By: Todd Davis
Left Coast lyricist 40 Glocc, nee’ Lawrence White, first began his musical ascent way back in 1997, when, as a member of the Zoo Crew, Glocc and company released their debut album, Migrate, Adapt or Die, produced by Tony G and Julio G.
A solo deal with indie label Empire Musicwerks was soon secured, with his stellar premier outing, The Jakal, quick to follow. Unfortunately, and despite high profile appearances by rappers Bad Azz, Tray Deee, Ras Kass, Kurupt, Spice 1, Mac Minister, and acclaimed beat-makers Battlecat and Dr. Dre, the album wasn’t exactly a great success. Not to be discouraged, 40 Glocc pressed on.
Not too very long after, Mobb Deep entered the picture. It was actually through his manager, Purfek Storm, who was also handling the New York City duo, that made the connection even possible. A contract with their Infamous imprint, through G-Unit Records, was offered, and the rest, as it is said, is history…still in the making.
When did your love for music begin?
As a child I became interested in music seeing my older bro sneak and listen to rap. My mom said he couldn’t! It began for me by something I wanted to do. When I have a passion for something, whether it be a woman, my dream, career, etcetera, I pursue it. And, that’s what I did with music, as well as acting now.
You are a native of Galveston, TX, by way of Colton, California, correct?
Yeah, I’m native of Galveston, Texas, and Colton City, California, but I went from Galveston straight to Beaumont, Texas, as a first born baby. My mom just had me there, that’s it! Then, Houston, Texas.
When did your pursuit of music become more serious?
Once I started making money and seen people would pay for my talent, I was like, “Okay, this what I want to do!” I’ve never had a 9 to 5 a day in my life!
In 2003, you dropped your debut solo album, The Jakal, and although a solid effort the project was a commercial disappointment — Were you, at all, disappointed, and/or upset, by the outcome of this release?
Hell, NO! I was happy excited! And, all I got (was) $250K for that deal. Cashed out! Money in the bank! *40 cackles* And, I even sold good, so…It’s a business for me. I don’t get caught up in how much an album sold. I’m more concerned with, “Did I make my money back?” And I profit, and grab more potential consumers. It’s a business for me, as well as a passion.
Yeah, but, from a commercial standpoint, where do you think things went awry?
It went awry because the promo dollars that were supposed to be spent by the label weren’t being spent. I had no visuals on TV, etcetera, and no team. I was learning and doing all biz myself, and spending my hard earned cash. But, I was still successful, and happy as hell!
How did you eventually end up hooking up with Mobb Deep and their Infamous imprint through G-Unit?
Hooked up with M.O.B.B. through mutual friends. Plus, I already used to see them and holla when I used to roll with Snoop. Then we ended up sitting with Jimmy Iovine and getting with G-Unit.
And, is this the primary reason why your forthcoming, highly anticipated sophomore record has been delayed for such a long time?
Yeah, it’s been delayed because I feel I want my buzz bigger and stronger! I’m making my name a household name on my own budget and money! It takes time when you not signed to a major! *40 chuckles* Everything is paid out your own pocket! *More chuckles* I’m a hustler though. I invest in myself. I don’t need to sit (and) wait for an investor, a.k.a. major record label, then they take more than what they invested and have you owing them hella money. I’m indie. This is ZooLife!
How did your moniker originally come about?
It stands for, instead of “40” Acres And A Mule, They gave us the “G.hetto L.egally O.ppressed by C.rooked C.ops.”
Describe for me your sound or style?
I would say it’s global music. I make music for everybody. Not just one crowd. My music is reality. Everyone can relate to it.
Have you titled your second album yet?
Yeah, I have titles for it. But this album [Concrete Jungle] now is to introduce the world to ZooLife and the ZooLife artists; Village Boo, Sun, Lil Boo, ZooBabiez, Ras Kass, Brazemack, Gail Gotti, TipToe, Yacc, Caz, Michelob, etcetera.
Where do you draw your lyrical inspirations from?
I draw it from daily life, living. From people all over the world, whats’ going on in our world, etcetera.
Production-wise, who did you work with?
Darren Vegas, Havoc, Stevie J, J Steez, Blaqtoven, T.Why, Notes, Soze, Greedy, etcetera.
How involved are you actually in that whole creative musical process?
I’m involved 100%. I’m fully involved.
Do you have any favorite track(s) on Concrete Jungle?
They all favorites! I love the Concrete Jungle album! And, next after this one is my N.W.A. album. N.ew W.orld A.genda!
Earlier you mentioned acting, so aside from music and movies, what else is on your plate, futuristically speaking?
Yeah, acting and women! I love ladies! And, making inventions. Like thinking of inventions and shit.
Let’s discuss longevity in this business of music — What do you feel has been, and
will continue to be, the ultimate key to your overall success?
The key to my success is ambition, persistence, never giving up, staying focused, not getting side-tracked, and finishing the job. No half-assing! And, being on time. I always remind myself being real and being courteous and fair in this industry will get you nowhere. This biz is a cheaters game! So, you better be a damn good cheater, and know when you being cheated, and stay 10 steps ahead of them. Only the strong survive!