For Scootie Wop, music isn’t just life – it helped him save his life. Walking down a timeline that saw struggle, misfortune, and a broken path to self-destruction, Scootie eventually found the key to eternal life after a brush with death. Let’s go back…
“Since I was a newborn, music was instilled in me,” Scootie Wop said. “My mom prayed over me and said I was humming in her lap. Eventually, I started playing drums on the pots and pans, and I got a drumset when I was five.”
He played them until they broke.
“C-A-R-O-L-I-N-A” is how Wop starts his Rapzilla Freshmen cypher verse. He indeed is a product of both Carolina as he was born in the North and grew up in South. In between that, however, was a stint in Virginia that resulted in a broken home.
“It wasn’t a single-family home at first. My father was a pastor and in the military back in Virginia. When he left we lost everything,” Scootie explained. “We lived in a 95 Mercedes Benz.”
His mother moved with him and his siblings back to Carolina. Scootie started gang banging in 5th grade after his older brother put him on. From there, he got into drugs and other activities someone his age shouldn’t have been participating in.
Then he began playing sports to get out of trouble. It was actually older members of the gang that encouraged it after seeing his talent on the field.
Essentially, if it involved being athletic, Wop crushed it. He played football, basketball, track, and did seven years of kickboxing. With basketball, practices were over an hour away. He didn’t get home until 9 or 10 p.m. so he stopped going. While on track, he grew tired of running. Kickboxing seemed promising, but his size and weight proved challenging for him to be able to fight in the right classes. That left football, something he excelled at.
Scootie Wop was a promising high school football talent and was set to play in college, but yet again, tragedy struck. This time it was a broken leg. While on the field he suffered a gruesome injury. Another player went right through his leg and snapped it in six places. He’d get 11 screws and two rods to hold his leg together.
He was only in school three of nine months that year because of injury and recovery. It would take almost a year for him to walk again, and then another year to possibly get back on the football field. That dream was over…but a new one would soon begin.
Scootie and a friend got laptops at school and downloaded FL Studio to them (they weren’t supposed to). On other occasions, he went to the Boys & Girls Club studio.
He was doing secular music at first, selling beats, and was even featured in Fader Magazine for producing the Moneybagg Yo song “Mah Dawg.”
“My options were to either sell drugs over there or make beats over here,” he said. “Once I got the first couple hundred from selling beats, I figured I could do it.”
But before Scootie really took off with music, he was still selling drugs. He had been dabbling with drugs on and off since he was 12 or 13. While this in itself is problematic, he began dipping into his own supply and became a Xanax addict.
One night while driving his sister’s car, he got into a bad accident. Scootie fell asleep at the wheel while high on Xanax. He swerved off the road, crashed into a pole, and his head went through the windshield.
The car was totaled but he was somehow able to drive it back home and tell his mom. She told him, “You need to go to church and do something.” She then signed him up for Atlanta Leadership College where he went for two years and got saved both physically and spiritually.
He got saved at 19 and then grew a love for youth ministry, along with praise and worship. At 21, he started rapping.
At this point, he was known as Lil Sco. This was short for Pablo Escobar. The name Scootie Wop would come at the insistence of God.
“God told me to start over,” Wop revealed. “A lot of people called me Scooter and my older brother said to change that to Scootie.”
At the time, Scootie was listening to a lot of Gucci Mane who’s main adlib was holding out the word “wop” at the time. So he put the name and phrase together, threw Scootie Wop in the Google search bar, and found no results.
“This is so outlandishly weird, it’ll stick,” he said with a laugh.
Along with the name change came a call to do Christian music. He was a total unknown in space. He wouldn’t get into the CHH community until early 2020.
Right before we entered into the COVID-19 pandemic, Miles Minnick put out the Pluto challenge. The artist who would later be known as Da Rich 1 told him, “Yo win this challenge” and Scootie won it.
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A lot of people started to hit him up after that. Then he won Mission’s challenge, and then he won Mike Teezy’s challenge.
Scootie couldn’t compete on the football field anymore, but he found a competitive edge in the rap game.
Then, Rockstar JT came calling. He had a song called “Stick” that was getting a placement on the Reach Records Summer 2020 Playlist alongside Duke Deuce and MainMain. The four artists would have a hit on their hands.
Scootie Wop started becoming a name everyone was hearing in CHH. Back in 2019, he went to A3C and met BigBreeze. They had exchanged numbers, but nothing came of it. Shortly after that, he linked up with TJ GodFearin’ on Instagram.
He didn’t know it at the time, but all the pieces to his future group Vert Mob were in play.
Wop and GodFearin’ made a song (“Slide Music 2”), and the latter said they needed Breeze on it. Scootie didn’t immediately realize he had met Breeze already.
On another occasion, the three artists were at Reach Records, and Ace Harris, Reach’s A&R said, “Ya’ll should be a group.” He kept saying it the whole time and even Hulvey chimed in. The three artists declined.
“We posted a picture of the three of us at Reach and everyone was saying, ‘Y’all look like a group’…I guess we’re a group.”
“Vert Mob is really special to my life because everyone was already doing something and then we came together and it’s almost like family over the music,” shared Scootie. “We’re praying, doing devotionals…it’s like having older brothers.”
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Having these two brothers has helped exponentially for Scootie Wop. His family grew even bigger once he was named a 2021 Rapzilla Freshmen. He admitted, that upon meeting everyone, he was intimidated at first especially since he saw everyone’s work ethic and accomplishments. Now he says it feels good to know his artist friends are like family.
Relationships are important to him. He says one of the keys to him staying firm in his faith is having a mentor. He has nothing to hide in saying that either.
“That’s the most important thing in my walk as an artist or a person,” he said. “You can put yourself around people who are just like you or you can be around people who have been to where you want to go.”
He continued, “Get somebody who has been further than you have. It’s a good feeling to know I can come to this person for anything.”
Scootie Wop is set up for success in the future. He has a record called “Worship in the Moshpit” coming with KB. He wrote the hook for Lecrae’s newest track “Hold Up Wait,” and has a bunch of songwriting credits on upcoming tracks including one for Wande.
There is a Scootie solo project coming in 2022 too.
From a broken home, drumset, leg, dreams, and a car, Scoot Wop has defied the odds and mended that brokenness into something strong. The name Vert describes him perfectly, only going up!