Twista has a lot to say. Thats part of the reason why the Chicago rapper spits so fast; to make sure he gets the chance to speak his mind on whatever he can. But as the artist formerly known as Tung Twista has evolved from novelty act as The Worlds Fastest Rapper to go-to guest collaborator to solo-star, hes eased up on the speed in favor of a more deliberate and perhaps, meaningful flow, which still happens to be faster than your average.
Now, as Twistas latest album, The Day After, hits shelves, the rapper finds himself in a precarious position. Although hardly an overnight celebrity himself, the Windy City vet has gained a new fan or two thanks in part to collabos with Kanye West and a brief affiliation with the R-O-C. So for Twista, its back to proving to folks that he cant do it againagain. AlllHipHop.com caught up with the Speed Knot Mobster to talk business, the baby Bulls, and the Magic Johnson blueprint. Turns out Twista doesnt really rap that fast, yall just listen slow.
AllHipHop.com: How you do follow up a breakthrough album, which earned you new fans, many of whom think this is you second album?
Twista: You know what? I was telling people with me its not a sophomore effort because Ive been around so long. So for me, its like a cat thats been around for a while and finally found a formula and got some success with a hit. Im moreso happy I found a formula and happy I found some success, so it put me in a different mindset than a person whos doing a sophomore album. I didnt really have that problem, this is like one of the easiest records Ive recorded right here.
AllHipHop.com: The album sounds really cohesive, more than any of your previous projects. Did your recording process change?
Twista: I did a lot of songs on this album, a few songs without writing lyrics down. Just straight off my new swagger, like, man, Twista [is] platinum now, I can do this. [Laughs] So its like a whole new feel to it, where at first I used to write down everything and go at it with a seriousness. Now, I dont know, I feel like everyone can get with this. Like, its more natural.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel as if its a lighter album?
Twista: Slightly, here and there. But I definitely give you that Twista vibe.
AllHipHop.com: With your last album and Kanyes debut album, Chicago was really brought to the forefront as the next city. How does it feel for you to put out another album while the city is still burgeoning as far as talent?
Twista: I feel real good, man. Ive been waiting for it to come to the Midwest for a long time. Im just happy that Im still around and still being a big part of if, instead of being in the background, or my time being passed and Chicago finally getting it. Im happy now. Im fitting to talk some s**t [Laughs] Get out here with this record, talk me a little s**t, and have some fun with it.
AllHipHop.com: Being in the Midwest, did you feel the impact of the Hurricane Katrina tragedy?
Twista: A little bit, but Ive been traveling around so I havent been able to see if first hand. But from what Ive been hearing, its been like that. I had the concert, the 19th of September for the victims. I had to get it cracking.
AllHipHop.com: Are there any interests outside of the music realm that youve been pursuing?
Twista:. Im really trying got get cracking on real estate, barbershops, and small businesses. Thats what Im really focusing on right now. A little mini Magic Johnson thing going on right now.
AllHipHop.com: A barbershop is good in that you as a Black man can employ other Black men in whats really like an entrepreneurial breeding ground.
Twista: Thats what I would have been doing if I wasnt rapping anyway.
AllHipHop.com: Really? Running a barbershop?
Twista: Yeah. Like my buddies that I would have ended up do it with, have barbershops and everything now. So thats something that Im still into when Im talking to them. We were supposed to do it, but now I feel like Im really ready. I have he proper paper to invest in a few things. Thats something that technology will never take over. Maybe one day! [Laughs] Maybe they might come up with a football helmet looking thing that you put on your head give you a nice little fade with a taper, you know what Im saying? A laser liner.
AllHipHop.com: You might have to trademark that! On the new album, theres no Kanye-produced tracks, did you not have a chance to record with him or are you moving forward?
Twista: Really, kind of both. We did get a chance to work together, its just the tracks werent better than the tracks that I originally had for the album. And I looked at it as I wasnt on his album, so I was like, Hes moving forward, Im moving forward on my thing. I want to try it on my own. Its not no beef, its no drama, its like, let me do my thing. Hes doing his thing.
AllHipHop.com: Is there another crew album in the works with the Speed Knot Mobstaz?
Twista: Definitely. Thats what Im really promoting. Even though Im out here promoting the album, The Day After, Im also promoting in the same sentence, Mobstability 2, top of 06. Thats where my passion comes from. Ive been doing the solo thing for a long time, so a lot of the times my passion turns up when Im recording with my homies.
AllHipHop.com: Now, youre a big sports fan, right?
Twista: More so football than anything.
AllHipHop.com: Whats up with the Chicago Bears?
Twista: Its crazy, man. Im hoping Kyle Orten will be straight. In the preseason he was cold. And we got that new running back, Cedric Benson, he did his thing in college so Im hoping he comes to life here. We also have a few good receivers like Muhsin Muhammad. Lets see if we can get the Orton to Muhammad thing going. Who knows? Lovie gonna have to start stopping his foot down harder or something.
AllHipHop.com: What about the Baby Bulls?
Twista:. Im loving me some Ben Gordon right now. You see what happens, they start playing and its, Aw, s**t, these little n***as starting to win some games. Then people realize towards the end of the season, they aint no punks. There aint no more washed up Bulls. We eliminated that [perception] last year.
AllHipHop.com: Have you ever considered working with a Rock band?
Twista: You know what? The craziest collaboration Ive ever done has been with Sting. That was a crazy one.
AllHipHop.com: Not to long ago, right?
AllHipHop.com: Were you two actually in the studio together?
Twista: Yeah, we sitting there doing a video scene and Im sitting there like, What has my life become? Im a shorty watching this guy on TV. Its one thing to say, Man, Ill never get to do a song with Michael Jackson. And now you doing a song with Sting? What type of s**t it that? Im from Chi Town. Whats happening, here?
AllHipHop.com: Do you listen to much Rock?
Twista: I listen to what catches my ear, but I dont really know the name of the groups like that. The one group that I used to like ended up being some weird motherf**kers. The Creed guys. Then s**t, [the lead singer] fell off onto some crazy s**t. Im like, Damn, just when Im vibing with the group and buy the CD, then I hear some crazy s**t going on. I remember reading some biography with Eric Clapton in it, and I started bumping his s**t. I was amazed that this White guy played the Blues like that.
AllHipHop.com: Whats in store for you in 2006?
Twista: Im really getting my mini Magic Johnson on. Aint no pretty story behind it, but you gonna look up three years from now and Im gonna be like, I got such and such, a Starbucks, a movie theatre, thats how I want to be talking to you three years from now. Rap is really like a poster. The Rap s**t is like your poster, the record company get all the money from the album, you get it from busting your ass. You get the sneaker deal and people will buy them cause your face is famous. Your record is your poster. Im into the stuff that the poster can get me because Im famous, but Im also into things that the money I can get from the posters can get me. The behind the scenes stuff.