featured interview

Rashid Hadee Back On His Grind The search for the perfect woman is a path paved with one night stands, humilities and broken hearts. Windy City lyricist and producer Rashid Hadee knows all about it. On his latest effort 'Aural Sex: The Search for Pinky Tuscadero', storyteller Rashid raps about the complexity of relationships with the cool of Fonzie. In one breath, he named his latest album after Arthur Fonzarelli's ideal woman. Make no mistake: with his latest album, Hadee's taking his craft serious. Each song will be accompanied with a video. Having worked with Longshot, Psalm One and Little Brother -9th Wonder is a fan- this album may be the turning point where underground appraisal could be traded for worldwide glory.

Your new album is dedicated to Pinky Tuscadero...what makes her so special?

Pinky is Fonzie's girlfriend on the old TV-show 'Happy Days'. She's the most chill, most freshest, most down to earth girl on the show that's cool enough to be with The Fonz. She's super chill and rides motorcycles and says phrases like 'What's Shakin'?', and of course, she's a cutie. (laughs) But anyway, she's the perfect girl for Fonzie and the only one that can really enter into his heart like that. Of course The Fonz is the epitome of 'cool'. So for a girl to get him to have feelings for her means she's gotta be something special! This is where it relates to my life and a lot of other men living out there in the world.

Underneath the one-night stands, the grinding on ass at the club while 'I'm On One' plays, the lap dances at the strip joint and other things us single men do, we're all searching for the ideal mate. I used Pinky Tuscadero more like a 'label' for the coolest girl in my eyes, being that she's the type I'm looking for and I'm cool as fuck just like The Fonz and I wear a leather jacket (laughs). But her character gave me an opportunity to tell a story about the road to meeting the perfect mate. The album takes a journey through different relationships whether it's good, bad or down right ugly. It's just what everyone goes through, male or female, while living life and dating..

So do you think Pinky (read ‘the perfect woman’) even exists?

Yes, definitely. I believe there is a Pinky out there for everyone. There is definitely a perfect mate out there. Now, I don't wanna confuse perfect with 'perfect', you know? 'Perfect', yeah, with quotes, would be what everyone else think is 'perfect'. 'Perfect' to me, is what you want and who you love just for being themselves. They don't have to actually be 'perfect'. They can have scars, a big nose, big eyes, be overweight... whatever. They can have a big head like Gina from Martin (laughs) but Gina and Martin were perfect together, right? No matter how big her head was or how big Martin's ears was, they were still perfect together. In my song 'The Coolest Chic' I say 'She might not be cool to you, but she cool to me...'. So that pretty much let's you know right there. It's ok for you to not like her imperfections, but I love it.

You write songs which most rappers wouldn't dare to write, about being shy, about being not able to find your words. How important is it to rap about those vulnerable things?

It's very important to rap about that stuff. Because if I've experienced being shy other people feel the same way or felt the same way. Almost every man goes through that phase in life, so they can relate. It's how we all start out before we overcome our fears and get that fine ass girl in class' phone number. It's how we all start out before we start hopping out the car on bus-downs and whatnot (laughs). I'm just sayin'. But we all start out that way, so that's how the album starts. That's the beginning of the whole mess of relationships that I experience throughout the album. I overcome being shy and the next thing you know I'm having love triangles, being heartbroken, stealing other dudes girlfriends, dealing with the ratchet baby-momma type and a whole mess of madness.

How many of the record is autobiographical?

Almost every song can be considered autobiographical or simply based on a true story. The songs are tweaked in a way to tell a story with crazy ups and downs and twists and turns on my search for Pinky. Essentially, it's the story of my life from the past few years since 'Dedication' dropped. I've had the most beautiful to the most bogus relationships in the past few years! Like in the song 'Let Me Be'. I really did try to take a dude's girlfriend from him before and actually was almost successful. We messed around for like six months.

Now the whole 'shooting him in the face'-part, that's a different story. All that happened in my mind as I was daydreaming one day and I really wanted to do that. I met this girl and she's super freaking gorgeous and messing with a crazy ass dude who pulls out his gun on her and hides her keys to keep her from going home and stuff that. They used to fight all the time and all that but he was paying her bills and fucking her like crazy so she was still with him. Some girls just can't stay away from that dope-dick, if you know what I mean (laughs). I think dude was a coke head. I really did wanna blow his head off though (pause) so he could finally be out of the picture. Thank God for hip-hop, so I wouldn't really have to do it and go to jail. They are actually still together and they have two kids. Crazy!

We had to ask...the threesome: true story?

(Laughs) You're talking about 'Something Special'. That's one of those joints that's based on a true story. I do have an ex with a best friend that's a little thicker than her, a little more fine than her, a little more cuter. We broke up and I suspected her friend had something to do with it because every time they would hang out we'd end up not speaking for some reason afterwards. It was like clockwork! We'd be doing great one day just being totally in love with each other and after her and her friend would hang out, she'd get pissed at me over some bullshit and we wouldn't talk for weeks. Crazy! It happened every time. I just let this song be pay back to her for letting her friend fuck with her mind. Me and my manager Olskool, of Honest Management, was talking one day and I was all heartbroken and venting to him about what happened and the idea of the song was born.

You're a great storyteller, where did you get the inspiration, tactics to tell a good story and capture the reader’s attention throughout?

