Life is street for Flo Rida; Music By Andy Coleman.
THERE'S a double helping of hip hop on offer on Monday when headliner Flo Rida and support act Scrabull take to the stage at Birmingham's O2 Academy.
Flo Rida has topped the charts around the world with his single Right Round but it has not always been an easy ride for hip hop's new golden boy.
The Florida-born performer got his first break at 18, touring with Fresh Kid Ice of 2 Live Crew. His MC skills caught the attention of DeVante Swing, formerly of R& B group Jodeci. Swing flew the young rapper to Los Angeles, where he stayed for three years, struggling to make his mark.
"I was literally on the streets, at times promoting myself by myself," he recalls.
In early 2006, despite being reluctant to leave LA until he had landed a record deal, he returned to Miami where he continued promoting himself.
He was spotted by the E-Class, the boss of Poe Entertainment who signed him first to Poe, then Atlantic Records. "That was the greatest moment of my life," Flo Rida says.
"I had been working so hard for so long. I had jobs in construction, I worked in warehouses, you name it. But those were all the sacrifices I made by putting my money towards my music, and it finally paid off."
Support act Scrabull was experimenting on decks and freestyling on the mic at the age of 17. Influenced by toasters like Spragga Benz, Mr Vegas, Mad Cobra and Berris Hammond he spent time working on graphics, cutting designs in mates' hair and searching for an outlet for his music.
Whilst wielding a set of clippers, he met aspiring producer, Kriss Kutt.
The duo forged a strong bond and found themselves either holed up in a studio until the early hours, on stage at clubs or on pirate stations like Perception and Warrior FM.
"It's been hard work, but we're making our own sound," says Scrabull. "It's not just hip hop or R& B - we love folk, country, reggae and rock."
FLO RIDA & SCRABULL Monday July 13: O2 Academy, Birmingham Tickets: 0844 477 2000.
Flo-Rida (main picture) and Scrabull.