15 Questions David Sabastian Hasn’t Been Asked Before

By | October 15, 2012 at 1:50 am | No comments | Featured Post, Interviews, MUSIC | Tags: ,

David Sabastian is a fucking phenom & I’m not the only one who thinks so, he has a pretty high opinion of himself and rightly so. He has accomplished in Twenty One years what some people seek out to do in their whole lives. A couple weeks back I threw a party in celebration of my 25th birthday. David’s right hand man… or woman Miliana Gardener reached out to me via Facebook about having David perform & since that weekend we have all been cool.

Yesterday David and I hung out at the W Hotel in Hollywood and bonded over stories of childhood memories school stories (we went to the same school) and exchanged views on life, why he is from his room & government. We even touched on the exploitation of skateboarding in rap. Below is the transcribed, unedited conversation we had. I decided to call this piece “15 Questions David Sabastian Hasn’t Been Asked Before” simply because that it the truth of the piece. More often than not interviewers ask identical questions to the same artists in interchangeable ways. I tried to take away from that.

15 Questions David Sabastian Hasn’t Been Asked Before

#1 ISM: I know this is question is a bit cliché but just to kick things off “Who exactly is David Sabastian? Where did he come from & where is he going?

DS: Um, as far “Who is David Sebastian.”(laughing) Because at the end of the day, Who really knows themselves completely. I think its Curi, the infinite curiosity that drives a person’s growth, the second you figure out who you are you stop trying to put yourself in situations or positions that mature you and change who you are definitely. I think I could probably answer this question better when I’m ninety or something , but um… What’s the second question?

ISM: Where did he come from, where did you come from?

DS: I was born & raised in Los Angeles but….

ISM: [Interrupting] What part.

DS: I from… Koreatown, Downtown, West Hollywood but I tell a lot of people that I’m from my bedroom you know and um… Actually one exec from Interscope the fuckin’ chairman of Interscope actually got pissed cuz he asked me “Where are you from?” I said “I’m from my bedroom” & he was like “YOU FUCKING SMARTASS.” Growing up I didn’t really have any friends so I spent the majority of my time in my room cultivating myself, artistically, visually, spiritually, whatever I felt that I needed to be great in music/art/fashion. How can I do that without going to school so I spent most of my time on Wikipedia and shit, I’m from my bedroom.

#2 ISM: So you don’t have any formal training in anything that you do?

DS: No, I learned how to cut, sew, scale, paint, make my own canvases I learned Illustrator, CAD all that I learned pretty much by myself.

ISM: Crazy, I live in Koreatown off of… Blank & Berendo.

DS: I grew up right off of Vermont & Beverly, I went to Virgil. I went to Belmont. I know exactly where that is.

ISM: I grew up in South Central on 48th & Central and my mom, well I’m an only child… that brings us to the next question. Are you an only child?

DS: I am an only child.

ISM: Staying locked in your room sounds like some only child shit. I mean that luxury too. Like, you don’t have anyone banging on your door or anything like that. You can’t do that when you have brothers or sisters or whatever.

DS: I had like 8 brothers and sisters but they were all imaginary ones.

3# ISM: Yeah so you come from and have an extensive fashion background. Who have you worked with in the past? Is that “fashion” a ship that has sailed? When will you return to the world of fashion?

DS: I can quit doing fashion because… I am fashion. I am the clothes I design; I’m the music that I rap. There’s no way that ship could ever sail because I can’t be naked for the rest of my life. Its definitely something that I slowed down on because I noticed a lot of creative people aren’t really successful at one thing is because they try to do everything and trying to do art, music, fashion design film photography at the same time had me overwhelmed. It was taking a toll on me. It’s stopped for a second but as far as my merch, I design all my merch. It’s not like brands with silk screened tees. My merch is really high-end shit like custom fitted leather drop crotch pants. I have BEAUTIFUL merch that I’m really proud of. Who have I worked with in the past I started out in fashion and all that when I was 16 and I’m not really not proud to say but the first person I freelance designed for was Christian Audigier.

ISM: How did that happen?

