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As a business, the hip-hop industry wants to sell records by riding the bandwagon on other people's styles. How many people bit off Busta Rhymes' videos, Eminem's shock value, or Jay-Z's image? For an artist to be considered a success, their image must help sell millions of records. For an artist to be truly respected, they must be honest to themselves and to the audience. The unique artists (mentioned above) were honest with the listeners. This honesty on the microphone is a magnificent display of their love for the hip-hop culture. Those false rappers could learn a thing or two by watching the film, 'CB-4'. Even if you do not like Eminem's music, you must respect the fact that he honestly portrays himself and injects his real life into his music. As hip-hop evolves, the larger the variety of personalities will rock microphones. Out of all of these artists, the emcees who rhyme from their hearts and are true to themselves will earn respect.
Hot Karl is a perfect (and extreme) example of how an emcee does not have to play the role of a ghetto fabulous drug dealing floss pimp. Straight from the suburbs of California, Hot Karl is a skilled white emcee who loves hip-hop. He knows where he comes from and who he is. This white guy wears glasses, has an odd voice, and looks more like a clerk at an indie punk record store than a hip-hop emcee. If you do not know what his name means, look it up on the Internet. The legendary, Ice-T inspired Karl's name because he 'shitted' on people with his rhymes. Although Karl's music is extremely comical, he is very serious about being himself and refuses to pretend he is someone else just to sell records.
True hip-hop lovers know that skills are skills, regardless of race or origin. Hot Karl proved his skills on the Power 106 radio show with The Baker Boys. With astute humor and sharp satirical edge, Hot Karl's talent won over both Black and White audiences and caught the industry's attention.
The industry bugs crawled all over Hot Karl. Mack 10 (from Westside Connection) actually offered him $50,000 cash in order to sign him to Hoo Bangin Records, but Karl declined the offer. Eventually, Interscope Records signed Hot Kizzle after a lavish period of wining and dining. The hype ignited, the funding was approved, and recording sessions were purchased. 'Your Housekeeper Hates You' was his unreleased debut album that included collaborations with Kanye West, Redman, Mya, Fabolous, and many other big names. Some thought Caucasians were trying to take hip-hop over too! Interscope Records was the home for the other great White hope, Eminem. Could the label handle two white emcees? While Eminem's image was crazy, humorous, and violent, Hot Karl was more clever, literate, and quirky. Could the mainstream accept or handle an honest emcee who could be your next door neighbor? After spending an enormous amount of money, Interscope Records considered Hot Karl to be a novelty act and shelved his album. Luckily for Karl, money rolled in by writing for Sugar Ray and O-Town. While most emcees would buy cars or diamonds, Hot Kizzle invested in an art gallery in Los Angeles. Karl's Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight is named after the year 'Yo! Mtv Raps' debuted on television. In true hip-hop style, Hot Karl became an entrepreneur. In the style of an individualist, he became an entrepreneur in his own way.
In 2005, BBE Records / Headless Heroes released Hot Karl's 'The Great Escape'. Hot Karl finally received a chance to create an album his own way. Filled with hilarious skits and fun songs, 'The Great Escape' LP offers listeners an escape to the conformist hip-hop forced-fed to the masses. MC Search (from 3rd Base) contributes a timeless performance on 'Let's Talk', a brutally honest yet witty song about how labels treat artists. Since Karl does not come from the projects, he does not rap about guns. Produced by 9th Wonder (of Little Brother), 'I've Heard' is a poignant track that mixes self-examination and inner thoughts about the industry. Deeply personal, 'I've Heard' has a bittersweet honesty that must be respected by the hip-hop world. Since he is not into diamonds, he's not flossing. Instead, Karl raps about the 80's, Los Angeles, ugly women with hot bodies, the music industry, and the vast suburban wasteland. With production by Mayru, C-Minus, Jamey Staub, Ali Dee, and 9th Wonder, 'The Great Escape' offers a refreshing, humorous, and honest slice of hip-hop from an untypical emcee.
