Questions and introduction by Dan-O
Answers by Wally Clark
One of my favorite jokes in 2021 is I get invited to an event. Someone wants to put on music and vaguely recalls that I am connected to it. When asked to put on something my hands immediately search for Wally Clark before the bluetooth connects to the speaker. Let’s see how they handle this. From Banned From All Bars in February all the way through GOON in November I used Wally’s music as a gauge for the room. Who says they love rap but just likes their one superstar? Whose eyebrows are going to go crazy when they catch their first one liner? His dense deadpan punchlines are a huge part of my 2021. I’m very glad he honored me with an interview about his new album GOON on Tuff Kong Records.
Q- I saw that you started GOON in 2017 created, scrapped, and created more until you got this set of nine songs. What was the evaluative criteria for cutting those tracks? Any deluxe edition possibilities there?
A-Flu and I started working together after I released Fighting Words. He was actually the one that inspired me to reach out to Eto, which led to me producing The Circle. He also, put me on to Farmabeats and Hobgoblin, leading me to make the albums Banned From All Bars and Bully.
We recorded a bunch of songs early on, and then we went through a period where we weren’t talking to each other that much. When he came back around, he said he had been going through some things and now with a clearer head, he wasn’t feeling the beats he had given me and wanted to start over to try to make the best project possible. He also kept accidentally using beats I had written to for other artists lol. So the song Friend In Need off of BFAB and Bark On Em from Cocaine Dreams were originally over Flu beats. I probably wouldn’t expect the old stuff to come out, but I’m glad we got it all together and made a great final product.
Q- GOON is a fun listen and that’s important in a rap world that can take itself way too seriously BUT I do hope the serious parts of this album get recognized. On Pro Bono you compare drug dealing against other occupations and it’s really dope. “I never had a problem with my karma, are you kidding me? All the priests and cardinals that like to fondle on the kiddie D. I think I’m probably good in God’s eyes, I ain’t a rapist plus the cops killing unarmed kids get paid vacations.” When you’re writing a song like Pro Bono do the one liner’s lead you to this kind of analysis or does this point ground the song and the rest grows out of it? Is it all a mix?
A-Honestly, I don’t really ever have a plan when I’m writing unless it is a sad relationship song that I need to get out. All of the punchlines tend to just come to me in the moment. I will think of the end first usually. Like I will decide I want to make a reference to Parks and Recreation because I was watching it and then write the leading rhyme to go with the reference. With Pro Bono, I wanted to write something nihilistic. Something saying “Fuck the world,” but in my own not typical rapper minded way.
Q- Robbin Season is another favorite of mine. When you said “That’s just who I am goon and a jerk. If my girl wants a purse, I’ll take your Dooney and Burke,” I really lost it. GOON has a lot of great lines about ‘inappropriate’ parts of our reality that people want to ignore. Which do you think is a bigger temptation for an up-and-coming MC: becoming the hero of their songs or becoming Rambo in their songs?
A-I think most up and coming rappers just want to be seen. I think the majority of people in general want to be seen. Even someone like Mach Hommy who covers his face, is using that as an image. Or Nems who is doing the villain thing, but always has a camera on him. I’ve always been a big, intimidating sort of figure who women gravitate to. But no one seems to want to take my picture lol. I don’t find being a hero in music particularly interesting, although I am in real life. I have a hero complex. There is a lot of crazy shit going on in my neighborhood and I’m always jumping in. I love beating up bullies and creeps. Especially when they fuck with women.
A-I’m never particularly satisfied with the response I get because I put so much information in my material, that I often don’t feel like people are absorbing what I’m doing. I keep waiting for there to be a breakthrough where I feel like the audience truly gets what I am doing. But I am appreciative when people like yourself listens and quotes lines because that’s really what I’m aiming for. I wish I was just a little younger because I think I would understand internet marketing better. Because I feel like if I could find my audience, then I would feel better about all the effort I’ve put in. It’s been a hard couple of years because it’s just been me in a new city sitting in a room by myself. But I’m thankful for what I have accomplished so far.
Q- If I had to pick one line that (for me) is the attitude of GOON it would be the last line on Easy Peasey “I do a whole show with my cock in my hand, hit the promoter for the dough then blow this popsicle stand.” The world-weary frustrated humor you bring to all your forms of income makes the album truly cinematic. How did Flu’s production influence the mood of your writing and the theme of this album?
A- Flu was the first producer that I ever worked with. In the past I had always produced everything myself. Working with him ushered in what I would describe as my “dark phase.” Before that, I was sampling Soul songs and making songs about chasing ass. But then I met my wife and so I stopped the macking, and started writing about some of the more illicit things that we do for money. Flexing with Tone Et, Bully with Hobgoblin, Cocaine Dreams with Evan Blocker, Banned From All Bars with Farma and GOON with Flu are all from the same mindstate of me trying to express that world-weary frustration you mentioned. My new material I’ve been working on is a bit of both. My wife left me, so it looks like I’m back to being a sleazebag chasing tail. I’ve been sampling a lot of foreign records so there is some interesting beats. I also have a psychedelic rock inspired album I did on DMT like 6 years ago that I’m gonna finally put out.