For the newest installment of “The Whole 9”, we chop it up Feekee, a native of St. Louis who currently resides in L.A. and is looking to make a name for himself. The self-proclaimed “black nerd with a broken heart,” descreibes his sound as “Woody Allen ghostwriting for Wu-Tang Clan.” In his short career, he has already worked with Killer Mike, Ski Beatz and Tef Poe. Check out his most recent single You Used To, and check out the interview below. For more on him, hit up his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube pages.
the9elements: Describe the typical Feekee fan.
Feekee: I really don’t think I can right now.
T9E: It seems to be the era of the introspective rapper. What’s your perspective on that?
FK: Easy answer? The culture is old enough for us to have been born and raised in it, so the obvious result of a genre with that much history is a genre with a multitude of eras, waves, whatever. Ask the wrong (or right) old head and they might refute the whole idea that today’s rappers are on a whole more introspective. Just realized that was not the easy answer.
I think I feel where you’re coming from fam. Let me try again. Kanye kicked in the door “I guess Beanie’s style was more of a slam dunk/and my shit was more like a finger roll/” and that commercial success sparked the subsequent movement. Basically a few gatekeepers that were realized there was money to be made marketing the occasionally nuanced negro. Does that make today’s music more introspective than the gangsta rap tropes niggas was trapped in before? Depends on who you ask.
As far as I’m concerned “depth” is in the ear of the beholder. Aight here’s the easier response: I love it. Without people being open to a brother saying something other than how much money he has, how many women he had, and how dangerous he is, there’d be no chance for me. I’m an awful liar.
T9E: What do you think the old school can learn from the new school and vice versa?
FK: Gonna ask you a dumb question, please forgive me but I promise I have a point. Have you ever been in a room full of artists? Say backstage at a show and most if not all of the performers are folks you fuck with musically. Most of the time the actual artists, regardless of style, age, specialty are kindred spirits. The prescribed labels are necessary so an audience member can more quickly figure out who they want to listen to – when they want to listen to that artist – and why.
But for the cats behind the curtains the lines are all blurred. The most significant differences between eras are technological (the internet, the MP3, home studios, etc.) and the repercussions born of those societal changes.
T9E: You describe yourself as a nerd with a broken heart. Is love and romance the primary inspiration for your music?
FK: Sure. I love a “I am better than you because _____” verse as much, if not more, than the next (which is an oversimplification of battle culture to be sure, my bad) BUT at some point those chickens come home to roost. I pride myself on pulling ideas – be they love songs or thug songs – out of thin air, but whatever energy you put out there has a way of returning – even if you ain’t talking bout nobody.
At some point the work you put in has got to reflect not only who you are but who you want to be for the folks. Allow me a slight digression to illustrate my point: a talented friend of mine told me he didn’t make music for anyone but himself. He said not only was he unconcerned with what people thought of his work, he couldn’t care less how his music made them feel. My response? Then don’t make me listen to it. Full stop.
Why subject someone to something when you aren’t interested in their reaction to it? They make headphones for that, fam. So yes, I guess I’m into love and romance and the what have you – but those are labels that don’t always fit. What I’m about is giving people something that makes them FEEL loved. A song or two that makes them feel understood. Or less alone.
Or at the very least like they’re listening to someone who cares how they’re doing. Way harder to do that when you spend 3 and a half minutes bragging about fucking their girlfriend. I’m rich and you never will be – blah blah blah. That entire energy is lazy and uninspired. It’s easy to tear people down. Especially as a rapper. ESPECIALLY if you’re on. Most of us come from nothing. Of course you’re the man if you got a couple bucks and a bunch of fans. Playing off of people’s insecurities is weak, but it’s one of the oldest tricks when you’re trying to squeeze money from an already oppressed group of folks.
T9E: What track of yours do you think you should go down in history for and why?
FK: Not sure I have something good enough, YET. But with each piece we get closer to the goal, making something great.