Last year Brooklyn’s Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire exploded onto the new New York rap underground with his unabashedly grimy YouTube hit “Huzzah.” Having just come off a nationwide tour with El-P and Killer Mike, Exquire took some time to talk to Noz about which album he’d free from a burning building. (Metaphorically or metaphysically, that is – Ex hasn’t bought a physical album since 2006. Also his house isn’t actually on fire... we don't think.)
Eddie Hazel – Games, Dames And Guitar Thangs (Warner Bros., 1977)
There’s an album by this guitarist by the name of Eddie Hazel. He was the guitarist for Funkadelic. It’s called Games, Dames And Guitar Thangs. I love that album, I listen to that album religiously to this day. I got it on my iPod right now. I fuck with that album because it’s versatile. The same songs that you listen to when you’re happy, you can listen to when you’re sad: “California Dreaming”, “Smedly Smorganoof”, “Physical Love”, they all work for all moods. So, if my house was on fire, I think I’d roll with that one. It’s amazing. That n---a was probably better than Hendrix on the low.
I got into Funkadelic when I [had read] a story about Eddie Hazel. I ran into it randomly and I didn’t know who he was. They told him when he played “Maggot Brain” to play like his mother had died. I thought that story was so fascinating and I wanted to hear the actual record. Then when I heard the record I started crying. I was like, “Yo if this n---a’s that ill, I gotta hear his record by himself.”
I’ll tell you some wild shit. When I was in the third grade there was this girl by the name of Valerie – light skinned chick, light skinned chicks was popping back then in the third grade – and I wrote her this note, and asked her to be my girlfriend. She said no. And I had given it to my friend to give to her, and he lied to me. He told me she said yes because he didn’t have the heart to tell me she said no. So, the whole day I was walking around thinking she liked me and shit. Then I went to talk to her and she was like, “Eww get away from me!” I think about that before I get on stage, every time. [laughs] I think about that feeling, that one instant in my life, and that kind of inspires me to do what I do.