Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire: That’s That Guy
“This ain’t Goucho, this is Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire.”
I can’t think of a better introduction or a more fitting start to my phone interview with Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire. It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I’m on the phone with the Brooklyn-born emcee in advance of his trip to Chicago as the featured performer at our Digital Freshness series on January 21st. “I’m really excited about it actually,” eXquire says about his upcoming trip, which will be his first time in Chicago in a musical capacity. The last time eXquire was in the Windy City it was to visit a now ex-girlfriend, and the visit didn’t exactly end on good terms. But it’s a new day for Mr. Muthafuckin’, one that sees his career taking off after releasing music for years in virtual obscurity.
That all changed during the summer of 2011 after his video for “Huzzah” proved to be a viral hit. The video was shot in eXquire’s project apartment, bringing viewers into his space filled with comic books, posters, alcohol, shoes, and of course, his crew. It also showcased eXquire’s larger than life persona and the complexities of an emcee that is just as likely to reference Marcus Garvey as he is former professional wrestler Nikita Koloff. eXquire’s what you see is what you get mentality is a large part of his appeal. There’s no glitz or glamour, or image building. As he says himself in the viral-smash, “publicists ask what’s my gimmick, I said ‘going in.’”
For eXquire, making his live persona match what viewers see online and in videos is a top priority. It is also something that those in attendance on Saturday should expect. “With the show I try to bring online to real life. If you saw the “Huzzah” video and you’re like, ‘ok, that’s the “Huzzah” video, alright.’ When you see me it’s like, ‘that’s that guy. That’s him, definitely.’ I don’t like artists where when they’re made up they look one way, but then when you see them in person it’s not as an impressive. I try to make it 10 times what it is online.”
The online world, and the way that music travels through blogs and social networks, has been a great vehicle for eXquire and many other members of Hip Hop’s new generation. It is also indicative of the openness of Hip Hop in 2012, an openness that sees Hip Hop artists of large variety being accepted for simply being themselves. “I feel as if right now, you can pretty much be what you want to be in rap and be accepted. And it’s beautiful,” eXquire says. “You got gay rappers, you got Stephen Jackson from the Milwaukee Bucks, he got a rap album out and I’m pretty sure there are some people that like it. Lil’ B has an album called I’m Gay, that could never go down 15 years ago. Hip Hop has grown so much. They say Hip Hop is dead, it’s more alive than it’s ever been.”