Bobby Shmurda’s hit single “Hot N*gga” is fascinating on multiple levels: not only did it go viral off a six-second vine, but it also harnessed the sound of the Midwest – specifically, Chicago.
SD, a rapper from Chicago, is helping to hone the hip-hop radiating from his city. He’s been down with Chief Keef’s GBE collective, but recently split ways with the guys for business reasons. After getting a ton of buzz off his collaboration with Detroit rapper Danny Brown, SD’s bullied his way into the Chicago conversation, and now he’s set to drop his solo album, Truly Blessed, on November 18.
We spoke with the young rapper about growing up in Chicago, the Midwest influence on New York rap, and why he doesn’t call his music “drill music.”
WatchLOUD: You’ve performed in New York a couple times. How do you feel the crowd’s reacted?
SD: They show love. A lot of people used to say “New York don’t show love” but they show love.
What do you think about the influence Chicago rap music has had on New York artists like Bobby Shmurda?
Man…we did something right. That’s all I look at it as. If ain’t nobody been doing [our sound], then we would have been in the wrong. I look at it like people doing their thing. I salute ‘em.
You don’t like to call the music you make “drill music.” Why?
Because that ain’t the type of music I make. I make music for all types of people to hear, different varieties and crowds instead of one particular….I ain’t with the drill music, man. I don’t know what the f*ck [drill music] is. I don’t listen to that. That ain’t me. I’m an artist man. I like listening to music. That ain’t my type of music. But I listen to it. You know, I listen to music. I like music, man. Music music.
Classic – I don’t know how to explain it but I like all different varieities of music. I listen to anything.
What are you listening to recently?
It ain’t really no particular artist I got an ear for like, “This is my favorite artist.” I’m just listening to everything coming out. Anything that’s coming out right now.
How’d you and Danny Brown get together?
He had a show in Chicago and he ended up stopping by. It was on from there.
He was a fan of your music?
Yeah. We just hit it off from there. That was a big look.
The album is called Truly Blessed. Talk about what people can expect from the music.
Just expect more of me, man. Especially more of my feelings. More of the music that I like to make versus what they want to hear. I’m an artist so I like to go out of my lane and do stuff I don’t even normally to. It be surprising me sometimes.
How do you come up with inspiration for a song?
I go off the vibe and the feeling of the moment. Just off that moment, I go off of that. I could be in the studio and feel like making a rock song or sh*t. If that’s what I feel like, that’s what I’ma do. I go off the vibe or feeling I get when I hear a beat.
What was your childhood like in Chicago?
Man, my childhood was crazy. I’ma make a move about it, you’ll see. I was doing a little bit of everything. Lotta stuff a child wasn’t supposed to be doing. It’s a long story. A lot I got into.
You still live in Chicago?
As of right now, I just moved out. But that is my hometown, so I’m always there.
How do you feel being in Chicago now? Are you happy to be there?
Same as I always felt when I was there. But now it’s like by me being in the position I’m in, it’s a little different than it was at first when we were growing up. But I look at it the same. Same city.
Do you feel positive about Chicago?
Yeah, you got your positive things about [the city] but then you got your negatives, too. It’s a lot of positive things out there.
Like what? Because the media only likes talking about the negative stuff.
And that’s crazy because they only talk about the negative stuff. Yeah, that’s the whole point. There’s a lotta things that people get into. Lotta kids out there are smart. There’s a lotta talent coming from Chicago but with all the drama and what it look like they portray it as makes the city look crazy.
But you got your restaurants…I ain’t gonna lie, they got some of the best restaurants you can get in America in Chicago. We got sports, gyms, everything. But at the same time there have to be more of these things versus the little that it is and put people in a lot of danger trying to go to all these different places and scatter around Chicago.
Do you think rap as an outlet is doing more to help in Chicago?
Rap is one of the outlets, but there are a lot more that people aren’t seeing.
What is it about the media’s coverage of Chicago that you don’t like?
They figure it all comes back to violence and gangs. They think everything come from gangs and violence. It’s more to that. You got businessmen, you got a lot of people trying to do different things, but they look at it like, “He just like the rest of them.” It’s just like in different states, everybody they self. You got different people, everybody their own.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
Because I’m me. I stay in my lane. I don’t try to do things I know not meant for me. Try to keep it organic and simple. Don’t try to go out of my way doing things I don’t need to do.
Are you still down with Keef?
Yeah that’s my homie, but it’s like now I gotta get on a different business plan. Personally we still the same, still cool, still kick it, but now I’m on a different business route. So things take you on a different route, but we still kick it.
Did you learn anything from him?
I can’t say that, na. I taught myself most of what I learned. But I learned a lot from seeing other people’s mistakes, that you can say.
What are some of the things you’ve learned?
How to balance, handle my career versus me sitting on my ass, waiting on the next person to take control of my career. I learned how to market and what I want for my career.
Is there something you want people to get out of your music when they listen to you?
Just to be blessed. Look at the things they doing – they could do more, and do better, and get in a position to where everybody can be successful versus them thinking, “Damn, my life over because I ain’t doing this or that.” You can be happy in your own way, you just need to figure it out. Find it out, see what it is.
Who are some artists you want to work with?
You could say it’s a couple, yeah. Eminem, Wiz, I f*ck with [A$AP] Rocky too.
When did you realize music was what you wanted to do?
Man I been doing music for a couple years now. Think I started in music when I was 12 or 13. I was just doing it because it’s just making songs. Then it got into me actually liking to hear myself create. I started to think of myself from a fan’s point of view versus me being myself. I started listening to myself and taking in my music and then it started inspiring me, like man, this is some sh*t I should actually do and that I can do. Why not help, I can help others through my words and what I do speak in my music. I decide to let that talk for me instead of me being around, trying to explain something to somebody which they’ll never understand. Since they listen to my music, I’d rather look at it like I talk through this [music] now.