“I am phenomenal!”
Gay rapper Last O also tells Marc Andrews that he doesn’t care if other rappers are homophobic because, “I shit on a good three-fourths of them!”
DNA: Give us a quick walk through of your musical background. LastO: I used to hate rap, but ended up coming to love it. My brother was a rapper and the first one to introduce me to recording music. I took his introduction and ran with it. There was never a question as to whether I would lie about who I was in my music; I knew I was going to let it all hang out. I had read a piece on [gay rapper] Caushun, so I knew there was at least one out there. In 2008, I found a whole slew of other gay rappers and that’s when I got the gumption to really press forward with it. What’s the story behind the name LastO? Originally I went by Last Offence, but I never loved that to death. I started working with a… let’s just call him an image consultant… and he didn’t like it either. By this point, I was on Twitter and my handle was just “LastO”. We decided I had done a lot of dirt as Last Offence and so a complete name change would look stupid. He suggested I run with the Twitter handle and keep it pushing and I agreed. On Facebook, you describe yourself as “another rap phenomenon bubbling beneath the surface of the mainstream”. Why? If the world were my mine I would always keep shit short and sweet: LastO – a dope nigga who raps. All that extra shit is for everyone else because that’s the way they are used to seeing things. However, I do feel that I am phenomenal and underground. Who were your musical idols growing up? I had a 2Pac poster on my wall, but my musical inspirations were Biggie, Jay-Z, Eminem, Foxy Brown, Ludacris and 8ball. I never had a crush on a celebrity. I guess sometimes you touch yourself when looking at pictures of a celebrity, but I don’t know if that could be considered a crush [laughs]. When did you come out? Around graduation from high school. I had two phases of coming out. First there was the admission to my mother, later on I gave it to everyone else. Were you bullied as a child? Only by my brother… the rapper! He knew I was gay so he was trying to beat it out of me. Still, there was a bright side – my brother’s ass whoopings prepared me for
my father’s ass whoopings! So later on in life when my father would beat my ass, I never cried. I just sat there and waited until it was over. What age did you start rapping? In my twenties. Rap music signifies a lot of ignorant bullshit, backward thinking and mindless capitalism, however, my music, which ironically happens to be rap, is the bee’s knees [laughs]. The rap community hasn’t been welcoming of gays. Are you here to change that? No. I would say I’m here to make the rap community even less welcoming of gays because I shit on a good three-fourths of them. I’m sure they aren’t going to welcome that at all [laughs]. Did Frank Ocean’s coming out make any significant change in the rap world? No, except it gave them a new punchline. I love Frank Ocean and what he did, but he is not a rapper. He has rapped before, but he’s an R&B singer so the door doesn’t close when he comes out. I think the R&B world was ready. Do you feel you’re making a difference by standing up as gay in the rap word? I wish I could say yes, but I am not that optimistic. We are entertainers and hopefully someone was entertained. That’s the primary goal. What is your grand master plan? Hollywood is filled with illuminati celebrities, so if I can just become a celebrity I can get my illuminati ID and help rule the world [laughs]. If that doesn’t work out, I just want to always be able to do art. I plan to be great. The greatest me I can be. Eventually I will have a cause I want to fight for. There are political issues in America that someone needs to stand against and I don’t just mean equality for gays. Who do you rate in the world of music at the moment? [Ponders] I don’t know. When you start making your own music, you don’t listen to the other artists as much. It’s a side effect of the process. I haven’t had a chance to get deep into anyone lately. It would be nice to have Rihanna sing a hook. What do we need to know about your debut album, Where’s Vivian? Recording the album uplifted me and made me excited about rapping again. I just wanted to stop trying so hard. I had done too much trying in my music for a little too long. There was music I made where I was actually trying to be “gayer”. It hurts me to admit that and see it in writing. Admit your weaknesses and grow past them. What kind of man are you attracted to? I like nerdy, goofy dudes who read books and, yes, I am attached at present. What qualities do you look for in a partner? I like for them to be liberal-minded. I don’t have any pet hates, but if you would be late on rent to buy a new jacket or if you waited in a day-long line for the new iPhone then we probably wouldn’t work out [laughs]. more: lasto.bandcamp.com or find him on Facebook and Twitter. Where’s Vivian is available through SolRay Records on iTunes.