We got a chance to chat with country rapper Smo this week. While we were chatting he was driving to a 4th of July mudding festival. You can read the interview and watch his new video below.
OutdoorHub: Hey, great to have you on the phone. Let’s start by talking about the new video “We The People”. We love the track. It’s kind of an extension of American Made, but with a much stronger statement reflecting a lot of the anger and frustration that we’ve been hearing about all over the country. Please share what inspired you to write the song and what you want fans to take away from it?
Smo: Well you know I believe that where the country is right now is what influenced writing the song, specifically the future leadership of the country. The people that make up this great country are really concerned about our future. We don’t have a lot of options as far as political candidates to choose from. Just sitting back and absorbing the media content and even just fireside chats with friends and family, and you can tell that this is a challenging time. That’s what really influenced the writing of this song. We needed a reminder that when it comes to our country, we are the ones who are supposed to be in charge. When being a politician became a business move, that’s when things started going wrong. That’s my opinion.
OutdoorHub: I think you’re right. People are really thinking about these things, and a lot of artists aren’t really addressing them. It’s good to see you giving them the truth.
Smo: I think everyone can relate lyrically to what I’m saying. Just being an artist that’s in touch and in tune with the people of America. I think I hit a home run with being able to relate with what people are feeling on this one.
OutdoorHub: So, switching gears for a minute … Let’s talk more about your music. As an artist, your sound is really unique. There’s probably not another artist out there that has the same blend of influences. We’d love to give readers a sense of what you grow up listening to, and what other music has inspired you?
Smo: I grew up listening to outlaw country and old school country. My dad grew up in Tennessee and spent 27 years in the Navy, and he listened to older country and bluegrass artists like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Jerry Reed, Willie Nelson, and Jimmy Rogers. I also have an older brother who introduced me to hip-hop. This is really early hip-hop that was more about electronic music and break dancing. He got me into Run-DMC, Houdini, and Grand Master Flash. As an older kid, I still kept listening to old country music and hip-hop; I even subscribed to one of those services on TV where they would send you a new classic country tape every week. Remember those? By high school, I really started getting into making music. I had a keyboard, drum set, and a guitar, and I played in the drumline. Near the end of high school, I started writing poetry and stories. I learned that I had a creative mind, and it allowed me to expand on my thoughts in a way that was entertaining. That evolved into sitting down with friends and writing songs. Eventually I got a little 8-track recorder that I used to dub my voice over beats and guitar riffs. Once that happened, I never looked back.
OutdoorHub: As you know, our audience loves the outdoors, so let’s talk about that. We know you live on a farm in middle Tennessee, and from what we’ve seen you love muddin’. What else is cooking for Smo when it comes to the outdoors?
Smo: Unfortunately, being 100% real, my job keeps me from doing the activities that I would like to be doing. I used to be able to hunt and off-road a lot more before I got so busy. Luckily this weekend I will be able to do some mudding down in Oklahoma. I think my favorite thing to do is just being able to hop in a side-by-side and rip down some trails with my friends. Just raising hell in the mud and having fun is a blast. I think my favorite side-by-side is my Polaris RZR, and my favorite truck is my 1987 K5 Chevy. The Chevy is lifted and has the top off, and it just goes through anything. Hopefully this fall I get to do some hunting, but my schedule is so busy with touring that it’s hard get out as much as I want.
OutdoorHub: So what’s in the gun safe?
Smo: So I keep my .40 Ruger next to my bed. I also have a M1 Carbine with a rare pistol grip on it. I have a bunch of shotguns, and a .44 Mag S&W that I take with me when I’m around the farm. I also have a Ruger SR-22 that I use around the farm.
OutdoorHub: So it’s July 4th, what do you have going on at home? Is there a special Smo BBQ rub or recipe?
Smo: We’ve been making our own sauce for years. We actually have a local shop producing it for us now, and you can buy it online. We have a couple different flavors like Meat Mud, Caramel, Sweet tea and more.
OutdoorHub: Sounds delicious. Well, we wish you a great July 4th and much success with the new single.
Watch the We People Video here:
Download the new single here:
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/wethepeople_gp