Iman Shumpert Talks His Mixtape "Th3 #post90s" by 2wo 1ne
Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:46:19
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Iman Shumpert has a massive vision for his new mixtape, "Th3 #post90s" by 2wo 1ne.
"There are two reasons I'm going by 2wo 1ne," the NBA Knicks star reveals. "First off, I wear number 21. Secondly, it's supposed to represent two people in one. You've got the basketball player and the artist within me."
That artist makes a big splash on the mixtape. Shumpert touts a fresh flow that nods to the'90s, while paving a path unlike no other. He's got a whole lot to say on Th3 #post90s" by 2wo 1ne, and it makes for an irresistible and infectious collection.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Iman Shumpert talks "Th3 #post90s" by 2wo 1ne, collaborating with Chrisette Michele, rappers that inspire him, and so much more.
[Download it on ImanShumpert.com 12/21/12 at 12:21am]
What was your vision for Th3 #post90s" by 2wo 1ne as a whole?
I just wanted it to be a collection of things that I had to get off my chest. It's got an album's feel in that it touches on a lot of different subjects and has a smooth flow of songs. However, it's not an album in terms of having a story. There are some fast-paced songs. There are some slow-paced songs. It's really just an introduction to me.
What were some of things you wanted to get off your chest?
When people meet me, sometimes they wonder why I'm such a free spirit and why I'm so motivated. A lot of the mixtape is me talking about what I've experienced, who I've had in my corner, and a lot of things I like. I've got a song called "Perfect Woman", where I describe what the perfect woman would be like in my mind. "Heights" touches on the subject of if I were to ever get a Maybach where I would want to be in my life. The song actually came from a person asking, "Why do you have a jeep? If I were you, I'd have a Maybach". I'm like, "By the time I have a Maybach, this is where I should be in my life". Every song has a purpose. Every song came about in a very organic way.
What's the story behind "Supaphly"?
I was actually meeting with one of Chrisette Michele's friends about doing a "Welcome to New York" party that we never ended up doing. Chrisette was at the meeting. When she walked in, they were getting ready to introduce me. I was like, "Skip the introduction. I know a whole lot about here!" I let her know I was a big fan of her music. Her friend let her know that I rapped actually and that I was extremely into music. I didn't tell Chrisette that off the jump because I'm more of a fan than anything. I didn't expect to get on a song with her. When Chrisette heard I did music, she said, "I want to hear some of your stuff". She said she liked it, but I didn't think anything of it. I bumped into her later on and she was like, "I was thinking about it. You can really rap. Let's collaborate on something". She came over one day. I had a hook for her, but she wanted to do it a different way. I said, "Well, you're Chrisette Michele. Do whatever you want!" It came out really nicely. The song is totally original. I was happy with that one. I've got a lot of different looks. Sometimes, I might come out of the house in a suit. In the song, Chrisette basically sings, "He's young, but I'm in love with his style". Usually, when I rap, I'm rapping about something totally different. Here, I'm talking about me being flyer than somebody else. I'm bragging and boasting a little bit. I like to play with it. I switch up my flow on verses and let Chrisette take it from there.
What's your favorite song on the mixtape?
My favorite song on the mixtape is "Cut Throat". In the house I grew up in, it was like, if you won, we'll listen to your story. If you lost, we don't care [Laughs]. If you're crying, we really don't care. Results are all I know, and that's all I'm looking for. It helps your focus and your drive. That song means a lot to me. I have three brothers. We were competing over everything. It was all about competition. "Cut Throat" is a game in basketball where if you get scored on you're out. I felt like, since I'm a basketball player, it was cool to use a drill and put it towards music. When people hear it, I think they're going to like it a lot.
Is it important to paint visual pictures with the songs?
Yeah, that's just me period. My mother's an artist. I've never been able to draw, but I've always been good with words. I try to paint the scene early with my music. That's a part of me rapping.
Where do music and basketball connect for you?
When I'm playing basketball, I'm always singing songs. I think this year more people are noticing it. I'm not playing it so when I do my pre-game warm-up where I do some of my rehab as I work to get back on the court, people are noticing that I'm always singing songs. I play with a certain pace and rhythm because there's music in my head. It helps me throughout the game. Maybe I don't like a certain call during the game, I can block everything out because I'm so worried about singing the song and keeping my cool. As far as rap goes, playing basketball gives me a certain confidence to say what I need to say. I don't have to rap about what a lot of rappers have to rap about. Being in the league, you already have money and are around a lot of perks many people don't ever get to see. Some rappers trying to make it haven't observed some of the stuff I have. I have more grounds to talk about. It's an advantage. I don't have to talk about it. People can assume whatever I talk about is real because I'm not going to talk about anything I haven't been through.
Who are some of your favorite rappers?
I love Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Wale. Kendrick Lamar is my favorite right now. I'm a big Rakim guy. I love '90s rap. I'm into Ghostface Killah and Eminem too.
Are you excited for the mixtape?
[Download it on ImanShumpert.com 12/21/12 at 12:21am]
See our review of “Supaphly” here!