Lakutis Laments The Demise Of "Fresh Hot New York Style Pizza"

Lakutis by Meredith Jenks

[Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]

Lakutis came to prominence with 2011's I'm in the Forest EP, which was released on the Greedhead label. Since then he's been percolating away on the NYC rap underground and recently dropped the 3 Seashells project, which includes savvy production assists from Hot Sugar, Black Noise and Steel Tipped Dove. Off the back of that release, here's Lakutis talking through his Twitter timeline about sampling The Prodigy, fan fiction, and the ever pressing state of the New York pizza circuit.

See also: Riff Raff: "We Are Getting Special Cases That Glow in the Dark"

How has the reaction to 3 Seashells been?
The reaction has been pretty positive, I think I did a good job, the art is cool and the songs are cool. I chose the right people to work with. Everything's good. Last time I made an album I didn't really know what I was doing but this time I paid a lot more attention to it and the structure of songs and I realized I could do whatever I want: When you start it's like, "Oh, I've got to write a 16 and then a hook," but this time I realized I could do whatever I want.

You have 3 Seashells as a name-your-price option. How does that work out for you?
It does, people pay for it. I don't know if I'd have sold more if I put a set price on it, but people pay for it.

Do you ever get people offering just one cent?
Yeah, plenty of people even download it for free, but some people also pay $10, $15, $20 for it to support the whole thing.

How did you first hook up with Steel Tipped Dove?
I think he started hitting all of us up after the Das Racist shit came out. He was just down to do whatever. I remember I wanted a beat based off that song "Breathe" by The Prodigy. That was on "I'm In The Forest" and I wish I could use that beat again 'cause it's great. When we made it we were emailing and I was like, "You know that whip sound that's in that song? Can you put more of that in there, even more of the whip sound." We did that back and forth about five times. If you listen to that song, there's a lot of that whip sound in there.

I think that whip sound is originally from a Wu-Tang Clan track.
That whip sound? Really? Oh, damn, I didn't know that. I got to check that out, that's awesome.

You've had some problems on the subway recently, right?
Yeah, the 1 train is so fucked and I heard it's because of all the salt. The 1 train is one of the closer trains to the surface so I heard all the salt is fuckin' up all the navigational units and nothing's working.

Do you believe that excuse?
I believe it's fucked up! I take that shit all the time and it's been fucked up. I used to go to yoga every day downtown but now it's taking so long to get down there and because it's so crowded I haven't even left the house for like a week this week.

What's the most bizarre thing you've seen on the subway?
I got some good stories, man. One of the craziest shits I ever saw was there was this crazy homeless dude on the subway that was trying to talk to people but in a friendly way. He was a little off so people were kinda shunning him so he was sitting down for a while. Then a couple of stops later an even crazier dude got on the train and was just screaming obscenities and shit and so that first crazy dude was looking at the people around him like, "Can you believe this?!" That was a pretty crazy moment.

I've seen a lot of shit on the subway. The other day I was on the G train and this dude was just screaming at his friend, like drunk, wild screaming at his friend for 20 minutes. I don't know why the other dude didn't leave, but he started wrestling the dude and screaming and then there was a girl there and she got in the middle and they were all rolling around on the floor screaming and then the train came. Me and these other two dudes were just watching the whole shit and I barely wanted to get on the train so I could see how it ended. But I got on the train anyway.

Do you have any tips for ignoring crazy people on the train? Or do you engage with them?
I wouldn't engage anybody on the train. First of all, it's fucked up 'cause most of those people if they're screaming shit, they've got problems that need to be medicated and there's a lot of people that's obviously schizophrenic and it's not really their fault. But if anybody pisses me off on the subway, I usually just go to the next car but I guess they're starting to crack down on letting you go between cars.

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