Interview with Chad Clark

I’m trying to remember how that song goes. The first line in that song is “The leash is loose enough to feel like autonomy,” which is a line from my Dad, actually, and I feel that’s a really important thing to observe: They let you go as far as you want around the pen, but you’re still on a leash. I think that’s a lot of the way it works in a lot of the industry surrounding entertainment and art made by, or for, black people. There’s a lot of poison in that industry. It alienates me and it disappoints me and I wanted to put it into a song and I wanted to use a little bit of – I love Tribe Called Quest, I love De La Soul, I love a lot of hip-hop; as much as I’m dissing it right now, it means so much to me, it’s really important to me, so I wanted to use — there’s a little bit of a Trojan Horse model of dissent. The Trojan Horse model of dissent is really a big thing about Beauty Pill. That’s a lot of what’s going on. I wanted to adopt the language and some of the sonorities of hip-hop and the flow of speech and some of these things that I love and be like, “Yo, I’m disappointed. You should know that you’re letting me down. You should know that there’s people out there that you’re letting me down. ”I want hip-hop to have higher aspirations in terms of social impact. If you’re Method Man or Jay-Z or P-Diddy, you have the world’s ear. You have the world’s attention. You have this massive platform and the first thing you’re going to step up and talk about is how nice your white limousine is? You’ve got everybody’s attention, all spotlights are on you, selling millions of records, idolized by tons of young people, and this is what you’re gonna say. You’ve lifted yourself out of whatever abject circumstance that you grew up in and now everybody’s attention is on you and you’ve got nothing better to say? It’s fucked up.