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Tony Shhnow Makes Getting Money Music

A stop sign is located in the middle of Brooklyn Made’s stage. Weed plants are sandwiched between them. While the DJ plays a mix of half-decent hip hop music, Tony Shhnow pours a drink onto a Solo cup. It’s Tony’s first tour with Cousin Stizz, and it’s his first time in Brooklyn this past April. Cobb County rapper wears eyeglasses with gold semi-automatic guns at the sides. He also sports a green Army jacket, black Louie Vuitton belt and clean white Air Force 1s. Tony opened with “EVEN ON A SUNDAY,” a track built entirely by plug-in style beats. When asked to define plug on a Zoom call, Tony replied, “It’s player ass trap music. It’s a player ass hustle Music. Music is a way to make money. Sometimes your girl don’t want to hear you playing gangsta ass shit all the time. Sometimes she wants to be serenaded.” With plug, the instruments are synthetic and digital with compositions of tinkering bells, woozy flutes, and slow drums. “Plug is super chill, relaxed stoner-type stuff. Also, a super street Atlanta turnt. I feel like there’s a duality,” ATL producer Popstar Benny says over the phone.

You can plug music from Atlanta street tapes found on peer to peer sharing sites Frostwire and Limewire as well as hosting sites Datpiff, LiveMixtapes and Datpiff. “It was built on traditional Atlanta. It was mixing traditional Atlanta with the internet age,” Benny adds. Taking inspiration from the elegance of Zaytoven’s piano work, Plug adds a pop spin jam-packed with explosive digitized synths and video game sound bites. 

Motivation Plug is Tony’s new project, 24-tracks of money hustling, designer flexing, and drugs come entirely produced by the most prolific producers of the plug sub-genre: Big Emm, Cashcache, DJ YoungKash, Fashion Kor, GameBoomin, IceWater Black, JBand$, Mexikodro, Polo Boy Shawty, Popstar Benny, StoopidXool, and Youngstill. Plug Motivation is hosted by DJ Yung Rell, returning the days of vintage Gucci Mane in ‘08. Tony carries the spirit of old Atlanta with tracks like “Dats Me” and “Work Like This.” Flutes and snares come together with dreamy synths on the latter, with Tony showing pride in his swag and coming clean about his “bad bitch problem.” The entirety of Plug Motivation was recorded in Tony’s kitchen, no fancy studio equipment required. Tony takes inspiration from Gucci Mane’s Bird Flu 2, Lil Wayne’s No Ceilings Carter IIIBoth projects and Zelda: Breath of the WildWhile you are making the tape.

It seems he is excited to speak about the making Plug Motivation Send us a Zoom call. Get in touch with us at Zoom. Chronic NewsTony speaks out about plug music. His purpose and songs for his new project are discussed. Tony also discusses what the future holds for mixtapes in 2022. Throughout the call, he smokes Metro Bloomin’ branded flower in a blunt, puffing between responses. 

Chronic News: This week, you dropped Plug Motivation. What was the first time you started recording?

Tony Shhnow:When I returned from my tour I immediately began to record what I felt. Because ReflexionsI was pretty much done by the time I left on tour. It was so Plug Motivation This was the music I heard right after my tour and wanted to transition to the next album.

HT: Plug Motivation is a play on Jeezy’s Thug Motivation. Was that the reason you chose this theme?

Tony Shhnow:Mexikodro was the one who came up with this title. He was a great guy and I am proud to have attested to it. My own personal touch was all that I did to the theme. The theme was my own. It was his choice, and I created it.

HT: The thing I love about this tape is the way it brings back my old ATL mixtape style. What’s the difference now between a mixtape and an album? It’s something I find myself feeling. Plug Motivation This is what distinguishes it.

Tony Shhnow: For sure. A mixtape feels like raw music. It’s raw. It’s not really looking to be polished type shit. It can be, it’s music recorded in a kitchen or it can be in the trap. It could be, it’s something that it’s not meant to be pop or be on the billboards, necessarily. I’m not looking to be on the radio. I’m looking to be in the trap. I’m looking to be in the streets. It’s not a project aimed to please the average listener. Mixtapes aren’t aimed to please your fans. That’s what I feel like the major difference is.

