ESG’s ‘Owner’s Manual’ to Staying ‘Screwed For Life’

ESG’s 'Owner's Manual' to Staying 'Screwed For Life'

Mention pioneers of Southern rap and original member of the legendary Screwed Up Click, ESG, certainly will be included. With more than a million records sold independently and 10 albums to his credit, ESG remains relevant in this changing game by continuing to release quality music true to his signature style. –callye peyrovi

Being a “legend” in your own right, how do you approach that title?

I try not to be the one to use it. With anything in life you want to be great at, you let the people tell you that. The industry, period, is, “What have you done for me lately?” I’m still touring and doing my shows. If they want to call me a legend, I’ll take that to the bank.

If DJ Screw were still alive, how do you think the Houston hip-hop scene would be different?

We would all [the Southside and S.U.C.] probably be under one label, one umbrella. Man, I can’t even think of what would be going down right now. The only reason I think Screw Music took a bit of demise is because he is not here. If Screw was living, I think it would still be in the forefront. My label is SFL [Screwed For Life]. I will never let them forget him.

Tell us about Owner’s Manual and the message behind this album?

I went super hard for a year and did a process of elimination. I started off not having a title, but once I did the song “Owner’s Manual,” I knew that was it. It may not be the radio single, but that song embodied me as a whole and everything that I stand for. You don’t have to sell your soul to live your dream. If that means doing it yourself, you can still be your own owner and get the job done.

What other collaborations are featured on the album?

The single “Internet Thugs” with Z-Ro, a monster track with Slim Thug and Bun B called “I Wish You Would” and “SLAB” featuring Paul Wall. Also, producer Big E out of Dallas and ladies’ track featuring Kai Hicks.

What has been the greatest moment in your career?

Just one? One being when I performed with Notorious B.I.G. and, after, Biggie and Puffy [He wasn’t P. Diddy then.] were like, “Who is this kid?” I was about 19, and “Swangin & Bangin” was out, so it was off the chain. Makes me feel real blessed to still be here. –Callye Peyrovi

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