Does Fabolous have any platinum albums
Shindy "I want to be rapping David Beckham."
Do you remember the first time you saw a 100-mark note?
I don't remember the moment explicitly, but it must have been in my grandparents eatery. They had a cash register there and were very relaxed about it. Anyone in the family could always answer and take money out. When I was six, I took out 5 or 10 mark bills. But my cousins also took one or the other 100-mark note with them. I remember when I had my own 100-mark note for the first time. That was also in the restaurant at my grandparents' golden wedding anniversary. There were already these Merkur slot machines back then and when some uncle gave me 20 marks, I pushed them straight into this machine. In the end, 147 marks came out again - as coins. I then changed them in the cash register and had my first 100-mark note.
Did money play a big role for you from a young age?
Yes, in any case. When I was six or seven years old, we were fine. We were probably upper middle class. But there were times in the eighties when my grandparents and also my uncle made real money with the restaurant thing. My uncle always talked about those times. For me as a child it always seemed like it was totally awesome back then. He then simply drove to the casino in Baden-Baden for 10,000 or 20,000 marks and had a great evening. There was never a special key experience for me, but I knew that if I want something, it costs money. So the more money I have, the more stuff I can get. I also delivered newspapers because I wanted to buy new sneakers on a regular basis. For unsubscribing once there was 10 euros. After two months, I had enough money for Air Force ones. The money is very deep, even if my parents never gave me an example. They have always lived very modestly, with a completely normal house and a completely normal car. They were always very down to earth and seemed happy with it. I don't know where that came from. But for as long as I can remember, I've been trying to make money. When I was very young, my grandma gave me a mini keyboard that you could run cheap drum loops on and play something on the keys. Back then I made a sign for myself on which "Music for the whole family" was standing. I stood in front of our house with it, jumbled around and got money from the people who walked by. My mother told me the other day that a grandpa came by and opened his wallet and wanted to give me his pennies - just as my mother came out of the house, I said to him: »No, no, I can't do anything with the coins. Give me the ticket!«(Laughs)
The pictures on the cover of »DREAMS« are all things that are directly related to you and your childhood. What's up with the watch?
This is my father's watch. It has always been his lifelong dream to have a Rolex. In 1986 he bought it for exactly 15,000 marks. After that he protected her like the apple of his eye and only ever unpacked it on very special occasions. I wore it for the first time during the video shoot for »Ice T« and the cover shoot for »NWA«. Because he came to me and said: "Don't you need a cool watch for the photos?«Of course I was really happy. Even if nobody noticed it, it was a nice feeling for me. But I didn't wear them regularly after that because I didn't want to lose them. But my father always wanted to give it to me. When he died, he never explicitly passed it on to me or my brother, but as the firstborn I simply took it from me. I have been wearing them regularly since then. When I look at it, I always think of my father.
You can also be seen on the cover in a Peter Pan costume. Basically you're still living his life. What was it about this character that fascinated you as a child?
There was this Disney-Peter-Pan, the film with Robin Williams, "Hook" and a show that ran on Super RTL. At the end there was this still picture of a waving Peter Pan, in front of whom the credits ran through the picture. As a child, I sat in front of it and just waved for three minutes. (laughs) I don't know what I loved about it back then. But I'm very happy that I don't have to grow up. Basically, my buddies and I are 12 year olds who have been given too much money. Of course, there are moments when you think about putting a little something to one side. But especially while the album was being created, I didn't think about anything like that. Meanwhile, I've spent more than 90 percent of rappers earn with their albums.
Do you actually have a special rate in the Waldorf-Astoria, where you rent again and again?
Not really. So there is already a special tariff, but it's not that blatant either. I rap the line on the album »20,000 away for a month's bed and breakfast«. All the numbers that I put on the album correspond to reality. Even the room number at "Heartbreak Hotel". That was also a point of contention between Laas and me while writing. He often just wanted to take some numbers and turn 20,000 into 50,000 hotel costs. But I have always meticulously insisted that all of this is true. I don't want to lie to people. It's blatant enough anyway, why should I exaggerate it now? When I got the first version of the book, it was exactly like that. Suddenly it said that I had chilled in the presidential suite for four months. That was not true and I never said that anywhere. At 26, hanging out in any of the suites in the Waldorf-Astoria is crazy enough.
What was the most pointless thing you have spent money on so far?
