What inspired you to do a song about Instagram?
Instagram is everywhere, whether you like it or not. If you’re not on it, you’re behind. We are the selfie generation, and you see girls (and dudes for that matter) taking selfies everywhere you go and posting them on the gram. So I figured, why not make a track about the chase and pursuit of a bad chick with a lot of instagram undertones? You could call it an ode to the selfie queens or to the IG stars who constantly capture every aspect of their lives, but the storyline centers around the girl.
How would you describe your style?
I’m not gonna pretend to be someone I’m not since there’s no point. Don’t try too hard, since it’s easy to spot from a mile away and that’s never been my way of doing things. I got a sports vibe that permeates into my music. The Twins hat is the trademark that everyone knows me for. Hard body is another trademark. I got bars, but I can deliver them in any style. It’s all about the packaging. You can talk about the same old sh*t but make it sound really nice and everyone’s like “ohhhhh!”
Now that white rappers are not such an unusual sight in hiphop anymore, what do you think are your specific challenges in the game?
I think it’s great that hiphop is more about the music with less emphasis on what color your skin is. At the end of the day, it’s all about the music. I think one of the toughest aspects of maneuvering through this game is putting in enough time without burning out. There is a LOT to do as an indie artist – you have to find the instrumentals, negotiate prices, write the lyrics, keep a constant social media presence, book shows, shoot videos, perform all over the area – the list goes on and on and on. It’s grueling. Then throw in the “everyday” hustle to pay the bills with whatever job or jobs you have. It adds up quickly, and you always feel pressed for time. I wish there were more hours in the day, but it’s forced me to adapt and become more efficient in every aspect of my life. Another challenge somewhat relates to image – it’s a challenge to identify a specific fanbase for my particular style given that I am white, because my image isn’t exactly what hip hop fans are used to. I’ve got a unique thing going on, and sometimes it’s well received and sometimes not, but I’m taking my time to figure it out and keep moving forward.
What advice do you have for upcoming rappers?
To the upcoming rappers, I got a few things. Don’t try to sound like your favorite rapper or some prominent artist in the game. Copycats don’t normally make a splash, and no one wants to hear Big Sean 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. Don’t stop the first time someone trashes your craft. You’re not doing it for them. You’re doing it for you, and you have enough balls to share it with the world. That already sets you above everyone else who wants to try and isn’t committed enough to pursue it. Congratulate yourself on that. But don’t rest on your laurels. Someone will be working harder than you and moving past you. Enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. Simple as that. Finally, you may have talent in songwriting, but your stage presence may be trash. You may have a great ear for composition and production, but can’t write bars to save your life. Find your niche and dive IN. Become the best at it, and good things will come if you keep grinding.
Do you freestyle and battle rap? What’s your opinion on them?
I don’t battle rap. I respect the hell out of the battle rappers though, for coming up with what they do instantaneously. Those punchlines are NASTY, and I love a good punchline. For freestyles – let’s be real. 95% of the dudes who you hear “freestyling” at the radio station have something written and they adjust on the fly. That’s a skill in and of itself. But the dudes who actually do flow off the top, salute.