You may know Rod “Good Shooter” Gates as a cast member on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, who was featured on Season 6 and Season 7. He is also a music producer, who has worked with the likes of Young Thug and Cash Out, but who is Rod “Good Shooter” Gates?
Q: Majority of everyone know you from being on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta Season 6 and Season 7, but could you tell us who Rod Gates have better known as ”Shooter” really is?
A: I been In the game for a while, I used to manage Young Thug. He and I used to be all over the place. I’ve been in the music game for a while, but I was just so tired in the street that I couldn’t get my stuff together. Like I been around Young Thug, Lucci, and Cash Out. I actually tried to help Thug and Cash Out a couple years ago I took them to PST Studio, so I guess I could say I was a ghetto a&r way back then. I was just so tied up trying to handle my business in the streets. I didn’t really know much about that. I have also been shooting underground movies as well. I’ve been doing that awhile actually.
Q: How did you get the name ”Shooter”?
A: It’s actually ”Good Shooter”. I don’t know why they took it off, but I got that name because I shoot jump shots well, I shoot pool good, and I shoot dice good.
Q: What was your childhood like? Any childhood games you enjoyed playing?
A: Basketball has been one of my favorites. Football and baseball. I played a lot of street ball. I missed my calling I actually could’ve played ball.
Q: You are an actor, correct?
A: Yes, I always wanted to start my acting career. I want to take my career to another level. In my mind, as a kid, I always had dreams of being on the big screen. I’m thankful for Mona Scott for the opportunity, but I see myself on a much bigger platform. That was a big platform, but I see myself on a bigger one.
Q: What genre of movies could you see yourself being a part of and why? Do you consider yourself being the comedic person, action, bad guy or good guy?
A: Man listen, I don’t but no cap on this, but I like the bad guy role and I like the good guy role. I don’t see myself in the comedic role, but anything else I could see myself playing. I really kind of could see myself playing the comedic role, but that’s not really my character.
Q: Which actor or actress would you like to work with?
A: Denzel Washington! I love that main character. He is the best at what he does.
Q: You have produced music for a lot of people, but before we get into the list of people you have worked with, how did you become a producer?
A: Well actually, if you look at all the talent, it was a lot of talent in the hood when you grow up around it. A lot of talents to come from the hood. Like every day, someone comes up to me with a cd. RichHomieQuan back in the day we used to be in a little spot and he would come over with his CDs to give them out. So like I don’t have a choice but to try because all of the talents was coming my way. And I was watching them blow up like the man I could’ve had him. So that’s what I said let me try this.
Q: Who all have you worked with?
A: Young Thug, Yaki, and Cash Out. Mostly Young Thug and Cash Out.
Q: What was it like working with them?
A: Those are my homies! It was a pleasure to work with those guys. It really was an honor to see how them doing what they love from where they come from. I watched them struggle. I watched them go through the things they have gone through. Thug and I relationship are very different. When he was making nothing a show he would call me and ask for money and I would give it to him. Then he started making 2,500 a show. He would call me and ask me if I needed some money and I’ll tell him “No I don’t need no money, go ahead”
Q: So it was like a brother relationship? He looks out for you and you look out for him?
A: Everything I did for him came from the heart and the same for him. So it was never like you owe me or I owe you. It was more like a family. I’ve seen him come from a house of 15 kids in a 3 bedroom and become a star.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is interested in becoming a producer?
A: I tell anyone, you never know who is next. If the opportunity presents itself and it’s a lot of talent around you. Try to go to work with it and put it on paper and invest in it. Just have to be willing to try if that’s what you want to do. I’ve seen these guys go through it and they have become successful. We live off of them!
Q: So if there was an artist that you haven’t worked with, who would it be and why?
A: Lil Baby! I’ve seen him come from the same struggle and that’s like my little brother too. I haven’t worked with him but I would love to work with him. I know where he comes from. He was in jail and came out and blew up. We come from the same hood. So I would work with him!
Q: Are there any business that you have invested in?
A: Just Underground at the moment and I have a project on YouTube right now. A good friend of mine Derrick Simmons and I just contributed to it. We are trying to do underground movies. I also have a web series on YouTube called “Depression” by DJ Westside. This was before I was on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. So I’ve been working!
Q: This is why we want to know who you were before Love and Hip Hop because that is where a lot of us know you from this show.
A: I have friends who I’ve gone to high school with is in the industry. The thing is I was pushing a lot of people instead of pushing myself. I never saw myself on the tv screen, it just sorta happened. I didn’t ask for that. It’s like I was destined to do it. God gave me this calling I guess because a lot of these young guys look up to me and God put me in this position because it gives a lot of young people hope now because the young people look at me like “Shooter was out here with us and now he’s on tv! We could do something different, we don’t have to hustle! We can pursue our acting career and do what Shooter doing!” So I do it for my youth. I want to see these kids doing something different.
Q: And I think that’s what a lot of the communities are missing is somebody who came from the same place that they came from, doing something positive, and it could bring some type of motivation and inspire them.
A: Usually the guys like me with the dreads and the tattoos we are the people who are stereotyped, but if you put me next to a preacher with a suit on and you us in the hood and we go talk to the kids guess who they are going to listen to? They will not listen to that preacher with that suit. You know why? Because they are not seeing by him. He doesn’t look like them so they will feel like he can’t relate to them. But if I say the same thing the preacher say they will listen. So that’s why God uses people like me who can reach people. These super save preachers can’t do it. For one, they stereotype everytime you go to church they worry about negative stuff instead of talking about God to save your souls, which turn a lot of youth away from the church.
Q: I’ve seen shirts and the name on your Instagram called ‘High Demand’, where did all it that start?
