Back in 2002, André “Scrilla” Scott's relationship with Rick Ross was simply as a fan. As a college football player and aspiring rapper who hung out with the wrong crowd, Scott found a familiarity in Ross' story and looked up to him and what his music had done for Florida hip-hop. But once his NFL dreams didn’t go as planned and his lifestyle of hustling drugs got him thrown behind bars, Scrilla got serious about his career in music upon his release from prison in 2008 after a three-year sentence.
Today, Scrilla has long moved on from his former aspirations of becoming a star football player and kingpin hustler to making hit records with Future, Fetty Wap, Rocko, and his Maybach Music Group boss, Ricky Rozay.
During a recent evening with MMG's new artist, as rain pelted the roof of his black Cadillac, Scrilla sat calmly, brainstorming on his way to Audio Vision Studio in North Miami. The bass-filled instrumental coming from the speakers of the car rattled the bottle of water in the cup holder. The Bahamian American lyricist is currently in the process of preparing his first major label release since being recruited by Ross two years ago.
We were on our way to listen to a few unreleased records from his stash which may or may not end up on his forthcoming project, Bag of Dope. For Scrilla, the last six years have been filled with scattered blessings and heart-wrenching turmoil, yet he’s lived through his struggles to strive and prosper as a skilled emcee and a
“I’m strong man. I’ve been through it,” said Scrilla. “All I can do is get on my knees and pray."
While the details for Bag of Dope are still being kept mum, it’s no secret that the Hollywood resident is also working on his contributions to MMG’s highly anticipated Self Made 4 compilation and pushing his new single, "Fork in the Pot." After a few days of being a fly on the wall of his studio sessions, we dug up seven key facts about Scrilla’s life that you need to know — just incase he becomes the next major artist to blow up from South Florida.
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1. Scrilla was a successful football player up until college.
Before rapping was a career choice, Scrilla was known as a skilled football player throughout his childhood and until his college career. Growing up, the kids in the neighborhood and
schoolwould calledhim “ironman” once they found out he packed a severe punch with every tackle he made. As a solid running back for Miramar High, Scott graduated and went on play for a school in California before he transferredto UCF to play for the Knights. Unfortunately, he never made it after he was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison for selling drugs.
2. B.G. is a major influence in his career.
While Miami pioneers like Trick Daddy and Rick Ross have helped shape his sound, Scrilla proudly embraces B.G. as one of his major influences. The former Cash Money rapper, who’s currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for gun possession and witness tampering, first captivated Scrilla with albums like Chopper City in the Ghetto and All on You Vol. 1. Although his path has changed drastically since then, Scrilla still relates to B.G. on every level.
3. Scrilla cheated death by surviving a drive-by shooting.
Back in 2013, we told you the miraculous story of how Scrilla survived a wild drive-by shooting in Overtown. During a video shoot in the Downtown Miami area, Scrilla sat in his BMW when shots were fired from a passing car. Thirty-three bullets hit his vehicle, 11 of them impacting his door. Fortunately, only one bullet from that massive strike hit him in the knee. Nearly ten weeks after the shooting, Scrilla was back to hitting up the clubs.
4. Scrilla’s mental state was tested after losing three immediate family members within a short time frame.
There’s little worse than the feeling of losing a father. But within the past couple of years, Scrilla has lost more than that. His father Michael lost a battle with AIDS. “I watched my Daddy flatline, so it threw me off because I went into this downward spiral a few months later,” Scrilla said as he reflected on his late father. As if that weren't bad enough, Scott also had to feel the pain of losing his son,
Kaiti, and his brother, Michael, Jr. “It affected me, but it also gave me growth," Scrilla says.
5. Scrilla’s determination is what made Rick Ross pay attention to him.
Rick Ross has had his eye on Scrilla since the “Dope Boy in Versace” rapper was on the come-up under a local record label. Since adding him to the MMG roster, Ross has put in a lot of work with Scrilla in the studio. During a recent studio session, Rozay explained what initially enticed him to work with Scrilla. “He’s determined,” said Ross. “There’s a certain level of determination. There’s regular determination, and then there’s the niggas that’s not going to accept no. There’s a whole other level for it, and that’s where he’ll go. I’ve seen that in him.”
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6. His biggest performance to date was at Rick Ross’ “Port of Miami” show.
Scrilla has had his share of the national limelight, but nothing has been able to top the global exposure he received during Rick Ross’ Tidal X show for the Port of Miami ten-year anniversary. Scrilla says he was in awe of how many veteran artists on the stage — Trick Daddy, Jeezy, Trina, Lloyd, and more — touched the same mike he did for his performance. With thousands of fans watching in the crowd and at home, Scrilla felt like he had the whole world’s attention during his 15-minute set.
7. The deepest words of advice he’s received thus far came from Nas.
Aside from his consistent guidance from his MMG
bawse, Scrilla remembers a valuable piece of advice he got from another major player in the rap game, Nasir Jones. Earlier this month, Scrilla flew out to L.A., where he got the opportunity to celebrate Nas’ birthday. When he got to meet with the Queensbridge rapper, he talked to him about his career and the “One Mic” emcee gave him some valuable words of encouragement: “Embrace the culture. Don’t chase, just embrace it,” Nas told Scrilla. He also told him to keep working and grinding hard, which are words Scrilla takes to heart to this day.