Interview conducted by Hugo Lunny
MVRemix: How did the moniker Rick Whispers come about?
Rick Whispers: I’m a big fan of the movie “A Bronx Tale,” I got the name from Jimmy Whispers a character in the movie.
MVRemix: How long have you been rapping now?
Rick Whispers: About 12 years now.
MVRemix: From what I’ve read you seem to have quite a diverse taste in music, ranging from Hip Hop towards Punk – how do you feel this has influenced your sound and style and do you feel it’s important to vary your musical influences?
Rick Whispers: I’d say if anything it just taught me to be myself, and that it’s ok to do that in music or any art really. If your influence is “A,” “B” and “C” but you try and act like it’s “Z,” you will sound like someone else and not be true to yourself. I read a lot of interviews where dudes are younger than me, trying to say they are influenced by Kool G Rap and Grandmaster Flash… Dude, you are 19 – stop lying!
MVRemix: You seem to be both an artist and an entrepreneur, managing your art and personality as your business. Now seeing as you’ve had some success, what makes you stick to taking this route and not try to get label involvement to take most of the work from your shoulders?
Rick Whispers: I look at it like this… I work hard with my music because I love it, even if I did sign with a label I would remain very hands on with promotion, booking, the creation of all records etc.
MVRemix: There’s an odd stigma, almost a cliche about skater rappers being either overly introspective or obsessed with gangsta rap – what’s your take and opinion on rappers who skateboard?
Rick Whispers: I’ve never heard that but I find that disturbing, it puts people who like similar things as myself in a box. I don’t live in a box. Rappers who skate, lets go bomb a hill.
MVRemix: How has your internet presence affected your audience and sales?
Rick Whispers: It has had a huge influence on sales and audience; I can reach people across the globe who might not otherwise have access to what I’m doing. If this was thirty years ago
I would’ve had to been living in a van for two years to receive a chunk of the fanbase I’ve gained.
MVRemix: How did you begin getting tattoos and what sort of imagery have you focused on?
Rick Whispers: I got my first tattoo when I was 17 at this real sketchy shop, looking back I wouldn’t have went there [laughs]. Imagery, it’s spread out pretty wide… I’ve got some Japanese art, some sailor stuff and some graffiti as well.
MVRemix: What prompted you to tattoo “Love” on the inside of your lip?
Rick Whispers: At the time I was just really into the concept of love, and how as people we put each other out there. Like walking a tightrope, it’s scary as fuck but real exciting at the same time.
MVRemix: Tell me a little about “Death and Taxxxes”
Rick Whispers: “Death and Taxxxes” is a follow up to a record I have for free download on my website called “The Letters.” Both records are exclusively produced by Khil, and I think “Death and Taxxxes” is going to tackle some ideas that the letters didnt touch on. To me “The Letters” is a fun record, “Death and Taxxxes,” while it will have some catchy tracks will focus on more life events.
MVRemix: Your Myspace page describes your music as a mix of indie, crunk and hyphy – being from New York how did you get into the sounds of crunk and hyphy music?
Rick Whispers: I was just joking when I wrote that.
MVRemix: How do “Death and Taxxxes” and the F Sean Martin project compare to “House of Hearts”?
Rick Whispers: “Death and Taxxxes” will be a more mature version of “House of Hearts,” I consider “House of Hearts” to be this very dark record that is more spoken word and battle rap influenced than my other material. The F Sean project will be way more poppy than anything I’ve ever done. Other than that I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’ve heard some of the beats for this thing and holy fuck.
MVRemix: Which movies have had the most impact on you?
Rick Whispers: I’d say “Wizard of Oz.”
MVRemix: A la “Fight Club,” “If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?”
Rick Whispers: Definitely K Fed.
MVRemix: An interview at this point in time would be incomplete without some question of the US political race. So, who are you backing and why?
Rick Whispers: Barack Obama. I think he is the most honest, humble, personable, charismatic person to run for office in years.
MVRemix: Any last words you’d like to add?
Rick Whispers: Go download my free album “Zombies Ate My DJ,” now available on my website. I have also added a way for people who enjoy my art to donate to the recording costs of “Zombies Ate My DJ” so that I can keep delivering free cd’s in the future. www.rickwhispers.com check out the new website/store myspace.com/rickwhispers. Also check out www.myspace.com/cloakanddaggerrules and a new project I started called “The Collapse Of” www.myspace.com/thecollapseof