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Hoodrich Pablo Juan is entirely unbothered. The rapper just wants to make music and make money. Born in Newark, New Jersey but moving to Decatur, Georgia at a young age the “Shoebox” rapper reps Atlanta down to his core. While being signed to Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records imprint speaks for itself, the 29-year-old gets it on his own — just as he did in the streets.
The rapper stands as a testament to anybody who is struggling to get out of the mud, while the rags to riches mentality come with relentless hard work, dedication, and passion; Blo makes it look easy. His rise in the rap game can hardly be encapsulated into words. Instead, you just have to listen to his music.
Never conforming to any one sound or trend, Hoodrich stays in his own lane, which includes the highest level of authenticity possible. His raps are all off of the dome, inspired by real-life experiences and hanging around his rap peers. Following up on his most recent project BLO: The Movie which was released in May of this year, Blo unleashed the official music video for “Grind For Mine,” allowing fans to enter his world of independence, individuality, and success.
Your sound is one of a kind. How would you describe that sound?
Iridescent like this Louis V belt I have on. It’s a very iridescent sound; authentic, original, and creative. When I say authentic, it’s a sound that doesn’t come from — I don’t watch TV or videos. I’m outside playing...
You say that you only listen to two or three rappers. Who are they?
What is your favorite song off of So Much Fun?
‘Light it up!’ (begins singing) ‘Light it up, woo! Let’s go.’
What is his influence on your music?
Thug motivated... Atlanta because we [have] seen him come up. He came from the slums, having nothing and not even all of his teeth in his mouth; to [now] being very rich, successful, and having all 32 white brand new teeth. So, it motivated somebody like me from the hood who [saw] it happen. [Thugger] and Gucci Mane are big motivations for me because they’re really from the gutter. [Like I am.] Ain’t no playing, like I used to play out there. That’s where I lived with my mama, where I slept. When you see someone really make it, it motivates you.
‘Grind For Mine’ is motivational as hell. Bring us back to the days in the mud and the dirt.
I could never be able to put my mind back in that exact mind frame because I developed, and I wanted to grow, but it was a grind. It ain’t like the music industry where everybody loves, everybody hates. You gotta find a way to get some money. Watch out for the cops and robbers, that’s it.
At what point did you realize the music thing was for real?
It was always real. We made it real. It’s what you make it... Everything I ever made happen, I made happen in my head first.
Growing up, is this where you thought you’d be now?
I actually thought I would be doing a little bit better. I told myself if I wasn’t at a million by 25, I was going to kill myself.
What does better mean to you?
It just means better than you were doing before. I use comparisons only against myself, so it’d be better than I was doing last year.
Top three Atlanta slang terms?
1). Hoood! (Hoodrich voice)
I can’t explain them to you, you just gotta know.
You have said that you grew up listening to [Young] Thug, Peewee Longway, and Gucci. Talk about them being artists you looked up to.
I think Peewee went back to the A. How does your fanbase out here compare to back home in the A?
I’m not too big on trying to figure out where my fans are. I just keep working and soaking it all in as it comes. I don’t know how they feel about me out here or back home. I would hope they respect my grind and hustle because I came from nothing. It took a lot. A lot of jail cells, a lot before I got here. It wasn’t easy, so I would hope they would respect me for it. Respect who I am. If they don’t, fuck them! (screams) It’s money power and respect until then. ‘Go dig your partner up, nigga, bet he can’t say shit!’ (sings Gucci Mane’s ‘Truth’)
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned behind bars?
To never go back. (he turns and asks) What’s your biggest lesson you learned behind bars D Savage? (D Savage walks up)
D Savage: Who’s [going to] be behind that bitch? [You’re] by yourself.
Never go back fasho. That’s the only lesson, don’t wanna be here. (chuckles)
What do you like about D Savage?
I love his style. He comes with his original [form]... You get a different energy from bro... I like that.
A lot of people have trouble leaving the streets. How difficult was it for you?
It was difficult. I had to stop selling drugs to take rapping more seriously. But... I believe in myself. I felt like I was going to succeed.
Your work ethic is crazy. Over 12 projects in four years! What are some goals you have for yourself at this point in your career?
Man, the label has been slowing my work ethic down. If I wasn’t with a label, I’d be dropping more hits.
How much-unreleased music are you sitting on?
A lot of it. Five or six albums and mixtapes... I can’t tell you all of them, but know it’s coming soon — two are on the way.
Loved seeing you link with Sada Baby on the intro of his project. ‘Hood Rich Skuba’ is my shit.
Shout out Sada Baby man, fuck a hater. That’s my shit. I fuck with [him]. Sada said: ‘It’s my money, I need it now!’ (Sada Baby voice)
How did you link with Sada?
Same shit, real n*ggas do real things. He respects the hustle. He came out and told me ‘bro, I’ve been fucking with your shit...’ A lot of n*ggas don’t do that. They get big and act [as] they’ve never looked at you before when knowing a n*gga used to be your favorite rapper. Ain’t no shot at you and your success, but don’t go big. Everybody came from somewhere.
Pablo Juan knows one thing: I’m in competition with myself. So, as long as we aren’t going back to those apartments on Candler Road... We [are] excellent baby. We [will] always [continue] to do better.
Last question, what’s the most meaningful tattoo you have?
The most meaningful tattoo is my daughter and my son on my back.