Twista and Do or Die Say They Got Back Together For the Fans
On May 19, Chicago MC Twista and the city's Do or Die collective (Belo Zero, N.A.R.D. and AK) released a collaborative EP titled Withdrawal. The six-track project, released under Empire Music, reunites the veteran rappers for the first time in years.
Looking to recapture the success of their 1996 single, "Po Pimp," Twista and Do or Die's new EP brings a vintage, melodic vibe reminiscent of Chicago hip-hop music in the mid-1990s. The collective's new project offers a refreshing sound in today's era, which is one of the reasons Twista and Do or Die decided to drop the EP in 2015.
While in New York City last week, Twista and Do or Die stopped by the XXL offices to speak in-depth about their Withdrawal EP, their chemistry in 2015 and future projects on the way. —Roger Krastz
XXL: What was the approach you guys took for this EP?
Twista: The approach was to give the fans what they have been missing. We hadn't done a certain type of work for a while so I think the fans deserved a body of work that exceeded from us. So the approach was to give them some vintage Twista/Do or Die shit.
You guys have worked in the past before, but how was the chemistry this time around for the EP?
Twista: To me, it's always fun and it's always the same. I think we enjoy it more than we personally know. I think we enjoy working with each other and once we know we're about to be on a track with each other, it just clicks in and the chemistry comes right out.
Do or Die: It's like a marriage. You know, sometimes you gotta have your own space where you're doing your own thing, but then you come back together, you know what I'm saying? And cohesively work it out. So it's a perfect combination.
Did you guys encounter any challenges recording the EP?
Twista: Yeah I did. Just for me the challenge was everybody having responsibilities and being able to balance other things out with staying creative and staying in the path of the deadlines. But we've done it before, so we just had to make sure we were on point for this EP.
Why did you guys feel like 2015 was the perfect time to drop the collaboration EP?
Do or Die: For us personally, I think the moment is right. You know, there's a saying, "Timing is everything," and just on some real shit I feel like the moment is right. Because if you think about it, if you listen to music—and I'm not discrediting anybody that is making music, because I love it all—a lot of it is sort of the same sound and feel. And for us to come in and just offset it a little bit and give them that classical, but still refreshing, type of music, I think it's perfect timing.
Twista: For me, it was the whole way people were putting out music, the EP way, so I looked at it as a way that we can get back out there. And being that the EP is five, six songs, I thought that it would be a great offering to the fans.
Do you guys feel like there's more unity in hip-hop now as opposed to the 1990s?
Twista: I don't think so, I think it's similar. It's a new age, new times and you still see the camaraderie the same way as back in the days. I would say we have a lot of unity today, but back in the days you didn't have social media so you had to be into each other. Hip-hop music in general is always going to bring together the youth movement.
Being legends in the hip-hop game, how do you guys feel about the current state of the music?
Do or Die: I respect it and I love it. It crosses the line when you get to see people acting out the lyrics, but as far as talent-wise, I'll always support it on that level.
What other projects should we expect from you in the future?
Twista: We have Withdrawal Pt. 2, the free sample version coming directly after this. You'll get the rawness. So right when you least expect it, we hit you with something for sale and later we'll surprise you with a free mixtape.
Do or Die: We have Picture This 2 coming out August 7th. We got a single on there with Twista and with Rick Ross and some other interesting cats on the album.
Twista: I have an EDM project dropping in about a month or so. I got the song with Afrojack and Huey Mack called "Funeral." That's all coming out very soon while we bumping this cold-ass Do or Die EP project. And I have another project dropping in fall. It's going to be some rap shit for the scientist. Think of nerd education.