Q&A: Meyhem Lauren On Hotel Life, Ralph Lauren, And Why The Wu-Tang Clan Is The Best Rap Group Of All Time

Categories: Interviews

Room 426 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Texas might not be up there with the great rap recording studios, but for two days earlier this year it was transformed into an impromptu hip-hop spot by Meyhem Lauren. While he was there, the Queens resident and long-time Action Bronson associate cut a new mixtape, which is now released today via Das Racist's Greedhead label. Titled Respect The Fly Shit, the project showcases Lauren's weighty way with words, and has been preceded by a video for "Special Effects" that co-stars Heems wearing a very silly hat.

With Meyhem Lauren's profile looking to receive its biggest boost yet, we checked in with him to talk about going way back with Das Racist, his obsession with Ralph Lauren's Polo clothing line, and why he's convinced the Wu-Tang Clan are the greatest ever rap group in the world.

How does Respect The Fly Shit differ from projects you've released before?

I would say there was less thought put into it, as far as the concepts concerned, which I think created better music. We did the majority of this project in two days in a hotel room in Texas, so the vibe was like we were on vacation, in a different element, doing so many shows, and in a hyper environment—which is the feeling I wanted the album to have.

What was the hotel room like?

The hotel room was crazy! There was a lot of room service, a lot of barbecue, a lot of smoking, a lot of drinking. It was at South by South-West. It was a crazy environment—I honestly don't know how they didn't kick us out! We had a mic on top of the ice bucket, you know, we just set up shop and turned the hotel into a recording studio.

What was the most over-the-top thing you ordered from room service?

I believe Action [Bronson] ordered like 26 crab cakes! That was just to do it. Then he ordered everyone ice cream sundaes too. They were smoking so much they out some sort of machine outside of our room, like a high-tech vaporizer that looked like a proton pack from Ghostbusters. If we didn't order so much room service I'm convinced they would have kicked us out.

Did you give the hotel room turned recording studio a name?

Nah. I think it was room 426 though. Embassy Suites, we love you!

The mixtape's being released via Greedhead. How did you hook up with Das Racist?

I've actually been friends with them for a while. We had mutual friends; we met before they blew up. We've been cool for a while. When I met them, I was kinda not doing music—I was in a down period—then when I started again they were like, "Let's work 'cause we're already cool."

Were you surprised that they were making music themselves?

Nah. They told me they had a plan and they made it happen. I think they might be surprised at how far they've got, but I'm glad for them.

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