Speak! is a rapper. Speak! lives in L.A.
Speak! put our sweet, innocent little intern Mariah in a phone sex commercial that he’s using to promote his new album, “Sex Quest 3.”
Speak! is nasty.
And as a self-proclaimed “ultimate sex machine” and very outspoken coital enthusiast, Speak! is just the person I wanted to talk to for this column.
I mean, the man uses sex for marketing brilliance in a way I’ve never seen, experienced nor smelled. Prime example: Instead of imitating sheeple and sending out a basic press release for “Sex Quest 3,” he’s dropping the news via a tongue-in-cheek phone sex infomercial featuring the aforementioned intern that’ll advertise a “sexy” number to call for those looking for aural pleasure. But instead of a moonlighting intern on the other line, they’ll be treated to snippets from the album.
See what I mean? Sex and the culture around it is crucial to his whole thing.
Once upon a time, he got all famous-like after co-writing Kreayshawn‘s hit “Gucci Gucci,” but despite the fact that people are sleeping with him, they’ve slept on him, and he hasn’t gotten the notoriety he deserves. Never mind that his last album was on iTunes’s Top 10 Best Sellers list. Never mind that he’s worked with Vince Staples. Never mind that he looks like Mexican Jesus but is actually Mexican Jewish and is more outspoken about sex and sex positivity than your precious Dan Savage anyday.
But, it’s all changing for Speak!. The dude is blowing up, and he’s not shy about his motivations.
“I want to some thing true to me and I want to be the best,” he told me over iced coffee that we had to trick someone into giving us. “Anyone who tells you, they don’t want to play in front of a sold-out stadium or they don’t want to be on the cover of every magazine, they’re lying.”
So, there you go. That’s your introduction to Speak! and now you know who I’m about to talk to about sex; a bone-crushingly ambitious pervert who won’t stop at anything to get to the top … except when it comes to Femdom. Then he likes the bottom.
Do I even have to say the rest is NSFW?
Let’s start off gentle. Tell me about “Sex Quest 3.” It’s coming. It’s a full-length album. It is my most ambitious body of work. It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten to do anything on the scale I’ve wanted to, both sonically and visually because I finally have the means. With artists these days, especially ones who utilize sexuality to the degree that I or someone like FKA Twigs, does, it’s not just the music, it’s the whole visual representation of what they’re doing. Now, I’m doing all that too.
What can we expect from that? How will that ambition materialize for the viewer? Before it was just me and my friends making a music video. My friend on a DSLR, “Okay, hey just stand right there. Be crazy, shake your hair and rap.” Now I would say I’m hitting my final form. I’m in my white suit phase. The complete representation of who I know I’ve been for four years is finally coming to fruition.
What do you think of artists like FKA Twigs who champion sexuality as part of their musical persona? There’s a void in culture right now for someone to be that sexual. Madonna was sexual, Lady Gaga is sexual. I saw Jill Scott live and her dancer in between songs is like hella nasty. I think people just want something to rally behind. People are always looking for someone to believe in and identify with, and everyone identifies with sex.
What is the ‘Sex Quest’ that you’ll be taking us on in this album? It’s a full album that chronicles my real life experiences. It’s not necessarily about sex even though sex is a part of it. There’s songs about family experiences, relationship experiences. It’s almost like a coming of age but in terms of adolescence. It’s the voyage from a 20-something young independent rapper into a grown man. It’s sexual maturation. Antwon is on it, if that gives you any idea of the sexiness level.
How does your audience react to your sexuality? When I look out in the audience, and I see a majority of them Latino … but they’re weird. They’re not cholos, they’re not greasers, they’re just the kids who are misunderstood, who are into Kendrick Lamar but are also into The Strokes. When the kids come to my shows, it’s like almost like a soccer match environment and the kids are like waving their flags. They’re not just like Mexican flags, but like El Salvador, like all the Latin kids have their flags up and they’re chanting and they’re waving their flags. But … I never wanted to be that that.
