WANNABE MAGAZINE: Tell us something about you in 3 sentences?
Filip Filipi: I’m always good like grandma cookies. I rap well and I am a positive reflection of my hometown. I’m a gentleman and a scholar.
How did your music career start?
In my first year of college, I forgot what class it was, we had to hand in a group assignment. There was a student in my group who didn’t finish his part of the assignment and the other people in our group were getting mad at him but told them to f*** off and I let him use mine. I never talked to him before and I thought he was a Pakistani or an Indian or something. It turned out he was Kuwaiti and that was the first year their government set up a arrangement with my college. I was already recording songs with my friend from high school – Jonathan Lee but we weren’t doing it that seriously yet. He wanted to get involved and within months we released Sizzerb Mixtape Vol. 1 with DJ Vlad and that mixtape exploded. It sold 11,000 units from us directly but it was bootlegged like crazy. People were sending me pictures of the bootlegs they bought on canal street in New York and all three of us were so excited that a product we made in a few months was getting such wide attention. After that the mixtape was featured on MTV mixtape Mondays. Allhiphop, XXL were calling me for interviews. Labels were calling about me and that whole experience was just crazy.
What is style for you?
To me style is Erykah Badu. And the best example that comes to mind was some awards show about 10 years ago when her entire wardrobe was under $40 and she still looked fly. A lot of people seem to think they can buy style by buying the most expensive clothes or following the latest trends but the result is something very unauthentic. How are you being creative and have “style” if everything you’re wearing is from the Issey Miyake spring 2011 collection? Or if you’re dropping $500 on Gucci sneaker? In England they call these people “chavs” but I just call them “Philistine retards.”
Personally, I’m happier when I find a gem in a second hand store for two reasons. First, you’re getting something that no one else has and second you’re saving a lot of money. I found a LV scarf for $40 at a second hand store in Vancouver and it’s been my favorite thing to wear this winter along with a pair of Nike ACG boots I bought in ’98 and a rabbit fur hat which a neighbor back in Krajina made for my dad. Another thing which pisses me off is people who try to follow every single trend they see or hear about. For example, for girls it’s this retarded half shaved hairstyle or nipple piercings. I’m sorry, not everyone will pull it off like Cassie or Rihanna. For guys, it’s these super tight jeans and getting their whole body waxed. I had a few people tell me that’s big in Serbia now. I think that’s the most homosexual thing I ever heard in my life. You’re gonna look like a homo because David Beckham thinks it’s cool?
Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m aware this isn’t a good thing but I get most of my inspiration from doubters. A few of the artists I have collaborated with came as a result of bets or just inat to prove to someone I can do something. There’s a major Serbian artist I’m in the process of working with right now because my cousin bet me that I couldn’t make it happen. I love my cousin to death but as soon as that song is finished I’m taking the first train to New York, because I’m scared of planes, and I’m going to purchase a pair of steel toe boots and kick him in the ass as hard as I can and put it on YouTube. This isn’t a joke, I actually told him the other day I won’t speak to him until after I kick him. I’m aware being this spiteful isn’t healthy and it has definitely brought me more harm than good but it’s such an integral personality trait of mine I couldn’t help myself if I wanted, and I don’t.
I also get inspired by innovation, which is simply doing something in a way which it’s never been done before. For example I took samples from Serbian songs when everyone else here thought it sounded crazy but then a few years later Timbaland sampled a Bulgarian song and everyone thought it was the coolest thing ever. Also I was one of the first people to rap with autotune on or rap over dub step beats. Right now I’m sampling a lot of children songs and Native American chants. That brings me back to your question about style. Style is moccasins!
Tell us something more about your clothing line?
I launched a clothing line called “the Cartel Argentina” a few years back and we only released t-shirts usually in conjunction with my CDs. However this year the clothing company will probably be my main focus as we look to collabo with other brands and release shoes, hats, sunglasses as well as t shirts. I like keeping stuff exclusive so all garments are released in limited numbers.Also, a percentage of sales go to charities in Kosovo.