Hip-hop lovers love the songs about murder, drugs, diamonds, cars, pimps, sex, and the ghetto, but a little escapism is essential. Hot Karl is in the minority of emcees who are bringing something completely different to hip-hop. Love him or hate him, you have to respect the fact that he is being himself. Hot Karl has finally escaped from the mundane bullshit and used truth to find the beautiful essence of hip-hop.
T.JONES: "What goes on?"
HOT KARL: 'Nothing, man. I'm just working this record. I'm trying to get people to hear 'The Great Escape'. I also own an art gallery. That's where I am now.'
T.JONES: 'How did you end up owning an art gallery?'
HOT KARL: 'When I got that Interscope money, rather than just buying comic books and Play Station games, I actually thought that I had to buy something, so I could at least make it somewhat official. So, I got really into the underground art scene in L.A. and opened up an art gallery. It's called Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight and that's the year that 'Yo! Mtv Raps' premiered.'
T.JONES: 'That's the name of the Blueprint's solo album too.'
HOT KARL: 'Yeah, the guy who did the art for that is actually coming up here.'
T.JONES: 'What kind of art is showcased in Gallery Nineteen Eighty-Eight?'
HOT KARL: 'It's mostly underground. I don't deal in abstract art or anything like that. It's more pop-ish.'
T.JONES: 'Do you have a favorite painter?'
HOT KARL: 'I'd most rather talk about that than my favorite rapper. Contemporary wise, like in my ballpark? As far as old stuff, I was a film student in college, so I never got into old stuff or put art in my apartment. The extent of my art is in the affordable $1,000 to $5,000 ballpark. I like Rosco. As far as new school, Chueh. I like people doing pop stuff like Sam Florez.'
T.JONES: 'What do you think of Klimt or Van Gogh?'
HOT KARL: 'It's obvious that all of these guys got inspiration from them. All of these guys are pretty much art school grads. They are all somewhat inspired by the older guys.'
T.JONES: 'Favorite hip-hop movies?'
HOT KARL: 'I love 'Krush Groove'. I think it's a freaking great movie. I still think it's great. Rick Rubin plays himself, L.L. is still young, and it takes place in a dorm. There's so much ill shit in that movie. It stands the test of time, unlike those 80's movies like 'Disorderlies'.'
T.JONES: 'Speaking of 1980's, what is your favorite John Hughes film?'
HOT KARL: 'My answer would have to be 'Sixteen Candles', only due to it's good commercial appeal. Now you watch it, and my girlfriend loves it. There are other ones too, really weird ones. Isn't 'Trains, Planes, And Automobiles' a John Hughes film too? There are movies even outside of the Brat Pack shit too. Obviously, I love 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' too.'
T.JONES: 'Tell us about 'The Great Escape' album.'
HOT KARL: 'You mean we can't talk about other shit? (Laughs). You know, I went through a lot of shit. I'm on like my 3rd record deal now. At this point, I just want to be heard. I'm not stressing about what will fit on the radio or what will be on the new Clue tape. I've been through that already. It didn't fell comfortable for me and it didn't work. At this point, my whole goal with Hot Karl was to create something that felt like you were talking to me for an hour. I'd rather you just get the idea of you hanging out with me. I wanted that to come off in the record. I wanted to hit all of the genres that I was excited by or I grew up listening to. I also wanted to incorporate some of the people you haven't heard from in a while, at the same time. This means MC Search and Dave Gosset and even, Justin Warfield. People like you and me think, 'Where is Justin Warfield?' That's something we would talk about when hanging out.'
T.JONES: 'How did you get involved with Headless Heroes?'
HOT KARL: 'Headless Heroes is owned by BBE. We deal with the same infrastructure.'
T.JONES: 'Did 'The Great Escape' come out the way you wanted?'
HOT KARL: 'Yeah. The thing is, at this point in the game, I'm not stressing. There are songs on there that definitely needed to be on the record.'
T.JONES: 'Do you have a favorite song on 'The Great Escape'?'
HOT KARL: 'I will always like 'Butterface' because it is so different from the other stuff on the album. It also represents what I have been doing in hip-hop for the past 10 years.'
