Fresh off the drop of his recent Lifetime EP, Twista slid through for a conversation at the Hot 97 studios with Ebro and Laura Stylez. The discussion eventually shifts to Eminem‘s “Godzilla,” which currently holds the Guinness World Record for Fastest Rap Verse — a record originally held by Twista for a solid decade. “Mine was the most syllables in a minute,” reflects Twista. “I stopped my record on purpose because I thought people came right behind me to break my record. Nobody ever tried it for over ten years. So by the time somebody broke it, I was already making my joints and my hits. I didn’t really care about it.”
Around the ten minute mark, Twista reflects on the game’s current state, particularly with regards to the perceived death of lyricism in commercial hip-hop. “A lot of young cats don’t really care about intelligence in rap no more,” he says. “Some do, but we saw the decline of intelligent input. Right now you got a lot of people more into the vibe.”
Circling to his own experience collaborating on his recent Red Bull collaboration project, Twista also reflects on how artists like Drake and Kanye West occasionally use writing teams in the studio. “At this stage in my career, I wrote so many records, when I got presented with the opportunity to express myself than be the lyricist, I wanted to see how the feels like. Let me get in the room with a collective mind, see how I work with other artists. It was a fun project to do with that many different writers who understood my rap style.”
Ebro raises the classic topic of Drake’s ghostwriting controversy, prompting Twista to offer what his solution might have been. “He should have told them I’ll bust your head,” says Twist. “Yeah somebody wrote for me, but if you try me I’ll bust your head with something I wrote…To me, you should be scared of an artist who can make his own records and also chooses to use other people to write. That’s the artist to be scared about. That means his ceiling is high – it’s way over where you thinking. He’s achieving a perfection and he wants a position in music you may not even understand. He knows he can do it, but he knows with these collective minds, he can get it.”
“I told you what he should have told them,” says Twista, with a smile. “I’ll bust your head with my rhymes. I do this to take what I’m doing further.” He reasons that sometimes an artist simply can’t keep up with the pace of their vision, and bringing in a trusted team of collaborators is simply part of the process.