Published on August 14th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford0
Glasses Malone Opens Up About His Controversial Single, “2Pac Must Die!”
Glasses Malone remains unapologetically authentic with new single, “2Pac Must Die,” which details the fatal night the rap icon was shot from, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson’s perspective.
There is no secret that, Glasses Malone is a Crip. There is also no secret that he believes in his truths. The release of his controversial single, “2Pac Must Die,” had hip-hop in an uproar. An uproar that, G Malone feels was long overdue. “Knocking the world off it’s axis,” is how the west coast, Loc described the feeling this single gave him. As if the title and the song wasn’t enough to shake up the world, the single was followed with a video. A detailed portrayal of the events that happened on September 7, 1996 following a Mike Tyson fight. Glasses himself portrays alleged shooter, “Baby Lane’s” notorious uncle and Southside Crip leader, Keefe D in the video. Lyrically on point and showcasing amazing storytelling ability, Malone captures the attention of even the sternest 2Pac fan. The title grabs you; the story keeps your attention and the video leaves you in awe. Another pot stirring banger from the west coast emcee who describes his upcoming projects as, “The scariest thing that has happened in the industry in a long time.”
In my recent conversation with, Glasses he reveals the idea behind, “2Pac Must Die,” explains why he tweets like, Donald Trump and why he feels like the 2019 version of NWA.
Not bragging, and I’m not saying I could have been first to interview you following the release of your single, “2Pac Must Die.”
Glasses Malone: You could have been first. Easily could have been first.
I appreciate that. But I wanted to let you get all of the reactions before I spoke to you about it. Let’s start with the fans. Was their reaction what you expected?
Glasses Malone: It’s a lot more positive than I thought. I’ve heard people call me, “The Goat!” That is… I have never throughout my rap career heard my name be mentioned as a great or the greatest. The idea was a bit challenging. It’s one of those hip-hop moments. That’s fair to say.
What about the reactions of other artists and industry people?
Glasses Malone: Split down the middle. Some legends thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and some legends cussed me out about it (laughing). It was as polarizing as I thought; even within the industry, it was just as polarizing.
I think the song needed more explanation than what you could provide on Twitter with the limited characters. Do you feel like doing the “Big Boy” show and “The Breakfast Club” changed the temperament because you were able to explain in great detail the concept behind the song?
Glasses Malone: “The Breakfast Club” interview definitely changed the temperament. It shifted the temperament more or less. I think people started understanding the idea or the concept I was trying to get across. Charlamagne and Envy… Charlamagne is the greatest at pushing me into honesty. Because I don’t run from his questions, we end up always having something special. We really got a chance to talk about what the song was about, so I think people at that point, they understood from that interview. Honestly, on Twitter, I try to do my best, Donald Trump rendition. I try and make it real short. There are more characters to use, but I try to use a lot less. Just to improve on my wit with the public and getting points across a lot simpler. So, that’s like my best, Donald Trump rendition, let me keep it simple and short and let everyone else take whatever emotions they wanna take from it.
I’m glad you used the word emotion because obvious a song titled, “2Pac Must Die,” played on a lot of people’s emotions. Was the goal to play on people’s emotions while making them think?
Glasses Malone: Definitely! The true power is in polarity; positive and negative currents. Hip-hop should come with a level of negative currents. At times it can be objective to the mainstream. One thing I realized that we didn’t talk about was, 2Pac the man was hip-hop. A guy I grew up listening to in real-time was hip-hop. He was a hip-hop artist. 2Pac past death, the legend of 2Pac belong to the mainstream. 2Pac the legend is as mainstream as, Sting the singer is. So, to give that underground take, that street take on such a mainstream and iconic event, even though it’s a disaster is very much what hip-hop is all about. The true power is in polarity; people agreeing and disagreeing. To get that nailed down was really special to me.
We are in a different era where hard-hitting truth-telling lyrics and stories aren’t the norm. For that reason, do you feel like the timing of this record was almost too real for the current climate that we are in?
Glasses Malone: I like to think we are in a time machine back into the ’80s and I get a chance to play, Eazy, Ice Cube, Dre, and Ren. I get a chance to be NWA. So, I’m not complaining about the climate. I get to be NWA. I remember exactly what they were able to do. It is a very… the temperament of today is very soft. But again, it’s like the ’80s. I get to be NWA. I’m ecstatic about that because that’s definitely who I am at my core.
I feel like the narrative that was getting pushed is, Glasses Malone is a 2Pac hater. I definitely wanted to let you address that.
Glasses Malone: Again, it’s one of those things who really aren’t fans of, 2Pac the man. The hip-hop icons. These are Stans of the legend. These are the same people who will have, Nipsey Hussle in their profile, 2Pac in their header and quote, Jesus Christ. People are overwhelmed by the spirit of greatness. They have this… it’s like they need people to die to really get it. if I took their opinion too serious, it would be a disservice to myself.
You are trending towards a million views. You told me, you just wanted people to give it a chance. The numbers suggest they are giving it a chance. Is that a fulfilling moment for you?