DS: I walked up to a store and he was building Ed Hardy at the time. He pulled up in this Red Ferrari and I was this little poor kid and I ran up to him with this homemade portfolio and was like “Can I show you my designs I’m a designer” & he was like “No no, I’m busy. The next day he said “No, I’m busy.” The third day he threatened to call his security on me and I went off on him like “MAN FUCK!” “LOOK AT MY SHIT!” “IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT THEN YOU WONT EVER SEE ME AGAIN, BUT THE MOST YOU COULD DO IS GIVE ME YOUR RESPECT AND LOOK AT IT!”

He looked at it and it was history, I wasn’t as versed in fashion as I am now so it was just sketches and shit like that but it got the point across and it got my vision across. From there, I went to Teenage Millionaire which was next door and I did the last I’d say seven collections they did & that was really successful. I met Steve Aoki with Dim Mak and I did two or three seasons with Dim Mak. Umm…. headphones with (intelligible), Diesel, RVCA I worked with a lot of brands…this was all by the time I was eighteen. Yeah.

ISM: That’s dope not a lot of people can say that they’ve accomplished that much that early on in their lives you know. I think now especially sometimes when people are “up there” they stay “up there” and it’s a task to reach them without finding and going through all of the right avenues.

DS: You know my manager said to me “Sabastian, you have had more life changing opportunities given to you in your whole life than most people get in their life.” He told me that Quincy Jones told him that most people get three if their lucky but two opportunities in their lives that can really change their shit and I’ve had about seven of them and it’s because I keep seizing the moment. I don’t let it pass, I’ll do whatever I have to do to let that situation work in my favor.

#3 ISM: Did you watch the presidential debates? What are your thoughts? Will/do you vote?

DS: No. You know when you’re a rapper or an artist and you’re famous you have influence so what you say can persuade people to move in that position. I’m not as famous as I will be hopefully so what I’m going to say now may or may not change anyone’s perspective on politics but I’m sure a year from now it may but I don’t believe as a human we should vote to have anyone govern over us you know what I mean. I think its ludicrous sometimes were going to elect some person to make our rules and give us someone to decide every aspect of our lives like..you know it makes no sense. I feel like people should elect themselves to be the presidents of their own lives and their fuckin’ homes and they should do that…so you know…next question.

ISM: I feel you. I always tell my people when they ask me about things like that or when people tell me that we need to vote that basically, even if I did think any of that would make a difference I could never just…on the most simplistic level put my life in the hands of and vote for someone I don’t know or haven’t ever met.

DS: America has a destiny and it has an endpoint and no matter what we do it’s going to get there so whether you vote for “Puppet A” or “Puppet B” it’s still Outcome…“A.”

#4 ISM: In a previous interview you cite using a Brazilian Girls sample for the inspiration for Pussy Marijuana. Often times with “rappers”, people assume that they just listen to other rappers/hip hop… whatever. With that said… Who are some artists that people would be surprised to find out that you listen to.

DS: The majority of my mixtape that’s coming out The Napoléon Complex is 99% sample based because… I listen to so many different genres and walls of sound that it’s probably impossible for me to recreate that. I feel that when artists record a certain song at a certain time and have a certain emotion, a certain feeling, and they were put in a certain predicament that made them sing the way they sung instead of trying to recreate that. I want to keep that original feeling that they had and add a twist to it. Before I did my mixtape, I literally went through 3,000 vinyl records from every genre from Hardcore Rock, to Punk to Metal,…Retro, just every genre you could think about because I wanted that for my mixtape. I have samples from everywhere from like Portishead to like…Billie Holiday samples…Ace Of Spades… Motohead. I sampled fuckin’ Motorhead and that shit is fuckin ridiculous, David Bowie, and Pavarotti. I have so many eclectic samples and the thing is I like mixing samples with samples for example having an Adele sample with Slick Rick Drums and some James Brown screams. I just like juxtaposing sound so people would be surprised to find out that I listen to. I don’t think there is anything that I don’t listen to, like I wake up in the morning and I was listening to Lionel Richie’s “Hello.”

With Pussy Marijuana, the Brazilian Girls sample I was actually with my mom and she was at my studio and The Brazilian Girls…. I love The Brazilian Girls and was familiar with their earlier work and I put on Pussy Marijuana and looked at my mom and I was like “OH MY GOD.” “This is great, I NEED THIS.”

