In the lobby of Public Hotel, he says it a few times, in between his thoughts on politics, the music world and Awful Swim.
Tell me about your Awful Swim. Is it a collaboration with Adult Swim?
Yeah. Initially, I was just aimlessly making music trying to figure out what I wanted my sound to be. I wanted to reference my old sound while also pushing forward and making it more accessible to a wider audience. Before I was very SoundCloud. Like, one time for my bio—I don’t know who the fuck at Apple did this, but they called me ‘the deadpan rapper.’ I was just kind of figuring shit out, and then the Adult Swim connection happened—via Twitter. My homie reached out to them and was basically like, ‘Hey, when we gonna make this Awful Records x Adult Swim thing happen? Like, fuck, we’re all from Atlanta.’ They responded and said, ‘We fuck with ya’ll. Come to the office next week.’ It was immediate.
At the same time, my life was transitioning already—I was already cleaning things up and sharpening the tools in my shed. So, that’s really what has changed—the content hasn’t. The sound overall is what I was doing before—now, it’s just a lot more advanced.
That’s such a dream come true! Everyone dreams of tweeting someone they like and them actually responding. But you’re a big Adult Swim fan. So, what are your favorite shows?
Frisky Dingo was one of my first favorite shows. Boondocks is tops—that’s probably my number one. Pretty much Frisky Dingo and Boondocks I would just play them over and over all day, then to go to sleep.
That has to have some serious subconscious influencing. Do you think it’s affected your music?
I think so. The narratives that I talk about—they’re very profane, and like a slight social commentary. But I try not to get into politics.
I just genuinely don’t care anymore. I have an opinion but I don’t care enough to share it.
Do you feel as a black man there’s pressure on you to be vocal politically?
There definitely is. But I continue to not care. And honestly, I don’t think anyone wants that from me. I’ve never rocked that stuff into my music or my career, period. I never talk about it, but I poke fun and say things in my music so you know where I stand. If you listen to me, you know that either way—with or without the shits.
Coming from Atlanta, did you ever feel pressure to make a certain kind of music? If so, how has your style evolved around it?
Initially, I was making strange shit and people were just like, ‘Uh...this is…nice?’ Then I got more into trap. Eventually, I found a place in the middle where I could be whatever I wanted to be and the city of Atlanta could be like, ‘Hell yeah, that’s nice,’ or ‘Fuck it.’ But it was still weird shit. So, it worked out. But really, New York taught me how to rap and make beats, so a lot of my early shit sounds like Wu Tang, with a lot of fantastical shit that only makes sense to me. Since then, I’ve refined and simplified what I do, and learned the bare shit needed to make something slap. That’s where I’m at.
Do you see yourself ever returning to ‘the weird shit’?
For sure. I want to do some real Frank Sinatra shit. In my music, I have a very high pitched voice, but I have a very low range. My voice is mad deep if I want it to be, but right now my sound is usually high-pitched and chipper. So, I want to explore my range. Especially as I’m getting older—I’m just on some chill shit these days.