Rapper Kendrick Lamar had some choice words about voting earlier this week. Namely, that it's pointless.
"My vote counts? I'm not voting, I don't do no voting. I will keep it straight up real with you," Lamar says in an interview with truthisscary.com. "You talk to me, and you'll be talking with me for hours because everything has a contradiction, everything has a higher ranking and is way beyond us, way beyond people. So basically, do what you do, do good with your people and live your life because what's going on is not really in our hands."
The sentiment is likely to be an unpopular one with most people, but local MC JustUs of hip-hop duo Cut Throat Logic knows where the Compton, California-native is coming from.
"Unfortunately, and this is the first time I'm going to say it, I feel the same way," JustUs says. "I'm going to vote, but I'm going to write myself in the ballot."
Cut Throat Logic is scheduled to share the stage with Lamar at the Celebrity Theatre on Thursday, October 11. We caught up with JustUs to talk about working with Kanye collaborator Lifted on CTL's new record, and why he thinks Lamar may have a point.
Up on the Sun: Can you catch us up with what's good with CTL?
Justus: We've just been working our asses off. Basically our new album is complete. We're in the final mixing and mastering stages of it but the recording process of it is complete. We're really excited about that. I've gotten to listen to it front to back over the last few weeks so that's got me really excited for what's coming. This record, from a content level, is on some other shit, so I'm really excited with what we did with the music.
We had the blessing of working with Lifted, who just went double platinum with Kanye West on "Mercy." Lifted and Deonte produced 90 percent of the album. Between the two of them, from a production standpoint it's just a very polished project. I'm pretty proud of it.
We've got a charity event coming up on September 28 with The Beat 101 FM, and then we've got the Kendrick Lamar event on October 11.
So we're just grinding -- continuing to evolve and trying to stay relevant.
You mentioned the content on this upcoming album is on a new level for you guys, what was the driving force behind you guys taking the next step with your music?
To be honest it was a combination of things. The first one being our surroundings and looking at the state of music and seeing where everything has been going. Music is so cut, copy, paste right now. People have forgotten why we make hip-hop. It used to be like a news and current event-updater. It was a trendsetter. And other than like Kanye and a few other major players, no ones really trying to be original, no ones really trying to do anything outside of their comfort zone.
With performing for juvenile prisons and rocking for kids, it really made me realize I can't go in there rapping about bullshit. I can't go in there talking about sex, money, and drugs because that's not going to do anything for them. I don't want to preach to them either, so basically we just wanted to do our best to create dope music that people can relate to. Yeah, we still have songs that talk about love or sex or whatever, but that's life. When people listen to this record we want it to be a timestamp for 2012/2013. We want people to remember where they were when they heard this album.
This album took us three years. We dropped a record a year ago, but those were just the songs that didn't make the album. They were still great rap songs, but they just didn't follow the stream of consciousness that we've been trying to attain.
You bring up streams of consciousness and the role hip-hop used to have in social commentary. How do you feel about Kendrick Lamar's recently revealed stance on politics and saying he's not going to vote?
Unfortunately, and this is the first time I'm going to say it, I feel the same way. I'm going to vote, but I'm going to write myself in the ballot. I'm probably going to vote for myself, I don't know. I don't feel confident in our government or our political system at all right now.
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The first time I voted, I voted for George Bush. And then I watched what he did, and the way he went about things, I just wasn't happy because it seemed like he was just for white rich America. So then I vote Obama, and man, I'm disappointed again. To me people lie about numbers all day long, but numbers don't lie about people. If you look at Obama's numbers, the fact is we haven't progressed over the last four years.
It's which one of them is less of a bum, is how my grandfather would put it. And I'm not feeling either of these dudes. I don't want to vote, but I'm going to because I don't want my vote going somewhere I don't want it.