#5 ISM: Switching lanes for a second…Take us down the metaphorical road of your life, when/how did you decide to become a musician & what would you be doing if you weren’t doing this now?

DS: What would I be doing if I wasn’t doing this now? I’d be an assassin…

ISM: You mean that literally…

DS: Yeah, literally like I grew up on 007 & and there is nothing I would love more than to learn four different languages and move to Rome buy a Sniper, friggin have an AK47 & go hunt down Russian Mafia dudes and then wear Tom Ford tuxedoes at night. Real shit. If I ever do blow up and I want to do that then I’ll pay to get plastic surgery when I’m 40 and still do it.
So pretty much the answer to the question is if I wasn’t doing this I would be doing nothing because I’m doing what I’m doing. I do what I do and I can’t do anything else than that because I wouldn’t be doing me.

ISM: So you said 40 years from now…or when your Forty…does that mean that you aren’t with all of the speculation with the Mayans and all that on 2012?

DS: I think we as humans always are infinitely curious to where we come from, how we got here and always think that the world is going to come to its inevitable end. This is like Y2k, it’s like everyone thinks shit is going to fall apart, break down and blow up and I just think that’s the human mind. I believe, we are entering the Age of Aquarius and there is definitely going to be a new mind state, a lot of people are going to be freed mentally. It may be the end of the world for some people..but not for me.

#5 ISM: Explain the idea of The Anti-Society. Do you believe in God, Satan, Buddha, Heaven, Hell, and Reincarnation? Do you believe in the Illuminati, government conspiracies…all that stuff?

DS: The first rule of The Anti-Society is that I can’t talk about The Anti-Society. Um, I believe in God therefore I believe in the Devil. I mean I think everything has its opposite good/bad, light/dark. I believe that sometimes we are God, we create our own reality. A lot of people who believe in religion rely on god to save them to help the, to change them and I feel like a lot of people who are religious should start understanding that we are the temple and that God gave us brains and the opportunity to create our own realty. I believe in God and I believe there was a Buddha and I believe in some of his teachings…

Government conspiracies…more like government realities…you know what I mean. I believe that the government is on some shit and they have had a blindfold over our eyes for millennia and I believe that the people are getting smarter. Anti-Society, one thing I can say about Anti-Society is that we promote independent thinking. I want to get the youth to exercise creative liberation. People are like clones we move, we wake up, we walk this way, talk this way & it’s not our fault, it’s the way we’ve been programmed…T.V. Radio, whatever the case may be Anti-Society I want to be the tool to turn on that light switch for people to realize like “Oh shit, I don’t have to do this…I don’t have to go this way.” I don’t have to work a 9 to 5.” “I can do anything I want.” That’s basically what Anti Society is.

You know how Tupac started THUG LIFE right? And THUG LIFE was a movement that was getting stronger & whether the government silenced Tupac or whatever the case may be the government hates a nigga with a plan and I got a muthafuckin plan. I told this cop The Anti-Society ain’t nothing to fuck with because it may look like one hundred, two hundred kids raging at a party but you guys are going to be really scared when its ten, twenty thousand kids raging at a protest.

ISM: With a political cause. I feel you, we could talk about that all night but since our time is limited let’s move on to another question.

#6 ISM: In the Napoleon Complex Trailer, there is a scene when you are in the airport talking to your mother; it’s obvious that you two are very close. Now we’ve already established that you’re and only child, but I want to know… Does she have an indirect or direct role in your music. I ask that because out of curiosity…would you ever put out anything that she didn’t like for example some super vulgar MURDER DEATH KILL stuff?

DS: I have a record on the mixtape called “Life Begins With You” that’s a dedication to my mother. I went to seventeen different high schools and they all and the same ending where there would be a principal telling my mother that I’m this loose cannon and all this other stuff so in the intro there expelling me out of school and my mom is cussing him out.

ISM: Would you ever put out some MURDER DEATH KILL SHIT.

DS: If that’s how I was feeling at the time.