I’m a hedonist and I’ve always wanted to be. I never thought I, “Oh, I’m going to change the world. I’m going to be like Kendrick Lamar.” Certain artists are like, “I’m going to speak for this community.” I do this because of me. I do this because I didn’t have anyone to identify with. I was like the fucking weird kid in my hood. I grew up black Latino neighborhood but I had a fucking bowl cut. I’m Mexican Jewish kid with a bowl cut and a fucking mustache in high school and I’m fucking doing mushrooms with guys with tattoos on their face. You know what I mean? That’s why I started making things. It was my escape because I had no one to relate to.
Do you want to be a role model? No. I don’t want to be a role model. I wouldn’t mind kids maybe finding inspiration in what I do. If I could help boost some kid’s self-esteem, some kid who feels alienated and that he doesn’t belong. Whatever you want to be, if I can inspire that, I’m down with it. It gets crazy because I look back and maybe some of the earlier music I made, it’s just super offensive and shocking. Now I wouldn’t say things like that.
What kind of things were you saying? The way that I talked about sexuality was almost juvenile in a sense.
Can you recall a particular lyric? Yeah! In 2011 when I first put out my first project with Vince Staples, I said something along the lines of … It is so fucking stupid. “I got a fetish for those black girls who make their ass clap but they don’t fuck with me. My dick is extra medium.”
Oh, god. A couple of years down the line and realize how offensive it is to fetishize a black woman like that. You don’t know that those words hold so much power.
Sure, but fetishization can also be a worshiping of something. Right, but when you talk about person like I used to, you’re dehumanizing them and you’re just looking at them as a sexual object. You got to be aware of those things. Lyrically, you can push the envelope and be provocative without being offensive.
As you become more and more well known, you’ll experience more of that agenda and you’ll be asked to make bangers for da club. You’ll be collaborating with people who make ass clap booty bounce lyrics. How do you feel about that moving forward? I’m split because I am a human being, I recognize being a human being there’s multiple layers and there’s multiple dimensions to being that. Not everything can be fight the power, save the rainforest. I also realize like a lot of music is escapism and a lot of people go to clubs to shake their ass and to have a good time to get away from that shit. You got to see both sides of the coin but I will never make a song about something unless I feel a hundred percent comfortable with the topic or the way it’s delivered.
So your sound and lyrics have evolved since your earlier Sex Quests then? Whereas like my earlier stuff was more like straight up boom bop hip hop, now I’m experimenting more with song writing because I’ve developed more interests outside of just rap, rap, rap. I know how to write melody and I know how to structure bridges and like … I’ve taken that and put it over different kinds of production. The Sex Quest stuff is bangs a lot but is also shoegaze-y. Caleb Stone (producer) and I want to make real kind of heavily echoed and reverbed stuff. Imagine if like My Bloody Valentine made a rap album, it’s like that. Caleb is really inspired by Explosions in the Sky. Just like instrumental music that just builds with dreamy guitars. That’s the whole Sex Quest sound.
Lyrically, how have you progressed from a sexual standpoint from your earlier albums that were kind of like a little bit more topical? What are you talking about in terms of sex now? Now I think I’m more vulnerable. I say I’ve tapped into my inner freak. Everything is inspired by specific instances, especially the first Sex Quest I was going through like a really, really bad breakup with an on-again off-again girlfriend for the last three years. Now it’s like instead of just being like, “I’m going to fuck you all night because I’m a sex machine, blah, blah, blah,” it’s more like, “I feel like shit and this is why or I’m sad or happy.” It’s deeply personal. People are like, “Oh, Sex Quest, you’re just rapping about your dick and being a philandering fuck boy,” but this next Sex Quest is about how loving someone and losing someone could just make you physically sick and drive you insane, you know what I mean? Being in love and lust drive you insane.
What would be your advice to somebody who’s going through a breakup? Man, stay the fuck off the internet. Spend a lot of time with family. People deal with hurt and sadness or breakups different ways. Some people go and they fuck 20 girls.
Did that help you? No, only temporarily. It helps until you bust, then they leave at night or the next morning and you’re in your room alone wondering, “Oh, I wonder what my ex is doing. Let me find another girl to come over.” It’s all temporary. When you’re going through that kind of pain and sadness I think it’s like trying to fill the void with hookups, like chasing a high like a drug addict almost.
