Imagine being in church early Sunday morning and in the middle of service, a crazed gunman who had just been released from prison stomps in wielding a bazooka-sized assault rifle. After letting off two shots in the ceiling and randomly picking off the congregation, he smacks his own son for getting in the way and turns the gun on his intended target: the mother of his children.
This may sound similar to the opening scene of a twisted Quentin Terrentino film. But in actuality, that was the reality that Baton Rouge-born, Gonzales, La.-raised bad boy Hollowtip witnessed at only 12 years old.
“Everybody was getting on the ground. Old folks you thought couldn’t move were getting on the ground,” Hollowtip remembers. “He took the clip out on his baby momma and changed clips but the gun jammed so he just walked out the church. He didn’t run or nothing. He just walked out.”
It’s tales like these that run rampant to the street-laced rhymes of Ruff-N-Rugged Entertainment rapper Hollowtip. That same raw, in-your-face grit is what his regional Gulf Coast fan base came to love on his 2004 debut mixtape Play It How I Say It. And he will dare not disappoint on his forthcoming 2013 mixtape Back At It.
“I’m more lyrical with my style,” explains Hollowtip. “I’m really for people who are in the trap, who came from nothing, trying to get it and about having things, because I’m about having things.”
Born Derrick S. Clark in a single-parent home, Hollowtip always knew at a young age that he wanted the better things in life. His mother brought him up in the church, supported his education and took interests in her only child’s extracurricular activities. Young Derrick played drums for the church and played saxophone for the middle school band.
“I always loved music. When I was young, I used to write poems,” Hollowtip admits. “When Master P was doing his thing, I looked at it like motivation, as something I wanted to be. I wanted to be an entrepreneur like him.”
But because his mother worked most of the time to keep food on the table, she couldn’t keep a close eye on her son. So eventually, he got sucked in by the streets.
“I was raised in the hood,” says Hollowtip. “My momma couldn’t show me how to be a man so I was in the hood trying to find my way.”
The only thing he found, however, was a roundtrip ticket to the juvenile facility. With charges ranging from aggravated battery, shootings and drugs, the juvenile detention center doors revolved into prison cells.
But between the drugs, the streets and jail terms, Hollowtip started rapping at the age of 13. By the time he was 20, he became the breakthrough artist on fledging local independent label Ruff-N-Rugged Entertainment in 2004. He released his debut mixtape Play It How I Say It a year later.
Then, he came back that same year with a collaboration mixtape with label mate Lil Buck entitled Ruff N Rugged. Next, they came back with Hollowtip and Lil Buck’s mixtape Black Shades in 2007. Then, in 2008, they released the follow up mixtape Black Shades 2. Then shortly after the mixtape’s release, Hollowtip’s life on the streets caught up with him and he went to jail for four years.
Now back home with his feet firmly planted on free ground, Hollowtip is fully focused on his career in music. He has put that past life behind him forever and has been steadily recording and further perfecting his craft.
He is on the verge of dropping his last masterpiece mixtape Back At It in early 2013. “When somebody hears my music, they know I’m not one of these dudes faking,” says Hollowtip. “You know I really been through this. You can hear the struggle in my rhymes.”