The life of Alonzo Mathis has unfolded for your viewing pleasure. The Atlanta native, who replaced Young Jeezy in the Bad Boy/Block Entertainment supergroup Boyz ‘N Da Hood, showed you he was his own man after showin’ out on songs with Yung Joc and his solo trunk rattler, “Hood N****.” With Welcome to the Zoo peaking in the top 20 on Billboard, the man you know as Gorilla Zoe is back with a hunger for more. The Urban Daily sits down with Zoe as he talks about his newest mixtape, why he doesn’t believe what they say about Rick Ross and why you should never feed the animals.
The Urban Daily: How you feelin’, man…?
Gorilla Zoe: What’s good, bruh…? How are you?
TUD: Blessed, brotha…
GZ: Same here.
TUD: Let’s talk about this No Bitchassness mixtape that you got out there…
GZ: I got a lot of things out there to promote, you know and I just wanted to put something out there in the streets, you know what I’m sayin’…? I got a new album hitting stores in September, droppin’ on the 23rd – it’s called Don’t Feed The Animals. Everything that is going on now, with Sean John, the “No Bitchassness” shirt, it’s all a great way to promote my album.
TUD: That’s a pretty colorful catchphrase from Diddy, but why’d you think that that would work over anything else you were trying to come up with.
GZ: It was just – you know, I’m trying to do something new, man. You have to just do it. It was the new shit that everybody is saying, so I’m just like f-ck it, let’s just go and talk about the bitchass ways that these rappers are into and just go head and put out some good music, you know what I mean?
TUD: So, since you’re an authority on ‘bitchassness,’ right now – would you say that Ice-T vs. Soulja Boy was…
GZ: …That was some bitch ass shit [laughs].
TUD: Young Buck crying to 50 after word got out of him being dropped from G-Unit…
GZ: Man… I don’t know. I don’t know the ins and outs about that, so I’m not really going to comment on it really. But I mean, dudes be going through some shit sometimes and, sh-t, that should’ve been a personal conversation, you know what I’m sayin’…? If n****s are recording folks, man, that remind me of that police shit. We don’t do that on this side. I don’t know how to record no n***a. Ain’t no tellin’ what they was going through, though, only they know, so I’d be a fool to even comment on it ‘cause, I don’t know what’s going on with them folks, you feel me?
TUD: Understood. What about Rick Ross being found out about being a correctional officer?
GZ: I really think it’s going to be hard for me to believe that, man… I can’t speak on that one [laughs].
TUD: They had his social security number, man…
GZ: Oh, my god [laughs]! Y’all been drinkin’ [laughs]! Ah, man, nah… that’s Ross, man. Ricky Ross! Nah, man… don’t tell me that! Now, I’m gon’ be on the Internet. I ain’t seen the shit, know what I’m sayin’…? I’ve been on the road right now. I’m headed to Savannah, Georgia.
TUD: So, with that said – do you think that rappers should be forced to have a background check before putting out an album?
GZ: Sure, man, I mean… hell yeah, but the thing is it’s not a f-cked up thing, if you a corrections officer. The way things are, right now, times are f-cked up. Kids be 18, 19-years-old and they need to get a job, man, ‘cause there ain’t no work out here. Nothing is out there except for dope. Shawty needs to get a job, he needs to eat, but – you know what I’m sayin’ – if ma’f-ckas said, “Hey, man, I heard you worked at Hardee’s or McDonald’s when you was 19,” or “You was flippin’ burgers, now you talkin’ ‘bout flippin’ everything else,” it’s true! Times are hard and I know you have to still keep it real, but you can’t hold someone down for what they did when they were a youngin’. I can’t speak on Ross’ situation, man. It’s hard for me to even believe that Ross was even a C.O., man…
TUD: Understood… Let’s switch the subject. You seem to be another one out of Boyz ‘N Da Hood to get that solo love like [Young] Jeezy before you. So, how was it adjusting to being a group environment, while everyone was waiting for you to drop your solo album?
GZ: It’s just work, man… I’ve been working all my life. I’ve been hustling out here for all my life, we all have, man… So, when the opportunity presents itself, you know, ain’t nothing else for me to do but take it or not and I did; I’m thankful that I did. Puff kicked down a whole bunch of doors in the early 90’s all the way to now, so with all the groups Puff put out, they’ve had solo artists that came from that. Block, he’s opened the doors for me and together, they’ve given me the opportunity to do some major things and I’m runnin’ with it, man!
TUD: So, what’s the status of Boyz ‘N Da Hood – y’all still working?
GZ: Yeah, man… Everyone’s working, man! We’re doing some work with DJ Drama and that project will drop soon. Actually, it’ll be out on the same day that my mixtape drops called I Am The A with DJ Scream. So, we ‘bout to smuggle the streets again with some that gangsta-ness, ya dig!
TUD: Speaking of good music, let’s talk about Don’t Feed the Animals…
GZ: The album is crazy, crazy, crazy, man. You’re already hearing it with “On The Corner” with Sean Kingston. I got another new single with Lil Wayne called “Lost.” It’s crazy, know what I’m sayin’…? I’m putting out good music!
TUD: Who else you got on the album? Who produced your favorite tracks?
GZ: I got a lot of good production, dog. Jazze Pha, Drumma Boy, JR Rotem all have tracks on their and it drops on September 23rd. I got a crazy song produced by The Runners called, “Money I Spent.” Puff’s on the hook and I just got so many songs with so many people, it’s just going to gear people up, man. “I Am the A” – the mixtape – is featuring every hot artist and they mama, man! I’m telling folks that I am the ‘A’. It’s harder that 90% of the albums that came out, period.
TUD: You’ve been featured pretty heavily on songs, too. How has that helped you to grown as an artist with these different sounds that have come your way?
GZ: People call you to drop verses on their songs and each record that you’ve done has had a different appeal. One is worked towards crossover, one is for the streets, one is for everybody that can relate to something specific, I was on a record with One Republic and that opened up people’s eyes, man. Now, I can get on anything. Rocko, Yung Joc, Gucci to Keri Hilson and all that, I’m ready!
TUD: Who would you consider a part of the new crop of superstar rappers now?
GZ: I don’t know, man… You gotta stay in these streets. You gotta be in a different club everyday of the week; gotta be in the studio everyday of the week. You can’t stop because this generation, man, it’s like we… we for real, man! If something happens right now, you’ll see it on the Internet in five seconds. No bull, I got a new phone, and it’s proof that we are living in a new generation. I’m on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because in order to be a superstar rapper, you have to be everywhere and indispensable.