Sir Mix-A-Lot: "I Wanted to Do More Than Rap About Women as Sex Objects"
So what artists are you listening to now?
I'm all over the place but with the current stuff. I think Kendrick Lamar is incredible, but I have to admit [when] Eminem came out with "Rap God," I was like "Okay, that's it. Game over." The lyrics, the delivery, the speed, the skills...the entire song really is just off the hinges and it's incredible. I like weird stuff and I am always looking for new influences.
Are we getting some new music from you on this tour?
I have about six songs done and I am trying to find way to release an album that accomplishes two things: I want the album to gain traction virally, I don't want to go through major labels where they force fed music down your throat, so I'm trying to develop buzz organically.
Number two: I have to release this in way that doesn't seem like I am desperate to remain relevant. For some reason, hip-hop has an expiration date on it. It's uncool to rap past 35 or whatever, which is stupid. Could you imagine rock 'n' roll telling Mick Jagger that he is too old to keep performing and making music? Ridiculous!
Critics like to try and establish the fact that you are an old dude; you are probably broke and are working part time at Wal-Mart. So what I plan on doing, I will be live streaming the process of me working on song from start to finish on my website which anyone can watch. After the song is done, you will be able to download the songs for free for a few days after the song is done.
That's a pretty cool idea.
We will see how it works.
So speaking of old rappers, how do you feel about Jay-Z's last effort? Many felt that he was trying too hard to maintain relevance.
Nah, a lot of people try to say that but I like Jay-Z new album. It grew on me quick and you have to realize that where a guy is coming from. If Jay-Z kept saying "I'm gangster, I shoot a muthafucka, blah, blah," we would be like, "Come on dude, you are in your 40s."
You have to understand that the fact that he is almost a billionaire now, and even though I might not know what Ibiza is [laughs], I love that fact that he does. I am not a hip-hop purist. I think purists in any for are dangerous because they stop things from expanding. If he tried to keep the sound he was doing 20 years ago, it would not work. If I released another "Baby Got Back" now, people would laugh at me and say I showed no growth. You really can't win but He made up his mind that he is going to do what he wants to do and if you don't like you can kiss his ass.
Have you been following the antics of Miley Cyrus?
How do you feel about her venture into urban music on her last album?
I don't know man, I try not to diss people but wow. It is what it is. She is doing her thing, but I heard her say that guys over 40 can't get hard anymore, though. [Laughs]
Yeah, she said it to Matt Lauer on NBC. She asked how old he and said "50", she said "Oh, you can't get it up anymore." But she is young and having fun. She just wants to break her squeaky clean, "Achy Breaky Heart" image. She'll grow up eventually.
On a side note, Janelle Monae is probably the best female artist in the game right now. Period. She is fantastic. Great artist.
One more question for you, what is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I am all about technology; I'm not talking about taking a half a million dollars and investing it in a company and saying that you are in technology. Nah. From the age of 15 years old, I've been building huge RS amplifiers and communication based amplifiers. Now I gravitate towards making controllers for studios. Technology is a love I had before music. In fact technology got me into music.
Can you elaborate on that a little?
Early on, I remember watching the group Kraftwerk and I noticed that they didn't have a band. They were using homemade drum computers. I immediately gravitated towards music technology, I got crap job at arcade fixing pinball machines, I saved up and bought the very first Dr. Rhythm Tr-55, I learned how to program my own beats and the rest was history.
That's crazy because "Posse on Broadway" had a revolutionary sound that is still being sampled today. Your sound is truly timeless.
A lot of people don't realize that Phoenix was the city that sealed the deal for me, and made me do "Posse on Broadway". I was writing the song from a Seattle point of view and thought that no one would like it but then I came to Phoenix and saw that you all had a Dick's Restaurant and I was like "Whoa, they are just like us!!" I was a young dude; I had been all the way to Phoenix, I thought I saw everything. So I wrote the song based on what I saw in those two cities.
That is crazy.
Sir Mix-A-Lot is scheduled to perform on Friday at Crescent Ballroom during Viva PHX. Tickets are $20.
Like Up on the Sun on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest local music news and conversation.