Tell ‘em where you from… WESTSIDE!” Insert Westside McFly, who is here to prove his place in the rap game once and for all. With undeniable bars and spitfire flows over hard-hitting production, the 27-year-old arrives to tell his own unique story. With the influence of Tupac, who he deems his favorite rapper, fans can’t help but gravitate to his sound, West Coast-bred or not. Read more…
A product of his environment and actually having ties with every neighborhood you can imagine, the rapper and entrepreneur creates music influenced on the classic 90’s hip-hop we all grew up on. Unleashing his latest project aptly titled South Central Ain’t 4 Everybody, McFly shares vivid memories of his childhood growing up in Los Angeles, with records that inspire, motivate, and uplift the people.
For those who don’t know, who is Westside McFly?
I’m just a young fly nigga from South Central, California. Businessman, entrepreneur, leader, hustler, everythang.
Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
I think I’m more on the hip-hop side of the spectrum. Being that I also write for people, I’m capable of doing the whole R&B stuff as well, but more so gangster rap.
You’re from LA, how does that play into your life and career?
It plays a big part. Most of the time when somebody sees somebody from LA, you can kind of tell. You get a lot of people that always ask,” Yo where you from? You from LA?” When you’re traveling and stuff, people can kind of tell by the way you dress. From the Cortez’s to the flannels.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
We poppin’ right now, everybody want to be here. You can do pop or R&B, it don’t matter. Everybody wants to be in LA. Obviously, you’ve got Hollywood, but it’s 2 different things.
At what point did you realize this music thing was forreal?
I want to say when I was young, I had put out my first project by myself. At one point, I was in a group, then I ended up doing my own little thing again. Then I started writing for people. I want to say the very first time was when I went on tour, it was right out of middle school actually. I had just graduated 8th grade, going into high school. That’s when I realized “damn, this is it.”
Did you finish school and all that?
Yeah, we did the homeschool thing and all that. I ended up going to high school for a few years after tour, but I want to say around 11th or 12th grade, that’s when I was homeschooled. Then I made the decision to go on tour again. My mom wasn’t happy about it, but you feel me.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
Just growing up on the Westside, growin up in South Central, that plays a major factor. The whole McFly part, WestSide Mcfly, that’s just a lifestyle. For me, it’s like a wake up. Everybody want to be fly in their own right. You know you always want to look good. You always want to stand out.
What about that CUBZ chain around your neck?
I own my own record label. It’s a clothing line, we got a catering company, we got a charity foundation. Come Up Boyz is the name of the squad, shout out to them. CUBZ, that’s the acronym for it.
Does it tie with your music at all?
Yeah definitely. You know when you’re growing up in a neighborhood, you can’t help who your friends are. It’s crazy because when people see our squad, we’ve got people from everywhere. There’s Bloods from the Come Up Boyz, it’s Crips, it’s everything. But everybody gets along, it aint no bullshit. Everybody is really cool. We all push the whole concept of always staying on the come up and never really stopping, no matter how much success you gain.
You just released your album South Central Ain’t 4 Everybody. Talk about the creative process and how long it took you.
It took me 2 years man, to put that project together. The reason it took me so long is because I had a daughter. So while you’re being creative and taking time to learn myself — and be a man and grow and live life — I feel like you have to do that as an artist in order to be able to have something to talk about in your music. Sometimes, it takes time to live in order to be able to tell certain stories.
The intro off top slaps. “Young n*gga from the hood trying to touch a million, it’s my West side story.” What sets you apart from these other street rappers?
One thing that sets me apart is the perspective that I paint pictures from. You get a lot of rappers now who wanna be someone. Everybody wants to be hard. Sometimes, the industry will tell you that you’ve got to be from somewhere in order to make it, or you need this or you need that.
Look, I got me, I got my squad. We went on tour with Dom Kennedy about 3 years ago. When I got off tour, that’s when I came up with the concept of Come Up Boyz. The come up never stop, so I feel like that sets me apart. Being that I don’t have to pick a side and I don’t have to prove who I am, I let my work speak for itself. Even doing writing on the side, my writing capability for other artists is a major factor.
Thats crazy can you talk about writing for Bhad Bhabie?
