Earlier this year, Rolling Stone published a feature with the elusive Brooklyn rapper Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, who had been out of the spotlight since dropping Kismet in the summer of 2013. That mixtape seemed to be the last straw in an increasingly awkward relationship with his label, Republic, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, and when eX started releasing one song a week for his “Bootleg Liquor On A Sunday Night Series” this past summer, he had one track, “I Ain’t Even Fuck Rihanna,” that sounded like his break-up ballad with the industry as a whole. The Rolling Stone piece confirmed his split the label.
But ever unable to be pinned down, eXquire soon took to Twitter to discredit the Rolling Stone piece, which was the first piece of truly investigative journalism done on the BK rapper in some time:
I’ve been a huge fan of eXquire since the first time I heard Lost In Translation in 2011. The seething anger, the hints of depression, the tales of graveyard shifts. I connected with the emotion, the intellect, the slick wordplay that reminded me of DOOM. He was unlike any New York rapper before him, and no one like him has emerged since.
On a whim, I reached out to him for a conversation, and unexpectedly, he gave me the go-ahead. Here is our exclusive Mr Muthafuckin eXquire interview.
How’ve you been?
Um…I’m dead. (Laughs) Nah I’m good man. I’m pretty good. What I’m supposed to sound like, Eyor? “Ooookaaay.” (Laughs) Na, I’m good.
What’ve you been up to?
What has Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire been doing…Umm, me I been chillin’ man. I just been recording, honestly. I haven’t been doing anything else, I just been recording. I’m about to go on the road starting December 13. Me and my mans from Cali we gonna do a little West Coast run, so I’ma just go over there, do a couple spot dates and I’ma come back home and keep recording. I got a little EP that I’m doing for Christmas and shit like that. It’s like four songs, it ain’t nothing too complex. Merry eX-Mas & Suck My Dick Part 2. I’ma do that shit and just keep recording. I’ma put another record out and then I’ma do it again. Wash and repeat. Same shit.
So Merry eX-Mas & Suck My Dick Part 2 is the four song project?
Yeah…but it might not be titled that. It’s gonna be something to that effect, something about merry eX-Mas. I don’t know, I had a couple titles, I was gonna do like A Very eXqo Christmas…I had a lot of little funny titles so I ain’t really think of the one I’ma run with but it’s gonna be a Christmas tape. That don’t mean it’s gonna come out on Christmas. It’s just a Christmas-themed record and shit like that.
That first Merry eX-Mas was dope. The Man In The High Castle too.
Yeah I always do that between projects. I just put out all the outtakes. Like all the shit on the first Merry eX-Mas is just shit I didn’t put on Lost In Translation. I had that shit I just never used it. And then when I did Man In The High Castle, it was just more shit I never put on Lost In Translation because I had like 100 songs for that shit.
Because I hate having shit in my hard drive that I think is dope but I just don’t think I’ma finish it or it’s just an idea, like fuck it, let people hear it. Whatever. I don’t like holding shit. When you die, what the fuck? Then you got a whole hard drive full of music and you dead, man. Nobody ever heard your thoughts.
Who have you been working with?
Um…who I been working with? You know, I don’t do features like that so I ain’t really been working with nobody. Like, ain’t nobody on this album, it’s just me. I have one person on this record. Like ain’t no Danny Browns, nobody’s popping up. There’s nothing. No Kool ADs. Nas is not on it, Kendrick. Nobody’s on it. (Laughs) It’s just me.
Me and Constrobuz been doing shit. We always gonna do shit. I probably got like a thousand songs with that motherfucker that niggas probably might not ever hear. I been working with Stroby mostly. I was talking to the nigga A$AP P, the nigga who does a lotta A$AP shit, we supposed to do something. We ain’t do it yet though. Me and [Alchemist] gonna get up and do something, when El-P get off tour we gonna do a joint. I just got off the phone with my fuckin’ idol the other day. Actually, the night before last I was talkin’ to him and shit. I can’t say who it is –
No, no, it’s not DOOM.
Maybe it is! (Laughs) Na I can’t say, but I’m waiting for El to get off tour so El can make the beat ’cause I don’t want anybody but El to make the beat. And that’s it. I’m getting ready to do this next full length project. I just wanna make sure that when I do it, it can actually be something I really like. I just want to make sure I’m enjoying what I’m doing.
