Cazwell Talks About Uncut Latin Dick… and Music: The New Gay Interview
Gay NYC rapper Cazwell might be best known for songs about cumming on your face or buying fast food for Beyonce, but he’s got a lot more going on than just raunchy rhymes. Most importantly, he will be performing at the Black Cat tomorrow night as part of TNG’s “Transformer: Halloween Edition” retro dance party. But beyond that he throws a number of nightlife events around New York City, wrote the song “Sex That I Need” for Avenue D, is friends with Amanda LePore, and a very nice guy.
And, yeah, he did talk about uncut Latin dick when I caught up with him at his publicist’s office this summer, but I’ll let you figure out the context of it yourself.
TNG Zack: What is the typical Cazwell interview like? I want to avoid asking you any of its questions today.
Cazwell: Thanks for asking. The typical interview has a lot to do with being gay and the difficulties of being gay rapping and stuff like that. I like it when people are actually interested in the recording process. That’s what I really love to do. That’s what I think about all the time. I got asked a question for HX Magazine, “What is it like being a part of gay hip hop?” I want to say I’m not hip hop. I don’t think of myself as being that.
When I first started, I was in a group called Moreplay and I lived in Boston and I wanted was to be accepted as a part of hip hop. I came to the conclusion that hip hop culture doesn’t want anything to do with gay culture. I just came to the realization and acceptance that straight guys in hip hop don’t really roll with gay guys. It doesn’t matter how talented I am. It’s not going to happen and I’m OK with that. Once I let go of that I was able to be more creative. I know a lot of gay rappers that really consider themselves hip hop and want to be accepted by hip hop producers, and my point of view is, “Why bother? Why spend all my time and energy trying to make a culture who hasn’t acknowledged my existence for the past twenty years accept me?” If I stop thinking about what people expect from me and just do what I want to do, then I have more of an opportunity to create a new sound.
TNG: Well that answers every single gay question I was going to ask you. What is this new sound you’re trying to create?
C: I guess the new sound I’m loving is just a couple songs on the newer album, like “Get My Money Back,” I really love it. My new album, which will come out in a year, is really inspired by nightlife in NYC. Everyone is doing songs that are 130 beats per minute, as opposed to 100 BPM. That mixes well on the dance floor… I can’t say what the sound is, but I think that I’ll be doing more singing than just rapping.
TNG: Do you sing?
C: Yeah, but I use that thing called autotune. (laughter) Yeah, I can’t sing, but when has that prevented anyone from having a music career?
TNG: What kind of guys come to the parties that you throw?
C: Gay ones
TNG: What kind of gay ones?
C: All types, its not like ’92 when you needed some pieced together look to get in the door.
TNG: Is there a dominant kind of New York homo?
C: What do you mean?
TNG: I’m coming from DC where there is a lot of button-up, A list types and the outliers seem to be few and far between.
C: We have that too. That’s Chelsea. I live in the East Village; that’s more laid back and dirty. In Brooklyn, people wear the same jeans for two weeks, they go to Metropolitan and drink beer. That’s why I came to New York. When I lived in Boston, there was the Boston gay and that’s it. When I moved here, there were hip hop gays and trendy gays and fashion gays. There’s all different kinds.
TNG: How do they react to your music? Does one kind of gay like you best?
C: Not everyone likes me, that’s for sure. People certainly don’t like me because they’re gay and I’m gay; it doesn’t work out like that. A lot of people don’t get the humor of the “Beyonce” song, and some think it’s the funniest thing in the world.
TNG: Speaking of, I know I tried to avoid the gay questions…
C: You can ask me anything you want!
C: How that happened was Jonny Makeup who sings the hook was in a gay rap group called VIP that I booked in [my party] Boys Room. He’s crazy. He doesn’t do drugs, he’s just in his own world. He loves to get attention. He’s drinking a Red Bull and going on this twenty minute monologue about how he met Beyonce at American Apparel. I thought it was so funny that she was actually there. I thought about where else would you see Beyonce that would be funny? I don’t know where Burger King came up. The thing is that she’s not an easy target like Britney Spears. If I said I saw her at Burger King, you’d say “So did I.”
TNG: Some of your signature songs like “Sex That I Need” or “Beyonce” seem really easy, but I’m sure there’s a really intricate process behind them. What does it take to create a song?
C: “Sex That I Need” was originally written for a drag queen. I worked as a cocktail waiter when I first moved here, and she knew I rapped. She came up to me one night and said “Cazwell, we should write a song together and perform it here.” I asked her what she liked, and she said, “Latin uncut cock,” so I wrote it about the kind of guys she liked and I talk about the kind of guys I like. I wrote it like we were going to perform it for forty people in a bar, that helped. If I [approached it] like a record, like people were going to hear it, I would’ve been more self conscious about it. It never worked out with her, but I was on the same label as Avenue D. They said “Can you write us something?” It worked out like that.
The point of this whole interview is the less you think about and the more you do what you feel is right. The best songs I ever wrote are the ones I just did for myself like I was gonna do them at a bar. Those are the ones that people bought. I’m really practicing not trying so hard.
TNG: What would your dream “raunchy female singer” collaboration be?
C: I would love to do a song with Lil’ Kim to say I did. And I would love to work with Missy, because she’s been a big inspiration for me. And Beth Ditto and Robyn. But I’m not calling Madonna back. She’s been calling me a lot, but I’m not calling her back.
TNG; Do you ever feel like your albums are just collections of singles, or is there an overarching theme?
C: This album, I feel, is is a little more of a singles collection. It [took a long period of time to make] due to drama… so it makes a lot of the songs represent different periods of time. The next album will be more conceptual and revolve around my autobiography as a gay guy in New York.
TNG: That sounds cool. And now the obligatory “Cazwell the person vs. Cazwell the artist” question: If I was going to hang out with you during the day, would you be drunk and partying and having sex all day, or are there ever times when you just want to sit on the couch and read a book?
C: I really love to sleep. It’s my favorite thing. But we might get drunk, we might have sex if I was single. But I don’t have sex all day. That’s tiring. TNG
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