Tooty – Q&A Interview
On the eve of the release of Tooty‘s (@I_Am_Tooty) second project, Suicidal Thoughts, ILLwriteR got the chance to chop it up with the Chicago bred emcee about various topics including his latest EP. Check out the interview below and be on the look out for his project tomorrow 11/24 at 12pm CST.
Q) Where did the inspiration to record this entire album come from?
A) It was just time. It’s been a year and a half since I dropped my first mixtape (First Degree Murder) so I decided to get back in the studio and to give my fans and supporters some new music.
Q) Why did you title the album Suicidal Thoughts?
A) A lot of people don’t know this but, before I began the creative process for this project I was really depressed and was contemplating suicide. I wanted to kill myself. But, that would’ve been too easy. So, I did some soul searching, and have been reading a lot of books and realized that I had to get rid of the victim mentality that I had picked up along the way and use my circumstances as motivation. So, I decided to name the project Suicidal Thoughts because of the space I was in at the time.
Q) What are your expectations for the album once it is released to the public?
A) I don’t really have any specific expectations for the project outside of the fact that I hope to connect with my fans and supporters more on an intellectual level. I’ve grown a lot as a person and as an artist since the last time I released music so, I just want people to understand how passionate I am about my poetry.
Q) What do you want the public to walk away with after listening to the album?
A) This project is very introspective, so I expect people to walk away with a better understanding of who Tooty is and just how passionate I am about my craft. I also want people to take the messages from some of the songs and use it as motivation for whatever they may be pursuing in their lives.
Q) How is the album different from your previous work?
A) Suicidal Thoughts is really dark, much more personal, much more focused than the last project. Last time I found myself trying to please everybody and ended up making music that I got tired of really fast.
Q) My favorite songs on the project (in no particular order) are “All I Think About“, “Mile Before Perfect“, and the “Outro“. Can you expand on the song concepts and the behind the scenes recordings of each song?
A) I love sampling r&b and neo soul music, and using skits so on these particular records we sampled Aaliyah (All I Think About) and John Legend (Mile Before Perfect), and for the Outro we (me and my producer; Von Vuai) chopped up a Will Smith interview that we felt like was very important. In terms of the recording process, everything came together pretty fast, I was in the zone and me and my engineer have a really good relationship so my sessions are always really productive. And a lot of the concepts for this project are just about the journey (Underground Railroad, Runaway Slave, Mile Before Perfect). I use a lot of symbolism and expand upon it indirectly wherever I see fit throughout the music.
Q) Where are you currently at in your life and in your musical career?
A) I’m at a really weird stage in my life. On the outside looking in you’d think I’m suppose to be happy, I graduated from college, I have a really good job, but i’m not content with being average, this is miserable for me. But, as an artist I’ve just been in the studio working nonstop, building my catalog, networking, trying to learn as much as possible about the industry, as I build my brand and grow my fanbase.
Q) What is the ultimate goal for you as an artist with your music career?
A) I don’t really think there is a humble way to say I want to be one of the best greatest rappers of all time, but that’s what I’m aspiring to be. Personally, anytime that I’ve ever been going through something I’ve always been able to turn to music to get me through any situation. You know? A Monday, a train ride, a break up, road trips, death, depression. And I want to be the type of artist that people can turn to and depend on to come through for them whenever they’re going through something too.
Q) How are you unique from other artists? What makes you different from other upcoming Chicago artists?
A) I think my lyricism and storytelling ability makes me unique. And I don’t want to put any limitations on my artistry. I believe what makes me different from a lot other artists is the messages in my songs. I use a lot of double entendres and metaphors, and to be honest, I really feel as though the music I’m making is way ahead of its time.
Q) How do you feel about the current state of music? Do you feel it drastically changed?
A) I feel like music is in a transitioning stage right now and I don’t know if that a bad thing or a good thing but, I’m really happy to be a part of it, because I have creative control over the content I put out, and I feel like that’s enough to make a difference and help push the culture forward, regardless of whatever else is going on in music.
Q) What are some of the misconceptions the public has about artists?
A) That our business is their business. Websites like TMZ and Mediatakeout make people think it’s okay to pry into the private lives of musicians, actors/actresses and athletes and it’s not. That’s the only thing I’m not looking forward to when I blow up but, I guess it comes with the territory.
Q) Advice to aspiring musicians and advice to the youth who are often misguided in this world?
A) My advice to aspiring musicians would be to stay true to yourself and keep God first. Also, avoid negative energy and bad vibes , stay away from opinions, and most importantly never give up on your dreams. My advice to the youth is the same advice Tupac gave me “Keep Ya Head Up”. I pray for these kids every single day. I know It’s hard growing up in some of these neighborhoods, especially because there isn’t a lot of positive role models. These kids don’t have anybody to look up to, and it’s sad. But, I believe in our youth, I just want them to believe in themselves and stay away from situations that could potentially make them lose their life or their freedom. I’m 25 years old, and I ain’t survive 25 summers in Chicago by being a fool. Listen to your parents.
Q) What do you think needs to take place for the music industry to recognize Chicago as a city with so much talent?
A) I think the industry recognizes it but it’s hard because everybody is so divided in Chicago, it’s so many cliques, so much favoritism, and jealousy, and it’s hindering a lot of artists from taking their careers to the next level. We need to be more like Atlanta, every time I look up I see a new artist from down south emerging and the only difference between those artists and us is that they stick together and support one another.