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 3 of 3. You can catch up on part 1 here and part 2 here.
20 WATTS: You doing what you want to do right now?
MICHAEL CHRISTMAS: Absolutely. Absolutely. And my music right now, like the new stuff I’m putting out, doesn’t sound like anything else, which is tight. That’s what I want. I want the whole album to not sound like anybody else’s music. That’s how you prove you belong here. Like right now I’m at the stage where people aren’t sure how long I’ll be around for. And I want this next project to be something that makes sure I’m around for a long time.
20 WATTS: That puts you at that next rung.
CHRISTMAS: Like just making it to the next level going strong. Shitting on everybody. Doing my Randy Orton embrace. I just got autotuned for the first time the other day.
20 WATTS: What was that like?
CHRISTMAS: That shit was weird. That was so weird. That was like deadass, supposed to sound good autotune. I was like, “Uhh should I keep it? Should I try it?” It sounds dope. But it’s really weird autotuning your voice. But it’s not all Kanye-y.
20 WATTS: Not on your 808’s?
CHRISTMAS: I’m really just getting comfortable. I’m getting really comfortable making music. I think we’re gonna go hard this year.
20 WATTS: Is this gonna be a big year for Michael Christmas?
CHRISTMAS: Yeah, definitely.
20 WATTS: You doing any festivals?
CHRISTMAS: Not that I know of. I want to though. I like the festivals. I haven’t done many outdoor shows, rapping outdoors is so cool.
20 WATTS: They need to bring back the Boston Urban Music Festival.
CHRISTMAS: They have that, but now they charge for it. I think Makonnen is playing it this year.
20 WATTS: I was at the famous Mac Miller one.
CHRISTMAS: I did not go to that! Because I knew how it was about to be. *Laughs*
20 WATTS: I saw girls fighting each other.
CHRISTMAS: There was glass bottles flying through the air.
20 WATTS: I almost got hit, it was the craziest shit I’ve ever been to.
CHRISTMAS: What’s crazy was that there was a lot less people the year before, but I think people just heard how lit it was with the Wiz Khalifa show. Because I was at the Wiz one and that shit was so perfect because Wiz was my favorite rapper at the time. Like by far and he had just dropped Kush & Orange Juice and now he’s playing a giant free show in my city, at city hall. I was like this is a dream. They rushed the stage and this girl I know was like the first person to get on stage in front of him. And there’s a picture; he touched her face and she just lost her shit. You could see in the picture her losing her whole shit. It was fucking great.
20 WATTS: That’s the dream. To have girls losing their shit for like touching you.
CHRISTMAS: To an extent, I have dealt with that this year. It’s cool for a second. And then it’s like, “Ohh, this is kinda creepy now.”
20 WATTS: Like, since Is This Art? came out, has the ladies, has that been improving?
CHRISTMAS: I plead the fifth. Like the tour for instance, it was a lot of random girls hitting me up after the shows, like with weird, creepy snapchats. I got some evil snapchats. I felt awful for just looking at these. Like why are you doing this to yourself? And then little stuff like a drunk ass girl will come to you and be like, “Can I kiss you?” And it’s like no.
GOODWIN (Christmas’ co-manager): Tell him about the mom.
CHRISTMAS: Are you talking about in Detroit?
GOODWIN: Salt Lake? Or Detroit?
CHRISTMAS: The one that like kinda low-key grabbed my butt.
GOODWIN: Nah, the one who’s bad. Salt Lake? She’s like 30? Maybe she’s not a mom.
CHRISTMAS: Oh, shit! I didn’t meet her at the show. She was at the show, I saw her but I didn’t meet her. Yeah, this, long story short, this 30-year-old fine girl from Denver slid into my DMs a couple weeks ago. That was weird. *Laughs* This older woman who was like 42, she was somebody’s aunt bringing them to the show in Detroit and grabbed my butt while I was taking a picture, that wasn’t cool. But it was. But it like, wasn’t though. I played Summer Jam last year, that’s where it was like hectic. This girl was following me and my friend around. I’m walking around trying to find my homegirl that was up top in the stands or whatever. And she came up to me and was like, “You’re so great,” or whatever. And then she starts kinda twerking in front of me. And so I’m like, “Uh alright, I’ll slide this way.” And then she followed us and then we stopped again because a bunch more people came up to us. And she like got in between a bunch of people and asked me if she could kiss me. And I was like, “Nooo.” She was like, “Alright, can I keep walking with y’all?” And I was like, “Nooo.” *Laughs*
20 WATTS: What’s the most surprising thing about rap life?
CHRISTMAS: It’s not lit like everybody thinks it is. Like, everybody wants to go back stage and but there’s nothing there besides back stage, like behind the stage. What do you think? There’s this building and then behind the stage is a mansion. We had some amazing green rooms on tour, like pool table type, big ass couch, TV, basketball court upstairs type shit. And we had some like basement water on the floor, futon all cut up, didn’t wanna be there anymore green rooms too. So, it varies. Rap life is surprising. It surprises everyday. This place is tight. I can’t wait to perform in a barn. This will be my second barn show. Barns are tight. Colleges are the coolest places to play because everybody just wants to have fun.
20 WATTS: How many college shows have you done?
CHRISTMAS: I don’t know. A few at this point. A lot on the east coast, I’ve never really done colleges on west coast or Midwest or anywhere else. All my colleges are on the east coast so far. I played some cool ones, I played some empty ones, I played some way more packed than I thought they would be joints. College shows are just fun because everybody is already drunk. Everybody is already ready to party. And all I gotta do is go out and make everybody jump and smile. That’s my job.
Photo by Sam Henken