[Interview] Typical Cats: This Is The Interview
RubyHornet: When you were doing Typical Cats, the first LP, was there an idea of how special it would be? Was there any thought that there would be multiple albums and this T.C. Legacy almost?
Qwazaar: At the time I had absolutely no clue. I was thoroughly on an Outerlimitz run back then and talking to labels about deals on that front. I was pretty convinced that OL was gonna be what Slaughterhouse is now. With TC, we were just kicking it hard and writing together, it happened so quick. I don’t remember actually talking about recording any of it as an actual album and putting it out on a label and all that til the very last seconds.
Qwel: Special is a relative cup of coffee to sip on, man. I knew it would be special to me, shit, I was a fan of all the other dude’s craft and I got to join in on it!!! We never thought about, or gave a mention to, even selling the shit until we were almost done with the first joint. It wasn’t about that ever. I know a lot of cats probably say that, but it’s true for us. But as far as the legendary status, it’s still unbelievable to me. This shit was born through five dudes getting together and puffing trees enjoying Hip Hop. This shit ain’t changed a bit in that regard. The day I really had to sit back and really assess the shit was right after we dropped the orange joint. I had rolled up north to pick up vinyls. I rode the red line from almost all the way up north down to 55th street to meet up with the guys to show them the 12 inches. It was a big ass deal to press up wax in those days, like a milestone. Anywho, I’m like three stops before Garfield and this rapper dude recognizes the records I’m carrying and starts trying to name drop on me. He just jumps out the gate bogus like, ‘yo, you know Typical Cats?’ I’m like, ‘yeah I know them. He just starts bullshitting me super crazy like, ‘yo those are my guys, Qwazaar, Denizen and Qwel. I kick it with them dudes and shit. I’m like, ‘cool. When you see Qwel tell him I say what’s up.’
RubyHornet: You’ve been called something like Chicago’s version of Black Star, and described in many ways by Chicago Hip Hop heads. How do you guys see Typical Cats? What place does this group and music hold for you?
Qwazaar: Such a hard question to answer, it’s just impossible to be objective enough to stand back and look at it all from that perspective. I think that we have a lot of love for each other, love for the music and respect for the craft and for what’s real. We express that love and we’re blessed to get it back and hope we can keep it going until we’re all rocking with heads full of gray hairs and grand kids on the side of the stage… Beastie Boys status.
RubyHornet: When I posted your new medley video someone made a comment on the site saying, ‘I think Typical Cats and Qwel don’t get the respect they deserve in this City. They’ve left an unmistakable stamp on Chicago Hip Hop and for them to get ignored by Local Blogs is just mind boggling. I mean, They’ve certainly had a bigger impact on Chicago Hip Hop than the cool kids or Kidz in The Hall. At least that’s what I think.’ Do you feel ignored or under appreciated? What do you see as some of the reasons you arguably don’t get as much shine as other groups?
Qwel: Vincent Van Gogh died broke. Edgar Alan Poe died broke, not only broke, but lived lives of not being appreciated. I could honestly give two fucks about most blogs. I don’t deserve shit in this world. I have already gotten way too much. I thank God that there are dudes out there that we have touched so deeply that they feel that way. I don’t. I would say that Qwazaar is the most slept on cat in Hip Hop, but that’s his own fault. He’s too smart for dumb cats and too dope for smart cats.
Denizen Kane: I can’t dwell on that too much, joe. History is often written by observers. It always catches up to the action later. I don’t feel salty at all. I do think my brothers are underrated, though. Qwa and Qwel are like Coltrane and Dolphy, to me. I feel a lot of what they’re innovating will be understood later, but they deserve that shine right now, and I do believe it will come soon. Natski— I’ve never met another producer who’s so methodical and deliberate in his intention to create a masterpiece. I think he deserves his shine and his page in Chi City Hip Hop history. And Dan is the best invisible crew member, bar none. He is also secretly the mayor of Joplin, Missouri.