"You Write From Your Soul and They Try and Make It Into A Minstrel Thing": Our Interview With Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire


Going back to the music, what artists were you listening to while you were recording the EP?
I don't listen to no rappers like that. I listen to Prince. And I was listening to old shit. Bobby Womack a lot, Eddie Hazel. We went upstate to do the album.

Where abouts upstate?
It was Woodstock, for the sake of the article. We stayed up there for a week, me and my two best friends. We cooked for each other, smoked weed, drank liquor, drove around the woods, looked at deer -- they had a farm with pigs and llamas and sheep.

Llamas can be feisty.
I heard they will whip your ass!

Did you ever think about staying up there?
Hell no! I loved it up there, but you can't move up there until you're older. I'm too fast for that now.

What sort of stuff did you cook?
Pork chops, steak, spaghetti, fried chicken one day; pancakes every morning, leftovers for lunch, then a new dinner. We just had a good time up there. I cooked once but I burned my shit. I made breakfast one time and that shit ain't pop off! We just chilled. It's not bitches and an orgy -- none of that going on. Just the brothers.

You have SpaceGhostPurrp producing on the EP. How did that happen?
For that song, "Aggin Laer," me and Goldie Glo took the slogan "real nigga" and flipped it into something new. People get the term mixed up, like, "He a real nigga 'cause he shot somebody." You're not a real nigga for dumb shit, you're a real nigga for being upstanding, keeping your shit solid. So Purp sent me a beat, but he didn't have no say in the direction of the record.

Do you know if he likes the song?
He's heard it. He was supposed to be on it! There's gonna be a remix...

Who's gonna be on the remix?
Can't tell you.

Does it feature anyone you've worked with before?
One person I worked with before. But I'ma do an extended version that's gonna be a bit different.

You also have a song named after Cari Zalloni.
Yeah, the Cazal guy. [eXquire leaps up off his stool] Ah, cramp! Fuck! [Pauses] You can put that in there, tell 'em I had a cramp, eX had a cramp, had to get up.

You're a fan of Cazal glasses, right?
Big time, it's all I wear. I just like 'em, they have a different feel. I know I'm ready; I know I'm me when I put them on. Originally the song was called "Visions," but I thought about how I put the glasses on before I go on stage. It's like Prince with the button pants on -- he's ready to be Prince now.

When did you first come across Cazals?
I seen this book, A Time Before Crack by Jamel Shabazz, and I seen everybody wearing them. I knew about them, like Run-DMC wore them. But my mom was like, "You had to have a lot of clout to wear them or else you'll get them slashed off your face..." I feel like I'm prestigious so I can wear them. It's what I represent, the passion, what I do.

So what's been the biggest difference about working with a major label?
Caring about shit I don't care about. I don't care about Twitter and the Internet. Even though they say I was born on the Internet, I care about meeting people, interaction, fuckin' with you, talking to you. I don't care about the statistics out there. I'd put a song out there and never retweet that. But the label are like, "You have to retweet it!" But I'm very shy, I don't talk to people.

Have the label tried to get you to work with artists you don't want to?
Big shit. They want me to work with them. I've met a lot of people who are big and into my shit. I just don't like twit-picking.

If you had a wish-list of artists to work with, who'd be on there?
David Bowie! I love Bowie. [Starts singing.]

What would the studio session be like?
That's spiritual, so we got to do like some key bumps [laughs]. Me and David Bowie doing key bumps and it's on!

That should be a mixtape title.
David Bowie Key Bumps: Volume One!

Anyone else?
Probably Erykah Badu. I'm trying to get close to that. I don't know, it's people like that, legendary, not, "I got Soulja Boy on my shit!" Even though Soulja Boy's an icon in his own way.

He's not the hippest right now.
Yeah, they like Chief Keef now. [Pauses] Chief Keef's like the thugged-out Soulja Boy.

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