As one of the pioneers of YouTube stardom, DeLaGhetto’s work ethic is serious, despite what his digital antics may imply. After more than seven years on the web, little has changed about the Asian-American star, born Tim Chantarangsu. He’s still producing hilarious videos that get clicks past the million mark and he’s still spitting out catchy rap tracks on everything from relationships to pop culture parodies. These days, he’s enjoying the rewards of his labor and released a new mixtape called Cruise Control to celebrate. VIBE powwows with DeLaGhetto about his self-made success and his plans to take over the universe. –Adelle Platon
How’s the Traphik on Cruise Control different than the guy we hear on your 2010 mixtape Mixed Ape?
Mixed Ape was kinda like just a compilation of a bunch of random tracks I did. There was no real direction in it. That’s why it was called Mixed Ape just because it was a bunch of stuff thrown together. You had everything from parody tracks on there, from slow stuff to harder, more street stuff and Cruise Control is the first project in a long time where I’ve kind of had one direction for it. Not to be confused with the Australian boy band. For Cruise Control, I really wanted to give people some stuff to chill and vibe to. I feel like I am in a really comfortable part of my life right now. I just felt like making some feel good, real kick back music. That was my goal from the beginning and that’s what I did.
What track on Cruise Control that you hold dear to your heart?
I love the track I did with Tori Kelly called “Magnetic,” and it’s kind of everyone’s favorite track too. It’s real happy and upbeat, springtime, summertime, party track and it’s real radio-friendly. It’s just a real feel good track. Everybody really likes it and Tori Kelly is amazing on the hook.
You had so many downloads and so many sites uploading your mixtape upon its release. Were you expecting the response that it got while making the project?
You know I wasn’t really expecting it. I knew people would dig it because I’ve always had my solid core fanbase for my music and there’s always been those people who haven’t really listened to me who will hear a couple of tracks here and there. In terms of me being a rapper it’s been debatable for them. I feel like with the Cruise Control mixtape that I put out, a lot of people who weren’t really feeling me in the beginning really came to respect me as an MC and it was an overall positive reaction from the mixtape and that made me happy.
Has the priority shifted in terms of what comes number one passion-wise, whether it’s music or being a comedian?
At the end of the day, I’m all about making the world a brighter place. Right now, the videos in general are what’s making me my money and what I’m living off of whether it’s a music video or the comedy. Of course people are a lot more pickier with their music and it’s easier to make somebody laugh than to have everyone dig your music. So the music is always dope but it’s extra rewarding when people give you so much love on the music ‘cause I’m always a funny dude. But in terms of like where my priorities are, I’m just a Renaissance man.