Lil Brod a.k.a. Mr. Monticello earned a reputation as one of South Carolina’s hottest up and coming rappers by grinding in the streets. The path he took to get to where he is now is a testament to his relentless drive and hustle. Growing up in his grandmother’s house with 7 brothers and sisters, Lil Brod learned what it meant to struggle at an early age. His stomping ground, Monticello, located on the rough side of Columbia, S.C., is where he started hustling to help contribute to his family. From ages 10 to 14, this street entrepreneur did whatever he could to make a buck, from cutting grass to more risky activities that would periodically cause run-ins with the law. By the 9th grade, Lil Brod had become accustomed to making his own money and decided to drop out of school to pursue opportunities that would eventually lead to his first criminal charge at the age of 15.
Lil Brod, the persistent hustler, had 7 mixtapes under his belt by the time he recorded “Sometimes I.” And although he averaged over 5,000 units through hand to hand selling, “Do U Mind,” is considered his break out track by critics. “Do U Mind” is one of those songs that is both a radio smash and club banger, just an undeniable record. Brod is a talented artist that makes good music and has a chance to make it in the music industry,” stated Randy Roper, Ozone Magazine Music Editor and AllHipHop.com writer.
Nine Mill of Head Hunter Records, Columbia, SC gave Ma Official of Carolina Hu$tle the opportunity to interview him. Known as a Heavy Weight in the music industry in South Carolina for being a “Hit Making” producer, Nine Mill has a story just as everyone else. He’s had his fare share of ups and downs, but never-the-less, he still manages to pump out those hit makers for the streets, radios, and clubs!
So tell me background info about yourself and how Head Hunter Records got started.
I started DJ’ing while in high school at my grandfather’s club. I had a cousin who would rap and I would DJ for him while he rapped. I got a little Bose drum machine and started making beats and little mix tapes with my cousin. They were party mix tapes that he would talk over. I got out of the music scene for a little while and then hooked up with DJ Chuck Nice and Collard Green. We opened a studio and I started working on my production; I worked with a lot of local artists. After hooking up with Chuck, I started working more on my production. I worked with Collard Green for his first single, “Hey You Shawty” which was very successful.
When I hooked up with Lil Bo, Lil Ru was with him. He was with another record label which folded. He decided to make Head Hunter Records. The first single with Head Hunter Records was Collard Green’s, “Everybody Lookin” which was very successful. Kevin Lyles of Atlantic Records wanted to work out a situation to purchase the record.
Who is a part of Head Hunter Records?
Nine Mill, Lil Bo, Collard Green, Lil Brod, Mr. Flip, 4.5, Milly, Dizzle, Luga, Tweet South, & Savage. Boss G is under management with Head Hunter Records. He has his own label; Money Baggs Ent.
What do you look for in an artist who wants to work with you?
Production – I look for someone who is very creative and open to suggestion. i like to work with people who are heavy workers, I don’t just give an artist a beat; I’m in the studio with them and we are going to get the best we can get out of that track.
Signing – Pretty much the same way. You have to have talent. Someone who has a movement for themselves, creating abuzz.
What did winning “Record Label of the Year” and S.M.E.S. mean to you?
This year it meant a lot to me because we went through a lot this past year; especially with the Lil Ru situation. It meant a lot to win and bounce back without our artist.
How did you feel when Lil Ru won “Artist of the Year at S.M.E.S.? What did you think of the audience’s reaction?
I don’t feel he deserved “Artist of the Year.” I don’t feel his work from him getting signed to a major label was progressive. Listening to his album, I feel it could have been better. There are other artists out here who are grinding and I can see their grind. In response to the crowd, I’m not shocked.
Are you looking for new artists now?
I’m always looking for artists, producers, production, marketing, legal teams…
Who’s the next to blow from Head Hunter?
Right now we have Lil Brod who I feel is going to be the next big thing.
What’s next for Head Hunter? What can we expect?
- Lil Brod Mix CD with DJ B Lord
- Lil Brod album should be dropping in the 1st quarter of next year
- Collard Green feat. Lil Brod & Big Maine “Love About Me” (everyone will release on their album)
- Mr. Flip’s single “Showtime” & Mix CD called “Geek Music”
- Look out for more Boss G