T.JONES: 'For the 9th Wonder produced track, 'I've Heard', you write about how he didn't want you on the track. Tell us about that.'
HOT KARL: 'Eddie, who works close with Little Brother through BBE, helped out. 9th Wonder's beat CD came to me while I was putting together this record. I thought he was so ill. I had the same feeling when I heard the Kanye West's beat CD 5 years ago. I had the same feeling. I immediately began writing all of this shit. Eddie called him to see if the beat was sold. He was ready to sell the beat to Hot Karl and we sent him a CD with a bunch of music. I think the MC Search song was on there. 9th didn't like it. I don't hate on him for doing that. I'd do the same thing if I was a producer. I'm not offering him a ton of money. 9th didn't really feel it. Eddie told me, 'Don't worry, I'm gonna work on him!' I didn't want that and I was ready to go to someone else. As I hung up the phone, Eddie gave me a weird inspirational sentence when he said, 'Well man, that's what you're gonna run into.' I just hung up the phone, heard the beat CD again, and thought 'That's the shit that I needed to get out.' All of that shit needed to get out on that record. All of that stuff has not been addressed on record before. There are things on that record that I haven't told people, like the thing about Timbaland or anything else.'
T.JONES: 'When I talked to you before, you remarked about Kanye West's comments about George Bush. What did you think about his statement about Hurricane Katrina?'
HOT KARL: 'You know, my girlfriend's father was there in New Orleans. He's apart of FEMA. He's a doctor and he's out there on emergency services. I decided that I would not make total opinions about it because I'm not sure what to trust. I'm waiting till my girlfriend's father gets back. What Kanye said seems somewhat true. He's pretty extreme about it, but there's got to be some truth about what he said. Doing it at a telethon is pretty tacky. Why did he do it in such a weird situation with Mike Myers next to him? He kind of sounded like a 6th grader doing a book report, rattling off the stuff so nervously. The guy says what he feels. Sometimes, it bothers me how egotistical he comes off, but at other times, I know that it's really him. Before he was famous, we did a song together. It was before he even did 'Izzo' for Jay-Z.'
T.JONES: 'Was the song you recorded with Kanye West created in the studio together, or was it done via the mail?'
HOT KARL: 'No, in the studio. He didn't even have a car yet. He took the subway. He wasn't mailing any beats at that time. We actually became friends after that recording. When he came out to L.A., we'd go see movies and stuff. My manager, at the time, was trying to sign him to Capitol Records. Even when he wasn't famous, and people didn't want to hear that he was a rapper, Kanye was rapping 24/7.'
T.JONES: 'What do you think of Kanye West's new album, 'Late Registration'?'
HOT KARL: 'Kanye will always work because of his beats. It's funny. On his first album, the beats under whelmed me. I didn't feel them at first, but the lyrics really got me. Now, on the second one, I'm really impressed by the beats, but I think that his rapping is too breathy. I lose a lot of the punch lines. That's how I meant Kanye. His rap sounded like that. He lost punch lines. It wasn't because he had bad breath control. He has amazing breath control. I just think that he thinks it's better the more breathy it is. It's that Ma$e syndrome.'
T.JONES: 'Some people think that when emcees start producing, their music suffers. Do you agree?'
HOT KARL: 'I think that is what happened to Eminem's career. His production is horrible. It just sounds like a bad Xzibit song. It sounds horrible, but he would put it out and everyone would like it. All of his hits are Dre's hits. Kanye too. All of the hits are Dr. Dre hits. The world loves them. The world loves Kanye.'
T.JONES: 'On your EPK, Mack 10 talks about how Eminem has raised the bar for white rappers and has made it difficult.'
