Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Interview With Stik Figa: "I rap mostly about being a better rapper than you."

Readers, if you're looking for a diverse triple-bill this spring, look no further than the KJHK-sponsored show at the Jackpot on Friday, April 13, which brings together the maniacal drummers of Cloud Dog, the garage rock ruckus of Mouthbreathers, and the Top City rap stylings of Stik Figa.

Stik Figa's local classic album, As Himself, is about to make its national debut on Mello Music Sound very soon, and our chat with him covers a lot of ground, ranging from the Top City sound to rap music's prevalent misogyny to the never-ending controversy of the "N word" to Stik and Chip's shared passion for "heavier women." We hope you enjoy.

Study up on Stik Figa before the show at:


Richard: When we think of Top City these days, we tend to think of Sam Brownback and Fred Phelps, and then we become filled with furious anger. But you’ve been reppin’ the Topeka rap scene for years now. What’s your view of the capital city's culture?

Stik Figa: Yea, Topeka is a tough place to be from, my view may differ since I'm actually a transplant. But the culture of this city is definitely middle America, and here you get to see how wholesome and ugly that can be. As a minority I've seen and experienced more of the ugly side of it. Aside from that its mostly just a vanilla town, there's things to do, but you really have to dig before those things reveal themselves.

Chip: Tell us about your sound, your influences, and your subject matter. Do you use the terms “bitches” and “hos” a lot, because that’s probably my favorite thing about rap music.

Stik Figa: Hahahahha, I try not too but sometimes if that's how I'm feelin' it may slip out. I am influenced by a lot of music, in general I would say the main ones are Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor, Johnny Cash, LL Cool J, Scarface, and 50 Cent. I rap mostly about being a better rapper than you, but aside from that, I try to discuss things that guys who ride the bus to work and hangout in barbershops talk about, then I sprinkle my personal stories in there as well.

Richard: The cover for the recent “Choosy Moms Choose Stik” EP is pretty terrific. How did it originate?

Stik Figa: Glad you dug the cover. My guy James Ramierz, who works with MK12 in KC, put it together. We had a bunch of ideas in playin' with the title, but ultimately an image of a babe layin' in a bed of Stik brand peanut butter was the winner!

[See the cover below and listen to the Choosy Moms Choose Stik EP via Bandcamp ]

Chip: I’m a pretty huge rap fan, but I’m also very, VERY white, and I never know if it’s okay for me to sing along with the “N word" at rap shows. What are your thoughts on this delicate subject?

Stik Figa: Ah, the dreaded N word debate. Its taken a while for me to come up with this everytime it comes up. But, its not so much about the word as it is the intent behind it when its said. Often in songs, popular songs at that, the word is unavoidable, so in them situations, have at it I guess. But on the street, guess its all about what norms are acceptable in your circle of friends. But I know more brothas that will hit ya with a tiger uppercut in their presence, ahhahaha. Pick your spots as Dave Chappelle famously said.

Richard: So we've heard that your As Himself album is about to make its national debut soon with Mello Music Group. Tell us about that, and what other projects are in the works for 2012?

Stik Figa: Yes! "As Himself" is seeing a official release and I'm elated. This is a album I put out in 09 locally, but, with zero budget, so I don't think people really heard it. So fast forward I was working on music with Oddisee who is A&R over at Mello, and we released the From The Top EP, and thought in the meanwhile I needed more people to find out about me. And As Himself is the perfect project because I feel like its great, and hasn't aged a bit, and it's like a bio-pic on disc. And produced and recorded locally ya know? So its special to me.

Chip: I love the line in “Susan B” from As Himself where you talk about how you’ve been “grabbin love handles in various states.” Tell us the story behind that song. Also, do you have a personal favorite lyric from any of your songs?

Stik Figa: Glad you like that junt, man. Yea, I wrote that song about a girl I met, and I dunno, I just have a thing for heavier women. Not obese lol but, with some weight on em hahhaha so I always hear those women, who I find attractive, talkin' down on themselves, and I wanted to make a song for em. Cause Stik got love for ya! As far as personal favorite lyric it comes from a song called "Happy" from me and D/Will's project Hello, Goodbye. "Must remain diligent, hands to the plow/won't nothing come to you just from standin' around/ain't askin' for a chance, ima grab at it now, and treat haters like gnats lil ants on the ground" its just become a mantra of mine, and something I have to tell myself all the time.

Richard: This upcoming KJHK-sponsored show seems to have quite a diverse line-up with you, Mouthbreathers, and those crazy-drumming dudes from Cloud Dog, along with DJ Modrey Hepburn. What can our readers expect from Stik Figa on this evening?

Stik Figa: I can promise a good time, if nothing else, I just want people to enjoy the sounds, and have a good time.

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