It's hard to say pointless. It all makes sense to me. But there is a good example: I always had my laundry washed at the hotel. It has to be quick. So at noon I put two sweatpants, four shirts, seven boxer shorts and seven pairs of socks in the laundry, recorded everything on a piece of paper and wrote: »As quickly as possible!“When I came back in the evening, all the laundry had been washed and was again ironed in my closet. I was amazed that they could do it in four hours. More out of curiosity, I then looked at the bill and instead of the normal 190, - Euro, it cost 380, - Euro directly. (laughs) I got in a really bad mood for a moment. I can't tell my mother that, I'd be ashamed of myself. But I would not generally describe the hotel and restaurant visits as pointless. Sure, I could sleep in a normal four-star hotel. But for the album it is important that I drove this film completely. It takes this room, which sometimes resembles a madhouse where we all hang out and sometimes some Olls knock on the door.
This is the source of your inspiration ...
Of course, that won't work in the long term. If I keep doing this for another four years, then I can buy a really blatant apartment on Ku’Damm for the money. But that flavor would be missing - and it's so important to me that I like to spend a lot of money on it. It's just like this: I never had that and have always wished for it. I'm just scared that I'll miss out on doing all of this before it's over. That's a big part of the motivation. I just like to make my life beautiful. I have the money, so I spend it and share it with my buddies - these are mostly good buddies with whom I've shared everything before and who aren't just there for the money. The money is there to be spent. So often I see rich people who are really stingy. I can't understand why they keep everything to themselves. Then they should give it to me. I spend this, I have fun with it. Of course you still want to have something on the high edge when it's all over. But first and foremost, the money is there to be spent. I almost see it as an obligation.
On a song you say "What happens to the kids if this is the message?«What is happening to them? If you coughed up as a teenager to get Air Force Ones, that's different than when kids save on a Haider-Ackermann sweater for 700 euros these days, right?
I would like to see the kids take that as inspiration. I heard that from all the Amir rappers and I wanted it too. In my opinion, that has nothing to do with superficiality. What's wrong with having fun and enjoying your life as a young guy? It's no secret that you feel better when you wear certain brands. It could be that you can get the black sweater for 8 euros, but when you have it on for 700 euros, you just feel different. It is also possible that the cut and the fabric do not differ much. But the price and the label do something to your psyche. I celebrate the feeling. I hope it's just a motivation for most of them. I finally worked it out for myself! Of course there are people who say that it's just Bushido. But I've worked for this luxury myself - and if you haven't grown up with it and glorified it, I find that absolutely legitimate.
On »FVCKB! TCHE $ GETMONE ¥« you have not yet read »700, - Euro sweater without print«But from»black oversized hoodies like Gargamel«Raped. What do you actually do with your clothes when they are no longer trendy?
A lot, especially shoes, I actually give away to my brother, my buddies or cousins. Some things I own - like things from last Yeezy season - are so noticeable that I can't wear them twice. But then I'll keep them because I think they could be worth a lot of money at some point. There is also a guy like that in New York who has always bought very blatant things from designers. For example, he has a Raf Simons bomber jacket from 2001, which is now worth 7,000 euros. Rihanna, Kanye West and so come to this to borrow stuff for their videos or award shows. Later, like some people, I would like to have a model railroad, a studio in which I keep all my things. I never give away the things that I wore in videos anyway. For the H&M x Versace jacket that I wear in the “Ice T” video and on the “NWA” cover, for example, I have already been offered 2,000 euros. At that time it cost 100 euros in the store, I then bought it on eBay from a reseller for 300 euros.
Do you just order the clothes or do you go shopping yourself?
Most of the time I order. In the shops, they usually only have a small selection of the collections because they think the rest of them don't sell. And if they do, they only have the standard sizes, which is of no use to me because I always get everything two sizes too big. At some point it pissed me off so much that I only shop online. I always order everything in three sizes and only keep what I like.
Are you often recognized when you go to Ku’Damm?
I haven't really been to Ku’Damm in a long time. Wherever we go to eat, one is recognized from time to time, but in Berlin it is actually not that blatant. In Stuttgart, at the beginning of 2015, I walked from one side of Königsstrasse to the other and immediately 20 kiddies came after me and there were more and more - since then I've never been back.
How is it around here?
When we went to my old school for the book trailer, there was really something going on and all the students were standing outside. Otherwise, people my age or plus minus five years have known me here for ages. It is perfectly normal for me to get a drink or a cigarette at the gas station in the evening. But when I go shopping at Edeka, every now and then there are schoolchildren who are annoying. I always react to it according to my mood. When someone calls: "Shu, Shindy, let's take a photo!", then I say "Piss off boy"Now if a little girl comes and asks:"Sorry, could I take a picture with you?«, Then you can't refuse at all. But some people are really naughty. It can't be that all the people I've taken photos with buy my album - otherwise I'd sell a million records. Often these are just some idiots who want a few likes - and I'm too good for that.