She’s a sweetheart. She’s great. When you hear about artists on the internet, you’re always like, “Are they really like that? Is it real, or is it just for entertainment?” But nah, she really live that shit. She’s really with the shits. It was a pleasure working with her, that was a great opportunity for me.
Can you talk about how that happened?
Actually, me and somebody that’s a part of our camp, we were working on records. I think I did maybe 15 joints that night. They had a whole little camp, so I was just laying records like crazy, left and right. They had 4 studios going, and I was bouncing from studio to studio. I had went out to San Diego, I took my moms out for her birthday. I literally got the call like 4 or 5 days before the album came out. They were like, “Yo, you got the Bhad Bhabie placement.” I was ecstatic. Here I am taking moms out, and now I’m celebrating 2 things.
From your debut project Flight 88 in 2013, how has your sound evolved since?
The growth. The growth of me as a person, as a man, as a father, as a businessman, as a hustler. You go through a lot of shit — going back to what I said earlier, you have to live and go through certain life experiences in order to have your music evolve. I feel like that’s something that took place in that stretch of time.
I know artists usually have their own favorites on the project, what are your favorites on the album?
“Piece of my Luv” is great. I love that record for real. And “Dedicated to Khilee,” that’s the very last track. I dedicated that to my daughter. Everybody that done listened to that project, I had people hit me like “aw man, I dropped tears when I heard that.” I remember I played it for the producer (shout out to Reg by the way) and he was like, “Yo, that shit gave me chills bro.” Just the reaction and response from that record was awesome. “Do My Shit” is a fun record to perform. It’s a few of them on there that I love.
You got RJ, Too Short, Jake & Papa. Talk about who you choose to collab with and why.
Working with Short just kind of came. It was crazy. At the time, I knew Short, but I didn’t really know Short. We didn’t really have a relationship like that. I remember him being in the studio and I’m playing the music. I wanted him to get on the record so that’s why I was playing it. I was hoping he liked it or whatever. He walked over like, “Ay mayne.” You know, that’s just how he is. He’s like “this you? That shit hot.” I’m like “Man, I’d love for you to jump on the record,” and he jumped on.
Next thing you know, me and him just started doing a bunch of records together. I got something coming out on on his new album that’s about to come out, and then we done wrote for other artists together. Made money together. It’s just a fun experience, and that’s Unc forreal. Now, he calls me for anything. “Whatever you need, I got you.” Working with RJ, that’s fun also it came natural. We was at a little birthday party. Both of us took our daughters on some daddy shit.
Were you at his birthday? New Jack City prom.
Nah I missed it. I had an event that night. But that shit was lit, I seen it. We talked about just working, then after it came into fruition. And Jake & Papa, they from out here. I grew up around them. We seen each other and that was just a phone call. Soon as I cut “Piece of my Luv,” I was like, “Yo, I know exactly who I need on this.” I called them up and they was like, “Come to the studio.” I pulled up on them and they blessed me. It was amazing.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I want them to understand where I’m from. I try to paint a picture of South Central. I grew up right there on 81st and Central. It’s in the mix of everything. It’s Bloods over there, it’s Crips over there, you’ve got the Grape Streets up the street. You go a little further down Central, you in Bompton where the Piru’s are at. You go across Wilmington, you over by the Front hoods, where it’s more Crips. The city is not an easy place to survive, and I want people to understand what I had to go through, what I saw from my perspective, what my family might have went through, some homies might have went through.
It’s still fun, you gon’ have a good time. It’s still turn up shit, but that’s what the West is known for. The whole ghetto party, house party shit, I really do that. Everybody knows me from throwing a New Years party or a birthday party. It be like 500 to 600 people in my crib. I’m just like, “Where the fuck all these people come from?” But that shit is real, it’s not like we just calling people up and saying “lights camera action.” Nah, it’s really taking place.
I love that it’s not just for social media.
For me, that shit got to be natural. We just put a flyer together, all our homies promoted it, next thing you know, it’s 500 people and a line at my door. Literally, I made $2500 off a house party. [laughs] Like fuck it. If we ever get broke, we can fix it.
You have a song called “Keep It 100.” What is your take on the music industry?
Honestly, that record speaks. You want people to keep it 100. In this industry, it’s so easy to get caught around people that are not 100, that are fake. You have yes men, you have janky promoters, you got all kind of shiesty industry people that are either trying to block your bag, block your blessings, or just kind of be there to root you on until you fail, so that they can see what they can get out of you. “Keep it 100” speaks to that.
