It’s been three years since fans heard of a new album from Hopsin. This wasn’t intentional, however; Hop has been using the extra time to revaluate everything surrounding his rapid success. "The last time I put out Raw, that boosted me up in the underground to one of the top underground artists who was making moves and touring around the world,” he says. “I am getting all this fame, but I don’t absolutely know what I should rap about. Should I rap about how much money I made in the past year? I don’t want to rap about that because then people will call me a sellout and all that shit. I don’t really want to rap about money. I didn’t really know what to do."

Hopsin allowed life to take its course before getting back into the booth. Personal experiences sparked a wealth of ideas, many of which are represented in songs throughout his third studio album, Knock Madness (Funk Volume), out November 26. This may be a shocker to some, but Hop has stated this will be his last recorded album for a while, as he plans to take a hiatus after going on tour. "When I take a break, I am still going to be making music, I am [just] not going to be out publicly promoting shit," he says. "I am just going to be in my own house, doing whatever the fuck I want to do. Finding myself as a person."

Talks of taking a hiatus from rap shouldn't sound disappointing. Fans can still look ahead for Hop's highly anticipated LP that will include Jarren Benton, Dizzy Wright, Tech N9ne, SwizZz and more. Just a week ahead of his release date, we jumped on the phone with the Funk Volume leader to have him share a few tracks to look out for on Knock Madness. Enter the world of hip-hop’s sinister. —Eric Diep (@E_Diep)


"Tears To Snow"
Hopsin: It’s a whole new delivery for me as well. I never delivered a song like that as far as the energy I’ve had. It’s not a hype song, but it’s an emotional song. It just talks about me and my ex-girlfriend breaking up and having issues. Me being a rapper, and her thinking I’m someone that's cheating on her all the time. Because I am in the spotlight now and she sees stuff on Twitter. Girls tagging me in pictures and she thinks I’m cheating and all this crap. It talks about the life of being a rapper and trying to have a relationship and how it's just not working.

"I just want to commit suicide sometimes... I’m an emotional wreck right now. I don’t know what the hell is going on."

The second verse talks about how rappers that I’ve known over the past few years kind of changed on me and [are] talking the shit behind my back. Word gets around and it’s the same rappers who open for me at shows. And they’ll come up and congratulate me on something like, “Yo, blah, blah, blah. That was dope or whatever.” They’ll be like, "Man, fuck Hopsin. He’s Hollywood man. He was this or he was on Disney."

The third verse talks about me as a person. I don’t want to be Hopsin no more. It kind of hurts to continue to do this. I just want to commit suicide sometimes. I just want a family and all this stuff. It’s a really deep song. I’m an emotional wreck right now. I don’t know what the hell is going on. It’s almost like the whole rap industry is a whole new world. So, it’s not even planet Earth anymore. I’m in it, but now it's like my eyes are open. What the fuck? Where am I? Oh my God. I don’t know who I am anymore. It makes you depressed because I like it, but I don’t like it. It’s a weird hate-love type of relationship that deals with the industry. I love making music. And at the same time, I want people to hear my music and i want to be a big rapper. But then, the toll that it takes on my personal life is so huge to where I am deciding if it's worth it. I can’t have a relationship. It’s hard for me to even find time to hang out with homies. Go skateboarding when I want to. I gotta cancel my personal meetings with people to just chill with them because of music. It’s complicated. That’s why I was tweeting all that stuff.

Hopsin Collaborates With Eminem

“Hip-Hop Sinister”
Hopsin: That’s probably the most intense rap song on the album. It’s not a song that’s going to slowly change anybody’s life. It’s just a rap song that’s pimp, to just have bars and sound dope. The energy on that, you’ll probably hear it and want to cut somebody’s throat. When you’re working out, you just hear some workout music. The song just amps you up so much. It’s so hyped to where you want to punch a hole in somebody’s head or punch a hole through the wall. It’s one of those songs. It’s the hip-hop sinister. If you were to picture the super dark sinister of hip-hop who is standing on top of the freaking dark mountain in the night and the moon is in the sky saying beast mode lyrics, it’s crazy. If the Incredible Hulk was to rap, that’s what that song will be.