HOT KARL: 'I love that. Mack has been a friend of mine since college. He just drops so many gems of knowledge. It's painful being around him. He says so many amazing things. I had nothing to do with the EPK. It originally started as a documentary. When Mack says that, it's true. Even in this new Southern craze, Mike Jones comes out and then, Slim Thug, and then, Paul Wall. It's funny because Paul Wall may end up selling the most of records. It's funny because they aren't really being compared to each other. That's a weird thing. I'm being compared because my voice sounds similar in a broad stoke. I couldn't hide my real voice. That's one of the things I went through with Interscope. I could really make my voice deeper and address this kind of thing or I could be me and come off how I know I sound. As for the comedic thing, Eminem hasn't been funny for years. I haven't laughed at something he said for at least 3 years. No matter how much I could talk shit about Em or how our careers crossed or didn't cross, all I know is that his music was great until his last album. That last album was God awful. I don't know how or why it happened, but it didn't even sound musical.'
T.JONES: 'When Mack 10 offered you $50,000 cash to sign to Hoo Bangin Records, why didn't you take it?'
HOT KARL: 'He's such a nice guy, but I didn't take it just because of all of the horror stories that I've heard about the business. I didn't want to be in a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony contract situation. Not only that, I didn't see where I fitted in with Hoo Bangin'. At the time, The Baker Boys, the guys who I was getting on the radio with, said that they were getting many calls for me. They told me to ride it out for a second and see what comes up that may be better than Mack. Still, Mack 10 has always been my friend, so he never took it personal.'
T.JONES: 'Do you think wealth changes the quality of music.'
HOT KARL: 'I think that will change in 10 or 15 years from now, when hip-hoppers hit the end. The people who have bad taste in 70's music still pay for every Aerosmith concert even though they are shitty and they haven't sounded good in 10 years. The point is, the fans have loyalty. In hip-hop, there is no loyalty based in that kind of stuff. When I was in college, I would go to parties where Big Bad Hank was performing for $500 bucks. Pharoahe Monch is probably the best rapper of all time and the guy can't get a fucking record deal!'
T.JONES: 'Tell us about 'Your Housekeeper Hates You', your album on Interscope Records that never came out.'
HOT KARL: 'It was originally called, 'Your Housekeeper Hates You'. When I left Interscope, it became 'I Like To Read' so I could put it out. I put it out independently. That pretty much has everyone who has ever been famous on it, ever. It has people from Grace Kelly to Redman (laughs). Everybody from Redman, Fabolous, DJ Clue, DJ Quik, Sugar Ray, Mia, and Kanye West.'
T.JONES: 'What was it like working with Redman?'
HOT KARL: 'Cool! We actually ended up doing two sessions together. For the first one, he was really jet lagged. He was dead asleep. We were calling him 'Dead Man'. He was literally asleep in the studio. When I came in and hour later, he was awake and writing. I thought he wrote a really funny verse. It was really good. I liked it a lot. Two days later, my manager got a call from him. It was literally Redman, not his manager. He said, 'Yeah, man. I gotta redo that verse. I don't feel it.' That was cool of him. He didn't just want to get his money and run. We set up another session where I came late. When I walked in, his verse was done. The 2nd version is cool. Technically, it's a better rap, but he was much funnier in the first one. I've been looking for that version for a long time. Redman doesn't do any vocal tricks or pocket writing in the 1st verse. He does in the 2nd one. In the second verse, he was all over the place with different techniques. It's great because as another rapper, I can see all of the ad-lib stuff he did. Technically, I love it but at the same time, I'm always laughing at the first version, where he is talking about looking at white girls' boobs and makes references 'How High'. Either one is good. Working with him was great. He's one of my favorites.'
T.JONES: 'What about Fabolous?'
HOT KARL: 'I stand by the fact that Fabolous has his best verse ever on my song. It took him twelve hours to write it. I never dug Fabolous, but I thought that the guy was nice. He was nice to me all the time. My label, at the time, really wanted him on the record so, I went for it. I think he delivered a fucking phenomenal verse. As much as I can't listen to any of his other music really, the verse on my record is amazing. Technically, it's amazing! Both Redman and Fabolous were pretty hands-on.'
T.JONES: 'Many of your songs have concepts, stories, or themes. When creating a song, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics? Or, do you write to the beat first?'