What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Honestly, I just want to go Gold right now. That’s my first step. We gon’ go gold at first, then we gone go Platinum. Then I want to headline my own tour, stay consistent with my music, and keep bringing good content. I feel like the West is already back, but I want to put my mark on it now.
What did you do with your first advance?
My first check, I gave to my mom. I ain’t gone lie to you. My very, very first check, it was a $20K check, I gave it to moms to put into the house. My next check after that was a $15K check, I got me a whip. This is way before my daughter came. Now, all my checks go to her. She got her own account. Everything that comes in, it’s like “here you go man.” [laugh]
How important is social media for your career?
It’s very important actually. Because in this day in age, in this industry, you have to survive off social media. As an entertainer, as an artist, whatever you’re doing, I don’t care. I’ve seen actors come up off of Instagram. I’ve seen rappers come up off of Instagram, Soundcloud, etc. The internet now is a vehicle that travels farther than you can. If you don’t have the expenses or the money to actually go touch people in Colorado, Texas, or in Atlanta, your phone can. All you need is some service or some wifi, and that’s it. You can reach those people out there. It’s just about the time and energy that you put in to that. Being that I’m in the industry, that’s something that I understand and recognize.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
A normal day in the life, I’m always getting to it honestly. Trying to stay booked, trying to stay busy, trying to stay working. Whether it’s an interview, a show, a music video, it don’t matter. I just try to keep it going. Obviously being a father, that plays a part. Being in her life, watching her grow, making sure that I’m teaching and always learning honestly. You can learn from your kids. They teach you about patience. They teach you a lot. Just try to be a better man and try to better myself, always grinding and hustling.
3 things you need in the studio?
Peace, sometimes you don’t get that. Sometimes, I need to be like “alright, everybody got to go.” The studios be crazy, so I can’t always have a whole bunch of people in there. Hennessy, it’s very important. I feel like some of your most important moments come out off the Henny. [laughs] Good vibes and some weed.
Favorite song to perform in a set?
My favorite song to perform in a set is probably the “Westside Story (Intro).” Just because I’m able to really tell people about who I am. Sometimes, there are going to be a lot of people that’s there for you. They already know you, what you’re about. Then you have those who don’t really know, and those are the ones that I’m really performing to. Because I’m like, “I want ya’ll to understand who I am.” I feel like that intro gives you that.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
I showed up in Oakland, and they already had merch. They had asked me to sign it. Then I actually saw that same fan at the Santa Ana show, so they traveled. I don’t even know how that happened, I thought it was dope. Being able to see the same person and they still supporting, that lets me know I’m doing my fucking job.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Tupac. Constantly listening to his catalog, dissecting everything, and just trying to put myself in that place. You know, back in the 90’s, hip hop gangsta music was just the shit. I really love that era of music.
Favorite Tupac song?
“Ambitionz Az a Ridah.”
My dream collab probably would have to be Kendrick Lamar. I want to work with K.Dot. I feel like that would be an awesome, awesome, look from me. Being that I’m not too far from where he grew up at, I think that shit would be dope.
Are you from Compton?
My pops lived in Compton. He lived right on Piru and Central and my granny’s house is actually on 81st and Central. My mom lived right off 92 and Central. We bounced around, especially my moms. She lived off 92 and then from there, she moved to Inglewood. I basically moved all over LA. People ask and they’ll be like “damn, you really did live everywhere.” It’s still people in the neighborhood who still remember me, so I get a lot of love when I’m out and about.
What advice do you have for an aspiring Westside McFly?
Don’t stop. Stay relentless. The word “no,” I really don’t understand that shit. I don’t take no for an answer. There’s always a way. There’s always some way to figure out what you wanna do. I pride myself on being my own boss and being independent. Even with my company, my record label, my clothing line, that’s all money that I had to earn on my own. It’s no handouts. I don’t owe nobody nothing. I work for myself.
Not only do I do that, I take care of my people around me. I put them in the position to be able to feed they families. That’s most important. When you do selfless acts like that — I want to be able to leave earth and they say “yo that nigga was a real one. I remember he put me on.” And I get that kind of love and respect from my peers.