people and we made a skateboard time and sold it. We were really serious about it. The reason we stopped pushing that movement was because so many people were trying to claim it and we didn’t want to seem like one of those posers trying to claim the movement because it was popular at the time. Lil Uno: I think our style influenced a lot of young artists that are up and coming. We’re not scared to express ourselves, so when other people see that, they feel like because we’re young and not scared and talking nasty, they can do that too. What would happen if the New Boyz and The Pack ran into each other backstage at a show? Do you guys still have problems? Young L: I don’t know. I didn’t really have a problem with them. The only problem was that they said our name in a song; that’s what made it an issue. If I saw them, it would be whatever they wanted it to be. If they wanted a problem there would be a problem. I mean, I don’t really care about the New Boyz like that. I’m don’t really want to beat them up or anything. They’re a lot younger than me. I’m 23. Did you feel like they were kinda taking your style? Young L: There are a lot of groups that are in the same lane as us. Like, The Cool Kids. They were in the same lane as us. We weren’t necessarily making the same music but we were both young and coming out with music that was trendy. I saw an interview with them and they shouted us out. We met other groups like Audio Push who were hella cool and showed love. We met Cold Flamez and they were cool. There weren’t any other groups aside from the New Boyz, now that I think about it, that really took our style to that level like they did. I just felt like there were plenty of opportunities to shout us out or thank us for helping to open the door for them or saying, “We like to listen to The Pack and they’re one of our inspirations.” I know that’s the truth because people had our songs before they had music to jerk to. I know that they at least knew who we were and didn’t say anything to pay respect. So it was an insult to say something about us on a record, on top of kinda, you know, making an effort to steal our swag. That’s how I felt about it and that’s how a lot of people who don’t even know me felt about it. People who were fans of the group were insulted. Now that you’ve stopped pushing the whole skateboard style and movement, what do you see being the next trend? Young L: I really don’t know. That’s a good question, but I don’t think I can predict that. It’s just one of those things that’s gonna happen. People never know who the next hot artist is or how he’s going to sound. The only thing I know for sure about the future of music is that the internet is going to be at the forefront of everything. Lil Uno: I just want people to hear our music and see that we’re the same dudes, just a little more mature. I want people to listen to our music and have fun, because that’s the reason we do it. Usually we just talk about ass shaking and smoking weed [in our music]. I don’t smoke weed and I’ve never actually been drunk, but as far as smoking as partying, you know, that’s what we rapped about. Being fresh, that’s all we ever used to rap about. On this album we have songs like “Unique,” that’s kinda like mood music, and “Worry About Mine,” which is like some classical music. Then we’ve got the track “Superman.” We usually just rap about booties and stuff like that, so this time I felt like we expanded our rapping. Do you think anyone has taken the skinny jeans trend too far? Young L: I’ve got friends that rock the skinny jeans but I don’t even wear skinny jeans. I don’t really go too baggy with it though. I don’t have anything against skinny jeans, but there are some dudes that look like they got their jeans from Hot Topic, the women’s store. And it looks uncomfortable. I don’t have a problem with it if that’s their swag, you know? Some groupies like that kinda thing. That’s cool but it’s not my style. Okay, what else are you working on? Young L: We’re thinking of doing a tape called the Titty Tape. We have a song called “Titties” that came out and was really big on the low. I didn’t think it was going to be that big. It was big on the internet and stuff, so if I release a tape called Titty Tape I think it’ll work. I mean, it’s not going to be all about titties. We’ll put in different shit, but yeah, we might release it. I’ve been talking to some people about it, but I don’t want to say nothing about something that might not come through one hundred percent. So you’re a titty man or a booty man? Young L: I’m a booty man for sure. I mean, titties are cool, but I don’t know. I’m a booty man for sure.
