A worldwide exclusive with one of the sickest lyricists in the game, we spoke with up and coming rapper, Sloof Lirpa, to find out more about him, his new album, and his range of limited edition, hand-designed sneaks.
Hey Sloof, so good to finally meet you. Tell us your story so far…
Haha my story? Well I wouldn’t even know how to answer that.
I was just a young kid growing up in Bed-Stuy, y’know doing my thing on the corner. When one of my homies was gunned down. It got me thinking to myself: ‘I’m a one in every generation artist. I got this god given talent, I gotta show the world what I can do’.
After I met Ken-dawg [my manager] at a show, my whole angle on life changed. My drive and motives suddenly changed. Then my debut single took off and the rest is history. I guess I owe him a lot y’know.
For those who don’t know, how would you describe your sound?
My sound is something like mixing the very best of the rap world, with making love baby! Haha, nah it’s a mix of new wave rap and gangsta beats I’ve been told, but I’ll let ya’ll decide that for yourselves.
Who would you say your biggest influencers are?
Growing up in Bed-Stuy I had so many influences musically. Everything from people like Biggie, 50 Cent and Cam’ron right through to Motown! My ‘ma listened to a lot of Motown, so I definitely took huge influence from that growing up in our household.
We know you’ve not announced it yet, but between us, when can get expect the album?
Well I don’t know about an exact date yet, Ken-Dawg has got that area covered. I’m just putting all my energy into making it as dope as possible for my fans, ‘cos that’s what it all comes down to y’know? I gotta do it right for the fans.
I’m gonna give my EP a plug though. It’s available now y’all! Haha.
What do you think to all the hype you’ve been getting recently?
As you English guys would say, I’m gassed haha. Nah, when I dropped my first single I wasn’t sure which way it was gonna go, so I feel pretty blessed that people like it as much as they do.
We heard that Drake named you as his ‘One to Watch’, what happened after that?
Haha, Drake’s my boy y’know. Me and him have had similar experiences in life so it’s good to know I got props from such an important figure in our culture.
He’s doing things right now that I can only dream of. One day I hope to be at his level too, so it’s good to know we got that mutual respect. He’s my boy!
What were you doing the moment you found out?
Y’know, it’s a funny story really. I was kickin’ back with some of my boys at the spot, and I got a call from my agent telling me that he said all these good things about me and that I gotta bright future ahead of me. I thought he was clowning! But nah for real I just thought man, now those late nights hustlin’ finally be paying off.
It brought me a lot of happiness at that time in my life.
So, you’re pretty big into your sneaks as well as your music, tell us about the limited-edition creps that you’ve designed.
I wanted to design sneakers since I was little kid. I was seeing Michael Jordan and later Kanye doing their thing, so when I was approached to design my own there was no hesitation on my behalf.
I wanted to do something that was meaningful to my fans, but that stayed true to my roots. That was when I came up with the idea for the SL20s. 20 pairs of limited edition sneaks hand designed by your boy!
What was the design process like? Was there any inspiration behind the designs?
Each sneaker was like a blank canvas for me. The process let me express myself creatively and a lot of the designs you see were just how I was feelin’ at that very moment. They might not be everyone’s thing, but if you know, you know…. y’know.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me about what the Rolex means on this one sneak, as if it’s some crazy idea. Coming from the streets of Brooklyn, I’m a natural born hustler, so I’ve always lived my life by the motto ‘Time Is Money’, which is where the watch comes in to play man.
How can people get their hands on a pair?
Well there’s only 20 so people gotta be quick if they want to cop this fire. We’re expecting this drop to be pretty lit so there may be more in the pipe line for future designs.
Y’know me, always making moves haha.
Thanks for chatting with us Sloof, we'll make sure to catch your EP.
Keep it locked to the Lowdown on how you can get your hands on a pair of limted edition Sloof Kicks.