Thanks! I learned that early from Notorious BIG and 2Pac. They were great storytellers and they embedded it in my mind that no album is complete without telling a good story to a dope beat. Them dudes incorporated a lot of great elements into their stories like foreshadowing and comic relief but still maintained the flow. I attempt to rise beyond what people expect a producer/MC to sound like. Everybody got this mentality that a producer only raps just to hear his own voice on a beat and not necessarily because he's an MC. They look at it as being selfish with the beats because a dope ass MC could have been spitting the dopest verse they ever kicked. They look at it as 'Oh, he just wanna hoard all the dope beats and keep em for himself and give us the rejects and leftovers.' I had people telling me they slept on me for years and didn't listen to my music only because they heard I'm a producer/MC. They felt like they already knew what to expect because of cats like Dr. Dre and Pete Rock and whoever of that nature. But let's not forget, the producer/MC is some of the most influential figures in hip-hop history.

It’s not a surprise that there’s gonna be a video for every song, it really fits the well-sketched stories of the record...what was the motivation for it?

Just trying to do something different because that's what separates the men from the boys. This is a well-concocted plan put together by my manager Olskool Ice-Gre (Honest Management) because we are really focusing on taking big steps. I don't think any other artist has shot a video for every song on their album and released a video every week in the sequence of the album. I'm probably the first one to do that, so we're just all about making history. We really wanna bring some serious attention to my music so I can finally be heard everywhere. I'm tired of being an unknown artist putting out music that no one gets to hear. This whole process is just a start of the demand to be heard. Gre believes in me enormously and he's going to make sure I end up with the right label or situation behind me.

You’re shooting a lot of video’s nowadays...

...and these video's are so freaking difficult to put together! Lord knows it's not easy at all. It's very difficult to get a hand full of available people in the same place at the same time, especially when you're an underground artist. People don't take the situation as serious as they would if Kanye West called them up to do a video. Then it's hard on the directors, especially if they working a full-time job too. Then the girls wanna have their hair did and nails and stuff done so they always need a week to plan for the video. I've learned you can't just call them the day before like 'What's up let's shoot this video tomorrow'. I've actually learned a whole lot from shooting these video's. I found a hidden acting talent within myself (laughs). But every video is an individual learning experience. I have a good time re-creating and acting out these twisted thoughts that go through my mind.

Are there any songs that you approach differently now since you’ve made a video for it?

Yes and 'Something Special' is a great example. The video made me like the song even more. Well actually, I wasn't too big on that song at first but Gre talked me into keeping it on the record. Once I saw what Thaione did with the visuals, I was sold. I guess it was because the beat is so old (to me). I made that beat when I was living in Mississippi and I guess I'm just so used to it after listening to it forever. Maybe it's something about women in lingerie that makes any song sound better (laughs).

Thaione Davis directs the video's, is he focusing more on video productions now? He would make a good producer for a track on 'Pinky Tuscadero' right?

Definitely! I'm a huge fan of Thaione and I'm glad I get to go to his studio and hear all the exclusiveness whenever we link up! He's got some dope music projects he's working on right now, along with doing video's too. When me and him get together it's like Madlib and J Dilla. But as far as my album, it was better that I did all the beats, just to showcase my talents 100%. Me and Olskool knew this album was gonna be one of the biggest steps I've ever taken towards getting signed, so it had to be done that way.

Will this record ever be used by you to teach your kids about women and relationships,...?

Probably not, only because they won't even understand. 'Aural Sex' is one of those albums that you have to already have experienced what I'm talking about to feel me. It's definitely an 18-years-of-age-and-up type of album. I'm not saying that because of the content, but more about the understanding aspect of things. You can't even imagine what it's like to have a broken heart before you actually have a broken heart. It's a very difficult situation that people who have been with their high school sweetheart for like 10 years just can't digest.

It is often said that a woman is stronger than a man...agree?

Well, I say women are stronger mentally and emotionally, but of course, not physically. Women are stronger in my opinion because they hold the key to a man's happiness, but that's in my eyes. The strength goes both ways. I believe the strength lies inside of the person you choose to join you in life and be one with.

You made a song about your dog....that’s quite unique...

Actually, no that song is not about a dog at all. The song is a metaphor for my ex-girlfriend (laughs). It's a way of calling her a bitch without actually saying it. Oh, that's kinda mean I know (laughs), but 'Man's Best Friend' has its place on the album as me being bitter and sarcastic with one of my girlfriends. I'm just being a smart ass in a very lyrical way, like Nas did on 'I Gave You Power' off his album 'It Was Written'. In turn, I'm really saying a woman is man's best friend and not a dog, like we are used to think when we hear that phrase. I'm kinda redefining the phrase into a whole new thing. But no, I wouldn't make a rap song for my dog (laughs).

Do you have an actual dog?

I don't have a dog right now, but I had a dog when I was growing up. He was a mixed German shepherd and chow and his name was Benny. He died like 5 years ago. I want a bulldog so bad though!

What’s in your iPod right now?

Right now in rotation I have the latest albums from Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, ASAP Rocky, 2 Chainz, Big KRIT and WZRD on shuffle along with my 'Aural Sex' album, YIM2011 Compilation and Leakage The PrEp.

What's next for Rashid?

Next up is my CNS Mixtape Vol. 2! That's 'Chopped Not Screwed', I'm doing the same thing I did with '808s & Heartbreak', just with a new album. It's gonna be great! CNS is a Mixtape series so you'll keep getting those.

Shout-outs?

Yeah shout out to Honest Management, Olskool Ice-Gre, C-Vicious, Thaione Davis, Domi V, Rookie Films, APJ Films, Malcolm Starchild, Jessica who plays Pinky Tuscadero in my videos and the whole crew as well ass all my cool people that took out time to read this! Shout out to Platform8470 for this interview and many years of support! Y'all been looking out for me for a long time and I'm very thankful! Peace...oh and if anyone on your side of the world wants to book me send an email to: bookings@honest-management.com or hit up @Olskool_IceGre on Twitter.

 

POSTED 03|21|2012
conducted by cpf

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