Brooklyn native Torae has been navigating the underground rap circuit since the mid-'90s. Fast-forward to 2013 and he's a 31-year-old father, still without a record deal. But that hasn't hindered his creative flow and passion: "I’m out here busting my hump, I’m bringing my kid with me to interviews," he tells Fuse. Watch the interview about Torae's newest mixtape, Admission of Guilt, and read highlights below.
On Pharoahe Monch Collabo “What’s Love”:
Getting Pharoahe on the project wasn’t as hard as people may think. I burned a CD and was like, “Yo, when you get a chance, pop this in, I want to get your opinion.” He’s like, “No doubt, I’ll check it out.” When he hit me [back], he said, “Yo this record is incredible.” And I was like, “I really want you on it.” And he was like, “Say no more.”
On Proving Himself in Hip Hop:
I’m the most known unknown [rapper]... I’ve been on numerous tours, I get stopped in the street and people know me. But I still feel like I’m invisible when I’m in the room. You would be amazed at the type of comments I get. Like, “Yo! Such and such just got signed! You’re way nicer!” Um, thanks? What do I do with that information? I’m out here busting my hump. I’m trying to write the best rhymes imaginable; I’m bringing my kid with me to interviews. And then some guy who started rapping a year ago just got a $5 million deal. I guess it’s who I am in the business. I’m constantly working to change that, but I’m also cool with where I am in hip hop.
On His Legacy:
You don’t want to go to an art gallery and see the same picture on the wall. You want to see a beautiful spectrum of work, colors, feelings and vibes. That’s what I want my catalogue to be when I’m done. I want you to be able to listen to the joints for any type of emotions that you’re feeling. As human beings, we all go through highs, lows, love, death, anger, hurt, despair, happiness, all these things, right? Music should reflect that.