Let me check that one off your list. My personal favourite amongst the bunch is GLC, and that’s because he’s got a real ‘fuck you’ attitude. I always thought hip hop would eventually become a more nuanced genre if we could get a little more black and white and the music was more thoughtful and complex, but GLC’s track ‘Gangsta Gangsta’ and the music video are just the icing on this cake.
How do you see the future of hip-hop? Are there any black rappers whose music that the mainstream is missing?
Hip-hop will never die, and I’d say that’s a good thing. Maybe that’s the same thing as saying music can never stop evolving or growing. The point is, as long as there is a new and interesting style to explore, there will always be music that fits under that category.
Which artist, performer, musician have inspired you the most over the last few years?
A. G. Cook, who I’m friends with from my time at Nasty Gal. I love working with him, and I think he’s one of the best producers I’ve ever had the privilege to be in a room with. He’s got an extremely diverse range of styles, his work is always evolving and the music is always interesting, but the way he takes you through each stage perfectly is so refreshing. I’m very excited to see what he comes up with when he’s not in the studio.
Where have you seen hip-hop’s biggest shift in the last 10 years—in terms of how white it becomes, in what ways it’s more accessible, in what ways it’s more accepting of diversity?
I’m so old that I couldn’t even point to 10 years. The music has changed so much over the past 10 years, and I think that’s what I like the most. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen so many different types of people come into the music and have such a different experience. It used to be that white people heard music that was hip-hop, that was fun and it’s easy. Now when I’m at a party and there’s a DJ playing records from The Roots and The Flaming Lips, and they’re singing oldies—the music isn’t being listened to at all. It’s not a conversation at all. It’s still happening on the street, but now at the party no one’s talking. All they do is dance.