In the industry there’s this whole mentality of working with someone who can open the door for you, but my whole thing is that I like my work to speak for itself. So I still do have that same mentality.
I don’t know [whether] if I didn’t get paid, or my career didn’t keep going where it goes, if I would keep doing music.
Every time someone asks me who I want to work with, my answer is always the same: whoever wants to work with me that won’t want to get their ego stroked.
My love of words, alcohol, and stage antics basically cemented me as a rapper, but it wasn’t a career that I wanted to do. It was just, “I like to do all these things at one time.”
Living New York, everyone has a million hustles, so I was doing party promoting, working the doors at parties, doing that whole nightlife thing.
I’m a lot different in my career since that interview. To have someone like Diplo tweet “Cakes’ album is really cool” is cool, but in the same breath I still like what I do without anyone’s approval. It’s still good music.
I’ve been working with Peaches for a while as far as doing shows, maybe for the past two years. Everyone else seems to think that this is a new relationship, but me and her have been touring off and on for a while now. I was doing my album and I needed that heavy-hitter.
I’m a SoundCloud, online kind of artist. It’s not like back in the day when everyone was like linking up physically to do music. But with the album, I did have my first experience with meeting with a producer and us making things from scratch.
There are two singles I did with Noah Breakfast, [“Talkin Greezy” and “New Phone (Who Dis),”] which was a cool experience. So it’s cool either way, I think. It depends on the relationship you have with the other person – not everybody is going to work the same way.
Sometimes I start with the beat. Sometimes I can write something down and it takes me a while to figure out how I want to say it or the beat I want to say it to. I definitely like to live the experiences that I cover.
I write a lot. I used to write a lot of poetry when I was younger, write for my school newspapers. Also reading is very important because you need to be on your word game if you want to be a lyricist.
Not to sound egotistic, but I’ve gotten kind of good at it. It’s something that came naturally to me, but my rapping is rooted in my writing.
If we actually supported these gay artists and pumped money behind them the same way they pump money behind these divas, a conversation of homophobia in hip hop wouldn’t be. Because I would have the money and the revenue coming in. It’s not about homophobia or who’s going to push back. It’s all about who’s supporting you and where there’s money from.
I do realize that I have a talent for making music. It wasn’t anything expected, but I do think it’s deserved, if that makes sense.
I started making music for fun maybe my senior year in college. I started rapping in high school, but it wasn’t anything serious.
I don’t think it was much of a forum for positive or negative feedback; it was mainly, “How can I make somebody laugh?” It wasn’t a serious thing where I needed people to give me feedback.
I think when I dropped The Eulogy is when it became more [about] feedback because that’s when Pitchfork wanted to review it and things like that.
I am a rapper. The reason why I was against the whole rapper title is because I know so many people who want to be rappers and they’re not.
I didn’t choose to be a rapper; it’s just my talent.
For you to be able to rap fast and fit many words into a bar, that’s what rap is about, the showmanship. That’s the thing we’re kind of losing now. I’m not saying that the music now is horrible. I mean, I don’t listen to it. The showmanship and creativity in rap is what made it special and what made it different.
I like to consider myself a student of hip hop. There’s a certain level of certification and wit and craftsmanship that comes with rapping. As rap progresses – it’s a young genre – it’s becoming way more mainstream, crossing over to different lanes. I feel like it’s losing its essence in a way, because it’s getting commercialised. I want to keep it fresh and keep it progressive, but I also want to respect the foundation of what rap is about.
Coming into this, making music, I knew that was something that was going to be held over my head. Okay we get it, you’re openly gay, but do you know how to rap? Can you really rap and deliver? And I feel like I have that pressure put on me that other artists don’t. A lot of people don’t have to focus on being so lyrical and actually putting on shows. Before anyone was gonna tell me I was bad, I was gonna prove that I was good.
In this day and age of social media, where everything is so centred around how many Instagram and Twitter followers you have, what’s keeping me afloat is the fact that my live performance is something that people can enjoy.
With a lot of people you think you want to work with, you reach out to them about working and then realize you don’t want to anymore because they’re a complete dickhead.
Now I’m in the business and I do have to have these awkward conversations about how I look, how I talk. But I’m still here.