Everyone’s favorite Chi-Town motor mouth, Twista, is back again with his latest release, Category F5, and is bound to shake things up with his clever wordplay and signature speed. Since word of his album came out, so far, there have been leaks galore, including “Billionaire” with Busta Rhymes, “On Top” with Akon, a video “America Gangsta” and the iTunes bonus track “Alright” featuring Kanye West and No I.D. Although his career spans over a decade, peaking with his 2004 release, Kamikaze, Twista plans to stay in rotation with upcoming collabs with Krayzie Bone and another tongue twister of multi-syllabic proportion, Tech N9ne. And despite the minor tiff, he’s back with the Legendary Traxter on F5 to give you some of that fiyah for the summer that is guaranteed to hit the charts and stay recession-proof.
Can you tell MISS about your upcoming release, Category F5?
F5 is about to be that thang for the summer! The cameos I got is off the chain and it goes like this: I got beats on the album from the legendary Traxter, who produced my album, Adrenaline Rush, he produced a song on this album, the first cut with my man Buk from Psychodrama and that song is called “Misunderstood”. He also produced a song called “Fire” and that song got my man Lil Boosie on it. And he also produced another track that my man R. Kelly got on with me, and that’s called “Yellow Light”, and that’s the jam right there. And we got another joint with Do or Die – you know I had to bring my man Johnny P. from Do or Die on there. We also got Static Major on the album, Gucci Mane, you know I gotta have Kanye West on the album. It’s loaded, full of fun, you gon’ be able to ride and bump to it, ya dig?
As another major pre-recession rapper, are you approaching things differently this time around regarding your release?
The only thing it affects mostly is how you promote a record, how you market a record, according to what people do now, as opposed to what they did then. But the actual music itself, the blessing in me being me and doing what I do, I have a large fan base and generally my fans respect me as an artist. A lot of artists are known for different things; he got an ego, he like this, or he’s flamboyant, but really, people know Twista just for dope lyrics and and comin’ with a dope album. To me, that’s a dope thing to pop in people’s head every time they think of your name. That’s how I really look at it.
So basically, you’re saying your fans are gonna carry you through this recession?
If I let the people know that I have an album coming out, they gon’ go get it. A lot of artists, they last album was wack, so they might not go get the album. They’ll just wait ‘til they hear something on the internet or on the TV. But with me, generally people will want to go and buy the album when they know that I got one comin’ out. I don’t have to do the job of letting people know who Twista is, I just have to let them know I have an album coming out.
I know your album Kamikaze went platinum in ’04, do you feel that there’s any pressure to keep up with that?
You gotta let the fans decide, and if you try and keep up with [Kamikaze], you might get your feelings crushed. There’s only so many Kanyes and Lil’ Waynes in the world. You gotta find out what your niche is. I try and tell people all the time: happiness or success is not defined by anybody else, it’s defined by you and how you feel. With me, I just love doing music. I keep eating off it, I been eating off it for years. There’s a difference between a hit song by a new artist who got lucky in the studio, and a true lyricists or MC or artist, and I feel like I’m a true artist. That’s why I call myself the black Jason of rap ‘cause I’ma keep coming back. No matter how many times you chop me in the head, I’ma keep jumping out that water at you.
I’m not gonna ask you about the state of Hip Hop, but I am gonna ask you if there’s any new artists out there you’re feeling and why?
On the new tip, I’m feeling the Drake new artist that works with Lil’ Wayne. I feel the sense of the legacy of Hip-Hop as a true lyricist will be continued on with artists like this. So that’s what I like about the Drake guy. As far as what I listen to, I be bumping everything; I be dippin’ back in the day. I be bumpin’ everything from Bob Marley to Gnarls Barkley to Eric Clapton to X-Clan – I’ll pull out anything! I got Main Source prolly bumpin’ in my iPod right now.
Do you still hold the Guinness World Record of fastest MC? If not, are you looking to take back the title in the future?
I think one of the guys from Chicago approached the record and was able to break it, so I was actually proud of that. I actually know the kid, cool guy. I used to fade him in talent shows back in the day, he had to do something to get me! (laughs) It pissed me off at first, “you little mothafucka…” Then after awhile, when I really thought about it and said this is real dope that this continues on by another Chicago artist.
So there’s no plans to battle him in the future for the title?
Naw man, rappin’ fast ain’t really what’s in right now. People appreciate the rap style that I got, but as far as seeing who’s the fastest or challenging with the speed, that shit is lame right now. That was something that was a little hotter back then.
That’s interesting you say that. People like Busta or Bone Thugs – you definitely differentiate yourself because you not only rap fast, but what you say is amazing in addition to how fast you say it. Are you saying you changing up your game because people think rappin’ fast ain’t in?
What I’m saying is, I’m not really worried about breaking the Guinness World Record again, because at the time I did that, people were amazed that a rapper could rap that fast. Breaking the record now wouldn’t have the same meaning then, because nobody is into that, competition-wise. My rap style in general is the shit! I appreciate rappers visiting it when I hear a Luda or Bus because I feel I helped pioneer a whole style of rap.
When did you discover you could actually perform that style? Is it more about breath-control?
A little bit of breath control is in there but that’s when you just a smart MC and you compile a lot of words in your rhyme and you gotta include breath control, but it’s really more about syllables. I call it the tick of the beat. I hear the tick of the beat all the time. the beat might go 1…2…3…4…. and I hear the 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 in between. I just do it with the rhythm. I don’t even have to say nothin’, you can put on the beat and I could hear the (starts scatting rapidly) ‘cause I got it locked in my brain. I hear a song, and before I even write a word, I hear how the song gon’ sound.
So tell me about this situation with Pinky claiming to be pregnant with your child. I can imagine that this is something rappers have to anticipate when you’re in the industry?
On one side, I laughed about it and was trippin’ on it. Me being the type of artist I am as far as how long I’ve been in the game, I knew a lil’ talk right now wouldn’t hurt. But after a few days of people talking about it, then I made an official statement and let everybody know it wasn’t true.
Have you met this woman before?
Naw, I met her before. Every time I meet a person, something happens (laughs). I’ve met other people before, then I’ll hear a rumor that I slept with them or I was with ‘em or somethin’, so I think I met her at a party once and we took a picture and that was it. There was no encounter, we never hung out or did anything, never had sex or nothin’ like that. I ain’t dissin’ her, I hear she one of the best of what she do, just the rumor itself, is untrue.
This is your seventh solo album, correct? Is there one in particular that holds a special place in your catalog?
They really are different to me, but the two records that stick out in my mind are Adrenaline Rush and Kamikaze because I feel like that would be considered Twista’s version of a classic album, and I believe people do give me that respect. And Kamikaze was my biggest record on that level with the artists, and achieved things in the game that I wanted to achieve. With me, it’s just this straight line of loving to do music. It’s because I’m not so wrapped up in one album; I just love doing music. I been doing it and I’ma keep on doing it. I came out in ’91 back when Tupac and other rappers was hot, here I am today, doing records with Akon. Longevity, that’s what it is.
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