You also directed your "R.A.D. (Roll A Doobie)" video with Hunter Lyon. What was it like wearing that hat?
As far as most things go, if you want something done right, do it yourself. We've done a lot of videos, some of which I like, so I'm not so fond of and wish we'd done something else. But if I'm not fond of it, I can't blame no one but myself because I know I gave the creative brains to someone else and let them run with it. It also takes a while to get fully comfortable on camera. Rapping, being in the studio and being on stage are different aspects, so being on camera is a totally different one. It takes a little bit to get that down. So when I was 21, 22 doing these videos, you can tell how much more comfortable I am now. With "Roll A Doobie," it was cool to sit down and have this idea, write it down and collaborate with Hunter to see how we could make it happen. We used our resources. For example, there's a probation officer in it. I got my uncle to play that. We went to my local diner and had the waitress over there be in it. We went to the local gas station and had dude over there who sells me bogies and shit, because that's the homie. Totally bringing in your own resources to make it feel real as possible because the concept is that everyone's going through life and everyone's going through bullshit. Sometimes you gotta smoke a joint. You know, not everybody, but if you do, it's not a bad thing.
[videoembed size="full_width" alignment="center"][/videoembed]
During your performance at SOB's, DJ Premier was there. What was it like having a legend in the building?
It was crazy because I've had some wild shows and brought out a lot of kids. I've had some awesome crowds, so to have people come through and know that they want to come check you out and see what's going on is amazing. Premier has been in the game for forever, and Royce [Da 5'9] was out in there. I grew up listening to Royce and I got his first album on hardcopy. I used to have it in my CD player all the time, so it's just cool, man. There were so many other artists out there last night and they were very supportive of what I'm doing. It's nice to kinda finally feel accepted in hip hip because there's been a long time where regardless of what I accomplished, regardless of how good I was doing at what I do, the people just weren't willing to accept it. A lot of this has to do with people not being fully informed on what it is that I do and just kind of, you know, white, Connecticut, suburbs. And I totally get it. It's hip hop, that's why I say you gotta earn your stripes and last night was a good showing of that. When people are out being supportive and having a fucking good time, you know it was good.
You have a lot of tats. What's the most meaningful and have any of them influenced a song you've done?
I have Mario characters all the way up and down. I'm definitely a gamer. I got cartoon chicks, Snow White, Mortal Combat, Transformers logo, a Ninja Turtle. Then I got Connecticut, obviously. I have one here for my homie that passed away and on the back of my leg, my childhood dog's paw print who passed away. As far as influencing rhymes I have definitely caught myself during freestyles hitting a mental wall and just looking down and using my [tats as inspiration]. Because when you freestyle, you're taking in what you can and using that because your brain is like, "What do I see? Let's turn it into a beautiful rhyme." And I've got plenty of ammunition right here.
You also worked with Trae the Truth, Tech N9ne and others. What was it like in the studio with them?
Well some of the songs were done via email, but the cool thing about all the features on this project is that I didn't pay for any of them. It was all kind of a mutual "I'm down to be on that song," and that's another cool validation. Tech is down to fuck with me and I'm a huge Tech fan. Huge as far as influences go, so add him to that list, because as far as independent, he wrote the book. I think the newer guys like Jon Connor, Dizzy Wright. They're good homies of mine because we've all been coming up together, so we always run into each other and support each other. They've been independent for a long time, so we're all going through the same shit and they're all really good dudes. I wanted to make sure I worked with people who wanted to be on it and would bring their A game and that's exactly what they did. It just fits together so well. Everyone sounds like they were supposed to be on that song. It doesn't seem like some random collaboration, even though some of em seem like it like on "Dopamine." You got Trae the Truth, Grafh, Be Real, Talib, but it all makes sense. Everyone talks about dopamine, which makes you feel joy. It's sick because everyone has different things that they like, so there was a dynamic to that.
What do you think will be peoples' favorite song off the album?
It totally depends on what kind of person it is. It they're looking for some gritty, raw shit, the song with Tech N9ne, "Oh No," is definitely gonna be a fan favorite. The people who are looking for that conscious bringing awareness to the people shit, "Stand Up." And then for all the serious partiers out there, "Let's Do It Again" for sure. That's gonna be the house party anthem. We shot a video for that and we had midgets, micro pigs and a big mother pig.
Speaking of, what's the wildest party you've ever been to or thrown?
I mean, this party turned out pretty crazy. We shot a video, but if you're shooting a party video, it's gotta be real. Like, I've never seen midgets and pigs, like a room full of piglets on the side. There were some breasts, hot tubs, it was a good night. And the tree house where we shot it was an unbelievable location. So, yeah.