Glasses Malone, Strange Days & Dangerous Nights

Glasses Malone is no stranger to success. Back in 2005, he dropped his White Lightening (Sticks) mixtape, which featured the popular street single “Two Hunned.” Following that, the West Coast MC turned down deals from Interscope, J Records, Atlantic, Def Jam, and Black Wall Street Records (with which he was closely affiliated) to ink a 1.7 million dollar distribution deal with Sony for his Blu Division imprint before the year was out. Unfortunately, Malone ended up becoming a casualty to the massive restructuring that Sony underwent in 2006 that eliminated the label’s urban division altogether.

G. Malone bounced back immediately, linking up with Cash Money and Mack 10’s Hoo-Bangin’ imprint about a week after he was officially released from his Sony contract in 2007. Although he’s made waves regionally with songs like 2008’s “Certified,” featuring Akon, and 2010’s “Sun Come Up,” featuring T-Pain, Rick Ross, and Birdman, Malone hasn’t really gotten past go yet. All that’s getting ready to change now that the Watts representative is finally gearing up to release his debut album, Beach Cruiser, this fall.

XXLMag.com caught up with Glasses to talk about his approach to crafting the LP, making Money Musik with Mack 10 (coming in August), and his desire to be an “album guy.”

XXLMag.com: We’ve been waiting on Beach Cruiser to drop for a couple of years now, what’s been the hold up?

Glasses Malone: Hit records. It’s all about hit records. I gotta get a big hit record. I’ve got a lot of regional hit records, you know. A few of ‘em. It’s about getting the global, national splash. Something that’s Top 40, at least Top 50, you feel me. [I'm] on Cash Money, that’s like the best franchise to play with, so, you know, if you ain’t playin’ at a professional status, at a level of Drake, or Lil Wayne or Nicki Minaj, making records that are going Top 50, then you on the wrong team. Being that they scouted me and thought I had the talent to be a professional player and major player, to be a part of the best team in the game, I gotta step it up and show ‘em that I’m working.

XXLMag.com: Have you found that hit record yet?

Glasses Malone: I think “I Get Doe” is the first song I’ve made that’s big enough. It ain’t no excuses. It’s all up to me and making huge records, huge singles. I’m with a big deal company, and they’re looking for hit records, you know. It is what it is, I gotta put out. Put up or shut up.

XXLMag.com: “I Get Doe” is a really unique song with the guitar and piano. How did you come up with the idea to do a song like that?

Glasses Malone: I remember watching Dave Chappelle say it, you know, if you have a White person sing it, she can say whatever she want and it’s gon’ pop, so I’m trying to see if that’s true… [Also] I remember watching this newscaster talk about my struggles, my jail records and all kinds of stuff, and I think she forgot to mention one major thing, you know. Like, “Fuck is you talkin’ bout, bitch, I get dough,” you know what I mean? So that’s a special song, and I really owe it all to The Cataracs.

XXLMag.com: Are you gonna drop another mixtape before the album?

Glasses Malone: I don’t know, probably not. Who knows? I got so much music, and then I get inspired to do something so fast, so I don’t know. I ain’t gon’ tell a lie.

XXLMag.com: You sound kind of off it. Are you an anti-mixtape guy or what?

Glasses Malone: Nah, nah, I love mixtapes. I just wanna be an album guy, too. I think I need to become more of an album guy. People wanna hear my album, they don’t really care about the mixtapes as much anymore. They like, “Nigga, we know you can rap, we know you can make great songs, songs that’s hard. [But] can you get this album out, and what’s that gonna sound like?” So my focus has been crazy on that.

XXLMag.com: You’ve been working on another album with Mack 10 too, though. How’s that coming?

Glasses Malone: Yeah, me and Mack 10 have a group album. [The group] is called Mack and Malone, [the album] is called Money Muzik. It’s some shit. I have a lot of fun with that one. I was able to act real ignorant and real crazy so I enjoyed making that album. People gonna really like that album, too. It’s really dope, you know. It takes you somewhere else, and I think that’s what all good music should do. It should put you in the mind state of whatever the world is that you created on that album. Both of those albums take you to a different world, you know what I mean.

XXLMag.com: Who can we expect to see on that album?

Glasses Malone: E-40, Too $hort, the legendary Richie Rich, YG Sopranos… It’s pretty much a family thing. All in-house production, a lot of live instruments. It’s real dope, real crazy. Put you in a whole ‘nother mind state. Both of those albums are from somewhere completely different.

XXLMag.com: What about Beach Cruiser?

Glasses Malone: They’re totally different. Beach Cruiser has some crazy stuff. Of course I got Wayne, Birdman, you know, my family members. But I got Jay Rock, Nipsey… I kept it real West with that, and other features are just a lil’ different. I’m just trying to create a whole ‘nother world. I keep trying to go further with my music. Like The Cataracs was a lot different. I’m just trying to bring a certain light and a certain element to gangsta rap.

XXLMag.com: You went on tour with Slaughterhouse and the Strange Music Family [Tech N9ne, Krizz Kalico, Kutt Calhoun]. Those are some of the No. 1 independent artists. What was your experience like touring with them?

Glasses Malone: It was amazing—unbelievable. Them dudes are like my brothers. We got real close on tour. I know a lot of people say that, but I really like those guys. I genuinely like them. It was amazing, I felt like a rock star. Shows every night, wake up it’s time to be at another show. It was tiring, draining, it was hard on you. It was everything I thought a tour would be like. When you see movies, and them old rock groups used to be touring, that’s how you thought it was. Different girls every night, people going crazy, face paint, people screaming, you know. People fighting on the tour, people fighting on the tour bus, we beating up somebody in the city, it was just everything I thought it was gonna be, but more. I can’t thank God and Travis O’Guin [Strange Music’s CEO/President] and Tech N9ne and everybody enough for even being a part of that. That was truly the experience I’m glad I got as far as my first tour.

XXLMag.com: Are you going to be doing any other shows soon?

Glasses Malone: Right now I’m working on perfecting a great show. Being part of Tech N9ne’s tour really gave me the idea that I need a great show. I can’t dance and jump [but] I want it to be an experience. I want my show to have a dope look in it, and you’re like, “That was alright.” But I want to have a show that’s so dope I could do it for a 7th grader or a 70-year-old. I’m just working on that show right now. I’m working on a creative show, where you see it and it’s original, it’s one of a kind, and it’s a great place to be. —Brooklyne Gipson