Being a hip-hop star is one thing. Staying one? That’s something else.
Twista is a hip hop star but perhaps most off all he’s proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with, no matter what the trend or region of the week. For more than a decade, over the course of a half dozen top ten, platinum-selling cds and singles albums, Twista has stood his ground and answered to no one but his fans and his instincts. It’s this that propels Twista beyond being just a star, but a true career artist.
On The Perfect Storm, Twista’s second and latest release on his label Get Money Gang, the Chi-town champion let’s folks know just how it’s done. Boasting collaborations with R&B and rap heavyweights Yo Gotti, Ray J, Lloyd, Raekwon, and Chris Brown The Perfect Storm is rugged, on-point, fired up, street-certified, and sexy.
The Perfect Storm’s first single, “Make a Movie”, is produced by The Legendary Traxster and features R&B superstar Chris Brown. Smooth and sexy, “Make a Movie” showcases a facet and attitude of Twista’s lyrical prowess that the rapper knows many fans are always eager to hear. “I always wanted to work with Chris,” comments Twista on the first-time collaboration. “I could just hear him on the track and knew he’d help me tell the story about me and a lady taking advantage of a video camera.”
But more than just the Midwest has embraced Twista over the years and the Chi-town veteran takes it down south with help from Yo-Gotti on TK-produced “Cocaine”.. “The track is just real dope; it’s got a street corner vibe and the lyrics that came into my head were real hype. Then I reached out to Yo-Gotti because his style and what he talks about just fit and we just killed it.”
Laced with Lloyd’s silky vocals, “Bad Girl” is a lip-smacking shout-out to the type of girl you don’t take home to mother: a “bad girl who knows how to kick it off.” “You know,” Twista laughs, “when we’re traveling around we don’t like nice girls or shy girls. Sometimes we like girls with a little bit of attitude.” The partnership with Lloyd came to be in a somewhat unusual way. “Lloyd heard the track through my manager,” Twista explains, “and liked it so much he wanted to keep it for himself. Lloyd even did his own thing on the track and I knew that the vibe he’d added would work with what I wanted to do.”
Another standout is “The Heat”, produced by The Legendary Traxster and No ID and featuring Raekwon. “That’s my joint right there! The track kind of reminded me of Beastie Boys’ “Paul Revere” because it was very melodic but still had a serious hip-hop vibe. I knew that it could bring out elements in me that maybe I hadn’t expressed in a while.”
Twista’s TK banger made him an underground hometown hero but it was an appearance on fellow Chicagoan’s Do or Die’s platinum single “Po Pimp”(1994) that brought Twista’s idiosyncratic, rapid-fire flow and verbal dexterity to the mainstream. The first artist signed to the influential indie, Loud Records, Twista made music history in 1997 when he became the first rapper from the Windy City to ink a major label deal. That same year Twista dropped the widely acclaimed Adrenaline Rush. The album went on to peak at #13 on Billboard’s R&B charts – impressive stats for a relative newcomer. Twista upped the ante a year later with the top ten hit Mobstability, quickly followed by the equally successful Legit Ballin’. Twista was clearly on a hot streak: one that continued with 2004′s Kamikaze. Along with going double-platinum, Kamikaze took the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and spawned the #6 R&B single “Overnight Celebrity” and the blockbuster pop, R&B and hip-hop single “Slow Jamz”. In 2005 he returned with The Day After and the top 10 single “Girl Tonite” with Trey Songz. Two years later, Adrenaline Rush 2007 appeared, followed by Category F5 in 2009 which along with going #2 R&B was the first release on his newly launched label, Get Money Gang.
With a growing roster, Get Money Gang is another opportunity for Twista to put his spin on hip-hop. “I just want to show everybody what I’m doing as far as working with new artists and being a businessman.”
This many years deep into the game it would be easy enough for Twista to coast on rep and never push himself. But that’s not the mark of a career artist and that’s not the message Twista wants to send- not now, not ever. “If I wanna say anything,” adds Twista. “It’s that I have been consistently making albums and I can still make bangers because this is what I love. I love making music. I want people to look at my career as a whole. To see that the longevity is something that goes beyond hip-hop. I want to be looked at as the blueprint for n artist that can put it down for 20, 30 years.”