It’s well-known just how pivotal a hot song can be for the career of an emerging hip hop act, but there are certain instances where all that’s needed to work wonders for a new rapper’s career is a cool dance. That cool dance can be especially helpful when JAY Z references it, and just about every major music publication begins to cover it, like in the case of Bobby Shmurda and his “Shmoney Dance.” His video for “Hot Nigga” – the song that for many people was their introduction to the Shmoney Dance – has amassed over 2 million views since its debut earlier this year and has garnered the attention of not only hip hop royalty, but also every major record label. The L.A. Reid-led Epic Records was included in that list of labels checking for Shmurda and reportedly inked a deal with the 20-year old.
With a big record on his hands and a record deal in place, it remains to be seen whether he’ll extend his initial 15 seconds of fame and transition from an of the moment Internet sensation into an artist with a solid career or if he’ll end up in one-Internet-hit wonder purgatory. One thing is without question though: Right now, Bobby Shmurda is one of the most talked things in music. Here, the Brooklynite talks to Life+Times about signing to Epic Records, his love for Lil’ Boosie and of course, the Shmoney Dance.
Life+Times: You had a few offers from other record labels, but in the end you decided to sign with Epic Records. What did you like about what Epic brought to the table?
Bobby Shmurda: You know how JAY Z was to Def Jam? I’m trying to be that for Epic. I want to make history. Epic is perfect, because I’m a person that likes to build homes. I want to bring the name back. If something is live already, I’d rather go somewhere else and make my own noise. I’m a trendsetter. You feel me?
L+T: Are you excited to be working with Epic Records executive Sha Money XL?
BS: I’m very excited. I saw the work he’s done with 50 Cent and G-Unit, so I know he’s worked with people like me before. He definitely has the experience.
L+T: The Shmoney Dance seems like something an uncle would do at a family reunion or something. Who or what inspired it?
BS: To tell you the truth, the dance came natural. I heard the beat and just started doing that. I go off of vibes, so if I get a good vibe I’m going to dance [laughs].
L+T: “Hot Nigga” is a big record for you and big records can be dangerous at times, because they can potentially overshadow the artist behind them. Are you a little nervous about being attached to such a big record?
BS: I’m not even nervous. I’m more so surprised, because that isn’t even my best work. I just put that out there to see how it would do and the feedback has been crazy. When I do really go to work it’s just going to be more crazy.
L+T: French Montana previewed his remix to “Hot Nigga.” Is that the official remix? Should we be expecting any other big names to hop on it?
BS: Just wait on it. [laughs]
L+T: A lot of people have been reaching out to you since “Hot Nigga” took off. Who has been the most surprising person to show love so far?
BS: To be honest, it’s been Rick Ross. I had dinner with him recently, which was crazy. I have mad respect for Rick Ross. He reached out, took me to dinner and talked some real shit to me.
L+T: When should we expect to hear an official Bobby Shmurda project?
BS: We just dropped a mixtape, so the next tape we put out there will be in like September. We’re just going to let Shmoney Shmurda Promo bubble for a bit first. We ready to work though.
L+T: For so long, people have been eagerly awaiting the savior of New York rap. Since you’re currently the most buzzed about new rapper out of New York, are you feeling the pressure to fill that void of what New York has been missing?
BS: Not really, because I am what I am. You feel me?
L+T: There are a lot of naysayers saying stuff like your sound is a copy of what’s happening in Chicago’s music scene or that your lyricism isn’t up to par. How do you plan to silence these critics?
BS: I wouldn’t say it’s a Chicago or a Drill Music type of sound, because I’ve been rapping like that before I found out about Chief Keef and the others from Chicago. The first I heard of them was when Chief Keef came out with “I Don’t Like.” I’ve been rapping for a long time, but I just started taking it serious this year. I’ve been rapping like this on the block since like 2005. Also, I was flying back and forth down south to see my father, who’s locked up in Miami, so when I would come up to New York I’d put people on to what was popping down there. That’s how we started mixing the south’s style with our shit.
L+T: How was it performing with Raekwon at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival?
BS: That was an honor. All I can really say is shout-out to the big homie for that. Not too many people can say they did that when they started rapping. It was epic.
L+T: What’s your favorite part of this newfound fame?
BS: I love the shows. The shows are crazy. I love the energy. I love my fans to death. They hype me up to the point that as soon as I get home I want to write more songs. I just love the fans.
L+T: You’ve said you want to work with Lil’ Boosie. How did you become such a Boosie fan?
BS: He’s real. I love when people keep it one hundred, because there isn’t too much real out there. You find someone that’s going to keep it real every once in a while. You can see that Boosie is a real nigga from the off the bat. I’ve always felt his music. I feel like he’s rapping about me sometimes. I just relate to him. Once I get that stamp from Boosie I’m good [laughs].