The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to email@example.com.
This Week's Rapper: Wine-O
This Week's Subject(s): Body fat percentages; eye patches.
In 2005, Wine-O hit big with "Pop My Trunk," an utterly, impeachably catchy track that caught traction anywhere it was played. He followed that success with Hate Me, his debut album that, though it crept up the charts, somehow failed to manifest into the regional acclaim "Pop My Trunk" implied he deserved.
His eponymous new album is all geared up and ready to be released August 24, which means he's currently making himself available for interviews. Sort of.
See, Wine-O used to go by Nuwine, his alias as a spiritual rapper. He's always been an enjoyable rapper - his sonic boom of a voice guarantees that much - and he absolutely stood out when he was doing the religious stuff. But he turned to secular music when, following his 1999 divorce, he caught scorn from religious leaders familiar with him and his work.
"Big-name preachers started speaking real negatively about me," he told the Houston Press in a 2005 interview. "I just needed to get out of that arena. Because I made a mistake, they turned their back on me coldly."
Ask A Rapper intended on talking to Wine-O about the process of going from theologian to gangsterologian (totally just made that word up), and whether or not it carried with it any type of crusty internal existential struggle or weighty cognitive dissonance and why it that part appeared to be scrubbed clean from his PR biography.
But as soon as we brought it up, his PR fellow listening in on the phone call, presumably to intercept questions just like that cut us off, saying we were to only discuss the new album and the upcoming prison tour that Wine-O will be taking part in.
A few other things we took away from this interview/PR bio:
• Maurice apparently means "Dark Warrior" in some language.
• Wine-O grew up in Fifth Ward, which AAR refers to as Satan's Backyard. Given the neighborhood, he had it rough. He developed what sounded like operational defiant disorder. He was kicked out of daycare for being so disobedient. Oh, he was six months old when that happened.
• The prison tour will be ten stops long. The kinks are still getting worked out. Did you know that when you go to do something like this in a prison, you're not allowed to wear white? That's because if there's a riot or something, the guards might not be able to differentiate between you and the prisoners and shoot you. Fun.
• Wine-O is now stationed in Atlanta. When we asked him why, his answer was simple: "It's more lucrative." He then went on to talk about how he might bump into Andre 3000 at the store (probably a store that sold football pads with spikes on them or lime green pants) or Polow da Don at Krispy Kreme or Young Jeezy at the gym. Atlanta sounds excellent.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
is the single from the new album. Fans of Kill Bill and attractive women will appreciate it. The album's drop date is August 24, and the release party may be here in Houston.
• Wine-O, allegedly, has zero percent body fat. We've gone over the notes several times, and still can't quite piece together how that came up.
• Towards the end of the interview, we asked him if there was anything that he wanted to make sure got mentioned. He said something along the lines of, "I wanna mention something, but I don't wanna go into too much detail because my attorney advised me not too. I wanna say that in 2007 I... I... never mind. I don't wanna talk about that. I might say something he don't want me to say." It was the second-best quote of the interview. The first was...
• "I was shot in my head and face." He said that about why he first started wearing the eye patch that he no longer does. Anyone who has ever been shot in the face and lived should automatically get paid a million dollars. That should be a rule or something.