A decade ago, it was arguably Twista who first became the cliché favorite rappers favorite rapper. With his Guinness Book of World Records
lightning fast delivery, the Chicago star was a well-kept secret, from
the now-defunct Big Beat Records, an Atlantic company. His 1997 album Adrenaline Rush remains a cult classic, that spawned styles in both coasts.
With one of the longest tenures in the company, Twista has always been
affiliated with Atlantic Records. In 2004, by way of his Kanye-assisted
Slow Jamz, Twista got the platinum plaque that he rightfully
deserved, and subsequently became a Joint Chief in Atlantics
Since 2004, not much has changed. The Day After
was as uneventful to the mainstream as its title would suggest, and
many wondered if the veteran artist was not only a fluke to the charts,
but a radio-hungry compromise to the fans that touted him.
Like a true vessel for his listeners, Twista has returned with Adrenaline Rush 2007. While skeptics might compare similar recreation albums from Method Man, AMG and Pastor Troy, others value the integrity of a Stillmatic.
As this summer release may likely define the tongue-twisting MCs stay
on a major, Twista explains his motives, and speaks about the
automobiles hed like to see himself in as a result of more success.
At a pivotal red light, Twista is staring at his career through the
AllHipHop.com: In 2004, Atlantic Records had a campaign of the Joint
Chiefs their four biggest stars which were Trick Daddy, Fat Joe,
Fabolous and you. But once T.I. popped off, it seemed like the campaign
diminished. Any thoughts on that?
Twista: Nah, really, I think it was something they were doing for the
time being. I dont think T.I. popping off is what stopped it; I just
think it was something they were just putting together for the time
being, as a quick promotional thing.
AllHipHop.com Tell me about your new album, Adrenaline Rush 2007, which hits stores in August. What can we expect from it?
Twista: Its really just me giving it back to the fans how I feel they want it. Because I did The Day After,
and I had figured out the formula how to make good music for the radio,
how to be successful and get my commercial success but still be a
lyricist. The A&R was trying to pick most of the songs that were
radio friendly. So when the album came out, I still enjoyed it, but at
the same time, you had the criticism from the fans who were like, We
want that Adrenaline Rush Twista.
Then I was like, Okay, this will be a 10 year anniversary. Adrenaline Rush
came out in 97, and now its 07. And seven is my favorite number. [I
took] it back to the essence and re-visit that whole style of music I
was doing. Just giving them the Chi-town Twista.
AllHipHop.com: For the younger fans, explain that
Twista: That sound was a new sound coming out of the Midwest,
specifically Chicago. You would have an artist come out and they would
be original, and then, as they go along they might start to sound like
other people. So I felt like Adrenaline Rush
was the rawest, newest sound that was coming out of the Midwest at the
time. The way I was spitting the lyrics with the double time flow. Then
you have people following my lead, like Crucial Conflict, Do or Die,
[and] Bone [Thugs N Harmony].
AllHipHop.com: Kamikaze had radio hits and went platinum. The Day After didnt, why?
Twista: With Kamikaze,
I had the help of Slow Jamz. I didnt come up with Slow Jamz until
later when we were about 90% through with the album. So I felt like it
was a little harder edge. Plus, The Day After came out in the
fourth quarter. I was one of the first artists to make a hit when the
industry took a turn. If you look, every artist that came out after me,
when theyre album dropped, the first weeks sale was half of what it
was expected to be. Kanye was the only one who slipped through the
cracks with his album. A lot of artist werent selling like they
expected and that was due to downloads and other ways people get their
music other than CDs now. I definitely don think it was my fault, as
far as the music.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned that a lot of people are getting their
music from other sources now does that scare you at all that people
arent buying as many albums as they used to?
Twista: I think it would scare you if you didnt know the way the
industry is turning. For a minute, people were so addicted to cassette
tapes that they didnt want to accept CDs. So now its like you dont
want to be so addicted to CDs that youre not accepting the digital
world. Right now people are listening to iPods and music in their
phones. They are getting it so many different ways that its not about
the sale of your CD anymore; its about the sale of your music as a
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people are curious about Trackster and whether hell be on the album with an Overdose 2
Twista:: No. I would have, but me and that brother have problems when
we try to get down together. I really dont have time for it, so I just
do it my way.
