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Lil’ Wyte is coming strong out of the dirty south with one of the tightest new albums of 2005, Phinally Phamous. Hailing from some of the grittiest city streets in Memphis, Tennessee, Lil’ Wyte is used to being the underdog. The scrappy young man with the big voice has always been able to overcome any obstacle life has thrown in his face. From his thirsty beginnings as a member of an all white rap group, Lil’ Wyte was serious about making it in the rap game. Producer, label owner, member of Three 6 Mafia and a featured artist on the album, Juicy J knew there was something different about Lil’ Wyte the first time he saw him. Juicy explains, “We (Juicy J and DJ Paul) met Lil’ Wyte in front of the radio station. I get a lot of demos from artists but I never got a demo from an all white group.” Juicy could hear the potential in Lil’ Wyte’s lyrics and he actually tried to sign the group. But when that deal fell apart Lil’ Wyte was the last rapper standing and he was immediately signed to Hypnotize Minds.
Lil’ Wyte’s solo debut album Doubt Me Now sold over 126,000 units and is still consistently selling 1,200 units a week without the benefit of any video or radio airplay. Wyte feels his album has done so well because his music touches on familiar topics in a brand new light. “It’s like a dream come true,” the slim MC explains. “It was shocking who it happened with because Three 6 Mafia are a major influence, they grew up right around the corner from me. My music comes from the streets, from my life. I’m one of the rappers that understands the difference between entertainment and real life.”
Lil’ Wyte’s life is actually a lot calmer now compared to his past dramas. He’s focused on his family and his music. “Friends at school didn’t want to believe I could rap because I was shutting people down so hard (in the lunch room rhyme battles). It was only my dedication and devotion that kept me going. I dropped out of school twice and went back to get my diploma, not just my GED.” All of Lil’ Wyte's career goals and ambitions have come true. He released his solo debut album before he was 21 and he has even bigger plans for his sophomore effort Phinally Phamous. There’s a huge difference between the two projects according to Lil’ Wyte. “The first album I had a lot of stuff going... on this one I’ve been kickin’ it and relaxin’. Because I’m making music with Three 6 Mafia there’s no way any song on my album can be wack.”
DJ Paul, another member of Three 6 Mafia who shares production credit and is also featured on the album breaks it down a little more. “The real folks know who we are from even before 'Tear Da Club Up' and some of the people may just be up on it now.” Juicy J traces a brief history of crunk music and why Three 6 Mafia was instrumental in its current popularity. “When you’re in your own state you have your own sound. We first started calling it ‘buck music’ then that changed to ‘crunk’ music. In the mid eighties when the Memphis scene was crackin’ it all started with 'Trigga Man.' Then we just started doing our own thing.” DJ Paul adds, “Like with one of the songs on Lil’ Wyte’s album, 'Hoods Run Down' we include different bass tones -- especially for cars and car stereo competitions but on Lil’ Wyte’s album the song is also talking about how people run the hood down.”
Using the Three 6 Mafia multiplatinum production formula for trunk thumping bass songs with meaning and substance, Juicy J knows that Lil’ Wyte’s project will be as successful as some of the other artist they’ve worked with like Gangsta Boo and Project Pat. “The fans put Lil’ Wyte in his place and made him successful. On this album Lil’ Wyte has matured and his flow has gotten better.” The album also has songs with political commentary like “US Soldier Boy,” and the sure shot debut single, “I Sho Will.” There are even a few surprises like the appearance of Josey Scott from popular group and hometown homies, Saliva. Lil’ Wyte hopes to see this album sell deep into multiplatinum territory. In true dirty south lingo he sums up all his expectations for Phinally Phamous, "Get ready because it’s fixin’ to be crazy!"