HOT KARL: 'Probably, 50/50. For example, on 'The Great Escape', all of the Mulholland Drive stuff came to me when I heard Ayatollah's beat CD. He had a song with a sample, (singing) 'Lonely girls'. We couldn't clear the sample, but that gave me the idea. Especially since I'm living in L.A., I wanted to do a track about these girls trying to be famous. That was where that came from. 'Butterface' was pretty much me, Ally and Normal. We knew each other since we were kids and we were doing those raps since 6th grade. We just updated them. Ideas sometimes come and go. Sometimes, the beat will inspire them. Other times, I like to have them when I walk in.'
T.JONES: 'Who are some producers you would like to work with in the future?'
HOT KARL: 'I would love to work with Prince Paul because of how much influence he has had on my career and my life. I loved Da Gravediggaz record so much when I was a kid. Gravediggaz, for me, was the pinnacle of hip-hop. Obviously, Rza means a whole lot to me. I almost worked with him during my Interscope days, but it never worked out. I guess it is pretty clichÃ© to say DJ Premier, but I would love to work with him. There are people on a much smaller scale too. I wouldn't mind working with Blockhead. That guy has great beats. I don't think it would work well as far as personalities, but there are people who make great beats and they are all over. 9th Wonder was great too.'
T.JONES: 'Who are some emcees you would like to work with in the future?'
HOT KARL: 'Pharoahe Monch would be a great answer to that question. I always loved Chino XL. His best stuff is his freestyle stuff. In real life, I stole so much from him. That's why I hate it when people talk about the comparisons between me and Eminem. I didn't start that shit. If you want to be really technical and make fun of me, say that I sound like Chino XL because I stole a shit-load from him. I'd love to bring back Grand Puba. One of my goals is to bring him back into the game. I'd love to see him working again.'
T.JONES: 'Where were you during the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack? How did you handle it?'
HOT KARL: 'I was actually here. My manager and Bubba Sparxx were actually in New York. I was concerned about those guys. I don't have too much of a connection except for the emotional one. Having family there and work there, made it hard. I was there for the blackout, which was also a scary experience.'
T.JONES: 'What are your thoughts about the U.S. involvement in the Middle East?'
HOT KARL: 'In any other time, even in the 90's, it was definitely a more noble cause. But, now, at this point, we are dealing with so many things at home and so much stuff. I hate to bring up the hurricane, but even beyond that, there are homeless epidemics, drug epidemics, and things like that. Home is definitely more important at this point.'
T.JONES: 'Euthanasia. Are you for or against it?'
HOT KARL: 'Totally, probably. That's a good question! I'm probably for it.'
T.JONES: 'Abortion. Are you pro-life or pro-choice?'
HOT KARL: 'I'm definitely for it, especially being such a confused 25 year-old. God forbid I get into a position where my girl is pregnant. It's kind of creepy. God! I just put out an independent rap record that has a song about girls with hot bodies but ugly faces!'
T.JONES: 'You have been labeled as an emcee who creates comedic hip-hop. How do you feel about this label?'
HOT KARL: 'My whole thing is that I'm a rapper who makes jokes, but I'm not a joke rapper. I understand how shitty reviewers would call me the Weird Al of hip-hop but I don't do parodies. I like being funny. That's one of my goals. If I were to sit down now and write a rap album like they just gave me a record deal, a lot of the funny shit would be gone. It's not a funny world that we are living in right now. At the time I got the Interscope deal and even the Headless Heroes stuff, I felt funny. That's who I am and that's what comes out. That's my thing. I'm more post-modern than I am comedic.'
T.JONES: 'What is your favorite part of your live show?'
HOT KARL: 'I think it is those first 40 seconds where people don't know what to expect.'
T.JONES: 'How has your live show changed?'
HOT KARL: 'So little. It's so fucking embarrassing. I've been doing the same shit since I've been 13. The song I did when I opened up for Ice-T was a diss song against Another Bad Creation. They were so bad. The lyrics sound exactly the fucking same. It's so embarrassing, especially when I get the Eminem comparisons. If you could listen to me when I was 13, I'm rapping the same way, literally, since I've been a little kid.'
T.JONES: 'What about your evolution as an emcee? How have your skills improved?'
