I don’t have too many articles to my name that I regret. My OffBeat column (2002-2005), where I was allowed to write in first person (a column, to me, is like tuning into someone’s short-wave radio or cable-access show), featured a few sour notes, but I think it all eventually benefitted my writing (a positive attitude I am allowed to have because none of it exists on the internet today!). I do however feel embarrassed by this AntiGravity interview I did with Magnolia Shorty. Her last print interview ever, it turned out, which we conducted via phone in the short time between her performance with my rap students at the Ogden Museum, and her murder by 27 bullets in a parked car.
The summer before, as an end of the year treat, my class were scheduled to perform their original songs for the public at Ogden Museum of Southern Art. We hired Magnolia Shorty — who at the time had a kid-friendly hit on local radio with local teen idol Kourtney Heart — so that the kids could tell their friends and family they opened for the famous bounce rapper. Shorty wore her sunglasses the whole time, in and out of doors, but was very sweet to everyone, especially the kids. The event was a huge success, as evidenced in this video:
So I thought, after that experience, Shorty and I would have a great, loose interview. But I messed up doing it by phone, where she was free to talk to whomever else walked through the room. She didn’t seem particularly in the mood for an interview, and I couldn’t understand half of what she did say for all the racket in her background. A great illustration of the importance of conducting important interviews in person, is the following “conversation,” which goes down in history as Magnolia Shorty’s last print interview ever:
THE BOUNCE REPORT Pt 1: Magnolia Shorty
Magnolia Shorty is the undisputed queen of New Orleans bounce rap. From her days as the only female Cash Money crew member to her recent “My Boy” duet with Kourtney Heart, which ruled local rap radio this summer, she has pretty much owned New Orleans since before she was even a teenager. Shorty is also extremely aloof in conversation, preferring instead to let her music—including ultra-classics like “Monkey on the Dick” and “Smoking Gun”—speak for her. Still, ANTIGRAVITY got her to talk. A little.
So how did you end up putting together this November show with local rock band felix?
Magnolia Shorty: Well I met (Felix keyboardist) Thomas through the bar he worked at and he told me he was a rock band player. And he asked would I be interested in doing a concert with him, and I told him that would be a good idea.
Have you ever performed at the Saint before?
No I haven’t.
Have you ever been there?
No I haven’t.
So what else are you up to currently in your musical career?
I have an album about to drop December 12, it’s called “Miss Bossy.”
OK. Can you tell us a little about that? What can we expect from this album and how will it be different from your other records?
You can expect a lot of motivation, a lot of music to dance to, some stuff that’s sexual. I have 16 songs
on there. It’s more maturity. A little different lyrics.
Is it not as explicit?
Oh it’s very explicit, especially “Birdman’s Daughter,” “G Strip,” and “I’m The Greatest.”
What are you plans for the album and who is releasing it?
I am releasing it independently and just gonna see how it does.
You mentioned birdman; is he on the album? You still hang out with those guys? I heard
baby on your answering machine message.
Yeah I still hang out with those guys. (laughs)
How do you go about writing your songs?
I sit down and I just write what’s on my mind.
oK. Well. So. Tell us about the “My boy” single with young Kourtney Heart that was impossible to get away from this summer.
It was actually a new version of a song I had already done; Kourtney remade the song. We collaborated and I rapped on her version.
How did you meet Kourtney Heart?
I know her from her manager; he called my manager for us to do a song together and we went in the studio together.
Did that “My boy” single open up a new audience for you?
It affected me real good. It got a lot of radio play and people loved it. We did a couple of shows in Houma, Thibodaux, a couple of places.
Seems like maybe you would have some worlds colliding there, with Kourtney Heart teen pop and “Monkey on the dick.”
Well it’s all still bounce music. It’s just a little different beat. But it’s the same kind of music to me. I been out there since I was 12 years old, so basically I brought Kourtney out. People already know about me actually, and what to expect from me because I’ve been out so long.
How was your pioneering show at South by Southwest, bringing bounce to that conference? Tell us about that.
You know it was good, a lot of people, very promotional to get the music out there. But they really loved it.
What type of crowd was it? It’s usually all white rock-n- rollers at South by Southwest.
Yeah that’s the kind of party it was: white rock-n-roll.
Where they bending over shakin?
Yeah of course. They did a good job.