Hodgy Beats Opens Up About Fatherhood and Preferring Solitude
Hodgy Beats talks marriage, singing and listening to Yo Gabba Gabba! with his son Trent.
Hodgy Beats prefers being by himself. As if his song and video “Alone” didn’t make that clear enough, he admits that he prefers to live on his own so he can talk to himself. But as the most prolific member of Odd Future with the most appearances on Odd Future Tape Vol. 2, three solo mixtapes, albums with Left Brain as MellowHype and a collaboration with Domo Genesis called MellowHigh, he’s actually got a lot to say. On his way to brunch (where he ordered pancakes, scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon and orange juice) Hodgy is open and candid discussing marriage, singing and listening to Yo Gabba Gabba! with his son Trent.
Mass Appeal: Hey Hodgy.
Hodgy Beats: Sup lady?
MA: Nothing much. Where are you right now?
HB: I’m in California driving to eat brunch at The Pantry Cafe with a friend. I’ve never been, but I heard it’s good.
MA: What’re you working on these days?
HB: A lot of stuff. I’m actually a song or two away from finishing MellowHigh, trying to decide if it’ll be a mixtape or if I want to sell it. It’s more a group decision, though. We’ve had multiple sit-downs already and spoken about it, so we just kind of want to see what it is or where we are. I am working on a solo [project] right now, too. It’ll follow both of the Untitled EPs, but I don’t know when it’s going to come out. Sometime next year.
MA: Can you tell me how “Heartofthetitty” came about?
HB: [Laughs] Yes. At first I was going to release a free EP. The project was going to be called Jigga and it was just going to be me over all of his signature beats that I like or the songs that were pretty big, or just songs throughout his career really. Jay Z’s like the Dumbledore of rap. I kind of reneged on it because I got other shit to work on, so it was just like a cool idea. I recorded three tracks, so I released one.
MA: Why don’t you title your EPs?
HB: I don’t believe that I should be titled anything. You know how people try and put you in a stereotype or some shit? Well I’m against that. People feel entitled to things in the world, I feel the totally opposite way.
MA: What does Hodgy mean?
HB: My cousin had that name, so I don’t know whatever the fuck reason he had it for, but the story behind it was that it was his artist name and he was a rapper/poet or whatever the fuck and I was like seven or six when he brought me into his basement and was like, “Yo, you should sit here and read this rap just like I’m rapping it right now.” So he rapped it and I was like, “Okay.” He told me to keep doing it over and over and I just sat there for like six hours until the rap sounded exactly the way he said it. Afterwards I was like, “Damn, this is tight.” He’s like, “You should start writing.” I was like, “Writing? Alright, whatever.” I picked it up and I just stole that nigga’s name.
MA: It seems like you’re the most prolific member of Odd Future.
HB: I just like to work, yo. It’s fun to me. I don’t know, maybe I just like to hear myself or something. I think it’s really cool to just be able to make different sounds that don’t sound exactly like the last song that I created.
MA: So how do you constantly switch it up?
HB: I normally work on two things at once, or three sometimes. It depends on the situation. I have ADD really bad so I like to multitask. Like right now I’m on the phone when I’m driving and I’m looking at directions also.
MA: Do you ever sing?
HB: Yeah, I sing a lot. I actually started singing before I was even rapping. It was kinda crazy. That’s actually going to happen more now. I guess I was just like, “Fuck it.” I’m over hearing all these fucking melodies and no one’s singing them, so I just decided to start. If I could do it, why not? It’s music.
MA: What do you think of being a dad? How has it changed you?
HB: That shit is crazy! I mean, just watching him grow and all that, being away, I think me and him have developed a connection early. I feel as if he understands the whole situation, like, my job, what I’m doing, why I’m gone. When I’m gone I see him on Skype. My mom will Skype and I just let him know every time I talk to him, “I’m at work, I’ll be home soon, I love you.” He’s like [switches to a kids voice], “Daddy at work!” He understands. He just knows.
MA: Have you learned anything about parenting from your parents?
HB: Shit. My dad left early, I learned not to do that. My mom was married a lot, I learned not to do that. I really grew up with my mom so I grew through all of her mistakes. I was her first child. She had me at 24, so she actually put me through her life. I mean, throughout my whole childhood, which consisted of her sisters and brothers and everyone else around her that supported her, but was also doing the wrong things. I used to go to my dad’s house and shit, my grandmother’s house. It was just in the hood, I mean shit, my mom’s fam when I was a child and growing up was just fucked up.
MA: So you don’t want to get married?
HB: Nope, I’m never getting married. Marriage is for suckers and it has too many other people involved that have nothing to do with the marriage. Like the law, like “God,” like the people that are attending the wedding. Fuck all that. I’m good. If two people decide to be together forever, ok you can have a ceremony, I’ll buy you a ring or whatever, but I’m not signing a fucking paper because it’s stupid. And I’m not swearing to God at all.
MA: Do you believe in God?
HB: I believe in a higher power, but my higher power has no name. I just believe that if it’s so high and so powerful then you shouldn’t even be able to identify it. You shouldn’t be able to give it a name. Giving it a name is giving it ownership or damn near in my mind. I think the world got it all fucked up.
MA: Does Trent (Hodgy’s son) like you’re music?
HB: I normally just play beats for him unless it’s a nice song.
MA: What music does he like?
HB: He loves Yo Gabba Gabba!
MA: What do you think of kids music?
HB: I think it’s awesome. More artists should listen to kids music. It just gives them the fundamentals by demonstrating the good formation of melodies. The songs are really catchy and easy to stick in your head. I listen to a lot of that shit and I believe I’ve gotten better.
MA: What’s your favorite?
HB: I fuck with the Yo Gabba Gabba! It’s amazing. That’s why he’s rich as shit right now.
MA: Do you have a favorite TV show?
HB: I don’t watch TV. Is that weird? They say families that watch TV four hours a night, by the time they die they’ve watched TV for 11 years. I’m good. I’d rather sit in my living room and play Call of Duty.
Listening to someone make beats or listening to a beat that I want to write to, while my friends and I are smoking and I’m playing a video game, it’s like really working your mind. I love it. I work out of home now.
MA: Do you share your house with anyone?
HB: Nope. I don’t get along with people a lot. I’m an introvert. It’s not even that I don’t get along with people, but I prefer to be alone. I like having my privacy — being able to talk to myself.
MA: Is that also why you’re not so big on social media.
HB: Yeah, nah. That shit bullshit. I always get caught in my head on it like, “Wait, who the fuck am I typing for? Wait, why do I have a hundred and something thousand people following me?” Like, “Oh shit. These people are watching me type this? I’m probably typing some stupid shit. Who cares?” I care, so whatever. I’d rather just not even be on it. I’d rather be a ghost on that shit and all you really can do is see me in a music video or on MTV or some shit like that. It’s a thing to work towards. I don’t need a Twitter or fucking Instagram right now. It’s not helping me get it.