Twisted Black: Got it Twisted

In today’s day and age, prosecutors have new a new weapon against some defendants- lyrics. Almost a decade after C-Bo proved this to be true in the Pacific Northwest, Fort Worth native, Twisted Black, learned this first hand when some of his lyrics were turned against him in a trial during which he stands charged […]

In today’s day and age, prosecutors have new a new weapon against some defendants- lyrics. Almost a decade after C-Bo proved this to be true in the Pacific Northwest, Fort Worth native, Twisted Black, learned this first hand when some of his lyrics were turned against him in a trial during which he stands charged with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Besides his mixtapes, the only distribution Black claims to be involved in, however, is the distribution of false charges upon himself from Mitch Russell, a cop Black feels is crooked.

Whether or not Black was conspiring to distribute crack, one thing is clear: Black is guilty of gaining himself notoriety in the Southern Hip-Hop scene with tracks such as his first single, “I’m A Fool With It.” Bun B recently told AllHipHop that Twisted is the legend’s artist to watch for ’07 too. The incarcerated rapper feels that there are no limits to his success once he finds himself back from the others side of the bars, and with his TVT deal and mixtape success, he should be living rather comfortably. But, as Black shares, no matter how comfortable he had made his life on the outside, he most definitely wasn’t lighting his cigarettes with Benjamins. Here Black shares what he was really doing and what he plans to do as he prepares for the release of his debut album on TVT and hopes for his own release. Let’s begin with the rumors that you’ve already been convicted for life in prison…

Twisted Black: Naw, I hope they don’t speak that into existence. That just came about because of people not knowing. They kind of just misworded it. I just had to take it all with a grain of salt, it’s real hard to get back on the ground, get out of this situation that I’m in. What do you have in the works right now?

Twisted Black: Well actually, we have the compilation coming out to make myself available to the fans because I’ve been on the underground circuit for a while and so I can make myself available to the fans that have been purchasing my work. Then they can get in line to follow my career. People have been hearing about me, but it’s hard to find good distributors. Then we have the Street Fame album coming out in March. How did you get noticed by the majors?

Twisted Black: Well one mixtape after the next, then finally, one of the A&Rs from TVT knew Steve Gottlieb because he used to be from Universal, he set up a meeting with me and Steve, and he liked the music. What made you go with TVT over other labels?

Twisted Black: We sparked the interest of just about every major label with our single, “Fool Wit It.” It was the independent factor, the fact that they understood how independent worked, and they would allow us to sell me the way we know how to sell Twisted Black. The fact that TVT understands the underground independent circuit, because it is a major independent label. You may only do 100,000 but still can survive versus being on a major label. We actually have been grinding that long independently, but we were looking for a major label that understood our marketing program. We were looking for a bigger and better distribution deal the whole time. And TVT just sounded a lot better than some of the other offers we had at the time. How has the music changed since getting the deal?

Twisted Black: Pretty much the same project. Same format, we’ve been trying to sell me for a long time. I haven’t changed; people are just finally getting in tuned to it. How did you get noticed being on the independent circuit?

Twisted Black: A lot of road promotion, just grinding, being on the scene in the streets, a lot of different promo shows, being at the barber shops, mom and pop’s, stuff like that. What’s the difference between the Houston and Dallas Hip-Hop circuit?

Twisted Black: It used to a lot bigger, they’ve had the door opened up, that’s the difference between Dallas and Houston, they’ve already had the door opened in Houston. Dallas is just starting to bubble, people like DSR and myself are opening up the doors so new artists can come through. What do you think of Big Tuck and his project? He didn’t do as well as he was expected…

Twisted Black: Tuck is one of those artists that you can just get behind him and believe in him. I guess it wasn’t his time, but once he comes back, I believe he will finally bubble. We just continue to support him. How does the situation change now that you’re incarcerated?

Twisted Black: Well what changes is I’m not able to be out there and be in people’s faces, the music is still good. And we have to focus more on the situation that I am going through, it’s sad to say I have to use this situation for publicity. How do you plan to make up for the opportunities lost because you’re incarcerated?

Twisted Black: With a constant grind from Scarred for Life. Just pushing, some things you just can’t get back, we’re kind of hoping the music can help with what we missed out on. What kind of music you got on the new album?

Twisted Black: I’ve got some reality songs, songs like “New Boot” on it, a lot of people have strayed away from reality music, talking about what’s really going on in the hood. You got your feel good music on there too, but it’s just the lyrics. I think artists need to just keep writing from the heart. As far as me, just write your life, put a little bit of extras in there. If your situation was different what kinds of numbers do you think you’d put up?

Twisted Black: The first time out, I think I’d be double platinum easy, with proper promotion. What sets me apart is consistency, one jam after the next jam after the next jam to see it’s not a fluke. These rappers come out with one good song and their next song is just all right, it’s that “Jay-Z factor.” What do you think about lyrics and how they’ve affected your incarceration?

Twisted Black: I haven’t done everything I’ve said in my raps, I think people misconstrue that, that’s probably one of the reasons I’m here right now, is people misconstruing that, but I just write what feels good. Will you be more careful as to what you say when you get out?

Twisted Black: No I won’t I’d be just as reckless as I was before, because this is just entertainment, just because I said it doesn’t mean I’m killing people or selling cocaine. But what about an artist’s responsibility to some of the children who listen to the music?

You have to be mindful of what you say too, I’m not going to stand behind and advocate certain things, just me being the man. I don’t want the younger kids doing certain things, I just give them feel good music just entertainment for people to have a good time with. What about the people who rap about things they’ve never lived?

Twisted Black: No it’s never okay to compromise your integrity to make a hit, as long as you use integrity to make your music, I think you’ll be alright. Do you think a lot of the fake artists are the ones who fall victim to the sophomore jinx?

Twisted Black: Yeah, I think they let the sophomore jinx come up on them and hit them too hard. If they just do them, whether it’s a sophomore or the next one, I think it will do good. They put too much emphasis into the sophomore jinx. Do you think that Dallas has the same kind of unity that Houston seems to have?

Twisted Black: Yeah, to a degree. I can only speak for myself; I’m pulling for all those guys. I don’t necessarily work with all of them; I hope they all make it. You can’t work with all of them, it’s not personal, I just got my thing going on, and you got yours going on. Why do you think you’re locked up?

Twisted Black: I just ask that anyone who is reading this, my situation is in the western district of Texas, there’s a crooked cop named Mitch Russell, this guy needs to be uncovered. I always say that at the end of my interviews. [Laughs] What’s good with Mitch?

Twisted Black: What’s suspect is that he will go above and beyond the law to finger you. I’m not the first person, and I won’t be the last if he’s not stopped. I have no evidence that he planted evidence, but he definitely [will] have someone that doesn’t even know you testify against you.