Slim Gravy is a man in transition. For years he's been known as one half of Dallas' most popular rap group, A.Dd+. Tall, lanky and not afraid to spit fire, Gravy has always brought a special attitude to his music, a swagger and determination that helps drive the group. But now he's venturing into his first-ever solo project outside of A.Dd+, called Scatterbrained, and it feels like much more than a mere side project. It's Gravy taking his future into his own hands, no matter what it takes.
"I'm stepping out to do this as a leap of faith," Gravy says. Still, he's careful to frame Scatterbrained in the context of A.Dd+'s continued output: "[It's about] believing in myself, and believing we can take A.Dd+ to another level by hitting people with another angle of our music."
Indeed, A.Dd+ is known for being two people joined at the hip. But Gravy wants people to know that they are two separate entities with two distinct talents. He hopes the other half of A.Dd+, Paris Pershun, will do his own solo project so people can see them separately instead of just what's on the surface. Of course, being the brash talker that he's known to be, Gravy also looks at the move pragmatically. "What's wrong with getting two checks?" he asks, rhetorically. "I could get a check for Scatterbrained and A.Dd+. There's nothing wrong with that."
After several years in the spotlight of Dallas hip-hop, Gravy sees Scatterbrained as an opportunity for him to step back into the shadows, to focus on himself and reinvent himself into another being. It's a freeing opportunity, and one he might have trouble finding if he continued to work exclusively as a part of A.Dd+. "How do I know not what to do if I don't try it?" he asks. "I'll feel much better knowing that I tried it and failed as opposed to not knowing what the possibilities are."
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Gravy has a tendency to fly off the handle and run his mouth. But he learned his lesson a long time ago, toning it down because whatever he said or did affected A.Dd+. With Scatterbrained, though, it's all on him. Whether it fails or succeeds, it all comes down to Gravy and his music. "I'm not involving anyone else who has to do with the A.Dd+ factory," he says.
He doesn't believe he is truly negative, insisting that his angle has always been positive. But he does understand how others could view it as negativity. The way he initially introduced himself was harsh. Not necessarily in the music, but in interviews as well as social media. "I originally put myself out in an angry manner," he explains. "It was a very negative way. But I was so passionate about the Dallas hip-hop scene that I lashed out."
Back in 2011, "the boogie shit" was still rolling in the Dallas hip-hop scene when A.Dd+ first entered the fray. "The dougie and the stanky leg dance!" Gravy recalls with a laugh. "I took it upon myself to change that." But it wasn't just A.Dd+ that helped change the Dallas hip-hop scene. PPT (Pikahsso, Picnic and Tahiti) were among the first groups to change things. "But they weren't enforcing it," he says. "They weren't shoving it in people's faces, they were just doing it."
"It started at The Arnetic," Gravy says, referring to the Hip-Hop Open Mic Night hosted by Jesse Porter. "We used to just mob out on some super hip-hop stuff there," he continues. "The boogie side of things was there. But we showed up and showed out and made it very clear that we ain't playing that bullshit no more." Gravy tries to think of any remaining acts from the boogie scene and comes up empty. "The genocide worked," he says with another laugh. "They don't even exist anymore."
There was also Sore Losers, featuring Blue, the Misfit. Slim Gravy was not only inspired by Sore Losers, but considered them peers. A.Dd+ never tried to compete with Sore Losers. "We played our role and played second to Sore Losers, like we were supposed to, because they jumped off everything." But then Sore Losers broke up. When first place calls it quits, second place ends up on top.
At that time, Slim Gravy realized that A.Dd+ had influence and decided to do something with it. "Let's turn this shit the fuck out," is what he was thinking. Slim Gravy remembers a group of hip-hop artists gathering in one house around that time. "It was JT's house," says Slim Gravy, referring to Love, JT. He recalls Blue, the Misfit, -topic and Dustin Cavazos being among several people in that house with A.Dd+.
Gravy was obsessed with taking over the Dallas hip-hop scene and completely changing it. "We had the crowd, we had the venues, we had the media, so let's let it be known it's a genocide out here," he recalls. "We're about to take over." Years later, that plan has largely worked, with A.Dd+ seemingly a perennial favorite in local circles, Blue, the Misfit in the ascendency and Love, JT working with Dr. Dre out in Los Angeles.
The question now, though, is where to next. Over the years the unused ideas Gravy brought to A.Dd+ have stacked up, which is how Scatterbrained germinated. For the sake of the group, he has held off on creative ideas that he wanted to pursue. But he hates to see good ideas go to waste. "At the end of the day," he says, before pausing to consider his words. "Before I'm in a group I am an individual. It takes two individuals to make the group."
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Part of being an individual means reflecting on himself as a person. Gravy is candid in admitting that he's a far from perfect human being, and it's something he's consciously working on. "I'm at this point where I'm facing a lot of stuff I've never faced," he says. "I have a super bad attachment to women." At 26, Gravy is unmarried and has four children. He believes his relationship to women has to do with his mother passing away when he was 19, something he's never addressed so publicly before. "I've got mommy issues," he elaborates. "After I lost my mom I found myself clinging to women."
Such candor about his personal life is a new side of Gravy for the public to see, but that healthy attitude may bode well for music as well. With that added perspective on his life and renewed spark for his musical ambitions, Gravy is ready to approach things in a new way. "Sometimes it can bite you in the ass when you fight what's given," he says. "Ideas aren't something you think of. Ideas come from god. I'm not passing on something god gave me, especially if it continues to stick with me."
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