ISM: I mean you know how people cite their mothers as inspirations and talk about how they love them so much but then drop some “Ima’ kill you bitch.” Im gonna like…rip your uterus out. “Get on my dick bitch.”

DS: Maybe their mom was the reason for them writing that, that gave them the reason to rap. My music is influenced by how I feel at that time and I can’t allow my mother, The President of Target…MTV to censor my shit. I can’t allow anyone to censor my voice because at the end of the day that’s all I have. I feel that it’s a tragedy that people’s voices get censored and it happens more & more everyday that’s why music sucks now because things have been diluted and some people don’t know how to express themselves anymore. So if I wanted to make a song and it ended up being like SHIT…FUCK…DEATH…UTERUS whatever and my mom heard it & was like “What the fuck is wrong with you.” I would say “That’s how I felt at that time.”

#6 ISM: I think it’s fairly safe to say that every artist has an instance when they have writers block or are unhappy with a finished product. How do you specifically come to terms with that feeling and grow beyond it.

DS: Go to a movie, listen to a cd, have sex. I’ll smoke a blunt. I write music in environment’s that have nothing to do with music, like I can be at a dentist’s office and I could write the most brilliant verse. So many things inspire me so it’s rare when I get writers block but when I do get it I just go live life and then it inspires me.

#7 ISM: What is your favorite childhood memory?

DS: The creation…Chapter One, When I Popped Out My Mom’s Pussy.

ISM: You remember that?

DS: [Laughing] Yes.
DS: Do you guys want some chicken? It’s good.

ISM: [Sarcastically] That is the most racist….most…

DS: [Interrupting] I have some Watermelon too. Growing up at my mom’s house I ate so much chicken I thought I was going to become a fucking chicken.

#8 ISM: Let’s talk about skateboarding for a second. There are a couple clips in The Napoléon Complex Trailer of you skating. Is that your next endeavor? To become a professional skateboarder?

DS: I’ve been skating since I was like 13. Busting like tre-flips down 8 stairs. In my new video coming out called “Planking On My Dick,” which I’m editing right now I’m front side flipping in a full mink coat down the downtown bridge and we had got like 900 skateboarders to come out it was crazy.

ISM: [Interrupting] Yeah I remember you telling me about the shoot for that.

DS: When you see the footage of the amount of kids that came you’re going to be like WHAT THE FUCK.
As a rapper,I told my manager I don’t want to exploit skateboarding in it because I feel like there so many artists right now trying to exploit skateboarding and rape skate culture and I’m not gonna say names but um…like I just personally feel that anyone who talks about skateboarding or any of that should to be dope. You shouldn’t just hop on a board and do an Ollie and say “Look at all my skateboarder friends.” The reason I don’t skate anymore or don’t skate consistently was because you know the 12 and 16 at Hollywood High? I did something there I don’t remember what it was but I tried to do something on the 12 landed on the tail of the board and it flipped up and hit me in the mouth. It damn near took my lip off. I had to get like 30 stiches and I was like “Fuck that.”

#9 ISM: When you wake up in the morning what is you first thought? What was your first thought this morning?

DS: First thought…Thank you God for waking me up another day.
Second thought…”Damn I needa piss.”

When I wake up I’m so overwhelmed by technology going off. I wake up every day at 5 o’clock. I have like 6 alarms going off to make sure I wake up so normally when I wake up its like “Thank God, I’m awake.” “My eyes are awake now let me shut off all these alarms.”
I normally go to my favorite blogs.

ISM: What are they?

DS: I can’t say. [Laughing]I can’t give up the inspiration man! The mojo. That’s another thing I wish we could touch up on. Artists stealing swagger…There’s so much of that. I was talking to my homie from The Pack and he was in Texas talking about “Niggas be up on your blog all the time.’ “It’s like every time I go to the studio go to this niggas blog he got dadada…” I see a lot of reoccurring themes I see being used by new artists and I think that’s really yag. “If you’re gonna steal my swag at least reblog that shit.

#10 ISM: What is the number one thing (or however many things) that you loathe about being an artist?

