The spring 2015 issue of 20 Watts is sent and sent to print! This is always an exciting time at the magazine. Unfortunately not everything we produced this spring can fit into our 44 page badass book.
This is a part of a series of stories, graphics, and posts that we loved but couldn’t fit into our book. We call it B-Sides.
This interview was conducted before rapper Michael Christmas’ set at the Skybarn on South Campus. He talks about lots of things, including music. This is part 2 of 3. You can catch up on part 1 here.
20 WATTS: Who is your dream feature? Either in the realm of rappers or in the realm of people who don’t rap who you would hypothetically make rap.
MICHAEL CHRISTMAS: Dave Chappelle. He would kill it. Rapping or just talking. Honestly, I would like more than any other rap feature, I would just love to have Dave Chappelle talk on a song. A lot.
20 WATTS: You have a line about season 3.
CHRISTMAS: I have so many Dave Chappelle lines. Just infinite. I just made this song the other day where I did the, remember when they hit the reparations and Tron becomes the world’s richest man? And he was like, “Nah, I just bought this baby cash.” So I said that in a song, “I just bought this baby cash.” Oh and also, “I plead the fif, F-I-F. Fiiiiiiiif! Fizzif!”
20 WATTS: What’s your favorite Dave Chappelle, I know this is an impossible question, Chappelle Show sketch?
CHRISTMAS: Sketch, there’s obviously too many. I like anything involving Leonard Washington, he’s hilarious. *Leonard Washington voice* “For the record, I’m not crazy. But off the record I am crazy. Tell anybody I been here, I’ll fucking kill you. Go upstairs and wash your ass so we can watch Martin.” What else? I like the Prince sketch, that’s fire. I like the Clayton Bigsby skit, I think not only is that funny but its like groundbreaking being in terms of like, that was on TV. That whole show was on TV. Every time I watched it I was like, “They’re gonna get cancelled.” And they didn’t! They asked for more, they wanted more. We all want more.
GOODWIN (Christmas’s co-manager): The reason it got canceled is because they wouldn’t—
CHRISTMAS: They wouldn’t let him do his thing anymore.
GOODWIN: They offered him like $10 or $12 million. Just for him, for the third season. He gets $12 million and then he leaves. Because they wanted more creative control.
CHRISTMAS: Which is ridiculous. It’s like you’re vastly successful letting Dave and Neal do their thing.
GOODWIN: I’m sure the network probably got pressure from people higher up like this can’t be on TV.
CHRISTMAS: I watched that really young. I watched Chappelle’s Show like when it first came out and a lot of my friends weren’t allowed to watch it and I was.
20 WATTS: Was your house the one where kids went to—
CHRISTMAS: I had the house that like… First of all, I was in car at all times listening to like Big, and Eminem and shit like that real young. To the point where I was uncomfortable with such dark music being flooded into my head all the time, but like I started to like it a lot. And so, I was in like before middle school even watching Chappelle’s Show and listening to like, really dark hip-hop. My parents are young, so they listen to that shit.
20 WATTS: That’s cool. Yeah, I was listening to like Earth, Wind and Fire and shit like that.
CHRISTMAS: Earth, Wind and Fire is tight too. We have the CD, the greatest hits.
GOODWIN: I’ve seen them live more than any other band. I’ve seen them and Chicago together. Unbelievable, they would play on each other’s songs, the drummers would have drum battles. Shit was great. Earth, Wind and Fire is amazing, I make him listen to it.
CHRISTMAS: Yeah, I like Earth, Wind and Fire. My father likes a lot of the same artists I like now, like a lot of my favorite artists right now.
20 WATTS: So yeah, what are you listening to these days?
CHRISTMAS: Umm, what’s funny is that I listen to a lot of trap music and my music is not trap music at all but I listen to a ton of trap music. Like, Future, [Chief] Keef, I listen to hell Keef, Key, Makonnen, all these rapper I sound nothing like.
20 WATTS: You’re working with Makonnen, right?
CHRISTMAS: We did the “Day2Day” remix. We’re not working on anything specifically right now, but I’m gonna hit him soon. See what we can do.
GOODWIN: He’s an enigma.
CHRISTMAS: He really is.
20 WATTS: He seems a little odd.
CHRISTMAS: Nah, he’s the man.
GOODWIN: Some days you text him and he texts you right back. And some days you don’t hear from him for a week.
CHRISTMAS: But obviously his life is a lot busier than most people. I met him last summer and he’s really cool. He’s just like in his own world. Doing his own thing.
20 WATTS: So you met him pre-“Tuesday”?
CHRISTMAS: Like, right before.
20 WATTS: Is it weird when you meet someone and they just skyrocket like that?
CHRISTMAS: It was less weird and more like we were all really happy. That was the first person I knew, like “I’ve actually met you and we’ve hung out” and now you’re booming. And that was so tight for me, to see that. And then I saw him at his Alife New York show after the remix or whatever and we just chilled in the Alife store and he was the same Makonnen, 150% at all times. He just does what he wants to do. I think he really doesn’t care what other people think and that’s important. I think that’s why great artists are great because they do what they want to do and you come to it. Not you do what they want you to do.
Photo by Sam Henken