Straight out of the “352” Gainesville, Fl, Loudd sits down with not one, but two of North Central Florida’s homegrown Independent Hip Hop Artists,”Glenn L Washington Jr aka Lilpo Hood Hero” and “Remondo Lily aka “Holly Wood DaChef“. From Southern Royalty to International Business, they give us insight on who they really are. These two inspired Hip Hop artists have faith and high hopes for the 352 area code.
LOUDD: When did you start making music, and what influenced you?
LiL’PO: I am going to take it back to #Kris Kross. I was in the seventh grade when I saw those two doing their thing, and I felt like I could do that too. I started listening to other rappers and how they put words and music together, and from there I started building my style of rapping, and making it my own. The influence was the craft itself.
HollyWood: As a young kid I would always kick free styles in the hood, and everybody would tell me that I was really good and that I should try to take it to the next level. In 2011 I started recording music in the studios getting real serious about being an artist.
LOUDD: Being that you both are form the 352, was there anyone that was in the music game around the time that you were coming up that had an impact on you?
HollyWood: In my area where I was growing up there was a very small movement, so there really wasn’t too much inspiration around. If it came, it most definitely came from “Big Bud” and “Shorty Roc”. “Tupac Shakur “was a big one for me also coming up. I loved the way he delivered life through his lyrics.
LiL’PO: Well with me it was a little crazy cause I came up under “Dave Cooper”, “Big-Amp Parker “Crooked Life”, “Maintain McQueen”, and “Ben Frank”, and then being the cousin of “Shorty Roc”, and bring around “Big Bud”, I felt kind of over shadowed. I represented to the fullest; they all were a huge inspiration.
LOUDD: How do you feel about the ongoing independent music movement in your hometown of Gainesville, fl?
HollyWood: If we are going to talk about the movement in the present, I feel that there is a lot of favoritism going on in this city, and that takes us in the wrong direction. There is some great artist out here that put in work, plus overtime, and they are not getting any appreciation, nor do they get the attention from the ones that can make a better outlet for them. I wish that we can all form a bond that will take all of us to the next level. I am not going to give up, and I am going to keep playing my roll.
LiL’PO: I’ve been doing this for a long time, so I’ve watched artist come and go. I was in a group called “Southern Royalty”, so I helped built what it is now. It really hurts to see how things are going on out here in the 352. It wasn’t play to pay, when I was coming up, which I respect the game, you know people got do what they got to do, but like “Br3adgang Blazel” said in his interview, it is a popularity thing. I would like to see good artist get a fair chance. I believe that if we keep pushing, going to the studios, getting interviews, and staying connected with people that can help get our music out like “Burning 50”, something will pop.
LOUDD: Who do you do this for, besides yourself?
HollyWood: Me personally, I do it for the streets and the fans. The fans I have believe in my vision, and they keep me motivated, so I have to keep them happy.
LiL’PO: I do it because I am a music junkie. I am addicted to letting people know what I have to say. I do it for the people also. The promoters and club owners they already know who I am. I need to grab the attention of the people.
LOUDD: I always see you two chilling together, let us up on the connection?
HollyWood: Lilpo and I are cousins by marriage. We are Friends by choice. My brand is “TeamChef Entertainment”, and Lilpo brand is “Majornoyze Muzic ENT”, together it’s a combine movement. Good Business.
LOUDD: A Hip Hop Artist stage name is everything; it tells who they are as a person and as an artist. Tell us about your stage names?
HollyWood: First my name used to be just HollyWood, I had that name since I was in the 6th grade, and I got it from a pimp in the neighborhood. That name had a little controversy going on because there was another HollyWood in Gainesville. So I had to distinguish myself and add Chef, which was the title of my mix tape. HollyWood means lights, camera, action, and show time, and Chef means I’m mixing up my perfect recipe for the streets, which is my music. That’s how I became “Holly Wood DaChef “
LiL’PO: The name is Lil from the word little, Po from the word poor; “Lil Po”. Originally when I was in the clique Southern Royalty, my name was “Picasso” because I painted pictures, and everything I did was with a vivid vision. I left the group, and I needed a new name. I was looking for a name that basically represented my life. My parents wasn’t rich, and Big Bud used to play around with me and say “What’s up peasant child”, and I didn’t like it first, but I thought about it and turned it into something that was real. I was going to call myself “Lil Po Da Peasant Child”, but that was too long, so I kept short and to the point “Lilpo Hood Hero”. This name means a lot to me, because if I ever make, it tells a story of how I started out, and where I came from.Hood Hero, I am from the hood, and I rep for the hood all day every day.
