Towards the end of my senior year of high school I did what any would do in my situation. I went to see the legendary Devin The Dude at 7th St. Entry on a school night. Little did I know that Devin had his own chapter of his Coughee Brothaz Crew in Minneapolis. And the first to represent the crew looking out into the piffed out crowd was a guy named Metasota, or Meta for short. At the end of the show my friends and I were as excited as any high school smokers who had just seen Devin The Dude, but really were thinking "that guy Meta is from Minnesota?"
Someone who made his name as a battle rapper from St. Paul Central, and made a close friend over the internet in fellow former key-styler Ab-Soul, Meta has spent the better part of the past five years as one of the Twin Cities' best all around rappers. A fact I tried my best to document on my last internet writing home, Be Scene Mpls. It was a no-brainer to feature him as soon as he had some new music, which today is a Myke Shevy directed video, a response to Drake's "Wu-Tang Forever."
As personable and ready to share his opinions as any rapper you'll meet, last night Meta and I chopped it up over the phone about the impact of Wu-Tang and how they inspired him to have no "filler bars," and of course his opinion of Drake's version.
The song is obviously inspired by Drake’s "Wu Tang Forever," if that’s what you want to call it. I thought it was kind of a troll move on Drake’s part, what did you think about the song?
I actually kind of thought the same thing. [Pauses] Yeah, I thought he was just trolling on Wu-Tang fans basically, you know what I’m saying? He says Wu-Tang once, the song has nothing to do with them or the impact they made, or even a homage to them. It was all about a female. I wouldn’t have really had a problem with it, but he had to call it that. This is coming from someone who used to get their Wu-Tang membership mail as a teenager, it was real for me.
And thats what you talk about in the song, from the slang, to the identity to the style, you were obviously inspired by them
I was just a big fan. Everything they were about. It was more than just the music, it was the persona they had. There was nothing like them before that. Or after that. I read an interview with the guy who shot the cover for the 36 Chambers album saying when he first saw them that they basically bum-rushed the stage and started rocking it, and won over the crowd. Thats the type of energy that I love. I just thought that song didn’t match that, and I wanted to do my part. And I wanted to use the same beat. I figured if the beat was used properly because the beat was hard [laughs], once you see the video and see how dark it is, you’ll see, it fits.
Why do you think they made such an impact they did? Do you still see any their influence now?
Nothing sounded like them before. Their impact was immediate and it was big because it was just so different. It was a big crew of people who all could’ve been solo artists if they wanted to. But had this idea as a group, and they were a real group. Even on the [36 Chambers] album cover you can see it wasn’t about them individually. They had the masks on. Growing up I didn’t even know what they looked like until I started watching their videos. The music transcended who they were, marketing-wise or even musically. I look at TDE, like their doing the same format that Wu Tang did. They all are individuals but then it’s also all about the group and promoting. And you’re starting to see that more now with ASAP, or Pro Era.
What about their influence on your own individual rapping style?
My lyrics. That kind of influenced me to want to be cerebral. It’s one thing to know how to rap. But I thought that if I was in a cipher, would I want it to mean anything or just be a bunch of clever rhymes on top of each other? It influenced me to just not have filler bars, that’s the best way to put it. That’s what I strive for.
What have you been working on lately?
I’m trying to pull this Black Friday project together right now. I took a break and then just started recording again. Just back in the mode of real-rapid fire getting it done, which I’m used to. I also have an album in the works with no set date yet. But I wanted to still be able to put out music, to put something out for the people that want to hear it, and for myself.
After H.I.P 1 & 2 and Meta May, I’m sure it will be nice to have the album to work on free of time constraints
Right. I know I can make songs quick like a lot of people do. It’s cool, and I don’t think it takes anything from the song. But now I have the chance to really sit down with it and try to create something. I think I can make one of the best projects out so, that’s the goal.
What can you say about [director of video] Myke Shevy? Your previous work with him had a really cinematic feel.
Oh yeah absolutely, and the C.R.E.A.M Dreams video for Greg, that was incredible. But yeah, he just doesn’t think like regular people. And I mean that in the best way possible. His creativity is off the charts, and the one of the many things I admire about him is that he’s a true renaissance man. He can rap, he can sing, he makes beats, he does photography, he does video editing and audio engineering, he plays saxophone, [laughs] and he’s really good at all of them you know what I’m saying? He’s talented like that and it’s really rare to meet someone like that so when you do, you gotta make sure you keep that kind of talent and energy around you.