Do people say something to you too? Are there things that surprise or delight you?
No (laughs) It is very rare for anyone to say that they think this or that song is crazy. Lately I've been hearing: "We celebrate you, we treat you, hit it! Good luck with the album.“Compared to the things I heard before, that's really nice. In the past it was mostly just "Brother, can we take a picture?«I am happy when people say that they like what I do and wish me success with it.
Do you wish there was more to come? That someone might appreciate your productions?
(laughs) Of course you want that, but you can't expect that from people. They don't care at all.
Isn't that a shame? I would assess you in such a way that this is actually really important to you. When you talk about Shindy, it's never about that sort of thing.
Unfortunately yes, unfortunately yes. (grins) I don't know either. Are you trying to keep it quiet? Dicka, I don't know.
What does a typical Shindy day at the Waldorf-Astoria look like during album production?
I try to get up at 12 noon, usually I don't manage to get up until around 1 p.m. Then we have dinner at 2:30 p.m. and then we either go to the studio or the hotel and continue working there. It usually goes on until 9 p.m., then we have dinner, then Beatzarre and Djorkaeff usually go home, Nico and OZ - when he's there - stay with me. At around midnight, Ali and his brother usually leave because they notice that I want my peace and quiet. If I put the beat on the laptop on a loop and don't say much anymore, then it's actually clear that I want to work. I don't have to throw anyone out either, but it's just a smooth transition. I am usually awake until 6 a.m., until I lie in bed and can switch off, it is usually 7 or 7:30 a.m.
How exactly did the work on the album go?
That always depends. »ROLI« had already been produced, »Kudamm X Knesebeck« was created in one evening in the hotel - just like many other beats. Most of the time it works like this: Djorki comes by with a lot of records, then I flip the sample, OZ plays the drums, Nico does additional production, plays the piano here and there or adds vocals and then I record. I am there at every step - only not when mixing. That only happens when I'm at home again. For »ROLI«, however, I turned the controls myself for the first time. Beatzarre had a ready mix that sounded cool too. But it reminded me too much of the sound of "FVCKB! TCHE $ GETMONE ¥". But this time I wanted a different sound - more space for the beats and a thinner voice. I have to have my fingers everywhere with me. My whole year has been running towards this one release - I can't just approve something without trying out for myself whether it might be better. It all bears my handwriting from front to back. I'm not too sorry to tell an OZ who was on the Drake album or produced for Travi $ Scott that I am not celebrating his snare or kick. Fortunately, he's a guy who accepts that. I don't mean that badly either, I want the best for all of us.
Does that get on other people's nerves sometimes too?
I think so. Josip, with whom I wrote the book, said to me the other day: »It's good that you are who you are, because that's what made the book really awesome. But you just fucked my life«(Laughs) I do this with everyone I work with. But I think to myself that what we're working on right now is so big and is heard by so many people that it has to be perfect.
You just mentioned Nico Santos. How did you come into contact with him?
Nico brought in Beatzarre and Djorkaeff. He grew up on Mallorca and has always made a lot of pop, but his heart actually beats for R&B. The two met him at some session. I know him from the time when Bushido and I did "Cla $$ ic". He really liked my music and sang in the background a couple of times for the album. You can hear him, for example, in "Breaking Bread" in the intro. The vocal sample on "Megalomania" is from him too. After that we did "sex without a reason", and before that we even worked on the hook for "monogram". This fuck thing in German is really difficult. It takes a lot of sensitivity to set the syllables in such a way that it sounds somehow sexy. Bringing the message and the aesthetics under one roof with the melody has been the greatest challenge for me while writing so far. He really helped me there. But apart from that, Nico is someone who immediately pinpoints the direction in which I want to take a song.
And how did you get to know OZ?
