In Webster's Dictionary, a "kamikaze" is described as "an extremely reckless person who seems to court death." If you listen to Twista spit his trademark voracious lyrics in his usual reckless, yet precise manner, you would know his career is nowhere near death. In fact, with the release of his long-awaited album, Kamikaze, scheduled to hit stores in late January, his path seems to be as bright as it ever was.
Having already received offers from arguably Hip-Hop's most lucrative label, being on the verge of taking the car world by storm with new custom rims, and boasting the hottest single to begin 2004, Twista is on a pace as fast as his mouth. Was the long wait for his album worth it? Read on and you be the judge.
Allhiphop.com: Let's get into this new album a little bit, dog. It has been about a year or so that the album has been held up, right?
Twista: Man, a little longer than that, more like a few. It's all good though. It's coming in January this time. It's called "Kamikaze." I got more stuff produced by Kanye West on there. I got R. Kelly featuring and producing a cut. I got a posse cut with (Memphis) Bleek, Freeway, and Chris on there. I got a laid back pimp cut on there with 8-Ball and Too Short. And, I got a blaze it up, crunk cut with Ludacris.
Allhiphop.com: When is the exact release date of the album this month?
Twista: January 27th.
Allhiphop.com: Why do you think the record label kept your album on the shelves for so long?
Twista: I feel like we was in a position where there was enough money spent on my project, and my whole situation was we couldn't risk putting out another album and not have it do good. So, I had to come out right other than come out quick. It was more so about me finding that right single to really drop the album with. I came with "Slow Jamz" and it was the right time.
Allhiphop.com: So, the label situation is on point as it should be?
Twista: Everything is smooth, everything is on point, ready to roll, and everything's on a positive note. Let's do it.
Allhiphop.com: Describe the experience you had working with multi-talented individuals such Kanye West and Jamie Foxx on one single.
Twista: It was chemistry and a blessing. Working with Kanye is always fun. We've been working together for years, being from Chicago. With Jamie being a comedian, but him singing and trying to get his thing out, that was lovely, too. People had a chance to hear him and not know it was him. So, they liked it already before they realized it was him. It gave him a chance to show his true talent.
Allhiphop.com: I think Jamie is the most underrated singer in the world. His musical talents are phenomenal, but he does not get the credit he deserves.
Twista: That man can get down!
Allhiphop.com: We have been reading speculative news about you possibly joining the ROC camp. Is that situation going anywhere, or was it alot of media hype?
Twista: That's my family that I roll with in the industry. We were trying to make something happen on the business side, but we couldn't get it crackin' quick enough to put the album out. We couldn't get it crackin' before the release of this album. I'm signed to Atlantic right now, but we are going to get something crackin' on a positive note.
Allhiphop.com: Are you talking about signing a new deal with them or something collaborative?
Twista: Some type of collaboration, however it may be business-wise. As long as it's some type of collaboration to help me get closer. I'm straight on the label jumping thing. I'm home, and I got to make something happen on a positive note.
Allhiphop.com: How many years have been in this game? I can remember when I was little shorty coming up, and you had this joint called "Peace Sign."
Twista: Man, we're talking 12 or 13 years. You went way back on me. (laughs)
Allhiphop.com: How many more years do you see yourself doing this for?
Twista: Well, I ain't trying to be an old man on the forty side, doing it the way the young guys are doing it. I definitely feel like if you want to respect this as a music, you got to realize that it don't go nowhere like none of the other music. You got rock bands and country bands that go out and tour for 20 or 30 years off of the same songs that they did when they were younger. I still want to be able to get out there, do my thing, and let people see what Twista did or used to do. But, I don't want to be out there old trying to do it like a shorty. I still want to do it on the level of letting people appreciate the music that I did.
Allhiphop.com: Artists are well known for being in the game a few years, putting out a couple of records, having a hit or two, and after that it is a wrap. What do you attribute to being in this game for this long?
Twista: One of the main things is loving it enough to keep wanting to do it. To keep trying it, no matter what the downfalls. I love it too much to just stop, you know? I never believed that if you blow a shot, that's it. I feel like true talent is always going to overshadow everything. If you got true talent, but your record is bunk and it flopped or whatever, take your ass in the studio! If you go in there and make a jam, who's going to deny you?
Allhiphop.com: What responsibility do you take in putting Chicago on the Hip-Hop map finally? Do you see yourself solely or partially responsible?
Twista: I'm definitely one of them. I don't want to say I'm the main reason. A couple of other people may have their opinion about that. But, I definitely think I'm one of them. Almost every verse you heard me do for ten years straight, I've been hollering Chicago.
Allhiphop.com: We had also read at one point where you coming out with your own brand of car rims. How is that venture coming along?
Twista: I'm coming out with rims called "Kamikazes." We are going to try to give away a pair somewhere between the first 100,000 sales of the album.
Allhiphop.com: When do you expect they will hit retail?
Twista: You should be able to get them on the internet right now, but we are in process of trying to push something through. We are working some type of deal out right now.
Allhiphop.com: With regard to artists who come out trying to rap as fast as you do, how do you perceive those artists? Are they paying homage to your style since you are the flagship of that style, or do you see them as biters?
Twista: I feel like some of them bite. Some of them listen directly to me and say, "I'm going to take it from him." But, I also feel like there's a few artists in the game that have got their shine on and try to act like no one knows where they got it from. It's obvious where they got it from. You got alot of young guys that just look at it as a style. They appreciate it and copy it, and I don't mind. Really, I just try to keep my game up.
Allhiphop.com: Who do you feel can rap fast very well and not come across sounding like Mushmouth?
Twista: (laughs) Alot of them can do it well, but I respect Jay-Z. If you remember, him and Jaz was the very first people I ever heard do the style. I respect him every time I hear him do it. I respect Bone, too. We had a little thing back in the days, but we are Midwest guys and we all grew up. We know what's crackin' now, so I respect them doing it. Crucial Conflict from Chicago, too.
Allhiphop.com: Since the album is coming out next week, throw some last words out there to the people who are going to go cop it.
Twista: I appreciate everybody that's going out there to get the album. Everybody's that supporting it from the new fans to the old. I'm going to keep it coming, and I promise to never take that long to drop an album again. Any questions you have to ask me, go on my website (http://www.twista.net), and we are going to make sure we get you the answers.