When I found out that I would be interviewing Tila Tequila about her new album, Welcome to the Dark Side; where she’d be spitting ferocious bars over a bevy of banging beats, I knew the kind of questions I wanted to ask: What is the fundamental difference between rap and Hip-Hop? Is Aquemini really better than ATLiens? M-1 or Stic.Man?
It’s always a pleasure to delve into the inner workings of the well-oiled machine that is a lyricist’s mind. And Tila was no different. As a music journalist, this was a culmination of my life’s work. This was my Frost/Nixon.
Sit back, read and listen to an interview that will shake Hip-Hop to its core. Prepare to be astounded.
TSS: Hi, how’s it going?
Tila Tequila: I’m good, how are you?
TSS: Great. We were supposed to have this interview last week, but they said you had bronchitis.
Tila Tequila: Yeah, I have massive bronchitis, like, “oh my God.” I wasn’t used to the drastic change in weather and I smoke. In New York, it doesn’t seem like you’re smoking as much, but you’re actually smoking more. I had so much to do in one day to the next and the next that, by the end of the day, I just got sick and got bronchitis. It was just horrible.
TSS: I’m sorry.
Tila Tequila: I’ve been in bed ever since I got back to L.A. I’m still in bed now. [Coughs] Did you hear that? That’s my bronchitis. It’s disgusting.
TSS: That’s terrible. So, I guess I have to call you Miss Tila, now?
Tila Tequila: Yes. Miss Tila.
TSS: What’s with the name change?
Miss Tila: Because. I think it’s more appropriate. It’s more classy. Tila Tequila was fun for a second. It’s old. Tila Tequila and A Shot Of Love… are old. I’m a different woman. I’m no longer Tila Tequila. Tila Tequila is from my Shot Of Love days. I’ve been through a lot. So I deserve to be called Miss Tila.
TSS: So what made you want to do this album?
Miss Tila: Well, music was my whole life. It’s why I moved to L.A. I always wanted to be a musician and I always write my poems. I have always been into making my songs. It’s just good therapy for me.
TSS: What would be your main inspiration for doing a Hip-Hop album like this?
Miss Tila: I have my own style. When you hear my music you know I have my own, unique, signature style. It’s how I sound. You know what I mean? The style I have. You can tell right away, “oh that’s Tila.” There’s nobody else out there that sounds like me. I don’t like to copy anybody else, I want to be myself. I just write about things that happen in my life.
TSS: What are your top five or so Hip-Hop or rap albums?
Miss Tila: Jay-Z’s new one. I love him. Forever, 2Pac. I have all of 2Pac’s covers from magazines. Every single one he did, shrink-wrapped. He’s my hero. I like Gang Starr. Of course I love Biggie. But I love Pac more. And Wu-Tang.
TSS: What do you think is the fundamental difference between Hip-Hop and rap in your opinion?
Miss Tila: Hip-Hop, we lost that a long time ago. There’s a lot more rap today then there is Hip-Hop. Run-DMC and Wu-Tang is all Hip-Hop. Nowadays anyone can be out there and call themselves a rapper. And now people have people ghostwriting for them now. What’s the point?
TSS: Yeah…everybody thinks they can rap nowadays.
Miss Tila: Yeah, exactly.
TSS: It’s terrible, really. Where does your album fall? Is it a Hip-Hop or rap album?
Miss Tila: I’m not a Hip-Hop artist. I’m not a rap artist. I’m myself. Fun-time girl. If I label myself as a Hip-Hop or rap artist, that’s just pushing myself into just those categories. I have party songs and club bangers. This isn’t just “Miss Tila is trying to rap.” It’s fun times.
TSS: I heard the “My DJ” song. It kind of has a Ghostface/Slick Rick storytelling aspect to it. And I want to know-
Miss Tila: Did you hear the radio or dirty version?
TSS: I heard the very dirty version. Did this really happen or was this a fantasy?
Listen — Classic Tila
TSS: About the DJ song. Did that happen?
Miss Tila: Oh, right. So I walk in there like how I did “Fuck Ya Man.” I went in the studio like “man, these girls think I’m trying to fuck they’re man. I ain’t trying to fuck their man.” And he’s like “that’s it!” That’s a song! So I walked in one day and said, “bam, I just fucked the DJ” (Laughs). And he’s like, “that’s it! We can do a song about that.” And that’s how I wrote a song about me fucking a DJ. Also, it’s paying homage to the DJ because nobody gives them enough credit. They’re the ones playing the records. They’re the ones getting the clubs poppin’. I wanted to make a song for them.