[Update: Before we could post this interview, Andy and Keef released another video, “My House.” They're on fire!]
March 2015 may go down as one of the greatest months in hip-hop history. Along with the new projects from Kendrick Lamar, Action Bronson and Earl Sweatshirt, rap fans were treated to another surprise that's just as unexpected: Chief Keef teaming with rapper/comedian Andy Milonakis for the duo’s spellbinding debut music video, “Glogang.”
The video, produced by Endemol Beyond and directed by Sean Barrett, puts Keef and Milonakis where we’ve never seen either of them before: in space. We spoke to Milonakis about how he and Keef got together to form hip-hop’s most exciting odd couple.
How did you and Chief Keef first link up?
Through the lovely social media app called Twitter. I don’t remember who tweeted who, I might have followed him and he followed me back. I was doing Vine for a while and I started getting a big following and I ended up hating the comedy on it so I unfollowed everybody. He was using Vine and he saw I was following zero people and said he thought it would be funny if I only followed [him]. I really liked Chief Keef a lot before I started communicating with him and we exchanged numbers. Two months later he said let’s chill.
I’ve met a million rappers in my life and it’s weird if I’m going to go hang out with some, because usually I’m kind of seen as a comedy guy, it usually doesn’t mean we’re going to make music at all. I think a lot of rappers are scared to do a song with someone like me because, you know, they think it’s too strange or not real… I had no clue we were going to make music. I went over to his crib, one of his boys said we should do a song, and they didn’t have their studio ready so we decided to just get a real studio and started making tons of songs together.
Is that the session where “No Hook Gang,” your collaboration from his recent mixtape, came from?
Yeah, you know, we just recently had another studio session and an in-studio music video for a song that [hasn’t been] released. [Update: It's been released.] The majority of the songs we made together we made on the first night we met. We made like six songs together. The one that’s on the Gucci tape, the one that’s on Keef’s tape, the one we did the video for and we have three more. We made tons of shit that night.
Wow, so six songs completely from scratch?
No, not from scratch, the beats were made. Chief goes into the booth, works out a bunch of melodies and a couple lines. That’s his process, I’m a bit more old school. It’s kind of hard because usually, when I did songs with Three Loco, we’d put the beat on a loop and sit in silence with our phones and open up Notepad and write for half an hour. With Keef, when he picks a beat, he goes right into the booth and starts working on melodies and punching in different vocals. By the time he’s done, he’s ready for me to record and, to keep it moving, I can’t have him record his part and then write for a half-hour. I’m literally writing while they start and stop his vocals. It was definitely a hard way to write, but I said fuck it, I got the beat in my memory and started to just write.
When you’re recording tracks like that, given how visual both of you are, did you have ideas for videos while making the songs?
No, I didn’t, but the idea came to me really quick because I really like contrasts. I feel like when you don’t have contrast, things get boring. When I see Keef videos with all of his boys and gang shit, I want to do a crazy green screen outer space adventure. A lot of ideas, when I see a situation, they come like sneezes. The idea was pretty instant. Sean from Endemol gets all the credit for being the genius to sit there for hours and hours and make it a reality. I made a bullet list of things I wanted in space and he made it all possible.
How’s it been working with Endemol?
I really like it. The type of work I do, I don’t think I’m lazy, but sometimes when I don’t have all my ducks in a row I kind of fail at being creative. When I have a team behind me to really help make things a reality and I can riff off some ideas, I really snowball and feel like I’m going to get an insane amount of work done this year. Endemol gets credit for being a big part of that. It feels good to have a team and doesn’t seem like I’m lost in the mix.