Conversations with Creators: Shloob
A new photo story featuring Louisville-based rapper, Shloob.
Our photo series this week is with Louisville-based rapper Shloob. Shloob is an independent artist as well as part of one of Louisville’s rising indie rap groups, The Homies. Shloob has released two solo projects and is featured on multiple hit tracks, such as Jack Harlow’s 2018 Wasted Youth (one of my personal all-time favorites).
Recently, I visited Shloob before a soundcheck for a local show in Louisville. Here are some images from my visit and a glimpse into my conversation with him.
For those who aren’t familiar with you, how would you describe yourself and the work you do?
Damn, that's a good question. I’m a rapper.
Rappers rap, but I feel like there's a certain communication element I see in rap. There's the phrase "communication rules a nation," and I feel like how you decide to word things can be super artistic and I can nerd out about that type of stuff.
I'm a relatable artist too, I don't really talk about anything that's too unattainable.
Why rap? What makes you want to contribute to the culture and genre?
I don't know. I didn't grow up wanting to be a rapper. I was like 22 when I really started thinking about it. And by that time, 2fo [2forwoyne] was already a wizard at making beats, and I knew if I could become a fire rapper, I would always have a superstar beat maker in my back pocket.
Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently back when you started making music?
I would drop a lot more music. I would drop everything. Even if it's bad or good, it builds up. Somebody will like it, somebody won't. But people who like it, they'll keep checking in.
Nowadays, everyone wants to capitalize on every single song. Me as an artist, I rap all the time. Some songs I would never put out as an album, but I would definitely drop it on some "here you can just listen to it, I don't care, and that's what SoundCloud used to be. Now, everything is about making money, which is cool, but in some songs I do one verse and I don't want to say anything else, and I don't mind people hearing the verse. I would just drop everything.
How would you describe your creative process? Do you bounce ideas off of others?
The only person I really talk to about rap is Jack [Harlow] for the most part.
“He's the only one I like exchanging advice with because he's my favorite rapper. He can really rap and he's strategically critical about what he says.”
He told me a minute ago, "don't try to just find one way that works, when you can find multiple ways to get your brain going." Sometimes, I'll be in the club and I'll hear a beat and I know I can rap over the beat in that moment. Sometimes I'm in the studio and a beat will come on. Or sometimes I'll just ride around to a beat, which is one of my favorite ways to get my brain going.
So you're inspired by a beat first?
Yeah, for the most part. I'm never really in the mood to write a full rap and find a beat. Most producers like it when people do that stuff, but I don't do it naturally.
What would you say the percentage is between music you've released and music you're sitting on?
I've only released two solo songs where it's me from beginning to end, but I've been recording and rapping since 2014. So that's a very small percentage.
If you had a magic wand, what tool or service would you create to make your work easier?
If I could record studio-quality sound off my phone with just some AirPods, and it sounded like a newly released Drake album...that'd be it. If I could hear a beat and rap, or rap when I wake up, or rap on a run, that would be crazy.
What's something you'd like to get one percent better at?
Freestyling. I can make some words rhyme, but I feel like the best rappers just sit there and just rap. Tyler the Creator can do that. He can sit there and have a five-minute conversation and he'll be rapping the whole time. With me, you got a hot eight bars before I'm back to just repeating something.
Or if I could have a better singing voice, which I can develop that, but that definitely will get you different places.
What do you feel like you contribute to The Homies?
Ideas. Just off the wall stuff. People will be like, "damn, why would you say that," or "why would you do that to the beat", and that kind of just sparks up everybody. We all do that, but I record as much as I possibly can. Just a lot of ideas.
What's most unique about your sound?
There's some bounce to it. There's some righteous ratchetness. You'll hear me and say to yourself, "oh he's pretty smart." Then you'll be like, "hold on, this guy is out of his fucking mind, why would he say that."
There's a good balance.
Essentials to making a great song?
A little melody
Thanks for reading this week’s Conversation with Creators photo story. To keep up with Shloob and his work, check out his Instagram. Want to catch The Homies live? Check out their upcoming shows below.
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