What’s your relationship with El-P like?
That’s my nigga. (Laughs) That’s it, that’s my nigga.
Was there any chance of you being on Run The Jewels 2?
They did Run The Jewels 2? (Laughs) Na I heard it, I’m fucking with you. I wasn’t even thinking about that shit honestly. I heard some of it but I didn’t really, like…it’s weird, like when you fuck with niggas, it ain’t always about music and shit, like y’all do y’all shit when y’all do y’all shit, but you just wanna call like “Yo, how’s your girl?” It ain’t like every time I see El-P we start ciphering and shit. (Laughs) Get drunk and whatever, just do dumb shit. Maybe I’ll be on part three, who knows?
I read the Rolling Stone piece and as a fan of yours, I was happy they went out and did what I thought was a great piece on you. And then I saw your reaction to it. How did you feel about the piece?
Um…that really ain’t important. I mean this your piece. I don’t wanna talk about their piece in your piece. But I just felt like, you know…(long pause) I don’t know. I don’t really wanna talk about it. It ain’t nothing.
That’s cool. I’m just asking because part of why I’m doing this interview is I want to do right by you. When a piece like that drops and you’re pissed, that kinda leaves a sour taste in the fans mouth.
Aight so bust it, check it right? With me…I felt like the article was “When Internet Rap Guy Gets Deal And It Doesn’t Work Out,” but it really wasn’t like that. It just made it seem like I wasn’t appreciative. Like, yo…I’m good. It’s not like I’m bad. That was my thing. It just made me feel like, “Damn am I depressed? I look depressed.” It didn’t feel right. I felt like he kinda had an agenda with it, and I don’t like when people write shit with an agenda. Just tell the story how it is and let people come to their own conclusions. Don’t have your agenda, and then you wanna get me to fulfill your agenda, because then you’re kinda shittin’ on me a little bit, It’s kinda wack. That was my only thing about it. I’ll keep it short.
But it wasn’t nothing. We’re fucking entertainers, man. I rap. I’m a rapper. I’m not a security guard. I don’t work at the corner store getting the shit from the top rack for you when you come in. None of that. I’m dead ass a rapper. That’s a blessing, man. I don’t know…I guess because I just come from really making $8 an hour. Like before I was rapping I made $8 an hour, my nigga. So you ask me what I’m doing, I’m recording. I’m about to go on tour. Shit, I don’t give a fuck. What else would I care about? That’s all I ever wanted to do. I really don’t have that many complaints. Should I?
So the Republic deal is totally finished?
Yeah been finished, been dissolved. I been out of there. Not that I was mad at it. It was nothin’. Once again, I didn’t really have a problem with them, it just didn’t work out. We just had two different visions.
How did you feel while you were signed to the label?
Um…I didn’t really like it. But I wouldn’t say I didn’t like it because of nothing they did, I just didn’t like it because I didn’t feel like it wasn’t for me. For what I do creatively and what I want to do, I just didn’t think they quite understood. I think more so they was caught up in the hype, like “Oh ‘Huzzah'” or whatever, but I don’t think anybody really listened to my other songs, because none of my other shit really ever sounds like that other than that, so they just kinda didn’t know what to do with me.
Then it’s like… we didn’t really know what to do, because I ain’t had no manager, I ain’t had nothing. We just niggas from the hood that got a deal. It wasn’t like I had some big management team and I’m rolling with Steve Stoute, all these niggas. Niggas is just rap niggas, we trying to figure it out. I got mad talent, but there’s a business end to it too, so at the end of the day it didn’t work out. But I would do it all over again. It’s not like I regret it. I would do it again. With what I know now, I would be able to handle it better and do shit better. It was a learning experience. you go through it and you move on.
How do you feel looking back on the Power & Passion EP?
You know what’s so funny, I forget I made that shit until I get a check in the mail then I be like “Oh shit, yeah!” Yeah…it’s cool. It ain’t nothing. It’s just another one in the lexicon of albums. I don’t really feel no way about it. I’m proud of it. It’s an accomplishment in my life, so I can’t really not feel good about it. It’s a proud moment in my life, man. Looking back now, I actually look back at it very fondly.