Mad Static is probably one of the few emcees in the Mil known just as much for his personality as he is his music. He has a no holds bar approach to life which is made evident to anyone who follows any of his social networking sites. As a result of winning last year’s Collaboration Month, Static was granted the opportunity to share his story with the site via an exclusive Q&A. He came full force and sounded off on a collective of topics such as: his outspoken personality, the most valuable lesson of his career, the current state of Hip-Hop, and more. Brace yourself and find out what exactly was on Static’s mind after the jump.
The Illixer: How did you come up with the name Mad Static for your stage moniker?
Mad Static: The name came up from me writing a verse one day and it was my first recorded verse. Back then I was known as “The Mad-hatter” and I wrote a line like “The Mad-hat is now bringing Mad Static, I take careers and I bury them like they were hatchets,” a fucked up line for sure, so I changed my name from there. Plus, there was already a Mad-hatter in the city so I wanted to avoid lawsuits and beat downs.
TI: What role does your background in spoken word currently play in your music?
MS: I feel throughout me doing music, I always have written in that style, free-verse, lines reaching end to end on paper and then when it came down to flow, taking words out to fit each bar in the instrumental. Delivery, I always felt I’ve had more of a commanding style, upfront, confrontational and if the song is that way, the performance has to be the same, fuck that looking down on the floor shit, shout out to y’all who do that.
TI: You have a very unique and blunt style yet still maintain a pretty healthy following. What is it that you feel makes people embrace your music vs. being offended by it or shying away from it?
MS: I understand that my music is not gonna hit everyone. Some people want the ignorant shit, the stuff that’ll bang at a club or in their cars, that’s cool. And from time to time, I’ll bring an element of that into the sound, but I have a vision as to the kind of music I want to make, the type of fan base I want to hit and I work on refining that. If you’re offended, you’re offended, I can’t do nothing to stop that, we’re artists not fucking teachers and shit.
TI: How do you go about preparing for a live performance and what is your favorite type of environment to perform in?
MS: Drink heavily. Far as my favorite type of environment to perform, I love the small, intimate places. I feel you can make a better connection with the people; in your face, shaking the hands, etc. And if you’re a female, squeeze some ass from time to time … kidding I love the ladies (Ha).
TI: How did you become a member of Higher Education Records?
MS: I had met a couple of the guys back in 2011, we had performed at the same venues, kicked it at the same places. Moses had approached me back in the summer about doing a project and working things out and everything. I come up to Madison one day to record, brainstorm and stuff like that and he basically laid the foundation down for H.E.R.’s goals, future endeavors, and it sounded like something I really wanted to be a part of, so since then, I been reppin. Bringing a little of my flavor into the crew and the lifestyle.
TI: What has been your most educational experience in your career thus far and what exactly did you learn from it?
MS: Don’t trust everybody. Like, the music business/industry, whatever, is shady and vicious enough, but you have Milwaukee and as much as I love the city and its scene for the potential we are capable for having, the “crab-in-a-bucket” mentality that people have is bullshit. Everyone feels they’re entitled to some kind of respect or recognition. Nobody has any right to be as egotistical as they are and yet they walk around the city and go on social media like their shit don’t stink. It is SAD but it’s Milwaukee so whatever.
TI: Your bio states that you don’t rap for money or fame. So then what is your purpose for making music?
MS: Back in the day, I said that I don’t make music for money, fame, yada, yada, yada. Everyone wants to make a living off of something that they love, I get it and I understand it. But understand, I started doing music as a way of dealing with depression, days of feeling like an outcast, your family dying around you, friends turning on you, I couldn’t express my issues by just saying it, whether it be family members, friends, girlfriends, this was the only way for me to deal and it still is to this day. That’s why I’m usually not for making song A and song B, if it is a single or an album, I’m giving a story and I take pride in people getting to know James and not Static. I feel I am one of VERY FEW that do that here and others may but they suck at it. Eh well.
TI: Where did you come up with your notorious hash tag #statichasspoken?
MS: #statichasspoken was born out of watching the ignorance I see from people every day. So for me it is my way of ranting to the world and making it as ratchet and unnecessary as possible. And let it be known for The Illixer, NOBODY IS SAFE from a #statichasspoken status.
TI: If you could change one thing about the current state of Hip-Hop, what would it be and why?
MS: I wish things weren’t as accessible as they are. Mixtapes are basically free albums now ya know and while there is nothing wrong with it; let’s say if you’re a Gucci Mane or a Waka Flocka, so on and so forth, Gucci spent a whole year, a whole fucking year putting mixtapes out. So when it comes time for the album to drop I’m thinking well you done put out like 12 mixtapes. I can get them anywhere I please. Why I wanna spend $12 on this album? I’ll wait until you put some MORE free shit out. Like that is why I take my time with my projects because you want something to be desired to the listener and when I drop, I want it to be an experience. I wish people here understood that more, but whatever you can’t kill your sons, you can only teach and guide.
TI: Share some of the projects that you are working on that people should be on the lookout for.
MS: WAXSTOLGIA, the new project, beats all done by our newest producer in H.E.R., Original Vision, will be out this year. I’m not saying when, but it is coming. I’m planning another project called Basquiat for after WAXSTOLGIA‘s release where production and topics will be all over the board. Outside of that, just look for more singles and things of that nature to be out, lot in the works though: videos, shows, photos, art, all of that.
**My Two Cents: This was the most frank interview I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing. And I expected nothing less of Static. I personally love that he speaks his mind no matter what. More people could learn a thing or two from his brand of honesty. Also, I’m looking forward to his new projects. His music always brings something offbeat to the table. It’s rejuvenating. If readers want to continue to get to know Static, they can catch him on: Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Also, be sure to check out his new video “Untouchable” below. -MinM