CMO is here to take over the rap game, while putting on for his hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Overcoming his own struggles in the streets where many fall victim to being a product of their environment, the rising rapper prevails and proves you can do anything you set your mind to if you work hard, stay motivated, and always remain positive.
Carrying the nickname The Big Snail and pushing his #Sluglyfe mantra, CMO embodies the definition of a hood baby here to take over the music industry. With his own label titled WAE (We All Eat), he selflessly showcases his desire to give back to his people and his city, all while pushing his own artistry.
On his most recent visual for “Lost Files,” he spits, “That shit you rap I really live…” Everything about CMO is real, from his rhymes to his everyday life and everything in between. Thankfully, music would be his ticket out the trenches—and he hasn’t looked back since.
Flaunt caught up with CMO via FaceTime, who was moving around on the scene in Las Vegas. Read below as we discuss his upbringing in Baton Rouge, how he got his name, music changing his life, loyalty, the music industry, and the meaning behind WAE.
What was it like growing up in Baton Rouge?
It was rough. It’s country down there. You know, we ain’t really got too much down there. Everybody hustling down there, trying to make it out of there. It was a struggle. Only a handful make it out, I’m trying to be one of them.
I feel like a few people are out of Baton Rouge. You got Youngboy…
Yeah, we got him. We got Kevin Gates, Boosie, Youngboy, all them. Only a handful, like 4 or 5. I’m trying to be the sixth one.
When did music come into play for you?
Everything’s falling into place now, I’m starting to do numbers. Everybody’s starting to look at me now. I’m telling my story, I want them to see where I’m coming from.
Who were you bumping coming up?
I feel like I’m the rawest. I hear everybody’s music, but I felt like I was better. I wasn’t really too much listening to anyone. I support everybody in the city though, don’t get me wrong, because I know how hard it is to make it out of there. For them to get out of there, they’re got my full support. Still feel like I’m hard, the sickest in my city. [laughs]
What was the inspiration behind your name?
It goes way back, I was in middle school. My rap name was Lil Cory at first, but somebody said “nah, you look more like a CMO.” So I took that name and ran with it. CMO Marcello, I got Marcello from the New Orleans mob boss called Marcello. I used the Marcello part, a Louisiana thing.
On “Lost Files,” you say “I was lost now I’m found.” How did music change your life?
I put the music to the side. When I was in the studio, I was trapping. I had to find myself like “man this what I want to do, I want to rap. I can’t give up on rapping.” As soon as I dropped that song, it happened. I was doing numbers in the city. It made me go harder. Step on the game, don’t let up.
How is the independent grind?
It’s hard, but it’s not hard. If anybody, I feel like I can do it. Be myself and I’ma turn up.
Talk about your mixtape and why it has no features.
Because I want the world to hear me first. The features are going to all fall into place, I want them to reach out to me. I put my heart into that mixtape. I gotta put more work in so everybody gon’ catch onto the wave. I want to make my own wave. I want people to act like me. I want people to talk like me. When they hear a feature, they’re probably wanting to hear that person. I want them to hear me, you’re fucking with me.
Why are you the Big Snail?
Because everything’s slimy. Everybody’s slimy, that’s me. Slug is slimy. The definition of slimy is a n*gga don’t give a fuck. You can slime anything out. Some slimy shit.
3 things you need in the studio?
I need my phone, a beat and a raw ass engineer. Maybe a bottle of water, and we’re lit!
How important is loyalty and staying positive?
Most definitely. The team I’m with, we all eat. That’s loyalty right there. Everybody 100, real shit. Nobody be on some fake shit, we all eating together. We’re big on that shit. You show a flaw, you get cut off. That’s how it goes. It’s business. You got that food on the table, everybody eating.
What’s your take on the music industry?
Most of that shit be cap. These n*ggas be in the industry acting like they doing this and that. You can tell a street n*gga when you see him. Most of these n*ggas in the industry know how to act. They actors, they know how to put on a show. That’s the industry. If I come into the industry, I’m gonna be me. You gon’ fuck with me or not fuck with me.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
If I wasn’t doing music, I’d be in a trap right now. I’d really be in the trap right now, try to get a bag, that’s about it. Nothing else, all that other shit don’t mean nothing.
Talk about leading your own label titled We all Eat.
See We All Eat, it’s not just my label. It’s a family. Everybody 100, everybody eating. Ain’t no fake shit, no snake shit. Everybody speaking together and we ain’t friendly. We ain’t with that friendly shit. Everybody about getting a bag. That’s what it’s about, getting to a bag.