Future star. Maybe I am completely off on this one, but listening to the humorous, threatening battle raps of Thirstin Howl III, combined with his completely marketable (like it or not) Polo obsession, and a huge underground buzz, that is what I predict for him. After stealing the show in one verse on Rawkus’ recent “Soundbombing 2″ LP, Thirstin followed up with the full version of the track that made him famous “Brooklyn Hard Rock”, on a 12″ single. For years, Thirstin has been a lyrical favorite of the NYC underground, and most recently, he has released a CD compilation of his best freestyles and home made bedroom bangers “recorded on a muthafuckin’ four-track”, entilted “Skillionaire”. Listening to the CD opens up a whole new world of questions about the man…
Why did you choose Thirstin Howl III as your emcee name?
I used to use the name Big Big the Barbarian as a Lo-Life, and back then I always wanted to rhyme. I was so thirsty, that I broke friendships and changed my whole lifee….I stopped hanging out with people that didn’t want to rhyme, and started kicking it with niggas that all they did was rhyme. My old friends weren’t into it, but I was so thirsty that that was all I really wanted to do. You couldn’t come over to my house unless you wanted to rhyme or battle, drink or get down….
How would you describe your style, and who are your influences?
Ranking or rounding. Where I am from that’s like when they crack jokes on you all day long. So, you know, if you had a hole on your shoes, or your mother is on crack, they would rank on you, and you would be attacked by four or five people at a time. So my style comes from that, and with that I try to always stay on point, and never let someone get me like that.
Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One… Most of my life they had the biggest impact on me. Kane was a battle rapper, but he was still Brooklyn. I mean a lot people say I am like Rodney Dangerfield, but on the street. But I don’t really want to follow any formats. Because the way it works right now, someone creates a sound, and everyone copies it. But they gonna have to follow my formats. I am going to set the trends….. I want to create the industry standard, instead of following what some of these other niggas are doing. Right now, true hip-hop is gone, and we gotta bring it back
Tell me about the whole Polo obsession. Your single cover has you decked out in Polo, the back of your album has you in Polo….
That’s part of (my affiliation with) the Lo-Lifes. I’m from Brownsville Brooklyn, the land of the Lo Lifes. We are the founders, they are a bunch of us, but I was the originator of the name. Everyone had their reasons for what it meant. To me it was about style and fashion, how crisp you keep your (Polo) wears. That’s not what I represent in my music, but it is how I represent in my life. That is what Lo-Life’s is like, it’s like Rocksteady. They got groups in Japan and Cali that rock the Polo shit. Lo-Lifes is a culture and style, and to me, style is 5th element of hip-hop. I mean, Eric B and Rakim had their style on the back of their album covers, that’s what I do with my shit. Ghostface did it on his album… I’m reppin’ who I am, Thirston Howl III, Lo-Life, Skillionaire.
On the album, you have tracks like “Million Man Rush” and “John They’re Stealing”. Is there any connection between these songs and the amount of Polo gear that you own?
C’mon man how you gonna ask questions like that? You can’t get too personal man. ‘Lo is the shit, piece it together.
Would you do commercials for Polo?
In a minute! That’s a goal. Maybe I can get a Ralph Lauren endorsement. Maybe get a Lo-Life line of Polo gear. I’m a complete package to what nobody expects….
Explain to me the concepts of “Spit Boxing” and “Frog Style”…
Spit Boxing: Master Foul came out with that, he had first did a mixtape with somebody with Brownsville, called “Spitboxing pt 1″. When we did they LL tour, we just did a two minute intro for our shows by a beat from this kid Smittty. It caught on, so we went in a did the song. We spitboxin’, battlin’. We not trying to challenge everybody, but Spitboxin’ is what we do. I even got spit boxin head gear, soon to be on the market.. Did you see it on the back of the single cover? I am going to wear it to the (High & Mighty) show tonight.
Frog Style came about one night when we was in my crib chillin’. We were all describing each others styles and comparing them to animals, and my style is Frog, cuz I “rippit, rippit.” I Rip everything I touch.
Tell me about your crews Spit Squodd and Lo Lifes. Are they the same?
Naw, not really. Spit Squod are the people I met when I became Thirston Howl III. Lo-Lifes are my familiy that I grew up with and did crime with Spit Squodd are the people who wanted to rhyme all the time, and we connected cuz that’s all we wanted to do. Rack-Lo is one of the only members in both crews, besides myself.
You had a track with Eminem on DJ Spinna’s “Heavy Beats Vol. One”. How you hook up with that?
Me and Em whyled at the Rap Olympics in Cali. We were a part of Wendy Day’s team. Me, him, Juice from Chicago, Wordsworth, Qwest. He came to Brownsville and hung out at my crib and all that. We was both broke back then…. We were in Bed-Stuy, going to the muthafuckin’ liquor store, and then we went to Spinna’s crib. He asked us to do a joint, and we did the shit…. We recorded it the same day, too.
Are you planning on releasing any other projects soon?
The next CD to come is almost done, it’s called “The New Skillinium”. That is going to drop on Decemeber 31st, at 11:59 PM, for real. After that one, you’re gonna get the next CD, “The Skillospher”…. Probably another 12-inch” There’s also the Lo-Life book “The Million Man Rush” which is the Lo Life story, the Lo Life testimonies… The song tells the whole story.
Would you sign a deal with a major label, or are you strictly the independent typeâ€¦.
I am willing to compromise something, but why would I let go if I could obtain everything on my own? It would have to be some kind of promising success.
A lot of people think that you are the next big thing, how would you handle stardom?
I would humble myself, and I would separate business form pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, I love hip-hop, but I am looking at this as a business. But I love it, there is nothing more that I would do than this.
What do you think about the current state of hip-hop?
I feel as far as the mainstream, you get rare hip-hop on the mainstream. I understand they got party songs and stuff, but there is a lot of bitin’ right now. I mean, there are ways of paying homage and there is biting. I don’t have problems with using people beats, because there is still room for advancement. It’s (Hip-Hop) still developing. I am a part of it man. It’s the new Skillinium.
Who are your favorite emcees?
Canibus, Eminem, Tash of the Alkaholiks, Every era I had a favorite emcee, and in this era these are my favorites. I hope to be in this category one day, for real.
Do you consider the Skillionaire CD your album, or more like a greatest hits compilation?
Skillionaire? It’s almost like a freestyle CD with the instrumentals. It’s me man, exactly who I am. It’s my album from my heart. Who says we have to do it in 48 track studio? This is straight from my studio in a four track. I mean, I think The Beatles first album was recorded in their room, and that’s one of their best selling shits! I didn’t want to wait for people to do beats for me. I was so thirsty that I would buy instrumentals and rhyme over them. I was too thirsty to wait. Listen, I got something to offer this game. Labels don’t understand what’s going on in these streets, where the groups actually are. On the same level, I am showing an intellectual angle, I am not just on some thugged out shit, I’m ill.
Anything you want to add?
Tell em, we comin’. Let ‘em know right now they getting the exclusive CD strictly on your site. Peace.
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