When the south and the west unite for one rising MC, you know he must be truly gifted, unique and potentially legendary. Clay James, who recently signed to Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle Records, has brought together two music ikons to help cultivate his sound and work on his upcoming projects. With mentors like these two Clay simply cannot lose.
We decided to ask Clay James some questions and here were his responses:
What was the first song that made you fall in love with Hiphop?
Clay James: "The Whole World" by Outkast ft. Killer Mike! I played that song back to back every day and it was my ring tone.
How did the Snoop Dogg deal and Big Boi situation come about?
Clay James: "Snoop's long beach homies Yung Zeke, Ju Da Truth, & Young Hunnid found me at SXSW. They turned my music into Snoops's head of A&R Pocket "Young Sagg" Norwood and he turned it into Snoop. Snoop heard my song "Southern Playa S***" and DOGGYSTYLE RECORDS gave me a single deal. After the success of the single dropping, Snoop called me and wanted to redo my deal for a longer term! Big Boi and Snoop have been cool for years and Big Boi is my mentor as well. Once I told him that Snoop wanted to resign me to a longer term deal. He expressed to me and Snoop that he wanted to be involved in the situation and he thought it would be dope for me to be pushed by "two super powers" in his words. Big always wanted me to win because we both from the Westside of Savannah, GA!"
Describe your grind and what sets you apart from other artist:
Clay James: "My grind is crazy. I've done over 15+ mixtapes. I don't take days off. I've performed all over the country. I've been on every major hip hop media publication as well. At one point I was performing 4-5 times a week. Open mics, showcases, indie events, etc. I'm always in the studio and I'm always writing trying to get better at my craft. I literally eat, sleep, and s*** this music thang. I worked so hard that my movement grew organically, unlike most people in Atlanta who choose to take the route of paying people off. The only thing wrong with that is, soon as the money is gone or slows up, then so will your movement. So I preferred to do the grass roots method. Going out in the city at night every night performing and passing out CDs. "
How did this most recent single with Chip come about ?
Clay James: "DJ funky, which is the co-founder of coalition djs saw in the media that snoop signed an artist from Atlanta. This sparked his interest to meet me because his cousin is Warren G, and everyone knows Snoop and Warren G are close. So funky told DJ Iceberg to bring me to his studio to lay some records. One of the records I laid was "Visions"! Funky added CHIP on the song because he is working with Chip's campaign and he's making a big push in the city. It made sense for us being to up and comers to link up for something big!
What do you have coming up, music, shows etc?
Clay James: "I'm working on a "Southern Playas" EP with Messiah Da Rapper and Charlise J. I'm also workin on my solo EP entitled "He Got Game" and I'm gonna start working on my 1st album soon which is executive produced by Big Boi. My next show is my "Welcome Home" concert which is August 12th at The Jinx 127 W. congress street in Savannah, GA! Presented by Matt Collett."
It is obvious that lyrically and mentally Clay James is in a league of his own. His strength, perseverance, distinct sound and guidance from two of the greats will inevitably catapult him into superstardom.
Check out Clay Jame's most recent single featuring Chip - "Visions."