Carlos Walker (born March 31, 1976), better known by his stage name Shawty Lo, is an American hip hop recording artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Walker is a founding member of the Southern hip hop group D4L and in 2003, founded D4L Records. He is perhaps best known for his debut single "Dey Know", which was included on his solo debut album Units in the City, released in February 2008. In June 2011, Walker announced he signed his D4L imprint, to fellow American rapper 50 Cent's G-Unit Records, in a joint venture deal.
2003-2006: Career beginnings with D4L
In 2003, Shawty Lo formed the hip hop group D4L, with fellow Atlanta-based rappers Fabo, Mook-B and Stoney. Shawty Lo subsequently launched his indie record label D4L Records. Shawty Lo self-funded the group in its early days. He explained that the group's name stands for "Down for Life". The group signed to the indie label Dee Money Entertainment, which released the group's debut in conjunction with Asylum Records. Their debut album, titled Down for Life, was executive produced by Shawty Lo and eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album had spawned the hit singles "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me" and "Laffy Taffy". The latter of which attributed much to the group's success, as it broke records as the most downloaded song in the history of music according to the 2007 Guinness Book of the World Records. It was also a multi-platinum ring tone and scored a prestigious ASCAP award.
The group debuted with "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me", which Billboard claimed to have popularized snap music. In January 2006, D4L's single "Laffy Taffy", reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As was another Atlanta-based hip hop group Dem Franchize Boyz, D4L was part of the snap music trend in 2006, which continued when Mississippi-based rapper Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, came out with the No. 1 hit song "Crank That (Soulja Boy)", in 2007.
2007-2008: Solo career and Units in the City
On December 4, 2007, Shawty Lo released "Dey Know",his solo commercial debut single. The single charted in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. On February 26, 2008, his solo debut album Units in the City, was released. The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 and at #2 on the Top Rap Albums chart, selling over 160,000 copies to date. The album spawned two other singles, "Dunn Dunn" and the remix to "Foolish".
The album features guest appearances from Shawty Lo's D4L cohorts and Gucci Mane, among others. Shawty Lo also released a music video for the album cut, "Got Em 4 da LO".
The songs "Dey Know" and "Foolish", were both officially remixed, featuring new verses from several high-profile artists. These include Ludacris, Young Jeezy, Plies, Lil' Wayne, DJ Khaled, Birdman, Rick Ross and Jim Jones. The "Foolish" music video also included cameo appearances from Pitbull, Jadakiss and Ace Hood.
2010–present: Still Got Units
Shawty Lo's second solo album, Bankhead Born & Raised: Carlos is set to be released soon. Artists to be featured include Rick Ross, T-Pain, Lil' Kim, Bun B, Nate Butler, Lyfe Jennings, T.I., Lil Wayne, and Gucci Mane. Shawty Lo confirmed that Atlanta, GA, which features Gucci Mane, Ludacris and The-Dream, will be the first single released from the album. The album is also notable for Roll the Dice, a song which marks the end of the beef between himself and rapper T.I.
On June 10, 2011, it was confirmed by both Shawty Lo and Allhiphop.com that he has signed a large deal with G-Unit Records after it was reported they were in talks. Shawty Lo said, "My new situation with G-Unit was just solidified and I got off the phone with 50 yesterday, I just signed a really large deal,” when talking to allhiphop.com. As well as, “It's like a new beginning and all I needed was someone behind me. 50 Cent is a marketing genius and I got my new thing D4L and G-Unit and we going to be working the south and the rest of the world if need be". It was later clarified by Shawty Lo that he had not signed as an artist but instead he had signed his label D4L Records to G-Unit.
In 2008, Shawty Lo was involved in a highly publicized feud with another Atlanta rapper, T.I.. The feud was characterized by Shawty Lo's track "Dunn Dunn", and T.I.'s reply "What Up, What's Haapnin". The song "Dunn Dunn" appears to question T.I.'s roots in Bankhead. The music video for "What Up, What's Haapnin" was shot in Bowen Homes. In an interview, T.I. insisted that his song "No Matter What" was only partially aimed at Shawty Lo. The feud reached its climax at the November 2008 Dirty Awards where the entourages of both artists clashed during the ceremony, forcing it to be shut down. Two incidents forced police to use pepper-spray and evacuate the audience. The feud was publicly ended on March 7, 2009, when Shawty Lo and T.I. appeared on-stage together at Club Crucial in Bankhead, for T.I.'s farewell concert. After this performance, T.I. gave an interview to MTV, in which he stated that the feud with Shawty Lo was exaggerated by the media, and was not a 'beef'. Shawty Lo also made a song "Roll the Dice", a song which samples Coldplay's popular 2008 single "Viva la Vida". "Roll the Dice" marks the end of the feud between Shawty Lo and T.I.
All My Babies' Mamas
His TV series, All My Babies' Mamas was set to air later in 2013 on the Oxygen channel, but has garnered controversy and calls from the NAACP to be cancelled due to its alleged stereotypical nature. On January 15, 2013, Oxygen Media cancelled the show, stating in a press release that "as part of our development process, we have reviewed casting and decided not to move forward with the special." But On February 26, 2013 Shawty Lo announced that there were other television networks that were interested in the reality show.
By the age of 17, Carlos had fathered his first child, and his grandmother died. He now has a total of eleven children: nine daughters and two sons from ten women.
- Studio albums
- Units in the City (2008)
- Still Got Units (2014)
- BET Hip Hop Awards
- 2008, Rookie of the Year [Won]
- 2008, Track of the Year, "Dey Know" [Won]
- Ozone Awards
- 2008, Best Rap Album, Units in the City [Nominated]
- 2008, Breakthrough Artist [Won]
- 2008, Club Banger of the Year, "Dey Know" [Nominated]
- 2008, Best Mixtape/Street Album, "I'm Da Man 2" with DJ Scream [Nominated]
- on Twitter