Mostly rambles, few brambles
DJ Fruit Pie Exclusive
Rolling Stone sat down with the hip-hop mogul making mad noise in the snack game.
I double-checked the address. We’d said the studio and this was a beat-up walk-up on the Eastside. Patches of grass sprouted through the sidewalks and parking lots. Pre-gentrification stretched as far as the eye could see. Nothing resembling a recording studio was anywhere close.
There was no building lock. I crept up the narrow stairs. The unit number matched, so I gingerly knocked.
The door swung open and the dank hallway illuminated. A voice beckoned from beyond the shimmering gold curtain and, slowly, I parted the glistening tapestry. Inside I found a lavish apartment and an attendant who met me, brandishing a silver platter of vintage caffeinated alcohol.
Her ring-littered fingers brushed aside her iconic braids. She set aside her tray of Airheads and craned her neck from hedonistically lounging. I sat down anxiously on the oversized couch. Sweeping aside her nest of emptied wrappers, she rearranged her two chinchilla blankets. This was no act. DJ Fruit Pie lived a brilliantly gaudy, candy-centric life.
RS: This—this is not what I expected. You’d said the studio?
FP: Sho’nuff [gestures to a old MacBook with a cracked screen actively running GarageBand].
RS: You still get AltaVista on that?
FP: [jams entire Airhead in mouth].
RS: I see—
FP: GarageBand was fine when I was comin’ up—rappin’ as McNasty—still fine now, jah feel?
RS: Roots are important. Correct me if I’m wrong, you’ve been rapping since you were eight. Of course, America was surprised when “Statutory Grape” topped the charts and Grape Culture fandom swept the country, but that had been sixteen years in the making. It was no overnight success.
FP: Growing up, buzzin’ on that Hostess and Drake’s grind, that was us. All that. That’s my foundation on 40oz. Smoothie.
RS: Tracks like “Cavity-Free Fronts” and “Bananas Foster Home,” you mean?
FP: Foster mom loved cookin’ that up in that mad house.
RS: What provoked the change from Grimace McNasty to DJ Fruit Pie?
FP: McNasty’s all hate. Jealous, bitter—McNasty’s rotten deep down. There’s no chewy center, only pain and disconnect. You dig inside McNasty, or sometimes MC Nasty, and there nothin’ but mistrust. Angry at the world [runs one of the five candy necklaces she’s wearing through her rings]. Fruit Pie ain’t like that. Sure, still that exterior—fight over flight: crispy, crunchy, calloused, you know? DJ Fruit Pie, though, understands there evil in the world but won’t live in the fear. She know there’s more to living.
RS: Like you said on “Raw-Berry Shorty Cake.”
FP: Mmhmm. There’s bad out there, but there’s good too. McNasty and DJ Fruit Pie, both desensitized. Poverty, gang violence, adult-onset diabetes, it can hurt. McNasty can’t let her guard down though—she too far gone. DJ Fruit Pie is discerning, capable of really connecting. Knows that without the bad there would be no such thing as good.
RS: Massive revelation.
FP: Ain’t a thing now. Transformation, jah feel? Abrasive on the outside, but caring, tender on the inside.
RS: That epitomizes your fourth track, “Sour-Patch Thug.”
FP: You know it. My bad [glances to Kool-Aid sommelier], can Daniel get you something? Got a 2008 Ice-Blue Raspberry Lemonade in my cellar.
RS: A cellar? Here?
FP: Converted hall closet [laughs].
RS: Going back as a kid, why music, and why music about food?
FP: Because that’s what I loved. What I obsessed on. Real young, I knew there wasn’t anything for me in the 203. I wasn’t gettin’ no shoe contract. Little short to hoop.
RS: You’d mentioned CT—
FP: Yeah, always been a student of conspiracy theory. Illuminati, Tri-Lateralists, Neo-Natal Wizards spawning barriers, both of the voodoo-economic and socio-economic. Strings get pulled. I get famous. None of it real. America just want to watch me eat candy and rhyme—which I am fine with. Much obliged, America.
FR: Truman Show, man.
RS: Is this real, right now?
FP: As real as my teeth. Cavity-free fronts because I lost my real teeth to mad cavities.
RS: Your diet. You claimed to have achieved diabetic immunity from looking directly into an eclipse and that blindness from such an event is “a myth to keep us buying insulin.”
FP: Nah. You’re misquoting me. All I ever did was throw some Eclipse sugar-free gum in a trash fire during last year’s solstice.
RS: So you never said that?
FP: No, that’s exactly how I forever corrected my body’s messed up sugar.
DJ Fruit Pie is working on a follow up album to 40oz Smoothie. Tentatively titled, C.R.E.M.E Brulee is due out late 2016.
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