Slimelife Shawty creates music without borders. The 22-year-old rapper’s career was sparked by a guest feature on Lil Keed’s “Blicky Blicky” single that took the city of Atlanta by storm in 2018. Since then, he has won the respect of the biggest names in rap, which has helped him stand out from the crowd. And yet, he remains indifferent to the co-signs: Slime is laser-focused on his growth and development as an artist.
At this stage in his life, Slimelife Shawty admits that he has unfinished business. “I just know that I owe it to myself,” he shares. His music is propelled by raw, emotional honesty that champions the street rhetoric used in song. It’s easy to connect with Slime’s message because he conveys a palpable sense of relatability with his words. He speaks life over hard-hitting beats with little to no effort because that’s his ethos and it comes naturally. Nothing is forced, or as he describes it, Slime is just popping his shit.
As his career progressed, the wisdom picked up in the streets helped solidify Slimelife Shawty’s understanding of industry politics. In order to stay relevant in the music business, it’s best to remain faintly aloof, or as Slime says, “Keep your mouth closed and mind ya business.” Powering through his slight taciturn, reserved mentality, the ATL native’s current success is a byproduct of forward planning. He has enough foresight to know that he’s constantly evolving as an artist, challenging the boundaries of his ingenuity with a “…different lingo, different flow, different swag,” that has yet to reveal itself to the public.
Today, Slimelife Shawty has released his new album Better Living via Alamo Records. Executive-produced by Lil Durk, Slime’s latest effort features select appearances from the likes of Future, Nardo Wick and Jackboy. The album spans 14 tracks total, encompassing that conversational flow that takes his artistry to the next level. With this project, Slimelife Shawty flexes his mainstream potential, proving that he’s not next up: he got now.
What exactly does it mean to be Slimelife Shawty?
It means everything: freedom, peace, respect, wisdom. I ain’t gon’ lie bruh, I’ma lot of shit. I feel a lot of stuff and believe in a lot of stuff. I ain’t just gon’ isolate myself to one thing, know what I’m saying?
Are you considered a pain artist? It seems like trauma and real life experiences give you creative ammunition.
I ain’t gon’ say I’ma pain artist because sometimes I don’t rap about pain. I just talk my shit. Whether I’m talking about how I feel or how I wanna live. That’s what I call it, Ion call it no pain music. I call it got damn…popping my shit.
In retrospect, does Slimelife Shawty have any regrets about the sacrifices made in order to live a better life?
Hell nah. Ion regret nothing. I feel like everybody think they could’ve done something better or a lil’ bit different or whatever but Ion regret nothing. Music wise though, I knew I could’ve did much more. That’s why now, I know…so now, I’m gon’ do that.
With that being said, do you feel like you owe it to yourself to go that much harder? Almost like you have unfinished business.
Oh yeah, of course I got unfinished business. I ain’t gon’ say I was supposed to have been blown up because you can’t say what you supposed to be. If it ain’t happen then it won’t meant to happen. But like… I just know that I owe it to myself. I gotta chance and I gotta do something wit it.
When you think of the word “growth” – what comes to mind?
Just period when I think of the word or what type of growth are you talking about?
I’m saying, when I just said that word (“growth”) what’s the first thing that popped into your head?
The first thing I thought about was life. Instead of mental growth, I thought about life. Like how you water a plant and it grows, how the trees grow etc. The fact that we can grow from babies to adults, I thought about that. I’m not thinking about the other growth. I’m thinking about life growth. What’s that, it’s Biology, right?
Yeah, you’re right. That’s Biology 101. That’s a unique perspective because you actually speak life on beats with your words. That’s the power of making music.
All things considered, what’s one of the toughest lessons learned in the streets that translates to the music business?
Keep your mouth closed and mind ya business. That’s for the streets and the music industry. Worry about you. If you not worried about you then you not growing. In this industry, it’s about growing. It’s about staying relevant. You wanna stay relevant because you still growing, you evolving. As the game change, you changing wit it so you gon’ stay relevant. If you not growing then you ain’t gon’ last in this shit.
On the subject of growth, is Better Living considered some of your best work or are you still evolving as an artist?
I’m still evolving, 100%. I feel like Better Living is more like a Sorry 4 the Wait (Mixtape by Lil Wayne) type. This not what I can say is my all. I can’t say no shit like, “Boi, if this tape don’t go I’m gon’ quit,” or some shit like that. This more like aight, let me keep their ears and eyes open while I really cook up this real. I’m not saying this not serious, duh it’s hard — I’m speaking as if I’m already six months from now type shit. I know six months from now I’ma be like, oh that was aight. I’m on something different right now. When people drop a tape, one year later, they got better or they on some different shit. That’s all I’m saying. I’m already looking at it as if I’m better. Already, right now (today) because I already made the tape. I already completed it. It’s not new to me, it’s new to y’all. I’m already on some different lingo, different flow, different swag, but y’all don’t know that because y’all ain’t heard it yet. It’s new to y’all but I’m already on some different shit right now.
How receptive are you to experimenting with new sounds or even crossing genres – or is Rap the lane you’re most comfortable with?
Hell nah, man…if only you knew what I listen to. Whatever you can think of, except Rock, Punk, allat shit. I ain’t disrespecting that but Ion listen to that type of music. You know how some people be, they be screaming and shit so you can barely understand what they saying. The people who hip or familiar with what they saying, they know. It’s just like how our grandparents be like, “What’s all that stuff they saying in a song, I can’t understand it.” That’s how we is to rock music, rock bands, pop and allat little stuff. We like old people to that type of music. I listen to everything else, though. Some good reggae music, rap. Shit, I listen to Ed Sheeran a lot.
Ed Sheeran? That’s different. I honestly wasn’t expecting you to say that.
Ed Sheeran can rap, too. It’s the fact of what he talking about. It don’t matter if he rapping or singing it. He rapping about that perfect life, that movie life. That’s why you hear his songs in those movies that have a happy ending. I can’t really explain it but you know if you know what I mean. It’s damn near perfect, feel me. I fuck wit Ed Sheeran. He real creative and he hard.
Is there anyone from Atlanta, someone that you feel like doesn’t get the credit they rightfully deserve? Maybe a local legend of some sort. The first person that comes to mind for me is Kirkwood Bass.
Why you think of him, because he old and be going viral?
Nah, not even. I know of him through a few mutual people. I actually interviewed him a while back.
You said a legend..someone that don’t get the credit they deserve…in Atlanta. I’ma say Kwony Cash.
What’s one song from Better Living that best describes the Slime lifestyle?
Hmm..I ain’t gon’ say no name of a song matter fact, but I’ma say the song I did wit Future. I was really speaking on what I know that’s going on: what I notice, what I see everyday outside and what I feel.