Hollywood Holt Talks Signing To G.O.O.D. Music, Kanye West & More

The latest G.O.O.D. Music signee breaks down his Kanye West connection, his crew, and more.

The month of March kicked off with some big news for a little-known Chicago rapper, Hollywood Holt. The rapper has been bubbling underneath the surface for a minute, however, he quickly elevated in the rap stratosphere with the announcement that he signed with G.O.O.D. Music. Now, it’s time to play catch up.

Holt sat down with us during SXSW, and gave us the scoop on his style and sound for all the newbs asking “who is this fuckboi?” He also explained how his connection with Kanye turned into a record deal. Consider this your formal introduction to Holt.

“I’ve known Kanye, not as really tight friends or nothing, but we’ve known Kanye and the whole team for years…I was breakdancing in the crowd at his listening party for Graduation,” Holt explained. “I’ve never tried to jump under the G.O.O.D. umbrella beforehand, it was always just like we’re doing our thing. I’ve always been a very self-sufficient artist, me and my cousin Mano, we kinda just built ourselves and Kanye took notice. The first video I ever shot, Kanye posted it on his blog back in the day.”

Holt went on to explain how a chance encounter with Kanye in NYC led to a working relationship, and how Ye finagled Holt’s “Back to Black” Amy Winehouse cover for “The Great Gatsby” film.

“I was in New York with the Madden brothers, and we were just hanging out, apparently at some really cool bar club that no one can get into, I don’t know, I found out later. Kanye walks in, and he’s like, ‘hey what’s up,’ and we’re chatting. And he’s like, ‘I’m about to go to the studio, you guys wanna stop by?’ we’re like, ‘yeah.'” He continued, “So we go to the studio and the Madden brothers are plating him what they got going on, and Knaye plays me Watch The Throne. Imagine hearing Watch the Throne two years before it comes up, and whistling “Niggas in Paris” for two years.”

Eventually, Holt played Kanye some of the music he’d been working on, which included that cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” Kanye thought it was so amazing he told Holt to hang on to it, or rather, let Kanye hang on to it. It would wind up on “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack, with features from Andre 3000 and Beyonce. Not bad placement.

“I was like, oh, you like this [referring to “Back to Black” cover], what about this, what about this…sign me please! And then I got the call, like, yo Ye wants to sign you.”

In the rest of the interview, Holt breaks down the Treated Crew, his experience jumping out of a window (to celebrate the G.O.O.D. deal), and more.

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