Is hip hop a culture?

There’s a lot of things that make it a culture. But there’s a lot more to it than that — the thing that drives hip hop is the idea of people being comfortable being who they are. So I love that there are so many different styles and that there are so many ways to express yourself in that music. I love how the city itself is a culture, but there’s so much more to the city than the music coming out of some random club or some random record store.

There’s a lot of cultural significance to that on some level, but also the fact that it’s true, even though everyone’s getting to play in places like Brooklyn and Philly and L.A. or wherever, that their music is going out there as a statement on where they’re from and the way they choose to communicate to someone else, or maybe someone they don’t relate to, or maybe just themselves, so it’s not just about being able to record the album and play it when you want, there is real meaning behind that record. I love that aspect of it. I’m an old-fashioned hip hop dude — I don’t care if my record comes out tomorrow, or a few weeks ago, or whatever it is. I’m still listening to it. Sometimes the beats are new. Sometimes it’s new and it’s not that great. Sometimes it’s good. It’s a cool record. We don’t really have that many rappers now. There’s not very many. There’s so many great rappers now who haven’t been around as long. But there are a lot of rappers who have the ability to do great things and have incredible influence in these music spaces, and for a long time, that’s why they’re making records.

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That said, your music has no filter or preconceived notions about what hip hop should or should not do; is this what your aesthetic actually stems from?

It has no filter whatsoever. Every song is 100% what I’m doing. It comes out of my mouth, and the songwriters write the songs. And the records are written by me and by the band. If there’s an artist who I feel needs to be taken on a new musical path, I’ll take them on a new musical path as soon as I can. And I’ll do it in whatever format. If we can produce an EP, I’ll do that. If we can do a full-length, I’ll do that. If there’s a label behind it, I’ll come aboard

Is hip hop a culture?
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