HOT KARL: 'I've probably have gotten less technical on purpose. The rap I like is punch line driven and extreme storytelling. When I was a kid, I tried to keep up with everything that was going on. When people started to do double rhymes or same word rhymes, I was trying to live up to that, when I was 15 or 16. Once I hit the record deal shit, I didn't care anymore. I didn't care if I was technical or what people thought about breath patterns. I just cared if I was getting my point across and if I was making people laugh.'
T.JONES: 'Is that your dog on the cover of 'The Great Escape'?'
HOT KARL: 'Yeah, that's Finnigan. He's 2 years old. He's a miniature pincher.'
T.JONES: 'What are some major misconceptions that you think people have of you?'
HOT KARL: 'It's so funny that I get this nerd rap thing a lot. The truth is, I don't really see it that much. I understand that I'm dorky for the hip-hop genre. At the same time, if you come to my shows, you won't see dudes with pocket protectors and shit.'
T.JONES: 'What was the last incident of anti-Semitism you experienced?'
HOT KARL: 'God! Wow! I don't get it that much. To be honest, there were some incidents at Interscope that really bothered me. There were just some little things said here or there. That was probably the last time I was super offended, as far as directly to me. There are things that happen all the time. As far as directly to me, a couple of things were said at Interscope that didn't excite me much. Since I was in a position where I was under their power, I couldn't really say shit. I did say some things to get it off my chest, but I couldn't do anything about it.'
T.JONES: 'What was it like recording 'Let's Talk' with MC Search from 3rd Base?'
HOT KARL: 'Great! God, he's been my hero since 2nd grade. I was thinking about whom I wanted for the song. Eon from The High And Mighty and I have always been close. I thought Eon could do it. But, even though I would love to have Eon on it, my dream would be to have MC Search do it because of the history that MC Search went through. He went from being one of the era's greatest rappers to being a behind the scenes guy. He was in marketing and even the A&R man at Wild Pitch. Now, he's the morning guy in Detroit.'
T.JONES: 'What has been in your CD player recently?'
HOT KARL: 'Right now, I've been listening to the new Cage a lot, which is a great record. Also, the new Little Brother, 'The Minstrel Show' is pretty good. I don't love it, but it's good. BBE helped with 'The Chitlin Circuit'. That's good. Doesn't he even do Jay-Z's breath pattern on one song? Also, the Mars Volta record.'
T.JONES: 'What non-hip-hop do you listen to?'
HOT KARL: 'I love Mars Volta, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Kenna. I rock 80's a lot. Whenever I DJ, I only play 80's records. I listen to a lot of that shit.'
T.JONES: 'Word association. I am going to say the name, and you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said 'Public Enemy', you may say, 'Revolution' or 'Fight The Power'. If I said, 'The Beatles', you may say, 'Revolver' or 'Yoko Ono'. Okay?'
HOT KARL: 'Okay.'
T.JONES: 'Pharoahe Monch.'
HOT KARL: 'So underrated.'
HOT KARL: 'Confusing.'
HOT KARL: 'Consistent.'
T.JONES: 'Kanye West.'
HOT KARL: 'Confusing. I have to say it fucking twice but it's the same confusion.'
T.JONES: 'Wu-Tang Clan.'
HOT KARL: 'Icons.'
T.JONES: 'Phife Dawg.'
HOT KARL: 'Sidekick.'
T.JONES: 'Cody ChesnuTT.'
HOT KARL: 'Homeless. That's the first word that comes in my head.'
T.JONES: 'Curtis Mayfield.'
HOT KARL: 'Superfly. Obviously, Superfly but still, funky.'
T.JONES: 'Del The Funky Homosapian.'
HOT KARL: 'God, there are so many words! I would choose Ice Cube's cousin.'
HOT KARL: 'Shockingly Jewish.'
HOT KARL: 'Impressive. The guy has had a great career.'
HOT KARL: 'I don't know any of his stuff. I do know some of the stuff he did with Aesop. He's talented.'
T.JONES: 'J Dilla.'
