A Guide To Motor City: LaBritney, Taylor J & Snap Dogg Illustrate What They Love About Detroit

Detroit, aka “The Motor City”, is one of the most underrated cities in the country. For folks who’ve never been there, you tend to think about “8 Mile”, Eminem and the grittiness that the streets of the 313 have to offer. You may have heard about a “coney”, and you might know that Detroit is only miles away from the Canadian border, but until you’ve spent a full day in D-Town, you’ll never know what it’s truly like.

Two weeks ago, the Swisher Sweets Artist Project stopped in Detroit for the 2nd event of the 2018 Pack Night tour and what a success it was. The day before the packed out, Fetty Wap-headlined show, Swisher spent time with LaBritney and Taylor J, for what would be an unforgettable journey through Detroit.

Collective Studios

It all started in the early morning of a warm Friday at Collective Studios, LaBritney’s go-to recording spot when she’s back home. This popular Detroit studio is home to several popular artists, including Big Sean, and again, it’s the spot LaBritney always records at when she’s home. Upon walking in, we were introduced to the rest of her team, including JP and X – her engineers and producers – who began playing us a bunch of La’s music. One of which included the unreleased (at the time) “FWU” remix featuring Kash Doll. Collective Studios is more than just the place that LaBritney records, however. This turns into a second home from time-to-time. “Man, I’ve slept on these couches you guys are sitting on so many times,” the songstress explains. “We work 24/7.”

Lake St. Clair

After watching LaBritney’s recording process, getting to know more of her team, and of course, enjoying some of the finest Swisher Sweets, it was time for the next stop – to see where she goes to write. It turned out to be an epic boat ride across Lake St. Clair on LaBritney’s family boat. She explained that seeing Detroit from a different perspective gives her inspiration when she writes.

The iconic Detroit Riverwalk was in eyesight, just as the Canadian border was (although, we didn’t get too close since we were trying to avoid border patrol). The massive amount of infrastructure and new buildings in Detroit was inspiring to see. Hearing La’s excitement when talking about her appreciation for Detroit and why she’ll always love her hometown brought to light how special this city is.

American Coney Island

It wouldn’t be an official Detroit tour without someone getting a “coney” from one of the historical Coney Island restaurants, so, the team made their way to the American Coney Island on Fayette St. and got a real taste of the culture. From the classic coney dog, to the chicken pitas and of course, a can of Vernor’s to wash it all down, there were no more hungry mouths to feed by the end of the meal.

Motor City Casino

Taylor J and his Takeover crew joined everyone for lunch and then continued our guide from there, taking everyone to a few more hotspots in Detroit. First of which was the Motor City Casino, a popular casino in downtown Detroit where tourists and locals frequently visit. Taylor is focused on success and taking his already illustrious career to the next level, so what better place to visit when looking for that type of motivation?

Also, who knew Taylor was this talented with a deck of cards?

Motown Records

After the casino, the crew went to one of the most historical landmarks in all of Detroit – the Motown Museum. Motown Records, one of the most successful and iconic record labels in the history of music, was started by Berry Gordon Jr. in the 60s and between them and all their subsidiaries achieved more in music than the large majority of the industry. The Motown Museum is located right where Motown’s first headquarters used to be (better known as “Hitsville U.S.A.”) right off of West Grand Boulevard.

With the day wrapping up, Taylor had some prepping to do for the Pack Night event the following day, so he left out to go rehearse his set and fully get ready for the show. Before he left, however, Taylor said, “This place right here is inspiring,” referring to the Motown Museum. “This is where I want to be.”

Snap Dogg wasn’t able to be in town for the visit through Detroit, but we made sure to catch up with him beforehand for a brief interview. He spoke about all his favorite things to do in Detroit, how his city stands out from others, and much, much more.

Check out his full interview below, along with LaBritney’s and Taylor J’s! Detroit, you’re most certainly in good hands.

Snap Dogg

  1. What is the best part about living in Detroit?

Coming from where I come from it shows you how to go out there and work hard. Where I come from thats a good thing because you appreciate it more and more.

  1. Where are some of your favorite places to get a good bite, what should you order?

Fatboy and Motor City Soul Food its like all the soul food you can think of – order chicken wings, macaroni, greens and sweet potatoes.

  1. What’s the hottest place to go out in Detroit?

Depends on what you want to do – but go downtown to the casinos and you can see the borderline from the riverwalk.

  1. Do you have a preferred studio in the D?

2 studios – Caliver downtown where all the temptations used to record, and M beats that’s the first person who recorded. There’s a good vibe around those studios.

  1. For artists like yourself, where do you recommend going to network?

Radio stations – 107.5 with DJBJ. It’s always fun and you enjoy it.

  1. What are some places in you go to for inspiration when writing a song?

I got this little low-key place downtown with a lake house by the water, clear my mind. Right by the Riverwalk. Sometimes I like to go to the schools because seeing the kids motivate you. It’s bigger than you. You got kids looking up to you.

  1. How would you describe Detroit style?

It’s like gangsta, Cartier glasses, the latest fashion but more so different like we’re known for the OG gators stuff. If you catch anyone with some white pair of Cartier glasses they’re from Detroit.

  1. Where do you go for fun?

The boxing gym – Culminate center – lots of pros train there.

  1. How would you compare Detroit hip-hop to the other major markets (NY, ATL, Chicago, etc.)?

We got our own style – we’re not like nobody. We don’t mumble rap we are real and we tell you our story. We just be ourselves and we’re unique. We’re starting to get noticed now. We’re like a dope boy style.

