How did it turn into a huge worldwide phenomenon?
It really was nobody’s idea but everyone’s – that’s why it’s called Hip Hop, because it’s everybody’s idea. It was a real collective of individuals that started doing it. But it was a bunch of people just brainstorming stuff, working around the house, getting together in groups and kind of creating.
We were a group, people I think of as my guys, for a period of a year, in a couple of places that were kind of known, and then we moved on to something else. We were just getting ready to leave to try to start a company. At this time we were still very close to each other – we grew up together in the same neighborhood. It took a while to grow up a little bit. We grew up playing the games where we’re in the back listening to the radio, and eventually we realized that we had to go out and get better. We played and got better and figured out how to make music together, so we started doing different things – kind of like in college.
It’s kind of like hip hop as a discipline – it’s a big, huge thing and a big, huge thing. But it’s like other things, a lot of people have their own paths and are able to do different things from the beginning.
What’s the origin of the phrase, “We’re coming for your mixtapes”?
It was actually an actual conversation that I had when we started working on the album. My partner’s mother had this record she wanted to sell, and she started hearing that we were working on a mixtape – I don’t remember the exact words but it was basically, “We’re coming for your mixtapes.” So she called me and said, “We don’t want these.” And we were like, “Are you sure? We want to get this done right!” So we played that conversation for her because she didn’t know why people don’t want mixtapes in the first place.
I think a lot of the initial inspiration came from just doing a bunch of projects and stuff. We were always trying to get to a place where we had a record, it was ready to go to press, and now we don’t have a record. We’re sitting at home listening to our mixtapes that we had to rip out to sell them, and we don’t really feel any pride in them. There were always albums in the back of the
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