By Bill Starlin
When you think of New Orleans, many things come to mind, both good and bad. Musically however, the city has a wealth of musical talent that has existed throughout its history from Fats Domino all the way to Lil Wayne, with many artists in between that spectrum. The dominant thought obviously derives from either the BP oil spill and the post Katrina tumult. The NO4 are trying to make a name for themselves that stand out in a Hip-Hop genre regionally focused on the flippant tastes of an almost nomadic culture. Not even Bloods and Crips could overpower the strain of folk that Rick Ross knew he needed for the “Can’t Hold Me Back” video. They made a few waves, but here is where we introduce them and see if they have legs. This short but sweet interview is a chance for you to get to see what they are all about and hear a couple songs. At Planet Ill, we don’t just try to roll with the winners. We try to spot a few before they get out there. Enjoy.
Planet Ill: How important is it to you that people see your version of New Orleans.
D. Smooth: First of all we would like to give a shout out to Planet Ill for giving us this interview.For us, because of the image that Katrina left of New Orleans, we really want to let people know that New Orleans is alive and well, especially when it comes to music. We are N.O.4, it New Orleans forever, and nothing can change that.
Planet Ill: Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Lil Brotha: For me, my main inspirations are Emnem and Lil Wayne.
D. Smooth: I have a lot of them, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Biggie, The Boss Rick Ross and the list goes on and on.
Pookie: Mine are Mystikal, Master P and a lot of other New Orleans based artists.
Planet Ill: What are some of the obstacles you have faced in getting to this point?
D. Smooth: It’s weird because we have been doing this for a long time but we are still considered new artists. It’s hard because it seems like we have to jump through a lot more hoops than normal but we are willing to do it. The road is rough but we jump all hurdles.
Lil Brotha: It is a constant grind. It is literally no sleep. We just have to keep going in grind mode.
Pookie: It’s non-stop action man. From the studio, to the stage, to promoting. It never stops but we love it.
Planet Ill: With all of the new music flooding the industry right now, who are some of your favorites?
Pookie: Ross of course, Lil Wayne, and I like T-Pain too.
D.Smooth: I love everything YMCMB, Ross, Meek Mill and 50 for starters.
Lil Brotha: I like Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Childish Gambino and A$AP Rocky
Planet Ill: What would your dream producer collabo be?
Lil Brotha: Man, there are so many but I have to say Dr. Dre, Lil’ Jon and Eminem
Pookie: I have to say T-Pain for his creativity and DJ Khaled.
D. Smooth: I’m gonna take it back to New Orleans and say Mannie Fresh, also Polow Da Don, and Bangladesh too.
Planet Ill: What is the most frustrating thing about Hip-Hop right now?
Pookie: I am going to answer this one. Right now, what frustrates me, s the fact that hip hop is so simple now. It used to be about lyrics and there are still some dope lyricists out here, but now it seems like people are losing their creativity. We try and think about that and give the people something that can still get excited about.
Planet Ill: What is your strategy to push forward in this industry?
Pookie: Promo hard and staying dedicated mainly.
D.Smooth: Hard promo as Pookie said, a strong social media game, and attacking radio and press from every angle. Feel me?
Lil Brotha: Everything my brothers said and just hitting hard one city at a time. We are gonna do it.
Planet Ill: What is the best piece of advice you have gotten about this industry?
D.Smooth: The advice I have heard has been is to stick together, have a plan and know what direction you want to go in.
Pookie: That patience is key in this business. There is no need to rush everything because you might miss it or you might hit a wall so take it all in.
Lil Brotha: Be ready to hurry up and wait. Everything doesn’t go smooth.
Planet Ill: How do you know when you have created a hit record?
Pookie: We normally let the music tell us. When we have finished a great record it makes us feel energized. Sometimes we compete with who has the best verses. But we are certain a hit record is a gift from God so we let the music tell us.
Lil Brotha: It’s a real natural feeling we get when we know we got the formula right.
D.Smooth: Yeah man, after the verses are dropped and I can hear the delivery and the clarity, we know we have something special.
Planet Ill: Any last words?
D. Smooth: Again, thank you to Planetill.com for having us and for the fans old and new you can follow us on facebook.com/no4music, on twitter @no4music and our new single “Dolla Bills” is on iTunes.
Lil Brotha: Shout out to our fans and to Invictus Records LLC for letting us make music!
Follow Us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/planetill
Become a citizen of Planet Ill. Join our Forums
Join Us on the Planet Ill Facebook Group for more discussion
Follow us on Networked Blogs