  1. For those who are visiting Detroit, what are some hotspots tourists must check out?

Downtown, 1 pacific mall, biggest mall, one museum with all the featured rappers.

  1. Describe a typical “day in the life” for you. What activities are you going to do, what food are you going to eat, etc.

I wake up, call to check on my kids, go to boxing gym 3 days out the week, go to the studio every day, shoot a video or something, chill with the homies. I like to work and have fun.

  1. How have legendary Detroit rappers like Eminem and Big Sean impacted the Detroit culture?

Its impacting the kids. Thats what its about. A lot of people don’t understand but the kids too. They put it on the platform for the city. The stuff they’re doing is opening the kids eyes. And what we’re doing is opening the kids eyes it’s like we got the torch.

Taylor J

  1. Where are some of your favorite places to get a good bite, what should you order?

Coney Island that’s always a good spot to go eat. I don’t eat meat anymore but you can get some good chicken and fries there.

  1. Do you have a preferred studio in the D?

I’m more of a home studio type of guy.

  1. For artists like yourself, where do you recommend going to network?

Just out and about you can run into someone at the bar or club.

  1. What are some places in you go to for inspiration when writing a song?

I’mma roll a blunt and hop on the freeway. If I just ride and smoke that be a lot of my mediation that bring a lot of inspiration.

  1. How would you describe Detroit style?

Aggressive in a good way. In a determined, hard-working and hustling way. Everyone’s trying to get some accomplishments and success going. It’s a hungry style.

  1. Where do you go for fun?

The casinos.

  1. How would you compare Detroit hip-hop to the other major markets (NY, ATL, Chicago, etc.)?

More independent, just meaning not a lot of major labels based in Detroit. It’s just the people, for the people by the people situation.

  1. For those who are visiting Detroit, what are some hotspots tourists must check out?

Coney Island.

  1. Describe a typical “day in the life” for you. What activities are you going to do, what food are you going to eat, etc.

I’mma wake up, I’mma roll up and turn on some beats if I’m in a creative mood. Then imma let it out to start the day. From there pull up see what’s going on with my friends and my family. Get all my personal stuff out of the way then take care of my music the rest of the day. Then just working on music rest of the day and night.

  1. How have legendary Detroit rappers like Eminem and Big Sean impacted the Detroit culture?

They have impacted it in a big way. Its inspiration when you see someone from where you’re from that’s doing a lot. It’s crazy and shows anyone from that same place you can be as big as you want to be. A lot of other kids are focused on other things. You can do whatever you want to do. They’re male role models and that’s hella important and gives people hope.

LaBritney

  1. What is the best part about living in Detroit?

My family being here. I recently moved to LA and i feel myself coming back to Detroit every week. But I love coming back to Detroit because these are my roots and where I grew up. It makes me feel like myself 100%.

  1. Where are some of your favorite places to get a good bite, what should you order?

I love Food Deli – they got some of the best corned beef sandwiches – there’s one of 7 mile. Theres a soul food restaurant my family owns. MJ’s Cater To You.

  1. Where’s the hottest place to go out in Detroit?

Coscos. It’s been poppin’ for a few years now. Or the strip club Diamond’s it’s one of my favorite. It’s the most poppin’ one. Clubs here don’t last year.

  1. Do you have a preferred studio in the D?

Collective Studio. It’s a really good vibe. I love the vibe. Sometimes we just be in there chilling watching music videos and ordering food. Most importantly we work and make good music.

  1. For artists like yourself, where do you recommend going to network?

Try to get into these events that radios host. Imported from the D – hosted by DJBJ and have judges, it’s good networking because you meet other artists and DJs who are doing what you’re doing.

  1. What are some places in you go to for inspiration when writing a song?

One of my favorite places to go to is the riverfront in downtown Detroit, there’s this little spot that’s kind of hidden. Right across the river is Canada. Especially this time of the year when the weather is nice.

  1. How would you describe Detroit style?

Fashion is really flashy here. We like to be like big fur coats, glasses, Cartier glasses with diamonds, black girl hair, always switching my hair up. Glossy.

  1. Where do you go for fun?

I really go to the studio for fun. That’s what i do. I write, record, my friends, other artists pull up to the studio.

  1. How would you compare Detroit hip-hop to the other major markets (NY, ATL, Chicago, etc.)?

My music as an artist is the only type who have this style – its a mix between R&B and Hip-hop and most of the artists here are very urban and talk a lot about coming from nothing. Helluva is a group here that help create the sound for a lot of the biggest hip-hop artists.

  1. For those who are visiting Detroit, what are some hotspots tourists must check out?

Definitely Motown museum – a lot of history there. You know a lot of the greatest were here. You also want to go to Sweetwaters and get some of their wings in downtown Detroit. Definitely want to pull up to St Andrew’s Hall. kick it at the radio station pull up on DJBJ. We have MGM and other casinos and eat at the buffet in the hotels.

  1. Describe a typical “day in the life” for you. What activities are you going to do, what food are you going to eat, etc.

Typically, I wake up and I cook breakfast for me and my two sons and my sister. Then I hit up my people because I either got a photoshoot, a video shoot or recording. Then I gotta meet up with my designer. Shoot my music video and then take my boys out to dinner. Really splitting time between my work, my family and myself.

  1. How have legendary Detroit rappers like Eminem and Big Sean impacted the Detroit culture?

He came back and did a whole bunch of events. It’s nice to see artists like them who make it where they are and come back. Every year Sean comes back and does a Turkey drive for the high school. He’s really doing the best that he can do be impactful and help Detroit.

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2018-08-06T16:09:44+00:00

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