Decked out in an Adidas tank, gold grill, and beaded chains complete with a silver elephant pendant, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire introduces himself to the world in his video for "Huzzah." It has over 250,000 views on Youtube, and he has already been called the next Notorious B.I.G. by fellow weirdo Detroit rapper Danny Brown.
eXquire is obviously making no effort to censor himself, with a name that requires asterisks in most contexts. Even though he was recently signed to a one-million-dollar record deal with Universal, the New York native has no intentions of adapting to mainstream success criteria.
"It shouldn't change me. I don't think it's going to be an issue. I think the world is kinda ready for what I do," the burly, clever eXquire told me in a recent interview. And what he does is certainly compelling. He referred to his first video, the aforementioned "Huzzah," as a satire, a sort of exaggerated representation of his daily life. It features 40 oz. malt liquors, a massive, shaking posterior, and a pretty fantastic demon mask. The reason the video is so compelling is that eXquire unabashedly welcomes us into his world the moment he appears. He seems personable, wily, and mischievous all at once as he describes drunk driving and orgies.
In an era where national success is predicated on videos going viral, it should come as no surprise that eXquire is quickly blowing up. Besides his monumental signing with Universal, a mere fraction of A$AP Rocky's deal earlier this year, eXquire is working on an album set for release next year and is heading on tour in June.
Rap music is at such an interesting juncture, at which being superfluous, wacky, and self-aware is as compelling as the thug image used to be. Not to say that that is fading anytime soon, but rappers like eXquire, Danny Brown, and Odd Future each bank off their uniqueness and penchant for debauchery. But what is even more fascinating is to hear honesty in eXquire's lyrics.
"I don't really have an image. What you see is who I am," eXquire confidently declared. He was a journalism student at the University of Albany, before dropping out to pursue rap as a viable career. It is a form of stress release for him, a therapeutic process in which he engages on a weekly basis with his group of friends.
"Every Sunday we all get together and watch sports and make music and just drink beer," the rapper seemingly described a life of leisure. eXquire's laidback vibe is infectious, and when he rips through his lyrics with lackadaisical glee, it's easy to believe what he's saying.
After we discussed our mutual appreciation of Blaxploitation films, eXquire revealed that he is as excited as I am for the midnight premier of The Avengers on Thursday. He sounded overjoyed about the prospect of watching a Marvel superheroes movie marathon in theaters leading up to the premier, but quickly realized he didn't have time for it all. Oh, the price of success.
The sincere excitement with which he talked about movies and the crowds at his earliest live shows painted a childlike, star-eyed image of the doughy MC. eXquire is a guy with a soul of integrity that belies the obscenities of his name and videos. The future of rap is in the hands of people like him, who can transform snapshots of their daily lives into unforgettable videos that catch the nation's eye. According to eXquire, it's a simple mixture of reality and hyperbole. "We just put fat asses in it so people would watch," he said of "Huzzah." It's an effective strategy, but the words that emerge from eXquire's gold-encrusted mouth linger long after the rumps stop shaking.