I think it’s hard to pinpoint. I don’t really know, since it’s really a genre which has evolved in a unique way and it’s a lot of influences, it’s like what did Eminem play when he saw me do this rap video [for My Ex-Boyfriend’s Girl, “What’s the Dif-f-f,” from 2011]? The first time I met Eminem it was at MTV Music Video Awards, and he was in this old movie called The Sound of Music and he said, “You’re playing a video. Come on, give it a try.” And I came back from this gig, this was like 2008 or ’09. This was the year he changed his name to Slim Shady. He had taken a long time to come out with some songs like “I Still Got the Blues.” And that video, my first [pro-hip-hop video] was just a joke, and he just wanted me to do it. So I made it a joke and I thought it was funny. And for those of you that like videos, the video was pretty good.
When you made the video, was there a sense of, “Wow, we’re going to make something here”?
No. It wasn’t an actual intention, but it ended up being the first track that started becoming a real concept record because it was going to be a “fuck what’s happening” concept album. It started with me talking about this idea of “Fuck what’s happening” and then it grew into it becoming a narrative record. Even if it was a concept album that wasn’t actually really about the album. I just want to say it to you, because this project is the first of its kind. It’s got a good message about what’s happening. People that want to create a concept record, and I know when I came up it was more of like a conceptual record, and it started with “Fuck what’s happening.” This time around it’s more like, you’re at the bar.
Who has a lot of influence on you when it comes to hip-hop as far as songwriting and the way you write?
Right now everybody around me in the music industry has influenced me. I’m not going to say everybody, but they’ve influenced me. I’m not going to say Eminem, or people of that ilk, but I know everybody that comes from that mindset that I’m at like the age where they’ve been influenced by me. I love that
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