DS: Fake friends. Fake artists, fake hugs…fake smiles. The unauthentic people. I get so many fake hugs nowadays from people who be like “You’re super dope.” “I love you.” You don’t fucking know me…

ISM: Yeah…

DS: Old friends say “Oh you’re brand new now.” I’m not brand new I’m just busy you know. Old managers who couldn’t get me to where I’m at or where I’m going saying… It’s just so much nonsense. I just want to do art and be the best I can be, but unfortunately there’s going to be a good forth of people who don’t want to see me get there.

ISM: Why do you think that is…do you think that is intentionally people pushing their jealousy on you or do you think a lot of that is just emotional.

DS: I think we live in the age of the hater. You know, Jay Z said “Niggas hate ballers these days…” Like think about it, when Michael Jackson was out EVERYONE loved Michael Jackson. Excuse me. Michael Jordan… he was so loved but now name a ballplayer that people really like. They talk shit about Lebron and Kobe. It’s like everyone hates on people who are successful nowadays. I don’t know why…I don’t know it’s evolved into this thing but people aren’t really congratulators…

#11 ISM: What’s the difference between a hater and someone’s opinion?

DS: The difference between a hater and someone’s opinion is that the haters so called opinion isn’t based on facts there based on personal emotion and them trying to compensate for their own defaults and deficiencies. I think a lot of haters see something in other people that they don’t have in themselves and try to judge them or talk shit about them but at the end of the day they should respect them for what they’re doing & if they can’t do it then do something different or better.

#12 ISM: Where did the name Napoleon Complex come from, most of us know the meaning of the term but what does it mean to you & how does it relate to your music if at all.

DS: You know… I don’t remember the moment or instance when I thought, “I’m going to name this The Napoleon Complex it’s just felt right. I’m a fan of Napoleon of…I feel like this. Growing up people always said I had a Napoleon Complex like “Oh you’re short, you’re 5’2 you’re 5’3 you’re trying to over compensate and instead of trying to deny it I embraced it and I said “Yes, I am short BUT, I have the heart of a giant.” That’s how David could beat someone like Goliath because he had heart. Napoleon Complex just fit it, if just made sense.

#13 ISM: In a recent interview you talk about getting what you put out when it comes to your craft. What are you putting in to this life and your music etc and what do you expect to come out of your efforts? What is the difference between David Sebastian & other performers?

DS: I put in EVERYTHING. I put in my life, my relationship, my time, my independence…everything I have. I don’t really have friends. I have a girlfriend who is like the best girlfriend on the planet because she allows me to give her like no attention because she understands the amount of work and effort it takes to be able to do what I do. I wake up and if I’m not doing art… like painting on a canvas, I have an art show coming up on the 23rd premiering at this gallery downtown called Study.

If I’m not painting then I’m designing my merch.

If I’m not designing my merch, I’m writing a song & recording that.

If I’m not recording songs I’m mixing songs. If I’m not doing that then I’m editing photos and if I’m not doing that then I’m curating my blog.

If I’m not doing curating my blog then I’m performing. If I’m not performing then I’m designing the set that I’ll be performing on.

If I’m not doing that then I’m designing the flyer for the place I’m going to be performing at.

There’s SO much I do. If I’m not doing that then I’m picking out fabrics.

If I’m not picking out fabrics then I’m at the warehouse trying to grade shit or on silk screen machines.
If I’m not doing that then…I really give everything I have to it and I told myself in the beginning of this…

I’m willing to be thirty, forty, fifty and look around and have no one around. No wife no, kids, no family, no love but I’m willing to have my name in that history book & I’m willing for people to say David Sabastian, he left his fingerprint on society and he changed the way people thought. If I can do that and leave that legacy then everything else doesn’t matter. I know that may seem very…selfish to the people who could love me or do love me but, I think…the bigger picture…they’ll get it; they’ll understand what I mean.

#14 ISM: What do you expect to get out of this… as a result of your effort…

DS: Infamy.

#15 ISM: What is the difference between David Sabastian and any other artist out there now?

DS: David Sabastian, I AM THE DIFFERENCE
Finish these sentences:

The rap game really needsDAVID SABSTIAN.
In one year I will have, DAVID SABASTIAN.
Before I die I will haveDAVID SABASTIAN.

-Eric Estrada
All photos by Cali Grindz

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