HOT KARL: 'Great drums.'
HOT KARL: 'Probably, the greatest of all time.'
T.JONES: 'My Bloody Valentine.'
HOT KARL: 'Don't know anything about them, and that's super embarrassing.'
HOT KARL: 'Muzak.'
T.JONES: 'The Stone Roses.'
HOT KARL: 'Who's that?'
T.JONES: 'Happy Mondays.'
HOT KARL: 'Am I missing out on something?'
HOT KARL: 'Insane, nuts.'
T.JONES: 'Method Man.'
HOT KARL: 'Not consistent.'
T.JONES: 'Prince Paul.'
HOT KARL: 'The creator. He created the skit! Pioneer.'
HOT KARL: 'Sleepy. That's really the only thing I can say, because he slept in front of me for about an hour.'
T.JONES: 'George Bush.'
HOT KARL: 'Super confusing and hurtful. Shocking.'
T.JONES: 'How is 'I Like To Read', your self-released version of 'The Housekeeper Hates You', different from 'The Great Escape' album?'
HOT KARL: 'At the time when I was at Interscope, I was put into the category of urban rap. I was being put in with Clue and all of those guys to put out a record. There's nothing wrong with that. I grew up with that, but at the same time, I don't live there. That's not my shit. I liked working with Fabolous, but I don't own his record. I would have felt more comfortable with people who I listen to, or even some friends of mine. Some of my friends are so musically talented that I would have liked to have incorporated them into that CD. For the old record, I was never able to be comfortable on the tracks. That is where 'The Great Escape' is different.'
T.JONES: 'When you were with Interscope, did you feel forced to do certain types of songs?'
HOT KARL: 'Yes, very much so. Like on the Redman and Fabolous song, I have a line that says something like, 'Go get em, rappers say stupider lines than Ralph Wiggum.' When I said that, everybody was like, 'Who's Ralph Wiggum?' My manager, at the time, wanted me to change the line so it would be about Star and Buck. They were trying to get me to get rid of all the lines that they felt were not urban. It's just sad. They don't think that there are any rap fans who watch The Simpsons. It's depressing.'
T.JONES: 'Would you ever do non-hip-hop music?'
HOT KARL: 'Um, no. I know that a lot of people go through that evolution. Everlast went through that evolution. That's what is probably happening to groups like Lexicon. For me, not really. I grew up with hip-hop so much that I would only want to do things that were deviations of hip-hop. I would never do something that is completely un-hip-hop. That's just not me.'
T.JONES: 'What song made you fall in love with hip-hop?'
HOT KARL: ''The Gas Face' and 'Roxanne, Roxanne'. Yea. 'Roxanne, Roxanne' was the first hip-hop song I've ever heard. 'The Gas Face' is the first hip-hop song that I knew all the words.'
T.JONES: 'If you could remake or cover any hip-hop song, what song would it be?'
HOT KARL: 'That's funny. I would love to do a new version of 'Self-Destruction'. I don't think that I would cover it word for word because that wouldn't work anymore. But, that kind of we are all in the same gang 'Self-Destruction' thing is something that needs to be done. It especially needs to be done in this hurricane situation. We need a song that says what is going on and how we are neglecting so many people. We need the 'Heal Yourself' movement, which was Krs-One's movement back in the day. Those are the kind of things that I would love to put together.'
T.JONES: 'Mayru and C Minus do production on 'The Great Escape'. How did you hook up with them?'
HOT KARL: 'C Minus was part of The Fantastic 4 out here. They are on a hip-hop show on Power 106. He was always a friend of mine through a radio show he was doing on Power 106. I wanted to work with him because he was a good friend of mine. At the time, he was Korn's DJ. He was doing some really far out shit for hip-hop. I wanted him to do a hip-hop track for me. Mayru and I were hooked up through mutual friends. He's fucking amazing. Now, he's too big for me. I think he's working with Dr. Dre's camp.'
T.JONES: 'Do you still go to clubs?'
HOT KARL: 'Nah, no way! No way! But, I did for a fucking while. It's funny because that is where all my funny stories came from. Performin