I have two friends in Switzerland who said to me as early as 2013 that they had a friend who makes beats and who would like to produce for me. Then I just said: "Thanks, but I don't need anyone's beats.“A year later, the two arrived again. I then looked at what he was doing, and there were some big names like Meek Mill, French Montana and Fabolous. Then he wanted to come over on tour and play beats for me. I said directly to my buddies: "He's welcome to do that, but I'm not in the mood for his America thing and that he'll want me to pay 50,000 euros for a beat.“Then we got to know each other and he was a really nice guy. He played me 15 beats. The first was "ROLI". I couldn't figure it out and he said directly: »I knew you would pick that one."I also celebrated the other beats blatantly and then I said to him:"Working with me is really therapy. I change your drums, I change your samples and you can forget about the American prices right away.“But he really wanted to work with me - and then we made a deal. Since then he has been producing almost exclusively for me in Germany. Because I don't feel like working with people who make beats for every cock.
"ROLI" and a few other productions on the album already sound very much like current Drake songs.
I already know it's this style. But it's not like I'm copying a beat or a song of his.
On “FVCKB! TCHE $ GETMONE ¥” there were a couple of songs that were, let's say, based on the US originals. The "Julius Caesar", for example, sounds one to one like "Never Forget Me" by Bone-Thugs’N’Harmony and Akon. Some of it sounds like Drake or Kid Ink. Did you hear a lot of these songs at the time or how did this resemblance come about?
Of course I heard a lot of the songs at the time. For example, on “Julius Caesar” the beat was originally a trap song, but I wanted an impressive intro, which I pinched on the first album because of the lack of status. I then recorded these piano chords and the wind instruments on them. Of course I know "Never Forget Me" and I probably just did it subconsciously. I then sent it to Beatzarre and Djorkaeff and they both thought it was awesome, but said: »That's the tune of Never Forget Me.“I didn't give a shit. I thought it was cool and done. Where is the problem? Why should you downplay the song because of the snippet? It is completely clear to me that »ROLI«, »Art of War« and also »Numbers Don't Lie« have this style on the new album. But what should I do now? Back then, when everything sounded like a dip, it didn't matter. I listen to this music a lot. Of course I am influenced by it. The problem is, people always pick the easiest thing to get upset about. Sure it sounds like Drake. But do people also check that the "Family First" flow is based on "Craziest" by Naughty by Nature? No! Again nobody cares. And if it does, then suddenly it's a homage and no more biting, because it was so long ago. Everyone interprets it the way they want. There is nothing I can do about it. If I'm influenced by things, then that's the way it is. If I were to prevent that now for the devil, just so that someone shut up, then it would no longer be art, because I would have to pretend. (thinks) I don't want to mention any names either. But there are so many people who take on things and get hyped for it. I don't think that's a bad thing, but I just have the feeling that double standards are always being used. Maybe I'm just getting into it because it's about myself. But it always seems to me as if I am the found food for it when it comes to stamping someone as the biter of the service. I often think about it. The subjects I rap about were also criticized. I've been following rap for over 15 years and sometimes I think to myself: Ever since I heard about German rap for the first time, you've been wishing that someone would come and be as cool as an American rapper without being embarrassed. Someone who raps fashion and makes fuck songs to listen to. Then someone does it, is also verifiably authentic and then it is hated. What do you want?
Someone who also worked on the album was Laas. We know that you can write. Why did you decide to get someone else to join you?
When it comes to rhyming, I'm one of the best in Germany. But I noticed that I can't look at myself from the outside as well as others. We just talked about the fact that I never talk about music. For a long time I wasn't even aware that this was not an issue at all. I always thought everyone knew I could make beats. I just thought it was important to get someone who is a tech-savvy rapper and who can maybe show me what could be done differently and maybe better. This ping-pong game was also important to me. On the first two albums I always sat alone in front of the lyrics and had no one to ask for a rhyme or a line. That doesn't make the albums worse, but they have lost a bit of quality. It wasn't the maximum that could have been gotten out of it. I would never have sat there alone for 48 hours looking for the perfect rhyme. I tweeted that the other day and it's true. That was the line »At that time house arrest, ›Up in Smoke‹ -Tour-VHS / Today I have constant stress - business class, power naps"From the" Dreams "song. We already had "House arrest«, »Constant stress" and "Powernaps«And that would have been enough to fill two lines - theoretically it's even a rhyme too many. But we were both convinced that someone had to get in there. After five minutes we had twenty rhymes that would have fit. But it didn't make perfect sense yet. When we had "VHS" after 48 hours it was like ... Imagine you can't jerk off for three days and then it all comes out at once. (laughs) I love these noun rhymes, preferably proper names, that is, brands that rhyme with each other - and VHS just fit perfectly there, because it's not even a compound noun. If you were to ask Fler now whether it was worth it, he would probably say no. But for me it was worth it to save. I think that's awesome every time I hear this line. Laas and I have already said that we have to do a song called »Rhyming Monster«. (laughs)
If you will, you've built a real team for the album.
