Part hip-hop subversion/reinvention, part indie-pop calibrator, Why? (Yoni Wolf) is the neo-namesake of East Bay’s Anticon Board of Elders token misfit. Well, they are all misfits. In true hip-hop fashion I gave him a one question (multi-part) interview and he split the thing in two…oh slice and dice away my friend! Break-beat my interview will you…Sheesh. Read all about him biographically here
if you want the full scope.
I am still figuring out the conflict of interest on this one, but this is part three in my ongoing conflict-of-interest series of one-question interviews.
YW: I think the more particular something is to the writers life (or imagined life) and the more detail exposed, the more the listener or reader can identify with it as a real thing and relate to the emotions attached as they would to some experience in their own life. ÜParticulars make things real. Ü"Baby, I'm in love with you." and this kind of language that finds its way into our popular music and culture at large is so abstract and vague...I'd rather say, "By you my tongue may stutter, but my gift-heart screams clear and swells to burst between the wrapped lengths of its bowed ribbon." or something like that. ÜI prefer to give you something you can see.
MK: I recognize your eternal themes, your abstracted existential name, and even the ambiguity of your details due to at times absurdist juxtapositions, but in this detail is there something hip-hop is trying to teach pop? ÜAnd in a similar vein, what does pop have to teach hip-hop?
YW: Well Mike, I don't really know where to put these genre names within my work or how to distribute responsibility for each aspect I've lifted from countless artists in all traditions of music and otherwise. ÜAs far as hiphop and pop go, I can't really tell you where one begins and the other ends. There have been many detail, image oriented writers in both pop and hiphop styles as well as country, folk, and every other opportunity for someone to sing, say, or write language.
(P.S. I recently discovered that Yoni’s Godfather is the man behind the Icky Shuffle.)