Hopsin Speaks His Mind [Interview]
Vancouver, B.C. – With his rebellious rhymes, affliction for calling out mainstream rappers and previous drama with Ruthless Records, California MC Hopsin is anything but boring. HipHopCanada’s KassKills had a chance to sit down with the rapper before his Vancouver show to talk about what’s missing in the game, what he would do with a milli and whether he really does slap hoes.
“Nobody sees my vision better than I do…there’s a reason behind everything I do.”
HipHopCanada: Hey, welcome to VanCity. Have you been here before?
Hopsin: Yeah, this is my second time in Vancouver. It’s cool. I’m not a fan of the cold but yeah.
HipHopCanada: It’s not so bad once you get used to it. So start off by telling us how you got started in the rap game.
Hopsin: The way I tried to get in was through Ruthless Records which ended up being a fail. I got shoved and a bunch of bullshit happend but the way that I forced my way in was by dissing Ruthless Records. I put out an album called Raw and that was what really put me on the map just as far as popularity online and stuff like that. I built up my YouTube fan base and i got a lot of fans on Facebook and Twitter. Then I started my first tour.
HipHopCanada: You’re now doing things pretty independantly since leaving Ruthless.
Hopsin: Yeah. I’ve got my own label now called Funk Volume and we all just join together to start promoting and doing things virally.
“It’s like if you see a bum whip somebody’s ass – it’s more impressive then if you see Bruce Lee do it, cause you expect that from Bruce Lee.”
HipHopCanada: You have a real “do it yourself” mentality. You produce your own music, make your own beats and direct your videos. Do you feel like that contributes to the rawness of your style?
Hopsin: I don’t let small things hold me back. If I need help and I can’t find somebody who knows how to do it then I learn to do it myself. If I think of a music video or a beat for instance, I can picture it in my head and I usually know exactly how to create it. If I didn’t make videos or produce my own music I’d have to rely on somebody else to do it for me which would be difficult. Nobody sees my vision better than I do. I’m the creator of my whole rap career as far as image goes and rap style. I know what’s best for me.
HipHopCanada: You call out a lot of rappers on your track “Sag My Pants” and you even claim you don’t even have a favorite rapper. Is there anybody you do like?
Hopsin: At the time there were rappers I didn’t like. There have been a lot of rappers who have come out since then. I’m a fan of Yelawolf right now. I like Machine Gun Kelly as well. There’s a dude named Promise NYC who I’ve been a fan of for years, even before I made that song but there’s not too many people.
HipHopCanada: Have you recieved any backlash from any of the people you diss on that track?
Hopsin: Soulja Boy said somethin’ on YouTube but he wasn’t really bashin’ me, he just acknowledged the track. It doesn’t matter if he acknowledged me or not though, the song did what it is gonna do, regardless.
HipHopCanada: You also say you slap hoes on “Sag My Pants”. Is that for real?
Hopsin: No comment. (Laughs) But nah, i don’t slap hoes. There’s things in my music that are like puzzle pieces you may hear one thing in my song then you hear another song and you may be like “oh, thats what that meant”. Over time, you just gotta place the pieces. I don’t really lie in my music.
HipHopCanada: Not to put you on the spot but you seem like a nice dude. It there maybe a certain persona you put on as a rapper?
Hopsin: People in general they aren’t just one way all the time. I mean, if somebody’s jolly they’re not just like Ned Flanders all the time. I’m in a good mood right now, I’m happy, I’m cool, but if someone comes and smacks me upside the head I’m not gonna be all calm like “hey now, why’d you do that? Come on bro”. Music expresses different emotions, you know. I just capture certain moments of how I feel at certain times. Now I do feel my music is positive…in an agressive way. If i came out like super duper positive all the way, in might come across as corny so I’d rather do it in a more subliminal way. People aren’t as responsive to positive music or just positive things in general as much as the guy who sticks his middle finger up so that’s what i do. I stick my middle finger up and say “fuck you” but its for a postive cause. Like saying fuck everybody who said I couldn’t become something or fuck everybody who wouldn’t help me along this journey and fuck all my ex-girlfriends who wouldn’t treat me right and who cheated on me. It’s not just bashing people for no reason and I’m not a violent person in general. if i ever come off that way it’s because there’s a reason behind everything I do.
HipHopCanada: What do you think hip-hop is missing right now?
Hopsin: It’s missing a lot of things. It’s missing originality. I don’t feel anybody is themselves these days, they’re all just doing exactly what they see on TV. In the underground, it’s a little different but as far as the mainstream and what the masses are exposed to it’s just the same thing over and over. Stupid ass rappers who are just brainwashing kids making society even dumber and getting paid off of it. That’s why I diss those rappers.
“I see a lot of teenagers who are just lost in life and don’t know where they’re going”
HipHopCanada: If you got a cheque for a million today, what’s the first thing you would buy?
Hopsin: Nothing. Money doesn’t do anything to me anymore. I just need to eat, a bathroom to shit and a jacket to keep me warm. Oh, and a vehicle, a house and a girlfriend. That’s all I ask for everything else is just an accessory.
HipHopCanada: So you wouldnt buy your mom a house?
Hopsin: Actually, ok no. I would defintaly get my mom what she needs and i’m not just saying that cause you said it. I would move my mom back to Missassippi with her family.
HipHopCanada: Tell me about the contacts. What’s the deal?
Hopsin: There’s a lot of African American rappers. I dont wanna be just another face so yeah, it’s sort of a branding. I want people to see me and know exactly who I am. If you saw me back in 2006 and then you saw me now you’d be like “I dont remember what song he did but I remember that face”. I like it because in my heart I know I’m an MC and I can get a little goofy and wild and all that but I like confusing people. I’m like a real life troll. When people see me I want them to be like “who is this guy? I would demolish him”. I like looking like an idiot but being dope. That’s a cool formula. It’s like if you see a bum whip somebody’s ass it’s more impressive then if you see Bruce Lee do it, cause you expect that from Bruce Lee.
HipHopCanada: Where do you see yourself in 5 Years?
Hopsin: I would like to contribute to changing the world and making the world more positive because I see a lot of teenagers who are just lost in life and don’t know where they’re going. They have no direction or their parents aren’t raising them right. They’re lost. I want my music to reach these people and give them direction or more options. Seems like everyone is one-track minded, taking the same lane as everyone else when there’s like 50 other lanes to take over here. I don’t consider myself smart at all, i just go off of instinct and common sense.
HipHopCanada: Whats up next for your label “Funk Volume”?
Hopsin: Dizzy Wright is gonna drop his album called Smoke Out Conversations soon and SwizZz is gonna drop his EP within the next two months. I’m gonna drop my album Knock Madness maybe around summer time but it takes a while cause I’m doing it all on my own with production and videos and all that as well as touring.
HipHopCanada: We’ll be on the look out for that. Thanks!
Interview conducted by KassKills for HipHopCanada
Photos by Jamie Sands for HipHopCanada