I had the pleasure of catching up with a voice I listened to tirelessly as an adolescent. Slim, the former frontman of 112, dished on his thoughts on R&B’s current state, reminisces on Biggie and the future of the band responsible for his successful past.
What he’s been doing during his time away from the spotlight –
Slim: I’ve just been enjoying life, sort of taking a break off but I’ve been writing and recording and doing a lot of shows and I was pretty much kicking back and enjoying life because after the success of (my first solo album) Love’s Crazy, they didn’t know I did it independent but it felt like I had major label success. I had six figures worth of albums and “So Fly” went gold or something like that so at that point, it was truly a blessing. But the only thing is that it was very strenuous with me being the CEO (of M3 Records) and the artist and a touring artist at that.
The current state of R&B –
If you would’ve asked me that question four years ago, I think that…aw man, when Love’s Crazy came out, I didn’t have so much of a positive outlook on R&B yet but I must say that I do love the artists that are coming out. What I’ve noticed now is the artists that are really good aren’t necessarily the artists that are mainstream. I’m a fan of the artist that are grassroots, still kinda underground. Like I’m a big fan of Frank Ocean and another person that I know people are probably gonna be wylin, they’re gonna say wow is, but I’m a big fan of the Weeknd.
His upcoming album Cruise Control –
I had been doing a lot of stuff, I been travelling, doing shows all around the world. I been writing, working with a lot of people, like my last situation, I was working with Play-N-Skillz and Luda, wrote a record to a Dave Guetta track so I’m crossing my fingers. I heard that Usher did the hook to it. So I’m hoping that the record is accepted and most likely to become a single. I been working really really good. Like I got a chance to work with Jeezy, I mean there’s a whole bunch of people. Like all of us have great working relationships. While I was writing, I established incredible relationships with a lot of artists and a lot of producers. Man, they’re definitely gonna be on the album and I’m hoping that I’m gonna be on their albums.
Playing his own music for the ladies –
If I was setting moods, I would never play my own music because I don’t listen to music like how y’all listen to music. *laughs* If I listen to something, I’d be like “Oh my God, why did I hit that note?” I don’t really go back and forth with it. When I listen to music, I don’t really like listening to it to myself because it’s more of like constructive criticism.
Hardest lesson learned transitioning from a group member to a solo artist –
I think the harder lessons I learned were when I was in the group that prepared me for where I am now. I definitely know strength lies in unity and at the end of the day, you definitely have to have each other’s back. When I look at that situation, I look at it as I was blessed when I did the whole Love’s Crazy situation, I didn’t have any glitches. I put out a record and that first record exploded. And the people that I had around me, they were the same cats that I had with me from day one. And that’s one of the principles I would never shake. And people say that when they have certain success, you kinda start seeing people changed. They get to a certain level where they don’t want that same person. For me, if I’m successful, my crew is successful…It doesn’t feel like I’m solo ‘cause my crew and my staff are with me all the time. So even if you say solo and you face certain problems, there are certain times where you feel like you wanna give up, sometimes you feel overwhelmed, like I remember a situation where I had four shows in one day and I was so tired and then getting on the jet, trying to make it to that next spot, I remember my voice and everything was like all beat up and it was like, I remember my big brother and certain cats in the crew was like uplifting all the time.
The possibility for a 112 reunion –
I say at this point, no, just because I can’t answer the question for anybody else. And I had heard that they already had a replacement for me. I kinda already accepted it or whatever. At the end of the day, they are my brothers and I love ‘em to death personally. I’ma always have love for ‘em. But I don’t think musically right now that would probably happen but do I think 112 influenced people? Oh yes, because I feel that we definitely put our footprint in the sand of musical history. We’re blessed to be four friends that had a dream together and came out of south Atlanta and when people told us we couldn’t do it , we took it a whole ‘nother level, moved to New York, sold 23 million records, got a Grammy, won every award in the Grammys. Man, I have no regrets, I take nothing back. I definitely think that when you hear a true R&B record with younger people, I do hear elements of 112 and it makes me feel really good like I made a difference. If 112 never makes another song ever again, I’m very happy with that.