It started in Los Angeles around the 60s but I think by the middle of the 70s, it really took off. It started the underground rap scene in America as well as the underground scene in Australia/New Zealand. It’s a huge industry. Everyone in it is trying to get in. It’s a really cool thing.
This is your second album for Columbia Records. After the success of The Blue Album, how much more challenging is it to do a follow-up to an album like The Blue Album?
The Blue Album was just a really great record. If we did a third. I was on stage in Melbourne recently, playing at the Whisky A Go Go, and they played The Blue Album and I just loved the whole experience. Like I said, it’s just a lot better as an album than it is as a single. There are a lot of elements to this record, though, that were really fun to work on. It was fun to work on those songs.
In that same Whisky A Go Go show, you played the song “Hip Hop Tension,” which is a song from your recent album. Did that song spark the writing of more songs?
That was the first time [that I thought] I was going to be writing hip hop songs… I was trying to think of something that wasn’t on my previous ones… it’s hard to describe. When it comes to rap, I didn’t start writing songs until I had a single out. A lot of it has been written and I think a lot of it is sort of my personality, which I’m not too proud of that. It isn’t in the same category as something like “Thug Passion,” or “Hip Hop Tension,” which is just a bunch of me singing at a concert. It’s really in a different category.
I’ve spoken on it and discussed it in interviews. My dad, who I don’t really have much contact with, I went to my dads’ wedding, we took a break and then I met his wife, and she was like, “This is your dad.” That means a lot. I don’t know what you say to a mother when she’s like, “This is so cool and awesome,” so I can’t help it. To have someone who is like, “Yeah, this is kind of me.” That is my dad, and that’s why I still see music as a creative outlet for me. It’s not
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