One thing’s for sure. If this rap thing doesn’t work out, Ali & Gipp could always switch to singing. As it turns out, their stirring renditions of Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”Â and Keith Sweat’s “How Deep Is Your Love”Â are quite melodic. The latter of which Gipp swears is supposed to be “How Deep Is Your Womb”Â, being that “love”Â is a metaphor for “womb.”Â
But it’s a sure bet neither of them will be singing anytime soon. Ali & Gipp have been influential in giving the Midwest and the South an identity, with the Dungeon Family and St. Lunatics. So it’s not surprising that two of hip-hop’s obscure innovators found a kindred spirit in each other. Nestled at the Universal Records office in New York, Ali & Gipp rapped about southern hospitality, the Lord, and keeping it real. Pretty odd mix, even for a duo as eclectic as Ali & Gipp.
What are some things the Midwest and Atlanta have in common?
GIPP: A real strong sense of family. We take care of each other and we respect each other’s outlooks on certain situations. They don’t take no shit and we don’t take no shit. We gon’ do it our way.
ALI: To add on, it’s the love we have for the places we from. Like, how much I love St. Louis and how much he love Atlanta. You won’t catch him without an ATL hat. You won’t catch me without an STL hat. We got love for other places but we rep where we from. That’s a real big thing.
Gipp, you mentioned you do it “your way”Â. In this industry, there’s little individuality. How do you maintain that as a group?
GIPP: Our base is already built. We started off with the realest foundation, which was our hometown that believed in our music and us. Ali is from the first family of the Mid-West. They set the tone. Goodie Mob and OutKast set the tone for Atlanta. We not following nobody. Everything other people are doing, Ali & Gipp already did.
Let’s talk about the song “No God But You”Â. What’s the track about?
ALI: It’s just two examples of spirituality. Gipp’s verse is based on things he was going through in life. He explains how he never let all the tough times he was going through take him down. He let his spirit guide him. Me myself, I spoke on my way of life, Nations of Gods and Earth. I just gave a different outlook. I’m still speaking on God. It’s just two different outlooks.
GIPP: I think the reason [young] people don’t speak on spirituality is because they don’t have none. What Ali and I are really doing is showing that there’s a place for that in hip-hop. There always has been. And that’s just us again doing what other artists won’t touch.
What do you want your legacy to be?
ALI: Just be known as true artists. The artists who gave you themselves. From our music to the lyrics we chose to the names we use. My real name is Ali and his real name is Gipp. Just to be true in everything that we did.
Dr. Phil or Oprah?
G: Oprah, I can’t learn nothing from Dr. Phil.
“Law & Order”Â or “CSI”Â?
A: “CSI”Â is Gipp’s favorite. I watch it so much on the road with him that I started liking it myself.
Create world peace or end world hunger?
A: End world hunger. You’ll never have world peace as long as there are different religions.
G: World hunger. To a certain degree, you gotta deal with people who hungry.
What’s the city that never sleeps?
Handkerchiefs or silk ties?
G: Silk ties
A: Silk ties ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“cause I can rock up out them.
Favorite vacation spot?
G: Bahamas on a good weekend.
Snap or hyphy movement?
Worst fashion trend?
G: Jheri Curls
A: Versace shirts and all that country shit. That was so monkey.
George W. Bush or Hillary Rodham Clinton?
G: Hillary Rodham Clinton
A: Hillary Rodham
The first thing you notice on a woman?
A: Feet and hands
G: Face and ass