Slim Thug was trolling. Like many Americans, the threat of coronavirus seemed like an otherworldly concern and not a force that’d begin to change the fabric of daily existence. “I was saying stay home and yelling. I was telling people they were going to get it,” Thug says. “I was even making jokes about the NBA with the players who got it.”
Then, just a week later, the Houston rapper informed his million-plus Instagram followers that he had tested posted for the virus, sharing a video of the experience. “I feel like I put myself in that position on accident by speaking on it so much,” he says. “At that point, I feel like I had to keep it real and be responsible and let everybody know it is real. I got it.”
Bunkered inside his Texas home, Slim Thug is in good spirits, but has a lot on his mind. He says he’ll be fine, physically and financially, but there are millions across the nation who won’t be.
As told to Charles Holmes.
I was staying home, trying to avoid it. I live by myself. I would go to the store to get a juice, go to the Target [and] pick up an XBox. I had on a mask and gloves. It was during spring break when it got serious and everybody was still out partying, I had already stayed home and was trying to avoid the situation. I did slight stuff, like I went and got a haircut. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that. For the most part, I wasn’t in no crowds. I was making sure I wasn’t hanging ‘round nobody or nothing like that or nothing too crazy. Just the minimal stuff ended up still getting me.
Over the weekend, I had a fever. I had shortness of breath and I had a slight headache. I never have headaches. I never have fevers or shortness of breath. I run three miles every day. I’m usually good. I reached out to my sister, she’s like my personal assistant. I’m a lightweight hypochondriac. If anything going wrong with me, I’m calling, trying to go to the doctor, see what’s — up all the time. She didn’t even take me serious. Her and her husband came to my house. They definitely wasn’t treating me like I had corona. They over here thinking I’m just overreacting, having cabin fever. I told her again after she got home later on that night, “Hey, make sure you set up that appointment.” So the next morning, she called my doctor and he let me come straight in immediately.
I took a 24-hour test. It’s not no unbearable pain or nothing. It was just a simple swab of the nose. It was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t nothing that made me go too crazy. I got the results that next morning. My sister called me with the nurse on the phone. She told me, “I do have it — so stay home, self-quarantine for two-to-three weeks.” Then I got to go back up there, take another test. They just basically told me to stay home and don’t go nowhere. ‘Cause really it ain’t no cure or nothing, so you just try to fight it out. They told me drink hot liquids, take vitamin C and really fight it out, but I ain’t really have no serious, serious effects from this. It didn’t take me down too crazy. I was still active during this whole thing, moving around my house, getting up doing stuff.
I have insurance, but insurance is expensive for a rapper. It’s expensive for anybody. As a rapper, you always got to pay out-of-pocket — that’s a problem. People who work for companies, they get deals on this. The music industry definitely needs to fix that. A lot of older rappers don’t have those record deals no more. Who’s going to protect them? We need health insurance on every level. Everybody should have health insurance, ‘cause you can’t call it. You’ll never know when you’ll get sick. You’ll never know when something like this will happen.
I’m an independent rapper and entrepreneur. I’ve been like this for years. I constantly put out music. I just put out a record Friday, Thug Life, that’s doing well and I own everything. So I don’t have to split up a lot of my money. So I make good money off of projects I put out through streaming. I got a construction company, Boss Life Construction. A clothing line, Boss Life, we do all kinds of stuff. We built penthouses in the community a couple years ago. We just gave away a house to a hurricane victim, a whole paid-off house. We’ve got a Boss Life beer.
[Coronavirus] has already affected me a lot on all ends. I had six shows canceled. No telling how long this is going to last or how long it’s going to affect us, but at the end of the day, I am prepared for it. I’m not living check-to-check or nothing. I’m prepared for it, but at the same time, I’m definitely going to take a huge L because of what’s going on. I hate to see that, especially with a young rapper — let’s say DaBaby. I’m sure he’s probably getting $100,000 everywhere he shows his face because it’s his prime and, right now, he missing all that money. You’ll never know if you’ll ever get that opportunity again.
It’s sad and it’s scary, but then it’s also a wake-up call. I know a lot of rappers wait until later in their career to have other investments. But this is a wake-up call to show them that you shouldn’t have one thing you need to rely on, while you’re popping and got all of these shows. Buy some houses, so you can have some money coming in on the real estate side. While they hot and popping, they need to invest in different things, while the money coming in smooth. Then when stuff like this happens, you can still balance it with other things you invest in.
It’s definitely something they need to take serious. I just wanted to keep it real with my people. I had a platform. I’m always an open person. I’m not a private person. It ain’t nothing I’m ashamed of. I knew I was going to be able to beat it. I just move like that. I feel like I’m at least 90%. I still feel a little shortness of breath, but I feel like if I can get back to my running then I can get that back right.