LOUDD: Lil Po can you fill us in the “Brick Gang ” movement?
LiL’PO: The whole time “Jordan June Johnson” was doing his vacation time, I stayed in contact with him. From our conversations we were talking about how we can make street music pop in the 352. So, when he came home he came and saw a couple of shows that I had did. There was one in particular that I did and he didn’t like the way I was being treated, and that night June came to me about him helping me with what shows to do , and getting my music heard, like a road manger. So, we chopped it up the next morning, and I said yes let’s do it. Brick Gang is a movement, but also like a secret society, you just don’t get in. you have to have some type of bond.Jordan June Johnson Lilpo Hood Hero, Hittmann Souljah,Willie Chill Will Simmons ,Johkerboi Brickgang Kell , and Tarence Watts aka BossAmi “Brick Gang ” Family.
LOUDD: Now Chef you got some other things going on to enhance your music career, tell us about that?
HollyWood: I do attend school at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, my major is International Business. I want to take my craft beyond where I am. The market for Hip Hop overseas is very lucrative. I have had the opportunity to link up with some out of the country indie Hip Hop artist through social media. They are very eager to work with artists from the states. I have to know what I am doing, so I am getting educated on the logistics of hoe to conduct business internationally. I also have a movement myself that is going to help better the community for the good. It will help bring change not only to our lives, but to the future also. It’s not always about what we can get; sometimes it’s about what we can give. So stay tuned Holly Wood DaChef is cooking up something nice. I do a lot of shows out of town, like Orlando, Jacksonville, and Ocala. I try to spread myself around so I can get people from other towns to feel my music. One thing I want to say is S/O to “Bigg Gates” who is Devonta Gates aka SG, he has a lot to do with the shows I do. He is my partner and I call him my road manager. SG does so many things inside this indie music movement. He is a BEAST!!!
LiL’PO: A lot of people should be giving thanks to Devonta Gates SG he is the man. He has looked out for so many indie artists.
LOUDD: You have to give Devonta Gates and Steve Jean-Jacques much respect. They are the ones that put LOUDD MAGAZINE out there. I always bring up M.A.D.E. Monday’s because that was an indie platform; I don’t care what other people have to say about, but they provided the only platform here in Gainesville that said hey “352 you got something to say, let’s hit it”. We are all family at the end of the day. Much Love to those two.
LOUDD: Lilpo Hood Hero when I first met you , you were with K.O.S (Keepers of Sound) founded and operated by Gwendolyn Richardson aka “Sheve”, who happens to be a very good friend of mine. What happen to that union?
LiL’PO: Nothing, I am still with K.O.S , Gwendolyn Richardson is still my rock. She just let’s me venture out on my own, so I can explore my independence. We are united and we are as strong as always. I love her, she has done so much for me and my career. S/O to Gwendolyn Richardson C.E.O of K.O.S (Keepers of Sound). When “King of the Trill” come out, and it is coming out, no matter what anyone has to say. That album will be my tribute to her.
LOUDD: One word for the both of you ” Image”.
HollyWood: My image is more smooth player type. I am clean cut. My music is more about the way I finesse the streets.
LiL’PO: My style is old school Florida dope boy music. A lot of curse words, a lot of pain, and a lot of shade, one thing about me I don’t hold nothing back. I will say names, and I will do videos. I stand up for everything that I say. My music is a very well representation of who I am.
LOUDD: What would Hip Hop be without the South?
LiL’ Po: Boring
LOUDD: Any S/O’s?
HollyWood and LIL’ PO: First and foremost our Father in the Heavens, Thank you without you there is no us. S/O to Skelly G Supa-Producer, Smiley, CP , Mike Whammy, Our beloved Family,Gwendolyn Richardson aka Sheve, The whole damm Gainesville good and bad, Wiley G Martin and Marcus Cromartie without them I wouldn’t be here they save my life. S/O to Brick Gang, Dyme Pyece DA Print , Br3adgang Blazel, Zaplyfe, and LOUDD MAGAZINE without #LOUDD yall wouldn’t know who we really are. We love the “352” and we believe, trust.
Interview: Tyra Edwards, LOUDD MAGAZINE