Gowhere Hip Hop

Gowhere Hip Hop Exclusive Interview: Twista

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Gowhere Hip Hop is proud to share with you an exclusive interview with Chi-Town legend, Twista! Off the heels of the release of Category F5, Twista chopped it up with us about the album, the life of the artist upon its release, and some insight into the progressively independent music industry. GWHH would like to thank Twista for his time and cooperation and Jae for setting it all up! Without further adieu, you can read our full conversation below. Enjoy!

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GWHH: Congrats on the release of Category F5! So jumpin' right into it, we all know it's been a hectic week for you - now that we got the album in stores now. Can you give the readers an insight into the life of an artist around the time of an album release?

TWISTA: Aw man, really gettin' out and puttin' that work in to the fullest. Like it may just seem in their town or in their area, think like, 'OK there he is' but they don't realize there's many different places, many different stations. A day in the life of Twista is wakin' up doin' radio in the morning, running around going to record store, you know, just promotion, promotion, promotion. You're trying to get that grind in to try and show people what you have to offer and what you're bringing. Because it takes a lot to get a record out there, it takes a lot to promote an album. The average fan doesn't realize that the artist works just as hard as a person with a 9 to 5, if not harder.

GWHH: Yeah, I mean with all the interviews that have been poppin' up online and everything, it's pretty admirable quite frankly. But let's talk about the album a little bit. With Category F5, it's your newest release. What are some of the goals you set out to accomplish with this release and how did you go about achieving them this time around?

TWISTA: Man, really like I thought it was definitely time to do it again. The time in between the last album and this album, I was with Atlantic Records and now with EMI, comin' to a new situation. During the process of makin' that transition, I was workin' on the album. Now here we have it. Man, I love doin' music! Like people know Twista and it's just about me continuously doin' music like this is what I like doin'. I also want to put my people on and let them get their shine in the game too. The Get Money Gang (GMG), Skooda Chose, Liffy Stokes.. and all of my guys that are out.

GWHH: Yeah, definitely. And you know, to me, with Category F5, I think you did a great job of reaching a broad hip hop fanbase - not only with your longtime followers with tracks with the likes of Traxster and Do Or Die but I also feel you are reaching out to the newer generation with tracks with Akon and Gucci Mane for example. Would you agree with that kind of goal?

TWISTA: Yeah, that's me trying to stay youthful with the music. People ask me all the time, 'Twista, how do you stay so timeless?' It's really just knowin' how to put together a record and do what I do, but at the same time, I never let myself get old or feel like I see what the younger guys are doin' it's not hip hop, it's not music. They are the ones that are the trendsetters that make it what it is. I always keep my ear to the street, my ear to what the younger generation are doin'. Like I said, I got a youthful spirit myself; I'm a fan of the music! I'm bumpin' Gucci and Boosie myself.

GWHH: Yeah, that's great! So moving forward, one thing I'm really curious to get your input on is about how the industry is progressively going independent. A lot of artists are startin' their own shop, pretty much. And you're undoubtedly one of the biggest ones who have done so with your GMG label. So can you talk about that process and some of the differences you've noticed between past experiences at major labels and now that you have successfully released your first major album off that independent realm?

TWISTA: Well, I actually did a bunch of independent releases before; I broke some records when I was dealin' with Southwest Entertainment. So I've been doin' the independent record for a minute so that I have some success or.. knowledge that I can do it again. A lot of people don't realize the power of the digital sales or the internet means so much more today then when rap artists started to do their thing so with that being said, it comes with these rappers doin' deals with the new artists that incorporates them getting money from a lot of other aspects of the office rather than just the music. With me being an established artist, it's way better for me to take my chance with the independent route because then I can be a competitor as one of the first, rather than building myself up to a brand and those things. So that I'm smart enough to understand those things, that man I'm Twista or I'm Fat Joe or, you know, we got a fanbase even before I came up instead of just giving it all away because of the demands of a contract, because of the music. So that's a little knowledge for people who don't know what's goin' on.

GWHH: Yeah, nice. That's exactly what I was lookin' for. So movin' forward with GMG, can you give us a preview of what you and your artists have in store for the rest of this year and beyond?

TWISTA: Get Money Gang is what it's about.  I got my first major release off of Get Money Gang.  And right now, I have a few artists outta Chicago. I got Skooda Chose, Mello Tha Guddamann, and Liffy Stokes. We got some things poppin' on that end. Also, me and The Legendary Traxster have been workin' together real hard. So we got some things comin' up with Do Or Die that we're tryin' to do. We got a project with them comin' real soon. Tryin' to put out some acts that you haven't seen in a minute from the west side of Chicago. Like I said, Get Money Gang is moving already, but it's also a brand and it's also a way for people to get in touch or in tune with something that you'd like to. Because I do realize that we're in the Midwest, and being in the Midwest, you know a lot of people can't get to the record labels out in the East Coast, the West Coast, or the South and Get Money Gang can help provide that brand for that gap.

GWHH: Yup, that's perfect. That's exactly right too! So lastly, where's the best place for our readers to follow you more closely?

TWISTA: You can hit me on myspace.com/twista or you can check me on Twitter - it's twitter.com/twistagmg. You can also check me out on my number. It's 312.533.4611. I have that number on the back of my album also so if you just want to hit me up, let me know what you think about my projects , or ask my advice or opinion about different situations just leave me a message on my phone and I'm gonna try answer as many fans as possible. And tell everybody that Twista said, he is the Black Jason of rap. He is the Norman Bates of lyrics. I will not stay out of the game and I'm gonna keep giving you the music.

PREVIOUSLY:

Twista "Yo Body" f/ Do Or Die & Johnny P

VIDEO PREMIERE!

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Confused by the new look GWHH? In case you missed it, CLICK HERE!

~ Sgt. Tibs



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