“Lunchtime Cypher”
Hopsin: That one is a dope track. It’s really raw. It’s featuring my homie Passionate MC and the other homie Gmo Skee. It’s a song taking it back to fucking high school. You know, rap sometimes comes all jazzy and weird and too swaggy to where you don’t hear anybody just spit or rap. Sometimes, motherfuckers want to hear motherfuckers rap. It doesn’t matter if its over-the-top bars or under the top, let’s just have fun with it. Let’s stand around in the lunchtime area. Lunchtime cypher like back in high school and spit. You can say anything goofy: “I hit you in the head with a plate / rape your date / give your mom a handshake after our...” Whatever! It can be anything, but just fun rap.

“Lunchtime Cypher” is me telling people to gather around to take this shit back to the raw hip-hop. And just fucking spitting bars and dope shit. Then all three of us are just rapping. I start off, Passionate MC is second, and Gmo Skee is third. We’re just rapping, saying whatever the fuck comes to our heads. We just do whatever. There’s no real topic, it's just random, crazy bars. All three of us have different styles. I wanted a realistic feel of what it would be like to be in a cypher to where it’s not about making the song super ill. It’s not about trying to do this, make a commercial hit. Making a catchy chorus. Let’s just rap.

The way I built the song, too, it’s like beatboxing. It actually feels like a lunchtime cypher, where you hear people in the background going “Ooo!” I designed the track where it has all the sound effects where it feels like you are really in a cypher.

“Rip Your Heart Out” Featuring Tech N9ne
Hopsin: Tech is always touring and I am always busy as well. We had to do it through email. Send him over the beat. He just laid the verse down and sent it back. I gave him the description of the song and told him how I kind of wanted to be and all that.

I just wanted a weird, funky, dope beat that you can just bop your head to. The beat just sounds weird. It’s a weird little, almost electronic sound. Robotic things. When the bass kicks in, it’s like, “OK, OK.” I just wanted a raw song where you hear some motherfuckers really rapping. It feels so jazzy, smooth and casual today where you don’t hear motherfuckers going in. Gimme a hardcore beat with a hardcore bassline and a big ass snare that slaps and just have two motherfuckers ripping the shit up to shreds. That’s the vibe I’d imagine before the track was being created. “Man, if I get Tech N9ne on a song that’s just fucking slapping and just fucking beat.” I think we accomplished it.


"What’s My Purpose?"
Hopsin: That song is about life. Sometimes, just as humans, you reach that point where you are like, “What am I doing? What is my purpose?” You start questioning everything that is going on [and] you just almost freeze your mind. You just don’t want to move or go outside. So, this song [is] talking about a human born into this dark society. How everybody is doing the same thing. Nobody is really different. And the government has us here to just make money.

"After I do this album and do the tour, I’m moving to Australia and getting out of the rap game and taking a break. I gotta find myself."

That’s our man made purpose in life right now. You live to make money, but money is just a piece of paper. It’s not a real thing. We are living to make money, [but] there are other things that could make us happy in life. A lot of places in the world that have big governments are too structured in a way where it kind of works, but it takes away the humanity of people. Work gives us homes. We got cities. We got cars. We got technology. People aren’t being human anymore. They are relying on technology. They are relying on the government to do everything for them. They are not using their bodies. They are not using their minds to their full capabilities. The song talks about that pretty much and the chorus talks about how I just hate humans.

I also talk about how I got arrested in Orlando, Florida, just for being black. I never thought something like that would ever happen to me and it literally did happen to me. I’m not one of those black guys who are like, "Aw, it’s cause I’m black, huh?" I literally got arrested because I was black. It blew my mind because I couldn’t believe what the fuck was going on. I talk about that in the song as well.


"Caught In The Rain"
Hopsin: That one, it’s pretty much the end. After I do this album and do the tour, I’m moving to Australia and getting out of the rap game and taking a break. I gotta find myself. That song just talks about, you know, I put my first album Raw out. I didn’t know what was going to happen after that. All of a sudden, I blew up and fans across the world like me. And now, the girls want to be with me. I don’t know if they like me for who I am or just because I make music. I’m sort of caught in the rain. It just keeps on raining on me and I’m not really comfortable with myself

I talk about how I am soul searching and I need to find myself. I don’t know my purposes. It’s just me saying I am going to bury Hopsin, like the album cover. The album cover is Marcus burying Hopsin. I am laying there as Hopsin's getting dirt thrown on me as I am tied up. It’s actually Marcus, which is the personal me, just standing there over the grave and burying myself. He’s done after that. Knock Madness is done. Hopsin is gone.