Massachusetts-bred, LA-based emcee/producer Skipp Whitman sits down with Hip Hop Headquarters.
“Goodnight” Is a harrowing listen. What have been some of the reactions?
Well, thank you! I think the reaction has been good so far. It always helps to have a video to go along with the song as a sort of companion. But, yea the reaction Is probably been the best of what I’ve done so far this year. Last week my buddy sent me a video of It playing on HipHopNation which Is super dope. And inspiring. And definitely motivating. Since the song Is about vices, and addiction, and death, I’ve heard from other people who have either been able to relate with personal stories or at least stories of friends. It’s crazy when you first experience the fact, through a tragedy, that sometimes being ‘young and dumb’ is all It takes to cut a life short. Not to get too heavy here but, yea pretty positive feedback so far!
What Inspired you to make your next release a collection of unfinished and Incomplete songs?
I know that the ‘album’ format Is quickly becoming a dinosaur. I know that. But even so, that’s how I look at songs I’m making. Like, where will this fit In the context of an album? Intro? Outro? Where will It go for the purpose of the pace of everything? These are the thoughts, of course, I have after creating a song. And sometimes the answer is .. It doesn’t fit. Or, sometimes, I don’t get to the ‘completion’ stage like that 2nd verse just never comes. I did a lot… I mean, a LOT of work (probably 100+ half finished songs and beats) towards what became my last album, ‘PIECE.’ and so after the release I dug back Into the mess and found these gems. Then, once I made the decision to put out a project of half finished work, I started creating with that in mind like .. I don’t have to complete this. Maybe It’s missing a baseline or I’m just humming a hook idea .. Or It’s an unfinished thought. It’s a super cool way to work because It takes all of that perfectionist pressure off. I think there’s so much I’ll be able to get across not being constrained by completion or format.
You’ve opened onstage for man of hiphop’s greats. What was your most memorable such gig?
Definitely. I would have to say opening for Chingy was the most memorable experience. It was In Worcester (outside of Boston) maybe a couple thousand seats? It was a fresh experience because it was the whole experience. As any artist knows, that performs, you’re usually hustling to sell tickets, pushing for a better time slot, rarely If ever sound checking, and then getting a few daps off stage and calling It a night. The Chingy thing was dope because we were there with all of the other acts of the night to soundcheck. Hanging out In the massively huge venue .. Just like 20-30 people around getting ready. And then when we performed the audience was nuts. I mean. Crazy. Like. Yea. Offstage people were grabbing us In all directions, taking pictures of us and selfies with us and asking for autographs and shit. It was dope. And again, like hearing your song on Shade45, motivating to say the least. Also, opening for Kanye was great too.
What do you feel Is the strongest line you’ve ever written and why?
Damn. Good question. I couldn’t tell you definitively. Kind of like someone asking what your favorite song Is. It depends on the day. What mood you’re In. One that sticks out to me though Is ‘having nice clothes is easy / being fly Is totally something else completely.’ from “Goodmorning’”off Skipp City. I like It because It says a lot In one phrase. As GZA said ‘half short and twice strong.’ and also because It’s definitely something I subscribe to. Like, It’s an example from my own personal experiences. I was In a heavy sneaker phase. And I was sitting In my studio, just looking at all of these (orange) boxes. And I realized .. Anybody could have this (these). With money, anybody could have anything ‘nice.’ but just because you are financially solvent doesn’t mean you’re ‘fly.’ not even saying I am necessarily but just meaning you are so much more than what you wear. And again, the fact that all of that Is In one sentence to me .. is dope.
What’s a life motto you try to live by?
It’s not how many times
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