Remember when we asked Signor Benedick the Moor a load of questions from interviews with other people? Well it was such a lovely time that we decided to do it again, this time with rapper, producer, poet, screenwriter, activist, dance battle champion and "real motherfucking well-rounded MC" B. Dolan.
Not this B. Dolan though.
This B. Dolan.
Tha Knows has seen B. Dolan rap with a CD Player, a DJ, guitars, drums and a 20-piece brass band and each time our green zombie face was torn clean off. Mr. Dolan knows all about having his face torn off too- as we'll find out in the interview. Our face didn't end up being worn by a silly man in a funny helmet though, it just kind of flopped onto the floor and got trodden on a bit.
The Dolantasaurus is a big fan of the UK and is over here all the time. He recently showed solidarity with us during the horrendous aftermath of the EU Referendum by releasing a cap that we can all wear instead of a safety pin.
Without further ado, please enjoy the second ever Interview Roulette!
Interview E Question 3 - Walter van Beirendonck
But does (...a fashion designer being multidisciplinary...) really work the other way around? Producer and rapper Kanye West had a fatal dance with the fashion world and didn’t survive – complaining to be marginalized as a rapper.
That question is funny for a couple reasons. One is that Kanye's "fatal dance with the fashion world" seems to be working out pretty well for Kanye and Adidas, and seems to be setting a lot of dominant trends in streetwear these days.
The other reason it's funny is that the question is being posed to a designer who ripped off an image I created for his Paris Fashion Week show last year. I only saw it because a fan spotted it in the pages of Vogue, and am still waiting to hear back from Mr. Van Beirendonck about that. In conclusion, fashion designers should be careful not to end up doing fatal dances with marginalized rappers. Credit your sources and respect the architects. Biters never prosper.
D8 - Ronald Reagan - 1985
I read that the reason that you and Franklin Roosevelt were so tremendously popular is because you gave the American people hope. Looking down the road, what cause do you have for hope?
I sense that these questions and their interviewees have been designed to provoke my anger. I will not take this bait. Tolerance gives me hope. Down the road from Reagan in 1985 was Alzheimers. The aging and dying of the old gives me hope.
B8 - CeCe McDonald
Are you saying that we should liberalize drug laws and laws around sex work?
Drug laws already are liberal if you are a prescriber or manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. Those industries get to peddle their deadly, highly addictive products to sick people every day. To the extent that drug and sex laws are used to penalize poor people working at the street level to supply a demand that is as old as humanity, of course they should be liberalized. Sex workers should be offered protection, also.
You don't have to look far around the world to see liberal drug laws and mainstreamed sex work integrating those things into society in a safer, saner way. Prohibition doesn't work.
G3 - Edward Snowden
One of the things people are going to be most interested in, in trying to understand what, who you are and what you are thinking is there came some point in time when you crossed this line of thinking about being a whistleblower to making the choice to actually become a whistleblower. Walk people through that decision making process.
That's an important part of the Edward Snowden story to ask about. His courage and what it took to stand against the most powerful government on earth and do what he did. I've been thinking about Edward Snowden a whole lot lately. Writing around my ideas on privacy, security, and the dystopian paranoid fiction world we seem to be on the brink of becoming.
G10 - Henry Rollins - 1988
Would you ever sign to a major label?
Never say never, I guess. I think the odds of any major label producing a deal that would be attractive to me at this point are pretty slim though. A lot of majors these days prefer 360 deals with artists who are reliant on and subservient to their interests. I tend to prefer whatever the total fucking opposite of that is.
C1 - KRS One - 1995
Each MC has his or her alternate version of what Hip-Hop should be about. This is the beauty of it but it's also the ugliness of it, because a lot of MCs take it - the art of the spoken word - to realms it's not supposed to go to through ignorance. You, yourself, are an entertainer and an artist. How do you feel about entertainers who pose as artists?
I disagree with the premise of the question when applied to me. I don't really have a version of what Hip-Hop should be about. Realms it's not supposed to go to? Which realms are those? Ugh. I hate all this kind of shit.
I don't spend time defining what I am or what I'm doing, I just do it. Other people apply labels like 'conscious', 'ignorant', 'real', and I don't relate to any of it. I certainly never signed up to be any one of those things for life. I sometimes behave like a shaved ape that just wants to feel its heart go fast. If I make a song from that place am I ignorant? I sometimes think and feel really deeply, and want to hear music that takes me there. I don't see how the existence of one thing threatens the other. I only feel threatened by those who try to police my expression or enjoyment.
F2 - George Zimmerman - 2015
What was the first thing that went through your mind when you heard the news that the charges were abandoned?
Honestly? The first thing that went through my head was about the first thing that should go through George's head. Not proud of that but keeping it 100.
I1 - Interview with anonymous soldier deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq - 2011
What do you think, based on what you see in the media or even in everyday life, is a common misconception people seem to have about the military, or people in the military?
That they are different than us, and that they are a monolith. Since the days of protesting the Iraq War and making songs like 'Tin Soldiers' a few years back I've talked to a lot of active and retired military. Very often they are poor people who got sold a shit deal, and sympathize with the people on the other side of the barricade.
A4 - Pete Seeger - 2011
What is the most pronounced thing that you have seen that a song has been able to accomplish?
As Pete was being asked that I was probably sampling his version of "Which Side Are You On?" ... A song I've since performed all over the world. I'm continually amazed at how every time I visit a new country that song is instantly familiar and has been applied to a different struggle. Its history is incredible.
The history of songs in resisting apartheid is also something I think about all the time. The "Toyi-Toyi" scene from a film called "The Stander" is a great illustration of what this might have looked like.
I think songs like Kendrick's "Alright" are that for activists right now. That type of thing is powerful and important and I look for examples of it to understand one thing music can be.
J3 - Eric Dubay, 200 Proofs Earth is not a Spinning Ball
The natural physics of water is to find and maintain its level. If Earth were a giant sphere tilted, wobbling and hurdling through infinite space then truly flat, consistently level surfaces would not exist here. But since Earth is in fact an extended flat plane, this fundamental physical property of fluids finding and remaining level is consistent with experience and common sense.
Sure man, sure. Everyone's entitled to their own set of facts. Good luck finding your level when Mama Earth decides she's heard enough podcasts and lets us off the ride.
B. Dolan also wrote a screenplay for Almost Mercy, a film directed by Tom DeNucci about two burgeoning sociopaths on the brink of total meltdown.
If you want to check out the actual interviews we took questions from, you can follow the links below.
Walter van Beirendonck
Interview with anonymous soldier deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq 2011
Eric Dubay, 200 Proofs the Earth is not a Spinning Ball
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We're not doing an AOY list this year. Instead we'll be reading all of yours and asking you why they have so many rapey racists in them.
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