Silk Animus is a rap artist on the rise as he is currently on tour with Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers. Based from Sacramento, California, Silk Animus brings eclectic and exploratory rap music to the table.
Silk Animus! Before anything else, a big thank you for doing this with us! So let’s dive in, share with TREMG readers your background and what got you into rap music.
I grew up on a prairie, I spent many a young teenage day swiping a bottle of Tylenol PM and going out to the brink of our property limits. There, I would read an installment from A Series of Unfortunate Events and write rhymes in my notebook and until the heroic dose took effect, and I would fall asleep for a few hours only to wake up groggy and walk back to the house. I cannot say quite “why” I became a rapper because I had such little sense of self when I started, I was not close to being a complete person. I can say that it is the one thing that I started and never stopped doing, and will never stop. It is the best art form, and I am lucky that it exists.
What are your music and/or writer influences that helped shape your rap career?
My style grew up and raised itself from the now-defunct Hellfyre Club. Open Mike Eagle, Busdriver, R.A.P Ferreira are all instrumental in giving me my own slice of originality. Billy Woods and Elucid, both solo and as the duo Armand Hammer are also vital influences and currently making the best music on the planet. I also carry writers like Sylvia Plath, James Baldwin, David Foster Wallace, and Herman Melville with me all the time. Moby Dick is a huge influence.
There seems to be a blurred line when it comes to this genre of rap, many call it art rap, jazz rap, underground or experimental rap, how would you describe your style of music?
I sort of hate prefacing my music at this point, let’s just call it hip hop. I am a rapper, and I make rap music. I don’t know how to classify my favorite artists. They are “underground” but that doesn’t give any quality to the music. So, I am a rapper and making rap music is my craft. But I guess I’d call it abstract or experimental or lo-fi, if I was coerced under threat.
Where do you get your creativity from when writing songs?
I have no idea where my creativity comes from, possibly from the experiences related above (i.e. sitting alone in a field eating sleepy time medicine). I grew up spending a lot of time by myself, and I think that shows a lot of itself in my music because outsider art is the only art I’ve known how to make. Sometimes I wish I could sell out a little, but I don’t know how. “Beautiful Loser” is the closest I’ve gotten, but I have no idea how to replicate that and would prefer not to anyway. At this point creativity comes from habit or pieces of me, like I know very little else. I can split firewood, I can build a fence, and I can write rap songs.
Which is your favorite project you’ve worked on so far?
I do not have a favorite project as of yet, I can do better. I hope I never have a favorite project, I love and hate everything I have ever done with equanimity.
When did you realize your platform began growing?
I gained more hope when Hobo first approached me about starting a label and wanting to release a project from lil ol’ me on it. I knew that this relationship would be much more substantial for me professionally than anything I had ever been able to swing, because I’ve never really networked with anybody else. I stuck with my sincerity, and it’s paying off slowly. I wouldn’t recommend it for anybody else, It’s a hell of a gamble. But if you have no other choice within you, make deranged art that is true to yourself and have no back up plan.
You went on tour with another Sacramento-based rapper Hobo Johnson! Do you have an interesting story from that tour?
I don’t have an interesting story per se, the whole week was a highlight for my life. But there was one day where I decided to smoke some weed, which I don’t usually smoke anymore, and I got pretty weird within myself inside that RV. I sat there reading a Nabokov book for two hours, and once we stopped, I proclaimed to nobody in particular, “I did not retain a single thing I just read.” I don’t know how interesting that is to anybody, but it is very funny to myself that I sat there for two hours flipping pages and seemingly reading the words with my whole hope during the duration being to appear normal. So I don’t smoke weed very often. Also, me and James went to the last Blockbuster.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
I would like to reanimate Herman Melville and work on a comprehensive guide to whales with him, he would go nuts over the info we have now. I also want to write a script with Todd Solondz, and I want to release a project on Backwoodz Studios and rap with Billy Woods if this ever finds its way to him.
And lastly, do you have anything you want to share with our readers?
I’m going to be on tour again with Hobo Johnson and his band full of sweet boys along with Nat Lefkoff who also seems like a sweet boy, and if anybody in Baton Rouge has an air boat, please contact me. The same goes to anybody in a state with relaxed gun laws and a private gun range, I would like to yell “pull” and decimate a clay pigeon. Also, listen to my music because I have nothing else. Thank you.
Silk Animus will be on tour with Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers October 6th to November 11th.