What’s your groupie situation? I have so many of them. You can tell when you’ve got a groupie when she DMs you without even saying hey or anything and just texts you her phone number. I actually can’t remember the last time I had sex with a group because I don’t like it that much. Getting blow jobs on cue is awesome but now it’s like, “I don’t know you. You don’t know anything about me or probably care about anything about me other than that I rap.” You know what I mean like, you like my music videos, you like what you hear on SoundCloud, you like my funny tweets, but you don’t even know my first name. You start to feel like the pretty girl at the club who everyone wants to fuck. I’m suddenly like a hot chick or something.
Is there a part of you that secretly loves that? I think that if I never had girls, maybe that would be like my ego. I would be really into it. But even in middle school and high school like I always dated the hottest girls. It doesn’t help that I am the ultimate sex machine. I know how to fuck (laughs).
I want to know what you mean by that. How do you know that you’re the ultimate sex machine? Because they all can’t be lying. If I’m into someone and I’m attracted to them, I want to explore every contour of their body. I want to really lick from your neck all the way down. I want to lick your legs, I want to taste you, I want to smell your sweat.
Oh, Jesus. What would you say to men who are less sensual and passionate than you? Get it together before I come and fuck the brains out of the woman you adore because if you’re not putting it down, someone else will.
How did your relationship to sex start? What made you such a sexual person? I just naturally am. I remember being aroused at a very early age, just from watching Elvira, Mistress of the Dark … I was just fixated on her breasts, how big her breasts were. I was only six or seven, but l’m just like, “Oh my god, I want some of that.” Then finding porno stashes. I didn’t go through, the “Eww this is icky” phase. I was just third grade just wanting to kiss the women in these magazines.
How did that translate into you calling your album “Sex Quest?” How did sexuality become your identity? Because when it comes to sex, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. We all do it. We all enjoy having sex. Sex is the reason we’re all here, right. Somebody fucked and you know, somebody … your parents fucked and you’re here, my parents fucked and I’m here.
Is there anything that you haven’t tried sexually but haven’t yet? I don’t know about “haven’t tried,” but … Real talk. I was talking about eating the booty a long time ago. Before I ever got popular. Women are built differently. It’s not like a guy, okay a couple pumps. Okay, that felt good. You have to be in tune to a woman’s needs and a woman’s body. Even like little things that I’ve learned like running your fingertips down her arms or like touching her in a certain way. It’s just like why wouldn’t you?
Sure. It’s like playing with balls. It’s not all you do. Bingo. If my hands are up here and I’m rubbing on your breasts and I’m licking on the clitoris or whatever, it’s only … it’s a very short trip to that portion of the body. It’s like, I might lick you up and then go down, play around a little bit, and come back up.
Is eating booty mandatory? Not so much because I think eating the booty is like … I think it’s just like a little trick you add in your arsenal. It’s not like, I’m just going to put my tongue in the butt for 40 minutes. It’s like being a basketball player, right, it’s just like, “That guy is good as … he can dribble good, he’s fast, he’s got a three-point shot.” What else, “He’s got a good mid-range jumper.” It’s just this little part of your overall game, I think.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done? I’ve had sex in public. That’s pretty weird. I had sex with a midget. This is a legendary story. Her name was Linda and she was fine. She had a fat ass big thighs and I said, “Oh man, look at that ass.” Midget women have such ass. I fucked the shit out of her, it was fucking amazing. I felt like King Kong.
Can you recommend a good midget porn site? Ah, no … but I do love porn.
Favorite porn category? Femdom. I think a lot of men think they have to call the shots and take control, but being submissive is just as fun. It’s a different dimension of sex. Being submissive could be equally as pleasurable in some senses as being dominant. I’m sorry, I love it. I love watching whether it’s two or three girls dominating a man and just helplessly getting his brains fucked out or him getting slapped around or whatever or like, “Sit there. I’m going to sit on your face.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do a sex interview.
Witness Speak! serenade you this coming Monday, July 27th at the Check Yo Ponytail show alongside Heems (who also did a Neurotica interview, read it here), Pictureplane and Bosco. Tickets are going fast, so grab yours now right here.