I guess there’s already enough songs about booty. Young L: Yeah, make sure you check out “Titties” by The Pack. It’s real crazy. You were all young when you got signed, right? Were you in high school? Young L: I had just graduated, but two of the group members were still in high school when we got signed. Of course that’s a blessing to have that kind of success at such a young age, but on the flip side, do you feel like you missed out on anything? Young L: I feel like a lot of people that I became friends with are surrounded by music. Sometimes I wish I had friends who don’t do music but still have something in common with me. So, it’s cool, but I think if anything I missed having people around me that weren’t around me for those reasons. A lot of people want to be around me because I make music or because I have jewelry; that kind of stuff. I think it’s hard to maintain who you are as a solid person when so much shit is changing around you. You have all these fake people coming around you who just want shit from you, telling you that you’re hella raw. If you can still maintain your personality through all that, it tells a lot about you. I think the hardest thing for us as a group was just to stay true to ourselves. I could see that for everyone in the group, it was a struggle. And I love them for making it through. It was a struggle for me too, you know. Lil Uno: I’m only 21 and I don’t regret anything at all, but the only thing I wish is that we had a manager when we first formed the group. We didn’t have a manager because [our success] just hit us from left field, you know? Music was our passion and we just wanted other people to hear it. But as far as missing out, I don’t feel that way. I’ve been around the world and I’ve been everywhere I wanted to be and done everything I wanted to do, and it’s all because of music. So I think it’s a blessing. Having achieved all that before you turned 21, what do you want to do with the rest of your life? Lil Uno: I haven’t achieved anything. I mean, to be 21, I’ve achieved a lot, but I wouldn’t mind going gold or platinum. I wouldn’t mind having the number one spot on the Billboard charts. Those are things I wouldn’t mind. But as far as how far I’ve come with The Pack? I’m content. I mean, I’m content with what I have, but I still desire more. I could see myself as a solo artist. I’m sure that everyone [in the group] can, but I’m never going to forget about The Pack because The Pack is what made me. I wouldn’t mind having a platinum album for myself but of course I’d want my group to have one too. The Pack is like the bread and butter. That’s where it all starts. Aside from music is there anything else you plan on getting into? Lil Uno: I plan on opening up a business one day. I haven’t really thought about what kind of business. I’ve been investing my money since I was 14 so by the time I’m about 25 I’m probably going to invest in some kind of company. I have some stocks also. I like investing in stocks. I try to think about investing in things that everybody needs. I thought about getting a couple of gas stations or maybe a barbershop. That’s pretty ambitious. You said you don’t smoke or drink. Why not? Lil Uno: I’ve seen what it does to people. It’s stupid to me. I’m all about the money. I save up every penny I can. I love money, you know? But that’s kind of my high. People get drunk and forget stuff; people get high and they keep chasing that high. I don’t want to spend my money on stupid stuff. Drinking and smoking are not temporary. People get addicted to it because they chase that high. When you drink, people tend to be like, “Damn, if I don’t drink tonight, I’m not going to have any fun.” Why can’t you have fun without drinking? Same thing with smoking. People need a new high every night, you know? They want to smoke more and more to see if they get even higher. And once they can’t get high off weed they’ll try coke. And I know people who do drugs that you never would know do drugs. And it’s stupid and they spend all their money on it. And it gets expensive because when you get high and drunk you eat and eat and buy more and it’s all temporary. There’s no point. I don’t drink or smoke but in this business, everyone expects you to. Especially being a rapper - do people try to pressure you into it? Lil Uno: Oh, hell no. Honestly, me, I’m an only child. I grew up alone so I really don’t care what people say or think about me. It doesn’t bother me at all. If I’m making a decision you don’t agree with, that doesn’t bother me. I mean, hey, if you don’t want to talk to me anymore because I don’t smoke weed or drink then go to hell, you know? That’s how I feel about it. Is there anything else you want to add? Young L: Follow us on twitter at @RealWolfPack. You can follow me at @YoungLPack, and Uno’s is @LilUnoWolfPack. The other members are @2800Stunnaman and @LilBTheBasedGod. We’re on Twitter a lot. // OZONE WEST // 19
Ozone West #85