Glam rapper Cazwell, a well-known celebrity of New York City’s gay nightlife, is a respected rapper, producer songwriter and DJ.
Beginning his career as part of the hip hop duo Morplay along with female rapper MC Crasta Yo, he was eventually featured as a guest rapper in Colton Ford’s “That’s Me.” In 2007 Cazwell became part of the True Colors Tour that was hosted by Margaret Cho and featured Cyndi Lauper as headline act, with the proceeds benefitting LGBT organizations. More recently he released his new single “The Biscuit” and is now doing a show at The Ritz every Thursday with illustrious Queen Peppermint.
I caught up with the sexalicious rapper, and this is what happened.
You’re a rapper, a producer, a DJ. What do you enjoy doing the most?
Well, I love to perform. I love to perform live. That’s the one thing that when I do I feel very “in the moment,” but I just like to chill, maybe watch TV or to be with a cute boy. I’m not the type of person that likes to go hiking or bike riding. I just like to chill. I just like to relax.
You have a new single going to be released?
The last video I dropped was “The Biscuit,” and I have a new one coming out late October, probably Halloween.
What do you like best about being a DJ?
What I appreciate the most about being a DJ is I’m into what is moving people. Like, songs that I think people probably wouldn’t dance to I find would. DJing isn’t my first love. I think rapping, and definitely performing is, but because I DJ I’m really in tune with what people want to hear. I like to produce songs that people like to dance to when I work in the studio. I hear a song and pick a part that’s making it pop off. I feel like I’m just more in tune with what moves people. Because I DJ, I take that knowledge with me into the studio, you know what I mean? A lot of people in the dance club don’t realize that the reason they are loving the song is because like “twerking” claps in it. I know that I can incorporate that into my music. Little things like that.
Are you still working with Amanda Lepore?
Yeah, I’m working on her EP that she’s going to have coming out next spring.
Can you recall the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you live?
The first thing that comes to my mind is when I first started. I was in a rap group. I used to rap with a girl; we were called Morplay. We were playing in Brooklyn, and I guess that some people in the audience didn’t like us. Somebody threw a tomato at me, and it landed on my shoulder. It landed on my skin and it stuck there. It was funny because someone who threw the tomato slice was eating a sandwich at the club. Who eats a sandwich at a club? Slob.
What originally inspired you to become an entertainer?
I always wanted to be on stage, singing, but I can’t sing, so I just started rapping. When I started doing it, I thought I was pretty good at this, so I stuck to it. Ultimately I wanted to sing. Once in a while I can sing a little bit. I sing in “Selfie Control.” But I don’t want to embarrass myself.
You’re also a producer and songwriter. What types of songs do you write, rap?
No, I write rap, but I write songs too. I wrote a song called “Basic” that I’m shopping around, and it’s very like Meatloaf-y. It kind of builds, and the crescendo is in the song. I can do like Broadway-type music too. I like songs that tell stories. I like songs that have a secret. I write all types of stuff. Your traditional type of pop song is a lot easier to write than a rap song, because the rap song has more content, and also there are a lot more lyrics in a rap song. It depends if I’m writing for myself or for other people. I don’t limit myself.
Who as an artist inspires you?
As an artist I think that Missy Elliot is my biggest inspiration. I always look at her as the blueprint for what I do when it comes to picking my videos. I’m interesting and colorful and cartoony. Also, the way that she writes songs, she mixes hip hop with catchy melodies, catchy club. That’s what I try to do. So definitely Missy Elliot is the one.
Do you have a regular night where people can see you perform in the city?
Right now my only weekly residency is at the Ritz on Thursday night. Me and Peppermint have a Thursday night hip hop party called Do the Right Thing.
I love Peppermint.
Yeah, she’s awesome, such a sweet person.
What else are you into besides the entertainment world? I’m sure you go to the gym a million times a week.
I actually don’t enjoy the gym too much. It’s one of the things I have to do to take my shirt off in a show. There is a little bit of expectations when you go up on stage. I’m trying to delve into other businesses. I’m starting my own record label right now. I’ll be writing some songs for other people that will end up on the record label, and I started my own underwear line with Geoffrey Mac, and it’s called Ice Cream Truck Underwear. I try to get different models to try and push it. It’s super cute. The elastic band has like sprinkles on it, or a waffle cone. So I’m pushing that underwear brand right now. I’m trying to clean my closet right now, but I like what I do for the most part. I go on the couch and watch “Judge Judy” and that shit.
You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What color are you?
No, make up a color.
You’re a superhero. What are your powers?
Turn everybody gay.
I want that power. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Do you have a boyfriend?
No, but I’m on the brink.
Do you plan to tour in the near future?
Yeah, I’m always there. I never stop. I would love to do a tour, just show to show to show. If I’m lucky, sometimes that happens. I love doing gigs like that. It makes me feel really important.
Anything else you want to say?
I wish I can promote my website. It’s cazwell.com. I think that if you are a gay man that buys underwear, you should check out Ice Cream Truck Underwear. It’s on Instagram.