Is there any other chick that could inspire a future mixtape?
I can’t even lie, I really want to be good friends with Kat Stacks. I want to understand what goes through the mind of people who put out videos like that. It’s up to me to find the brilliance in what she’s doing. At the same time she’s catching a lot of backlash.
You’ve mentioned no longer wanting to do a heavy supply of mixtapes. Yet that’s what you were once known for. Why the change of heart?
I was very kindergarten about how much music I put out, very show and tell. I’m incredibly long-winded, but if I would’ve done anything different, I would’ve paced [myself and] had a release schedule.
Moving from mixtape to album, your first single, “Gaucho!” produced by Jim Jonsin, sounds so far from what we’re used to from you.
I just wanted people to hear me with a different sound because you’re going to hear me with the classic Charles Hamilton sound very soon. [During my] break, I was listening to a lot of mainstream music, where for three, four years there was no radio or television [around me] whatsoever. So I got the chance to listen to what y’all say is poppin’.
Do you think the hip-hop community is stuck on ignorance?
I know that the hip-hop and urban community embrace simplicity. When something presents a little bit of complexity, it doesn’t look cool. I’m always hoping the next generation would want brain-cell-expanding music.
How does that affect your music? “Gaucho!” is very pop. Should you have to sacrifice what’s real for the sake of popularity?
Well the multi-Hamilitonization process is—when I was in the spotlight with a deal, I made sure I looked as D-list celebrity as I possibly could. People knew it was a seven-digit deal and were asking ‘Is it because he has talent? He looks like crap.’ I did it because I always wanted people to focus on the music. This time, I’m making sure my appearance is cleaner… I’m trying to understand what makes a better artist [and] I’m not going to stop till Mount Rushmore is me, Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson.
A lot of the blog comments about “Gaucho!” say you’re jacking Wayne’s flow. What’s your take on that?
I win. I’ve established in the last years that I can definitely switch my flow up. I can rhyme exactly like the rapper that you don’t like because you hear him all the time. Now are you going to like me cause I did it, or are you going to respect me because you know I did that to get under your skin and it sounds hot coming from me? Who don’t bite flows? I didn’t call anybody out that I’ve seen bite mine.
“[‘Brooklyn Girls’] actually depresses me a lot, which is the absolute irony of the song. My saddest point became my biggest hit.”
Looking back, are you proud of “Brooklyn Girls”?
That song actually depresses me a lot, which is the absolute irony of the song. My saddest point became my biggest hit. Whatever the reaction is to the pop music I’m going to put out, please be aware that I’ve been thinking of reactions.
So are you trying Pink’s route? Using pop to reel people in to who you really are as an artist?
There you go.
Do you think if you didn’t have all these fuck-ups, you would be at the same level as your peers from that XXL freshmen cover?
Probably not, because I’d be way more isolated. If “Brooklyn Girls” became the World Cup theme, I’d probably hide my face. I’d rather make more music, hit the stage, make the crowd go crazy, say what’s up to a few fans and then go back to public obscurity. What is considered success isn’t success to me.
Is that obscurity something you’d ever change?
There’s purity in obscurity. I can’t fight the reservation factor. I’ll give you great music, but please give me a little distance so when it’s time to accept Grammys, I’ll be ready.
Do you have any features on this coming album?
I think we’re going to put “Paper Boy” [with B.o.B] on the album. Some of the biggest artists I reached out to, minus Eminem, I feel brushed to the side, like ‘Yo nigga, sell some records first.’ I overanlyze and internalyze why people wouldn’t want to work with me.
Are you confident that with this plan you can bounce back from everything?
Yeah, I’m a musician and musicians bounce back. If Charles Hamilton put out [“Ke$ha’s] “Tic Tok” I would be nervous.
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