Glasses Malone: Honestly, impacting hip-hop became the most important thing for me. I think the numbers, it’s close to a million on Twitter, it’s right at a million on Vevo, trending a million on Facebook and 100+ thousand on Instagram. I think it’s fair to say that it impacted hip-hop. It’s not mainstream, but it impacted hip-hop. That was the thing, I think people did give it a chance. And I think everyday people are having conversations and coming around and going back to watch it. Because they may have watched the first twenty seconds and got too emotional and now, they are going back to check it again. I’m proud to say that. Shout out to the homie, Chepo, Meetro and Donte. Also, Duece Mac (Young Giantz), King, Joker, and Condido; everybody who helped. We finally got something that’s permanent in hip-hop and something that really shifted the culture. So, to watch what comes from this is going to be special.
You played the role of, Keefe D in the video. At any point did you think of not implementing yourself in the video?
Glasses Malone: I was always going to be a part of it. Joyner Lucas inspired me to do this video that way. There are other people who done videos in first person. But I think Joyner, the storyteller, I fancy myself a storyteller as well, I just love what he did. So, I found a character who I could play in a film. And Keefe D’s character is probably the best character because it reminded me of my OG homies and how they acted. It’s the same mannerisms. That was a fun thing to act like that. I hope I did a good job acting right there.
Definitely! This idea came from something you were doing called, “Two Sides.” What made you decide to tell, Orlando “Baby Lane” Anderson’s side and not the 2Pac side?
Glasses Malone: I think everyone told the 2Pac story. There was a whole film in the movie theatre that did $60-$70-million dollars. Shout out to, Benny Boom and LT Hutton. But they have a whole film that tells his story. They have documentaries that tell his story. His story is so prevalent and it’s such a mainstream thing as this point, so that’s not hip-hop to tell his story at this point. That’s pop culture. That’s a pop icon at this point. The version of 2Pac… I would have to go into a whole other realm of stuff to talk about the hip-hop version of 2Pac. The man that was 2Pac and not the legend of him. And it wouldn’t be that event. It would have to be something else. The hip-hop version of 2Pac, if I had to tell a 2Pac story that would still be a hip-hop version, I would probably talk about the whole rape case. I would probably talk about that night. If I was to do a story and it would still be considered hip-hop in the realm of 2Pac’s life, it would probably be the night in question about the rape. I feel like that’s a very hip-hop underground thing where it’s like, that thin line of coercion and being a playa versus that kind of rape that 2Pac was charged with. I still feel like that is a very hip-hop underground topic. That would be something I would focus on if I did something like that, but I probably wouldn’t.
You mentioned the legend of 2Pac versus the man. When you’re discussing a “Two Sides” type situation, I think about, Conrad Murray. No one cares about his aftermath because Michael Jackson was such an icon and music mogul. So, I understand what you’re saying when you tackle the other side of what happened to 2Pac which was “Baby Lane.”
Glasses Malone: That’s a really great idea for, “Two Sides.” (Laughing), that’s a really great idea because that’s the kind of thing that I’m talking about where humanity values one person’s life so much more than the other. And I totally understand. There are situations like, Jeffrey Dahmer. We are talking about somebody who is just really totally off his rocker. Something is disconnected. But let’s say, Conrad Murray, that’s special because, I could imagine how much pressure was on him about, Michael Jackson and his whole situation. How he felt about medicine, sleeping through using anesthesia. Then to be blamed later for something that, Mike was doing before you and was going to do after you. It’s a rough thing because we love, Michael Jackson the pop icon so much that we don’t even care about the human being that’s involved. It’s his fault. That’s definitely a very hip-hop take. Yeah, that’s actually a really good “Two Sides.” I might have to give you idea credit for that. That’s fire.
I know the goal was to impact hip-hop, but diving into a project like this, you had to want to accomplish something in terms of an endgame. Do you feel like you were able to do that?
Glasses Malone: I think years from now, what I’m trying to accomplish, it will be accomplished more down the line. I set out to humanize both characters. Humanizing, “Baby Lane” who I felt was villainized and demonized for being a product of our environment. I’m not a demon. I’m a human, so I know he’s one as well. To humanize 2Pac, who at this point had ascended to a God-like status. They talk about him like he didn’t walk the earth and wasn’t a human being. Like he’s above that in value in life and to disvalue other people. So, to really humanize such a mainstream disaster. To being human element into it, bring emotion into it; not just anger, but embarrassment and vulnerability. I don’t think there has ever been vulnerability shown on the other side. I think it’s always just been, oh, this person was broke. This person hated 2Pac. He was a hater; he was broke, and he wanted to steal a chain. No, these guys were hustlers. Growing up, they were probably the richest gang in Compton.
You told me about this idea probably back in October. And I called you crazy and then you explained it to me. P, what if 7 people jump you right now, how would you react? And it made sense to me then.
Glasses Malone: Let’s be honest, the reason people are upset is because, I’m making them consider something that they never considered. They have to consider what would they do if it happened to them. Who wants to do that when, 2Pac is involved?
What can we expect in the near future from, Glasses Malone?
Glasses Malone: The rabbit hole that somebody who is following me is going to go down, is probably going to be the most… my next 24-months of content will probably be the scariest thing that has happened to the industry in a long time.
When you say scary what do you mean?
Glasses Malone: Honest! Authenticity. Uncut. Very bold and a lot of the thing’s music has gotten away from. A lot of it is very bold and unapologetic. I think it’s going to be something to see. To watch the world, have to react to it. Shout out to everybody who has checked out the song and video. If you didn’t give it a chance the first time, I hope eventually you give it a chance. You zone in for the experience, it’s pretty life altering. It will definitely make you look at the hip-hop culture in a really unique perspective and show you what’s missing.