With whom have you collaborated so far?
Most people in Serbia know me for the Ana Ivanovic and Collie Buddz song ‘Hurricane Ana’ but before that I made ‘Persijska Princeza’ with Boban Rajovic and ‘Upoznaj Srbiju’ with VIP. I also worked with Natasa Kojic, Dana Karic and basically every rapper from Serbia. I also did the World Cup song with Neven Subotic.
I wrote for SoShy who is Timbaland’s artist, I did a song with Shanell who is Lil Wayne’s artist. Ace Hood, Mickey Avalon, Cupid, Styles P and Dip Set – way back in 2005. I worked with Steven Santiago who is a opera singer. If you’re into electro you know Hyper Crush, I did a song with them. I worked with Lemar from the UK. I’m working with CyHi the Prynce who is Kanye West’s artist on a new track. I’m really diverse, I like to fuse a lot of different genres. That’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure my full discography is somewhere online. and of course ‘Boom’ – that’s my biggest hit to date. Speaking of ‘Boom’ I heard it was used on the Serbian version of Survivor. Who makes that show? They owe me some publishing money!
What a lot of my fans are dying to know about is the status of the track I got coming up with Ceca and Lil Wayne. Here’s an exclusive update for you Jovana, and I’m only telling you this because you’re an Aquarius: The latest I’m hearing from her management – Music Star Production is the song is a definite go but she wants the lyrics I wrote for her edited so they took it to Marina Tucakovic, the renowned songwriter. The song is co-produced by Deezle, who is Lil Wayne’s engineer and we’re waiting for Ceca’s part to be finished before we try to get him in the studio because he’s very busy now that he just got out of jail. My part is finished and trust me I’m dying to release it but I promise the wait will be worth it because it’s truly shaping up to be a great song. A “goose bumps-inducing song” according to some that have heard it. That is all I’m allowed to tell you about it because I don’t want anymore disinformation being leaked online.
What’s your hobby?
I’m finishing my political science degree and I’ve always been really politically intone with what’s going on in the world and especially in the Balkans. That being said, me and several brilliant individuals based in the diaspora, who are really passionate about the situation back home, are forming a lobby group which will also concentrate on humanitarian efforts. Our aim is to basically look out for Serbian interests by bringing to light some of the ongoing injustices taking place and bring them to the attention of western politicians and the western public.
It’s at the very early stages and we’re still trying to figure out what exactly we need to do to make it effective but I would like to get to the point where music is my hobby and 28.Jun takes up most of my time. Music is entertainment and I enjoy creating it but helping to raise money to send some medical equipment back home for example or help a hard working student pay for their education would be much more rewarding for me than making a number 1 hit.
Who’s your best and worst dressed celeb?
I think the best dressed man celeb is Johnny Depp. I think his style is very unique and cool and he doesn’t try to force it. Not to mention he always has the best hairstyles and an exquisite goatee. The worst dressed person would probably be Cristiano Ronaldo who looks like a flamer. Serbs need to stop trying to dress like people in those gay Mediterranean countries. We are a mountain people! Dress like it! Stop with the fake tans please!
What’s your favorite sport?
My favorite sport to play is basketball, I played it growing up and in September I was actually on a college team for a few weeks. It was the first time i played seriously in 5 years and let me tell you I was horrible! I made the team but my conditioning was so bad I only played about 10 minutes a game. I did do a good job of keeping the bench nice and warm. But the 7 a.m. practices and going to class all sweaty just wasn’t my cup of team. I was also really homesick and missed my moms cooking so that adventure was short lived! To watch, my favorite sport is probably soccer. I like watching Carlos Tevez, he’s a monster.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Thank you for the interview and if you want to keep up with my latest ventures check out filipfilipi.com, facebook.com/filipfilipi and twitter.com/filipfilipi, for 28. jun check out facebook.com/28jun. For my clothing line check out thecartelargentina.com.