Macklemore has gone as far as to question his right to rap. Have you? Musically, no. Have I thought about whether being white has caused me to be more or less successful in certain things? Of course. But my right to make music, no one can really give or take that away. In America, race has a huge thing to do with what your experience is, but I just try and make music for everybody. How has sobriety changed you?
This planet has a certain gravity, man — it rises in the morning, it sets at night, and I never really followed that. Along with not feeling like shit. Has it affected the way you create? I feel like I capture a lot more real emotion, especially with my voice.
And my voice is a lot more of an instrument now. When you were a kid, what music did you first respond to? The first rap album I ever listened to was Aquemeni. Which is a fucking awesome start. I took the CD player out, I took out the lyrics sheet, and I locked myself in my room and rapped along to the whole CD.
And that was it? Then you were in? Then I could rap, apparently. How do you handle the attention on it? I live in reality. I never focus on what people are saying about it. That has nothing to do with our relationship, you know? We just live.voicisisun.tk
We just live, man. That I keep getting better. So l when I stop getting better, that will be a problem. I think my goal is to just continue and keep pushing myself and working and seeing what else I can do. Just continuing to explore that and being able to go further and further with what I can, how I can push myself musically. You can play a bunch of instruments, right? How often do you actually use that skill, or is it just something you hold on reserve? I mean, I definitely use it. Being able to play I think helps me work on arrangements and work on different aspects of music or being able to just put the whole thing together.
But yeah, I play a lot. I just play to play. When you hang out and play with Thundercat, what comes out of that?
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Yeah, man, we just jam out. Like a lot of times we do that shit just for fun and we record it. Being able to witness Thundercat play the bass is like one of the illest things that music has done for me. What were you thinking when you wrote it? He was, like, a symbol of money when I was younger.
It goes hard at shows. It has never been an ode to him. The footage of Malia Obama dancing to that song at Lollapalooza caused a whole controversy. Yeah, that was fucking wild!
The controversy was bullshit, ridiculous. Like, what? Let her dance! Let everybody dance! Have anything to atone for? Fuck, man. Do you think Drake has to atone for anything, or is he good? Michael Cottone: Taking It Slow: Exclusive Interview: Like I had a group of kids that listened to my shit, but I would go to Denver, Colorado and play shows then come back to Minnesota and play shows with half the amount of people.
So I just wanna prove to the state that I made it big, not just locally but across the country and world. And I know your art goes beyond the scope of your music. Can you talk about your inspirations and process for that book particularly? Yeah, the process of that one was actually different compared to my other books. That was a point where I carried around a typewriter everywhere I went for a year, and I was just randomly typing everything I could find.
Eventually I had folders that were just filled with scraps of these poems, and each page in the book is an actual photo copy of the page.
Yeah, and in the duration of writing it I was living on Sunset Blvd in Laurel Canyon, and I ended up moving to Woodland Hills, which is totally in the fucking mountains, away from everything. It was time to clean up, ya know? That environment is essential for that. Could you talk about where those lyrics came from? Songs just come out of me like vomit man, and Runaway was a perfect example. As a musical expeditioner I can teach myself to play anything related to music.
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It brings people together and I love it. Yes, new Mod Sun album is coming very, very soon. I say that because I have been making songs for some of the bigger names in the game lately. Speaking of other artists, I remember an instance on Instagram where Trippie Redd hinted at a collaboration with you, is that coming to fruition?
Oh shit, remix! Cas, he brought up Trippie, ahaha! Yes, all around. But you look at people like Mark Ronson or Dr. Dre, people who are known almost more for their work with other people than their own work, ya know?