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Hot Karl - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

Escape From Boring Ass Hip-Hop Conformity

September 2005

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.”

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: Pharoahe Monch.

Hot Karl: So underrated.

MVRemix: Eminem.

Hot Karl: Confusing.

MVRemix: Common.

Hot Karl: Consistent.

MVRemix: Kanye West.

Hot Karl: Confusing. I have to say it fucking twice but it’s the same confusion.

MVRemix: Wu-Tang Clan.

Hot Karl: Icons.

MVRemix: Phife Dawg.

Hot Karl: Sidekick.

MVRemix: Cody ChesnuTT.

Hot Karl: Homeless. That’s the first word that comes in my head.

MVRemix: Curtis Mayfield.

Hot Karl: Superfly. Obviously, Superfly but still, funky.

MVRemix: Del The Funky Homosapian.

Hot Karl: God, there are so many words! I would choose Ice Cube’s cousin.

MVRemix: Necro.

Hot Karl: Shockingly Jewish.

MVRemix: Atmosphere.

Hot Karl: Impressive. The guy has had a great career.

MVRemix: Blueprint.

Hot Karl: I don’t know any of his stuff. I do know some of the stuff he did with Aesop. He’s talented.

MVRemix: J Dilla.

Hot Karl: Great drums.

MVRemix: Jay-Z.

Hot Karl: Probably, the greatest of all time.

MVRemix: My Bloody Valentine.

Hot Karl: Don’t know anything about them, and that’s super embarrassing.

MVRemix: Enya.

Hot Karl: Muzak.

MVRemix: The Stone Roses.

Hot Karl: Who’s that?

MVRemix: Happy Mondays.

Hot Karl: Am I missing out on something?

MVRemix: Oasis.

Hot Karl: Insane, nuts.

MVRemix: Method Man.

Hot Karl: Not consistent.

MVRemix: Prince Paul.

Hot Karl: The creator. He created the skit! Pioneer.

MVRemix: Redman.

Hot Karl: Sleepy. That’s really the only thing I can say, because he slept in front of me for about an hour.

MVRemix: George Bush.

Hot Karl: Super confusing and hurtful. Shocking.

MVRemix: 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.

>>> continued...

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"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."