AllHipHop.com: It took you some years to gain mainstream success, what lessons did you learn while you waited?
Twista: The lesson I learned while I waited was to make sure my
business was taken care of. Dont be so into the music that I dont
want to pay that much attention to the business end.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of artists decide to explore other ventures. Tell
me a little bit about the clothing line and the barber shop
Twista: The barber shop is just something small. The way Im doing it
now is like youve got some people that feed directly off of what
they do in the industry, but what Im trying to do is just to do things
on a small scale. Its not Twistas Barber Shop. With my shop, Im
doing the thing with the people I was cutting hair with in high school
who I would have been in business with, had I not been doing music. But
now Im jumping back toward them trying to link up so that we can do
something together because that was our dream before I started doing
this music thing. I got like the Windy City Angels calendar. Im trying
to open a communications store. I was telling you about the downloads
and the digital world. I want to jump the gun so I want to start a
communications store and sell my phone, my fresh phones that Ive
explored around the world. I look at my age and how long Ive been in
the industry and I know its not going to last forever, so Im just
starting to take my money and put it into things that I know I can
bounce back off of. I dont want to feel like I can make
$30,000-100,000 a month doing this rap thing, and dont feel like I can
make $30,000-100,000 when its over. So Im just setting up everything
in case I drive into a tree or hit my throat or due to old age, or big
industry shift, that Ill be able to have some things to fall back on.
AllHipHop.com: What prompted you to start your label, Get Money Gang?
Twista: I just wanted to bridge a gap between the industry and the
Midwest. Because its so hard for people from the Midwest to get on. We
never could figure it out. Here it is 2007, and we still ask questions
that should have been answered 10, 15, 20 years ago. I listen to so
many of these young rappers coming out. I like artists like Cap.One. I
worked with him. I want to be able to look up and be like, Man, I put
seven acts on from the Chi or Midwest.
AllHipHop.com: What is about Chicago that breeds so many talented musicians and artists?
Twista: Thats a good question. I think one of the reasons is because
of where we are located. When you listen to music from the Bay area, it
all sounds different but yet you can hear a Bay sound. Then when you
listen to New York music or the East Coast music, it sounds different
but you can hear an East Coast sound - same thing with the South. But
if you come to Chicago, me and Kanye dont sound anything alike. Common
and Crucial Conflict dont sound anything alike. Because were located
in the middle and we are a consumer market, all of the acts on the
other coasts come to the middle to sell their music.
AllHipHop.com: Youre an automobile enthusiast right?
Twista: Yes, yes.
AllHipHop.com: In your opinion, what is the hottest car out there right now?
Twista: The hottest car out there right now is the Maybach coupe.
AllHipHop.com: And how much does that run a person these days?
Twista: Between $400,000 to 600,000.
AllHipHop.com: What makes it the hottest car in your opinion?
Twista: Because its the latest coupe to come out, as far as what I
know. You might have something later, but its not as big or
interesting as the Maybach. When the Bentley came out with the coupe,
its like the Bentley Coupe took over everything. Everybody was loving
the death out of the Bentley Coupe and no matter what car you came out
with, you couldnt really fade the Bentley Coupe. And when Jay turned
around and rode in the video for Lost Ones that just took it to
another level. I feel like the Maybach Coupe is the hottest car out
AllHipHop.com: Okay, so what about for us regular folks?
Twista: Regular folk cars out there Im gonna give you a good one A
No, No thats a truck, let me go down to the car. I like a Benz, no
matter what. You can like a lot of cars, but a Benz to me expresses the
true success of a person when it comes to cars.
AllHipHop.com: What do you hate to see on cars?
Twista: Phony Spinners. The phony spinners are the worst thing in the
world. When a car stops, the spinners are still supposed to be
spinning, but the spinners are standing still. Definitely phony
spinners and bogus colors.
AllHipHop.com: What are bogus colors?
Twista: Bogus colors like...green; you dont put green on a car. Ive
seen like lime green and gray just crazy stuff. Bogus colors. Or rims
that are more expensive than the car.