A: You know what’s crazy about that? That was my son clothing line and I didn’t know about it until he passed. The reason why my son was just like me to be able to hold his own. So a lot of things he had going on he didn’t tell me. My homie used to talk to my son all the time and he would always he couldn’t ask my dad for anything, he has to do it himself. So when he passed and I found out that it was his clothing line, I had to keep pushing it. So that’s where ”High Demand” comes from, my son clothing line.
Q: Let’s talk about fatherhood for you, I always see you on Instagram with your boys being rough with them at times (lol)…
A: That’s the only gang I bang and that is fatherhood! Because I know how important it is for a father to the role models in their kid’s lives. I usually spend more money than time, now I spend more time than money because I know how important it is. Kids will only follow what they see, so I try my best to do my part and the thing I need to do that’s different. Instead of telling them, its different from when you show them you have to tell them. I try not to let the Internet raise my kids I like to be more involved in mine. I already lost one so I know how important that is.
Q: I also wanted to send my condolences to you about the incident with your eldest son, what was is it like being a father to your young boys. Because in society today there are so many things happening surrounding our young black men and you had a rally for the justice of your eldest son and Sierra was there for support, what was running through your mind throughout the whole thing?
A: It’s amazing how God can turn a negative situation into a positive outcome. I know I can’t be selfish no matter what goes on in your life. If it wasn’t for God who had sustained me I would have lost my mind. Strong is my only option. My situation could help someone else get to through their situation so I have to be the one to stand and tell them to keep God in your personal prayers. God plan is the greatest of all plans! You never know how life will turn out. By the world seeing me be strong, and going through that. It’s people going through that and some people can’t handle it. They will kill themselves doing something they really shouldn’t do like trying to find love in all the wrong places. So, I reach out and talking to these people because I lost my son but guess what? We have to keep going and keep pushing, don’t give up! Things happen in life that we have no control over. There is nothing you can do about it but pray to God and ask him to give you the strength that’s what I do. At the end of the day, I could shoot everyone in the world but it will not bring lil Rod back. I could fight everyone in the world it won’t bring him back. I have to take that negative and turn it into something positive, just as God did. So to see everyone come out there and show support and show the love that really touched me to see how big my son was, without me. So much impact on his own is strong!
Q: Moving forward to you becoming a cast member on Love and Hip Hop of Atlanta, tell us about how you originally appeared on the show?
A: I originally appeared as the bad guy. The one who allegedly cheated on his wife with the help. That’s me the bad guy! Although it’s a lot of behind the scenes that nobody will know about that I will not reveal. I’m just going to take the bad guy title and I’m going to win.
Q: Being a cast member on LHH Atlanta, how do people react to you when they see you in person?
A: Now, I mean they used to hate me, but have forgotten about the cheating thing. They don’t even do that anymore, they want hugs, they want to pray for me. The people show mad love. It’s crazy because my kids are like, “Wow I don’t get this much love, how do these people know you.” I tell them, “I don’t know”, it’s just one of those situations God put me in, no matter what the platform was.
Q: How has LHHATL benefited you?
A: It gave me a platform that it got me going to schools to speak to kids to stay on the track and change their life. A lot of people reaching out to me like Trayvon Martin’s dad and I went up there with him to speak. It put me in places that I probably wouldn’t have gotten there on my own. So see me go through the hurt I went through on the show. It put me around of positive things. It’s just what we choose to do with it this good platform, not this great platform, but this stepping stone.
Q: Being able to look at yourself on tv, is there anything you would have done differently?
A: I don’t believe so. Do you want to know why I call myself the bad guy? The only reason I did that I understand something about this world that they gravitate toward negativity. So I went in the game as the bad guy just to invite people into my life. Once you come to check for the bad guy, you can understand that he is really the good guy. So that’s why I know if I went on there as the good guy they don’t want to hear about a guy who’s supposed to be good, they want to hear some b.s. So I called myself the bad guy. It was a scheme to it, I never went on there to promote violence, I knew that.
Q: I know for a fact that you are a shoe guy! You have to be!
A: I love them! How did you know that? My Instagram? (Laughs)
Q: (Laughs) No, I just know that guys are into shoes. It is a given fact! What is your input on the protest against Nike?
A: I really haven’t given it much thought, I think it’s big that Nike took up and give Colin an endorsement. That’s big! It really showed me that Nike actually stands for something. They just do it! I have nothing against that. I’m for it!
Q: That’s good! I know a lot of people have their input on the whole Nike situation. I feel that it is stupid that some people are trying to ban their employees from wearing anything Nike to work. They would do either have to leave work or they will get be fired…
A: I don’t understand them trying to ban people from wearing Nike to work. I don’t believe that it is that deep. I don’t think that’s right. This is what I mean by the world being so negative. That’s how it feels! This brother stood up for what he believed in and the world wants to punish him for his belief. If that’s the case you should punish everyone. For everybody else who believes in something, we all believe in something. So why tarnish him for what he believes in and for what he stands for? It takes a real man to stand up for what he did to lose his job, to lose his endorsements, and still stand by his word.
Q: What’s next in the future for, Shooter?
A: I’m not going to say, but I’m not trying to get into a movie, but I will be in movies! I’m going to shoot my own reality show called “Shoot Your Shot!” I’m working on that. I’m also working on another reality show about fatherhood. I just want to show the world that there are black fathers out there, who are actually out here doing what they are supposed to do. There’s no need to pat me on my back for what I’m supposed to do. We don’t get enough credit as men for taking on our responsibilities, but we always get discredit when we’re not doing what the world wants or what world feels. So I want to stand up as a father and show the world that there are fathers out here doing what we are supposed to do. As soon as we make one mistake, we’re classified as deadbeat fathers.