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Sitting Down With Fatman Swag
Free Music Link: http://mrfatmanswag.bandcamp.com/track/ambiance
Notes: Get the download!Notes: Get the download!
Fat Man Swag, or Tai Paschall, is a very lovely man from Austin, Texas. He is truly a product of internet rap and the internet generation. His lyrics are full of pop culture, literary, internet and other ‘pomo’ references in a free association style that has always reminded me of beatnik poetry. I find his southern drawl quite relaxing to listen to, in particular the track “Theme Music (Shot Caller Remix)” which can be found at his soundcloud, has very pleasant beats. Fat Man Swag is a baller and a gentleman, and was kind enough to answer some of my questions -
You have amazing flow, kinda sounds like Lil B and Danny Brown combined to me, are you influenced by either of those artists?
Haha! No not really, but it is good to have a comparison. I really digg those dudes though. I love that they have created their own swag and fan base that really support them. That is what I really am doing with my career as well. I have embraced myself and who I am as an artist and that is what I am projecting in the world. My grandmother used to say “you have to be comfortable in your own skin”. I strongly believe that only once you become comfortable in your own skin you become fierce with reality, and that is what people are attracted to. That is what myself and Danny Brown, Lil B and others have done.
Do you listen to/are influenced by a lot of internet rap?
Yeah I do. That term “internet rap” is funny to me. The internet is the major source of all things pop culture in our society. Not to be over nerdy, but Thomas L. Friedman says that “our world was flattened by the internet”. I would add that the music business was flattened too. I don’t think that there is anywhere else to go for music (including rap) but the internet. You found me because of the internet. That would have been unheard of thirty years ago.
Who are your other main influences?
I am a true Hip-Hop/Rap fan so it is hard to pinpoint main influences, but I am a southern rapper to the bone. In the 3rd Coast (the south) we have to represent U.G.K., The Ghetto Boys and OUTKAST (Andre 300 is one of my all-time favorite rappers), but I have a huge influence from my East Coast rappers as well. I am a huge Jay-Z fan (I could write a book on him). Kanye of course can’t be overlooked, but I like to think that I have created a hybrid style of old school rap with a modern swag.
Do you consider yourself an ‘internet rapper’? Definitely. But like I said before, with all the tools that the internet provides, any musician would be a fool not to use it. I think that being an “internet rapper” exposes you to audiences that you would not be able to reach. It’s like the Beatles, when they were hot there was a big deal made that this group was coming to America and making major waves, but they were already a staple of pop culture in the UK. Now with the internet, I can be an artist with a major impact in multiple places at the same time. The internet is developing a smart, more savvy rapper without the help of major labels. I am proud to be named in this category and to be able to control my career the way I want it to go. Thanks Al Gore! (sarcasm inserted).
What is it like being a rapper from Texas?
Thanks to some of the artist I mentioned before, being a rap artist has unfortunately become common place. Everybody has tried it, and everybody thinks that they will be the one to make it; including me. But there are big shoes to fill here in Texas because for so long we had to represent for ourselves in the rap world. I went to school with Paul Wall and he was on his grind then. I tell him all the time I learned how to grind in this music business from him. He became the President of the Texas Grammy Chapter from hustling mixtape CD’s at school. So when I was ready to now do my thing, I knew I couldn’t put out any garbage because I have people watching me, major people watching me. That is how Texas is. It is a huge state, but we show love to anybody who is about the grind of being a real artist because everybody had to make a name for themselves at one point of time.
Do you make your own beats?
No I don’t but all my music is made in house though. I have a crew (shout out to Dojo Djs) that produce all my tracks for me. Then we also have four djs that then spin and promote all of my music. So as a fam we have made a major impact. And it feels good to have your own ENTOURAGE!
How long you been rappin’?
(insert cliche rapper answer) The real question is how long have I not been rapping? I would say ever since I heard DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince (that was back in the day when Jazzy Jeff was way more important than Will Smith). I thought that was something that I wanted to do, not just rap, but make music and be in the entertainment business. I have done everything. I have acted, modeled, danced, sang, written, I have dabbled in a lot in this entertainment business. But I can honestly say that I started rapping in the church. (Yes I know this is the typical answer for R&B artists but it is the truth) I had a pastor that was very progressive in the late 90’s and he thought that hip-hop was a way to reach people. So I was in the first rap group at our church. I was always writing lyrics, but it wasn’t until then that I really started performing and showcasing my gift. Our group opened up for MA$E when he left Bad Boy and started preaching. He said something to me that really stood out and kind of made want to do this even more. He said, “you guys are real good, but don’t limit yourself to ‘gospel rap”. I knew what he was trying to say. He was saying that the gift is bigger than one genre and there is no limit to music. Music is universal. So from there I just kept going and tried to find my sound that was both unique and universal.
General musings on the rap game in 2012?
I would just say that I love the digital age that we live in. We can manipulate, create, and control so much as artists and that is why I do what I do. We don’t have to think outside the box anymore. There is no box any more. Seth Godin talks about “Tribes” and how it is apart of our nature to gravitate to “tribes” and then suggest that others gravitate to the things we like. That is what I love about being an artist. I get to create and then launch it out there to all those that digg what I created. Creation is about connection.
Fat Man Swag’s new mixtape KILLER SWAG (feat. Young Fresh Prince) will be available for download June 26th so keep an eye out for that on his bandcamp. You can also check out his soundcloud here: http://soundcloud.com/mrfatmanswag.
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This entry was posted in Artists, Austin, Fatman Swag, Free Music, Genre, Hip-Hop, Interviews, Local, Media, North America, Rap, Reviews, Texas, United States and tagged Al Gore, Andre 3000, Bad Boy, Beatles, Blu Flame Media, Danny Brown, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dojo DJs, Fatman Swag, Fresh Prince, Jay-Z, Kanye, KILLER SWAG, Lil B, Mae, OUTKAST, Paul Wall, Seth Godin, Tai Paschall, The Ghetto Boys, Thomas L. Friedman, Young Fresh Prince. Bookmark the permalink.