I see you were shooting and directing behind the scenes of the music industry from 2004-2008. Who are some of the artists you worked with and are you still directing videos today?
-Most of the people I worked with were artists like Juelz Santana, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Franchize Boys (when they were doing their thing in the South), a bunch of people. I was also on the ‘Up Close and Personal’ tour doing a lot of behind the scenes, documentaries, stuff like that. Now I still do directing. I direct some of my own videos, material for Soulja Boy; I haven’t stopped directing since I started rapping.
What made you switch from camera man to rapper?
-I mean it really didn’t, it was just the influence of my friends. Them telling me it’s possible, I really didn’t think it was something that I can learn to do, but I was obviously wrong. Just seeing people like Lil B and Wiz who rap and just have so much fun with it, after a while it was clear to me that it was something that I can actually do.
So you just did a mix tape with Soulja Boy. How was that for you and how did it come about?
-I mean it was pretty dope for me. That’s my homie, I’ve been messing with him since like last year, we did our first song and we’ve been friends after that. We always had a plan to do something together. So I flew out to LA to his penthouse and made the album in like five days, then went back to NYC to drop it.
Who are you inspired by? With both music and fashion.
-I mean musically most of my inspirations are rappers from the past, there were no artists who just came out that inspired me in anyway. Rappers like Biggie, Jay-Z, Rakim, and Slick Rick inspired me in a major way. Especially Slick Rick, I always liked the way he painted visuals with his story telling in his raps. I just feel like the 90’s had more taste, they actually cared about music more back then. Now with fashion, I’m inspired by actual designers. Like Marc Jacobs and people of that sort. I’ve actually been watching Marc for a long time, before I was doing music or even designing.
So speaking of Marc Jacobs. How did you get Marc to be featured in your ‘Urban Outfitters’ video?
-I mean I know him along with some other top designers, I don’t want to have to name drop but I’m in the game. So I know a few people when it comes to fashion like Dee & Ricky, Jeremy Scott, etc. They’ve been apart of me since like my early career, supported me before I was even anything. So I’m always appreciative for that.
On HBO’s show ‘Entourage’ the lead character’s name is “Vinnie Chase”. Is there any connection there?
– I mean obviously but it’s not like I’m running around trying to be a character. I just felt like I came out of an entourage, since i was with the Dipset entourage, and I was like damn how can I get out of here to make my own lane. So I felt like I related to the name in a way where I can come into the game through a perfect angle. I am a fan of the show, but once again I’m not basing my career on the actual character. You’ll never hear me mention anything from the show in my raps EVER, I tried to draw that line early, I mean I didn’t want people to think I was rapping about Turtle.
How often do you get chased? Did you get chased last night after the SOB’s performance?
-Yeah man it was crazy like just getting into the venue was hard. So many people were trying to walk in with me. Towards the ending I actually just stayed until everything was all over but they still caught me. When I was trying to leave they were all trying to catch me before I got in the cab, it was crazy. It was the first time I ever experienced something like that, I mean the line was down the block, the support was crazy so I appreciated the love.
What’s the concept behind your group ‘Cheers Club’? When did you create the group, and who’s down?
-I mean we created it as a self contained house, it’s my director Kid Art, my man Cartier Court, and myself. It’s a group that we founded last year, it’s a design house, fashion house, film house. Everything is done in house, we use beats from outsiders occasionally but with everything else, it’s done in house. #CHEERS.
Lastly, I see you have the same four finger ring 2Chainz happened to get locked up for. Have you ran into any problems for the ring yet?
-I definitely got into problems because of that, my lawyer almost got arrested. I flew into LA with him everything was good I went out to Dope Couture, did some designs for some hats that are coming out. And the funny thing is the owner of Dope Couture told me that 2Chainz actually got locked up for the ring so I knew that I couldn’t slide back with it. So I gave it to my lawyer and told him to mail it to me, but he forgot to mail it and actually forgot to take it out his bag as well. So they took it from him at the airport and almost locked him up, if he wasn’t a lawyer he probably would’ve went to jail.
-Katherine Feathers @xoxo_kitty
Photo By : Lavonda @lala