I got the chance to interview rapper-singer-producer up and comer Littlefoot. He’s a talented Nashville native with a full head of steam who’s ready to shake up the game with his upcoming self titled album “Littlefoot”. Check him out live May 7th at The End on Elliston st. He’ll kill it, you don’t want to miss it.
What inspired you to start rapping and singing seriously?
Hahahaha that’s quite a question to start with, but I suppose I'll have to answer it at some point so it might as well be now.
In 7th grade I was forced to choose between band and choir. I chose choir because I thought that would be the easier thing to do as I was under the impression, "Anybody can sing!" That first day of choir was not only the moment I realized my assumption couldn't have been further from the truth, but also the moment I realized I was a pretty damn good singer myself. I never really gave much thought to it though because I could never picture myself with slicked back hair singing "Dannyboy" in a tuxedo. It wasn't until the summer after my sophomore year, for whatever reason, that I started freestyling. This is also around the same time I first started smoking weed. There may be some kind of correlation there hahaha. This rest is history. I became known as the kid who would freestyle at partys as well as being one of those first kids to start drinking and smoking and shit. Despite my hoodlum antics, I had been privileged enough to be able to attend a one-hundred-forty-something year old, very prestigious, all-boys, southern college preparatory school. Though receiving a nationally recognized top-notch education, since I grew up in the bible-belt, weed is practically synonymous with the devil. With my crew and I's reputation preceding us, including not solely our rapping skills but also our scattered arrests, we all got busted. Hair follicle Drug tests included, we were all suspended and quickly became the gossip of most every mother's brunch-in. It was also recommended I receive counseling and psychiatry, which I inevitably had to do. From not being able to hang out with previous friends because of "protective" parents to being deemed a humiliation and a prime example of, "what not to do children" at the dinner table., I felt isolated and misunderstood. Welcome to White-America. And just for the record, I never failed one drug test.
Driving to the meeting in which we would receive our punishment, I wrote my first rap in my head to a "Kid Cudi Type Beat" I had found on youtube. I recorded it a week later on a macbook speaker in garageband on my homie's computer (shout out to Lawson) and posted it that night. Finally everybody got to hear my side of the story and it really broke down a lot of walls and shook things up in my community. At that time no one approved of my rapping, not even my parents. And I clarify no one "approved" of me; for someone to "believe in me" making it as a rapper was not even a question. It was as if everyone was just ashamed of me. . . for me. None the less I had decided right then and there what I wanted to do. Rap. Rap was finally the canvas where I could truly express myself to my fullest potential, whereas singing I feel holds me back sometimes from being as real. They could outcast me and make me jump through the hoops, but they couldn't take away my voice of how I felt about it. I started recording songs every night posting the best ones about once every two weeks for the next two years. At the same time I started taking my classical singing career in school extremely serious as well, participating in the mid-state and all-state choir (Shout out Mr. Smyth, Mr. Meredith, Ms. Pippin, Dr. Bond). I began writing everyday, all day. I would save up every dollar to buy better equipment and software, and my first priority from then on was the music. Everything else became and still is just second rate to me.
How'd you get the name Littlefoot?
From the movie "The Land Before Time." Only the original. And to anyone trying to front like that movie is lame, it was executively produced by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. So as far as I'm concerned that movie is a classic. Not to mention how emotional that shit is.
You've progressed a ton in the past few years, was there a song where you knew you could do this?
I mean of course there are a lot of songs I mark as milestones in my progress as an artist, but honestly since day one I've been feeling like I was cut out for this shit. No lie.
What motivates you to make music?
I just genuinely love creating. Whether making the beat, playing guitar, rapping or singing I just love that feeling. I wouldn't do it justice to try to describe it. But I also can see and have seen the change my music can really make in people's lives and that motivates me. You know from something as serious as dealing with depression and self-acceptance, to just that "damnnnnnn" when I say something dope. At the end of the day I just want to inspire people.
You have a new and original sound. What artists have inspired you?
Imma just name drop but Kid Cudi, Kanye, Eminem, Kendrick, Dr. Dre, Drake, Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, Frank Ocean, 9th Wonder, Mozart, The Alchemist, Poe, Dali, Ed Sheeran, N U A G E S, Ariana Grande, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Beyonce, Nirvanna, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Bob Marley, hella 50's and 60's songs, Blink 182., Sum 41, I'd prolly site the song Clair De Lune as a huge inspiration and tons of others but yeah I take something from everything. I also inspire the shit out of myself everyday.
If you had to pick one, who would be your favorite rapper?
That's tough. I will say Cudi prolly introduced me to the game. But after a certain point you just start studying everything and appreciating rap coming from all angles. That's what's special about rap. It's so personal and self-absorbed that the song can get a message through to the audience in a way no other genre can. It's like modern day Gonzo Journalism. Imma tell you how I feel without any regards to political correctness or what people will think of it
You spent some time in Miami after high school, how was your life in Miami compared to Nashville?