Exactly. All the guys in connection with me made the best possible possible. You won't be able to make a better Shindy album right now.
How did you get to know Laas?
By Fler. We sat with Papa Ari once and Fler and Laas were there too. Fler ran away at some point and Laas stayed. That was the time when we were working on "sex without a reason". I had already guided the first four lines with the auto-tune melody and thought it was totally awesome. But I wasn't sure if that could be done. I am sometimes afraid that I will lose reality without noticing it. I played it to the guys - Ali thought it was awesome and Laas thought it was great too. Laas then made a few suggestions without being asked and said I had to continue with a normal rap flow afterwards. In the case of a cigarette, we wrote the next four lines and it was totally pleasant. I didn't even know that. When I've written with Kay in the past, it was always a total struggle to convince him to come up with an even better rhyme. It didn't feel like work at all, it was very easy. I celebrated it so much that I asked him if he would like to come to the hotel so that we can finish the rest there. I was really scared of my new album anyway. Proper anxiety. I didn't know how to beat the previous ones. The pressure was really tough and sometimes I felt like throwing everything up. But when you have someone who gives you feedback sometimes and knows something about it, that's a tremendous relief. We then agreed to meet again for August and then it went on.
At first glance, you and he are a very unequal couple. Laas, the backpack rapper and ...
... who says that I'm not a backpack rapper? My backpack is from Yves Saint Laurent and costs 800 euros. (grins) I knew, of course, that it would look weird on the outside due to our different perceptions. But for me it has never been a problem with »someone like that«To work together. I used to wear baggies, leaf through the »Backspin« and look at graffiti. I was just too young to take this jam thing with me - but I'm celebrating it. In the end, we both love hip-hop - each in his own way. Laas is always portrayed as if he hated everything that was new. But it happened that he showed me the last Travi $ Scott album and recommended it to me, while I showed him »Blauer Velvet« by Torch again and then explained what was so blatant about it for me. (laughs) He really likes these alliterations, and then I just showed him "blue glow" because Torch has already done that too. (raps) »Who had only known cold accounts for as long as they could remember ...«
Toni L does that on "Who I am" too.
Dicka, what Toni L had for rhymes back then, was not from bad parents. I would call Laas a good friend of mine by now. For the first time in ages I have a buddy with whom I can really talk about hip hop and rap. Bushido is a bit out of there because of his private life. But with Laas I can discuss snares on songs from 1999. I just love that. I don't even know why it always amazes people. I've told you how important rap is to me a lot more times than I've told you about designer clothes. But that's probably just more tangible. I would be happy if that were a little more present. I feel like I'm being demoted as an artist. It's almost a bit like degrading Bushido to a mob and denying him that he had made all those blatant beats for "Carlo Cokxxx Nutten" and "From the curb to the skyline" back then. There is just so much attention to detail in my music that in the end it sounds like it does - but nobody thinks about it. For example, I spent days looking on the Internet for a basketball court that could be set on fire for the "ROLI" video. I was constantly on www.courtsoftheworld.com and then always drove off at night from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and looked for the perfect place within 100 kilometers. What other rapper does that? That's why it's sometimes really depressing to be reduced to ripped jeans and oversized sweaters. But in the end it might be my own fault because I only rap about something like that and don't tell how I look for basketball courts at night. But at the end of the day I didn't care a lot. I don't want to shout that in people's faces either. I know it for myself and anyone who, like you, has a little knowledge of hip hop knows what I can do. I'm not really interested in what some tail babbles on the Internet.
What else do you wish for? The dreams that you see as tears on the cover of your new album have actually all come true. You have a Rolex on your wrist, we're sitting in a beautiful car right now ... What comes next? Do you still have dreams
I'm looking for houses around here. I want three to four children and then I want to have real king shit. Just yesterday I saw an offer: 600 square meters of living space, 12,000 square meters of land. I don't know if this is a little too early. There you are directly save times at 3 to 4 million. Otherwise? Josip got it right to the point. I told him about my long-term goals and he then formulated it for me: I want to be the rapping David Beckham in terms of impact, status and awareness.
I do not know exactly. If all goes well, I'll go platinum with the album. But after that? With all the other rappers who went platinum, it became less afterwards. I just want to be the first who doesn't. I want to be the one who delivers consistently and where everything just keeps getting bigger. It's like I say on one song, I want to be in the league of Bushido, Sido and Kool Savas - and I think I'm on the way there.
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