HT: The also fell the ShadowBannedMixtape Before Encourage Motivation Rappers don’t do that anymore where they rap on each other’s beats for a whole project. It’s a lost art. 

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. That’s why… It’s hip hop to me though. That’s why I did the BBC project. I ain’t going to lie to you. I’ve been one to do the rapping on other people’s beats that were my peers. It was a moment that I knew I needed to wait for. Right now, I think it was the right moment.

HT: Is this the case?

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. It was a bit. It helped a little. But I still feel like there’s a space for it. It’s something that people must do, and we have to be flexible. You don’t really see the premier artists doing that. Rap music is a game that imitates what the top artists are doing. Tyga or Jacquees were doing it at the same time as Lil Wayne. Young Dro was also doing it. Multiplied artists did that simultaneously. But you don’t see the premier artists, which is Drake or Kendrick or J. Cole, you don’t see them doing that. They’re not going to imitate it.

HT: Why is it important to have someone host mixtapes of your mixes? You can thank DJ Yung Rell for hosting a few of the tapes.

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. That role in hip-hop is becoming a lost art. So it’s important to me to keep pushing him or keep pushing that narrative type shit because I feel like hip hop needs that. That’s what I grew up on. That’s what a lot of these kids don’t get to see. What do I mean by that? It’s almost like a narrator.

HT: I think it definitely is a lost art form because you don’t hear DJ Scream or Evil Empire as often anymore.

Tony Shhnow: Because a lot of them guys that’s older, they’re successful as fuck now, they not doing it no more, they just successful as fuck. So they don’t have time to do it. They switched ventures. It’s possible that they have their own label, or even a clothing brand. They just aren’t into it. Because like I said before to go back into the main, nobody’s calling them to come do something. Can you sense me? Tyler was the first big guy I ever saw do it.

HT: You can find more information here You can plug motivationYou kept it simple with only plug-producing producers. So why’d you keep it so inclusive? Is that what you were looking for?

Tony Shhnow:I already had plans to make a plug. Nah. When ‘Dro gave me that title, I feel like I had to keep it true to being plug. It was important to me to do that. I feel like it’s a misconception about plug music. To clarify, I created the project. Even the original plug was used. I tried to show y’all exactly what plug was and what plug is now.

HT: How important was it to get everyone’s contributions for this project?

Tony Shhnow:It was important for me to tap in the information of each Beats Plugs producer. I am confident in my abilities to perform rapping. They are my only priority. I want to work with the most talented producers.

HT: One of my favorite songs is “Hell’s Hot” because I never heard you so angry before. Is it possible that you were mad?

Tony Shhnow:It was an answer to her. She just text me, “Hell is hot. I hope you burn, nigga.” I was like, “All right. Fuck you.

HT: That’s a mean text.

Tony Shhnow:God. That’s what I did. Music is my therapy. So that’s just what that was. I honestly didn’t even know I was going to keep that song. The song started getting liked by people.

HT: You can use the drill songs that you already have to help guide your decision making. ShadowBannedMixtape: How do you feel regarding drill music?

Tony Shhnow: It’s cool. It’s a bit of a favorite. I ain’t going to lie to you like I’m a super big fan of it because I’m not really into rap that talks too much about guns or violence type shit. I’m just super not heavy on it. The drill wave in Chicago was cool to me but I didn’t look at it that much. I just ain’t, I’m more of a fan of just player music. Talking about money and smoking marijuana. Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, and Lil Wayne have my vote. I like Gucci but I don’t like his songs when he talking about just shooting shit up all the time.

HT: That’s understandable. I can tell you’re on the fence with drill music.

Tony Shhnow: Yeah. I’m like, eh. It’s like I said, but I need to play a little bit more. I really fuck with, I fuck with, what’s that dude name? Damn, what’s that dude name? They dropped the Too Slizzy Too Sexy tape.

HT: Cash Cobain, Chow Lee.

Tony Shhnow: Yeah, bro. I’m fucking with them. It’s something that makes the hoes turn. Don’t get me wrong. I like drill shit. However, I love the music that the hoes play with the ladies. What do I mean? Girls should dance. I don’t want to shoot; I don’t have a stand-off [laughs].