There is something special going on within the rap world in Pittsburgh.
The culture out there is in a special place. The young people love Wiz and Mac, but the music is moving in a different direction stylistically. Inspired by Chiraq, many of the rising artists capture the essence of the bubbling street culture within the city.
Capturing the attention from everyone right now is Jimmy Wopo. The talented emcee weaves stories with vivid imagery of day to day activity in the city. Unlike most rising stars, Wopo loves to interact with his fans. He spends his days connecting and building with them on social media. After sitting down and talking with Wopo you walk away thinking that he’s a really cool guy that is about to do something special. He works everyday to perfect his craft and connect with the fans. He’s def the people’s champion in his area.
Recently we linked up with Wopo to discuss his tape with Hardo titled “Trapnese,” his music with Sonny Digital, his hit record “Elm Street,” and more. -Christian Mordi @mordi_thecomeup
Thecomeupradio: You are from Pittsburgh, tell us the dynamic of the hip-hop scene out there and some of your influences as you broke into the game.
Jimmy Wopo: Pittsburgh is coming with that real right now. It’s a lot of shit going down in the city and rap is entangled within it. We got caught up in the Chief Keef era and energy. As far as this generation goes, the young people have been more in the streets. It’s too easy now to jump off a porch nowadays.
TCUR: Jimmy Wopo, is that your real name or a rap moniker?
Wopo was an abbreviated version of what folk used to call me in the streets. In regards to the first name, it was a name I used to use when I was bussin street moves. Like when someone asked my name I always said my name was Jimmy. I got that first name from “The Goodfellas.”
TCUR: Late last year you linked with Hardo for “Trapnese,” how did that tape come to pass?
We were always cool. We never had beef between our crews. It had to happen because we needed to take this city over. No egos between us, wasn’t any “king of the city” talk. We trying to build above that.
TCUR: You guys had a couple big songs on the tape. One with Wiz and the other with 21 Savage. How did both of those tracks come to pass?
Hardo came up with the idea of the tape. We already had songs together and I was feeling it. He hit me one day, we linked in the studio and started putting it together. We had a couple tracks brewing and he had the 21 Savage track in the cut.
Hardo played it for me and I was like “Damn this joint crazy!” He asked me to hop on that track and we finished the hit. In regards to Wiz, we already had the track done. We sent it over to Wiz. He liked it and sent us his verse back.
TCUR: Over the summer they wouldn’t let you open for Mac Miller, which you spoke out about on social media. Tell us your thoughts on that call from the city.
They tried to hold us off the stage and blamed us for gang violence within the city. They said that someone may get hurt at the show in retaliation to something they heard about. We had shows all year long and never had any fights or complaints. The cops still try to shut our events down. Hardo and I had a release party for the project and the cops came by and tried to shut it down. We trying to stay out the streets and make some legal bread. I’m treating this like a job. Create my music, do my shows and spend my money on new music and studio time and they not respecting that.
TCUR: You have a very interactive fan base on social media. Your “Elm Street” video has over 1,500 comments. How important is it to you to connect with the people, and why do you feel your fans are so open about your brand?
I’m not one of those stand off, snobby type of guys. I’m not scared of my fans at all. I like their comments and interact with them all the time on social media.
TCUR: You linked with Sonny Digital on “Back Door,” how did that come to pass.
My manager sent Sonny “Elm Street.” He saw the video on Worldstar and he told my manager he fucked with me and he thought that I could blow up. I have a lot of respect for Sonny. He has a great eye for talent and is early to a lot of artists. I saw that he was rapping. I told him I banged with his raps and wanted to do a track together and we created “Back Door.”
TCUR: People think that “Elm Street,” could be the track of the spring. Do you feel that is the best song off your last tape that has the legs to blow up?
TCUR: If you could use one word to describe “Woponese,” what would it be and why?
Classic. The songs that are on there will never get old.
So what’s up next?
I’m working on an EP with Sonny Digital called “Jimmy Digital.” Sonny is going to produce the majority of the tape. We already finished a song produced by Mike Will Made It. That should be pretty big.