I really grew up a lot. Traveling does more for you than any history book ever could. I had received a scholarship to the Frost Music School of the University of Miami. Florida. But I basically had dropped out of college by second semester cause I stopped going to classes and just lived in my dorm where I also got a rep around campus. That summer I lived by myself in a hole-in-the-wall apartment that had no internet. My dad always laughs because my bathroom was so small I had to sit side-ways on the toilet. Anyways hahaha I was living off Publix pick up sushi and peanut butter; I'd basically drive down Biscayne Blvd everyday to the studio which was on the 55th floor of the Marina Blue. I would perform at clubs rapping but also found a small open-mic (shout out John Martins) at which every Sunday night I'd play an acoustic set and became a part of the community. Miami was the real polishing of all my shit. I had nothing else to do but make and play my music. I think I was too smart and knew better than to just sit on my ass and watch tv waiting for some chance event to make my dreams come true. I really gave myself a work ethic everyday I had to fulfill and that grind has stuck with me.
What made you decide to move back to Nashville?
One of those wake up one morning and you're just like I gotta leave moments. And seeing as how everything is progressing up here, I'd say it was the right move.
What was your process for making your soon to be released self-titled album "Littlefoot"?
Just in the past three-four months I moved back to Nashville having lived in Miami for about a year and a half. Met up with a dope producer Matt Royer and just hit the ground running. I've been very-heavily involved in the production of this album which I had not really had the chance to do on my previous mixtapes. Matts just been throwing me alley-oops in the studio and if you haven't learned by now, Littlefoot always comes through clutch.
What does this album "Littlefoot" mean to you?
I mean it's self-titled for a reason. This album is me. I sing. I rap. And I do them both so well and fluidly that you can't differentiate between them at all. This album is really a big fuck you to any and everybody who tries to pin me as this or that. You know people have been trying to tell me for years now I have to pick between singing and rapping. That I can't do both or that the two are contradictory. But for me its like sometimes I want to write an acoustic song on guitar to tell a girl I love her; the very next day I could be writing over a trap beat about how I don't trust these hoes. And the funny thing is the love song on guitar is the one that gets me laid. This is the 21st century people need to catch up. "Littlefoot" is the scope of emotion from the everyday life of my generation. And if you're looking for a moral in that its to be yourself.
Tell us about your relation to Stache Records?
Stache Records was the first label I ever signed to about a year ago when I was living in Miami. I have since parted with them. I feel like it was just the right move for me to come back to Nashville and make my album here. Whenever contracts are being negotiated tensions are high but I think everyone involved really did a good job getting things resolved as smoothly as possible.
You've got a lot of emotional tracks but you've got some party songs too. What's your craziest party story?
Too keep a long story short I took some acid and went to a carnival with some homies. Had me buggin out! Don't get me wrong though, very profound experience.
Where do you see yourself in the rap game?
The rap game is crazy right now. It's all sort of up in the air, and nobody knows where's its gonna land or even who's gonna come out alive. I see myself having a spot not even exclusively in the rap game but just having a decent following of people who like what I'm doing. But thats really the direction "celebrity" is moving with the proliferation of the internet and social media.. I'd definitely say I'm coming at the rap game from a completely different angle than anybody's done before though. And thats real.
What do you have in store for us in the future?
I mean I put forth a lot of effort just to stay in the moment and stay present, cause man thinking about the future gets me tweaking. I'm like a really anxious person. A lot of angst. #Emotional. God-willing I don't get knocked off for whatever reason anytime soon, I really see myself stringing up a tour pushing this album. Its there. I just have to reach my audience. All in due time. But I mean Littlefoot’s gonna go wherever he damn well pleases. I see more rap. I see more singing. I see more fusion of the two. I could see an acoustic EP. Been getting into producing. I'm really just holding to the sky is the limit. Cliche as they come, Imma just follow my heart. But I mean Imma take my time and do it right. I’m only bout to be twenty years old next week. As forward-thinking as I'd like to fashion myself, I know I'm still a kid. This is only the beginning. I've been incredibly blessed up until this point. I truly want to be one of the best to ever do it. I've been dream chasing out here for about four and a half years now and got one hundred left in me, but I think people are finally catching onto what I'm about, you know I really do put my all into this. This is my passion. I won't make any promises of things beyond my control but I can say this, I will relentlessly push the boundaries and strive to better myself everyday and thats for life. I feel like I could really give voice to a lot of kids who aren't being represented at all in today's culture. I want that longevity; I'm not going to be selling my soul to some record company for some followers on twitter and my fifteen minutes. That ain't me.
Check out his newest track released through Bass Feeds The Soul, and keep an eye out for his newest mixtape coming this summer
Written By: Ryland Close