BEmag: I am proudly sitting on the line with a group that definitely puts on for their city and definitely goes hard for where they come from. Go ahead and introduce yourself to our readers and give us a little feel of what you all do and where your names came from.
D’Smooth: I’m D’Smooth. I’m the guy in the group that’s just funny all the time. I’m energetic, love making music. I got my name from a guy in my neighborhood. One day the guys was like “Yo D’Smooth you gonna get it in. He gonna get it in”. So I just stuck with that name and I’ve been running with it since then.
Pookie: This is Pook. I got my name from my mother really to be honest with you. When I was a young kid, they used to call me Poo. With me getting older, I was like I need to add that “kie” to it. It’s kind of funny having a rap name called Poo, so I have been sticking with Pook ever since.
Lil Brotha: This is Lil Brotha. I got my name from a young lady. She was like, “Aren’t you Pookie little brother?” So I just ran with it.
BEmag: Collectively, you all go by N.O.4. which stands for New Orleans Forever. Going so hard and paying homage to your city, talk to me about how that is put into your music.
D’Smooth: Well the name, N.O.4. actually came about after Hurricane Katrina. They were saying the city was underwater, wiped-out and it will never be anything else. I was in Atlanta, Pookie and Lil Brotha was in Houston trying to make ends meet. Aliens out there, they didn’t know anybody. But we got back in touch with each other and made it back to New Orleans. We saw what was ahead of us. So we stuck our plans together and said we were going to keep the movement going. New Orleans is still alive. N.O.4. New Orleans Forever.
BEmag: Of course coming from New Orleans and being so deeply ingrained, you have some big shoes to fill.
Lil Brotha: Absolutely. We thank God for anybody that came, paved the way and opened the door for us. We know how hard of a struggle it is coming from where we come from. There’s much saluting going on from us.
BEmag: Let’s get into a little bit about your music. I know the debut album, “The Beginning” dropped earlier this year. Tell us about that and how does it feel to have that album out. I know you guys have been grinding.
Lil Brotha: It feels wonderful for the people to hear our music. It came out early January and we put it out with the hot lead single featuring DMX, “Tell Ya Friends”. It was a beautiful look.
BEmag: And to have somebody so prominent in music that’s still even making more must feel amazing. Some people that have worked with DMX labeled him as one of the hardest MCs that has even blessed the stage. How was it working with him?
D’Smooth: It was great. It was great having an opportunity to be in the presence of him. The guy did a lot, taught us a lot. I learned a lot of things about the booth. I own the booth now because X told me. So I get in there and I go hard. I leave it in the booth. That’s what I do, be smooth. We got great music. This is the beginning. So there’s much more to come from us.
BEmag: Let me ask you all this: If each one you all had to just pick one song, and it was your pitch song meaning that this is a song that would persuade anybody that has a good ear for music to continue listening and say, “This is nice!”, what song would that be?
Pookie: To be honest, right now we just dropped a new single and shot the video. It’s called, “Dolla Bills”. I think that would be a nice one on my end as far the catching the young crowd. We do have other songs that would be catching the younger crowd but with that being said, we are trying to catch the younger and older crowd with our singles.
Lil Brotha: The song I think would reach the people is called, “It’s The Music”. I like that song because it has a nice vibe and feel to it. It catches the younger crowd as well. It’s real good, feel good music.
D’Smooth: I like everything. There’s one particular song on The Beginning that’s called, “It’s Hard Everywhere”. There’s a real message in there. It doesn’t matter what hood you’re from or what street you’re from. I feel your struggle because I’ve been there and I can connect with that. So the music, the verses, the vibe in itself explains the song. The struggle still continues. I’m from New Orleans. Yeah they rebuilding. They slow as hell, but it’s a struggle. It’s hard everywhere but we have to hang in there.
BEmag: While you bring that up, let me go ahead and jump in. You all being from New Orleans and still working there, how does it feel to still be one of the people from New Orleans making it happen and trying to make your city thrive after Hurricane Katrina? I was just in New Orleans about a year ago and can really tell the difference still in the city.
Lil Brotha: It’s a real big difference. Even though there are some things going on, we still push forward to give people something to lift them up. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get the city and people back on to one cord.
D’Smooth: I want to add on to what Lil Brotha said. It’s real hard at the bottom of the map, the south. It’s a real struggle. With us having the opportunity, God has blessed us. It really opens other artists’ eyes that are locally grinding and shows that the opportunity is still there. We walked on the same streets they walked on. We’ve been at the same spot they’ve been in. With us having success at what we’re doing, it shows the other artists that they can do it as well. So that’s real big right now.
Pookie: With that being said, we’re just trying to shine a little light on negative and make things more positive for our younger people that are listening and paying attention. We have more listeners that are younger that are listening to music so we try to add knowledge to guide them in the right direction which is being focused on life and not to give up on your dreams.
BEmag: We definitely need more of that. My old publicist is from New Orleans so I just know how important it is for people in New Orleans and from that area to really put back into youth. I’m glad to hear you all talk about that and even from a hip hop group that is putting out music that is positive for the youth, so I salute you all.
N.O.4: Thank you brother. We appreciate it.
BEmag: Before I let you guys go, I want to go through and just let us know individually anything you want to let us know about the music, about the project, about what you have coming up, and why we should peep the single and view the video. Here’s your chance to speak to our readers open-heartedly.
Pookie: It’s exciting music. It’s going to surprise you, something you never heard before which is real different. The music will make you feel good. I mean just be aware of it because N.O.4 is coming straight at your back.
Lil Brotha: Wonderful music, you can go on iTunes and download it right now. You got to go get it. It’s N.O.4 music. Your mom has to get one. Your brother has to get one. Your sister, girlfriend, her friend’s friend all need to get one. Just tell your friends.
D’Smooth: We got great music; we have great feel good music. The song, “It’s The Music”, is going to bring family together. It’s a great feel good record all together. We got it on there for everyone. Like I said, it’s just the beginning. So what we are putting out right now is just the beginning. Go on Youtube and see it and follow it all. See the behind the scene and how the video came together. Just know that all of this is just the beginning. We have nothing but love for the entire hip hop community. We are willing to work with anybody. Approach us and talk to us and see if we can put something together.
BEmag: Well I appreciate you guys taking time out your busy schedules to talk to us. I appreciate the love you all showed us.
N.O.4: Anytime. Anytime. Believe that!
[TranscriBEd by: Anthony Ukaogo Jr.]Tweet