On the 25th anniversary of one of Rap’s most seminal debuts (Ready To Die), Gen Z HipHop’s MC Bravado had the opportunity to chop it up with the legendary “Pop From The Barbershop” (stylized: Popfromdabarbershop), and the results were dope as expected.
We have to start with a “Warning”…please elaborate on the genesis of that legendary lyric and what’s happened since:
I owned a barbershop in Brooklyn, NY on Hull St. & Rockaway Ave from 1994 to 2001. I had a gambling spot in the back of the barbershop and rappers like Smoothe da Hustler, Papoose, and Biggie Smalls use to gamble there.
Papoose is underrated. Where do you view him in the scheme of things?
I think Pap is one of the best in the game. He’s never gotten the respect that he deserves.
What’s the root of that?
Industry politics, definitely. As time went on, I worked with other lyricists cut from that cloth: Cassidy, Vado, Jim Jones, and the late, great Fred The Godson.
Pap and Grafh were two artists I found mixtapes from pretty early on. I was wowed and inspired by the skills of the both of them. I’m still surprised both aren’t bigger. And Fred doesn’t even need an introduction, otherworldly pen. Rest in Peace.
To continue with where you’re at now, what are you up to at Shade45 and how’d you get there? Statik has been kind enough to have me up there; I feel like it’s as important a station as we have in Hip Hop.
Hustling on the streets had caught up with me a bit. I came home from jail in 2009 and changed my life by taking my hustle to the music game instead. Cosigns from people like Smoothe, Papoose, and Biggie opened (Editor’s Note: or “kicked in”…I’m sorry; I had to…) the doors to places like Shade45. Now, I handle booking for DJ Wallah.
I’m glad you’re keeping things moving. Your legend has done the same, continuing to reverberate in Pop Culture. Have you watched Luke Cage on Netflix? The show has a Pop’s Barbershop.
Nah, I haven’t seen it, but people have told me, and I’m honored!
Illa Ghee also dropped a record not too long ago called “Pop From The Barbershop”. You peep?
Not yet, send it!!
Time to close up shop! What is something about BIG that people don’t know that you would want the people to know?
Biggie was one of the funniest guys you could ever meet. He loved old, slow jams and didn’t even really listen to rap like that. He had a BIG heart and would help anyone who needed it.
What’s next for Pop?
I plan on opening a club out in Pennsylvania and continuing to work on my label: RSE Music Group.
Connect with Popfromdabarbershop: https://www.instagram.com/therealpopfromdabarbershop/
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