There's a cohesive quality to your music; do you have a big hand in what your producers are doing in terms of beats?
I have a huge, huge play in my sound, because at the end of the day, it's a reflection of me. On this new album, I worked a lot with Josh Crosby; his producer name is My Kid Brother. Very forward-looking producer. We both set out to make this great project about the culture of Paris, painting this picture of somebody lost in Paris. I also work with the Boy Genius guys; we came up together.
Expand a little on the new album, Paris Is Burning. What inspired the title and the idea? Is it all one theme?
The title came about when I was talking with a friend in town, and we were talking about the culture of Paris — the art, decadence, how much people were all about Paris at the time. I just wanted to paint my own picture of how I perceived Paris. I watched Midnight in Paris and thought it might be interesting to paint a picture of this guy, maybe not of this Earth, kind of lost in Paris. And in the end, finding an understanding of it all.
I wanted to paint good visuals, too; in turn, we built a whole visual-art play around the record. We did a showing at the planetarium here in town, for the listening party, and I did a live performance with visual art at [the arts center] Oz Nashville.
On one track on the new album, "Kennedy's," you're sort of putting together a collage of words, and making lots of references and name-dropping, which is very Warholian. Do you try to employ devices from different art forms?
There's a rumor that there's a Chancellor Warhol drinking game: Every time that I say a pop-culture reference or name from pop culture, you have to drink. I thought that was pretty cool. But yeah — I always look at the whole of everything I do. I always look at the beginning and the ending, making it a complete story — something that, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, can still stand alone as a story. Also, growing up, being engulfed in pop culture, being drawn toward culture in general, I always try to incorporate that into my rhymes. At the end of the day, we're artists, we are a reflection of the culture we see. With my words, I like to reflect my take on that culture, and turn that into my story.