Glasses Malone Talks "Beach Cruiser" and More
Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:25:18
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"I'm starting over in a whole new league," says Glasses Malone of the release of his highly anticipated, Beach Cruiser. "It's like going from college to the pros."
The pros are exactly where Malone belongs too. On Beach Cruiser [Available August 30], the Los Angeles MC takes listeners on a wild ride through the West Coast's darkest hoods. In the process, his airtight flow smoothly shows a bevy of stories that are both hypnotic and heartbreaking. He's a consummate classic L.A. rapper following a long tradition carried by the likes of Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Glasses Malone is bound to roll to the top on Beach Cruiser.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino, Glasses Malone discusses Beach Cruiser, telling stories, what movie his album would be, his first bike, and so much more…
Did you have one cohesive vision for Beach Cruiser from the beginning?
The way I make music is generally like that. I'm not the greatest at creating one song that makes everyone understand the point I'm trying to get across. I shine when I go to make a body of work. From Drive-By Muzik to Nightmare Seven Street, I'm excellent at making a body of work, and I can honestly say that. Beach Cruiser is definitely different from the original form in 2008. The original album was a complete story like a movie. Conceptually, it was much more developed. However, MC-wise, this album is much better. When you get something, you lose something.
Was it important for you to showcase those evolved MC skills?
Yeah, that's why I decided to do the album again. I'm ten times better as an MC than I was when I did the original Beach Cruiser. I had to update the record to make sure the flow and the styles stay current. When people hear my new music at the top of next year, they're going to be blown away by that. It's much more lyrically and creatively enhanced than all of my other previous albums.
Is it important for you to cover a variety of vibes and topics?
I think this is another great project. The MC skills are there. It goes from ignorant to very thought-provoking at times. It covers a range of things. As I do this more, I get better. I didn't really use five years to create the album. It was truly done in a year. I just re-did it from scratch. It doesn't take months to come up with a project idea. However, to come up with a classic is a little different. For this album, I made sure every song was lyrically up to par. If it wasn't, it had a great concept behind it. I leave everything to the streets. I genuinely made this album for the streets. I didn't want to make songs about rapping, the rap industry, or how we're trying to be famous. I made songs talking about my connection to the streets and what was really happening where I'm from and what I was doing everyday outside of the music industry. I really wanted to make sure I made a first album. There are a lot of things that make me a very complex person.
Is it important for you to tell stories and paint visual pictures with the songs?
That's what my gift is. In a long line of legendary dudes like Slick Rick, Ice Cube, The Notorious B.I.G., and Scarface, my ability is to take things I visually see either in my head or something I've experienced and put them into words so you can see it. That's key for me period. It's my style.
What encourages that visual style?
I've been through enough shit to write 30 albums [Laughs]. From positive things like being a great student in school and a good kid to becoming a horrible kid and dropping out of college, I lived a lot of life in these short 30 years. All of these things are very personal. I don't write many songs about someone else's situation.
What was the first bike you got?
It wasn't a beach cruiser; it was a blue and white GT. I was eight-years-old when I got. I rode other people's bikes until then. I don't think I really wanted a bike until I was grown. My mom was the first baller in her life, rest her soul. We had $200 bikes at eight-years-old. She believed in truly stunting. My personality is turned down. It's not like I'm trying to shine on everybody. My mom was the first person I knew with a car phone. We lived in the hood, but we weren't poor. You feel me? I grew up with hustlers in the house. I'm very modest because I don't have the pressure to show what I've got. I always had it. I pray to God that I continuously keep having it.
If you were to compare Beach Cruiser to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's a good question. That might be one of the best questions of the year that somebody asked me [Laughs]. I think Beach Cruiser is its own movie. It's like Boyz n the Hood and Friday mixed in with maybe Fresh. That's what it feels like. I say Boyz n the Hood because in a lot of situations I feel like "Doughboy" mixed with Tré. I say Friday because there's still a comedy element to it, having something nice and being out late night creeping. One day, you're in the middle of some random shit. Then, there's Fresh because it's all about weight and slanging. Every day when I was younger, that's what it was all about.
What are you listening to now?
I'm getting into a lot of post grunge stuff. I'm digging for more content and depth on my future music. I told my story about my hood. I'm going to always tell that story because that's where I'm from. I want to talk about more subjects relative to life.
Have you heard Glasses Malone yet?