How'd you get started in rapping?
I actually was making fun of a friend who had bad breath. We made a parody of Destiny's Child's "Say My Name", and I added a rap to that. Ironically, this occured two weeks after I started playing trombone. That's why I tend to keep the two together.
How long have you been an Otaku for?
Oh gosh. Fifth grade I think. DBZ had been in the US for a couple years, at least on Toonami. I'd say I was otaku for good when I realized there were other, much better anime out there. That's when I really got hooked.
What made you decide to rap about Otaku topics?
I believe artists should talk about things they care about. From where did you come? What inspires you? What have you experienced? What do you think about the future? What moves you? etc. For me, otaku topics have been a pretty huge part of my life, not just from an entertainment standpoint, but also from a creativity boosting perspective. So, I speak on it lyrically. This really explains why I sometimes will literally rap in character, while sometimes my work is very "hip hop" with otaku references. I kind of write things the way they come to me, and sometimes that focuses heavily on specific otaku topics.
Who (or what) inspires you?
Forward movement. Across the board. I know that's quite general, but really it's an inspiration to see people succeed and overcome. I'm also inspired by doubt, both mine and those who think I'm crazy. I started really putting music out seriously when I was in grad school, and while many of my friends supported me, a lot of them did think this whole thing was either weird or crazy. Then I landed the production job with Toonami Asia, where my music was aired in multiple countries, and some of my friends kind of took it more seriously afterwards. At this point, I've found a way to gain traction with anything I've ever tried. So, when I know people who have seen me succeed doubt what I'm doing, it lights a flame. Failure is part of the process, so failure, and learning from it, inspires me as well.
Do you always pick your favorite anime to rap about or the anime you think is best for rap?
I'm confident that I can rap about anything and do it well, so I usually go off of the anime, if that's how I'm thinking about it. A lot of times, the references just kind of come up when I'm putting together lyrics, so at this point it's just part of my creative process.
Will you write a rap for fans if they request it?
All three NerdKrunk volumes, as well as a few tracks on Gateways, were initially request driven. When I released my Bleach Mixtape back in 2012, I received tons of requests. Many of them were anime that I had seen; some were anime I had to watch. So yes, I'm glad to take requests. Working on a few now, actually.
What do you want to do in the future?
More cosplay hip hop videos, more con performances, cosplaying and performing at cons, more tours, more albums, EPs, and mixtapes. I left a few things out, but that about sums it up.