IamSu! is ending the year as one of the brightest new rap talents on the West Coast. Having seen his profile soar off the back of a starring turn on E-40's "Function" earlier this year, the Richmond-raised rapper dropped the $uzy 6 $peed mixtape last week to wide acclaim. Now he'll be keeping the buzz going with an instore appearance at Upper Haight streetwear shop True this Sunday. (Nov. 18, 3 p.m.) Ahead of that, we got him to drop the details behind his five favorite tracks from $uzy 6 $peed.
5. "100 Grand" feat. Juvenile
This collaboration came about when Juvenile came to town to perform. He was up in the studio after I was in a studio session and had a chance to kick it with him. He had heard a couple of my songs, so everything just fell into place. I was surprised he'd heard of me, 'cause I look up to Juvenile and have been listening to him since elementary school. When I first heard The Hot Boys, I remember thinking Juve was dope and had a unique style. Just having him sitting in the back for the song was a learning experience. I wasn't nervous though, 'cause I know what I can do.
4. "5th Wheel"
For this song I mention writing rhymes on an iPad. I did that 'cause I had just got an iPad and was just looking for excuses to use it! Now I write on my phone. I chose to do this song as one long verse, 'cause of the vibe I got from the music. It seemed like it had to be that sort of format for the song. That's how I usually work, checking out the feel of the instrumental first and then writing.
3. "Goin' Up" feat. Wiz Khalifa
It was a dream come true to work with Wiz Khalifa. The way he's blown up, he's just a genuinely nice person and he works really hard at what he does so he deserves it 100 percent. We didn't get to record in the studio together for the verse on the mixtape though, but maybe in the future... As for the reference to Richie Rich? I just used to love that song "Ain't 'Gon Do" when I was little!
I make a reference to Big Daddy Kane on this song. I'm not gonna say I have Big Daddy Kane's albums, but I definitely heard a lot of his songs and I respected his style. For the older heads, he was definitely a big influence, like for my mom's generation he was huge. Big Daddy Kane was just confident with the things he would wear and the things he would pull off -- he was the only one that could do it. So the vibe of that song was just to inspire people to go out and get it, like a real inspirational song.
1. "Can't. Hate. U. Can't. Hate."
I've definitely experienced more hate and criticism this year than before, absolutely. My music is under more scrutiny. I feel like I deliver at the same level -- if not a better level -- but everything is more meticulously criticized like any little hiccup is the end of the world. It's just because my music has been heard by so many new ears. To be honest, every now and again it can be hard to deal with, so I just have to stay focussed on what my mission is.