The hip-hop collective Weirdo might not be a household name just yet, but they’ve got massive ambitions. KashJordan, a founding member of the experimental “punk-trap” group, took the time to speak with us about these goals, his views on the changing landscape of hip-hop, and the social expectations that limit progression.
EN: First I’d like to ask a bit about Weirdo. Where did you guys meet and when did you decide to form a hip-hop collective?
KashJordan: I started Weirdo in 2013. I met with Wasif and Davey through Twitter and we made a couple songs together. We shot the video for Red, and I was like let’s call each other Weirdo. At first I hated Wasif and I thought he couldn’t rap. Then he rapped his verse on Red and I was like shit, this is guy is great. I was rapping alone before Weirdo too, but nothing was ever working out like Weirdo did.
EN: For you guys as a group who would you say are your biggest influences musically?
KashJordan: Hmm. I’d say guys like Kanye, Death Grips, Young Thug, Future, and Lil B.
EN: I noticed on your SoundCloud the group is described as experimental. How important do you think experimentation is to hip-hop as a genre?
KashJordan: Oh god, very important. I feel like I’m not going to invent a new sound right now, but I do want to experiment with different sounds, flows, and sub-genres of rap [to] make something cool and new, but also familiar.
EN: Who do you think is the most innovative in hip-hop in the context of pushing the boundaries and creating their own sound?
KashJordan: Hmm. Right now I feel everyone’s sound is collective. Everyone’s sound is borrowed from different things to create their [style]. I haven’t heard anyone lately that’s truly original and brand new… Except Lil B, maybe [laughs].
EN: That being the case, what do you think of the state of hip-hop currently? I spoke with a former Sony A&R who believes artists aren’t pushing boundaries enough, do you agree with that?
KashJordan: I love the state of hip-hop. Everyone is so weird now. Before the hyper-masculinity robbed niggas of expression. I feel like a lot of people are pushing boundaries, just no one is really listening, or holding what they’re doing to a higher standard.
Young Thug for example dresses how the fuck he wants, makes fucking cool-ass music, and has taken flows to a whole new level. Rae Sremmurd doesn’t even rhyme sometimes. Swae Lee’s verse in We is art, it didn’t rhyme at all and still slapped.
EN: I’d like to expand on one of your points there, you think it was important for hip-hop artists to lose the obsession with hyper-masculinity in order for the genre to progress the way it has?
KashJordan: Yes, I do. Rap is riddled with, like, hyper-masculinity, and misogyny. I even used to contribute to that in my older shit. It stifles you. Everyone’s the biggest macho-man they can be, everyone loves women but also hates women, and don’t really refer to them as people but kind of like prized pets and shit. It’s weird.
Niggas can’t express them selves because they’re so scared to break away from social norms of what masculinity is. Hyper-masculinity robs men of being in touch with a lot of emotions, touch, colors, clothes, and even some foods. Dudes won’t eat [something] because its not “manly”. I saw a dude call a bowl of fruit gay [laughs], that shit’s lame now.
EN: Do you hope that yourself, and Weirdo as a collective, can help contribute to this shift away from hyper-masculinity in rap?
KashJordan: Dude, for sure. I’m going to make sure we do. Like, shit’s fucked up and a lot of men are really fucking weird because of societal pressures. I won’t stop until all the homies can eat fruit, wear pink, and not view femininity as inferior (because that pretty much reflects their view on women as inferior). Does that make sense?
EN: It makes a lot of sense. I respect the fact that you’ve got your eyes on the bigger picture and not just your music.
KashJordan: Oh, for sure. Not even just that, I plan on doing a lot with my platform. I’m gonna kick the fucked up prison systems’ ass. I’m gonna kick white supremacy’s ass. I’m gonna kick systematic racism’s ass. I’m gonna kick classism’s ass. I’m gonna kick transphobia’s ass. I’m gonna kick xenophobia’s ass. I’m gonna fix the world, we all gonna be okay after I’m in this. I just gotta get on.
I wanna be on Fox News son-ing everybody.
EN: Back on the topic of your music for a minute, what’s next for Weirdo? Do you guys have plans for a new album, mixtape, EP, or anything of the sort?
KashJordan: I’m currently in California. I got fed up with my life [so] I quit my job, sold all my shit, and moved here last month. I’m gonna do a little solo thing, but Weirdo is still my backing and shit. Wasif will do the same over in North Carolina. After both our solo joints are out we’ll put out the hardest Weirdo project yet.
Also, I hate the word mixtape right now becauce it turned into a derogatory term. It’s [become] synonymous with being a lame no-where rapper, so EPs or projects is the word I’d use.
EN: What’s your solo project going to be like? Are you thinking of something similar in sound to what you’ve done with Weirdo?
KashJordan: Its gonna be weird. I’ve had this internal complex about how I wanna make fun trap music like Yatchy, Thugger, and Uzi… And then I wanna make deep dark experimental art shit. Neither of those really fit with Weirdo, so the project won’t be like our last joint eh *shrugs shoulders*.
It’ll be my first project alone, even thought I’ve been making music for like three years.
EN: That’s awesome. I’m excited to hear it. Okay, I’ve just got a couple of general questions for fun before we wrap this up. What are your top five favorite albums, all time, across all genres?
KashJordan: From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy, James Blake’s first album, Toro y Moi’s Anything in Return, Yeezus, and Future’s Monster.
EN: Which artist would you consider to be your dream collaboration?
KashJordan: James Blake, for sure.