In general, rap music is all of these things that are in between hip hop and R&B or whatever it might be that people think of as hip hop music [laughs]. R&B is all of these things that are the same sound that people tend to associate with the genres of jazz, R&B, and blues. But hip hop is about things other than those different-sounding genres. It’s about using different instruments, different words, different things to make your sound more dynamic and different. That gives you more space for creativity.
What can we expect from the new album?
What we want to do in 2017 has been kind of a mystery so far. So when you hear some of the tracks from the first record, it feels like the whole album was built around the “F.O.G.” beat, but that’s actually a little over two years away. But everything else [the album] is about, whether it’s the new verse or whatever, that was built around the first beat. You get that feel for things but you also have a really interesting experience trying to make it that way. Everything we did [on The Great Divide] has been like that. It feels like a completely different version.
I just think of it as a collection of beats.
It’s kind of a new sound. I think a lot of people feel like we’re building a new sound out of what was there. [laughs] I think that’s more about what this album does, it’s much more experimental. I also kind of feel like, for whatever reason, more people are listening to rap in the modern sense now. That means, if you went to a show or you read about a show in The New Yorker, it’s more of the same. [laughs] So I think a lot of things were going on with that in hip-hop, and when you’re listening to something that’s experimental, you have to be paying attention to new things too.
Has this meant you can go on tour with people who didn’t necessarily know you from another genre?
No, it’s made me a lot more flexible to working with bands that haven’t been involved in hip-hop. I mean, there’s a couple bands that were part of the hip-hop world who were like “what the fuck is this guy up to?” [laughs] They were like [in a tone of voice that sounds like they’re just about to say, “Who is
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