Despot Pays Tribute to Ratking: "That Is Some Very Particularly New York Shit."
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[Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]
After signing to EL-P's Definitive Jux label a decade ago, Despot has teased fans about his long-rumored debut album with a series of one-off tracks and cameos. While you keep waiting on Despot's long-playing opus, here's the Queens-raised rapper talking through his Twitter timeline references to beloved iguanas, Lost Boyz songs, and the appeal of the progressive-leaning sounds of Ratking.
You paid tribute to Rex the other day. Who was he?
He was my iguana -- well, my brother's iguana really. He was living in my parents' apartment in Queens for 23 years and he passed away.
Is that a good age for an iguana?
I think so. I read that the oldest iguana living in captivity was 35-years-old so I think Rex did really well.
What was Rex's personality like?
He was pretty feisty when he was younger but I think in his old age -- like the last five or six years -- he was more docile and more like a cat.
What's your earliest memory of Rex?
We got two iguanas at the same time, Rex and TJ. Rex was the smaller of the two and I remember buying them at a pet store on Queens Boulevard that's no longer there.
Have you considered writing a tribute song about Rex?
Probably not. I don't think there's too much to say about an iguana.
You were tweeting about the Lost Boyz song "Renee" the other day. Yeah, I remember my friend Jimmy used to cut my hair in his bathroom when we were in junior high school. We'd cut school and go to his house all the time and I feel like every single time he cut my hair he was playing a cassette single of "Renee." That song recalls a very specific time of my life.
Always though it was so nice of Renee to leave a not cuz she didn't wanna wake Mr. Cheeks up.— Despot (@despotroast) April 2, 2014
Were you surprised at the ending of "Renee"?
Not really. I think I knew what happened already.
Have you ever met a girl like Renee in real life?
A girl who wanted to be a lawyer who smoked weed? No, I don't think I know any girls who want to be lawyers; I know plenty of girls who smoke weed though.
Who's your favorite female character from a hip-hop song?
What's the girl from Crime Mob? Diamond or Princess? Whatever, they had a song called "Hit That Bitch With A Bottle" and I thought that was cool. She was hitting a bitch with a bottle -- she wasn't hitting a man with a bottle. I think it'd be cool to go on a date with her and she just beats the shit out of some girl.
Where would you take her on a first date?
Maybe to a pet store and we could look at some iguanas.